WPCNR CAMPAIGN 2017. APRIL 28, 2017: 

The Democratic Party of White Plains formally announced their Common Council Candidates yesterday at a news conference nominating John Martin and John Kirkpatrick to run run and newcomer Justin Barsch, a lawyer and member of the City Planning Board for a first time run for the Council. Barsch is pictured below at a recent Planning Board meeting.

The three are expected to be primaried in September by Michael Kraver, Alan Goldman and Saad Siddiqui. Milagros Lecuona is expected to challenge Mayor Tom Roach for the Mayoral nomination.


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WPCNR LETTER TICKER. April 27, 2017:


Just read again the statements of the Westchester County Board in your piece – I am amazed at their ignorance and inability (willful?) to understand SEQRA. What they said is EXACTLY what SEQRA is for.
Did you read the Settlement Stipulation (of 1981)?
There is a legal doctrine called “collateral estoppel” – what the County committed to  the Stip (following SEQRA) is exactly what they stepped into (they had no choice – it’s the law) 36 years ago – that commitment to follow SEQRA continues until that SEQRA law is repealed.
The Board is estopped from claiming SEQRA does not apply to the decommissioning (of Indian Point) when such a major impact will be 1) an elimination of 35% of the area’s electricity at contracted for rates- the literal economic vitality of this region depends upon that plant; 2) there is no Plan B presented 3) a spike in electricity rates forcing businesses to close and Citizens to leave; 4) etc……
SEQRA is a mandate in this instance – There are also federal concerns. This is truly disgusting that our Bd will evade an environmental law meant to inject public participation in a meaningful and organized fashion. Piece meal does not cut it – that went out with slavery thing.
Dan Seidel
(Attorney,part in the 1981 case)
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Immigrant Support Rally Planned at County Offices Monday 4 to 6 PM in WP

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION LEDGER. From the 32BJ Service Employees International Union. April 26, 2017:

At 4 PM on Monday, May 1, hundreds of immigrants from across the region will join with labor, community, legislative and business allies outside the Westchester Government Building  148 Martine Avenue in White Plains to participate in part of the largest mobilization of immigrants and supporters since the Trump election.

Channeling momentum from “day without an immigrant” events around the country, the event will coincide with immigrant rights marches from Boston to Miami, all calling for an end to the Trump administration’s divisive and destructive deportation strategy

32BJ SEIU, community, and immigrants’ rights organization will make clear that the Trump administration’s systematic attempt to criminalize immigrants not only assaults the civil rights of communities of color, but opens a dangerous path of intolerance that is already having dramatic consequences in communities across the country, as hate crimes against immigrants and those perceived to be foreign continue to spread.

“Our coalition demands that the Trump Administration end its attack on immigrant, refugee and Muslim populations,” said John Santos, Vice-President of 32BJ SEIU Hudson Valley. “Families in our community are being destroyed; American-born children are being separated from their parents. We call on Congress to pass a federal budget that reflects our priorities for the rights of workers, and that doesn’t include a single dollar for a border wall or unjust immigration enforcement.”

Hundreds of immigrants and workers, with speakers including local elected officials, community and labor leaders. Speakers at the event will include event emcee John Santos, Vice-President 32BJ SEIU Hudson Valley;

Thomas Roach, Mayor of White Plains;  Kevin Sheil, President of CWA Local 1103; Esther Ramirez, a member of 32BJ SEIU; plus other elected officials, community leaders and local immigrants.







  • 32BJ SEIU Hudson Valley
  • Community Resource Center – Mamaroneck
  • Hudson Valley Community Coalition
  • Neighbors Link
  • New York Immigration Coalition
  • OCA – Westchester & Hudson Valley Chapter
  • WESPAC Foundation; Westchester Hispanic Coalition
  • Working Families Party
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WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. Statement to WPCNR From the Westchester County Legislature Democratic Caucus. April 26, 2017:

“Our County facilities are not meant to be used to do ICE’s job for them, especially when the job is in direct contrast with the values upon which we as a Country were founded. Not only are the immigration policies of the Trump Administration un-American, but they have been ruled unconstitutional time and time again in federal court.

“Reports like this are why we have been hard at work on a comprehensive Immigration Protection bill that restricts Westchester taxpayer funds from being used to execute the federal government’s new inhumane policies. This report will cause us to redouble our efforts. Additionally, we will request answers from Department of Corrections in a meeting of Legislator Ben Boykin’s Committee on Public Safety & Social Services on what measures the federal government has asked for county taxpayers to fund.

