Saturday, January 10, 2009

STAR BENEFITS COULD BE CUT BY 18% IF GOVERNOR'S BUDGET IS APPROVED


I have been advised that the Governor's submitted budget cuts an additional 18% from the STAR benefits. In recent years the state has been reducing STAR benefits to taxpayers who receive basic STAR and those seniors over 65 who receive enhanced STAR.
School districts are independent of the town.
The cut in STAR exemptions, if enacted by the NYS Legislature, will result in higher school property tax bills since your school tax bills will not be subsidized by STAR to the degree that they once were. Schools, like every municipality, county, fire district, state governments are experiencing budget difficulties EVEN without STAR being cut. So this is very bad news. I have asked the Assessor to provide the town with an analysis of the impact the 18% proposed cut could have on each of the school districts within the town.
Members of the NYS Legislature will be reviewing the Governor's proposed budget in the coming months and are constitutionally required to approve a budget by April 1st.
Although the town and school districts are independent of each other - the additional tax burdens that will be placed on schools highlight (in my opinion) the need for all governments to look for ways to tighten our belts, to make government more efficient. The Town Board and I will devote significant resources reviewing all operations in the town.
PAUL FEINER

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

tightening the belt 101:

Get rid of newspaper subscriptions.

Stop Town vehicles from going home except for the extremely important ones.

Board up house at AFV and stop running the heat for a house that is empty.

More to follow just figured I would give you something to start working on Paul.

happy, happy in TOV said...

Very bad news coupled with the proposed cuts of past owed, and future committed money to private schools. You know Paul, 90% of Hartsdale children attend private schools, right?
Solomon Schechter might survive with a large tuition increase. Even Maria Regina, maybe, but schools Like Sacred Heart may have to close.
GC is going to be please as the Gov will increase their budget. After all, it's almost impossible to educate a child on the already allocated 24.8K per kid right now! Right? Looks like spending will go over the 26K per mark in 2009-2010 when they start to cry about the STAR cut. I smell big school district increases on the horizon.

You know a great deal of the SD's money is spent on "AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMS" just like the ones at TDY and we know that you are in cahoots with them. Just like you, the SD treats these "extras" as essentials and expects the community to carry the burden of paying for them. You know that they PAY TO BUS KIDS TO TDY FROM GC too. You know that they are PAYING FOR AND KIDS FROM GC TO DAYCARE CENTERS in and out of GC for after-school care. Why not? Tough noogies on the other families & kids. Right. Too bad if your 80 year old Grandfather can't afford to live here any more. They should just suck it up and pay, pay, pay.

So Paul, why don't you get that big fat increase that the Gov has proposed to GC and get them to either pay for the extra perks the town has been offering GC and ONLY GC kids,(busing, Xposure, free camp....) so that you can reduce our taxes further and help the burden of those 1100 kids, living in Unincorporated Greenberg, stay in their respective schools. Better yet, why don't you CUT SOME PROGRAMS from TDY to relieve the burden of these families so that they may be able to keep their kids in their schools?

After all, what do you think is going to happen if even a fraction of those kids now attending private schools, enroll into our public schools? Does GC want them? No. They want all that money to themselves to mishandle & spend lavishly. If enrolment goes up, both the town & the school district will be forced to carry the burden of these newly enrolled kids. Think about it. Less freebies for that small, NOT less than fortunate, group.

Now, you wouldn't want THAT to happen would you?

SENIORS: The handwriting has been on the wall for you all for a while now. I'd be leaving PRONTO if I were you.

happy, happy said...

and WTH is that "stay away from my pay" in that pic you posted. Is that the cousin to the "hands off out books!" in the library post? What on Earth are you suggesting?

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

less and less happy said...

sorry

"PAYING FOR AND BUSSING KIDS FROM GC TO DAYCARE CENTERS"

"hands off OUR book!"

Anonymous said...

The Town MUST revalue NOW!
The loss of ratables is making a bad situation worse.
The Feiner-supported "no growth" in commercial ratables is having a disasterous effect on homeowners - and adding to the burden by proposing "workforce" housing is not a good idea at all.
We need more properties on an accurate and up-to-date tax roll much more than we need Supervisor Feiner's social welfare programs.

sell. said...

