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Yonkers Rising March 18th, 2011

Yonkers Rising March 18th, 2011

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Published by: Katherine Brezler on Mar 19, 2011
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WESTCHESTER’S OLDEST AND MOST RESPECTED NEWSPAPERS
www.RiingMeiaGrup.m
PRESORT-STDU.S. POSTAGEPAIDWhite Plains, NYPermit #7164
Vl 106 Number 11 Fria, Mar 18, 2011
what’s inside
School 23 Takes 1st at History Day 
Page 2
Philipse Manor Hall isBack!
Page 3
Yonkers Hyperlocal
Pages 4 & 5
IG’s Towing Repor
 Page 5
Yonkers Dentist Gives Free Smiles
Page 11
Last Taste o St. Patrick’sDay in Yonkers
 Page 12
By Dan Murphy
Democrat Katherine Brezler, a Teaching As-sistant at Family School 32 in Yonkers, announcedher candidacy for City Council in the 5th Districtat an event outside of the former Stewart Stamp-ing Company plant last week.“I look forward to meeting the challenges
that elected ofcials face here in Yonkers, and I
look forward to facing them alongside the resi-dents of this great city. I will listen to my friends,neighbors and community leaders. This is the per-fect time to run,” said Brezler, 29, who brings thecivic-minded, grassroots energy of the next gen-eration of Yonkers residents stepping forward tolead.Brezler’s work experience in the YonkersPublic Schools makes education one of her pri-orities, along with encouraging smart economicdevelopment and strengthening community orga-
Editor’s Note: Please enjoy this story,which will appear in the next issue of the
Yon-ers Student Grapevine
By Bayan Baker, Yonkers High School
Everyone dreams of winning the lottery; ev-eryone dreams of achieving their goals and mak-ing their wishes come true.Seventeen year old Yonkers High School se-nior Melinda Ademi has certainly won the lottery.She gained the opportunity to live out her dreamswith her golden ticket to Hollywood.Ademi was featured on the newest seasonof American Idol earlier this year, on one of theshow’s preliminary competitions. It is here, world-wide, that thousands of competitors put forth theirbest efforts and sing their hearts out, all with thesame goal; to impress the judges well enough tomake it to Hollywood.Born in Rosenheim, Germany in 1993,
Ademi experienced the harshness and difculty
of war; at times, conditions were unbearable and,soon enough, her parents became war refugeesfrom Kosovo, headed towards Germany for a bet-ter life. Fortunately, the Ademi family won the“green card lottery” and had the opportunity toimmigrate to America, the promised land of op-portunities.“I was fortunate because if I didn’t come toAmerica, I wouldn’t have the opportunities todayto pursue singing and get a great education,” saidAdemi.Ademi presented a touching story to Idolviewers of the struggles of her family’s past, yet it
did not match her magnicent voice, which truly
impressed the judges. Her impressive onstage
aura and beautiful condence helped assure the
three judges, Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez andRandy Jackson, that Melinda was a star shiningin her spotlight.Steve Tyler said, “I like that you’re very pret-ty and beautiful and play it down and your singingwas sweet and straight and beautiful.”Randy Jackson commented, “I think you’vegot potential and I am going to say yes.”Jennifer Lopez told her, “Now you’re hereand you can live the American dream.”
And so, with three sure-re responses of yes
from the judges, Ademi was on her way to Hol-lywood to live her dreams of stardom.
When the time came around for the rst epi
-sode, Ademi, her fans and viewers and all of herfriends and family, especially those at YonkersHigh who made time to watch her shine, wereanxious and waiting in their seats. Ademi and her“singing-sister,” Thia Megia, sang “Here Comesthe Sun” by the Beatles.Like all good things that have a reason,Ademi was not asked to continue on into the next
By Dan Murphy
The current $103 million budget facing Yon-kers underscores the fact that new investmentand development are a crucial part of the futureof New York’s fourth largest, and Westchester’ssingle largest, city. Under Mayor Phil Amicone,the results have been a mixed bag; some projectshave been completed and are successful, whileother plans stagnate on hold.The redevelopment of Yonkers, along withsimilar projects in communities across the coun-try, came to a halt in late 2008 as a result of the
nancial crisis and recession.
Financing for new development projectsdried up quickly, but Yonkers fared better thanmost, with several projects already built or readyto break ground. They include:
• Ridge Hill — this long-debated and some
-times controversial project is well on its way to
By Dan Murphy
Parents, students and staff in the YonkersPublic Schools YPS are calling the projected$102 million budget shortfall in the city’s up-coming budget “insurmountable,” and they maybe right. City services, city and YPS alike, whichhad to made cuts last year, now need to make ad-ditional, and more painful, cuts this year.At a recent City Council budget committeemeeting, councilmembers inquired about howpossible cuts to the Yonkers Fire Department(YFD) would affect a federal grant for $4.8 mil-lion the city recently received thanks to Con-gresswoman Nita Lowey.The funds were for the re-hiring of the 16
reghters who were laid off last year. Thesereghters have been re-hired and are back at
work, with the grant paying for their salary and
enets for two years. After two years, the fund
-ing runs out.The problem is that, with the city facinganother massive budget hole, layoffs will likelyhave to come from all departments, including
the YFD. Fireghter and Fireghters Local 628
President Barry McGoey explained that the city
is entitled to layoff these same 16 reghters,“but it wouldn’t save a penny. These reghter’ssalaries and benets are paid for over the next
two years by the federal grant. If you lay themoff, you are wasting the grant and the moneywill go back to Washington to be awarded to and
spent by another re department.”
While all councilmember’s at the meetingasked repeated questions about the grant, the re-quirements and how it will affect the upcomingbudget, Councilman Dennis Shepherd got to thecrux of the matter.
“Isn’t this grant tying our hands with the re
department in the upcoming budget?” Shepherdasked. “And does this grant mean that while wewill have to make layoffs everywhere, it doesn’t
make sense to layoffs in the re department?”
The answer to Shepherd’s question is thatthe city would have to lay off 
more
than 16
reghters, in order to see any budget savings,
which is possible. But Shepherd is correct in thatLowey’s grant for the YFD insulates them fromanything but cuts deeper than the city has seenin decades.The budget outlook for the YPS is evenbleaker, with Superintendent Bernard Pieroraziofacing an $88 million hole. Members of the Yon-kers Council of PTAs/PTSAs (YCPTA) sent outthis message to Yonkers stakeholders:
Mardi Gras Yonkers Style!
Katherine Brezler Announces5th District Council Run
Grapevine Preview: Yonkers’ AmericanIdol Falls Short But Makes Us Proud
Te Redevelopment of Yonkers:Some Successes, Some Delays
Can Yonkers Balance‘Insurmountable’ Budget Defcit?
Young church-goers from St. John’s celebrate Mardi GrasKatherine Brezler announcing her 5th City Council District CandidacyMelinda AdemiA rendering of the completed River Park CenterCouncilman Dennis Shepherd
See story and more photos on Page 11
Continued on Page 10Continued on Page 10Continued on Page 3Continued on Page 2
Photo by Donna Davis 
Next WeekLesnick vs. AmiconeThe Gloves Come Off
 
