Westchester Guardian 41510

June 18, 2016 | Author: Samuel L. Rivers | Category: Types, Business/Law, Court Filings
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PRESORTED STANDARD PERMIT #3036 WHITE PLAINS NY

VOL. IV NO. XXXVII

Westchester’s Most Influential Weekly

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Nitrogen Pollution Is Choking

Westchester Where is the DEC? Photo Courtesy of United Nations Environment Programme

story on page 6

City Haul - Mt. Vernon’s Brazen Criminal Syndicate

story on page 3 w w w. w e s t c h e s t e r g u a r d i a n o n l i n e . c o m

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The Westchester Guardian

From Our Readers ………………………………………………………….......…..2, 18 City Haul – How Mt. Vernon Officials Plunder the Public Purse …………..... 3 From the Editor – “The Eleventh Hour” …………………………..………………..4 Point-Counterpoint – “In Praise of the Tea Party” and “Tea Party Hate Speech” ……….…….…….…….…….…….…….…….…….…….…….…….……. 5, 18 Abady - Reactive Nitrogen Pollution Crisis .……………………………………..6-7 Deskovic - Lessons from the Caravella Exoneration – Part I …..………..….. 8-9 Wilson - Getting a Jump Start on College …………………………………… 10-11 The World Traveler – Uptaken …..…………………………………………….. 12-13 Westchester Blotter …………………………………………………………………… 14 West Harrison Pharmacist Charged in Dispensing Scheme …………...….. 14 IBM Executive Pleads Guilty in Massive Insider Trading Case ….......…… 14 Rogue Sleepy Hollow Cop Charged with Witness Tampering ………….....14 Community Calendar ………………………………………………………...….. 16-17 Classifieds/Legal Notices …………………………………………............………… 20 Ackerman – Shimmering Stars ………………………………………………… 22-23

Thursday, April 15, 2010

from Our Readers

Opposite Reactions To Our Easter Editorial

To the Editor: Your attack on Pope Benedict is just nothing more than the typical Catholic-bashing that is so popular in the media these days. Why do you harp upon a few priests who misbehaved but not ministers of other faiths? The Church is a large institution that has branches in many countries and has thousands of priests. The Pope cannot supervise all of them. Your paper and everyone else piling on should give him a break. Anonymous [No location given] To the Editor: I am a Catholic who was born and raised in Westchester. I was educated in Catholic schools, including college, and until recently, I was active in my local church. Your editorial about the international sex scandal in the Catholic Church and the crisis of leadership in the Vatican upset many people I know, but I believe they are all misguided. Contrary to their view, your editorial was extremely well informed, cogently written and compelling. Only someone who respects the Church could present such a bold and yet honest critique. My hat is off to you. I cannot include my name because doing so would risk bringing down on my head the wrath of my family members, friends and neighbors. But many Catholics agree with you. Anonymous Yonkers, New York

In Memory of a Beloved Artist To the Editor: On Sunday, April 4th, 2010, the New York Times carried this obituary: “Alvin Most (Al), artist, teacher, husband to Doris, father to Chet. You will be missed.” Alvin was a friend of mine and a colleague in the Fine Arts. I met him twenty years ago when I was the Curator at the West Room Gallery in Yonkers. In 1991, I curated and organized an exhibition of four artists at the WRG, known at that time as the Yonkers Education Cultural Arts Center. Alvin Most was an exceptional and unique artist. He had exhibited in New York in the 1950s, and in 1959 he was selected by the four directors of the major New York museums, like the Whitney, MOMA, The Metropolitan and the Brooklyn, as one of the forty most promising American artists under age 35, for a show at the National Arts Club. Most was born 9/17/1924 in New York City and attended local schools. An athletic scholarship took him to New York University where he played varsity basketball. When an eye injury ended his ball-playing days, he turned to his next love: art. He held a B.S. from NYU and an M.A. from City College of New York.

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The Westchester Guardian

Thursday, April 15, 2010

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C i t y Ha u l

How Mt. Vernon Officials Plunder the Public Purse By Sam Zherka In our April 1st issue, The Guardian exposed Mt. Vernon Mayor, Clinton Young, who has surrounded himself with criminals, including his close friend, Craig Jones, twice accused of raping two young girls, ages thirteen and fourteen, and Director of Civil Defense, Antoine Lowe, previously arrested on the corner of Vista Place and West 1st Street in Mt. Vernon for soliciting an undercover vice cop posing as a crack-addicted prostitute.

Antoine Lowe - Civil Defense Director

Franklin Avenue, 29 Union Lane and 12 East 3rd Street. Tax records obtained by The Guardian reveal that Horton owes $76,889.35 in tax arrears dating back to 2007. The Guardian was informed by a representative of City Comptroller, Maureen Walker, that, unless Terence Horton pays the arrears, he will be treated like any other citizen in default, sued for tax foreclosure and his properties sold at auction. “This is the worst I have ever seen” said John, a local business man known to The Guardian who refused to identify himself by last name for fear of retaliation. “This administration is shady and outright corrupt. This city is falling apart. If Clinton Young gets reelected, I’m closing up my business and leaving.” Horton and Department of Public Works Supervisor, Rudy Persaud, were caught red handed using DPW employees to do masonry work at their homes. Persaud resides at 312 East Lincoln Avenue. He erected a decorative wall on the taxpayers’ dime without a permit from the Mt. Vernon Department of Buildings.

The Guardian just obtained a recording in which Lowe threatened our newspaper. In a conversation with Mt. Vernon community activist, Samuel Rivers, Lowe said: “They’re messing with people who are crazy and don’t give a f___. Other people got guns, too.” The Guardian contacted Lowe for comment. He yelled “Get off my f__ing phone” and hung up. Mt. Vernon Commissioner of Public Works, Terence Horton, brother of City Councilman, Steve Horton, is licensed to carry a handgun despite having once been convicted of Criminal Possession of a Firearm for which he was sentenced to three years DPW Worker at Rudy Persaud’s house Samuel Rivers was unequivoprobation. Horton is a real estate developer and operates as QFI, cal in condemning the Young adInc. He owns several Mr. Vernon ministration’s corruption: “This properties, including 434 and 440 is a terrible abuse of tax payers’

dollars. It’s criminal, and these guys should be in jail. This is why Mt Vernon is the poorest city in Westchester County and the highest-taxed city in the state,” he said. Meanwhile, The Guardian obtained documentation proving that Buildings Commissioner, Ralph Tedesco, former treasurer

were always losing files and cutting deals behind closed doors. Buildings Commissioner, Ralph Tedesco, is a criminal. The city has been looking the other way and covering for him for a long time. I want the entire world to know.” The Guardian spoke to several sources inside the Department of Public Works who refused to be

Terrence Horton - DPW Commissioner

of the Mt. Vernon Democratic Committee, and a personal friend of the Mayor, engaged in bid rigging for demolition projects approved by the Mt. Vernon City Council. In addition, Tedesco stands accused by several local businessmen of attempted extortion and soliciting bribes. John Star, operator of an African catering hall, claims Tedesco tried to shake him down for money, and when he refused to pay, Tedesco shut down his business then located at 46-48 Mt. Vernon Avenue. Bobby Brown, owner of demolition contractor, Bazooka, Inc., did business with Mt. Vernon for many years. He told The Guardian his experience with Clinton Young’s administration has been “a complete nightmare.” Brown said of Young’s lieutenants: “They

named for fear of losing their jobs. One source said he visited Horton’s home and saw a white crystalline substance he believed was cocaine. In addition, Horton stands accused of stealing $60,000 of paint purchased by Mt. Vernon from Wakefield Paint Supplies in the Bronx. The Commissioner has 150 employees. Yet, for unexplained reasons, Horton personally picked up some 5,000-6,000 gallon cans in a Mt. Vernon truck. The whereabouts of these cans of paint is presently unknown. Mayor Young and his administration act like members of disorganized crime. One wonders why D.A. Janet Difiore and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara have not taken action against this Mt. Vernon cabal of criminals.

