Swyonkers's HamletHub https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers Sat, 03 Dec 2022 22:05:50 -0500 HamletHub.com 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.

Sincerely,

Tasha Diaz,
Yonkers City Council Majority Leader

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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.

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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.  

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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.

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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.
 
 
 
 
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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.
 
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aseward100@aol.com (Yonkers Police Department) Public safety Wed, 07 Sep 2022 15:16:16 -0400
Man Shot In Downtown Yonkers Daylight Park https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/publicsafety/2711-man-shot-in-downtown-yonkers-daylight-park2711-man-shot-in-downtown-yonkers-daylight-park https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/publicsafety/2711-man-shot-in-downtown-yonkers-daylight-park2711-man-shot-in-downtown-yonkers-daylight-park

For many years, the Saw Mill River Coalition led the effort to bring the Saw Mill River to daylight. It was designated as part of the revitalization of downtown Yonkers. The project had ecological, economic and cultural significance.


The City of Yonkers  moved forward with  three plans to daylight  the Saw Mill River. Daylighting Phase II, The Mill Street Courtyard, was completed in 2016.


In June, 2016, Dutch graffiti artist, Eelco van der Berg was flown in from Holland and  commissioned to paint a mural on N. Broadway in Mill Park The theme centered around the return of wild life to the area. The term "wild life" was destined to take on a greater significance later. 


The Mill Park Daylighting project cost $8.3 million dollars. It created a series of elevated walkways and small public plazas above the river, inside a city block that was once a weed-strewn empty lot.


Yonkers mayor Mike Spano says the project has been “a major catalyst for the renaissance of downtown Yonkers and the city as a whole,” adding that it inspired more than four billion dollars in redevelopment, including 3,000 apartments.


Candida Rodriguez, director of community relations for Ground Works, Hudson Valley said, the daylighted creek offers a place for people to unwind, creates a buzz location for businesses, and protects threatened species like eels. “A triple win,” she called it.

The buzz that Rodriguez described did not last long.

On September 1st at approximately 12:45pm, a man was shot in the Mill River park. After being shot twice in the upper body, he ran one block north along Warburton Avenue. When police arrived, the victim was found in front of 62 Warburton avenue.


The shooting location is across the street from the historical Philpse Manor, a site for tourists and lectures about the venue. Luxury apartments overlook the Mill River park and popular local restaurants such as Khangri. A large municipal garage at the corner stays busy with DMV clientele a block away as well as those who pass through the family court house on Warburton.


Yet despite the busy corridor of activity, a man was shot in broad daylight.
Mill Park has deteriorated into a default hangout for prostitution, drug dealing, and a homeless haven. The dream of children and families frolicking to the sound of the beautiful babbling waters has been displaced with a sprawl of urban decay.


In a week where Yonkers police have excelled in arrests, the shooting shows that there is much work left to be done.

Check out Yonkers Voice for more details. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19VWZ2ptIZo&t=34s

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aseward100@aol.com (Ardina Seward) Public safety Thu, 01 Sep 2022 15:59:51 -0400
Sex Trafficking Bust Involved Yonkers https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/publicsafety/2710-sex-trafficking-bust-involved-yonkers2710-sex-trafficking-bust-involved-yonkers https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/publicsafety/2710-sex-trafficking-bust-involved-yonkers2710-sex-trafficking-bust-involved-yonkers

Hundreds of women may have been victims of an alleged New York sex trafficker according to investigators.


Ysenni Gomez 39, advertised fake online ads for waitressing gigs in a scheme that may date back several years. Gomez preyed upon newly arrived Latina immigrants to engage in forced prostitution in Westchester County and the Bronx.

Cops tracked Gomez down earlier this month when an undercover officer responded to an ad on Bedpage.com that had a photo of a nearly naked woman on all fours and advertised, “Yonkers kitty cat available to tease outcall-23


The FBI is asking any victims of Ysenni Gomez to come forward.

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aseward100@aol.com (Ardina Seward) Public safety Tue, 30 Aug 2022 16:14:12 -0400
Jamaal Bowman Wins Second Term https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/politics/2709-jamaal-bowman-wins-second-term2709-jamaal-bowman-wins-second-term https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/politics/2709-jamaal-bowman-wins-second-term2709-jamaal-bowman-wins-second-term

Jamaal Bowman has declared victory in the district 16 congressional race in New York.
The incumbent defeated two challengers who waged differing political campaigns.