PAGE 2 - yoNkERs RIsING - FRIdAy, MARch 18, 2011
Yonkers Rising - USPS Permit #7164is published weekly by Rising MediaGroup, LLC 25 Warburton Ave., Yonkers,N.Y. 10701
Periodicals Postage Paid • Yonkers, N.Y.
POSTMASTERSend address changes to:Rising Media Group, LLC,25 Warburton Ave., Yonkers, N.Y. 10701
onkers
 
IsInG
Member of the New York Press Association914-965-4000Fax 914-965-289225 Warburton Ave, Yonkers,NY 10701www.risingmediagroup.com
Proudly serving the City of Yonkers
Nick Sprayregen,
Publisher
nsprayregen@risingmediagroup.comDaniel J. Murphy,
Editor-in-Chief 
dmurphy@risingmediagroup.com
Andrew Tobia,
Copy Editor/Staff Writer
atobia@risingmediagroup.com
Sue A. Witt,
Assistant to Editor-in-Chief 
switt@risingmediagroup.comPaul Gerken,
Advertising Sales
pgerken@risingmediagroup.com
Gregory Baldwin,
Administrative Asst.
gbaldwin@risingmediagroup.com
Sacred Heart vs. White Plains inRound 2 of ‘Te Challenge’
Yonkers NAACP CelebratesUnsung Heroines
School 23 Captures 1st Place at History Day and Prepares for State Competition
Following their rst-round victories, the
cademic teams from Sacred Heart High Schoolrom Yonkers and White Plains High School areoving on to Round 2 of “The Challenge,” ancademic quiz show designed to test students’nowledge in a Jeopardy-style format.The second round match-up between all-tar student scholars from each school will air
n high denition on Wednesday, March 30 at
:30 p.m. on MSG Varsity, Cablevision’s iO TV– Channel 14.Representing Sacred Heart will be (aboveleft, l to r): advisors Florence Caragine andChrista Napolatino, Joseph Mahoney, MichelleMuzzio, host Jared Cotter, Captain Matt Schwal-benberg and Amanda Fernandes.Representing White Plains will be: (above,l to r) advisor Les Roby, Aneesh Bhattacharya,Captain Alec Johnsson, Adam Jaffe and EricSmiley.The Yonkers NAACP will celebrate Wom-n’s History Month on Monday, March 28 at 7.m. at the Nepperhan Community Center, lo-ated at 342 Warburton Ave.
Elvina Schullere
On May 28, 1929, Elvina Denise Whittakerchullere was born to Eustace Delrico Whit-aker and Marguerite St. Elmo Oxley Whittakern Woodbrook, Port-Au-Spain, Trinidad, then aritish colony.Schullere was awarded as Associates degreen Humanities from Elizabeth Seton College and
Certicate of Nutrition Education: Fundamen
-als for Consultants from Fairleigh Dickinsonniversity. In 1984, she earned a Bachelor of rts from Donsbach University and later her MSnd PhD in Clinical Nutrition. In her capacity asnutritionist, Schullere has been a supporter anduest speaker to the Cancer Support Group att. Johns Riverside Hospital from 1992 throughresent.
Phyllis Jackson
A Yonkers resident and long-time memberf the NAACP and the African Heritage Com-ittee, Jackson has a strong spiritual backgroundhich guides her through her every day journey.he is always willing to giver of herself to helpthers.
Dwanita Crosby
Dwanita Crosby was born in Mt. Vernonnd raised in Yonkers, where she was a long-ime member of Messiah Baptist Church. As aember, she was a part of various church choirsnd the Praise and Worship Team and oftenelped with church banquets. Crosby attendedthe Nepperhan Community Center After SchoolProgram and volunteered in the community withorganizations to increase services and opportuni-ties in the community.Due to her volunteerism, the YWCA of Yon-kers offered her a summer position each year asan Assistant in Day Care and worked one sum-mer with Executive Director Patricia Sadler. In2000, she graduated from Lincoln High Schoolwhere she was a member of the Lincoln HighSchool Gospel Choir.Second time is a charm as seventh grade