The Westchester Guardian

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from the Editor

The Eleventh Hour

Public reaction to the Easter editorial came as a surprise. Nephrologist, Julio Cavalo, M.D., head of Westchester’s Independence Party, said he “didn’t like it” because the editorial could be read as “an attack on the Church.” It was unfair, he said, to single out priests who sexually assaulted children when perversions are found among clergymen of all faiths. One anonymous reader agreed. Another anonymous reader vehemently disagreed. He was so fearful of being discovered he extracted a promise his letter would be destroyed and no attempt made to discover his identity, lest he be ostracized by friends and family. (See “Our Readers Respond” on page 2.) There are 400,000 priests in the world. Clearly, the majority minister faithfully and remain celibate without harming children in their congregations. Yet, the reality is that thousands of Catholic children were violated – not by a neighborhood thug, but by a priest, the one person they were entitled to admire and embrace with unconditional trust. These children were violated again when the Vatican protected not them, but the deviants who molested and sodomized them. Vatican leaders are not ignorant. They are intellectually sophisticated men well aware of the psychological makeup of pedophiles. The sad truth is that, even after being discovered, prosecuted and punished, the majority will offend again. Pedophilia cannot be cured. Studies reveal that, in a twenty-five year period, pedophiles re-offend more often than rapists. The stubborn recidivism of pedophiles led to enactment of sex offender registration laws. Predatory priests cause their victims incalculable pain. But that pain was magnified exponentially when Rome essentially did nothing about it. All week long, the Vatican insisted the pope played no role in the cover-up. However, on April 9th, the Associate Press published a 1985 letter written in Latin to Oakland Bishop, John Cummins. The letter was signed by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. At the time, the pope was head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Church’s doctrinal watchdog. The letter concerned a California priest named Stephen Kiesle. In 1978, Kiesle pled guilty to sex crimes after tying up and molesting two boys in a San Francisco church rectory. By 1981, the Oakland diocese submitted a petition to have Kiesle defrocked. At the time, Ratzinger was head of the Church office in charge of disciplining errant priests. Ratzinger would have none of it. In-

Thursday, April 15, 2010

stead, he sat on the case for four years. California church officials wrote Ratzinger at least three more times about Kiesle. The Vatican says the file has been lost. In 1982, Cummins warned Ratzinger that allowing Kiesle to remain a priest would foment more scandal than defrocking him: “It is my conviction that there would be no scandal if this petition were granted and … there might be greater scandal to the community if Father Kiesle were allowed to return to the active ministry.” The pope ignored him. Rev. George Mockel wrote to Cummins about Ratzinger’s missive: “My own reading of this letter is that basically they are going to sit on it ....” As Kiesle’s fate was being weighed in Rome, the priest volunteered as a youth minister at a California church where he had been associate pastor from 1972-75. Finally, Ratzinger responded to Cummins in 1985. He directed that Kiesle not be expelled, but instead, given “as much paternal care as possible.” Kiesle was not stripped of his priestly powers until 1987. By then, it was too late. Kiesle was arrested in 2002 and charged with thirteen counts of child molestation. In 2004, he pled to a felony charge for molesting a child in his home and was sentenced to six years in prison. He is now a registered sex offender. Lewis Van Blois, an attorney for six Kiesle victims, interviewed the former priest in prison: “When asked how many children he had molested over the years, he said ‘tons,’ and bragged he was the Pied Piper and tried to molest every child that sat on his lap.” The AP obtained documents last week which revealed the Vatican stalled action in cases involving two predator priests in Arizona. The pope did nothing about Michael Teta in Tucson, despite repeated pleas from an Arizona bishop that Rome defrock the man. Likewise, the bishop alerted Ratzinger about Msgr. Robert Trupia characterized as “a major risk factor” for sex crimes. According to Irwin Zalkin, an attorney representing other Kiesle victims: “Cardinal Ratzinger was more concerned about the avoidance of scandal than he was about protecting children.” Catholic liturgy refers to the “body” of the Church. Like a human body, the Church can suffer from disease before it succumbs. For those who recognize the value of the Church and the good it does for millions around in the world, the urgent question is whether, at this eleventh hour, the pope cares more about saving the Church than himself. The Vatican’s response provides a clue. It called the AP reports “absolutely groundless.” Sam Abady

The Westchester Guardian

Thursday, April 15, 2010

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Point-Counterpoint

In Praise Of The Tea Party By Sam Zherka

Over the years, both Democrats and Republicans have shown the American people that, as far as these politicians are concerned, running our nation is just big business -- a business larded with corrupt, back-room deals to benefit special interests, favored contributors, well-heeled lobbyists, and large corporations. The hard working men and women paying the freight are left behind. The TEA Party (acronym for “Taxed Enough Already”) is a grass-roots campaign by Americans of all cultures, nationalities, creeds, races, religions and political persuasions. They are Democrats and Republicans, Independents and Conservatives. They are hard-working Americans who rise every morning and go to real American jobs to earn real American money to pay their real American bills and rear real American kids in pursuit of the American dream they once knew. They are white, black, brown and yellow, once happy-go-lucky citi-

zens until they woke up and realized their families’ future is in dire jeopardy. Critics say they are reactionary racists. Nothing could be further from the truth. TEA Party activists are soccer moms, waiters, firefighters, teachers, bartenders, bank tellers, construction workers, laborers, factory workers and small business owners. They are the every-day Joes who are the backbone of this country, the men and woman who put their lives in harm’s way as soldiers and police officers, folks who take their kids to school, ball games and the movies. They love America for its most precious asset and their sacred birthright: Freedom and Liberty. They do not hate immigrants, but they resent illegal entrants stealing public resources. They are fair and forgiving, but tired of casting their votes year after year to support politicians who lie to them. They worked hard to purchase their cars, homes, furniture and to put food on the table. They struggle to pay their rent and mortgages and worry about losing what they have

Tea Party Hate Speech By Fred Polvere

Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff, is a new leader in the TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party movement. Mack is a proponent of unlimited gun rights and has a following among militia and libertarian groups. He was hired by Friends of Liberty to forge a coalition of right-wing groups. Mack has been speaking at “liberty conferences” across the country in an attempt to rally and unite the disparate factions of TEA Party supporters. At a Spokane, Washington, rally attended by John Birchers, Oath Keepers, supporters of Glen Beck’s “9/12 Project,” and a variety of militant militia groups, Mack felt constrained to proclaim to the sea of white faces: “This meeting is not racist.” Mack explained they all had a common enemy: The Federal Government. In his illogical rant, Mack actually blamed Washington for mucking up desegregation in the South. He

opined that a county sheriff could have done a much better job. Referring to the day Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger, he said: “Imagine the local sheriff, rather than arresting Ms. Parks, escorting her home, stopping to buy her a meal at an all-white diner.” Now, one can imagine anything from flying pigs to free drive-in beer-stops on highways, but imagination is no substitute for fact. The reality of the segregated, Jim Crow South is not in dispute. In many counties, blacks were the majority and yet, not a single black was registered to vote – and not for a lack of trying. When blacks showed up to register, the registrar’s office would close. Blacks who attempted to register were intimidated with job dismissals or violence. No local sheriffs came to their defense. No local sheriffs threatened to arrest election registrars who refused to allow black citizens the right to vote. These same local sheriffs, however, were quick

worked so hard to attain. Most importantly, they are fed up with high taxes soaring ever higher with no end in sight. They are Americans being stripped of the American dream which is slowly becoming the American nightmare. TEA Party supporters are average folks who are afraid -- afraid for their families, their children, their jobs, and their homes. They are angry and demand to be heard. The TEA Party supporter is me and you. Participate in your local Tea Party Rally on Tax Day, Thursday April 15th. The White Plains TEA party will convene at the County Center on Central Avenue in White Plains between 4-7 P.M. Bring signs and show our elected officials America belongs to Americans, not the politicians.

to arrest anyone suspected of miscegenation, a felony in southern states until 1967 when the Supreme Court outlawed these offensive race-mixing laws in Loving v. Virginia. The idea that some imaginary, “ideal” sheriff would come to Rosa Parks’ aid is an outright fantasy. Many southern sheriffs were members of the Ku Klux Klan or Klan sympathizers. Richard Mack’s claim the Spokane rally was not racist just as falsely imagined. The John Birch Society and many of the militia groups in attendance at TEA Party rallies have histories steeped in racism, an ugly side of the movement which showed itself in our nation’s capital the day before the House vote on health care reform. On March 20, 2010, as Rep. John Lewis (DGA), a true hero of the civil rights movement, and Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) were leaving

