Swyonkers's HamletHub https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers Wed, 22 Mar 2023 00:13:49 -0400 HamletHub.com Violent Robbery at South Yonkers Border https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/publicsafety/2729-violent-robbery-at-south-yonkers-border2729-violent-robbery-at-south-yonkers-border https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/publicsafety/2729-violent-robbery-at-south-yonkers-border2729-violent-robbery-at-south-yonkers-border

A violent  robbery took place two blocks from the Riverdale/Yonkers border. 

The incident happened on Wednesday, March 15, 2023 at approximately 7:30 p.m. The theft occurred in the vicinity of  West 260th Street and Tyndall Avenue.

According to police reports, three men approached a 54-year-old woman, placed a metal object to her head, and pushed her to the ground. They fled with her coat, cell phone, $300 in cash, credit cards and car keys.

They are reported to be teens. The trio fled north on Broadway towards Yonkers. 

aseward100@aol.com (Ardina Seward) Public safety Thu, 16 Mar 2023 19:44:06 -0400
Yonkers Hi Rise Clean Up https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/politics/2728-yonkers-hi-rise-clean-up2728-yonkers-hi-rise-clean-up https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/politics/2728-yonkers-hi-rise-clean-up2728-yonkers-hi-rise-clean-up

The corner of Riverdale Avenue and Main Street located in downtown Yonkers, may soon be transformed into an affordable housing site. https://www.realestateindepth.com/news/yonkers-ida-votes-preliminary-approval-for-50m-mixed-use-residential-building-2/

MacQuesten plans on proposing 31 below-ground parking spaces, which would fall below code requirements. The company would propose a payment in lieu for the other spaces needed. The deal is yet to be finalized on many levels.  MacQuesten doesn’t own all of the property needed for construction. The firm is in contract to buy two of the lots, but the other three are owned by the Yonkers Community Development Agency, 

MacQuesten Development of Pelham is slated to build the ten story mixed use development which will have a set aside of 76 units for affordable housing. 

Both Mayor Spano and District 1 Councilwoman, Shanae Williams have applauded the proposal. “Having access to good quality affordable housing is a right that every person deserves. I am proud to support this development along with the IDA and Mayor Spano because it will make a difference in Downtown Yonkers,” said Shanae V. Williams, Yonkers City Councilwoman, District 1." - Real Estate In Depth

However, what is not being addressed is the toxicity of the area on which the development is being built. 

The City of Yonkers was built by commerce and industry. Long before green grass and modern hi rises became the landscape that Yonkers is touting today, the City was a hub of factories, warehouses, and businesses loaded with toxic chemicals used in manufacturing. Considering that the EPA, (Environmental Protection Agency) was not created until 1970, there was minimal supervision or awareness as to the consequences of hazardous waste. 

MacQuesten Development has applied to the DEC for a permit to clean up the brownfield that the proposed site is located on. The program provides tax incentives to the buyer. 



On October 4th., 2016, the location was the site of a day time demolition, after concerned citizens of the landmark status of Richard Haas murals, lost their fight with the City of Yonkers. Prior to that day, the corner, renamed Sid Caesar Way, and the entrance to the downtown Yonkers dining area, hosted three iconic murals painted by international artist. Richard Haas.

Richard Haas painted a three panel "Gateway to the Waterfront" Mural on three buildings in Yonkers in 1997. The panel murals depicted  the history of the city. The center panel was destroyed in that demolition by the local developer who owned the buildings at that time despite the fact that the murals were land marked. The City of Yonkers vowed to replace the mural elsewhere but to date has not. https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/life/1907-yonkers-haas-mural-demolished

In the process of that demolition, the toxic waste that MacQuesten plans to clean up was dispersed into the air during the demolition in 2016. It is unknown if any air monitoring was employed in that operation. 

Although restaurant Havana customers have been dining on the brownfield for years. there are caveats.  Brownfields can impact public and environmental health due to contamination that can pollute soil, air, and water resources on and off-site. People might be exposed to these hazards by walking on the site, by wind carrying contamination off of the site, or by drinking groundwater affected by the site. This can occur before, during, or after redevelopment.

 Councilwoman Williams and the present candidates for her office have repeated the mantra of more affordable housing needed, yet none have spoken about the health hazards of brownfield clean up and the impact on their constituents.

What is also unknown is what MacQuesten plans to do with the remaining Haas mural. Will it meet a similar fate as the previous landmark? 

In the midst of the proposed hi rise sits a small brick building joined to the boundary of 38 Main Street.  A  sign reads, Tequilero. a.k.a. 38 1/2 Main Street. It has remained unoccupied and unopened for several months. Their liquor license is pending. Recently, a notice from the State Liquor Authority was emailed to the owners. In the end, will their efforts be worth it, or will they too be swallowed up in the name of progress?

aseward100@aol.com (Ardina Seward) Politics Mon, 20 Feb 2023 11:46:54 -0500
Mamaroneck NY Term Limit Battle https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/politics/2727-mamaroneck-ny-term-limit-battle2727-mamaroneck-ny-term-limit-battle https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/politics/2727-mamaroneck-ny-term-limit-battle2727-mamaroneck-ny-term-limit-battle

Straight out of the Yonkers' political play book, the Village of Mamaroneck is now embroiled in a debate about extending term limits. The Yonkers City Council voted last week to extend the role of Mayor Mike Spano to an unprecedented fourth term. Despite protests and public hearings, the City Council had the last word. In a move that was seen as self aggrandizing, the term extension applied to the City Council members also. 

 On February 13th, the Village of Mamaroneck Board of Trustees held a meeting in regards to extending term limits and a change in voting dates.

 The woken have spoken and the old guard calls it Kabuki theater. It is now up to the people to decide.

 The purpose of the meeting was two fold. The primary proposal being to extend the term of both the mayor and the members of the Board of Trustees to four years. The secondary issue is what years the elections would be held.

 The seating area for members of the community to speak was full. Comments from both Mamaroneck Village residents and Mayor Tom Murphy were strident. The dialogue between the two camps became a debate between the logistics of how the proposal would be implemented and the perceived forceful tone of both the Mayor and board members.

