Thanksgiving in America’s Hometown

WPCNR Thanksgiving Portfolio, all photos by WPCNR:

On this Thanksgiving, let us remember the band of hardy intrepid souls who crossed an ocean in a boat no  bigger than a large Chris Craft and settled in an unforgiving landscape and started a country in the cold landscape of New England.

They were immigrants.

They were helped by Indians who welcomed them, without whom they would not have survived. And, remember, those pilgrims were immigrants.  A salute to this brave band. A salute, too, to the indians who accepted them without visas, without jobs, with no background checks.

The pilgrims sailed into a bay, dropped anchor and just carved out a living after living in incredible conditions in a ship’s hold for weeks, crossing the storm-tossed North Atlantic. Here are some views of America’s first hometown captured by the WPCNR Roving Photographer.

Plymouth Rock Landing. Plymouth, Massachusetts.

The Mayflower II. Plymouth Harbor.

 

Indian Statue of Squanto welcoming the Pilgrim Settlers. Plymouth.

 

Governor William Bradford Statue on the Shores of Plymouth Harbor

“Plymouth Rock,” The landing place of the pilgrims. 

Settlers Home, left, circa 1690. 

Church, Plymouth late 1700s. .

The Jury: Old Burial Ground, Plymouth. Last resting place of the pilgrims overlooking Plymouth Harbor. The sacrifices, bravery and perseverence of these persons stand as examples to Americans today. How are we doin’?

 

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The Day President Kennedy Was Shot.

 

WPCNR NEWS AND COMMENT By John F. Bailey. (reprinted from November, 2001) UPDATED. November 22, 2017:

Someone made a big mistake this year. The papers this morning have no reference to the day John F. Kennedy was shot and killed. 

Today is the day in Dallas 54 years ago when President John F. Kennedy was shot riding in his motorcade in front of the Texas Book Depository Building.

November 22,  1963. A most unfortunate coincidence that someone should have noticed.

Fifty-four years ago today at about midday eastern standard time, President John F. Kennedy was shot in Dallas, Texas.

When I heard the news, I was heading up the steps of  Gray Chapel at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio. It was sobering news. Then within the hour it was reported that the President was dead, and the search was on for potential suspects.

It was the first time in my life a national event had ever affected me.

Persons in their late 60s can probably remember exactly what they were doing when they heard that electrifying news.

Disbelief. Concern. Sadness.

Who would shoot the President?  How could they? The President no matter who he was was revered and respected at that time — not ridiculed, mocked, vilified, and criticised for his every move as he is today.

President Kennedy’s popularity was ebbing at that time. The public was initially inspired by the vision of Camelot and the likable, energetic young president. However, by the time he was assassinated, President Kennedy was coming under harsh criticism for his foreign policy and his inability to move an agenda through congress.

He was ridiculed by impressionists and pushed around by congressional heavyweights — eerily not too much different from our President today.

When Kennedy was shot, the American public, even those who disagreed with his politics and considered him in over his head in the presidency, were stunned by grief and horror.

Nothing had happened like that in America since 1901 when President William McKinley was assassinated.

An entire nation reflected in guilt for a week as the three television networks showed 24 hours a day assassination and funeral coverage. Walter Cronkite shed a tear on camera when he reported Kennedy was dead.

Until the Trade Center Horror in 2001, this nation had not experienced anything on that national scale of reaction to an event.

Were we a more sensitive nation then? More sensitive to what killing actually is? I wonder. In the fast-moving sensationalism of news today, would the same sensitivity be there today?

Or, have we been hardened to violence, and do we now see violence as more of an acceptable solution to problems than to be avoided at all costs?

It seems so. With disgruntled misfits just taking guns and shooting innocent people on a weekly basis.

I remember how Americans sat mesmerized in front of their televisions as the Kennedy goodbye played out.

I remember, too how Kennedy’s death swiftly paved the way for the landmark Civil Rights act of 1965, legislated by Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon B. Johnson. That legislation, without Kennedy’s assassination would probably never have been passed. I believe it passed because of collective guilt over Kennedy’s demise.