11:09,
It's hopeless. We're doomed. If you live in unincorporated/GC get out now before the bottom really drops out of the market. Consuela & Pablo from White Plains, along with their 13 other family members, are interested in buying your home. They have heard about the wonderful free services they can receive here in Greenburgh. Sell now.

Anonymous said...

Can't we ship Edye McCarthy to the Governor????? Maybe she can make a multi-million dollar mistake IN HIS budget and we can get the Star Benefits.

Anonymous said...

10:52, please tell me what SD stands for.
Thax

Anonymous said...

SD=school district. This blooger is refering to Greenburgh Central (GC) School District. (SD)

Anonymous said...

12:07 ... I agree that we're doomed for many reasons by living in the unincorporated township and school district, but I'm offended by your "Consuela & Pablo" generalization.

Anonymous said...

Paul dont you think it's time that you get rid of the facilities that have been costing the taxpayers more and more money each year.

The governor is making plenty of cuts together with the cuts that you have made means that we can no longer enjoy the fruits that we worked for all these years.

Checking out this weeks work session I saw that you and the board took away necessary services as police and sanitation but at the same time not a dime was or will be cut at the center.
Is this right.

What are you all doing to the citizens of this town
Our civic leaders who worked so hard to get this town on the map ,to make us live out our dreams have to listen to all the ways that this towns present officials with a stike of a pen change things in their favor.
Dont you think it is kind of crude to keep taking our money just to support a center with all their free projects?
The new commissioner together with the board members made no cuts in their budget they spoke of ways to increase fees but at the same time increase scholorships.
Doesn't this still mean that the taxpayers will be paying for those that say that they can't pay.
In my country that means the hell with you we will not change one thing
You have never taken the time to investigate the users but at the same time you did not investigate if we could afford your spending habits.
I do hope that Mr. Bernstein wins his case this coming week. This will surely make a deep hole in all your planning in how to screw us the taxpayers..
If the governor is cutting benefits it's because the system was being raped by those that claimed poverty.
Where has all the taxpayers money gone.
Take away the freebees and our system of government will flourish again.
Stay in Greenburgh and in no time you will have to go chapter 11 and loose everything.

Anonymous said...

Poor management in this town has caused many taxpayers many problems.

Paul what else have you in mind to take away from us so you could keep the center going.

What budget cuts were made at the center??NONE.

Anonymous said...

The TDYCC's budget was cut by over 7%

Anonymous said...

Complain....
object.......
be negative.....
slander...........
defame...............
insult................
attempt to destroy others reputations.................

Hope this blog makes you happy since you are unhappy about everything.

yak yak said...

Paul made sure to have asked Carter while on camera " So what did you cut? 7%?" Carter "No, 9. I think it's 9."

All of this was just more of the TDYCC Paul Feiner Variety Show antics.

The are no cuts to TDYCC. In fact, there has been added expenses. Xposure (not included in the 2008 over 300K)for one. Adding Robinson, is another. Adding Robinson, Carter & still paying Whitehead is another.

There has been not one single cut to any program at TDYCC.

Also, keep your eyes on last years budget. Some of the money was stolen, used for outrageous trips and parties or just plain spent on luxuries.

Dear Seniors,
Please be careful taking your trash to the curb. It's very dangerous out there.

Anonymous said...

5;12

Show us all where these cuts were made.

I have not seen or heard of one cut.

7?9?7? 0! said...

"Also, keep your eyes on last years budget. Some of the money was stolen, used for outrageous trips and parties or just plain spent on luxuries.

There will be no cuts. The above, removed from the budget along with faux camp revenues increase, will amount to TDYCC budget cuts.

Mark my words.

It's comical that even Paul can't get the preplanned, predetermined number right. see Paul @ 5:12
Paul is that fake # 7 or 9. You and Carter need to communicate better. You need to get your stories straight.

sell said...

Ok. My bad. My apologies. No offense intended however, it happens to be true.

There is a little network of Mexican people from White Plains that come to tag sales in my neighborhood and when they do, they always ask if anyone is selling. They are mostly coming up from Chatterton Parkway area. They are looking to buy in Greenburgh.

My neighbor had several Mexican families come through her home when she sold last year.

Anonymous said...

are you a racist?

Anonymous said...