 Mayor Murphy argued that the three newly elected board members, i.e. Young, Yizar-Reid and Rawlings, ran on a platform that included the change and that they were simply fulfilling the mandate of the people that elected them.

 In regards to the issue of the logistics of enacting the proposal into law, Murphy explained the dynamics of a permissive referendum. It is a legal tool whereupon the Village Board of Trustees declares the proposal of a law. The voters would then have the option of voting on that law and determine if they want to allow it to pass into the final stage of an active form of legislation.

 The alternate method of deciding the proposal would be a ballot initiative. In this instance, twenty percent of registered voters would have to sign a petition to force the ballot initiative.  Initiatives are proposed laws that are put on the ballot for voter consideration through people collecting signatures. If the initiative receives enough votes, then it becomes law. If the initiative fails to receive enough votes, it is considered rejected.

 Murphy expressed little faith in the later stating, “Although there's a lot of people making a lot of noise, I don't think they would do the work to get the twenty percent.” “Therefore, we as a board are going to make it a referendum.”

Once the Board of Trustees adopts the local law, anyone wishing to have the voters decide the matter must organize a petition drive, collect at least 2,388* signatures of registered Village voters, and present the completed petition to the Board of Trustees within 30 days of the law’s adoption. The Village would then have 60 days to call for a referendum for voters to decide whether to extend the terms of their local elected officials. “ - Mamaroneck Observer

 The public hearing bordered on mundane legalese punctuated with the occasional spat of verbal exchange. One public speaker stated in response to perceived bullying, “ A number of people who wrote you emails were concerned about coming in person .”

 That speaker proposed a referendum on anti bullying. .

 Although Murphy accused her of “going of topic”, trustee Nora Lucas echoed her sentiments stating “I don't think Amy (Amy Siskind) is incorrect.”

 Murphy went further to state that “This is very apparent that this is a part of an orchestrated political attack.”

 The Mayor was not the only board member on the defensive. Both Yizar Reid and Rawlings opined about the rigors of the job and campaigning. Board members are salaried at $28,144.00 per year.

 Although the job is part time, Manny Rawlings stated that his duties were in excess of his allotted hours. The extra time was spent on answering emails and helping constituents. He in agreement with Yizar Reid, lamented the toll a campaign takes on both body and soul. In addition, the difficulty of the learning curve inherent with the office according to Rawlings is daunting. He feels that it takes a minimum of two years to become adept at understanding the inner workings of government.

 Yizar Reid also lamented on the volume of work stating: ”Honest to God, do you think I want to be up here all the time? The amount of work it takes to do this job? I did not know but I appreciate it all.”

 She echoed Rawlings' sentiments in support of a four year term, again, citing the rigors of campaigning every two years and the toll it takes on her physical and mental health.

 At the conclusion, both the people and their representatives have spoken.

There are approximately 20,000 people in the Village of Mamaroneck. Sixty five percent are White, twenty seven percent are Hispanic, five percent are Asian and three percent are Black. Ten thousand residents are registered voters. Historically, approximately five thousand voters go to the polls in Mamaroneck Village elections. Will a change in frequency of those elections lead to greater participation or will it widen the gulf between those in power and the people that put them there?

 The sub text to the hearing was how the hearing itself was conducted. Murphy used it as fodder to bolster the bid for the four year election cycle presuming it would lessen the board's exposure to controversy.

 Mayor Murphy stated “I wanna thank everyone who came to speak at the public hearing. But at the end of that, you saw a kind of illustration of Kabuki theater of blatant political attack This is what we deal with all the time.”

 Former Deputy Mayor and newly elected Village Trustee, Lou Young bolstered the Mayor. “Talk about bullying? There were bullies at the podium tonight.”

 Stay tuned for act 11.

Recorded meeting can be viewed at this link   https://lmcmedia.org/show/village-of-mamaroneck-board-of-trustees-meeting-2-13-23/

aseward100@aol.com (Ardina Seward) Politics Wed, 15 Feb 2023 21:11:56 -0500
Yonkers Run for District One https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/politics/2725-yonkers-run-for-district-one2725-yonkers-run-for-district-one https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/politics/2725-yonkers-run-for-district-one2725-yonkers-run-for-district-one

District 1, Yonkers NY, is a unique sector on the political map of polar opposites.
The northern border at Hawley Terrace merging at Hastings on Hudson, is the gold coast of glam glitz hi rise buildings. It is home to well known sports players and tenants that effortlessly renew their $4000 per month leases.

The southern tier of District 1 at Ludlow street, is a densely packed cauldron of African Americans and Latinos struggling to survive in the non stop encroachment process of gentrification. Their days of subsistence level rent are numbered.

However, what everyone has in common is their current City Council representative, Shanae Williams. The second term City Councilwoman has recently declared her candidacy for Westchester County Legislator. She will be challenging long standing Westchester County Legislator, Christopher Johnson.

Her current legislative aide of six years, Deana Robinson, has stepped up to fill William's role in an upcoming political contest for the District 1 council seat. Robinson, seen in a video interview on January 19th, 2023, details her political views and plans should she win the City Council seat. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiNU13fWq_M&t=942s

In a district of approximately 35,000, with a median income of $40,000, the task is daunting. As developers continue to build housing for six figure white collar professionals, affordable apartments for people of lesser means are slowly fading away.

Although developers have vowed to set aside ten percent of their rentals for affordable housing, the competition for those rentals is staggering. Not only are teachers, uniformed service personnel, and blue collar workers qualified for consideration but undocumented persons also.

 Undocumented persons are eligible for affordable housing and low income housing if the head of household is a US citizen. The increase in migrants seeking a better life in the area increases the demand and shortens the supply.  The affordable housing lottery is open to them if they have a birth certificate, passport, and/or social security number.

The lack of housing has increased the homeless population, particularly in District 1. “We know that there is a huge homeless population in the City of Yonkers, most of which is concentrated in the first district,” said Councilwoman Williams. “But there are many unanswered questions, and until we can openly ask and address those questions, we cannot move forward.”

