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(Assistant Director of the New York State Department of State, Committee on Open Government) From: "O'Neill, Kristin (DOS)" Date: May 18, 2018 3:45:10 PM To: (Rye Taxpayer redacted) Subject: RE: A question Re: Written Verification “Under these circumstances, yes, I believe the City should provide you with a second certification that no additional records, beyond those provided and those that have been denied consistent with Section 87(2) of FOIL, are possessed or maintained by the City or have been located after a diligent search.” Series Part 9 of Rye’s Poisoned Greens is gonna be a smoker.
Yesterday I shared the below Twitter string with the NYS political press. It addresses why Julie Killian recently lost her hometown of Rye. https://twitter.com/mediainvestors/status/998621728594104323 If this link is not functioning because Typepad formatting cut it off inappropriately then here are the parts you can copy and string together to reach it: twitter.com/mediainvestors/status/ 998621728594104323
A quick Google search will deliver multiple articles documenting the corruption histories of both candidates, effectively highlighting the empty ethics reform promises of state party leaders on both sides. MyRye readers have a wealth of public record investigative back-matter here to see Julie’s fealty to party over principal in Rye, while Shelly and another Shelly seem inexorably linked by the investigative work of the New York Times and the New York Daily News, two hardly ‘right-leaning’ newspapers. I’ll be skipping this election and I suspect I will not be alone. This may lead to the NY public employee union turnout powered victory of Mrs. Silver, er, Mayer. So be it. At least the increasingly toxic NYS GOP will be poorer for their efforts. And the next time they might think twice about taking that pile of Verizon/Crown Castle contribution money and then directing their locally elected minions to look away while their big donors attempt to subvert Rye residential property rights and property values.
From the NYT with some added local context: “She attended the public Milton School (*Hewlett Street*) and the private Rye Country Day School (*then along Grandview Avenue*)…She met George Bush in 1941 at a Christmas dance at the (*then elite and restricted*) Round Hill Country Club in Greenwich, Conn…After enrolling at Smith College but before entering the freshman class, she shocked her mother by spending the summer working in a nuts-and-bolts factory (*likely Russell, Burdsall & Ward Bolt & Nut Company who’s vast plant stretched along western Midland Avenue in Port Chester from today’s Home Depot site a full half-mile to Slater Street*) ….She and Mr. Bush, on leave from the Navy, married in Rye (*at Rye Presbyterian Church*) on Jan. 6, 1945(* Reception photos are apparently Manursing Island Club?*); the bride, not yet 20, had dropped out of Smith at the beginning of her sophomore year….” Much more will be found in the bound editions of The Rye Chronicle at Rye Library in their late 1944 and early 1945 editions. If you have the time it’s refreshingly worth seeing the balanced journalism The Chronicle produced for decades under Publisher Richard Archer.
“We understand that there is interest on the part of some parents in participating in the walkout. On the advice of the Commissioner, we are asking parents not to come to the event. We cannot ensure a safe environment for our students if there are crowds of adults present. It is too much of a security challenge for police and school security personnel to vet adults.” Dr. Eric Byrne, Superintendent of Rye Schools National Survey of 1,000 American Adults Conducted March 7-8, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports “An Obama-era policy allowing for more leniency in schools has been strongly criticized following the massacre last month at a Florida high school. Most Americans think discipline in public schools is too easy these days.” What's the biggest problem in schools today? (% are for All Adults) -Poor teachers 5% -Bad curriculum 8% -Not enough funding 35% -Lack of discipline 26% -Not enough parent involvement 19% Not sure 6% Discipline in public schools is: Too tough 4% Too easy 60% About right 25% Not sure 11% Is it harder for a teacher to maintain discipline in the classroom today than it was when you were a child in school? Yes 78% No 12% Not sure 11%
Toxic Julie. On August 3rd 2016 The Journal News published the findings of their own investigation of toxic chemical misuse at Rye Golf Club. At the Rye City Council meeting directly following publication, both Councilman Terry McCartney and Rye Deputy Mayor Julie Killian publicly reassured club members and Rye residents on council video that Mr. Lafferty “did everything right” and that ALT-70’s product contamination was the sole reason for the death of a 20 green complex’s last summer. Both of these assurances were false (AKA lies) as Mr. Lafferty had by that time already plead guilty in city court to misusing the Alt-70 that killed all the greens that spring AND the city paid-for scientific turf test results (concealed from the public by the council) showed NO DAMAGE to living turf when the contaminated product was applied at legal RATES and legal TIME INTERVALS. And, not surprisingly, this would not be Mrs. Killian’s first brush with environmental wrongdoing in Rye as city violation records for her personal residential property show. And no one need bother ‘disappearing’ those records now as photocopies have already been made.