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The Westchester Guardian

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Reactive Nitrogen Pollution Crisis By Sam Abady Former Vice President, Al Gore, made Acarbon [email protected] a household phrase. Gore won a Nobel Prize for his film, AAn Inconvenient [email protected] about anthropogenic (human-generated) global warming caused by burning fossil fuels to heat homes and propel cars and trucks. Meanwhile, a more immediate and urgent problem has escaped public concern: nitrogen pollution. State environmental officials appear asleep at the switch. Nitrogen gas constitutes roughly 78% of the atmosphere. It is present in all protein molecules, DNA, RNA and chlorophyll. Soil nitrogen is vital for plant growth and frequently used in fertilizers. Nitrogen Pollution -- More Urgent than Global Warming According to two new studies just published in Science magazine, ATransformation of the Nitrogen Cycle: Recent Trends, Questions and Potential Solutions,@ and AImpacts of Atmospheric Anthropogenic Nitrogen on the Open Ocean,@ human output of so-called reactive nitrogen is rapidly polluting our lakes, rivers, streams and reservoirs, and killing the world=s oceans. Increasingly, the planet’s nitrogen exists as reactive nitrogen or in activated compounds such as ammonia, rather than as non-reactive N2, an inert gas. Scientists raised a red flag about reactive nitrogen decades ago but policy makers turned a deaf ear. Apparently, state officials are likewise hard of hearing. Peter Liss, biochemist at England=s University of East Anglia, a world leader in pollution and climate science studies, concludes the Anatural nitrogen cycle has been very heavily influenced by human activity over the last [email protected] Liss believes humans have impacted the nitrogen cycle even more than the carbon cycle at the heart of the global warming controversy. Whereas global warming is contested by a small but vocal and increasingly influential minority of scientific skeptics, there is genuine consensus about the global threat from reac-

tive nitrogen. The “nitrogen cycle” is the natural process by which atmospheric nitrogen is “fixed” by bacteria and incorporated into soil. It is then chemically altered by other bacteria and used by plants to grow and returned to soil as plants decay. A small amount is released back into the atmosphere. This cycle has persisted unchanged for millions of years. Now, however, it is being radically altered by human intervention. Liss=s study tracked the dramatic growth in human-produced reactive nitrogen: fifteen metric tons emitted in 1860, 156 tons in 1995, and 185 tons by 2005. Although these quantities pale in comparison to global CO2 emissions B some twentyseven billion tons each year B the impact of reactive nitrogen is magnified by what University of Virginia biogeochemist, James Galloway, calls Athe nitrogen [email protected] caused by two primary culprits: crop fertilizers and cars. By mass, nitrous oxide, as a greenhouse gas, is 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide in destroying the ozone layer. Unlike CO2, NO2 stays in the atmosphere for a hundred years. Nitrogen Fertilizers -- A Devil’s Bargain On the one hand, nitrogen fertilizers are essential to modern agriculture and helped bring about the Green Revolution, a phrase coined in the 1960s to describe the transfer of agricultural knowledge and technology to the Third World. This transfer increased crop yields and reduced hunger for millions worldwide, especially in India and African nations deficient in soil nitrogen. A 2007 U.N. Environmental Programme report tellingly titled “Too Much or Too Little of a Good Thing,” http://www.whrc.org/policy/ PDF/Reactive_Nitrogen_sml.pdf, analyzed the problem. Activated nitrogen fertilizers are synthesized by mixing nitrogen and hydrogen with iron sulfate as a catalyst to make ammonia from which nitrogen fertilizer is derived. Without these fertilizers, much of the world=s poor populations would starve. Yet, ever increasing Third World populations consume

the activated nitrogen and convert it into human waste which drains into land, rivers and eventually, the world’s oceans. Developed nations are still the major reactive nitrogen polluters by their extensive use of fertilizers and fossil fuels to heat homes and power the transportation sector of industrialized economies. Nitric oxide is expelled from automobile tail pipes into the air, settles in soil, runs off into water which then flows into coastal systems and oceans, and is evaporated back into the atmosphere where it falls to earth as acid rain. The worst damage is caused by algae blooms which starve the oceans of oxygen and destroy fisheries and other aquatic life. Reactive nitrogen has already killed entire swaths of ocean. To date, scientists have identified over four hundred dead zones worldwide, and there may be many more. The Gulf of Mexico dead zone now stretches 5,800 square miles. The Long Island Sound dead zone has persisted for the last twenty years. Dead zones develop by eutrophication, i.e., too much nitrogen or phosphorus is deposited in water where they act as hyper-nutrients for surface plankton, most of which is algae, and cause it to multiply rapidly leading to “algal blooms” sometime called “brown tide” or “red tide.” These vast numbers of algae starve the oceans of oxygen, a condition called “hypoxia,” i.e., insufficient oxygen, and create dead zones in seas which normally support the greatest amount of aquatic life, as there is relatively little ocean life distant from coastal regions. Oceanic nitrogen also pollutes the air because it is converted to nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas. Mohegan Lake In Westchester, nitrogen pollution is all around us. For example, Mohegan Lake near Peekskill was once a clear and clean recreational lake stocked with fish. Zoning changes permitted rapid residential development above the lake in an area previously set aside as wet-

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The Westchester Guardian

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Concentration of Reactive Nitrogen Pollution lands. As a result, nitrogen and phosphorous tive water into the Hudson, and was cited sevfrom sewage and lawn fertilizers flowed down- eral times by the federal Nuclear Regulatory hill and choked the lake with oxygen-depleting Commission. algae, turning it into a dark slimy mess. The Westchester -- Are DEC Officials Asleep at algae killed off the fish and underwater plants. the Switch? Mohegan Lake is now regularly dredged, and The Federal Clean Water Act mandates all air pumps were installed to re-oxygenate it, all states periodically test water quality and idenat great cost. tify “Impaired Waters” in reports to the federal The Nuclear Alternative -- Indian Point Environmental Protection Agency. States must There are presently more than 100 nuclear develop a “Total Maximum Daily Load” of spereactors in the United States. Nuclear power cific pollutants restricting waterbody uses. enthusiasts promote reactors because they This editor spent over an hour and twenty do not produce much nitrogen to harm wa- minutes speaking with five different repreterways. The argument is specious, however, sentatives of the Department of Environmenbecause nuclear reactors inflict enormous tal Conservation. No one at the agency could thermal damage on waterways and deplete identify a single chemist or other DEC official fish larvae by sucking up river water into plant tasked with measuring and reporting nitrogen cooling systems. Just last week, the New York pollution in bodies of water in Westchester, or Department of Environmental Conservation even someone knowledgeable about the issue. refused to grant Entergy, the utility that runs No data specifically about nitrogen pollution of the Indian Point reactor in upper Westchester, Westchester’s reservoirs, lakes, rivers, streams a clean water permit. Indian Point draws 2.5 or coastal areas is found on DEC’s website. billion gallons of Hudson River water into its Indeed, nitrogen pollution as an independent reactor cooling systems every day -- twice the environmental issue is not listed anywhere on daily water consumption of New York City the agency’s comprehensive website. -- and expels it back into the Hudson as hot In its current draft report to the EPA, the water. This heated water causes massive death to fish, plankton and fish larvae. Research re- DEC does report that Moriches Bay in Suffolk vealed Entergy has destroyed up to 60% of County, for example, is impaired by “extensive some species that would otherwise thrive in algal blooms (Brown Tide)” caused by “elevated nitrogen levels,” and identifies other bays the Hudson. throughout Long Island with excess nitrogen. Also, the threat of radioactive leakage is ever The report is silent about nitrogen pollution present. Over the last twenty years, Indian in Westchester bodies of water. Jeff Myers, Point has leaked small quantities of radioac- an environmental engineer in DEC’s Bureau

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Worldwide of Watershed Assessment and Management, acknowledged that DEC does not collect data specifically about nitrogen pollution in Westchester, and that DEC’s limited focus on nitrogen concerns marine bodies of water like the Long Island Sound.