In her interview, Robinson is quite clear in regards to the placement of a homeless shelter in an area that constituents might object to,citing it as "hypocrisy."

The City of Yonkers sheltered homeless population accounts for 43.3 percent of all homeless families in Westchester County. Approximately 800 men, women and children, form the homeless population of Yonkers and space is limited. Banks have closed ATM access after dark due to homeless people sleeping in the vestibules. In 2020, the Yonkers City Council passed a ban on panhandling to curb beggars from harassing pedestrians. https://ecode360.com/36614336. That did little to alleviate the problem.

There are thirty registered sex offenders in District 1. Many of those men are homeless. Although a shelter is needed, the proper placement is crucial. The southern border of Yonkers at W.263rd street and Broadway is battling the inevitable build of a homeless shelter. The protestations of Riverdale residents and the trepidation of the Yonkers Police Department, has resulted in the recent withdrawal of the designated operator for the project. NYC officials are pondering their next move, possibly in search of another contractor for the proposed shelter.

NYC reps cannot guarantee that there will not be sex offenders in the shelter population as stated at a community meeting with home owners. Homeless persons are not required to divulge their status.  It is the job of the district city council person to ensure that the community will be protected and to keep the community advised.

Ensuring the safety of constituents is not only the job of the City Council person, but the job of the Yonkers Police Department. And they have been busy in District 1.
Statistics for 2022 indicate the following:

Murder 1
Rape 12
Robbery 55
Felony Assault 148
Burglary 45
Larceny 214
Stolen Vehicle 47

The numbers are not overwhelming, but they are sufficient to cause alarm among the Yonkers River front community. https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/publicsafety/2719-yonkers-waterfront-woes


In the absence of any assistance from their District 1 City Councilwoman, there is a mass exodus from 23 Water Grant Street. The property is located in proximity to the Apex but with fewer apartments. There are 39 units. Thirty percent of the units are presently for sale. (see photo) The river view in exchange for the summer mayhem, vandalism, drugs and loud music has lost it's luster.

This matters because the projected number of waterfront rental units is closing in on 4,000. Developments such as Avalon are expanding rapidly In this district of 35, 000 people, the average voter participation in City Council elections is 16,000. Four thousand people are twenty five percent of that voter base. They hold the ability to tip the balance of power. 

Both Williams and Robinson are pro bail reform. However, in a city where the crime statistics can easily tip into the red zone, Robinson owes an explanation of her position.

Where Robinson lacks clarification of her position on bail reform, she is clear in regards to school funding. She reiterates the politician's mantra of more school funding, after school programs and tutoring.

The City of Yonkers has multiple after school programs for students. They vary from ESL to online tutoring https://www.ypl.org/onlinelearning/. The Police Athletic League and the Yonkers Police Department are rich in resources that aid Yonkers youth. https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/publicsafety/2722-free-programs-for-yonkers-youth

More funding is always necessary for Yonkers schools due to the city's increase in population. Yet, scrutinizing wasteful spending in the school system is lacking.

As of 2018, the Yonkers public school system offers free lunch to all students regardless of income. The federal government is subsidizing the school meals. On the other hand, the benefits could be in jeopardy due to parents being non compliant.

"Although the free-meals-for-all policy may relieve some of the district's cash hemorrhage, parents' unwillingness to return forms will still be a problem because the district needs to collect income data to remain compliant with other state and federal programs." Lo Hud

In 2017, the Yonkers Public School system lost $800,000 in revenue do to unpaid lunch bills. Careful monitoring of school spending can yield dividends in the long run.

Dividends are not abundant with City Council jobs. Elected City Council members earn $48,000 per year. Yet, the details are in the benefits.

Robinson operates a Public Relations firm https://www.deanaetc.com/. The City Council position lends itself to a roster of potential clients. The Trump presidency is a prime example. And let's not forget the allure of Lionsgate Studios a.k.a. Hollywood on the Hudson.

Although Lionsgate has no jobs, https://jobs.lionsgate.com/go/View-All-Openings/8023300/, it offers lots of photo ops with City Council persons who promised those jobs to Yonkers residents.

The job of City Council person in Yonkers District 1 is an important one in this election cycle. It requires more than vague promises with no plans. It requires experience and the ability to navigate the headwinds of an increasing homeless population, and the demands of parking, policing, and displacement due to the expansion of water front rental units.
The growing pains of progress require a steady hand. Without it, the music will blast and the people will leave.

aseward100@aol.com (Ardina Seward) Politics Thu, 26 Jan 2023 19:56:20 -0500
Candidate List of Upcoming Elections in Yonkers https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/politics/2723-candidate-list-of-upcoming-yonkers-elections-in-yonkers2723-candidate-list-of-upcoming-yonkers-elections-in-yonkers https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/politics/2723-candidate-list-of-upcoming-yonkers-elections-in-yonkers2723-candidate-list-of-upcoming-yonkers-elections-in-yonkers