While both Cuomo & Otis are separately appealing their federal convictions on multiple counts of fraud, new NYS Governor Bharara will cancel further studies & expenditures on this unaffordable public-union fantasy project.
Mr. Cohn's speech was refreshing & direct. Inclusiveness and shared responsibility, literally shocking stuff after the past 8 years. Ran 14 and a half minutes, another first. Then some guy from county government tried to tie or top the run time. He made it to 12 and a half minutes before running out of steam. A blessing.
It is 10AM on December 29, 2017 - and still no word from City Manager Serrano as to whether the 2018 Rye City property taxes in question here have already been LEGALLY ASSESSED. What a cluster____. Here is new info from today's Wall Street Journal: “The Internal Revenue Service’s Wednesday guidance upended many taxpayers’ plans of paying their 2018 property taxes early to claim a federal deduction before the new tax law takes effect in January. If you’re thinking of prepaying—or if you have already prepaid—here are a few things to keep in mind: 1. Check Your Tax-Assessment Dates Make sure your local tax office has assessed your property for 2018. Many jurisdictions will bill taxpayers several times throughout the year. If you have received a bill due in 2018, it might make sense to pay it now if you want to claim a federal deduction. For instance, Iowa property taxes are paid semiannually and residents have received a bill due in early 2018, said Nicole Kaeding, an economist at the Tax Foundation. “Those individuals could go ahead and pay by the end of the year and it would be safe to deduct,” she said. In jurisdictions that have assessed properties but not yet sent bills, there may be a gray area. The District of Columbia, which has assessed but not yet billed taxpayers, says they may qualify for the deduction by paying before the end of this year. But it is not yet clear the IRS will agree. 2. Beware the AMT Make sure that by prepaying your property taxes you wouldn’t become eligible to pay the alternative minimum tax. The AMT is a separate tax system originally designed to prevent people from using legal tax breaks to avoid paying all taxes that largely applies to higher-income households. If prepaying your 2018 property taxes sends your federal tax deductions soaring, you may hit the threshold that would require you to pay the AMT. Similarly, if you will already be paying the AMT, prepaying property taxes may provide little or no benefit. 3. Make Sure Your State and Local Tax Bill Is High Enough Try to determine whether your total state and local tax bill next year will exceed the $10,000 cap that was added to the law. If you have consistently paid less than $10,000 in state and local taxes, you will likely still be able to deduct the full amount you pay in to your state and local governments. Also note that depending on your individual tax situation, you may prefer for 2018 to take the standard deduction, which the law raised to $12,000 for individuals, $18,000 for heads of household and $24,000 for married couples filing jointly. 4. Speak With Your Mortgage Provider Many homeowners pay their property taxes through an escrow account set up by the mortgage provider. That way they send one monthly payment to the mortgage company, which then takes care of paying the necessary taxes. If that is your situation and you’d like to prepay your property taxes, make sure you speak with your mortgage company first so you don’t end up paying your taxes twice. 5. Talk to a Professional Finally, and most important, talk to your tax adviser. Circumstances vary by household and somebody well acquainted with your situation is probably in the best position to give you relevant advice.”
Toggle Commented Dec 29, 2017 on Rye & The Tax Prepay: A Summary at MyRye.com
I think you’ve raised a very good 11th hour point, Jay. IRS insists that the property taxes you intend to prepay be actually legally “assessed.” Here is the IRS wording: “In general, whether a taxpayer is allowed a deduction for the prepayment of state or local real property taxes in 2017 depends on whether the taxpayer makes the payment in 2017 and the real property taxes are assessed prior to 2018. A prepayment of anticipated real property taxes that have not been assessed prior to 2018 are not deductible in 2017. State or local law determines whether and when a property tax is assessed, which is generally when the taxpayer becomes liable for the property tax imposed.” Rye City Manager Serrano makes no such claim as to the 2018 Rye City Taxes actually being currently legally assessed. Here is Mr. Serrano’s wording: “Marcus Serrano, City Manager of the City of Rye announced today that the City has been receiving a number of requests for prepayment of City taxes. Mr. Serrano stated even though the City is not obligated to collect the prepayment of City taxes, the City is always trying to serve its taxpayers and he is pleased to be able to accommodate these requests from the residents. Mr. Serrano has been working with the Finance Department, IT Department and the software vendors to implement the necessary changes to allow for the prepayment of taxes. Mr. Serrano stated that the requests are based on the proposed tax law changes. Mr. Serrano wanted to make it very clear that even though the City taxes may be prepaid, the question of deductibility is a question that must be answered by a tax preparer. Therefore Mr. Serrano stated that “the City of Rye makes no claim, nor bears any responsibility for the deductibility of the pre-payment of property taxes. You should consult your tax professional for further information”.” Note Mr. Serrano’s gigantic omissions – he makes zero claims that the taxes that you can prepay Rye City are already legally assessed – city tax bills are typically issued on February 1st and legally due by March 1st (unless you’re a powerful local elected official with a 5-year long unsupportable underpayment excuse, but lets leave that to one side for now). So what is the city representing about these prepayments? Actually nothing – except they will take your money - thus Mr. Serrano’s many caveats in his statements above. I think now that IRS has issued direct guidance on property tax prepayments that Mr. Serrano should address it immediately. Or face the backlash of residents who act in good faith to front the city money they believe has a chance of being legally deductible. And, as always, consult your own tax professional before forking over the dough, or rest in peace.