students from School 23 took rst place at the
20th Annual Lower Hudson Valley History Dayon March 12.Under the guidance and direction of Dan-ielle Alvarez, history teacher at School 23, stu-
dents captured rst place titles in two categories.
Tayael McCallop’s “Junior Individual Perfor-mance” and Dianna Torres, Katherine Valle andAlejandra Guevara’s “Junior Group Documen-tary” reigned number one in a stiff competition,which included representation from Westchester,Rockland and Orange County schools.Alvarez facilitated countless hours of prep-aration as students collaborated, designed andresearched projects and presentations. McCal-lop’s dramatic performance included retellingthe history of the African Burial Ground in NYCand the “Junior Group Documentary” debated ia memorial should or should not be erected at theAfrican Burial Ground site.Alvarez and History Day participants Mar-garet Morales, Elira Avdiu, Rawan Abualteen,Giselle Toribio, Sabrina Bosch, Salivette Marti-nez, Giselle Ruiz, McCallop, Torres, Valle, Gue-vara and Shannon Rogers are now preparing fortheir 2011 New York State History Day competi-
tion. The State nals are taking place in historic
Cooperstown on Friday, April 29.Join us as we congratulate and celebratestudents and Alvarez, who has “enhanced historyeducation so that every student will be equippedwith a working knowledge of history and devel-op the skills necessary to contribute to the publicgood of our nation.”
Dwanita CrosbyHistory teacher Danielle Alvarez (center) with her History Day winners, Tayael McCallop,Dianna Torres, Katherine Valle and Alejandra GuevaraMary J. Blige Center participants Latonia Johnson, Joarlyn Vega, Diashanany Graham andSharmaine Gaskill and Center Director Michelle Hammett at a Women’s History Monthluncheon at Casa Frela Gallery
At the invitation of Catherine Warren-Bishop of Kitty Rose Lifestyles, severalparticipants of the Mary J. Blige Center andProgram Director Michelle Hammett werehonorary guests at a recent luncheon at CasaFrela Gallery in New York City to celebrate of Women’s History Month.Guest speakers, including talent promoterand AIDS activist Maria Davis, clothing de-signer Latish Daring, writer and CNN contrib-uter Michaela Angela Davis and entrepreneurMichael Walker, shared inspirational storiesduring the event.“The young women of the Center and Ifelt extremely honored to be part of this moti-vational event,” said Hammett.Marthalicia Matarrita, a professional art-ist whose work was displayed at the luncheon,donated an art piece she worked on at the eventto the MJB Center. Additionally, a portion othe proceeds from the luncheon will go to theCenter.Located in Yonkers, The Mary J. BligeCenter for Women is a partnership betweenWJCS (Westchester Jewish Community Ser-vices) and FAWN (Foundation for the Ad-vancement of Women Now). The programaims to provide girls and women with skills,knowledge, resources and supports that willempower them to pursue their personal goals
and become self-sufcient, condent women.
Mary J. Blige ParticipantsHonored on Women’s History Month
39 Cowdrey Street, Yonkers NY 10701Sat. 3/19 from 11am to 1 pmSun.3/20 from 12 to 2 pm
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Photo by Greg Baldwin 
Budget Defcit:
 