Yonkers Insider: Update on 2023 Election Races: Elections 2023.
This List I put together to update my readers on the Political Landscape in some of the races in Yonkers for Elections 2023.
Yonkers Mayor: Democrats: Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, Margaret Fountain Coleman and Prince Robinson. Republicans: It is rumored that Yonkers City Councilman Anthony Merante could declare his intentions for Yonkers Mayor as soon as this week I guess stay tuned. Another Republican mentioned for Mayor is Joseph Pinion. Stay Tuned for the Political News in the City of Yonkers.
Yonkers City Court Judge (2 Seats): Democrats: Yonkers City Court Judge - Chief Judge Arthur Doran, III running for Re-Election. Waiting for Mayor Spano to appoint someone to the Open City Court Judge Seat of Judge Elena Goldberg Velazquez who has been elected to the NYS Supreme Court Justice in the 2022 Elections.
Rumored Names that could be Appointed to the Seat by Mayor Spano are: Karen Beltran, Sharon Mattie or Alexandra Bisesi. Democrat Nick Speranza is vowing to mount a bid for Yonkers City Court Judge and collect enough valid signatures to make the Primary Ballot.
Yonkers City Council: 1st District: Democrats: Deana Robinson, Shatika Parker, Rumored Candidates: Mark Hynes, Lucy Casanova Moreno and Effie Phillips. Waiting to hear if any Republican will run for this seat.
3rd District: Democrats: Yonkers City Council Majority Leader Tasha Diaz. Waiting to hear about any possible candidates for Majority Leader Diaz.
5th District: Republicans: Yonkers City Council Minority Leader Mike Breen. Waiting to hear about any possible candidates for Minority Leader Breen.
Westchester County Board of Legislators: 14th District: Democrats: Democrat Westchester County Legislator David Tubiolo. Waiting to hear about any possible opponents for County Legislator Tubiolo.
15th District: Democrats: It is rumored that Former Westchester County Legislator Ruth Walter is interested in running in this Race. Republicans: Westchester County Legislator James Nolan is seeking Re-Election for his seat in the 2023 Elections.
16th District: Democrats: Westchester County Legislator Christopher Johnson and Yonkers City Councilwoman Shanae Williams.
17th District: Democrats: Westchester County Legislator Jose Alvarado and it is rumored that Claudia Ruiz is considering mounting a Bid for the 17th District Seat.
Westchester County Court Judge (1 Seat): Democrats: Anne Bianchi and Yonkers City Court Judge Evan Inlaw.
Keep coming back to Yonkers Insider for Comprehensive Coverage of the 2023 Elections.
Yonkers Insider Publisher Delfim Heusler
aseward100@aol.com (Delfim Heusler) Politics Sun, 22 Jan 2023 13:32:06 -0500
Free Programs for Yonkers Youth https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/publicsafety/2722-free-programs-for-yonkers-youth2722-free-programs-for-yonkers-youth https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/publicsafety/2722-free-programs-for-yonkers-youth2722-free-programs-for-yonkers-youth

When it comes to support programs for Yonkers youth, the Y.O  has a long list of services and activities.  The Yonkers Police Department offers programs in policing, life guidance, juvenile court, reading, and even has it's own youth ice hockey league. In addition, YPD just received some big bucks from the NY State Governor for juvenile delinquency programs. https://original.newsbreak.com/@j-m-lesinski-562166/2891716543621-three-new-york-police-departments-to-get-1-5-million-in-funding-for-federal-pilot-project


Click on the link to find out what is available and how to enroll.  https://www.yonkersny.gov/live/public-safety/police-department/community-outreach

The Police Athletic League has a large recreational facility on N. Broadway. and offers basketball, baseball batting cages, a full gym and boxing. They provide numerous programs throughout the year for both girls and boys from toddlers to teens. Check them out of Facebook.https://www.facebook.com/palyonkers/

The City of Yonkers has an abundance of free programs for youth that operate all year.  

aseward100@aol.com (Ardina Seward) Public safety Thu, 19 Jan 2023 17:20:58 -0500
Deana Robinson to Run for Yonkers City Council https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/politics/2721-deanna-robinson-to-run-for-yonkers-city-council2721-deanna-robinson-to-run-for-yonkers-city-council https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/politics/2721-deanna-robinson-to-run-for-yonkers-city-council2721-deanna-robinson-to-run-for-yonkers-city-council

Crime Map District 1District 1 Map

Yonkers NY City Councilwoman, Shanae Williams, has announced her candidacy for the board of Westchester County Legislators 16th district. Williams age 29, officially declared her intentions on January 9th, 2023. 

  “Today marks the day the residents of Yonkers’ 16th Westchester County Legislative District can expect accountability, transparency, and above all else, action from your County Legislator. I am running for County Government to ensure that we finally address issues that affect our everyday quality of life such as homelessness, affordable housing, better youth supports and safety nets, and equitable access to county resources,”

In the wake of her declaration, her long time legislative aide, Deana Renee Norman- Robinson has announced 

that she is a candidate for William's 1st District City Council seat.www.deanafordistrict1.com

 “I am running for Yonkers City Council to make sure city government works for everyone! The Yonkers City Council can have a great impact on the daily lives of those in our community, and I want to make sure that impact is positive”, says candidate Deana Robinson. “I look forward to spending the next few months  speaking with and meeting with the voters of the district and asking them to give me the honor to serve as their Councilwoman.”

Robinson  manages her own Public Relations firm in addition to her duties as advisor to Williams. She is active in the Yonkers community and has several clients in the Yonkers area and neighboring towns. http://voyageatl.com/interview/meet-deana-renee-robinson-of-deana-etc-co-media/

The busy mom of two hosts a podcast https://open.spotify.com/show/240Uce5Sw0YrMFUPDbQemV?si=m6tXO9_zQ9Sj-I_VkMkRkg&nd=1 and is a member of the Solid Rock Christian Church. https://www.deanaetc.com/faith/80agrnffnkn5o9rqte7y8ebl4a4hvp

There are challenges in governing. The 1st district has been plagued with many issues. Homelessness is rampant. Williams states in Black Westchester Magazine, “We know that there is a huge homeless population in the City of Yonkers, most of which is concentrated in the first district,” said Councilwoman Williams."  

Little has been done to alleviate the problem. An uptick in retail theft in the 1st city council district has dismayed and frustrated store owners leading to a loss of revenue and an increase in prices. Multiple shootings and stabbings have occurred in district 1 in 2022. 



District 1, along with other south Yonkers neighborhoods, has endured the impact of global warming for decades. Historical red lining and the lack of environmental correction has led to health issues and increased energy bills among the poorer residents in that area. https://www.groundworkhv.org/programs/transforming-places/climate-safe-neighborhoods/

Recently, developers have invested in the Ludlow area. https://therealdeal.com/tristate/2023/01/05/ginsburgs-yonkers-project-back-on-with-diminished-plan/

The development will have a portion for affordable housing.  However, the definition of affordable housing and low income housing is not the same. https://www.apartmentlist.com/renter-life/low-income-vs-affordable-housing  This leaves a large segment of the poor population of District 1 without recourse to desirable living conditions. The low cost of vast tracts of land in impoverished areas has made it attractive to outside interests. 