Toggle Commented Dec 29, 2017 on Rye & The Tax Prepay: A Summary at MyRye.com
Are you an Alternative Minimum Tax taxpayer? Call your accountant before prepaying any 2018 property taxes. You could lose the benefit of every dollar advanced.
I’m sure Mr. Cox can weigh in on this mischaracterization of his innovative digital newspaper if he wants, but let’s be clear, it was a Rye City resident baring you malice, George, who I believe blew our tax assessor’s secrets to LoHud and thus far and wide. And knowing you were running and competing in the primary with Ken (“Can a black man win a county wide race in Westchester?”) Jenkins, you and your sorry local media disciples DID NOTHING to inform and thus inoculate county voters about this issue well in advance, allowing Astro-Plunkett to blow it into a regional hurricane. Our Rye City tax assessor then iced this poison cake by allowing your wife a retain a 2nd STAR tax exemption on that property for 5 long years – the same NYS Felony level illegal “gift” she gave to ex-mayor Douglas French for 10 years. She then used the same excuse – inadvertent error – that she’s using again for you now. There’s a reason my monthly Rye City corruption columns here on MyRye are so widely read and quoted. There’s a reason that a select few of your Rye City resident campaign contributors get selectively low tax assessment treatment (and building department $$ favors) and that the Rye City attorney makes darn sure certain lawful Rye City FOIL requests go unanswered and even unacknowledged. These improper Rye City Hall politico & donor favors are the chickens coming back to roost, George. And a fouler set of fowls their simply isn’t. Imagine what this campaign could have been. Vote For George Latimer – Democrat For County Executive.
Uh Oh. "Who is George Latimer? - A 10-Part Series by Talk of the Sound" From Part 1 - "Over the past three weeks, George Latimer has lied to me and about me and encouraged others to lie about me on his behalf. And I have had enough. Readers have often asked when I would respond to Latimer’s attacks on me and Talk of the Sound. I tweeted that I would respond at a time and place of my choosing. Today is the day and this is the place. So let me begin by observing a bit about my experience with George Latimer and a bit about myself and Talk of the Sound. To not know George is to like him. From a safe distance he is an affable, gregarious bear of a man. Up close, in the trenches, asking him tough questions as a reporter, my impression has changed. I now see George Latimer as one of the most accomplished liars in the New York State Legislature which for world-class liars like George Latimer is like the World Cup, Super Bowl and Summer Olympics all rolled into one." Series Link - (cut & paste link into your browser) http://www.newrochelletalk.com/content/who-george-latimer-part-i
SERIES UPDATE: In an election flyer out yesterday (October 18, 2017) from ALL RYE 2017 (Sack-Watson-Parks-McCartney) entitled “MANAGING RYE’S SUCCESS” the example of ‘success’ in the matter this 7 part series is focused on is addressed. The wording is as follows: “2015 – Negotiated a $2.6m settlement after a defective fertilizer product killed the greens at Rye Golf Club.” POINT 1: As MyRye readers will recognize, the multi-million dollar settlement with AIG Insurance involved no so-called “defective fertilizer product.” The product involved here was a contaminated fungicide – ALT-70 (primary ingredient Aluminum tris) which is a registered pesticide, regulated and controlled by laws from the NYS DEC and the Federal EPA. It is a federal and state crime to apply this dangerous regulated product in a manner or rate inconsistent with the limits detailed in its federal and state approved label. The label is the law in this regard. POINT 2: In fact 2 sets of official chemical application records from Rye Golf Club show that in 2015 a senior Rye City employee did just that, was exposed, was arrested, pled guilty to a NYS DEC violation in Rye City Court, and paid a $500 fine. POINT 3: The city hired a nationally recognized turf scientist to conduct scientifically based field trials of the contaminated fungicide ALT-70 who then submitted his written results exclusively to city officials who were negotiating with the product’s manufacturer, distributor and insurance company (AIG). Those results indicate that NO DAMAGE to living turf was observed when the contaminated fungicide was applied at legal rates and legal application intervals. Only by doubling both the ALT-70 usage rate and shortening the application interval by approximately half was the scientist able to approximate the kind of damage observed at Rye Golf Course. All Rye’s Messer’s Sack & McCartney (and multiple other city insiders) had these results during negotiations. What is unclear is if they shared this scientific test evidence with the product manufacturer, distributor or AIG. POINT 4: The AIG Insurance website includes the following definition of Claims Fraud - "CLAIMS FRAUD - Includes circumstances where a claimant has fabricated a loss, or has submitted a legitimate loss but intentionally misrepresents the nature or extent of the loss or associated damages.” As of this date, and to our knowledge, AIG continues investigating this matter based in part on new information this MyRye series has provided.