Similarly, Dr. Gopal Sistla, DEC’s Director of the Bureau of Air Quality and Research, and staff scientist, Dr. Kevin Civerolo, confirmed that DEC has no air chemistry testing for nitrogen pollution in Westchester. At present, DEC performs NO2 testing only in New York City and Buffalo. Prof. Galloway, a member of The International Nitrogen Initiative, http://www.initrogen.org/, believes reactive nitrogen pollution can be reduced by fifty-three tons per year or 28%. Yet, state officials are paying scant attention to the problem. When the environment is healthy, nitrogen is inert and the government reactive. Tragically, these days, things are the other way around. Concerned Westchester residents should contact Governor Patterson’s office, their state representatives in Albany, DEC’s Tier III offices at (845) 256-3000 or Thomas Rudolph, DEC’s Regional Water Engineer in White Plains at (914) 428-2505, and demand that DEC collect data on reactive nitrogen pollution in Westchester, and develop plans to abate the problem here, lest more Westchester waters end up like Mohegan Lake.

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The Westchester Guardian

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lessons from the Caravella Exoneration Part 1

On March 25, 2010, DNA tests proved Anthony Caravella did not commit a murder or sexual battery for which he spent twenty-six years in a Florida prison. Prosecutors secured his conviction based on a coerced, false confession extracted from him when he was but fifteen years old. Caravella is mildly retarded with an IQ of 67. According to his defense attorney, Diane Cuddihy, police repeatedly hit Caravella during a lengthy interrogation. The majority of his statements contradicted facts police knew from their investigation. Likewise, his later statement contradicted five other statements the then teen made over the course of an interrogation lasting seven days.

Prosecutors sought the death penalty. Fortunately, the jury voted 11-1 for life imprisonment. Caravella was released in September following a negative DNA test, but required to wear an ankle bracelet and keep an 11:00 P.M. curfew pending further confirmatory tests. These were done, and on March 25th, all charges against him were dropped. The judge declared Caravella was actually innocent and apologized on behalf of the State of Florida and its criminal jus-

physical evidence to determine if the two are consistent. Instead, courts typically say inconsistencies go to the “weight” of evidence, not its admissibility at trial, and leave it to juries to sort out the contradictions. In Caravella’s case, however, the stark inconsistencies between his false confession and physical evidence in the case was a red flag which should have alerted the trial judge to exclude the confession from evidence at trial.

All police should be required to videotape stationhouse interrogations from beginning to end with clear views of both the suspect and his interrogators. Had that happened in Caravella’s case, cameras would have captured police coercion and made it clear police were feeding him the information about which he then For example: Caravella “confessed.” Likewise, said the victim, a womthe presence of cameras Anthony Carvella huging his attorney after his exoneration an of fifty-eight, was “a would have prevented girl”; that she was taller tice system. police from hitting the boy, a fact they conthan he, which was not true; the murder veniently omitted from their trial testimony weapon was a butcher knife, when in fact, The tragedy of this case is that DNA testit was a steak knife; three other juveniles ing was not necessary to understand a mis- which persuaded the jury to convict. participated in the stabbing, but later, that carriage of justice had occurred based on the Studies by psychologists about false conhe acted alone; he never choked the victim false confession of a retarded boy. Courts fessions reveal that suspects with mental who, in fact, had been strangled; there was are traditionally concerned only with the illness or other mental deficiencies try to no chair at the crime scene in an elemen- constitutional requirement that confes- compensate for their limitations by being tary school, when, in fact, a chair was at the sions be voluntary, not physically coerced. cooperative with their interrogators. Corscene. Cuddihy noted police fed her client To date, courts have paid little emphasis to rective legislation is needed to insure such other details about the crime by the time interrogation techniques employed by po- people are provided with an attorney prior he made his fifth “confession.” lice to extract false confessions. Likewise, to questioning. Waiver of the right to have courts do not measure confessions against an attorney present during questioning is

The Westchester Guardian

not meaningful if the person being questioned lacks the mental resources to understand the significance of the right he or she is waiving. Likewise, special care must to be taken when police interrogate juveniles, as they are particularly vulnerable to making false confessions. It should be mandatory that juveniles have an attorney present during questioning, not just a parent, as the law in most places currently requires. Sadly, the failure of the trial judge in Caravella’s case is by no means rare. The bench and bar must inaugurate programs to educate judges about the variables which recur in wrongful conviction causes, including false confessions, to put a stop to this terrible injustice. Prosecutors must remember their duty is to seek justice, not merely win convictions. Surely, the Florida prosecutors who secured Caravella’s conviction had to know his confession was bogus. Yet, in their zeal to convict,

they put an innocent boy away for twenty-six years and ruined his life. He can never get those years back again. Police officers who strike suspects should be prosecuted. Although beating suspects is illegal, and can be prosecuted under state and federal law, these laws are rarely enforced. Lastly, and most importantly, Caravella’s case illustrates the unacceptable risk the death penalty poses to our criminal justice system. Had the jury voted to execute, Caravella would have been put to death as an innocent man. He was lucky that the jury voted to spare him and put him in prison for life instead. Had they voted for death, he would not have lived long enough to have been cleared, and the state’s fatal mistake in convicting an innocent man would have been buried forever along with his dead body.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

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The Westchester Guardian

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Getting A Jump Start On College

by Catherine Wilson This week, high school seniors anxiously await acceptance notices from colleges and universities. For many applicants, getting in is a long shot. Popular public colleges like SUNY Binghamton accept but one in twelve applicants. For New York’s most elite colleges, acceptance is even more difficult. Last year, for example, Colgate University received 7,814 applications from fifty states, D.C. and 123 countries, and admitted 2,461 or 31.5% with an average GPA of 3.73 and average combined SAT scores of 1397. Moreover, applicants must stand out beyond high grades and top standardized test scores. Colgate rejected several hundred valedictorians and students with perfect test scores. In the college admissions sweepstakes, local students face competition from their peers nationwide, international students and displaced workers hoping to bolster their academic credentials and employability. As a result, an entire cottage industry of college admissions consulting has sprung up to help students get into the college of their choice.

tionally, summer sessions were offered only to college students who took courses unavailable during winter and spring semesters, or those intent on graduating early, or those who needed to fulfill additional course requirements for programs like pre-med. In recent years, however, a growing number of colleges here and abroad now offer programs to high school kids hoping to improve their chances for admission. Faced with increasing cutbacks, fewer grants, and lower alumni donation rates, many colleges opened their campuses in summer to generate new revenues, and buildings and resources that otherwise laid fallow in years past now hum with high school students.

Programs vary by college. For high academic achievers, one popular option is summers sessions at elite British universities like Oxford and Cambridge. This adds international experience and a prestigious label to their applications. Oxford’s “Summer Academy” is open to students aged 16-19. Each morning, students take elective courses ranging from drama to public While results are never guar- speaking, and in the afternoons, anteed, college summer pro- participate in sports like rowgrams represent an increasingly ing or cricket. Students also popular strategy to catch an have access to private tutoring, admission director’s eye. Tradi- SAT preparation, and cultural

activities like excursions to the Cotswolds and London on evenings and weekends. The twoweek program costs approximately $5,000 for tuition, room, board and round-trip airfare.

not affiliated with any college. They simply rent campus facilities. Students considering these programs should investigate them to determine if interesting classes are offered, whether courses qualify for college credFor many, however, atten- it, and the credentials of those dance at elite schools abroad is teaching the courses. cost-prohibitive. For these students, there are many options at Some colleges do not offer U.S. colleges. For example, the programs specifically geared University of Maryland offers to high school students, but do a three-week “Young Scholars” allow high school kids to sign program with college-credit up for normal, college summer courses in things like “Land- classes. This enables the student scape Architecture,” “Interna- to get to know faculty and adtional Politics” and “Contro- ministrators, giving them a leg versies in Archaeology,” plus up when applying for admission activities, workshops, and semi- to that college a semester or two nars. Students live on campus later. and formally register with the Many New York colleges fall college. They experience all aspects of collegiate life, from into this category. For example, living in traditional-style resi- Skidmore College in Saratoga dential halls to eating meals in Springs allows high school kids campus dining halls. Program to enroll as full-time students mentors supervise students to for the summer. Skidmore adinsure their security, and ac- vises applicants to “study what company kids on weekend field they want to study, not so much trips, social activities, seminars, what they think they ought and other events. The three- to study” in order to explore week program costs $3,000 for “an area where you feel your tuition, room, board, and all ac- strengths lie” or to “delve into an tivities. The University offers up unexplored subject to challenge to $800 in financial aid to quali- your perceptions and discover fied students to offset program new fields of knowledge.” costs. Likewise, SUNY schools now Some summer programs, like offer summer programs to high Summer Institute for the Gift- school students. For example, ed, are run by organizations Alfred University has a spe-