Lionsgate Studios has seized the opportunity to invest in Yonkers, particularly in District 1. Touted as the future Hollywood on the Hudson, huge parcels of land are slated for mega studios that will produce world class productions to be viewed around the globe. The attractive enticement of tax abatements in exchange for jobs and benefits to the community has been a plus. Although Lionsgate has announced a partnership with the Yonkers Board of Education to form a magnet school which will train students in the industry, jobs associated with film production are lacking. https://www.deanaetc.com/community/y6u4hiktj0tfaeza8odar6ag0c0qk6


Movie production jobs are controlled by the IATSE Local 52 union and have strict standards for admission. https://www.iatselocal52.org/?zone=view_page.cfm&page=Join20Us

Although a recent ruling allows non union members to work on productions, the work standards remain the same. This means that skills and experience are required to work on a movie set. 

The challenges are numerous for anyone seeking the seat. Robinson has six years of governmental experience as an aide to Shanae Williams. 





aseward100@aol.com (Ardina Seward) Politics Mon, 16 Jan 2023 14:24:11 -0500
Man Stabbed Inside Yonkers Family Dollar Store https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/publicsafety/2720-man-stabbed-inside-yonkers-family-dollar-store2720-man-stabbed-inside-yonkers-family-dollar-store https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/publicsafety/2720-man-stabbed-inside-yonkers-family-dollar-store2720-man-stabbed-inside-yonkers-family-dollar-store

The Family Dollar store located at 7 Main street in Yonkers Getty Square was the scene of a violent stabbing on Saturday, January 7, 2023.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHYGyOzrWMQ

Although YPD has been diligent in the clean up of the area, some crimes have managed to elude the blue wall of safety. 

Due to the location that has heavy pedestrian traffic and the lack of security personnel. the Getty Square store location is vulnerable to shop lifting and employee harassment. 

As recently as ten days ago, a shopper at Family Dollar, observed an intoxicated man proposition a young female cashier stating " I wanna f--k you" It was particularly offensive to the young woman who was dressed in traditional Islamic clothing. When admonished by the store night manager, he declared that he had a gun but would not use it. Although he was known to frequent the store, his presence still left the three young female employees in a state of apprehension. Due to the fact that it was night time and approaching closing, they faced the possibility of him lurking outside the store when they exited. 

In the instance of shoplifting, the Family Dollar Store policy borders on laissez faire as can be seen in these stories. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlM3wpQnRIs and https://www.yahoo.com/video/viral-video-shows-family-dollar-224815996.html

It is common knowledge that the cost of shoplifting is eventually absorbed by the consumer. Consider that Family Dollar has consistently raised it's prices and it's profits have increased substantially. Their iconic portrayal of dollar merchandise has given way to some items in excess of $10. However, the increased profits have not been reflected in either employee salaries or store security. 

In June 2022, a Family Dollar Store employee in Florida, passed away as a result of an altercation with a shoplifter. The store chain was investigated by OSHA and now faces steep fines. https://www.retaildive.com/news/employees-death-confronting-shoplifter-training-OSHA/628691/ 

Thieves know that there are little if any consequences for stealing from both Family Dollar and the Dollar Tree stores in Yonkers which Family Dollar owns.  The stores have become a laughable contest between those that pay and those that do not. 

In the current climate of low bail, and Family Dollar's own employee policies in regards to stopping shop lifters, the losers are the employees with low pay and consumers confronted with higher purchase prices. City Council persons in the impacted area have done little to reassure shoppers that they are safe when shopping in the store or made attempts to dialogue with Family Dollar headquarters for clarity on employee policies. This puts the public at risk.


However, it should be noted that if an employee has safety concerns at any workplace, he or she can file a complaint with OSHA anonymously and have it investigated. https://www.osha.gov/ords/osha7/ecomplaintform.html

If you are in search of adventure and have some self defense skills, Dollar Tree is hiring. https://sjobs.brassring.com/TGnewUI/Search/Home/Home?partnerid=25600&siteid=5258#jobDetails=1917514_5258


aseward100@aol.com (Ardina Seward) Public safety Sat, 07 Jan 2023 20:45:41 -0500
Yonkers Waterfront Woes https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/publicsafety/2719-yonkers-waterfront-woes2719-yonkers-waterfront-woes https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/publicsafety/2719-yonkers-waterfront-woes2719-yonkers-waterfront-woes

The waterfront of Yonkers NY has been reincarnated more frequently than Madonna's face lifts. In every instance, the results have shown improvement. 

The standard river front  drugs and prostitution scenario has been replaced by stunning high rise developments and equally stunning NYC ex pats who have found value and beauty in the new developments. One of those new high rise buildings is the Apex located at 20 Water Grant Street. The complex has indoor parking, quick access to the Metro North train station and jaw dropping views of the Hudson river. Their website describes Apex rental apartments: https://www.apexhudsonriverfront.com/

Yet beneath the glam and glitter, another description of Apex has emerged. One that details an unkept premises and a building plagued with robberies.  A Facebook discussion specific to the Yonkers waterfront community, posts the following. The first described incident took place on or about the last week of November 2022.  These are excerpts:


I am a resident on the 3rd floor of the Apex Water Front Property. Last week a detective from Yonkers PD called me. They arrested a
”janitor” who has been burglarizing apartments and this person had my check book in their pocket. Which makes sense now because my back accounts were being fraudulently charged over the last 2 weeks.
I have learned that other victims have also been devastated by the culprit as a result of this negligence. The culprit is a known repeat offender….don’t they do background checks??
Has anyone else heard of this situation? And has any restitution relief been provided? It’s insane to think that this person had the ability to sack my apartment, rifle through my draws, and steal my information….who knows how long this has been going on.
Please PM me if anyone has advice. "

"from what has been shared with me from the ongoing investigation is this:
1. At least 6 apartments were burglarized…..could be more now …as this was as of last week.
2. Fraudulent charges being made to “Tonys Transport” or “Hotsales Final”
I hope we all come together to prevent this from happening again as this is a beautiful building and area"
"Just got a tip that this "janitor" guy have been robbing Apex apartments for months. Check if you have anything missing - this could be his work."

