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- A Better Place to Get Better
- Westchester Politics, Never Boring..
- Relentless Mother Nature Pummels Westchester Again!
- Stray Dogs. Why do People Let Them Stray?
- Don't put away that shovel just yet...
- Olympic Hopes Dashed
- Squeezing Blood from Upstate Stones
- Take Nothing for Granted
- He WILL Get That Dinner... and a New Spirit of Political Cooperation
Friday April 30 is the last day of business for a Peekskill institution. After 30 years, Beach Aquarium at the Beach Shopping Center is shutting its doors for good. Owners Jim and Jeanne Fatigate of Yorktown say it's time to move on, although they are far from retiring.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner says with the State and Westchester County budgets in turmoil, and facing growing deficits, he'd like to see the New York State Constitution and Westchester County Charter amended to allow residents the ability to vote on state, county and local budgets. Said Feiner, "As we're entering a new era where people are concerned about the poor economy and high taxes and downsizing, we're going to be involved in re-engineering and re-inventing government. So I think this really is a time to seriously consider the possibility of letting the public vote on budgets, much like they do already with school budgets." Feiner says providing the public an opportunity to vote on budgets could lead to more consolidation and sharing of services and the necessary restructuring to "maximize the value from our tax dollars."
Congressman John Hall was at an appliance store in Somers yesterday reminding residents of an extension of a popular Federal Appliance Rebate Program.
Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, The Cash for Appliances Rebate Program can save consumers as much as 105 dollars for the purchase of a new appliance. Hall says a bundle purchase of a clothes washer, dishwasher and refrigerator would generate a $550 rebate for the buyer if all three appliances are recycled. Hall says "The real advantage of some of these new highly energy efficient Energy Star appliances is that they use half as much power as the old ones, so the average refrigerator will pay for itself in two years." The Congressman says new appliances must be Energy Star Qualified.
The Great American Swap Out Program has been extended until the end of May or until the remaining $8 million in rebate money is used up.
Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone has delivered his annual State of the City Address to members of the City Council and other officials. Amicone described a city filled with "Hardship," adding "Many people have lost their jobs and businesses are closing or just getting by." He warned that there are huge budget deficits in store for the State and City governments, caused in part by incredible declines in revenues due to the economy. Amicone says there are two major factors threatening Yonkers' financial solvency, the economic recession and the lack of funding for the City.
Metro North ridership is down again. For the third time in the railroad's 27-year history, ridership took a hit. The railroad reports there were four-percent fewer riders last year, than there were in 2008. Railroad officials attribute the drop to riders losing their jobs and the bad economy. As a result, just over 501 million dollars in fare revenue was brought in to the railroad last year, down slightly from the 502 million dollars generated in fares in 2008.
State Parks officials announced today that a total of 14 park facilities across Westchester and the Hudson Valley will be closed and services at five others reduced in the new State budget beginning April 1st. Governor David Paterson says the changes are needed to help close a massive 8.2 billion dollar budget deficit. The parks department also says the plan calls for 4 million dollars in fee increases for parks and historic sites that will remain open, although the fee increases, they say, will be identified as a later date.
Congressman John Hall was in Peekskill today where he introduced his new bill, "The Helping Small Businesses Start and Grow Act." Speaking at the Bean Runner Cafe, Hall discussed his plan designed to spur small business growth.
Hall's plan would increase the business start-up deduction from $5,000 to $50,000, create a standard home business deduction of $2500 , and increase the meal and entertainment deduction for small businesses to 80% of costs.
In addition, his legislation would enable the Small Business Administration (SBA) to originate loans, rather than have loans brokered through various banks. Hall says the latter would be of particular benefit to small business owners in Westchester and the Hudson Valley because banks "Have shown themselves over the past two years, to be unwilling to do these kinds of loans despite having received federal bailout money." Hall says he's hopeful that at least 30 billion of leftover TARP money set aside as stimulus money, be allocated for use by the SBA to generate such loans for small businesses across the United States.
Around the Country
- Southwest to Cancel Flights as Jets Checked for Cracks - BusinessWeek
- Schumer: Dems slicing budget with scalpel, Tea Party using meat ax - CNN (blog)
- Duke lacrosse accuser arrested in boyfriend's stabbing - CNN International
- House GOP: $4 trillion in cuts - CNN
- Bachmann bids for 'bama eyes - Seattle Post Intelligencer
Around the Planet
- Afghans Continue Protests Over US Quran Burning - Voice of America
- Japan's nuclear workers try to trace leak, dump radioactive water - Los Angeles Times
- OSCE raps Kazakh election, presses for reforms - Reuters
- Newsmaker: Yemen survivor Saleh juggles forces to keep power - Reuters
- France says finds bodies in Atlantic crash wreckage - Reuters