Westchester County Legislator, Vedat Gashi, is a first time candidate in a major political race. The lawyer, born in Kosovo, is an immigrant with a strong urban experience and street smart savvy. Gashi grew up in the Bronx, experienced the ravages of poverty, and rose to the political arena through hard work and the perspective of a Democratic moderate.


Although he lost the race, Gashi has made enough successful inroads amongst voters to position himself for future political contests. His outreach to blue collar workers and the minority community will work to build his support base. His moderate platform is sufficient to appease those who feel that the Democratic party has swung too far to the left. In addition, his policies are broad and fill several voids left by Bowman from his first term.


Catherine Parker has lost on her second attempt at the office. Parker previously challenged Bowman in his first bid for congress in 2020. But Parker, a Westchester County Legislator also, was undeterred. Her second attempt at the office was guided by Amy Siskind, a wealthy American activist and writer. Siskind, a Westchester resident, is a champion of a progressive wing of the Democratic party largely associated with White feminists. Parker. a recipient of their largesse, disassociated from the Black and Latino community during the campaign. Her campaign focused primarily on climate change and flood mitigation in Mamaroneck and Larchmont. Due to the fact that District 16 is 56% minority majority, it was a gamble that lost.


Unless she changes strategy, her political future will be relegated to the confines of a few square miles in Rye.


Jamaal Bowman now has a second shot at "getting it right" with his constituency. District 16 no longer contains some of the most impoverished neighborhoods in the Bronx. The purge has given way to affluent towns in the northern regions of Westchester County. Places with yacht clubs and ladies who lunch. And there are the police that Bowman voted to defund. Yet even though it seems to be a strange land for the Democrat Squad member to represent, a landslide number of voters felt that they were willing to take the chance.

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aseward100@aol.com (Ardina Seward) Politics Tue, 23 Aug 2022 20:12:40 -0400
Bowman Gashi Parker Candidacy 2022 https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/politics/2708-bowman-gashi-parker-candidacy-20222708-bowman-gashi-parker-candidacy-2022 https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/politics/2708-bowman-gashi-parker-candidacy-20222708-bowman-gashi-parker-candidacy-2022

The fate of three challengers for Congress in District 16 will be decided in the August 23rd primary. That date is the final day of voting.

.
Candidates Vedat Gashi and Catherine Parker are vying for incumbent congressman Jamaal Bowman's job. The congressman sacked the thirty two year political career of former congressman Eliot Engel when he defeated him in 2020.
However, it did not take long for Bowman's oppositional style of politics to emerge.

The self proclaimed Democratic Socialist advocates to defund police, and expand homeless shelters in upper middleclass neighborhoods.


Although Bowman lost the Riverdale section of the Bronx in the redistricting process, his stamp of approval on a 160 bed men's homeless shelter still lingers. A proposal by the City of New York to house men regardless of their criminal background or possible sexual offender status is still being entertained. The plan calls for building the shelter in North Riverdale close to the Yonkers border. The average price of houses in that neighborhood is $800k. The plan calls for several businesses to be closed and a vague reference to sufficient security at the shelter. Residents are vehemently opposed to the shelter and the disruption that it will cause.


Bowman supports defunding police. His concept is to transfer a portion of the police budget and reallocate it to social support programs.


Gashi and Parker stand opposed to taking any resources away from law enforcement. This is not the least of where the differences in the candidates reside.


Gashi immigrated from Kosovo with his family at the age of four. They arrived in the United States, illegally. They were poor and resided in a predominantly Black section of the Bronx. Vedat had to learn English, and navigate through not only the American culture in general but the African American culture in specifics. At one point, he was the only White person in his school class. Despite adversity, he became a lawyer and eventually a Westchester County Legislator. He is a democratic moderate. He is a Muslim. Yet, he embraces the progressive view of access to affordable health care and reproductive rights for women. As a Muslim, he has spoken in favor of Israel and secured the endorsement of pro Israeli former congressman, Elliot Engel. His policy of inclusion is reflected in additional endorsements from both Blacks and Latinos. Gashi participated in the Puerto Rican Day parade in Yonkers in 2022 as part of his campaign.


Catherine Parker on the other hand has absented herself from the Black and Latino communities in District 16. Although the district is 56% minority majority, her campaign has made no effort to woo minority voters. Instead, it has focused heavily on the more affluent White vote in towns such as Mamaroneck, Rye and Scarsdale. Parker is mentored by Amy Siskind, a Westchester based Democratic political insider, who is the White female progressive equivalent of AOC. But despite the host of tea sipping fundraiser events, Parker trails in generating enough cash to present a formidable challenge.