"there was another attempted entry on 12/12 by a male using yet ANOTHER master key fob.
Apex has been silent on all of this.
The male from the original incident, Omar Roundtree, was charged with 5 counts of Burglary and 3 counts of Identity Theft."
"btw, according to the same source, this robber guy Omar Roundtree was also taking pictures of ids, documents, bank statements, tax returns and etc., police found it on his phone"
"According to the crime map, there were 4 apartments in total broken into. I'm appalled that other than this Facebook post, there has been ZERO communication by management. It truly sickens me, and I feel extremely unsafe in the building."
"This is Apex water front in yonkers NY 10701 The address is 20 water Grant street my car got vandalized my stuff got taken from my car my window got broken my side back never got taken my back bumper got hit this building charges $59 for camera fees from every tenant. Meanwhile there is no cameras in the parking lot my car is not the first car that have gotten vandalized. This building is not safe anybody could just go into the building through the parking." (December 7 2022)
The process of gentrification is plagued with remnants of the old status quo and the culture clashes it inevitably leads to. Apex, built in 2018, may be a case of old wine in new bottles or yet another Yonkers high rise development struggling against the odds. 


aseward100@aol.com (Ardina Seward) Public safety Sat, 31 Dec 2022 17:27:14 -0500
Councilwoman Tasha Diaz Vote Statement https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/politics/2718-councilwoman-tasha-diaz-vote-statement2718-councilwoman-tasha-diaz-vote-statement https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/politics/2718-councilwoman-tasha-diaz-vote-statement2718-councilwoman-tasha-diaz-vote-statement

YONKERS, WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY — November 28, 2022 — For the past 12 months, I have been harassed by so-called “activists and community leaders”, when in reality they are anarchists and extortionists. It is clear that these people have targeted me, a woman of color instead of my white male counterparts on the council in hopes of bullying me into voting on the council for their agenda.

However, I will not allow any veiled threat or intimidation tactic to effect my representation of the people. I have faced badgering and harassment at community events. I have been assaulted at food distributions to the less fortunate. These individuals have attempted to extort me into voting their way on key issues before the council by threatening me with a primary and continued harassment.

I did support to keep the Affordable Housing Ordinance at 10% for the time being. At 10%, we ensure our communities to have guaranteed access to affordable housing. The fact that while Yonkers makes up 20% of Westchester’s population, it makes up a majority of the affordable housing in Westchester signifies that our current Affordable Housing Ordinance is working better than anywhere else in the county. Once a better plan is figured out, I look forward to passing it.

I did vote to extend term limits for the office of Mayor and City Council. The consensus is Yonkers is moving in the right direction, therefore, I want to put the rights solely in the residents of this city whether or not their elected officials should continue to represent them. I represent the voices of the people in this city TODAY not the ones 21 years ago that voted yes to a referendum.

I stand proud on my voting record as a Councilwoman. I look forward to continue delivering for the people of Yonkers.


Tasha Diaz,
Yonkers City Council Majority Leader

aseward100@aol.com (Tasha Diaz) Politics Mon, 28 Nov 2022 21:48:10 -0500
Fake Yonkers Police Scam https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/publicsafety/2716-fake-yonkers-police-scam2716-fake-yonkers-police-scam https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/publicsafety/2716-fake-yonkers-police-scam2716-fake-yonkers-police-scam

IMPORTANT NOTICE FROM THE YPD: The Yonkers Police Department is receiving reports that unknown scammers are calling residents and community members and impersonating Yonkers Police Officers, either threatening arrests in exchange for payment of (non-existent) fines or soliciting monetary donations on behalf of the Department. The originating telephone numbers are spoofed (fake caller ID) making targets believe that the call is originating from the Yonkers Police Department, including telephone numbers assigned to the 4th Precinct (914) 377-7402. The Yonkers Police is investigating; however, these calls often originate outside our jurisdiction and frequently overseas.

Please be aware that the Yonkers Police Department - or any government entity - will NEVER call to demand payment or make threats. The best course of action if you receive a call such as above, or any unsolicited call, is to SIMPLY HANG-UP. If you want to verify the caller, call them back directly yourself. Please see the attached infographics for more information.

Any residents or community members who have been defrauded by this scam are asked to call the Yonkers Police directly at (914) 377-7900 to file a complaint.

aseward100@aol.com (YPD) Public safety Mon, 14 Nov 2022 20:39:17 -0500
Illegal Basement Conversions https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/life/2715-illegal-basement-conversions2715-illegal-basement-conversions https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/life/2715-illegal-basement-conversions2715-illegal-basement-conversions

The shortage of affordable housing has reached peak proportions. The recent influx of undocumented migrants into the metro area and the lack of places for them to stay has highlighted the issue. 

Senator Peter Harckham (D-Lewisboro), has proposed a bill to alleviate the housing crisis by allowing homeowners to convert garages and basement to legal living quarters. Additional sponsors of the bill are senators Biaggi, Comrie, Gounardes, Hinchey, May, Ramos and Salazar.

Senate Bill S4747A would  legalize basement apartments and garage conversions, sometimes known as granny flats, without regard to local zoning. It would permit homeowners to take out low cost loans to pay for the conversion. The bill is currently under review by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Harckham states the following:

“This legislation, which I introduced last year with Assembly member Harvey Epstein, will benefit our communities by providing seniors with added income to pay their bills and gray in place while also making affordable housing available to first responders, teachers, working families and young professionals.”

The bill however is not without criticism. Some Westchester towns, including North Castle have already voted down the plan. Sentiment in Yonkers is similar. The concern is that if the bill becomes law, the character and personality of Yonkers’ communities will be destroyed.

Yonkers’ streets are not equipped to accommodate the increased density. Parking is tight and fire trucks already have difficulties maneuvering in many neighborhoods. A larger capacity means more students in the already full to capacity Yonkers school system. Property values would decrease and  taxes would go up. The bill would also strip towns of the right to regulate their own zoning laws. Governor Hochul who initially gave the nod to the bill by incorporating it into her budget proposal, delivered a blow to New York housing advocates  when she sidelined it.

