Monday, April 16, 2007


Please feel free to post your comments about town issues. Your input is appreciated.


hal samis said...

Samis gets serious, deadly serious.

Riots in Mount Vernon.
Greenburgh residents discuss weed wacking on medians in Greenburgh.

While the only perceived threat to our local schools is increased attendance.

Could school shootings happen here?
Can anything be done to prevent it?
Can a gun be bought at a retail outlet in Greenburgh?
All of these are emotional issues but they need to be confronted and addressed.

We need to hear an assessment from the Police Department.

The right to bear arms is looking less attractive when the "arms" are no longer single shot muskets.

In my generation (Viet Nam war era, mandatory draft), school was the respite from going overseas.

In 45 years, the combat zone has become the classroom and the local streets. And if Iraq is today's Viet Nam, the armed forces are volunteers.

My youthful radicalism can easily give way to the entreatments reactionary views as seniority starts upon the road to senility.

We need to recognize that it can happen here. Being shocked is no longer the RX to the new shots heard round the world.

Anonymous said...

Hal - you laughed when Steve Bass introduced a resolution on Darfur. I guess you are no longer laughing.

hal samis said...

Outside my front door is Greenburgh, not Darfur. Nor have I asked for another pointless, inactionable Resolution.
I did ask in the blog for an assessment from the local Police Department on the local situation.

Nor did I "laugh" over Mr. Bass using a horrific, ongoing overseas tragedy as a stepping stone to votes in a re-election year. But I did laugh over his Resolution to insure hiring of union apprentices on Town jobs but worded carefully so that it would not apply to the Town's only construction project, the Library. Just as I laughed years ago when the Town urged a moratorium on the death penalty.

"Feel good" but impotent gestures are always a source of amusement to me. Thus, Mr. Bass, who is the current title holder for them, is going to be the target of my derision.

But, thinking that residents should be concerned about such things which could happen in Greenburgh and asking what measures are, or are not, to prevent and/or deal with these becoming more commonplace events, this is not "such stuff as dreams are made of".

Mr. Bass is and continues to be a fraud and that is the grassroot truth.

Anonymous said...

Amen, Samis.

Steve Bass got it right said...

Samis writes:

Outside my front door is Greenburgh, not Darfur.

Really? History has taught us what Martin Luther King observed:

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Btw - the so called riot took place in New Rochelle - not Mt. Vernon.

Anonymous said...

Feiner said it was ok to use FEMA money for his hideous memorial wall that desecrated Webb Field. Such use was 100% wrong. FEMA money should be used for victims of a disaster like the recent n'oreaster, not self promoting projects for career politicians like Feiner

hal samis said...

I sit corrected for writing Mount Vernon instead of New Roc in New Rochelle. What could I have been thinking?

And as astute as Dr. Martin Luther King might be, he is not the final arbiter of global politics. Before he was got Donne was "no man is an island entire unto himself. if a piece of the continent be washed away, europe is the less" and before that...

On the other hand is the idea that we can strike a blow for peace, everywhere with this as the leitmotif. That is why the US is stuck in Iraq today and Iran tomorrow. However as Greenburgh does not have the power to conscript an army, yet, stupid Resolutions are the Town Board's equivalent of stupid pet tricks.

And while we're learning from history, know too that imperialist nations created their own incentives to invade and conquer, first by sending in missionaries and then investment. If either was attacked, that was the invitation to invade to protect lives and property. Injustice is merely the passport for aggressive nations to promote peace by taking a piece of Africa, a piece of Asia, a piece of Europe, a piece of South America etc.

All this is like yesterday, just more water under the bridge, for national politicians. When it trickles down to our small blip on the GPS, then we have created opportunities for the Steve Bass' not to represent the new order but to maintain the status quo.

And in no way does Steve Bass step up to be a "player" in anyone's "Dreams".

So if Mr. Bass needs to find a way to get face time, with everything that bloggers point out is wrong about Town, perhaps he could better use his on-the-clock in Greenburgh time with solving a Greenburgh problem and leave the County, State and Federal governments to handle what is within their proper bailiwick.

Let's try and keep it local. See where it says above "Post your comments about Town Issues". There are other blogs to solve world problems. And there are at least 19 world problems still without Greenburgh Resolution.
That should give Mr. Bass something to do while leaving the field clear for Mr. Sheehan to Chair the marketplace of omniscience.

Anonymous said...

Amen again, Samis

Bass right - local action counts said...

It's not every day that Texans can help to alter a faraway people's fate, but this month the Legislature will get that opportunity. The House will consider a measure withdrawing the investments of two state pension plans in firms that do business with Sudan.