For 54 years, politicians, when their charisma is measured, have always been compared to Mr. Kennedy.

However, charisma does not get things done.

Does not make for change by itself. It is nice but it achieves nothing unless you have some solid ideas, management skills, and are willing to work hard for it.

Even, then, as a recent Kennedyesque President, Barack Obama found out, it may not happen.

However, the political rancor and hysterical hatred of our President  Obama that was expressed in the Republican debates, on talk radio and by candidates who should know better one year ago created an atmosphere of disrespect for then President Obama and the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton exceeded even that aimed at George W. Bush.

The lack of respect for President Trump today has created an atmosphere that is far more dangerous for the President and the country  than we can ever tell. Mr. Trump has polarized the nation into two warring camps with unprecedented name-calling, purely nasty, hurtful policies towards minorities and immigrants, and planned takeaways of health care, and blatant giveaways to robber barons on poshly covered crags in concrete canyons.

The toxicity against the Presidents, both Obama and now President Trump (though much is of Mr. Trump’s own immaturity and inability to manage) was been further inflamed by the whining of rich little brat Mitt Romney who has been given everything he wanted and bought everything else except the Presidency. His comments after losing to President Obama two years ago alluding to what was needed was revolution to change things were historic as well as despicable. And dangerous.

It was a rich boy’s whining. It was reckless and immature. No defeated presidential candidate has ever made remarks like that. Even Al Gore when he lost the election did not, to my memory come out and call for revolution. Romney’s petulance showed the voters saw right through this Guy Smiley of a candidate they in their guts knew the phoney he was.

Romney’s comments two years ago to his donors, were echoed by  Michael Steele’s statement about Emperor Obama and his “reign of lawlessness” is exactly the sort of talk that paved the way for the Republican campaign of hatred in 2016. It was irresponsible of Romney and Steele. A losing Presidential candidate has one job, unite behind the new leader. Romney is the only President in my memory ever to act this way.

The Republicans’ inability to compromise has stalled the nation on recovery, immigration, health care…you name the issue, the Republican Party has stalled progress in their frantic effort to roll back the clock to the turn of the 20th century.

We should always remember The Republicans’ whining. Bullies always whine. Fixers always are sore losers.

Ideas and rhetoric are one thing, but to vilify the President on the scale of what we heard in 2016 is irresponsible. Because it was listened to by persons across the country who suddenly got the “OK” from Republican candidates and “leaders” that it was ok to hate, to blame America’s problems on immigrants, and trade policies, and ignore science. When educated leaders in congress endorse the policies of hate and punishment people can be OK with that. Leaders are giving people license to hate and hurt, discriminate, exploit, and build up themselves at the expense of others.

And they elected a President who is doing just that.

So when you sit down to turkey Thursday give a thought to be thankful for a nation that once did not rise up in arms whenever a leader is elected that a portion of the populace does not like.

Be thankful that the American people once spoke and felt as one, and hopefully will learn to do so again even though we disagree.

I hope so.

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COUNTY BUDGET HEARING SCHEDULE

 

Having trouble viewing this e-mail? Click here

http://www.westchesterlegislators.com/enewsletter/2017/2018_BudgetPHposter.pdf

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White Plains Hospital Opens New Clinical Care Center

WPCNR CARING TIMES. From White Plains Hospital. November 20, 2017:

White Plains Hospital unveiled its new Central Clinical Services (CCS) facility, 20,300 square feet of space at the center of the Hospital, from floors 3 to 6, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony held today on the Hospital’s third floor.

This new space was designed by Perkins Eastman Architects and complements the Hospital’s ongoing campus modernization and renovation, including the newly expanded Center for Cancer Care, completed in 2016, and the Hospital’s new lobby, completed in 2015.  Approximately 200,000 square feet have been renovated or added to the Hospital since 2015.

Now, with White Plains Hospital’s new CCS addition, the Hospital’s most important caregivers—patient families and staff—will have the comfortable, serene space they need to support and care for their loved ones and their patients.