1 employee from TDYCC transferred to town hall
1 employee position terminated
big cuts in overtime budget
cuts in part time budget for TDYCC
elimination of administrative position at pool
transfer of maintenance staff to DPW

tdycc is a disgrace said...

is the tdycc a racist facility?
why does it exist separate and apart from town parks and rec dept?

would a white person be allowed to be its department head?

separate but equal was ruled illegal in 1954 - except in feinerstan.

feiner gang destructive said...

by giving the store away to fairview - feiner and his gang (esp sheehan and juettner) have subscribed to a mentatlity that is destructive of the broad middle class - feiner and his ilk do not get what schumer does as evidenced by this excerpt from The Atlantic:


Throughout all this, Schumer has been known for his relentless drive and aggressiveness, but almost never for what he is driving to pass. The mundane nature of the middle-class initiatives he favors is a built-in disadvantage, holding little interest for the people who think and write about policy for a living—the sort of people who prefer to dwell on crumbling schools. This reinforces the image of Schumer as something of a lightweight. “Lemme tell you,” he said with more than his usual gusto, when I pointed this out, “I had a big argument with the New York Times editorial board when I started pushing college-tuition deductibility. They wrote an editorial saying [middle-class people] don’t need it. Give it all to the poor. I called them up and said, ‘First, you don’t understand that someone making $68,000 and paying $20,000 a year for tuition feels every bit as poor as somebody who’s making $22,000 and doesn’t have to pay any tuition. And second, if [Democrats] listened to you, we’d have 35 seats in the Senate and you’d criticize us for being ineffective.’ From those people in the, quote, liberal elite, there is almost something bad about trying to help the middle class.”

It is this liberal-elite mind-set that Schumer has spent a career trying to overcome, that two cycles’ worth of Democratic Senate candidates schooled in the Schumer Method have successfully avoided, and that Barack Obama—after a worrisome start in which he appeared captive to it—also avoided, by shrewdly making elite liberals part of a much broader movement that swept right through the heart of the middle class. One reason Schumer is sanguine these days is because of his faith that Obama gets it.

Take cereal prices. “I can’t tell you how many people came up to me and said, ‘Thanks for doing what you did on cereal prices,’” Schumer told me. “Now, that is hardly the most important thing you can do. But I would resent some editorial writer or professor saying”—and here he put on an expression of snooty disdain—“‘Oh, he’s talking about cereal prices!’ I’ll tell you what. Government helped people on that. The New York Times wouldn’t understand that. Bush would say, ‘It’s up to the free market.’ But if I told that to Barack Obama, he’d understand it like that.” Schumer snapped his fingers.

Anonymous said...

While Obama would understand Schumer, Feiner clearly does not.
Feiner has, in both his words and his deeds, evidenced his discomfort (perhaps even shame) with his own background. He is a member of the "liberal elite". Time for a change in Greenburgh's leadership.

Anonymous said...

Sick of Grrenburgh Poli-tricks said...
Photos of Valerie Whitehead, Sonja Brown and Gay Silverman will be making the news soon!

Yep, Brown and Whitehead (George A)on Silverman payroll. That's how they got rid of the Pool Director who was trying to collect fees from Silverman for her Silver Streaks Swim Team ($20,000). The Comptroller office knew she (Silverman)owed the funds and had to fight Paul Feiner to collect $$$. Who rents a facility and doesn't pay up front? No one. We paid $10,000 up front for my sons Bar Mit. No special deals.

When you rent a facility you deny any one else from renting the facility. When you don't pay up front and cancel when you don't use the facility the facility="TOG" loses money. It's a no brainer.

And yes Whitehead is under investigation and it's supposely been sent to the DA office - but hopefully as stated the "wheels of justice move slowly" but do move-I know several staff who spent 2 1/2 hours or more at the police station - who never saw the Whitehead's felony nephews work at TDYCC. I pull my children from the center. You are not suppose to have criminal working with children (child molester/assault and battery etc).

When is Paul going to be a MAN and step up and say, "I screwed up-Whitehead was terrible mistake" or will he just wait and let the DA offfice do his dirty work - Yep the latter is his MO

Sick of Greenburgh politricks and BS - Let's recruite a real person for Town Supervisor

Anonymous said...

why does it (the center) exist separate and apart from town parks and rec dept?

That's what I've always wondered too. Seems illogcal and inefficient.

Anonymous said...

its probably illegal too.
thats what bernstein II is all about

Anonymous said...

why does it (the center) exist separate and apart from town parks and rec dept?