“Holding Westchester residents in our jails without a judicial warrant is unconstitutional and a practice we should eschew. We will not stand by idly as we are asked to do so.”

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State Senator George Latimer Gathers More Endorsements Ahead of County Democrats Convention May 10

WPCNR CAMPAIGN 2017. From State Senator George Latimer. April 26, 2017:
George Latimer, Democratic candidate for Westchester County Executive, continues to consolidate his support among local party organizations across the county with the endorsement this week of the Bedford and Scarsdale Democratic Committees.
This brings to seven the total number of local committees backing Latimer, and comes just one week after Latimer unveiled a broad coalition of supporters in town and city governments in every corner of the county.
“It’s an honor to have the support of the Bedford and Scarsdale Democratic Committees,” said Senator George Latimer. “These latest endorsements prove that our campaign is resonating with communities all across Westchester. The current leadership in this county has ignored Bedford, Scarsdale and countless other towns for far too long, and I look forward to being their voice as our next County Executive.”
The endorsement by the Scarsdale and Bedford Democratic Committees are the latest local party organizations to come out in support of Senator Latimer’s bid to oust incumbent Republican County Executive Rob Astorino.
They come on the heels of earlier endorsements by the Democratic committees of Harrison, Rye Town, North Castle, Mamaroneck Town, and Rye City. Most recently, the Latimer campaign released a major coalition of local elected official supporters from every corner of the county. These latest developments in the race continue to build Latimer’s momentum going into the Democratic convention next month.
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Assemblyman Buchwald and State Senator Hoylman to Sponsor Bill Requiring Statewide Elected Officials to Release Tax Returns

WPCNR ALBANY ROUNDS. From the Office of Assemblyman David Buchwald. April 26, 2017:

Assemblyman David Buchwald (D – Westchester) and State Senator Brad Hoylman (D – Manhattan) announced the introduction of legislation that would require the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (NYSDTF) to release income tax information and returns for statewide elected officials, including the President of the United States. This legislation is the only one of its kind in the nation.

The bill would require the most recent five years of tax returns be posted to the NYSDTF’s website within 30 days of enactment of the bill, and in the future within 30 days of when the elected officials take the oath of office. Future tax returns would be posted within 30 days after they have been filed with NYSDTF, until the elected officials leave office. Other statewide elected officials affected by this legislation include the Vice President of the United States, the U.S. Senators representing New York, along with the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and State Comptroller. The legislation instructs NYSDTF to redact social security numbers and other personal information the disclosure of which would violate federal law.

 “Now is the time for legislative action to ensure the transparency of high ranking elected officials’ tax returns,” said Assemblyman David Buchwald. “This bill recognizes that a personal interest in secrecy can be outweighed by the public’s right to know the tax and financial interests of its top government leaders.”

“If lawmakers in Washington won’t force President Trump to release his tax returns, lawmakers in Albany should do it instead,” said State Senator Hoylman. “We have a unique opportunity to advance the cause of presidential tax transparency. New Yorkers deserve to know if statewide officials – including Trump – pay their fair share of their taxes and avoid conflicts of interest.”

“Presidential candidates release their tax returns so the American people know they are focused on job number one — serving the country in a role with extraordinary power. Donald Trump’s refusal speaks volumes about his values, but does not give the public or the press the most important information about his conflicts and incentives. New York can solve that,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “Thank you to Senator Hoylman and Assemblyman Buchwald, professor Daniel Hemel, and the many Americans pushing for good government.”

“Every presidential candidate since Richard Nixon has released his or her tax returns, except Donald Trump,” said Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause New York. “Americans have the right to know if the President is putting his business empire, or the interests of the public, first. We commend Senator Hoylman and Assemblyman Buchwald for introducing a common sense solution to the problem that brought out tens of thousands of New Yorkers for Tax March.”

The overwhelming majority of Americans—80%, according to one recent survey—say the president should release his returns. But thus far Trump has rebuffed those demands, and in Washington House leaders won’t even allow a vote on a bipartisan bill that would require the returns to be released.

Governor Cuomo,  Senator Schumer, and Senator Gillibrand have already posted their returns online.