Parker having declared that she wants her legacy to be about climate change,  is yet to comment on a bomb shell report announced by Yonkers Groundworks in 2019. The report stated that due to historical redlining, a vast swath of residential area in poor Yonkers neighborhoods were overheated. This is due to lack of trees, air conditioning and cooling centers. As a result, the death rate is higher in these areas due to heat related illnesses. The neglect of these area contributes to a general rise in temperatures in the surrounding neighborhoods. https://highlandscurrent.org/2021/04/13/out-there-the-inequality-of-heat-waves/


Yonkers is the largest and most populous town in District 16. Two hundred thousand people live there. Yet, Parker has chosen to concentrate her efforts to flood mitigation in Mamaroneck which has a population of thirty thousand. Her diligence has paid off with the ringing applause of Mamaroneck Mayor, Tom Murphy and a bevy of other supporters.
Her legislative experience both as a Westchester County Legislator and a Rye City Councilman are impressive. But it lacks the gravitas to mount an all inclusive agenda. This is her second attempt at the congressional seat. After a brief run in 2020, her campaign was cut short to focus on flooding issues in Rye and Mamaroneck.


On August 23rd 2022, the voters will decide. If the turn out is low, it will signal a lack of faith that a candidate can make a difference and the special interest groups will dominate the agenda. If the turn out is high, it will be an indication that change is on the horizon.


An astute political observer remarked that Gashi signs have popped up on lawns that previously displayed Trump posters. This perhaps is an indication that the party lines we once thought were clearly delineated just got blurry.

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aseward100@aol.com (Ardina Seward) Politics Thu, 18 Aug 2022 10:39:56 -0400
Yonkers Police Arrest Fatal Hit and Run Driver https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/publicsafety/2706-yonkers-police-arrest-fatal-hit-and-run-driver2706-yonkers-police-arrest-fatal-hit-and-run-driver https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/publicsafety/2706-yonkers-police-arrest-fatal-hit-and-run-driver2706-yonkers-police-arrest-fatal-hit-and-run-driver

*** NEWS RELEASE *** Yonkers Police make arrest in fatal hit-and-run accident of local high school student. Yonkers, NY – On Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022, at approximately 12:20 AM, members of the Yonkers Police Department responded to the 600 block of McLean Avenue on a report of a scooter operator having been struck by a vehicle. Upon arrival First Responders located a male youth down on the ground with severe head injuries; he was transported to a local area trauma center in critical condition. The vehicle that struck the youth fled the scene. Police cordoned off the area and initiated accident and criminal investigations.

Detectives from the Major Case Squad and Crime Scene Unit, and accident investigators from the Traffic Unit, responded to the scene and interviewed subjects and witnesses, recovered surveillance video, processed forensic evidence, and reconstructed the accident dynamics. Investigation yielded that the youth, a 16-year-old resident of Yonkers, was operating an electric scooter west on McLean Avenue in the eastbound lane; when, opposite the shopping center at 660 McLean Avenue, just east of Cricklewood North, he was struck head-on by a cargo van traveling east in the eastbound lane; the van then fled the scene and a witness called 9-1-1.

Over the next 36 hours detectives worked to successfully locate the van and identify the operator; he was placed into custody without incident and the vehicle, a 2004 Chevrolet Express, was impounded as evidence. The operator is identified as Stephen DOLAN, a 46-year-old resident of Yonkers and City of Yonkers Department of Public Works employee. Investigators believe that DOLAN was consuming alcohol before the accident and was under the influence of intoxicants.

The victim, identified as Christopher Jack “CJ” Hackett, passed away yesterday morning in the presence of family; he was a student at Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains.

Mayor Mike Spano stated, “Our hearts go out to Christopher Hackett’s family and to his friends. This young man’s life was tragically and senselessly cut short. As for the accused driver, who is a City employee, the Police Department is conducting a full and fair investigation so that the District Attorney can hold him fully accountable under the law.”

Police Commissioner Christopher Sapienza stated, “The Yonkers Police Department extends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Christopher Hackett; there are no words that can assuage the grief of losing a child. Our investigation has led to the identity and arrest of the accused driver who must now face the consequences of his actions in a court of law.”

Stephen DOLAN was arrested and booked on the charge of Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident – Injury Resulting in Death, a Class D Felony in the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law; he was lodged overnight in the Yonkers City Jail and is expected to be arraigned today in Yonkers Criminal Court; additional crimes may be charged as the investigation is enhanced. The case is being prosecuted by the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.