The Westchester Guardian

cialized program in astronomy designed for kids interested in pursuing college education in the physical sciences or math. The program is staffed by Alfred Physics Department faculty and covers topics like variable star photometry, asteroid astrometry, imaging of nebulae, clusters and galaxies, solar activity, lunar and planetary science, solar flares, stellar evolution, galactic structure, cosmology and spectroscopy, etc. Like their Maryland and Oxford counterparts, the SUNY Alfred program is not all work and no play. Alfred assures students that, when they are not in classes, “students enjoy planned recreational activities which may include indoor and outdoor games, movies, a visit to nearby Foster Lake for picnics and campfires, swimming, hiking, social gatherings at the Terra Cotta Coffee House, and a farewell party on the last night.” The week-long program is available to students in grades 10 – 12 and costs $895 for tuition, materials, room, board, and all activities. For some parents, that’s less than the home costs to feed and entertain their teenager for a week. Likewise, Syracuse University, SUNY Geneseo, Ithaca College, and Sarah Lawrence in Bronxville all have high school summer programs. Westchester Community College offers an art portfolio development program for teens sixteen and up who plan to apply to art schools. Some colleges, like SUNY Binghamton and Brooklyn College, even offer summer courses to

middle school students. Applying to these summer programs is often more costly than applying to colleges. Many summer programs charge a non-refundable $100-250 application fee, and often, the fee is not applicable to the cost of the program. In addition, some colleges do not guarantee an applicant will be able to take his or her preferred courses. Students should select summer programs with care as these programs are relatively new, not regulated by the state Department of Education, and many high school counselors are unfamiliar with them. For some kids, a taste of real college life is often enough to inspire them to study harder during the school year. Others may defer college for a year or two until they feel they are truly ready. Some may decide a particular college is not for them after all. For more information, parents and students should log onto www.summeroncampus.com which provides links to many of the summer programs, including sports camps and non-college-affiliated programs in New York.

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The World Traveler

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Uptaken

I looked back over past columns to review keep in mind the site features U.S. destinathe numerous websites I utilized when pre- tions only, but covers all fifty states. paring for travel. Next time, I’ll share the results of this review regarding my plans for France at the end of this coming May. *** Last year, I wrote exclusively one week about one of my favorite websites, www. yelp.com, and referred to it at least once or twice thereafter. It is not a travel website per se, but is very useful when researching things to do about any destination you have in mind. For example, look up “The Museum of Natural History,” and you will find user reviews and related links to other area things to do under the Google map on each page.

The site www.uptake.com (“your first step to a great trip”) may have taken a page from www.yelp.com because it has a similar feel and functionality, including embedded maps. Uptake.com is meant to be a travel site, and partly, a meta-website. As stated on its home page, it “searches 5000 travel websites and 20 million opinions at once.” Not surprisingly, many of the opinions are those of Yelpers. Travelers must

Dog Park and Pace University Aquatics. This last one does not belong there. As one reviewer pointed out, “It’s definitely not cheap.... e.g. $245 for an 8-week session of 30-minute classes.” Uptake.com has useful blogs on many subjects such as vacations, beaches, restaurants, hotels, lodging, attractions, as well as the travel industry generally.

The user is greeted with a clear, simple homepage. First, you are prompted to type in a “what” and “where” in separate boxes, though the “what” is not necessary to yield search results. The site prompts you with lots of ideas: try options like “family things to do” in “the Adirondacks.” After you choose a place, whether it be an exact location, a county, state, region, and the like, Uptake.com will suggest ideas on buttons below. There are thoughtfully practical ideas, like “just get away” (my personal favorite), “family vacation,” “romantic getaway,” “pet friendly,” “feelin’ broke,” “historical,” and “girls getaway”. With tongue firmly in cheek, I tried “feelin’ broke” in Mt. Kisco to put it to the test. Like Google, it will search and suggest on the fly. The familiar and unfamiliar came up. The familiar included Lyndhurst (house), the John Jay Homestead, Van Cortlandt Manor, Rockefeller State Park, and Katonah Art Center, with links to their respective websites. What I did not expect were Cedar Lane

With tongue removed from cheek, I can highly recommend this site for finding what you seek, and perhaps what you’re not seeking that may provide an unexpected, refreshing experience. Often, it’s not the tried-and-true destinations, but instead, the never-considered idea that truly makes me admire creators of sites like this. For example, thanks to this website, I decided to reserve a camping spot at a New York State Park on Long Island this summer, and not too soon, indeed. I had not realized how much the park had to offer or its beauty, and plans to vacation there simply faded from my bucket list. Sound familiar?

As the reader can discern, I’ve been taken in by www.uptake.com, a superb source of information about many travel options.

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*** It has gone international since I last visited it. The site Travel Quotation of the Week has a surfeit of ideas. You can always find something to fit I travel in so many different your travel budget and han- ways; I travel high, I rough it... it kerings. I suggest using it in all depends on who I travel with. conjunction with www.kayak. ~Diane von Furstenberg com which is great for finding and booking transportation.

wheelsportcenter.net

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newrocyamaha.com

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The Westchester Guardian

Westchester Blotter

West Harrison Pharmacist Charged in Dispensing Scheme West Harrison, New York, pharmacist, Scott Burko, age fortyseven, was charged this week in White Plains federal court in a bizarre, three-year conspiracy to dispense Prednisone, a non-anabolic steroid used to reduce inflamation in bronchial tissues to treat asthma and interstitial tissues to treat arthritis and other joint disorders. Prosecutors allege that Burko dispensed the drug – which is not a drug of abuse – eighty-one times in ten milligram doses to fictional patients from April, 2005 to the end of March, 2008. The conspiracy charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. Eighty-one individual counts of fraudulently dispensing the Prednisone carry a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a $10,000 fine. IBM Executive Pleads Guilty In Massive Insider Trading Case Last week, Robert Moffat, Jr., a former senior executive at Armonkbased, International Business Machines Corp., pled guilty to securities fraud involving the largest hedge fund insider trading case in history. Moffat passed inside information to a Danielle Chiesi about a forthcoming business deal in involving Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., a computer chip maker and one of Intel’s main competitor. Moffat was IBM’s Senior Vice President and Group Executive in its Systems and Technology Group, and learned that AMD planned to spin off its manufacturing business into a separate entity because AMD needed a license from IBM to do the deal which involved certain IBM technology. Chiesi worked for New Castle Partners, an equity hedge fund group affiliated with JPMorgan Chase. The pair were overheard on federal wiretaps. Moffat assured Chiesi the deal was going down, giving her a chance to make a killing on trades of IBM and AMD stock. Ironically, New Castle never realized a profit due to turmoil in the markets caused by the 2008 fiscal crisis. Moffat, who lives in Ridgefield, Connecticut, faces up to twenty years in prison and a $5 million fine. He will be sentenced on July 26, 2010. His guilty plea marks the 11th conviction in the feds’ ongoing insider trading investigation. Rouge Sleepy Hollow Cop Charged With Witness Tampering Sleepy Hollow police detective, Jose Quinoy, previously charged with federal civil rights violations based on the savage beating of two handcuffed suspects in police custody, was charged last week with witness tampering after he tried to induce a witness to lie about the beating incidents on October 17th and December 17th, 2006. Quinoy faces a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison on the new charge, and ten years on each count based on the beatings. Quinoy, age thirty-seven, lives in Tarrytown.

