The Record-Review – The official newspaper of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

 

January 6, 2012


The big picture in 2012

Westchester is situated in a critical environmental pocket between upstate and New York City. Some call it the “biotic corridor.” Others, the “world’s largest deciduous forest.” Others, the Hudson Valley or the watershed. Clearly Bedford and Pound Ridge residents  are stewards of the land, yet we also play a key cultural and economic role in fueling the New York City economy. We are as sophisticated as Manhattanites, yet with our horse farms and dirt roads we are unquestionably a link to the semirural landscape of upstate New York. What are the local and regional issues that will inform our decisions and lifestyle in the coming year? Here’s what to watch as we move forward.

County housing settlement: The county is committed to providing fair and affordable housing as mandated by the federal government in a recent settlement deal. But the settlement is in danger of spiraling out of control. Players include the Anti-Discrimination Center, based in New York City; the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development;  the County Board of Legislators; the Westchester County executive; the federal housing monitor, James Johnson; not to mention Westchester’s 47 different municipalities. Fair, affordable housing? Until this is resolved, plans for workforce and senior housing could be stalled. Ironically, this, which was pushed as a solution, could be the cause of interminable delay.

No more black water: Current-day Katonah was built when New York City reservoirs flooded what is now called “Old Katonah” at the end of the 19th century. Everyone benefited from clean water except the people of Katonah themselves. For more than a century, town administrations have been offering proposals to bring clean water to the hamlet and neighboring Bedford Hills, both in the Consolidated Water District. This year, the stars may be in alignment. The town’s filtration plant, located on Route 35 just past Route 22, will wean Katonah and Bedford Hills off the antiquated and deteriorating system that blackened water and affected almost every zoning and development decision.

The year of compromise: In Bedford, negotiations with highway workers spilled from executive session to the public with a debate about benefit participation. The unions want to keep all their employees and they don’t want to contribute to their health costs, which are covered 100 percent. We saw similar disputes last year in White Plains and Albany. Teachers are beginning to make concessions in ways that union leaders said they never would, including a teacher evaluation system that many thought could never pass. In Pound Ridge, workers were paid back this year with modest raises. Economy in government and compromise in negotiation will be vital in 2012, or we will witness further fissures.

Presidential politics: Yes, all politics is local, even national politics, as we find out every time there is a shift in Congress or in the White House. As all eyes turn to the first Republican primaries, we begin to realize how much is at stake in November. While local politicians routinely deny that national partisanship affects their local stances, the embittered divisiveness exhibited in the last Congress belies this pronouncement. And it’s important to remember that the very existence of the 19th Congressional District — to which we belong — is at risk. This may be at least a partial reason for the tentativeness on the part of Democratic candidates (are there any viable Democratic candidates?). In the meantime, State Senator Greg Ball is eyeing the seat, sending out emails that indicate he may be looking to take on Rep. Hayworth from the right flank.

Don’t frack on me: The most alarming news we read over the holiday was the link being explored between hydrofracturing — a method of withdrawing large amounts of natural gas from below the earth’s surface — and a series of 11 minor earthquakes in Ohio. Permits allowing this in Ohio’s portion of the Marcellus and the deeper Utica shale formations rose from one in 2006 to at least 32 in 2011.

As New York State’s public comment period comes to a close on Jan. 11, the concerns raised by hydrofracking in Delaware, Pennsylvania and other states located in the Marcellus Shale region will be added to others that include disposal of toxic materials, damage to the environment due to drilling, dangers to homeowners’ wells, hazards to reservoirs and public drinking water, and the loss of millions of gallons of water in the drilling process.

Hydrofracking has its proponents, but we’re not at all convinced that this method of natural gas drilling has any place in the region’s sources of energy.

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The official newspaper of the towns of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

Editorial

NEWSSTAND LOCATIONS

Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    


Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    


Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


Katonah

  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Perks – 197 Katonah Avenue    

  4. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  5. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  6. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road


Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    

  2. Connie’s at Northern Westchester Hospital
    400 E. Main Street    


South Salem/Vista

  1. JNR Pharmacy – 222 Oakridge Commons;
    Route 123   


Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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