NEW ROCHELLE NY: October 10, 2017 - John C. Gallagher, Jr. the former Director of Environmental Services for the City School District of New Rochelle, pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas in White Plains federal court to bribery in connection with a scheme to solicit bribes from an outside contractor to channel school district business to the contractor’s company. Gallagher is facing 37 to 46 months in federal prison, a fine of up to $75,000, restitution of $125,000, and up to three years probation under plea agreement which describes three past drunk driving convictions. The guilty plea was accounted by Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York who’s office originated its original investigation based on the reporting of Robert Cox, publisher of Talk of the Sound, a New Rochelle NY hyper-local digital newspaper. Mr. Cox has reported on extensive corruption in the City School District of New Rochelle for 9 years. For most of that time, Mr. Cox was harassed and defamed by senior public officials in New Rochelle including the School Board and School Administration, City Government, Local Courts, Police Department and more. In 2013, Mr. Cox took his extensive records and reporting to the Westchester County DA which protected John Gallagher, the son of a former senior law enforcement official in nearby Suffolk County, NY. Local law enforcement & courts then began a series of retaliatory actions against Mr. Cox to try and discredit his reporting. Mr. Cox also took the matter to the U.S. Department of Justice, which unlike the Westchester District Attorney did pursue the case. The Gallagher action of October 10th is expected to lead to more federal charges, arrests & convictions. Mr. Cox's reporting is summarized in a to-date 20+ part Talk of the Sound series entitled “New Rochelle Board of Education: Criminal Enterprise Masquerading as an Educational Institution.” George Latimer’s 37 NY Senate District includes New Rochelle where numerous local news reports and photographs describe and show his frequent interactions with various New Rochelle School Board and School Administration, City Government, Local Courts, Police Department and more. These interactions are part of Mr. Latimer’s job. Mr. Latimer knows he is slurring Mr. Cox and his bi-partisan anti-corruption work in New Rochelle by characterizing him below here variously as an ‘incredible conservative blogger bent on character assassination.’ This is an exercise in the truly sad and even desperate. All this above stipulated, those that know me know I remain 100% committed to the removal of Rob Astorino and Kevin Plunkett from Westchester County Government by supporting the election to the position of County Executive next month of George Latimer. It’s high time Astro-Plunkett’s reign of deep incompetence & corruption ends, along with their steep community-selective multi-year county property tax increases, their devastating mismanagement of Playland and the County Airport, and their pay-to-play culture in Plunkett’s LDC projects and pretty much elsewhere. Mr. Latimer and County Democrats have their own checkered tax-and-spend past but hopefully they have learned their lessons from their years in the wilderness and will practice honest governance for a change. And if they do that’s a big improvement and essential for average taxpayers considering leaving for another state because they are convinced nothing here in The Corridor of Corruption will ever change for the better. Vote for George Latimer, Democrat for County Executive.
Yes Astorino raised taxes on Rye, big time. He's also an incompetent & corrupt politician as the uncollected $7M at the County Airport can attest along with the farcical no-bid deal he then pushed with Oaktree. You on the other hand have news coming out of New Rochelle this evening that will contribute to your own falling credibility issues. How you could imaging that all of this wouldn't be exposed by legitimate media investigative reporting is frankly beyond me.