If the House backs this bill — and many Austin observers believe it will — Texas could have an impact on the movement to stop the relentless killing of civilians in Sudan's Darfur province.

The world is riddled with injustice, so one might ask why Texas should busy itself (and its state pensions) with Sudan. Won't there next be calls for action against human rights violators such as Burma, China or Iran?

The difference is the extremity and scope of what is taking place in Darfur. The scorched-earth policy that has killed as many as 400,000 Sudanese civilians is the first genocide that Americans have known about almost since it began. The president, the U.S. Congress and two secretaries of state have all categorized Darfur's bloodshed as genocide.

To do nothing would deny this country's principles about what we owe other human beings. But Sudan's catastrophe has been particularly hard for the U.S. government to protest.

Khartoum's extremist religious leaders routinely make peacemaking pledges, then ignore them. President Bush, a skillful broker in a previous Sudan peace process, now has little leverage in the Arab world. And China, Sudan's greatest patron and oil client, for years showed exactly no interest in the world's opinion of its activities there.

But several of these factors are shifting. This is what makes the vote in the Texas House potentially influential. Giddy over the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China is newly eager to be accepted as a responsible world citizen. It's even hired image-master Steven Spielberg as artistic director.

But Spielberg, publicly chided by actress Mia Farrow (who brilliantly advised him not to be the "Leni Riefen- stahl of the Beijing Games") last month denounced the genocide to China's leaders. Soon after, a top Chinese diplomat hastily visited Sudan — and then told the press, "We suggest the Sudan side show flexibility." Khartoum, the diplomat suggested, should allow in the United Nations peacekeepers it until now has barred.

Sudan, apparently, is also newly sensitive to outside pressures. Tuesday it agreed to let 3,000 peacekeepers of the 20,000 mandated by the United Nations into the country. Even more promising: In April and May, Britain and the United States, respectively, are helming the U.N. Security Council. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair both have expressed fury over Khartoum's killings; leading the Security Council, the two can finally place Sudan high on the U.N. agenda.

Meanwhile, a divestment movement is snowballing. Eight states, six cities, and 42 universities, including Harvard and Stanford, are withdrawing investment from firms doing business with Khartoum. This is the movement that Texas would join with the right House vote. More than a statement of protest, it has the potential to leach Sudan's government of some the money it uses for genocide. As share prices drop, the logic goes, companies will either apply pressure for the genocide to end — or even pull out.

Khartoum knows this and frequently denounces divestment as a tactic, arguing it will only hurt the Sudanese.

"The numbers of killed, displaced and injured due to Sudan's policies are staggering," said Colin Thomas-Jensen, of the nonprofit International Crisis Group. "It's hard to believe anyone in the world is going to hurt Sudan's people more than their own government."

The government of Texas, meanwhile, has an extraordinary chance to help the Sudanese. Gov. Rick Perry has endorsed divestment as a way to end the killing in Darfur. The Senate concurred. Now it's up to the Texas House.

Anonymous said...

I think that Steve Bass should divest his pension plan of stock in all companies that do business with Sudan. And then move to Texas.

Jim Lasser said...

On another part of this blog someone complained that the roadside filth was making us look like a third world country.
Well, Greenburgh is becoming a third world country. Corrupt public officials, crumbling infrastructure, tribal squabbling and public officials who blame their opponents for the state of things are characteristics of the third world.
Vast tracts of unreachable, unmaintained and unusable greenspace, one party rule and ignorance (the filth on the side of the road is spelled "DEBRIS" not "debri"), are third world realities, as they are here.
Low taxes, long tenures in office by those at the top while finance officers change with the seasons have a lovely third world quaintness to them.
Clogged sewers, public works projects like garages too short for their intended trucks, and demands that someone else (the "Big Daddy" Federal or State governments) pay for the local community's needs are typically third world.
Wake up. Greenburgh is the second largest political entity in Westchester (only Yonkers is bigger) but the political shenanigans of its leadership have rendered it powerless in Albany. Greenburgh is among the 5 largest towns in New York - but it is the only one where a politician single-handedly runs every aspect of local government. Only in Greenburgh did the secular decline in the crime rate become something the Supervisor credited to himself.
We deserve better goverment than we have been receiving.

Anonymous said...

"Greenburgh is the second largest political entity in Westchester (only Yonkers is bigger) ..."

Which makes me wonder why we still have this antiquated township system here. Maybe it still works in upstate rural areas, but certainly not around here. Can't we just become a normal city like New Rochelle and Rye?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous asks - Which makes me wonder why we still have this antiquated township system here. Maybe it still works in upstate rural areas, but certainly not around here. Can't we just become a normal city like New Rochelle and Rye?