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sca 718.665.2659 Francesca [email protected] a The Westchester Guardian

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COMMUNTIY CALENDAR: FREE Listing for events that are free and open to all. Page Editor & Designer: Marike Mon. April 19 Thurs. April 15 Sat. April 17 Sun. April 18 Tues. April 20 Fri. April 16 Ecology: Moss and Lichen Lab Slide Show & Lecture highlights the beauty of mosses and lichens and their amazing lifestyles. Free. 7:00pm Westchester County Parks Dept. Cranberry Lake Preserve, Old Orchard Street, North White Plains, NY 10603. 914.428.1005 (F/U hike on Sat., April 17 @ 1p.m.) Cosponsor:Central Westchester Audubon Society. westchestergov.com/parks/naturecenters

Wii Fun Friday Kids Competition takes place on the big screen in The Trove’s Galaxy Hall. For boys and girls in grades 1 to 5. Additional Information: Limited Seating/Arrive early: tickets are given out on a first-come, first-served basis 30 min. before the start of the program. FREE/Hrs: 4:30 pm White Plains Public Library 100 Martine Ave.,White Plains. Info: Reference Desk 914-422-1480 whiteplainslibrary.org

________________________

Support Group meets once, monthly: Support Connection, Inc., an NFP org. offering free support services to people affected by breast and ovarian cancer. Facilitated by a trained peer counselor who has experienced breast cancer. Topics pertaining to living with breast cancer through all stages of diagnosis, treatment and post-treatment. 7:00 – 8:00 PM FREE - Pre-Registration is Req.Putnam Hospital, 670 Stoneleigh Avenue, Carmel, NY, 914-962-6402. [email protected] supportconnection.org _____________________ Neuberger Museum of Art, SUNY Purchase offers a program for individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and their family members or care partners. Specially trained docents guide visitors through exhibitions for a shared, positive social experience. FREE. Limited space; reservations are req.: 914.251.6110. neuberger.org

River Lovers Pot Luck Dinner & Meeting. 6:30pm Join River Lovers and learn what’s happening on our natural heritage river. 6:30 p.m. Free; Westchester County Parks Dept. Croton Point Nature Center, Croton Point Park, Croton Point Avenue,Croton-on-Hudson, NY, 914.862.5297 riverlovers.org ________________________ Gardening: Lyndhurst Carriage House April 16-17,The Gilded Cage; 10am – 4pm. Presented by the Garden Club of Irvington-on-Hudson. Show honors Victorian era & Lyndhurst: flower arrangements, Victorian horticultural specimen favorites, terrariums, topiaries, landscape and horticultural photography; conservation exhibit. One exhibition class will includes a display of hats from the Lyndhurst costume collection. Maintenance of the Rose Garden at Lyndhurst has been the principal project of The Garden Club of Irvington, a GCA affiliated Garden Club, for more than 40 yrs. Show open to the public at no charge. Reg Charges apply to tours of mansion: lyndurst.org

Gardening: Lyndhurst. April 16-17, The Gilded Cage – Flower Show held in the Carriage House. Show open to the public at no charge; Reg Charges apply to tours of mansion. lyndurst.org ________________________ Jazz Singer: ‘Michelle LeBlanc’ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm @ Mt. Kisco Public Library, 100 Main St. Mt. Kisco. Presented by Friends of the Mount Kisco Library. Free mountkiscolibrary.org _______________________ Bird Watching: 9:00am. Learn binocular and field guide use, tips on field marks, shape and behavior that will help you start on a lifelong hobby. Bring your own binoculars and field guides if you have them. Westchester County Parks Dept. Marshlands Conservancy, Rte.1, Rye, NY. 914.835.4466 westchestergov.com/parks/ naturecenters

Gardening: Wave Hill FREE adm. every Tues. and Sat. morn. 9AM to Noon year round. Sponsored by Target, providing public access to the arts in our community. Ongoing gallery exhibitions, Family Art Project listings and more on Target Free Days. West 249th Street and Independence Ave. (front gate) 675 West 252nd St. (mailing) Bronx, NY 10471-2899. Sat.: Free 9am - noon year-round. Parking (effective May 1, 2008) Onsite: $8 per vehicle. Free offsite parking nearby w continuous, comp. shuttle van. wavehill.org

The Fourth Annual Autism Information Fair: Interventions, Services & Supports avail. for all ages. Visit over 75 information stations and participate in all new programs. Sunday 11am3:30pm. FREE. Westchester County Center 198 Central Ave., White Plains, NY 10606 navigatingthespectrum.org

Earth Day Celebration Kensico Dam Plaza, Valhalla.10a. m-4p.m. Greener, sustainable living ideas; live music; local farmers market; Free adm. & parking. Annie and the Natural Wonder Band; Jeff Boyer: “The Attainable, Sustainable energy Show,”- fun experiments and visual effects show young audiences how wind and solar energy are transformed into usable “green” power. The Solar Punch band will use solar energy exclusively. 914.813.5425 or westchestergov.com. ______________________ Ecology:Mushrooms & Lichen Often overlooked, fungi and lichen are legion; their importance incalculable. Walk with naturalist Taro Letaka and change the way you walk through the forest. Bring a notebook. Sun. 2 p.m. FREE. Marshlands Conservancy, Rte. 1, Rye westchestergov.com/parks/naturecenters. ______________________ Family Farm Fun at Muscoot Farm: 1-3p.m. Katonah. Join farm staff in playing old fashioned games & having fun. muscootfarm.org

Support Group 10:15 11:15am meets once monthly. Support Connection, Inc., an NFP org. Free support services to people affected by breast and ovarian cancer. Facilitated by a trained peer counselor who has experienced breast cancer. Topics pertaining to living with breast cancer through all stages of diagnosis, treatment and post-treatment. 3rd Monday of each month-10:15 – 11:15 AM Free - Pre-Registration is Required Mahopac Public Library, 668 Route 6, Mahopac, NY 914-962-6402 [email protected] supportconnection.org

3rd Annual Wheelchair Basketball Tournament: Hosted by the Barrier Breakers from Cerebral Palsy of Westchester. Exhibition Game at 7:00 p.m. The NY Rollin Knicks vs. the Bulova Nets. 6pm Free Westchester County Center 198 Central Ave, White Plains , NY 10606. Joan Colangelo 914-937-3800 X 215 Westchester County Center. Email: [email protected]

_________________________ Child Enrichment: White Plains Public Library. 4:00 - 6:30 PM. Spend 15 minutes with a reading coach. Learn to read better and improve your school work. First through fifth grade with parent. Register beginning the previous week. Registration Ends: 4/19/2010 at 4:00 PM Rosemary Rasmussen 914-422-1476. whiteplainslibrary.org

Gardening: Wave Hill FREE admission every Tuesday and Saturday morning from 9AM to Noon year round. Sponsored by Target to providie public access to the arts in our community. Ongoing gallery exhibitions, Family Art Project listings and more on Target Free Days. West 249th Street and Independence Avenue (front gate) 675 West 252nd Street (mailing) Bronx, NY 10471-2899. Free all day Tues. during off-peak months (November–April, July & August); Free 9am - noon during peak months (May, June, September, October); Sat.: Free 9am - noon year-round. Parking (effective May 1, 2008) Onsite: $8 per vehicle. Nearby offsite parking is free with continuous, comp van service. wavehill.org

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Email Submissions for County Calendar to [email protected] Attn: Marike Wed. April 21

Thurs. April 22

Fri. April 23

Sat. April 24

Downtown Music @ Grace Church, White Plains 1:00pm. Take the A Train: The Earl Brown Quartet with flutist Pamela Sklar. Classic Jazz. Free. Mamaroneck & Main. gracewhiteplains.com

History Lecture: 7:30 p.m., Lincoln and his connections to New York, Bruce Museum Life-Size Lecture Series Harold Holzer, Senior Vice President for External Affairs, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Curator of Lincoln and New York at the New-York Historical Society, Free to Museum members; $5 at the door for non-members. Reservations are strongly recommended: 203.869.0376. One Museum Point, Greenwich. brucemuseum.org _____________________

Star-Gazing & Public Lecture: 8:00-8:30 PM Telescope Observation: 8:30-10:00PM, Columbia University, Pupin 301 David Helfand: The Universal Timekeepers:Reconstructing Pre-History Atom by Atom Astrophotography Slideshow: 8:30-10:00 PM outreach.astro.columbia.edu

Birding: Marshlands Conservancy. First Spring Migration Bird Walk: Series; early morning bird walks on alt. Saturdays and Sundays during spring migration. Birds tend to arrive in an area on almost the same date each yr., depending upon their species. Bring binoculars Sat. 7:30am. Free. Rte 1 Rye. 914.835.4466 westchestergov.com/parks/naturecenters ________________________

Music at St. Paul’s Church, Mt. Vernon:1pm. Series of solo and ensemble performances featuring a variety of instruments, styles and sounds of music. Programs run about 50 minutes, and include brief talks on the history of St. Paul’s N.H.S. Bronx Opera, selections, accompanied by organ. FREE. National Historic Site, 897 S. Columbus Avenue, Mt. Vernon, New York 914-667-4116 nps.gov/sapa