“Our new Central Clinical Services addition represents our commitment to our most valuable asset, our exceptional employees, and our constant focus on providing the best possible experience for our patients and families,” explained Susan Fox, President and CEO of White Plains Hospital. “We are dedicated to constantly enhancing patient care, and our Central Clinical Services areas will help meet the needs of the families and staff who are our patients’ critical support systems.”

The Details

Third Floor Patient and Family Area: For patients and families, a spacious and bright waiting area on the 3rd floor will serve all of the procedure areas, including the two catheterization labs, interventional radiology suite, and the intensive care unit, as well as several of the Hospital’s operating rooms. The layout also keeps hospital activity and patients “behind the scenes,” securing their privacy once they’ve entered procedure areas.

Fourth & Fifth Floor Family Areas: A new family lounge area features a sleek design and warm, earthy palettes, creating an aesthetically pleasing spot for families to take a break when needed. Waiting areas also offer WIFI access, multiple outlets for computers, and charging stations.

“When someone comes to the Hospital for a procedure, it’s an anxious time,” noted Leigh Anne McMahon, Senior Vice President for Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer. “Our new waiting areas help create a sense of calm. They mirror the design aesthetic that’s been applauded in our newly renovated lobby and expanded Center for Cancer Care.”

Fifth Floor Staff Area: Large, sleek, comfortable lounges on the 5th floor will bring staff from different units together, while offering comfortable seating and a “quiet room” with lounger chairs, privacy dividers, and dim lighting for staff to recharge during their shifts. The new space will also include a lactation room for working moms, and locker rooms and showers for staff.

“I’ve been at White Plains Hospital for 32 years, and it’s understood that if there’s a storm, our staff will stay here to take care of their patients,” said Ms. McMahon. “Having dedicated support space for our nursing staff is not only important for us as an employer, it is crucial to providing outstanding patient care.”

Sixth Floor Parent Area: The Hospital’s 6th floor is home to its Labor and Delivery and Maternity Units and the Level III Charles A. Mastronardi Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The Central Clinical Services space now features a waiting area and a suite of three bedrooms that give NICU parents the option to stay overnight when necessary when their babies may require an extended stay in the NICU.

“For newly discharged moms, or for moms outside the community whose babies were transferred here for our advanced care, this space offers much-needed comfort during a stressful time,” noted Ms. McMahon.

The new construction project is part of White Plains Hospital’s ongoing modernization, which has included extensive campus renovations, the addition of satellite offices, and the acquisition of new specialty practices. With locations across Westchester County, White Plains Hospital’s footprint now extends from New Rochelle to Mount Kisco.

 

 

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Down the Rivers of History. Rhine and the Danube Harbingers of the Future through the Past