What makes you think that if we were a city we would get a better government? We would probably have the same bunch, only they would be overpaid more than they are now. It's not the form of government, it's the voters' ignorance and greed.

hal samis said...

Bass is still a poseur.

But, I'll bite. I'll acknowledge your soapbox which you have set up on this blog topic, "Town Issues".
I assume you have been writing on someone's blog in Texas as well.

Did Mr. Bass "resolve" for NYS Pension funds to sell stock of companies that do business with Sudan? No.

Since you acknowledge that "the President and the US Congress" have already characterized the situation in Darfur as "genocide", do you think that they needed (having already done so) a Resolution from Greenburgh to arrive at this position? And it is the United States of America which maintains diplomatic relations with foreign governments, not the Greenburgh Town Board.

Thus, when you try to link stopping the horrors in Darfur and elsewhere with anything more than just Mr. Bass' re-election efforts, you are standing on shaky ground.

Feel good, accomplish nothing posturing is the hallmark of Mr. Bass and there is nothing you can write to associate him with any effort of tangible benefit. And without his "minders", Bass wouldn't even have this.

The effort in Texas is a similar one but I'll defer to their judgement and "standing".

And next time you, Steve Spielberg and Mia Farrow get together to work out world problems, maybe you could try pitching Spielberg your take "what is taking place in the first genocide that Americans have known about almost since it began".
If he should mention the Holocaust and you are still as dense, please write back c/o this blog and I shall find you some help.

Your friend Mr. Bass probably can clue you in on this one too, even though he was then too young to "make a difference". Yet every day those writing on this blog have comments on how bad things are in Greenburgh. One might think that positioned on the Town Board and one of the five votes (or one of the three votes to pass matters) that Mr. Bass would actually be able to do something concrete about RESOLVING these problems.

What he wants to contribute to solving world problems on his own time is his business. What he does when he is "on the clock" in Greenburgh is my business. What he does to waste time at Town Board meetings is my business.

And what the Legislature in Texas is doing is their business.

If it were possible to live in Greenburgh and still be called a "carpetbagger", then Mr. Bass, who will seek any office, anywhere, anytime, clearly is out to achieve that distinction.

Darfur and Bass, the two share absolutely nothing other than the need to generate publicity.

Anonymous said...

We don't need Samis to tell us that Bass is bad news. Bass thinks that his fakery fools people. It doesn't. We have seen that there is nothing to Bass other than BS. But it is good to have Samis provide details.

Bass in the mainstream said...

MONTPELIER, Vt. (April 20) - Vermont senators voted Friday to call for the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney , saying their actions in Iraq and the U.S. "raise serious questions of constitutionality."

The non-binding resolution was approved 16-9 without debate - all six Republicans in the chamber at the time and three Democrats voted against it. The resolution was the latest, symbolic, effort in the state to impeach Bush. In March, 40 towns in the state known for its liberal leaning voted in favor of similar, non-binding resolutions at their annual meetings. State lawmakers in Wisconsin and Washington have also pushed for similar resolutions.

Anonymous said...

bass in the mainstream just doesn't get it, because he is in denial and can't deal with the fact that Bass is a fraud.

Sure a bunch of Vermont senators can vote to impeach Bush. It has about as much meaning as Bass sponsoring a resolition to urge the US to act on Darfur. In each case it is meanigless and just a feel-good public relation bit. It will get them (and Bass, he hopes)some reelection help without having any consequence. That is cynicism, not responsible governing.

What do we have in Bass? A pontificator who has no interest in policy, only politics. He does whatever is necessary to get him into the next political position, and if making some in the public feel good about some phony action on Darfur, then that's what he does. He is a faker. And in November he should be replaced by a serious public servant.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't "Bass in the mainstream" see just a wee bit of difference between the sanate of a state and the town council of Greenburgh? Or does the blogger have the same delusions of grandeur that Bass has.

hal samis said...

Why is any friend of Steve Bass citing a "non-binding" Resolution? "Ok we passed something, but we didn't really mean it"? It is non-binding because it cannot be enforced?

And what does a Vermont Resolution (non-binding) to impeach Bush and Chaney re Iraq have to do with:
1) the horrors of Darfur
2) the Town of Greenburgh
3) positioning Steve Bass as "in the mainstream". Was there a Resolution from Bass that I missed?

What's next at the Town Board meeting, Steve Bass' wish list to Santa Claus?