Medicare 101 County Office Building 9 S. First Ave., 8th floor, Mount Vernon 10 a.m. to noon. Learn the basics of Medicare (Parts A, B, C and D), Medigap insurance and more. Programs are free but reservations are requested. To sign up, call the Medicare Information Line at 914.813.6100. seniorcitizens.westchestergov.com ______________________ Traumatic Brain Injury Support Group: 6:30-8PM Burke Hospital White Plains for survivors of traumatic brain injury & caregivers. Wood Pavilion, Bldg. 7 Rm G-41 785 Mam Ave. Janet Goodman 914.587.2237 [email protected]

Star-Gazing: Hudson River Museum Free Friday Nights @ 6:30 pm, New Star Show Departure. Space journey half a century into the future: illustrations, graphics, & video, produced at the Museum’s planetarium. Learn the realities of space travel befor departing via orbital shuttle. What challenges do humans face as we step beyond Earth? What dangers must be overcome? Are there places we will never see in person? Your destination is a secret until takeoff and may surprise you! Ages 8 +; 511 Warburton Ave., Yonkers 914.963.4550 hrm.org

How To Think Like a Tracker Edith G. Read Sanctuary, Playland Park, Rye. Learn to see animal tracks and clues as we investigate nearby fields and forests. Discover how the landscape influences animals and how animals impact the land. An intermediate level program, for ages 12 and up. Saturday 1 p.m. Free: 914.967.8720. westchestergov.com/parks/ naturecenters _______________________ Tilly Foster Farm: Spring Fling April 24-25 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. Hudson Valley Draft Horse Assoc., plowing demonstration, sheep sheering, antique tractors and machinery, rare American farm animals, student show and more! tillyfosterfarm.org

great stuff on the web:

garrisonartcenter.org: Virtual Gallery Worth the trip from Westchester; if you don’t have time, take a culture break and visit their online gallery. pelham library.org Learning Express Auralog This website rocks as an online resource! Create online account to access courses for adults and children. Courses include Algebra, GED; Occupational practice tests; Workplace skill improvements, classes for students:elementary though college and resources for Spanish speakers.Can’t sleep? Use your library card to dowload a library book online!

portchesterlibrary.org Directory of immigrant services. Download E-books. wowwwellness.org Women’s Health Spread the Word! The WOW coalition seeks to educate, empower, and advocate to improve health outcomes and eliminate health disparities among women of color in Northern Westchester County.

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The Westchester Guardian

Tea Party Hate Speech con’t

the Cannon House office building, they encountered a crowd of TEA Party protestors screaming over and over: “Kill the bill … Nigger.” A short time later, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) was greeted by a “patriot” (they call themselves patriots) who yelled “Barney, you faggot.” Fellow “patriots” erupted in laughter. And then, yet another black congressman, Emanuel Cleaver (DMO), was not only insulted with racial epithets but spat upon. Throughout American history, there have always been groups that spew hatred. But not since the battles for civil rights have these groups been mainstream. Now, they’ve re-emerged with a vengeance -- not simply tolerated, but incited by malignant speech from state and national leaders of one of the two major parties of the American political system -- the Republican Party. Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) has been a leading instigator of violence. She called on all Minnesotans to be “armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back.” She was an originator of the false “death panel” claims and questioned President Obama’s patriotism. She even insinuated that any members of Congress who disagree with her are anti-American. During Rep. Bart Stupak’s (D-MI) speech on the floor of the House, Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) shouted “baby killer”-- even though Stupak, to the consternation of many Democratic colleagues, fought to insure that no government funds are allocated for abortions. From the supposedly “serious” and “influential” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC): “Nancy Pelosi, I think, has got them all liquored up on sake and, you know, they’re making a suicide run here.” Rep. Steve King (R-IA): “They intend to vote

Thursday, April 15, 2010

on the Sabbath, during Lent, to take away the liberty that we have right from God…. This is an affront to God.” Sarah Palin: “It’s not a time to retreat. It’s a time to reload.” Rep. Paul Broun (R- GA), wishing he were back in the segregated south: “If ObamaCare passes, that free insurance card that’s in people’s pockets is gonna be as worthless as a Confederate dollar after the war between the states -- the Great War of Yankee Aggression.” I don’t blame TEA Partiers for their ignorance. I admonish them, however, because they are being used by those who fuel members’ anger as a way to make a buck. It’s not the fault of TEA Party enthusiasts that media focuses on political conflict instead of issues. But I condemn most vehemently a Republican Party for opening the floodgates of hate with its vitriolic speech. This is a party that, for the last six decades, protected health insurance company interests at the expense of the public by scaring people. This time, Republicans have gone too far. They are willing to weaken both government and the country just to possibly regain the majority in the 2010 elections. They have incited and used racists as their political henchmen. Former Republican House Speaker, Newt Gingrich, likened passage of health reform to civil rights legislation: “They will have destroyed their party much as Lyndon Johnson shattered the Democratic Party for forty years.” Clearly, Gingrich and his Party will choose to be on the wrong side of history –- as long as they perceive it to be politically advantageous. (Note: Backlash to Gingrich’s statement has been swift and severe. He has backtracked and reinterpreted his own words saying he did “not mean civil rights legislation,” but President Johnson’s Great Society Programs.)

from Our Readers con’t

Alvin taught art to children in Kingston and New Rochelle school systems, and at N.Y.U. The blind he taught were able to produce sensitive ceramics. He also taught children in camp settings. His love of nature was reflected in his work. He spent much of his early life sketching at Bronx Botanical Gardens. Lenoir Preserve and Marshland Sanctuary became his later haunts. Travel would take him to water, another source of inspiration. City Island, Booth Bay Harbor, Cape Ann, Montauk and Sag Harbor were some very special places to him. Eva Medoff in the Yonkers Record, “Focus on The Arts”, called his small oils, rich with luminous color, “little poems.” Alvin Most was poetic, always. His artistic passion was motivated by everyday experiences, catastrophic events, nature and its changing seasons, birds, sea life, flowers, biblical themes, the circus, Mohegan Island, Cape Cod, Amish people, and the architecture of old European and Latin cities. My second exhibition at the WRG in 1993 was dedicated to Alvin’s artworks. Another friend, Noel De Gaetano, has shown Alvin’s works yearly at NOEL Fine Art Gallery in Bronxville since 1994. As a result The New York Times dedicated a few columns to Alvin’s artwork on Sunday March 20, 1994, with an article by William Zimmer entitled “Finding an answer to who is Alvin Most.” Alvin would not work under the direction of some New York art galleries who approached him over the years; he was a purist who insisted in doing only the works in which his passion believed. He could only trust a few colleagues and friends and remained an isolated artist in Yonkers, missing all the opportunities for national prominence that came his way. He preferred to collaborate with other artists who recognized his quality work; Alvin never gave into commercial interests, a true poet and a purist man, almost obsessed by his perfectionism which is evident in his creations. Biagio (Gino) Civale [email protected]

Beauty Salon Booth’s for Rent

The Westchester Guardian

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Public Service Announcements

w w w. w e s t c h e s t e r g u a r d i a n o n l i n e . c o m

Public Service Announcements - Library News

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The Westchester Guardian

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Ides of April:

Mercury Stations Retro grade, the Sun-Enters Taurus The Explosive Pluto Station The devastating suicide bombings in Moscow, a 7.2 earthquake (and aftershocks) in Baja California, a 7.7 quake in Sumatra (Indonesia), increased bombings in Baghdad (with at least 50 fatalities and 180 injuries), a deadly explosion in a Washington State oil refinery, a home that exploded into a pile of rubble in South Amboy, New Jersey, a gang-related wilding replete with shootings in Times Square, an underground explosion that shut down West 52nd Street in Manhattan, and the most deadly mining disaster (West Virginia) in the U.S. in twenty-six years, following one in China which miraculously many survivors were rescued, and scientists at the Large Hadron Collider successfully crashing subatomic particles into each other, these are but a few of the (mostly) disturbing manifestations of the Pluto station of April 6th, and what a hit parade it is! What exactly is a “planetary station” and what if anything should you or could you do about them in the future?