The City of Yonkers and Yonkers Police Department offer their sincere condolences to the family and friends of Christopher Hackett and his school community.

NOTE: Booking charges are merely accusations and the defendant(s) are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. ###

Posted to Subscribers of Yonkers Police Department

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aseward100@aol.com (YPD) Public safety Fri, 05 Aug 2022 08:41:13 -0400
5 People Shot in Downtown Yonkers in an Hour https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/publicsafety/2704-5-people-shot-in-downtown-yonkers-in-an-hour2704-5-people-shot-in-downtown-yonkers-in-an-hour https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/publicsafety/2704-5-people-shot-in-downtown-yonkers-in-an-hour2704-5-people-shot-in-downtown-yonkers-in-an-hour

Yonkers, NY – The Yonkers Police Department is currently investigating two shooting incidents that occurred late in the evening on July 16th, 2022.

At approximately 9:15PM on July 16th, 2022, the Yonkers Police Department responded to the area of Pitkin Park on Locust Hill Avenue on a report of shots fired. Upon arrival, units located two victims of gunshot wounds. These victims were quickly transported to an area hospital. The first victim is an 18-year-old female who was shot in her right elbow. Her condition is stable at this time. The second victim is an 18-year-old male who was shot in the right side of his chest just below the collar bone. Doctors report that he may have a punctured lung. This male is in critical but stable condition at this time.  

Later in the evening, just before 11:00PM, the Yonkers Police Department responded to the area of 43 School Street on an additional report of shots fired. Upon arrival, units located three victims of gunshot wounds. The first victim is a 42-year-old male who was shot once in the back. Doctors found that the bullet passed through to his chest. He is in critical but stable condition at this time. The second victim is a 30-year-old female who was shot once in her right arm. Doctors found that the bullet then struck her chest cavity and is now lodged in her left arm. She is also currently in critical but stable condition. The third victim is a 41-year-old male who was shot once in the back. Doctors report that the bullet appeared to hit his spleen and colon. This male is in stable condition at this time. 

Both scenes were cordoned off as criminal investigations commenced. Detectives from our Major Case Squad, Crime Scene Unit, and Gang Unit all began in depth investigations into both of these incidents. Though it was a possibility at the onset of this investigation that these incidents were related, that cannot be confirmed at this time.

“The Yonkers Police Department does not tolerate senseless acts of violence in the likes of what we saw last night,” said Yonkers Police Commissioner Christopher Sapienza. “Those that wish to do harm to our residents in such heinous acts have no place in this city. Our investigators will be working tirelessly to identify and apprehend the perpetrators for both of these incidents.”

If you have any information regarding either of these incidents, please contact our Detective Division at 914-377-7724. Those with information can also submit an anonymous tip through our website OR by texting “YPD” and your tip to 847411.

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aseward100@aol.com (YPD) Public safety Sun, 17 Jul 2022 12:12:34 -0400
How to Lower or Erase Medical Bills https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/life/2701-how-to-lower-or-erase-medical-bills2701-how-to-lower-or-erase-medical-bills https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/life/2701-how-to-lower-or-erase-medical-bills2701-how-to-lower-or-erase-medical-bills

If you have ever swooned when you received your medical bill, a knowledgeable doctor has tons of advice.

Dr. Virgie Bright-Ellington is an internist in New York. She received her medical degree from University of Michigan Medical School and has been a doctor for more than 20 years. After a stint working at a health insurance company, Dr. Ellington left her practice and became an activist for proper medical billing.

Dr. Ellington has written a book titled. Crush Medical Debt. 

"No matter how much you owe, there’s a better way to get rid of your medical debt beyond bankruptcy.

When Dr. Virgie Bright Ellington became a cancer patient, she faced insurmountable medical bills. That’s when she took her insider industry knowledge and put it to work. In Crush Medical Debt." - Amazon Books

Dr. Ellington states that 90% of medical bills contain mistakes. When you receive your bill, check for errors. Call the billing department and insist on an itemized bill that displays  the CPT (medical billing code) for each item. Hospitals are required by law to do this under the HEPA act. HEPA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accounting.

If the hospital or facility has not submitted the correct code, your insurance may not pay for the procedure. Do not pay your bill automatically. You can google the correct code and challenge the bill according to the rate that Medicare pays. .  If you do not have an insurance provider, the facility must give you a good faith estimate on the cost of the care you received. You can negotiate that fee and arrange for a payment plan that fits your budget. Ask for an interest free payment plan. 