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The mists of the future viewed from the heights of Buda Saturday, looking across The Danube River, at its sister city, Pest.
WPCNR NEWS AND COMMENT. By John F. Bailey November 20, 2017:
A jolly good morning to you, Ladies and gents.
Are you well?
Did you miss me these last two weeks?
I return  with a new perspective.
I saw the last thousand years of history flash before me in old cathedrals, magnificent castles perched impossibly on impossible-to-scale crags overlooking the Rhine and Danube Rivers.
I saw architecture and styles uniquely beautiful and meticulously craftedfrom Romanesque to medieval to Gothic, built without the aid of modern machinery. I saw countless miracles in stone.
I saw palaces built to the egos of rulers–The Hapsburg Palace in Vienna, the Hapsburg Summer Palace outside of Vienna. The Marksburg Castle. Saw tables where knights ate.
Abbeys where monks lived, taught and preserved history, and travelers stayed in accommodations a far cry from the Viking Skadi–that whisked us and 385 others down these rivers of remembrance and perspective .
I saw magnificent art. Ballrooms that astounded me cloaked in gold leaf. I walked where Napoleon walked. Saw the grandstand where Hitler addressed thousands in Nuremberg.
Saw “Stumble Stones” — golden tiles in sidewalk pavements in front of homes and businesses telling that at that house, Nazi SS pulled out the residents, detained them and then stated the date they were murdered and where they were murdered. The names of those murdered and spelled out for all to see.
I saw the 60 pairs of gold shoes on the bridge in Budapest where Arrow Cross soldiers (Nazi sympathizers) lined up an unknown  number of Jews on a bank of  the Danube in 1944, and ordered the prisoners to take off their shoes.
After they removed their shoes, the soldiers shot them in the back and they plunged into the Danube below. Today the gold shoes of every style of the time are on the bridge to recognize those nameless who perished. Why were they shot by the Nazis? The Nazis needed the leather.
I was uplifted by church spires that soared into gray skies, the spires’ resilient assertiveness piercing the gloom of existence of times past and today. I saw Maria Theresa’s bed. I saw the square where Hungarian Students were killed by Soviet troops in 1956, by snipers from the Parliament building.
I saw tombs of Saints.
I drifted down rivers of legend, saddened by the blood shed in conflicts that have raged along those rivers for 2,000 years.
Saw places of homage and horror and achievement. I was privileged to see it all and gain a little understanding of the prides, achievements and follies that have preceded our little 200-year old nation.
I come back a great deal with a perspective how little has changed in mankind over these last 2,000 years. Nationalism and greed still hurt common people and create international conflicts. Hatred of a person because of their race and religion still fuel horror and conflict.
As a traveler you are disconnected. Like the old “drifting cowboy” in western fantasies,  you are not involved in the countries and towns you are passing through.
And yet, and yet, seeing the scenes  where 2,000 years of European “diplomacy,” and “conquest,” eerily reminds you you are not effected, but you are connected to the past and are forced to contemplate the consequences which you, today are forming the consequences of today’s behavior
Because the same things are going on this very week.
I found out that German food and sausage is very good. I discovered “smoky” beer in Bamberg, Germany. I tasted great German red wine at a  vineyard in Melk. I toured a windmill in Holland, and marveled at the engineers that figured that out thousands of years ago.
Everywhere I was observing a living museum of man’s and woman’s achievements for each other  and crimes against one another to date.
Another thing: when monuments were destroyed in World War II, communities afterwards rebuilt their cathedrals, duplicated the interiors, windows, statues that were destroyed.
Of course, I am a student of history, maybe you are not, but still what I saw would take your breath away and make you think hard about today.

 

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DISCREET URBAN TURKEYS CONTINUE TO BE HONORED RESIDENTS ON NEW YORK PRESBYTERIAN HOSPITAL GROUNDS

Photos from November, 2015.

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His Majesty, strutting about New York Presbyterian Hospital Grounds last year.

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The New York Presbyterian Hospital Turkey Flock Strut About the grounds.

The Turkey clan continues to be surprising residents of the New York Presbyterian Hospital. You often see them foraging along the green iron fence along Bryant Avenue. And, they fly up over the fence when approached.

The turkey is a very shrewd bird. They are hard to hunt. Wary. And as I say, very discreet and despite their small head they are anything but stupid.

Like the Canada Geese, noting the Westchester airport guidelines on number of flights in the area, have cut the numbers of geese in any squadron to about eight which avoids the culling of the flocks of geese as took place in Mamaroneck a few years ago.

It’s always great to see a new turkey family every spring. How they survive we do not know. But they do.

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THE FLAMING DOSSIER: DID THE FBI KNOW ALL ABOUT IT? WHY A YEAR TO CONNECT THE DOTS? THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAD A RIGHT TO KNOW BEFORE THEY VOTED. DID OBAMA HUBRIS LEAD HIM TO SUPPRESS INFO AND CREATE A RUSSIAN PUPPET IN THE WHITE HOUSE? SHOULD FACEBOOK GOOGLE AND TWITTER LEADERS BE PROSECUTED FOR UNWITTING SEDITION, TREASON, AND CONSORTING WITH A FOREIGN POWER?

 

WPCNR ON THE BARRICADES. NEWS AND COMMENT By John F. Bailey. November 15,2017:

About a year ago Buzzfeed published  the dossier prepared by a veteran agent for hire. I read that document.