It’s a time when we need to move slower, double check our work, and be patient with communication and transportation glitches. A planet’s “apparent” retrograde motion is just that: from Earth’s standpoint, the planet appears to be sliding in reverse. But through centuries of studying the phenomenon, astrologers have learned that retrogrades are significant in the charts of individuals and that the stations in particular do coincide with world events. A “station” is the precise moment that a planet appears to stop and change direction, and it is very powerful. With the exception of the Sun and the Moon, almost all planets spend a certain amount of time retrograde annually (with Venus, it happens every eighteen months and with Mars, approximately every two years). Pluto is retrograde nearly five months each year. Pluto stations are notoriously reliable in their deliverance of volcanic activity, bombs, earthquakes, and the eruption of intensely powerful emotional energy on a personal and collective level, but this particular one takes the cake, and as of this writing, my assumption is that there will be more stories of this nature before it is all over.

By now, just about everyone has heard about Mercury Retrograde, the planetary event that hapWhen a Pluto, Mars, Uranus, Neptune, or Satpens thrice yearly and lasts for between 21-24 days. urn station is at hand, it is best not to dive into a

ARIES: Looking out for number one does have a downside, especially if that is all you have been up to of late. On Sunday, rather than run hither, thither, and yon for no apparent reason, see if there’s a group within your community that can use a hand. Helping them somehow does you a world of good. Mercury in reverse in your 2nd house of income may force you to take a few financial

steps backward and to regroup. Not to worry, the Sun lights up that sector of your chart and for the next 30 days supports you along practical lines. Don’t fight it. TAURUS: When, if ever, is going back on one’s word justified, and if so, in what way can you compensate for the backsliding and make it right for all concerned? One way is to lend your formidable life-force and win-

flurry of activity and to think twice about major trips, moves, and attending “big crowd” events that could get out of hand. In other words, err on the side of caution. Life does and should go on, and astrology is not meant to paralyze us but to inform and empower us. Use the language of the stars for timing and as a means to help decide when to leap and when to take it slow. Mercury Retrograde begins at the stroke of midnight on April 18th. The “station” is in effect on the 17th and 18th, and travel those days should be approached with extra caution and on an as-needed basis. There could be extra delays and issues on the road and on the tracks, less so in the air (since this Mercury Retro is in an earth sign – Taurus). Computer freezes and issues with telephones and Blackberries are likely as well, so just chill. Tax Day, which falls on the 18th, has the Moon in Taurus and is close to the mercury station. It would not surprise me if a significant amount of the work submitted could fall prey to computer glitches, errors, and some of it may even get lost. For the record, the Moon squares Mars at 7:36 AM and conjoins Mercury at 5:55 pm, so later in the day is better for filing than the morning.

ning smile to the good works of a group or organization whose efforts you respect and are in alignment with. This is your time of year, you know, and when the Sun enters your sign on the 20th for a month, your energy will pick up, especially after your birthday. You may be able to handle what you previously thought was impossible. Let bygones be bygones. GEMINI: Mercury Retrograde

periods are rarely seamless but they always present an opportunity to review and revise our way of thinking about things and if we’re smart (and Geminis ARE), we get to fix situations with no one being the wiser. The last time your quixotic ruler was in reverse exclusively in the sign of Taurus was in 2003. Think back to that year and see if and how anything that transpired at that time is still play-

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ing out in your life today. You’re in a place to dig in deep and quietly shift things at a profound level. Go with it, as this will lay the groundwork for a fabulous Summer and Fall. CANCER: There’s safety in numbers and along those lines, this week, your greatest sense of security comes via the company you keep. The 24 day Mercury retro period which begins on April 17 is in your communal 11th house. One or two pals that you haven’t seen for a spell may come out of the woodwork. At this time, you’ll be moved to re-evaluate your circle of friends: Who amongst them is worth their salt, and who is just plain window dressing. Not that there’s anything wrong with having a few surface players in the mix, but know that you’re nurtured and sustained by substance and gravitas. LEO: As shallow as it sounds, keeping up appearances this week will make all the difference in the world, especially when meeting with those friendly folks who sign off on the financials. Venus at the top of your chart is in a happy alliance with Jupiter in your 8th house of banks, lenders, and shared resources over the weekend. If you need to apply for a loan and your bank is open on Saturday, all the better. If not you can mail or submit the paperwork then. The Retrograde in your career house

is indicative of one step forwards/ two steps backwards mojo regarding overall career direction but that will smooth out in four to six weeks. VIRGO: Staying enthusiastic about your life and work when you’re not sure that those you’re aligned with have their hearts in the right place is a challenge. But whether or not your ‘work peeps’ are coming from a place of integrity, for the sake of your well-being, YOU must. During this Mercury retro period, you’re encouraged to carefully and thoroughly take stock of what motivates you to keep on keeping on. Yes, you have bills to pay and other obligations, but if you can’t face yourself at the end of the day, feeling that your energy’s been invested wisely, it’s time to start looking elsewhere. LIBRA: This long-ish Mercury retro (April 17-May12) will focus you on analyzing and adjusting deeply entrenched financial habits and the core-beliefs about money, supply, and the lack of fairness with how sources flow in this society. Though you’re capable of wielding tremendous influence on your environment, you can’t change the entire world in one fell swoop, but you CAN change yourself. If approached with the will to dig deep and transform what hasn’t worked for you along economic lines, this is your chance to fix it once and

Thursday, April 15, 2010

for all. SCORPIO: No man (or woman) is an island you know, and every so often we must tend to those pesky terms of endearment and mend anything between ourselves, a partner, a BFF, or significant other that’s in disrepair. The focus for the next few weeks for Scorpio is on relationships (personal and business) and the nuances of communication that keep them healthy and thriving –or not. It is imperative for you to have patience and to listen in between the lines. Also, if you feel that you haven’t been understood, be diplomatic but emphatic about being heard. SAGITTARIUS: Though you thrive on forward and ever-accelerating motion, even you galloping centaurs need to slow down and revisit and review the nitty gritty details of your day to day existence. For the next four weeks, your health, diet, and relationships at work and with subordinates must be given your undivided attention. In the health department- have your thyroid and throat area checked. Are you saying everything that needs to be said or do you assume that you’re surrounded by mind-readers? At work, be patient during this period of reorganization. It’ll all work out in the end. CAPRICORN: This particular mercury retrograde (April 17-May 12) could be especially sweet as it will undoubtedly bring back a love connection or tow for a chance to capture what was lost in the shuffle way back when. And whether you’re available or not, re-establishing con-

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tact will not only nourish your soul, but it could be very helpful careerwise. Don’t force anything that you know in your gut isn’t right. And even if you’re not in any particular mood for romance, the energy will get your creative juices flowing again. Be open to establishing new connection son your beat. AQUARIUS: If you haven’t spruced up your abode in a while, or see too many deferred projects everywhere you look, now’s the time to tend to all of them. During this Mercury Retro (April 17-May 12), the focus is on the value of your home, how you feel when you’re in it, and taking time with family members –by birth and by choice- to clarify misunderstandings and to reinforce the ‘gold’ that exists between you. Aquarians don’t especially relish intimate deep talks, and prefer to keep things on a truthful but impersonal keel. But going outside of your comfort zone will be so worth the trouble. PISCES: Your best medicine this week could come by way of some ‘quality time’ with a sister or a sweet neighbor whose genuine fondness for you makes you feel like you’re on top of the world. That plus a little focus and some elbow grease will enable you to get to the head of the class so to speak. The Mercury retrograde which begins on April 17th, could coincide with some road work or repairs in the hood that slows or interrupts your commute. Allow for extra time to get to and fro between now and the middle of May. Repair any sidewalks or walkways on property that you own.

April 15: Moon in Taurus April 17: Moon V/C @ 12:57 am, enters Gemini @ 2:08 am; Venus sextile Jupiter @ 4:43 pm April 18: Mercury Stationary Retrograde @ 12:06 am; Sun sextile Neptune @ 4:17 am April 19: Moon V/C @ 6:21 am, enters Cancer @ 7:39 am

Taurus Ingress of The Sun April 20, 2010, 0:29:48 am EDT New York, N.Y. Solarfire Chart courtesy of Astrolabe

April 20: Sun enters Taurus @ 12:30 am April 21: Moon V/C @ 10:07 am, enters Leo @ 11:42 am, First Quarter Moon @ 2:20 pm Moon V/C = Void of Course, A time to disconnect, best for spiritual not earthly pursuits

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The Westchester Guardian

Thursday, April 15, 2010

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