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White Plains Outdoor Arts Festival Requests Your Help to Fund 2017 Scholarhips


WPCNR MAIN STREET JOURNAL. From the White Plains Outdoor Arts Festival. April 26, 2017:

Residents should be receiving a letter in the mail, inviting them to support the White Plains Outdoor Art Festival to fund their 2017 White Plains High School student Arts Scholarships. The Festival has awarded $135,000 in Scholarships to deserving young WPHS artists-to-be over the last ten years.

The scholarhips are funded from the revenue from the Arts Festival fees (the  street Arts Festival displays presented every year, rain or shine on Main Street) and donations from “Friends of the WPOAF” and corporate sponsors.

Donations are tax-deductible and every cent of your donation will go directly to support a young White Plains student artist in his or her education.

Watch for the letter. It contains a special message from a past scholarship winner who now works locally, who tells how much these WPOAF Art Scholarships help artists achieve their dreams.

The Scholarship goal this year is $15,000. Contact the arts festival at and read about the festival at

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County Executive Astorino is Right on the Law Requiring a SEQRA Review of Indian Point Closure. Board of Legislators Overlooks 1978 Decision. Attorney Remembers the Garbage Burning Plant Decision.

WPCNR WHITE PLAINS LAW JOURNAL. Special to WPCNR from Daniel Seidel. April 25, 2017:
(Editor’s note: Yesterday the County Board of Legislators announced they would not support County Executive Robert Astorino’s intention to sue for a SEQRA review of the Governor Cuomo-Entergy agreement to close the Indian Point nuclear plant. An attorney notes that in a similar situation, the county attempted to avert a SEQRA and was rebuffed by the courts. The attorney recalls the circumstances:)
I did a SEQRA law monograph for Federated Conservationists of Westchester County when the County Board of Legislators  authorized the garbage burning plant in approximately 1978.
FCWC sued Westchester County and said we needed a SEQRA review. Westchester settled and signed a consent decree to go thru SEQRA. took about a year, and we built the plant. PROCESS and LAW were followed.
The Board has a short memory. They’ve set precedent already.
Rob Astorino is correct on the law.
I have all the papers. and the signed Consent by the Board back then.
The Democrats are evading the Law.
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Democrats Kill Astorino Indian Point Lawsuit that Would Claim the Decision to Close Required an Environmental Review

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From the Westchester County Legislators Democratic Caucus. April 24, 2017:

Westchester County Board of Legislators Democrats moved to squash the County Executive’s (Robert P. Astorino) plans for a lawsuit against the State over the closing of Indian Point; Plans that needed the approval of the Board of Legislators to move forward.

“Instead of engaging in a wasteful lawsuit where both sides are funded with taxpayer money, the best approach is to work with all of the effected communities on how to mitigate the economic, social, and environmental impacts of Indian Point closing,” said Majority Leader Catherine Borgia (D- Ossining, Croton-on-Hudson, Cortlandt Manor, Briarcliff Manor, Peekskill), a member of Governor Cuomo’s Task Force on Indian Point.

“I am looking forward to working with representatives from the Hendrick Hudson School District, the Town of Cortlandt, the Town of Buchanan, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), local elected & school officials, and taxpayers on this collaborative approach,” added Borgia.

“I urge the County Executive and my colleagues at every level of government to focus on a collaborative process to decommission the plants and find the best energy and tax replacement plan possible.  The days of a nuclear Indian Point will soon be past and we must act now to determine what the best future use of the site is,” said Chairman Michael Kaplowitz (D-Somers).

Democrats will hold committee meetings with stakeholders to discuss and take action on certain aspects of the State’s decommissioning plan. Additionally, Majority Leader Catherine Borgia will host meetings in her district to gather input from effected residents.

Legislator Ben Boykin (D-White Plains), Chair of the Committee on Public Safety & Social Services, who will chair one of these hearings, said

“Entergy, the private company who owns and operates Indian Point, has stated their desire to close the plant. Why would we waste taxpayer money on a lawsuit forcing a private company to make business decisions that they clearly have no interest in? Furthermore, a Court is very unlikely to force State Environmental Quality Review (SEQRA) action be taken by a non-governmental entity.  Again, Democrats are keeping the taxpayers’ best interests’ in mind, not political ambition, and will put an end to this long-shot lawsuit.”

SEQRA reviews are required when Government entities engage in new plans, not when private companies look to cease operations.

Legislator Catherine Parker, Chair of the Committee on Energy & Regional Efficiencies, will also chair a hearing on the best way to move forward on a coordinated decommissioning plan that mitigates the risks to residents of the Indian Point region.

