Friday, October 13, 2006


New Rochelle has launched WIFI in a 20 block section of their central business district, including their train station. WIFI provides internet access to those with computers. For a few years I have suggested that we WIFI our parks. What about E Hartsdale Ave (the downtown area/train station, apartment complex)?
What do you think?
Check the New Rochelle web site:


Vanessa Merton said...

The great thing about public Wi-Fi is it enables access to the Internet, email, etc. for people who can't afford commercial cable or broadband. As many European cities have found, it also brings more people into public settings where they interact, and develop more of a sense of community than when they spend all day alone at their desks. It stimulates commercial activity and growth. It just makes so much sense: pay tax to the government, which is not trying to make a profit, to get the service, using economies of scale, instead of paying the commercial provider, who by definition wants to and has to make a profit. The profit margin can go to quality service rather than to private stockholders.

Too bad the rest of the Town Board seems so un-interested in taking up issues like this, engaging in positive and constructive action to improve the Town's quality of life. All their energy seems focused on pandering to Bob Bernstein's pathology about Paul. You really have to wonder about that, don't you? Sure, Paul has made mistakes -- so would anyone who has to make tough decisions on behalf of thousands of people (who disagree with each other) twenty times a day for many years (something Bernstein has never had to do). And Paul, unlike most, readily admits most of his mistakes and tries to fix them. The people who so viciously attack Paul Feiner NEVER make mistakes, have you noticed? At least none they admit to. Not ever. They are always perfect and right.

But aren't there many far WORSE politicians in office -- isn't it weird that Bernstein doesn't devote any of his time and energy to attacking Republicans? There these hypocritical, greedy Republicans go: destroying the Bill of Rights and violating not only treaty obligations but human decency through torture and arbitrary, lawless detention; endangering reproductive freedom and the integrity of our votes; packing the judiciary with unqualified and radically extreme activist judges; eviscerating environmental and wildlife protection and workplace safety and pension security; totally neglecting vast needs for massive investment in homeland security, transportation and infrastructure; ignoring, even compounding, extraordinary suffering in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast; amassing huge budget deficits with grotesque tax breaks and lavish pork for the very wealthy; fomenting hatred toward immigrants and people of different sexual orientation; and oh yeah, a little problem called Iraq. Right now, when you would think that all the available energy of true Democrats who really care about the big picture of what's happening in this country would be laser-focused on getting Republicans un-elected -- there goes Bernstein: the most terrible, evil, dangerous public official he can find in the greater NYC metropolitan area is Paul Feiner. Come on. It is pathetic. It's quite sad.

But it is also more than just irritating, because Bernstein and his cohort distract people from this very serious and crucial priority of changing the political landscape in Albany and Washington. Come on, Bob, why don't you take a breather from trashing Paul for the next few weeks and instead get out there and really work on behalf of Democratic candidates and Election Protection. Do something positive for a change, you'll feel better. Let's see you write a really big check for Andrea Stewart-Cousins -- you work at one of the most lucrative law firms in the world, making more money than 90% of the people in Greenburgh -- you can afford it. Why don't you demonstrate that you are a genuine Democratic leader and not solely obsessed with Feiner-bashing? It would be so refreshing.

Vanessa Merton

Greenburgh Taxpayer said...

Dear Ms. Merton,

I'm wondering, if you thinks wifi is such a good idea for Hartsdale, would you and your fellow (Village) taxpayers be willing to pay for it? If not, then you’ve got some nerve telling us what we need and, for that matter, how much money you thinks we have, and how big a check you thinks anyone should write to her favorite candidates.

You’re a lawyer. Where was you when Feiner was violating state law re taxation on parks, and where was you when Feiner was violating the state constitution when the Valhalla contract was signed, and where was you when Feiner was violating the ethics code by accepting contributions from developers with applications pending before the town, refusing to return the money and refusing to recuse himself? Feiner has not admitting making these mistakes, he has not tried to fix things, and he has never reached out to his critics in an effort to reach common ground and settle these matters. People make mistakes – it’s how they admit them and try to fix them that shows who they really are.

truth teller said...

to greenburgh taxpayer - amen.

the only fair conclusion one can draw after reading ms merton's off the wall tirade is that she is insanely jealous of what mr bernstein has been able to do on his own time and at his own expense - fight town hall and win.

what is pathetic is that ms merton bashes mr bernstein for his criticism of mr feiner by bashing mr bernstein for not taking on republicans. ms merton is apparently unaware that mr bernstein is a district leader in the town's democratic party.

ms merton is also seemingly unware that edgemont has no elected representatives of its own unlike residents of hastings. thats why it needs civic leaders like bernstein who is a leader of the edgemont community coucil to speak up for its interests at town board meetings.

ms merton is apparently enamored with mr feiner's small bore gadfly projects like wifi and dog parks. as we increasingly see, these vote grabving gimmicks have been covering up mr feiner's incompetence, divisiveness and corruption.

sorry vanessa, your emperor has lost his clothes.

Greenburgh Taxpayer said...

I think Mr. Bernstein should only be flattered by the attention he is getting - it means he is effective

Anonymous said...