Continued rom Page 1
“The Yonkers Public Schools are facing an
nsurmountable decit for the coming school
year.
“A $102.9 million dollar decit is projected
for next year if the State Senate and Assemblybills are passed: $25.4 million cut in federal aid,$21.9 million cut in state support (originallyprojected by the state as $17.6 million), $15.2 inVLT proceeds on top of a $40.5 million increasein expenses.“This loss of funding represents more than
a 20 percent decit to our schools funding and
opens us to the potential of having to lay off 25percent of the staff.“The YCPTA will be outlining what we be-lieve to be the unbearable circumstances underwhich our children will have to attend schoolnext year. YCPTA feels that is imperative thatthe devastating effects to the Yonkers PublicSchools be singled out as, yet again, we are slat-ed to receive less money while our sister districtsacross the state are earmarked to receive more.We cannot stand by and allow this to happen!“YCPTA President AnnMarie Smith be-lieves it is of the utmost importance to makesure the voices of Yonkers parents are heard in
this time of scal crisis.”
The critical budget question facing Yonkersis; where will the funding come from? With stateand federal funds dried up, Yonkers must hopeon a reprieve from Albany, perhaps in the exten-sion of the millionaire’s tax, which could restoresome state education aid for the YPS. The only
other option is more funding from the city — from the taxpayers — which means higher prop
-erty taxes.Mayor Phil Amicone will present his pro-posed budget next month. In the past, Amiconehas held the line on increases to property taxes
to ve percent. A ve percent property tax in
-crease this year will fall far short in closing the
decits on either the city or school budgets,
leaving no alternative but layoffs and/or unionconcessions.Rallies for Education were held this week,with coverage in next week’s edition of 
YonkersRising
.What is your view on the city’s budget? Areyou willing to pay more in property taxes? Whatcuts should be made? Send your letters to dmurphy@risingmediagroup.com.
 
round; nevertheless, she stands tall and proud tothis day, and is quite jubilant with her achieve-ments! Congratulations Melinda for making it
that far! We are all terrically proud of you!
“I am so happy that I had a chance to be apart of American Idol and it was an amazingexperience. It was a complete dream come trueexperience when I earned the famous ‘goldenticket,’” said Ademi. “Actually, being in the showand making it to the Top 60 made me realize thatthe possibilities in life are endless.”Ademi says that she will continue living outher dream of expressing herself and signing. Sheplans to release a Demo CD within the year so,
Yonkers students, family and friends — be on the
lookout!Westchester has a talented and amazingyoung woman who is not afraid to shine! Best of luck, Melinda, and congratulations on making it
that far! We are all terrically proud of you. May
all your dreams come true.Follow Melinda Ademi at www.facebook.
com/melindaofcial and www.youtube.com/Me
lindaAdemi.
FRIdAy, MARch 18, 2011 - yoNkERs RIsING - PAGE 3
Yonkers’ Hyperlocal News
 