ALL NEWS IS LOCAL by Salena Zito | The Washington Examiner Oct 8, 2017, 12:01 AM WEST NEWTON, PA — There used to be 324 newspapers in the state of Pennsylvania. Today, there are about 60 – give or take a few. The Pennsylvania Gazette is the first one on record not just in the colony of Pennsylvania but in all of the Crown's colonies — Benjamin Franklin bought the paper with a partner in 1729 – he contributed to it as well, mostly under aliases. Among the many firsts the plucky paper would print was the first political cartoon in America, "Join, or Die," authored by Franklin. It also printed the then-treasonous texts of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, Thomas Paine's "Common Sense," and the Federalist Papers. It was bold, it was brash, it was opinionated, and it served its readers well. Here in West Newton, only ghosts remain of its once ‘esteemed' Times Sun; their first building along the railroad tracks only carries a faint trace of its existence on the side of the building. When the owner James Quigley Waters Jr. died in 1930 after running the paper for 34 years, local papers noted it widely — when it was forced to close that location nine years later, only a want-ad notice ran in the Pittsburgh Press for the sale of the building and its presses. The text of the ad read: "All reasonable offers considered." Several decades later, the Times Sun existed on Main Street as a weekly — all print ended in 2015 – and all that is left now is a shuttered office that fit nicely on Main Street; the brick was yellow, the storefront was charming — a big American flag sat in one window facing the street, a bulletin board in the other. It is a throwback to another time. It's a peculiar thing when a newspaper dies, especially in a small town that even admitted a hundred years ago in the pages of the Times Sun that commerce here was "slow moving" at best. There rarely is a proper obituary for old newspapers, nothing to chronicle how they were there when the school board was caught in a corruption sting, or how the local volunteer fire department saved the elderly couple on River Road. No one to praise when reporters held the town council accountable for reckless spending or caught a local politician taking cash from a union official or how the town rallied when flood waters crested the banks of the Youghiogheny or saved people when the train derailed. It just dies. Along with that death comes the death of the local reporter: the man or woman who knows their community inside and out, a career that typically starts with the cops beat or the local school boards, the places where a reporter really gets to know the pulse of their hometown and their people. Who knows how the town ticks. Who knows how it ebbs and flows. Who knows where the bad guys are, both on the street and behind a podium. Who knows fundamentally that all politics is local. Good journalism is not glamorous. It's not sexy. It means long hours; it often means no personal life; it means wear and tear on your car; it means driving on rural roads where there are more deer than people or alleys where the state of the bodies you see outlined with chalk behind yellow tape will haunt you forever. And when you go to a bar, you go to a bar; you don't go to a cocktail party. It is often not done in a fancy office with a ping-pong table and an espresso machine; the coffee is typically awful, and you spend more time chasing something down in a neighborhood than on Google. And you never stop at the top – you pay your dues, you sacrifice your personal life, and you work your way up. As with everything in this country, automation and technology have erased more than half of the newspapers in this country that employed reporters who kept a check on power. The digital age opened up a world where everyone could have a blog, and none of them had three layers of editors to fact check you to the bone or ask you "why didn't you ask this question?" and send you back out to do just that. That does not mean they don't do this in New York or Washington – it's just that these days they do it less in the rest of the country. Newspapers are expensive and bleed money – the ability to make money left with the dawn of digital, and no one really figured out the secret sauce to help small towns support local news organizations like the old Times Sun. Last Sunday, the esteemed Bob Schieffer, a newsman with decades of journalistic experience, cited a statistic on Sunday showing how journalism is thriving only in the geographical seats of power on our coasts. "In 2004, one reporter in eight lived in New York, Washington, or Los Angeles. That number is now down to 1-in-5 who live in those three places," he reported on CBS' "Face the Nation." That geographical realignment means that America's reputable news outlets are located near, and covered by, people who have never likely covered or understood the life of many of their consumers. There are not only few cultural touchstones between the news deliverer and the consumer, but there are often no news stories that are critical to the consumer. It's not merely all politics that are local — all news is local. And if there is no trust in that relationship, people go elsewhere, like Facebook and Twitter. And then, they take it one step further and only consume "their" side of the news, not because they are unintelligent but because they don't trust the larger national news organizations. When those news reporters, either in print or on air, report on church attendance or gun ownership, neither side holds the same values. In all honesty, who in D.C. or New York goes to a "Gun Bash?" Plenty of people do in the West Newtons of the country. There is no good answer here; heck, there isn't any answer – but there is a peak into what has deepened our divide. And there is also a reminder that all societies need local journalism – they are the ones who keep power in check. Salena Zito is a columnist for the Washington Examiner.