You may have received services from a out of network provider. Under the NO SURPRISES ACT, an out of network provider has to accept payment from an in network provider or negotiate the bill. 

If you have subscribed to a health sharing plan with your church,  you are not fully protected. It is not an insurance plan and it will not pay your medical bills. Opt out of it. 

If you are concerned about your credit score. the rules are in your favor particularly if you are a vet. Providers have to wait one year before they report a veteran's delinquent payment as of July 1st 2022. Medical bills of  $500 or less cannot be reported to creditors, effective in 2023.

However, if you need a covid test and you are not insured. the period of free covid testing expired on April 5, 2022. You can still be tested at community facilities for a small fee.

If you do have medical insurance, do not sign the electronic billing pad when presented. Instead, ask for a hard copy print out. Under the section about bills, write "I agree for treatment which is 2 x Medicare rates."  Debt collectors must show a signed financial agreement with your signature. It is akin to giving the the provider a blank check. For example, if the provider mandates a high rate of payment and you have signed the electronic pad authorizing it, the debt collector can garnish your wages to retrieve that amount. Always read what you are signing and write in the changes on your terms. 

Dr. Ellington will be a guest on Westchester Eye on the Radio on June 27th from 3-4pm. The show broadcasts on WVOX 1460am and is also streamed live at wvox.com. You can call in for questions at 914-636-0110..

Listen to Dr. Ellington here:   https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/137937/10-things-everyone-should-know-about-the-us-medical-debt-crisi

 

 

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aseward100@aol.com (Ardina Seward) Life Wed, 22 Jun 2022 17:07:12 -0400
Yonkers Store Owners Lose Money https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/life/2700-yonkers-store-owners-lose-money2700-yonkers-store-owners-lose-money https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/life/2700-yonkers-store-owners-lose-money2700-yonkers-store-owners-lose-money

Yonkers is an old city with the equivalent infrastructure. As a result, repair and replacement is inevitable. 

Getty Square has become a hub of evening excavation to replace old gas lines and enhance the  underground systems. 

Work crews begin in the evening and labor late into the night. At issue is the impact on local merchants in that corridor that operate into the late nocturnal hours. The work has been ongoing for three weeks and businesses are losing money. 

The approaches to N. Broadway from Getty Square are closed to traffic in the evening. Busses have been re routed and the businesses rely on the remnants of the foot traffic that was a by product of passengers debarking and embarking at the bus stops in that area. 

In addition, stores have lost business from vehicle traffic which is now not allowed during those hours. Cars that would normally make a brief stop to pick up food have been prohibited from entering. Food establishments with car driven delivery service face a hardship.  Getty Square Liquors laments that they have steadily lost revenue for three weeks. 

According to shop keepers, the North Broadway commercial sector between Manor House Sq. and Main Street is suffering. There has been no outreach from Yonkers BID, or their City Council District leader, Shanae Williams. 

Although the stores affected represent a small portion of the total businesses on that block, it is still significant. 

In a post pandemic recovery era, every penny counts. Lost revenue equals unsustainability. When a store closes, it is a blight that shows the fragility of the economic well being of a city. As the infrastructure work in Getty Square continues, store owners hope to find a solution.

 

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aseward100@aol.com (Ardina Seward) Life Tue, 21 Jun 2022 22:14:14 -0400
More Bear Sightings in Yonkers https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/publicsafety/2699-more-bear-sightings-in-yonkers2699-more-bear-sightings-in-yonkers https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/publicsafety/2699-more-bear-sightings-in-yonkers2699-more-bear-sightings-in-yonkers

 

There appears to be yet more reports of bear sightings in the Yonkers area. The following discussion was posted on a local blog:

Saw Mill River Rd9 hr ago

 
Hello, just wanted to inform my neighbors that we have black bears in our neighborhood. Friday evening I had 2 black bears in my backyard. The cops mentioned that there is a family of 3 bears roaming around in Yonkers. Please be careful with leaving your children and pets unattended. Do not leave any food out or garbage bins open. Lets work together to stay safe and keep these bears out of our neighborhood.
Posted in
General
to Anyone
 
 

 
 
Was this sighting on Colin St?
8 hr ago
 
 
  
 • Saw Mill River Rd
Author
 
 yes
 
 
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Experts say to avoid leaving garbage outside which lures bears to the food supply. If you ever encounter a bear, the following video will instruct you on what to do.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHZ-prhA7E0
 
Photo credit to Carol Ann
 
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aseward100@aol.com (Ardina Seward) Public safety Mon, 20 Jun 2022 14:28:11 -0400