Category Archives: Politics

Platinum Mile May Become Harrison’s Answer To Ridge Hill

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Photo/Courtesy of BFJ Planning

An area of the town once viewed as a thriving business locale may be transformed into a development of condo-style homes, retail stores and eateries–Harrison’s own, small version of Yonkers’ Ridge Hill.

In its heyday in the 1980s, Harrison’s “Platinum Mile” was a stretch of office parks along Westchester Avenue, where major businesses set up shop after a decades long exodus from the increasingly business-unfriendly New York City.

The town welcomed multinational corporations with open arms, seeing the office parks as a way to balance budgets through revenues generated from corporate rather than personal property taxes. At its height, taxes collected from companies there represented 60 percent of Harrison’s entire tax income.

This story originally appeared in the June 22, 2012 edition of The Harrison Review.

Harrison PBA Accepts Chief of Police Into Union

Harrison Police Chief Anthony Marraccini  Photo/Hometwn.com

Harrison Police Chief Anthony Marraccini
Photo/Hometwn.com

The Harrison Police Benevolent Association voted on Tuesday to add the chief of police to its union as a non-voting, non-dues-paying member. The move would tie the chief’s salary and benefits to any collective bargaining agreement and could dictate percentage increases and other items outlined by the terms of the union contract with the town.

“As acting chief, I can’t spend all day sitting behind a desk,” Anthony Marraccini, the town’s police chief said. “It’s time I take an active role, one which cannot be influenced by politics.”

The move is not unprecedented in police departments in New York, but management and labor are often kept separate to avoid influence over the rank-and-file from management, a move which the non-voting status seeks to address. Management positions are often part of labor negotiations on the opposite end of the table, but this move would tie the fate of the chief with other union members in a time where Harrison has failed time and again to receive significant concessions from its labor force – even as the town faced an ongoing budgeting crisis.

This story originally appeared in the June 22, 2012 edition of The Harrison Review.

Kensico Dam Road Reopens, But Not For Cars

After seven years, the Kensico Dam roadway is reopen to pedestrians, cyclists and skaters but not vehicular traffic.

On May 24, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and New York City Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Carter Strickland announced the re-opening following a $42 million rehabilitation project that ended last December.

“The Kensico Dam Park is a vital public space in Westchester,” Astorino said. “Reopening the roadway will further expand the recreational opportunities that make Westchester a great place to live and visit.”

This originally appeared in the June 1, 2012 edition of The Harrison Report (Now, Harrison Review). 

Harrison Dems Endorse Assembly Candidate

White Plains’ Buchwald seeks to unseat Castelli

In a 17-1 vote on Feb. 11, the Harrison Democratic Committee chose to endorse White Plains Councilman David Buchwald, 33, as their candidate for the 89th state Assembly District seat.

The seat, currently held by incumbent Republican Robert Castelli, will be up for grabs come November. With time ticking down, Democrats in the Assembly district are making up their minds and endorsing who they hope will represent them in Albany.

This story originally appeared in the Feb. 16, 2012 edition of The Harrison Report

Analysis: State of the Union 2012

Earlier tonight, Barrack Obama delivered his fourth and last State of the Union until the 2012 presidential election. Remaining focused on bipartisanship, President Obama stressed quite frequently throughout his speech the need to get both Republicans and Democrats to work together in order to “move forward.”

Tonight, Obama also stressed the need to make America “Built to Last,” which he didn’t explain entirely how to do but mentioned 5 times. Obama then went on to talk about how General Motors is now the #1 auto-maker in the world and how companies overseas should come back to America.

Following this Obama spoke up and took a clear stance on education. “Teachers matter. So instead of bashing them, or defending the status quo, let’s offer schools a deal. Give them the resources to keep good teachers on the job, and reward the best ones. And in return, grant schools flexibility: To teach with creativity and passion; to stop teaching to the test; and to replace teachers who just aren’t helping kids learn. That’s a bargain worth making.” After that, Obama called for every state to require all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn 18.

Start it Off

So this is my first blog post for my new website, DanielOffner.com… and I feel as though the best way to start things off is just by writing down some of my reactions to some recent headlines.

New York Times – Top Iran Leader is Warned by U.S. on Strait Threat

What this story boils down, like so many others coming out of the Middle East, is oil. Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, “where 15 million barrel of oil flow through every day.” In response the U.S. set up a “red line” that if crossed will provoke retaliation.

In the story by Elisabeth Bumiller, Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker, they explain how analyst think this was just an attempt to drive up the price of oil. “Blocking the route for the vast majority of Iran’s petroleum exports – and for its food and consumer imports – would amount to economic suicide.”

Can they block the route, i suppose so. But when your nation is making millions of dollars in moving mass amounts of petroleum, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

What I think: This threat is bogus. No self respecting dictator would put it on himself to close down a waterway as important as this. I think that the U.S. response was quick to respond to this threat and that there wont be much, if any, retaliation needed.

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