Toggle Commented Oct 10, 2017 on Local Rye Paper Declares Bankruptcy at MyRye.com
Well said Bob. I personally remain mystified by members of our community who develop and then promulgate municipal frauds. Illegally withholding public records to try and claim nothing improper was done only compounds their crimes. Examples you ask? Who created a 2nd and materially different set of 2015 Rye Golf chemical application records for use with the Westchester DA and Rye Court after the 1st set had served as evidence in a $2.55M AIG insurance settlement? Why did the council not tell the public in the fall of 2015 that their own scientific field testing report on the contaminated fungicide told them it produced no damage to living turf when applied at federal & state mandated legal rates and intervals – and that only by far exceeding both of those legal limits was turf death observed approximating that experienced by Rye Golf Club? And who benefited, specifically $$$, when federal & state regulated toxic turf chemicals were apparently massively over-purchased and over-applied at Rye Golf in 2014, less than 10 months before all 20 green complexes were killed, on a course that not only borders Rye Harbor but has several holes that are actually directly in its now degraded saltwater marshes? And why is Rye Mayor Joe Sack perhaps the only elected official in America that has procured - at Rye taxpayer expense - a court decision protecting his official Rye government emails from lawful FOIL disclosure – every single last one of them? Let's get real folks. Civil, fact-based discourse is only possible when an informed public believes there is faithful compliance with state and federal Freedom of Information laws. What could this gavel-happy mayor be hiding in those public business emails, and who tampered with key city records in our multimillion dollar city insurance claim? While the mayor and other council members may have preferred approaches to transparency, the simple FACT is that the suppressed information still belongs to us. And its secrets are going to come out.
Heads Up - A resident went to the Milton Point Firehouse this morning to vote for answers to the 3 "Questions" listed above. That was denied and the Board of Elections was contacted (914-995-5700 Ext #1) and they explained these were NOT being voted on today if your were an UNAFFILIATED with any party voter. Yesterday when I tested this "Vote411" online system it indicated, as MyRye indicates in the screen shot above, that these questions would be available to vote on if you were not in any of the listed party's. Now that has been changed online at "Vote411" and confirmed by the Board of Elections in White Plains.
“BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS” CHAOS BREAKS OUT AT CHARLOTTESVILLE CITY COUNCIL MEETING The New York Times - By Frances Robles - August 21, 2017 CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — They shouted down the mayor and City Council members, took over the Council chambers for about a half-hour, and gave more than four hours of impassioned testimony about how city officials had botched the response to the deadly white supremacist rally here this month. In the end, the angry residents who spoke at the Charlottesville City Council meeting on Monday got some measure of action as officials said they would have a third-party review the city’s planning and reaction to the rally. The Council also voted unanimously to take the first administrative steps to remove a statue of the Confederate general Stonewall Jackson in the city. That move was significant, as it was the Council’s decision earlier this year to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee that prompted the white nationalists to rally in the city earlier this month. Monday’s meeting was the Council’s first since the rallies on Aug. 11 and 12 that brought hundreds of white supremacists to Charlottesville. White and black residents alike were furious with the police response to the demonstrations, and they faulted officers for not engaging during repeated scuffles. A woman, Heather D. Heyer, was killed when a man drove into counterprotesters. The meeting started out without incident, but as soon as the rally was mentioned, several residents began shouting down city officials for allowing the Aug. 12 “Unite the Right” rally to take place. The chamber erupted, and when police officers forcibly removed three people, the 100 or so at the meeting broke out into furious chants of “Shame” and “Shut it down!” The three people were issued summonses charging them with disorderly conduct. No injuries were reported. “I’m outraged!” said Tracy Saxon, 41. “I watched my people get beat and murdered. They let Nazis in here have freedom of speech, and they protect them? And we can’t have freedom of speech?” At one point, two people stood on the dais and unfurled a banner with the words “Blood on your hands!” as council members and the mayor left the room. The residents refused to cede control of the room until the authorities promised to release the residents who had been taken away and let people have their say. Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy, the only African-American on the Council, was the sole member who remained. He negotiated with residents to restore order in exchange for scrapping the meeting’s regular agenda and giving each person one minute to speak. It took about a half-hour for order to be restored, and the meeting stretched for several hours, as speaker after speaker spoke about their anguish over what the community had experienced. Several people wept and said they had been unable to sleep since witnessing violence against their neighbors. “I’m not the same person I was that day,” said Paul Hurdle, who shook as he described the mayhem on Aug. 12. Gail Weatherall, who said she had lived in Charlottesville for 35 years, called for a citizen-led review of the events and the city’s response. Several speakers criticized the Council members for not having heeded warnings to avoid the protest, and promised to vote them out of office. But city officials stressed that they had tried to deny the white supremacist rally a permit, but that a federal court had ruled in favor of the protest organizers. “We tried really hard,” Mayor Mike Signer said. “A federal judge forced us to have that rally downtown.” His account was met with jeers, and the shouting continued. Mr. Signer took the brunt of the community’s ire, as many people demanded his resignation. Responding to residents’ concerns, Maurice Jones, the city manager, said Charlottesville would have a third party review the city’s response to the white supremacists’ gathering. He urged residents to submit specific complaints of serious incidents to the police chief. Afterward, the City Council voted unanimously to drape the statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson in black in mourning.