Did President Obama read it? Did the FBI read it? Did Mr. Obama know of it? If the FBI was aware of this, why has it taken a year to indict Paul Manaford? (If he was such low hanging fruit?).

Did the President decide to sit on this dossier, or had similar information, (if they knew it existed)? Remember President Obama put sanctions on Russia for supposedly involving themselves in leaking to WikiLeaks. Was this related to the dynamite in the dossier?

I shake my head that President Obama did not make public the extent of Russian meddling. The question is what did the President and the FBI know and when did they know it? James Comey had no qualms about putting out Hillary Clinton demaging findings just before the election.

Obama sitting on the extent of all this lead directly to the Trump win. But maybe it would not have made a difference. But it should have been aired out there.

But really, Mr. Obama’s decision not to reveal evidence of meddling in the election, whether he had the “goods” in the dossier or not, or just superficial knowledge of meddling is the reason Trump got elected.

The former President was obligated to put that out. It was a series of crimes. It was an act to seize control of the United States.

This dossier was a hotter document than the Pentagon Papers. It blows the lid off the whole thing. And if the FBI was behind the curve on this whole issue they are to blame for the  mess we are in today.

Did Mr. Obama’s hubris  that lead him to suppress information showing Russia was aiding the Trump campaign ostensibly because he did not want to appear to be trying to affect the 2016 election, the intellectual above the fray? Bad decision. Bad for the country bad for truth, justice and the American way–which is “the way” no more.

Come on. You have to put this crap out.

More to blame for this mess is the distaste and disdain the nation’s major newspapers showed to the Buzzfeed disclosure. Previously, the papers portrayed Eric Snowden as a hero for disclosing NSA surveillance of Americans, which was fed to Wikileaks from Russia according to the dossier.

Now Snowden is living in luxury in Moscow. Why is that? Because Russia doesn’t want him to reveal more of what Russia did or was doing. What kind of security does the NSA have anyway? Snowden walked out of NSA with the secret information. Walked out. Come on.

Now bearing the Snowden as hero treatment in mind, how did the major media treat the dossier. They concentrated on Mr. Trump’s alleged dalliances in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The ladies of the evening involved in those incidents cannot be found now. As the dossier so delecately puts it, page 27:

“Two knowledgeable St. Petersburg (RU) sources claim Republican candidate Trump has paid bribes and engaged in sexual activities there but key witness silenced and evidence hard to obtain. (i.e.,bribed or coerced to disappear)

The press reported on the Manafort travels, but originally reported his denials but they could not confirm so they dismissed the dossier credibility until they at last broke the Manafort kickback story. They ignored how  the dossier all hangs together.

But now a year later the FBI charges Manafort with money laundering alleged payments from the former Ukraine President. What a lot of work. It was right in the dossier last year.

If this investigation continues, you are going to find I believe the dossier has the whole story. And the FBI is chasing a horse that has already left the barn for a stall in the White House Barn.

Some quotes from the dossier, page 20:

“Ex-Ukranian President YANUKOVICH confides directly to PUTIN that he authorized kickback payments to MANAFORT, as alleged in western media. (YANUKOVICH) Assures Russian President however there is no documentary evidence/trail.”

Now how did Jill Stein play a role, other than stealing votes that lost Mrs. Clinton Michigan Wisconsin. This is quite a mystery. The dossier, page 15:

 “Speaking separately, also in early August 2016, a Kremlin official involved in U.S. relations commented on aspects of the Russian operation to date. Its goals had been three-fold-asking sympathetic US actors how Moscow could help them; gathering relevant intelligence; creating and disseminating compromising information. This involved the Kremlin supporting various US political figures, including  funding  indirectly their recent visits to Moscow. (The Kremilin Official) named a delegation from Lyndon LAROUCHE; presidential candidate JILL STEIN of the Green Party; TRUMP foreign policy adviser Carter PAGE; and former DIA Director Michael Flynn, in this regard and as successful in terms of perceived outcomes.”

The Amateurs at the social media platforms: Innocents playing with professionals

The most incredulous stuff last month was Facebook, Google and Twitter sent their lawyers to testify before congress, while Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder addressed investors in California. Isn’t that contempt of congress? But then this congress does deserve contempt,doesn’t it?