The fact remains that those proposed garage and basement conversions already exist, but illegally.  In most cases, these conversions involve the remodeling of detached garages into habitable floor space, often for rental purposes. Illegal basement apartments continue to flourish under the radar of watchful city inspectors. The problem is that many are dangerous and enforcement is lax.

 Los Angeles, California had eight deaths in a three month period from illegal conversions of garages into bedrooms or apartments. Often improper electrical work is done, carbon monoxide fumes from water heaters or improperly installed heaters causes deaths, or wrong materials are used in the construction which are not fire safe.

It is illegal in the City of Yonkers to convert a basement or a garage to a residential dwelling without permission. A permit must be issued by the City of Yonkers for any change of use of a property. 

The Department of Housing & Buildings is charged with the responsibility of protecting the health, safety and welfare of the public.  The Department issues building permits and inspects the work performed to insure that it is done correctly and that no injury will result to the occupant or the owner of the premises.

 Yonkers Code requires that a work permit be displayed  in the window of a dwelling where a legitimate dwelling conversion is taking place.  If you do not see their permit displayed then just call the Department of Housing & Buildings at (914) 377-6500 and one of the staff can help to identify if they have a permit or take a complaint from you and have one of the Department's inspectors check into what they are doing.

If you suspect that the conversion is illegal, you can also report the owner to the IRS and the local zoning commission. However, any reward you get from the IRS will be based on the additional tax money that they receive.

But laws have limits. For many, the choice of living in an illegal basement or garage conversion is the only one affordable. For homeowners, it may be the means to pay escalating fuel costs. 

Regardless of the arguments for or against conversion of auxiliary space into residential dwellings, all are in agreement on the single aspect of safety.  

aseward100@aol.com (Ardina Seward) Life Wed, 19 Oct 2022 23:04:08 -0400
Celebrating 60 Years of the Armonk Outdoor Art Show https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/events/2714-celebrating-60-years-of-the-armonk-outdoor-art-show2714-celebrating-60-years-of-the-armonk-outdoor-art-show https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/events/2714-celebrating-60-years-of-the-armonk-outdoor-art-show2714-celebrating-60-years-of-the-armonk-outdoor-art-show

The Armonk Outdoor Art Show will celebrate six decades of fine art and fine crafts this fall on Saturday, October 1 through Sunday, October 2.

The Armonk Outdoor Art Show will celebrate six decades of fine art and fine crafts this fall on Saturday, October 1 through Sunday, October 2. It’s an incredible milestone for this nonprofit, annual show, marking sixty years of raising funds for the Friends of the North Castle Public Library, Inc.

As visitors enjoy the exceptional artists, large selection of food and drink, and complimentary children’s activities, they are helping to support the library’s vibrant educational and entertainmentprograms at the same time.

When art show volunteers set up for that first show on the lawn of Armonk’s Methodist Church in 1961, they could not have envisioned the 9,000 visitors that would one day flock to Community Park’s field each year. Sixty years later the Armonk Outdoor Art Show remains almost entirely volunteer-run and offers the perfect community activity to enjoy on a fall day!

Consistently ranked among the top fine art and fine crafts show in the nation, our jury carefully selects approximately 140 artists each year from close to 600 applicants. The show’s chosen exhibitors are innovators in their fields, representing twelve different mediums including: oils/acrylics/watercolors, mixed media, printmaking/drawing/pastels, sculpture, photography/digital art, wearable art, and fine crafts. This extensive variety of mediums, styles, and price points ensures that all visitors can discover a piece that they just can’t live without.

New for this year’s 60th anniversary show is a specially commissioned exhibition entitled “The Art of Storytelling,” featuring work that utilizes a book as the artist’s “canvas.” This exhibition celebrates the connection between our art show and our local North Castle Public Library, highlighting the library’s vital role within our community. Just as art can elicit powerful emotions and transport the viewer to a world of
imagination, so too do the stories that are found in our favorite books. These compelling pieces will be auctioned to benefit the Friends of the North Castle Public Library, Inc.

Key Details:
• Saturday & Sunday, October 1 and 2 from 10:00am to 5:00pm, Rain or Shine
• Community Park, 205 Business Park Drive, Armonk, NY 10504
• ArmonkOutdoorArtShow.org showcases each artist exhibiting this fall
• Tickets go on sale in August and can be purchased through our website
• Follow us @ArmonkOutdoorArtShow for inspiration, announcements, and previews of our artists.

kerry@ducey.org (Nicole Blum) Events Fri, 23 Sep 2022 04:45:04 -0400
Will Liberal Westchester Suburbs Host Migrants? https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/life/2713-will-liberal-westchester-suburbs-host-migrants2713-will-liberal-westchester-suburbs-host-migrants https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/life/2713-will-liberal-westchester-suburbs-host-migrants2713-will-liberal-westchester-suburbs-host-migrants

Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, sparked outrage after deciding to move 64 migrants on a bus to the Windy City to a neighboring Republican suburb. Will New York City follow suit?

New York City is presently facing a crisis due to the daily transport of Central American migrants from the Texas border to northern sanctuary cities. The move came as a result of  Republican Texas governor Greg Abbott's frustration with the overwhelming flow of asylum seekers to the area. Abbott in turn has embarked on a mission to distribute those migrants to liberal Democratic sanctuary cities. 

As a result, New York City, unprepared for the in flux,  is not only running out of space in local shelters, but may call for draconian budget cuts due to the unanticipated cost of housing, medical care and social services for the newly arrived. Those cuts include less garbage collection, school budget cuts and a strain on NYPD. 

“We currently face new costs that will increase the city’s obligations by billions of dollars, including growing pension contributions, expiring labor contracts, and rising health care expenses,” Adams said Monday in a statement. “In response, we are asking every city agency to tighten its belt without laying off a single employee or reducing services.”