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, “We planned for a long time for today’s incidents.” From ProPublica Documenting Hate POLICE STOOD BY AS MAYHEM MOUNTED IN CHARLOTTESVILLE State police and National Guardsmen watched passively for hours as self-proclaimed Nazis engaged in street battles with counter-protesters. ProPublica reporter A.C. Thompson was on the scene and reports that the authorities turned the streets of the city over to groups of militiamen armed with assault rifles. by A.C. Thompson and Robert Faturechi, ProPublica, and Karim Hajj, special to ProPublica, Aug. 12, 2017, 11 p.m. CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — There was nothing haphazard about the violence that erupted today in this bucolic town in Virginia’s heartland. At about 10 a.m. today, at one of countless such confrontations, an angry mob of white supremacists formed a battle line across from a group of counter-protesters, many of them older and gray-haired, who had gathered near a church parking lot. On command from their leader, the young men charged and pummeled their ideological foes with abandon. One woman was hurled to the pavement, and the blood from her bruised head was instantly visible. Standing nearby, an assortment of Virginia State Police troopers and Charlottesville police wearing protective gear watched silently from behind an array of metal barricades — and did nothing. It was a scene that played out over and over in Charlottesville as law enforcement confronted the largest public gathering of white supremacists in decades. We walked the streets beginning in the early morning hours and repeatedly witnessed instances in which authorities took a largely laissez faire approach, allowing white supremacists and counter-protesters to physically battle. Officials in Charlottesville had publicly promised to maintain control of the “Unite the Right” rally, which is the latest in a series of chaotic and bloody racist rallies that have roiled this college town, a place deeply proud of its links to Thomas Jefferson and the origins of American Democracy. But the white supremacists who flooded into the city’s Emancipation Park — a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee sits in the center of the park — had spent months openly planning for war. The Daily Stormer, a popular neo-Nazi website, encouraged rally attendees to bring shields, pepper spray, and fascist flags and flagpoles. A prominent racist podcast told its listeners to come carrying guns. “Bring whatever you need, that you feel you need for your self defense. Do what you need to do for security of your own person,” said Mike “Enoch” Peinovich on The Right Stuff podcast. And the white supremacists who showed up in Charlottesville did indeed come prepared for violence. Many wore helmets and carried clubs, medieval-looking round wooden shields, and rectangular plexiglass shields, similar to those used by riot police. Clad in a black, Nazi-style helmet, Matthew Heimbach told ProPublica, “We’re defending our heritage.” Heimbach, who heads the Traditionalist Workers Party, a self-declared fascist group, said he was willing to die for his cause and would do whatever it took to defend himself. He was surrounded by a brigade of white supremacists, including members of the League of the South and the National Socialist Movement. By the time Heimbach and his contingent arrived in downtown Charlottesville shortly before 11 a.m., what had started hours earlier with some shoving and a few punches had evolved into a series of wild melees as people attacked one another with fists, feet, and the improvised weapons they’d brought with them to the park. White supremacists and anti-racists began blasting each other with thick orange streams of pepper spray. The police did little to stop the bloodshed. Several times, a group of assault-rifle-toting militia members from New York State, wearing body armor and desert camo, played a more active role in breaking up fights. Shortly before noon, authorities shut down the rally and the related demonstrations and marched the white supremacists out of the park and into the streets. Charlottesville Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy defended the police tactics. “I’m not in the business of throwing our police department under the bus, because they’re doing the best job they can, “ said Bellamy. “I don’t think the police officers were just twiddling their thumbs.” The skirmishes culminated in what appears to have been an act of domestic terrorism, with a driver ramming his car into a crowd of anti-racist activists on a busy downtown street, killing one and injuring 19 according to the latest information from city officials. Charlottesville authorities tonight reported that a 20-year-old Ohio man had been arrested and had been charged with murder. Two state police officers also died in a helicopter crash. At a brief press conference this evening, Virginia officials declined to answer questions about the police response, but said they were not taken surprise by the violence or the number of protesters. “This could have been a much worse day,” said Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, “We planned for a long time for today’s incidents.” Charlottesville police Chief Al Thomas said at least 35 people had been injured — many of them from violent encounters between white supremacists and the counter-protesters. He said nobody had been wounded due to confrontations between police and the public. In the weeks leading up to the protest, city and state officials put together a detailed plan for the rally, mobilizing 1,000 first responders, including 300 state police troopers and members of the National Guard. Judging from how events unfolded today, it appears that the strategy was to avoid direct confrontations with the protesters. Miriam Krinsky, a former federal prosecutor who has worked on police reform efforts in Los Angeles, said it was too early to assess the law enforcement response in Charlottesville. But she said a strategy of disengagement generally works to embolden unruly crowds. “If things start to escalate and there’s no response, it can very quickly get out of control,” she said. "Individuals can and will get hurt.” But an overly forceful response, she said, can also make the situation worse. Krinsky said attempts to seize weapons might have led to more clashes between police and protesters. “Trying to take things away from people is unlikely to be a calming influence,” she told ProPublica. A good strategy, she said, is to make clashes less likely by separating the two sides physically, with officers forming a barrier between them. “Create a human barrier so the flash points are reduced as quickly as possible,” she said. A.C. Thompson and Karim Hajj reported from Charlottesville, Va. Robert Faturechi reported from New York. A.C. Thompson covers criminal justice issues for ProPublica. Robert Faturechi covers campaign finance for ProPublica.