TheunionthatmakesSUNYwork 
PhillipH.Smith,President 
UnitedUniversityProfessions
“No one told me that SUNY budget cuts wouldmean I couldn’t afford to stay in college. I didn’tplan on it taking five or six years to graduate.“But with larger class sizes, fewer professorsand cancelled courses,that’s exactly what’shappening. Andit isn’t just me.SUNY ismaxed out.”
SUNY has already lost $585 million in thelast two years. It can’t afford to lose anymore state support.Facts:
Threats to cut another $100 million in statesupport would mean a 30% reduction inSUNY’s operating budget.
SUNY has lost 1,300 faculty since the 1990s.
26,000 more students attend SUNY’sfour-year schools than did 15 years ago.
Several state-operated campuses havesuspended admissions in key subject areas.
“I didn’t count on leaving SUNYwithout a degree.”
“You think you’re cutting costs?Your cuts cost me my future.”
Tell state lawmakers: Stop SUNY budget cuts.Take action!
Go to saveSUNY.org
In letters distributed this week to districttaff and parents, Superintendent of Yonkersublic Schools (YPS) Bernard P. Pieroraziorged stakeholders to speak up for the District’s6,000 students and 3,500 employees.“We must unite and speak up to demandroper funding of the Yonkers Public Schools asell as the preservation of people and programshat have elevated the district to new heights,”rote Pierorazio.In recent months, Pierorazio has traveled tolbany to address the disparity in state educa-ion aid. He will soon journey to Washington toontinue efforts for equitable funding.In his letters, Pierorazio asked district staff and families to join him and speak up by con-
tacting elected ofcials.
“We must be heard beyond our local rep-resentatives, who support education; everyone
must contact the governor’s ofce and our state
and federal legislators to make sure that fundingis secured,” he said. See Pierorazio’s full letterbelow.State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins alsorallied to restore proposed state budget cuts toeducation funding, joining several of her demo-cratic colleagues and the Alliance for QualityEducation at a press conference in Albany.Stewart-Cousins says the cuts, totaling morethen $1.5 billion, can be restored by continuingthe income tax surcharge on individuals netting
State SenatorAndrea Stewart-CousinsSuperintendent of SchoolsBernard Pierorazio
Pierorazio & Stewart-Cousins Ask Yonkersto Speak Up or Education Funding
merican Idol
 
Continued rom Page 1
Philipse Manor Hall in Downtown Yonkers
Philpse Manor Hall, a Yonkers treasure, isnow open again after being closed for a period of time recently due to state budget cuts.The Friends of Philipse Manor Hall (FPMH)has announced a new concert series, which willpremiere on Saturday, April 2 at St. John’s Epis-
copal Church, to celebrate the reopening. The rst
show is a double bill performance featuring sopra-no and FPMH Boardmember Yolanda F. Johnsonand the Hudson Valley Chamber Singers, one of Westchester’s most highly sought-after vocal en-sembles.FPMH is dedicated to the support and en-hancement of Philipse Manor Hall State HistoricSite. Located in downtown Yonkers, PhilipseManor Hall serves as a museum of history, art andarchitecture, as well as host to community organi-zations, meetings, educational programs and spe-cial events.Highlights of the hall include its 18th cen-tury, high style Georgian architecture, a 1750spapier mache Rococo ceiling and an impressivecollection of presidential portraits, including thesix Presidents from New York State. FPMH’sgoal is to foster public interest in and support forthe hall, and they offer a number of exciting andeducational events throughout the year, includingconcerts, lectures, a Spring Flower Festival, Yon-kers Riverfest activities and holiday events.Johnson has had an outstanding career as aperforming artist, educator and supporter of thearts. She is an accomplished pianist as well as vo-calist. Johnson holds both bachelor’s and master’sdegrees in vocal performance and arts manage-ment, respectively. She has performed in severalmusical genres, including opera, concert, oratorioand sacred music.She is an active recitalist/lecturer on manymusical subjects, most notably, her concert/lec-ture on African-American spirituals, A SpiritualsExperience. She has also performed as a guest so-loist with various orchestras and made her NYCoperatic debut as Zerlina in Mozart’s “Don Gio-vanni.”Johnson has performed internationally, in-cluding at the Elysium Music Festival in Ger-many. She is a member of the Sigma Alpha IotaInternational Women’s Music Fraternity, a leadsinger at First Baptist Church of Tarrytown andis on the artist roster of Sing for Hope. She hasbeen a featured presenter at Performing the WorldInternational Performing Arts Conference and wasrecently featured on “Music with a Mission,” apopular podcast series from Times Square ChurchMusic in Manhattan.The Hudson Valley Chamber Singers is a10-member vocal ensemble, selected from the larg-er Hudson Valley Singers, a well-known and high-ly-respected music organization in Westchester.The group’s objectives are to contribute to thecultural life of the community, especially under-served areas, through public performances of cho-ral music of the 17th through 20th centuries.The Hudson Valley Chamber Singers are di-rected by renowned conductor Eugene Sirotkine,a St. Petersburg, Russia-born conductor who de-buted with the Latvian Philharmonic in St. Peters-burg in 1989 and was an assistant conductor andassistant chorus master with the New York Metro-politan Opera from 1999 through 2008. He is alsothe conductor of the New York MetamorphosesOrchestra. Over the past two decades he has con-ducted orchestras and choruses across the globe.For more information on Philipse Manor Halland its programs, visit www.philipsemanorhall.blogspot.com.
Philipse Manor Hall is Back!
Continued on Page 6 

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