March 23, 2012


An ‘interesting’ alignment

What do Bedford and Yonkers have in common? Yes, they are both in Westchester. Other than that, they have few obvious similarities. Yonkers is the state’s fourth-largest city, positioned on New York City’s Bronx border, Bedford a semirural outpost of 18,000 people.

Now there is one more. With approval of the new redistricting lines for New York State, both are now part of the newly reconfigured State Senate District 37, serving almost 308,000 residents. Take a look at this Rorschach test and you might see the state of New Jersey, a ski slalom or something even more creative. The line runs from the city of Yonkers to Eastchester and New Rochelle, parts of Mamaroneck, Rye, Harrison, parts of White Plains, all of North Castle and all of Bedford. Pound Ridge would be sliced off and remain as part of the 40th State Senate District, along with Mount Kisco, New Castle, Somers, Yorktown, Mount Pleasant, Lewisboro, North Salem, Carmel, Cortlandt and Peekskill, and north to Carmel, Patterson, Pawling and Southeast.

Huh?

Coming on the heels of “reform” in New York State’s redistricting project, these lines — put forward by the New York State Legislature and the John Hancock of Gov. Cuomo — defy logic. Leading candidates in the newly formed 37th District include Republican Bob Cohen and Democrat George Latimer.

The trick for those seeking to govern — Greg Ball is the incumbent in the 40th State Senate District, which serves about 302,000 people — will be to find a commonality among its residents.

Fortunately, the new state 93rd Assembly District — a mutation of the former 89th — is a lot more logical, consisting of Pound Ridge, Bedford, Lewisboro, North Salem, Mount Kisco and New Castle, as well as parts of White Plains and Harrison. There are about 131,000 residents in this district.

These districts share not only geography but many of the same issues: wastewater management, protection of reservoirs, protection of wildlife and the biotic corridor and housing and development issues, among others. Bob Castelli, a Republican, is the incumbent seeking reelection.

As for the 37th State Senate District, right now, we’ll need a GPS to find our way from one spot to another. So will our next state senator.


Little Miss Sunshine

One of the brighter spots of Albany’s legislative agenda is recognition of the state’s “Sunshine Week,” March 13-19. The goal of Sunshine Week is a nonpartisan one, to advance openness and accountability in government affairs.

Among this year’s bills presented is a legislative package that would make it easier to obtain copies of public documents to increase transparency. One of the measures included in the Sunshine Week package addresses the availability of records involved in a judicial proceeding, making them available to the public and news organizations. The bill would permit access to records that are held by law enforcement agencies or are related to ongoing litigation so long as there is no interference with an investigation or a proceeding. To further strengthen the state’s Freedom of Information Law, the Assembly Sunshine legislation includes several other measures, including rules that discourage inappropriate freedom of information request denials and speed up the time frame in which governmental entities have to respond to such requests. For example, this week, more than one year after their request, a state judge ordered the city of White Plains to turn over documents relating to former Mayor Adam Bradley, who faced allegations of favoritism and conflicts, to The Journal-News. This despite the fact that Mr. Bradley had been found guilty of assault and harassment in other incidents.

Obviously, to a newspaper person, the Legislature is proposing critical reforms that can only enhance the timely reporting of government affairs. Recognizing that there are legitimate reasons for the withholding some information — a person’s age, health status or an ongoing matter of litigation — there are still too many loopholes and obstacles to information regarding municipal or school decisions that may hinder a full and fair reporting of the facts. In addition, agencies have been known to use stall tactics, confusing rules, redacted documents (with material blacked out or edited) or to simply ignore such cases.


Read more local coverage of your hometown in this week’s issue of the The Record-Review. Newsstand copies are available at several locations listed above, or subscribe today for convenient home delivery.

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

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NEWSSTAND LOCATIONS

  1. Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

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

  3. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

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

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

  5. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road


Mount Kisco

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


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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