If the Hartsdale train station would be Wi-Fi accessible it would enable commuters to get some additional work done while we wait for the train. If a train is delayed it wouldn't be as bad as it is now.

Greenburgh Taxpayer said...

Dear Anonymous,

Ok -- assuming wireless at the station would benefit everyone, again, would you and Ms. Merton agree it should come from the town entire budget (and not the town outside of village budget)?

Charles Leal said...

East Hartsdale Ave as an east west corridor should get with it. Wi Fi being just one of the remedies to bring more vitality. What, if any, cost would it be?

Anonymous said...

I think getting wifi for a commerical use is far more expensive than for homeowners. Possibly GPL could look at offsite location for GLO members.

Anonymous said...

Paul Feiner asked in his e-mail this afternoon, "Should Greenburgh follow the example of New Rochelle and WIFI our main street and train station?" I respect Vanessa Merton's first paragraph; free, public WIFI does makes so much sense for so many municipalities, but not at all for unincorporated Greenburgh. Geographically speaking, unincorporated Greenburgh doesn't have a "main street" or a "downtown" where people interact as a community. The town is just not designed in such a fashion.

I could certainly see Starbucks, the Hartsdale Parking District and Metro North joining forces to WIFI the Hartsdale train station building itself, but WIFI is not worthy of a town-wide investment.

(By the way, I just assume that WIFI is already in the plans for the new library? This is a baseline expectation for a library nowadays.)

One other thing - regarding the second to last paragraph of what "Truth Teller" wrote - I think Mr. Feiner is well- intentioned by his "small bore gadfly projects like wifi and dog parks." I do agree that there are sooooo many more important Town matters to deal with, but I don't perceive any "incompetence, divisiveness and corruption" - just some Quixote-like idealism.

truth teller said...

today's journal news story about westhelp makes it clear that mr feiner is indeed incompetent, corrupt and divisive.

1. he relied on oral reports as to what the valhalla school district was doing with our money and the efectiveness of its programs. the contract requires written reports. none have been provided for at least the last 2 years.

2. he seemingly defends (or at least has not criticized) the lavish dinner cruises and double salary dipping by valhalla school personnel paid for by the westhelp money. this is wrong and shame on mr feiner for staying silent.

3. he is ignoring the advise of the town's current legal advisor as to the dubious legality of the contract. he is currying favor with the residents of mayfair knollwoood at the expense of the entire town including the villages and the school kids in greenburgh. in fact, the money greenburgh is keeping from this shady lease/sublease arrangement with the county is being put in the "B" budget and not the "A" or townwide budget even though the SCOBA committee says its money that belongs to the entire town.

remember, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

truth teller said...

as a brief follow-up: readers are strongly urged to see letters in today's journal news regarding westhelp and mr feiner's continued refusal to speak out on the use of the money to pay for subsidized opera tickets (as well as dinner cruises). we increasingly appear to have a junior roslyn situation in valhalla with all the westhelp money being controlled by a private civic assocation. again, mr feiner is untroubled by all of this. btw, i live in one of the incorporated villages and hope our village officals bring suit to get our money back from valhalla.

Anonymous said...

Dear Truth Teller: would you like to trade places with the Mayfair Knollwood neighborhood? You indicated that you live in one of the villages? What would you and your neighbors say if big government placed a 108 homeless shelter near your house? The Mayfair Knollwood neighborhood has a shelter in their back yard that they really don't want. The WESTHELP partnership concept was agreed to in 2004 by all the members of the Town Board (not only Feiner --but Bass, Barnes, Juettner too) because the Town Board felt that the neighborhood should receive a dividend/a bonus for accepting homeless housing.

truth teller said...

dear anon:

can you identify a single
negative effect of the westhelp shelter on mayfair knollwood?

group homes exist near where i live. we have had no problems with them.

the westhelp shelter is not in a neighborhood. it is tucked away on a thirty plus acre college campus.

ask the greenburgh police if there have been any problems. by all accounts, westhelp has been a model citizen.

self appointed wise men like fiener
should be chastised for pandering to the worst instincts in people, stigmatizing the homeless in the process, thereby creating
an expectation of an entitlement that individual homeowners don't deserve.

feiner took an oath to uphold the nys constitution. the other board members now realize they made a mistake (or were perhaps mislead by feiner as to the legality of the shelter deal) and are following their oath of office.

feiner may repeat over and over that Mayfair Knollwood has a homeless shelter in its backyard. his constant repeating of this lie over and over will not make it true.

btw anon, your post reads suspiciously like one posted by mr feiner himself. are you blogging yourself?

Marc Herman said...


Our involvement was with a station kiosk that was funded through a grant secured by former State Assemblyman Ron Tocci. The New Rochelle BID had the lead on the entire project.

Mark Mannix Metro North Railroad

>>> "Paul Feiner" 10/16/2006 2:09 PM >>>

I read in the Business Journal that New Rochelle received a grant to WIFI the New Rochelle train station. Would Metro North consider making the E Hartsdale train station WIFI connected? What about Starbucks?