I certainly wish our famous renters well and that they enjoy the privacy they deserve. I also hope they are not considering getting pregnant during their residency. The tip of Hen Island is visible just after Ms. Biel lands her cartwheel. My current story in the adjacent left column - "Field Guide to Rye Municipal Corruption - 2017 Special Edition" provides a 2013 city video link in paragraph 4 describing the West Nile & Zika transmitting mosquito confirmed breeding on Hen Island. Nothing has changed out there since then. Please be careful & safe Mr. Timberlake and Ms. Biel. We're very glad you're here.
Mr. Glickenhaus’s premise here, as in his recent late night speech at City Hall, is very well founded. In the mid 1960’s, when Mr. Sack’s adjacent residential cul-de-sac was primal woods, the Rye DPW ran an open air general dump located under the raised rear playing field at Disbrow (Sterling?). We spent many pleasant days getting chased out of that dump by city employees who caught us scavenged for mini-bike engines and assorted parts among the discarded lawn mowers stacked next to broken bags of pesticides layered among television sets and on top of mounds of home shelving and acres of discarded clothing. The pervasive chemical smell near the piles was sharp and nauseating but Joe at the guard shack had a kindness for us and told us to be quick, and he secretly saved the best upright mower engines in the tall weeds near the guard shack for us from the scrap dealers who paid the city for the right to harvest the discarded household detritus of Rye. What my friends and I saw and smelled leaking into that ground in that era would likely get it qualified for superfund site designation today. Mr. Glickenhaus is right. Best not to disturb even a teaspoon full of it.
Thank you for your observations, Mr. Marrow. As you know if you’ve read the full series here we’ve made no comments about the current condition or beauty of the course at Rye Golf Club. As to the settlement with AIG that you are grateful for may I just point out that in “Series Part 3 – They Knew” we’ve documented that the City’s own paid scientific expert informed city officials in writing and well before settlement ‘consummation’ that the contaminated fungicide used at Rye Golf Club and upon which the settlement was based on caused no damage to living turf when applied at legal concentration rates and at legal time intervals. The controlling laws here are both state and federal. A full unredacted copy of this previously secret city-paid-for scientific report is attached to Series Part 1 and labeled “Mitowski report – 2.” Clicking on the series numbers 1-5 above will bring up these prior articles along with their previously unpublished official municipal documentary attachments.
Perhaps a little Rye publishing history here might help. But first, as a national publisher, I would have run both the police report and the local photo. As a local publisher, which I’ve also been, I might have omitted the local photo. But on the overall story substance Jay’s on solid traditional journalistic ground. Remember, please, that Richard Archer ran resident aggravated arrest incidents like this in The Rye Chronicle for decades – frequently with photos – from official public sources. For those of you unfamiliar with The Rye Chronicle you can find the bound volumes in Rye Library’s reference room. Mr. Archer ran the paper without fear or favor and was locally beloved. Using his standard if I were to get booked for an aggravated arrest today (which multiple local politicos are apparently lighting candles for) I’m confident Jay will plaster me and my mistake front, center and sideways. Which brings me finally to Mrs. Killian, below, whose own recent senate campaign against George Latimer rang so false and defamatory with voters they apparently couldn’t wait to vote in massive numbers for him and against her. If there is any local reporting on MyRye by me that you, Julie, feel is misleading or inaccurate, or defamatory, please by all means point it out and provide readers here your own version(s). Sunlight is, after all, the best disinfectant. And I believe your city hall administration needs it in great quantity. Ted Carroll