The three companies told the extent of Russia’s posting fake organization comments. On Facebook, 150 million users were hit with the Russian-created “organizations” friendly to Trump messages. Congressmen during the committee hearings with the models of internet success, described the posts Russian operatives created as “divisive” at the least.

As I found out early in doing this WPCNR website, you have to monitor your content and vet who is doing the contenting. Facebook apparently did not do that. They liked the checks. We have no idea yet how many Russian “organizations” posted on Google or Twitter, yet.

But really, should the persons responsible for this unwitting use of their platforms, be prosecuted for no matter how unwittingly, being negligent, aiding sedition (incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority), unwitting treason,  accepting money from a power they are not supposed to trade or do business with?

Should Zuckerberg and the google and Twitter CEOs have to be brought up on some kind of charges?

Facebook has made millions from the Russian ads. But I suspect that the Supreme Court ruling that quid pro quo has to be proven and not simply be an appearance of quid pro quo, will protect these corporate titans. After all, in America, it’s all about profits at any cost without responsibility these days.

Again a juicy excerpt from the dossier on what Russia did to sway the vote on American youth, page 15:

“Speaking in confidence to a close colleague in early August, 2016, Head of the Russian Presidential Adminstration(PA), Sergei IVANOV, assess the impact and results of Kremlin intervention in the U.S. Presidential election to date. Although most commentators believed that the Kremlin was behind the leaked Democratic National Committee/CLINTON e-mails, this remained technically deniable. Therefore the Russians would not risk their position for the time being with new leaked material, even to a third party like WikiLeaks. Rather the tactics would be to spread rumours and misinformation about the content of what already had been leaked and make up new content.

Continuing on this theme,  IVANOV said that the audience to be target by such (new) operations was the educated youth in America as the Presidential Administration assessed there was still a chance they could be persuaded to vote for Republican candidate Donald TRUMP as a protest against the Washington establishment in the form of Democratic candidate Hillary CLINTON).”

Mr. Ivanov is reported in the dossier as having drinks with Mr. Putin that “PUTIN was generally satisfied with the progress of the anti-CLINTON operation to date. ..In IVANOV’S VIEW, the U.S. had tried to divide the Russian elite with sanctions but failed, whilst they, (the Russians) by contrast, had succeeded in splitting the U.S. hawks inimical to Russia and the Washington elite more generally, half of whom had refused to endorse any presidential candidates as a result of Russian intervention.”

What I found most interesting and credible about this dossier was how many names are named.

But it’s all over now.

Is it martial law, yet?

A bloodless takeover has been executed by Vladimir Putin, made possible by American greed and gullibility and by our own incompetence.

 

 

 

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MARIO M. CUOMO BRIDGE A ROUGH RIDE. NEW BRIDGE AND NY THRUWAY DESPERATELY NEEDS TO ADD LANE LINES THAT ARE VISIBLE IN RAIN AND SNOW. TWO HUGE SAFETY ISSUES.

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WPCNR ROAD RAGE. News and Comment by John F. Bailey. November 14, 2017:

During the one-day, all day monsoon that hit White Plains on October 29, I went on a trip to Boonton New Jersey. It was my first trip over the new Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. The trip across the bridge in the driving rain to and from was complicated especially at night because the bridge in my opinion is not well lit and the lanes are not well marked with white broken lane lines that, in my opinion should “glow” when headlights hit them. They don’t. I was so busy trying to stay in the somewhat narrow lanes that it created a lot of anxiety.

The other criticism I have of the bridge is that the pavement feels a lot like the 50-year old bridge. It is bumpy because of the recessed drains in the lanes that thunk  as your tires go over them. They could throw you off when they “snow up” in coming winter storms. There are a large number of these recessed drains smack dab in the lanes.  Since I was concentrating, I did not notice if there were drains in all four lanes. But really, the trouble with the old bridge was the pavement unevenness, and now on the new one they have the same thing.