“The County Executive seems to forget the real environmental harm that Indian Point has on our region; Let alone the public safety risks,” added Parker (D-Rye). “This is why we will work with the NRC to ensure that the safest plan for spent fuel rods is in place. I am very much looking forward to hosting this important discussion.”

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WPCNR FBI WIRE. Special to WPCNR From the Federal Bureau Investigation. April 24,2017:

Earlier today, an indictment was unsealed in Brooklyn federal court charging Fabio Gasperini, an Italian citizen, with crimes related to his hacking of computers, creation of a global botnet, and perpetration of a fraud in which he used bots to mimic “clicks” on website advertisements and obtain advertising revenue.

The charges include computer intrusion, wire fraud conspiracy, wire fraud, and money laundering conspiracy.  The defendant was arrested in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on June 18, 2016, and was extradited to the United States yesterday.  He was scheduled to be arraigned at 2:00 p.m. Friday, April 21, 2017, before United States Magistrate Judge Peggy Kuo at the U.S. Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York.

The indictment and extradition were announced by Bridget M. Rohde, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI).

As alleged in court papers, Gasperini covertly hacked into computer servers owned by companies and individuals in the United States and elsewhere and created an exclusive backdoor that enabled him to access the data and computing power of those servers.

Gasperini’s scheme specifically targeted a type of server that companies and individuals typically use for large-scale data storage and transfer.  Gasperini compromised servers that contained sensitive data and files.

Through his backdoor, Gasperini allegedly implanted malicious software onto the compromised servers.

The malicious software served to further propagate Gasperini’s scheme by scanning the internet and identifying additional vulnerable servers for infection, enabling Gasperini to create a botnet, a network of computers (such as servers) infected with malicious software without users’ knowledge that a malicious actor can remotely control and use for malicious purposes.

Gasperini’s botnet was spread over multiple computer servers around the world.  Gasperini used computer servers in the United States to manage the botnet and to provide instructions and resources to the compromised servers in the botnet.

Gasperini used the botnet to perpetrate a click fraud.  A click fraud is a type of cybercrime in which a malicious actor fraudulently obtains money from advertising companies and businesses.

Businesses commonly hire online advertising companies to send traffic to their websites.  These advertising companies in turn contract with individuals, typically someone who operates a website, to place on the website certain links advertising the businesses’ products or services, and are then compensated based upon the number of visitors to the website that click on the link.  The advertising companies typically pay the individuals on a per-click basis.

To conduct a click fraud scheme, a malicious actor can, for example, remotely command a botnet to flood a particular website advertisement with electronic communications that register with the advertising company as clicks by a human user on the advertisement.

This type of command falsely and fraudulent inflates the number of clicks reported to the advertising companies, causing them to pay for clicks perpetrated by automated bots rather than clicks completed by potential customers who, in fact, viewed and clicked on the advertisements.

Some of the malicious software that Gasperini installed onto the servers he had compromised was designed to disguise a compromised server as a web browser and cause it to simulate human clicks on website advertisements through automated electronic commands.

Gasperini’s software was configured to send automated clicks to advertisements hosted on websites that he owned, enabling Gasperini to generate revenue from advertising companies and businesses through fake internet traffic.

“Cybersecurity is a priority and we will pursue those who hack into computers, spread malicious software, and victimize U.S. companies and computers until they are brought to justice,” stated Acting United States Attorney Bridget M. Rohde.

Ms. Rohde expressed her grateful appreciation to the Netherlands Ministry of Security and Justice, for their assistance in effecting the defendant’s arrest and extradition; the Italian National Police, Postal and Telecommunications Service, for their assistance in the investigation; the United States Marshals Service, for their assistance in transporting the defendant to the United States; and the U.S. Department of State Regional Security Officer in the Netherlands, for their assistance in facilitating the defendant’s extradition.

“As alleged, Gasperini hacked into servers to create a global botnet that was used to generate profits from click fraud,” stated, Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.  “This is yet another case that demonstrates the commitment of the FBI’s Cyber Task Force to investigate and bring to justice those who commit cybercrime, regardless of where they may reside.”

The charges in the indictment are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by the Office’s National Security & Cybercrime Section.  Assistant United States Attorney Saritha Komatireddy is in charge of the prosecution.

The Defendant:



Age: 34

Residence: Rome, Italy


E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 16-CR-441

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