All agencies will be impacted, including the NYPD and the departments of correction and health.
That would mean an approximately $157 million cut to the New York City Police Department’s budget for the current year, and a $227 million reduction to the expected $4.8 billion in city spending in 2024. The calculations don’t include funding routed through the state or federal government." - NY 1
With no end in sight to the bussing, the costs will continue to spiral. 
"Assuming that DHS has secured a similar rate this time around, providing the 5,800 hotel rooms could add an unexpected $312.6 million in new spending to the city budget — and that’s before tallying other costs, like providing food and medical care.
“Providing these services will clearly be a significant costs that will require city officials to either shift funding from other programs or identify savings,” said Ana Champeny, the top researcher at the Citizens Budget Commission."
But unlike the dismayed reaction of Craig Johnson, Mayor of the Chicago suburb, Elk Grove, the suburbs of nearby Westchester County have potentially rolled out a welcome mat to the asylum seekers. 
In March 2018, Westchester County Executive George Latimer signed the Immigrant Protection Act into law.  The Westchester County Board of Legislators made a point of stating that this is not a sanctuary measure. 
The bill defines what law enforcement can ask individuals about their citizenship status and how that information is shared with other levels of law enforcement. It  also prevents Westchester County from using its resources to assist in federal investigations based on  national origin.
In January 2017, Noam Bramson,  Mayor of New Rochelle stated:
"  The term “sanctuary city” has no precise definition, and we do not use it in New Rochelle, but we do make absolutely clear that all people of good will are welcomed, valued, and respected in our community, regardless of their origins, and that immigrants are an essential part of New Rochelle’s identity and future. "
The enthusiasm spread to other Westchester Towns in 2017. An activist in the Town of Irvington posted on social media:

"Team, great news from Irvington! The Irvington Board of Trustees has unanimously agreed to pass a set of sanctuary resolutions that will help make Irvington safe for undocumented immigrants! As of March 7, the Village of Irvington will no longer cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Irvington Police will not provide ICE with immigration information, will not question individuals about their immigration status, will not give ICE access to individuals in their custody, and will not honor ICE detainer orders" - Facebook
When it came to passage of the Immigration Protection Bill, Westchester County Legislator, Catherine Parker was strident in her quest to protect the undocumented.  In a Facebook post, she states:
 It's working, my friends! Here's another update on the Immigration Protection Act.
Thanks to your support & pressure - we are making great progress toward passing our Immigrant Protection Act. Now is the time for a major push to get us over the finish line and pass this needed public safety bill. Contact the Board of Legislators, specifically those who represent districts which would be most impacted by this piece of legislation, and TELL THEM THEY MUST SUPPORT THE IPA on Monday, July 17th. We need to pass this with bi-partsian support to send a message to the County Executive that this is what the people of Westchester really want from their representatives.
We are showing just what can happen when we all ban together and demand action of our elected officials. Keep up the pressure!"

Fellow legislator Catherine Borgia, an Ossining Democrat a driving force behind the bill, said the bill was pro-public safety and didn't contradict any laws.

"This is a justice-for-all bill," she said. "A lot of the things that are provided in this piece of legislation are just a reaffirmation of the fact that the United States Constitution, and particularly the Bill of Rights, applies to every human soul on U.S. soil."- Lo Hud

The good will extends beyond local pols in Ossining. 

Ossining for Refugees  partnered with Neighbors Link and Films on Purpose, a Pleasantville-based community organization that periodically holds film screenings related to social issues. 
Russell said he sees the organization as an ongoing commitment and to continue even after most of the Afghan refugees have been settled. There are large groups of refugees from Congo, Myanmar, Ukraine, Venezuela and Syria.
“It is not for us to say where the next refugees will come from,” he said. “We will be happy to receive whoever they are.”-Lo Hud
Yonkers, which is the largest town in Westchester County is 35% Hispanic. Much of that population hails from Mexico and Guatemala. Third term Mayor, Michael Spano offers his support. 
"Yonkers has always been a welcoming city for all of our people, including those who are documented and those who are undocumented," said Spano, adding the Yonkers police will only detain someone for federal authorities if there is an arrest warrant. "We do not arrest people based on immigration status. We arrest people based on crimes they commit. That's our policy. That's what we do."
Many Westchester towns responded to the plight of Afghan refugees. They were welcomed by several community groups in the River towns area as well as other parts of the county. Although there is a precise distinction between a refugee and and asylum seeker, those groups have embraced both. 
Neighbors for Refugees has been at the forefront of the action. They were instrumental in implementing safe passage for Afghans both in Afghanistan and after they arrived in New York. They too are pro asylum seekers. neighborsforrefugees.org
PO Box 416, Larchmont, NY, United States, New York
Space and money are running out in New York City for people fleeing persecution and seeking a better life. The Westchester  County suburbs could be their next stop.
aseward100@aol.com (Ardina Seward) Life Mon, 19 Sep 2022 16:46:03 -0400
Yonkers Police Nab Jewelry Thieves Near Central Park Avenue https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/publicsafety/2712-yonkers-ppolice-nab-jewelry-thieves-near-central-park-avenue2712-yonkers-ppolice-nab-jewelry-thieves-near-central-park-avenue https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/publicsafety/2712-yonkers-ppolice-nab-jewelry-thieves-near-central-park-avenue2712-yonkers-ppolice-nab-jewelry-thieves-near-central-park-avenue

UPDATE 2022-09-07 at 1820 
Preliminary investigation informs that an alleged group of smash and grab thieves targeted a jewelry store on Central Avenue in Yonkers earlier today. That group may be connected to a similar incident in a jurisdiction north of Yonkers.
A Westchester County Police unit observed two suspect vehicles in the area of Central Park Avenue and Mile Square Road and attempted to stop the same. The vehicles fled.  One crashed on Staunton Street.
Three suspects bailed on Staunton Street. Yonkers Police have one person of interest in custody. A search for the other two suspects is on-going.
The second vehicle that fled was apprehended in another jurisdiction with additional arrests. Investigators from multiple agencies are collaborating to identify any outstanding perpetrators and bring appropriate charges.
There are no threats to community safety at this time, however residents are reminded to report any suspicious activity by calling 911.
Thank you for supporting local law enforcement.
aseward100@aol.com (Yonkers Police Department) Public safety Wed, 07 Sep 2022 15:16:16 -0400