Not as bad, mind you, I did not like the unevenness. Admittedly the bridge is not complete. It is really not finished, but those drains are here to stay and I don’t like them. You feel them and if someone hits them at high speed above the limit…well they could spin out of control. Of course, no one will speed across the Mario M.Cuomo Bridge. They would not dare.

So, beware of the Cuomo “Pothole Drains” when crossing.

Now to the bigger issue—worn out lane markings-on major highways

Lane markings on the New York Thruway approaching and departing the new Mario M. Cuomo Bridge have for years had notoriously invisible lane markings . They are faint in broad daylight. At night they are dim. In a real rain as I drove through October 29, you cannot make the lanes out. They don’t “bright up” when headlights, even on bright, hit them. This creates anxiety and guesswork trying to figure out whether you are in the lane or not. Especially when the truck-drivin’, SUV riders, at BMW and Mercedes Hot Rodders floor it even in bad weather.

In my opinion, the lane markings on the thruway and the Cross Westchester Expressway and the Cross County Expressway need remarking with a state-of-the-art, pick-up-the-headlight strips.

It is a safety issue that has long existed and it is a disgrace the Thruway did not pick out better lane markings for the new bridge. Hopefully those are only temporary and they will be replaced when the second span is opened and the final 16 lane span is completely opened. They should think about it needs to be done.

 

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New Superintendent of Schools Starts School Budgeting for 2017-18 Early with Community Forum to Hear Parent/Community Concerns

6-First Forum

WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. By John F. Bailey November 13, 2017:

Dr. Joseph Ricca held his first Community Forum on the Budget in October at White Plains High School before 25 persons, two-third of whom were parents with children in the school district.

Dr. Ricca said at the outset the forum was to hear parents’ concerns and issues and hear their suggestions for the 2017-18 budget in order that they might be addressed before the number-crunching on the budget begins. For the first time parents expressed concern about writing skills of students entering high school

7-IDEAS EXPRESSED

Some issues about elementary school policies were raised, but towards the end of the meeting three different parents expressed concerns that eighth graders are not writing as well as the parents themselves did when they were in eighth grade.  (English Language Assessment Tests found just 39% of eighth graders passed the ELA Test, but no parents brought this statistic up as a concern). The parents expressed the desire to have more emphasis in some way at the high school to work all  the students harder to improve their ability to write.

Another parent wanted the school district to eliminate the charge for busing students to the high school, saying it is a burden on poor parents.

A Latino parent observed that liaisons and support for Latino students appears to her to suffer when Latino and English Language Learners enter high school. She said efforts to continue to improve and continue support for such students should be undertaken at the high school, saying they “fall through the cracks.” This parent added that to involve the Latino community to a greater extent the school district should have translators at school meetings.

Another suggested courses in trades should be installed at the high school curriculum for those students who were not going to college education.

A request for a permanent concession stand be installed at the Loucks Stadium facility.

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THEATRE ETIQUETTE. THEATRE GREED. THEATRE CONTEMPT FOR THE AUDIENCE

WPCNR STAGE DOOR. By Addison Dewitt. Updated from October 16, 2014, November 11, 2017:

The state of the theatre today is better than it has ever been.

Daring plays are being created by insightful new playwrights with daring directing, staging with awe. The aging theatre audience continues to support the avantgarde. The acting is ever more intense. The scripts dangerously human. Even the musicals, though outrageously new in some respects have become tourist-oriented, star vehicles and special effects driven, but this was the greatest year Broadway has ever had. (Updating you to 2017, the 2016-17 season even topped that!

However the state of the  theatre audience is worse than it has ever been.

I have to tap my Between-The-Acts cigarillo in my cigarette holder with disdain for the behavior I have seen in an  assortment of venues this season.

The dress for the theatre when I was guiding Eve to the top in All About Eve, was always impeccable. Tuxedos on opening night, suits, ties for the men and gowns for the women.

But now, at evening performances you rarely see even sport jackets and ties on the men. And the milleniums of today, blue jeans, T-shirts under sport jackets. Ties in fact are just not to be seen.Even persons in the older theatre crowd no longer dress up for the theatre. I lament this overwhelming trend.

