YONKERS, NY -- Mayor Mike Spano unveiled plans today for his new Yonkers Education Redesign Team (ERT), which is tasked to recommend innovative reforms to the Yonkers Public School System. The team, consisting of stakeholders representing government, education, business, labor and parents, will begin its work by conducting a comprehensive assessment of the administrative functions of the Yonkers Board of Education (BOE) and the City of Yonkers (City). They will make meaningful suggestions on opportunities for intra-governmental efficiencies to enable BOE to enhance its focus on academic performance while minimizing its costs for non-academic functions.
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NEW YORK, NY and YONKERS, NY – February 29, 2012 -- Milio Management, the firm that began operations in 1997 by the brothers, Antonio and Giuseppe Milio, was interested in concluding a land swap in order to have the opportunity to build their real estate holdings. They wanted to become the “designated developers” for the School 6, Longfellow Junior High School, and Walgreens Development Project. The Milios believed they were being crossed by Councilwoman Sandy Annabi, who was the elected official representing the district within which these projects were to be built. Noting that they were approached by then Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone to undertake the project, they could not fathom why the project, in their view, did not have the full backing of Ms Annabi.
Continue reading "In Search of $30,000 in Cash: The Annabi - Jereis Bribery Trial By HEZI ARIS" »
YONKERS, NY – February 29, 2012 – As threats of a transit worker strike loom over commuters, Mayor Mike Spano yesterday called on Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino to intervene with on-going contract negotiations between Transit Workers Union Local 100 and Liberty Lines, the private bus company which operates the County’s bus network. Mayor Spano and Yonkers Superintendent Bernard Pierorazio sent a letter* to Astorino expressing their concern and urging immediate action to help prevent a massive strike from taking effect.
“Thousands of Yonkers high school students utilize Student MetroCards offered by the Yonkers Public School District,” said Mayor Spano. “A strike would greatly inhibit the ability of those students who rely on Bee-Line bus service for transportation to attend school.”
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Bruce Bender, the former vice president of the Government and Public Affairs department for Forest City Ratner Companies [FCRC], and previously the former Chief of Staff for former New York City Council Speaker Peter Vallone was returned to the witness stand this morning. The finishing touches to the template that defines economic development projects throughout the nation were revealed. The $1 or eminent domain land grabs, the political arm twisting, the lunches and dinners in which one protagonist after another would have his hand in the cookie jar was revealed. The hands were at the ready to earn cash, influence, jobs, or other form of patronage. Whether plotted or planned the government allegations of bribery, among other charges, against former Yonkers City Councilwoman Sandy Annabi, and former Yonkers GOP Chairman Zehy Jereis, were telling.
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YONKERS, NY -- February 27, 2012 -- The Ridge Hill Development Project was defined within the recesses of the upper management of the Forest City Ratner Cos. (FCR) sometime in 2004. And it seemed that it took little time for opposing forces to coalesce their interests and concerns for the anticipated struggle among disparate forces, especially along the political divide. When called to the witness chair today, Bruce Bender, Forest City Ratner Vice-President who only this month left the firm to open a lobbying consultancy firm with fellow FCR alumni Scott Cantone disparagingly defined Yonkers replete with “crazy political factions.” Mr Cantone today concluded the testimony that began with him at the witness chair on Friday. When the government and cross-examination was concluded, the government called on Mr Bender. Mssrs Cantone and Bender seemingly corroborated each other’s recollections of circumstances and situations that dated as far back as 2005, albeit after what seemed like a grueling need to jog their memory to happenstance over which each had respectively given grand jury testimony.
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The federal corruption trial of former Yonkers City Council Majority Leader Sandy Annabi and former Yonkers GOP Chairman Zehy Jereis with regard to the political shenanigans that surrounded the Forest City Ratner for bringing about the Ridge Hill Development is telling.
While many in the media have drawn the conclusion that both Ms Annabi and Mr Jereis are guilty of corruption, among other charges, the Yonkers Tribune / The Westchester Guardian have not. The facts have yet to be fully presented. The government is still in the process of making their case. It is not yet completed. The defendants have not had their turn at fully responding to the charges promulgated against them. It would be irresponsible to steer toward one possible conclusion over another. Yet a cry for blood is heard throughout many sectors of the city.
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Ultimate Quality Food and Fuel Mart (shown above) found illegally raising gas prices nearly $1 per gallon.
Yonkers, NY - February 24, 2012 - As gas prices continue to skyrocket this week, Mayor Mike Spano today called on residents to be aware and report any signs of price gouging at gas stations, citing a recent case in which a Yonkers gas station illegally raised prices nearly a dollar per gallon.
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