Style is dead in the theatre-goer today. They may like informal, and more convenient to dress casual, and that is kind to call it casual. The young women dress much better than their male dates, they are at least neat and well-made up, even if they do wear pants. But please bare midriffs in the audience, this just says, “I’m showing my midriff.” No style to it, young ladies.

Even the cougars(women of the interesting age) in the audience adopt a more casual style, but some do wear dresses, especially the elderly ladies,  and preserve vestiges of formality for the performance. I miss the dignity of audiences of the past.

As a young copywriter once wrote years ago about the theatre, “You’re going to the theatre. Tonight is the night you paint the town red. ”   Nobody dresses “red” for the theatre today.

The theatre goers of today have too many i-phones: the device that they insist on looking at and checking for messages right up until the performance begins and do not shut it off until the houselights go down. Are you that important, really? Are you that insecure that you have to check e-mails and texts on matinee days? Please.

If you have a phone that accepts Severe Weather Alerts, be aware it will go off with a BEEEEEP BEEEP  BEEEP even if you’ve turned it off, as one did at a performance I was at the other day. It used to be, you read Playbill leading up to the performance, not e-mails.  Theatres should make you check your cellphones at the door, like they do at golf tournaments. Now, Heaven knows, anything goes if your phone glows.

You also should not talk during a performance. People do.

You also should not make a public display of how much you love each other when you are in the front row of a theatre-in-the-round performance, as a couple did at the performance I was at recently, rubbing each other’s knees and coming very close to border-necking. This was absurd, and a total insult to the actors who were delivering magnificent work five feet away. In fact, anywhere in the theatre you should not be so absorbed in each other that you make others around you uncomfortable.

It is worth repeating that sentence: you should not be so absorbed in each other that you make others around you uncomfortable anywhere in the theatre.

Then there is the water bottle syndrome. The theatre is not the movies, where snacking is a tradition. Somehow this has now found its way into the theatre. It is becoming like a baseball game. In another performance I recently saw, in the front row a gentleman was drinking out of a water bottle five feet from the stage while the performance was going on. Was he really that thirsty? Please, a little respect for the actors. This goes for candy-unwrapping, gum chewing, whatever.

Now, one tradition Broadway theatres have continued to this day is total disdain for the theatre-going public. Houses do not open sometimes until 7:45. They queue you up and make you wait to get in. You are literally herded into the theatre.  And herded quickly out, except when the theater professionals are taking up a collection. This theatre management shows just a lack of consideration, especially in the big houses. Could we change this tradition of  lines to get in when it is totally avoidable? At $170 a ticket? Absurd.

Now as for seating, why is it that the swells with the most expensive seats always arrive last? This is another dissing of the actors and rudeness to audience. Could you get there on time, Mr. and Mrs. Important? You look like jerks to the rest of the theatre patrons and the actors when you are disturbing the front rows, any rows for that matter after the performance has started. And we know you don’t want to look like that, do you?

But, when you walk in at 2:05 for a 2 o’clock matinee, everyone in the audience knows that you not only paid hundreds of dollars for the worst seats in the house, but you’re a jerk for not allowing enough time! Don’t you get that?

Now another peeve. I am sick and tired of paying $100 a seat, and then the theatre and the actors having the nerve to ask for donations to a charity after the performance! Donate your salary! Donate a portion of those show’s profits. This is sickening.

I am sick of that. If the theatre syndicate owning the venue cared a wit for the charity, they would say the entire day’s house  or portion of a hit show handle, would be donated to AIDS, children, whatever. They could easily do that.

The theatre owners and producers are so greedy. They pretend to care but. They do not folks! Let’s donate your profits, don’t hit up the audience’s collective guilt by asking for cash in a bucket. This is so unclassy.

Just a few quality of theatre observations from one who has seen a lot. The  wonder of drama and entertainment quality is only seen on the stage, and never seen from theatre management.

The audience needs to show some respect for the actors by dressing a little better, a lot better.

Yes yes, (with a wave of a hand and my cigarette holder) I am a traditionalist.

Addison DeWitt

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