Aaaaaaahhhh. This is the 3.8 million dollar question. Allow me to offer up some possible answers:

1) To keep a separate set of books insuring that any budget allocated to the center gets reallocated by those only interested in the center.
2) Again, separate books so that grant money can be obtained, perhaps fraudently, by using on Fairview demographics on grant applications. The war cray "TDYCC is open to all!!" somewhat sheds light on this questionable grant writing practice. After all, if it is open to all, and grant money is obtained using demos not projecting "all", who can legally partake in these funded programs?

3) On a more sinister level, it appears as if there is an effort to not co-mingle with other commoners such as those who use Parks & Rec. This showing itself when Ms. Brown recently stated at the last meeting regarding camp fees "We do not want to make it look like a Park & Rec camp. It is different." Make what you want out of what she means.

4) Self serving Political tool. Paul has gotten a lot of mileage out of the center. He gives them what they want, they vote for him. He loves to take credit for being a "do gooder" with our money.

5) Pauls personal torture chamber. I suspect Paul may have some deep seeded resentment towards anyone living outside of Fairview as he continues to give our money to them and cut our services. I suspect that he uses TDYCC to inflict pain on those who cause him angst. It appears like every time he gets grief some a group of citizens (or get "found out")he turns around and gives away more money to TDYCC while taking away something from the rest of us. Xposure & elimination of curbside garbage pick up is a perfect example.

6)TDYCC creates jobs. Those that grew up taking full advantage of the free services provided to them at TDYCC for years can now work there and get paid. No volunteering allowed.

I'm sure others may have more possible explanations for you but it may all be moot in a few weeks pending a court decision.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 1:03 PM

To answer your question, TDYCC is apart from Parks and Rec because about 20 years ago Barbara Perry, who ran the TDYCC, wanted to be a commissioner and she wanted to have the TDYCC for the Fairview commmunity, and the Town Board accommodated her. This was before Feiner became Supervisor, so the coddling didn't begin with Feiner. Only those with long memories remember that.

Anonymous said...

what was the budget 20 years ago?
its now 3.8 million

tdycc must be sold said...

and in the past 18 years - feiner and juettner have continued this unseemly and divisive coddling.

Anonymous said...

NY Times
Permalink
By DONNA GREENE
Published: October 6, 1996
BEING part of the Rockefeller family does not give George F. Gumina, the so-called philanthropic coordinator of Greenburgh, instant access to people and cash, but it has given him access to the Rockefeller family's experts on fund-raising.

Mr. Gumina, a resident of Pocantico Hills, got many rejection letters from companies he asked for funds to keep certain of the town's social programs. Then he asked the Rockefeller's philanthropic adviser what he was doing wrong. Today Mr. Gumina, who works part time, takes satisfaction in saving programs for disadvantaged children at the Fairview-Greenburgh Community Center. The list of corporations and others that have helped build what he and Town Supervisor Paul J. Feiner call a public-private partnership is ever growing.

Mr. Gumina formerly worked at Woodfield Cottage, the county's detention center for troubled boys. His wife, Rachel, whom he met through their interest in horses, is the granddaughter of Nelson Rockefeller.

Here are excerpts from a recent conversation with him:

Q. Had you philanthropic interests before marrying a Rockefeller?


A. Yes, all of my life. Prior to that I worked for eight or nine years at Woodfield Cottage, part of the correctional facility. I and two other women ran the educational part of the facility; while these boys are incarcerated they are entitled to an education. I've always been interested in giving back. My whole life I have believed that I was very fortunate growing up. I came from a well-off family and a family that was tight knit. Working at Woodfield was my way of giving back to kids that weren't as lucky as I.

Q. Is it enough to say, ''I'm related to the Rockefellers, give me money''?


A. No, and I don't do that. We have to stand on our merit. The family has their interests, and I have my own interests. What I'm very proud of is that I pursue my own areas of interest, and I don't rely on the family. Yet the family's philanthropy office has always been very helpful to me as a good resource, guiding me on a lot of different issues.

Q. Why does a town need a philanthropy office?


A. Basically, it's to create a public-private partnership in response to the reduction in funding on state, Federal and county levels for many social programs. The town can't keep these programs going without raising taxes.

Q. How did you get involved with working for the town of Greenburgh?


A. After working at Woodfield for about eight years, I got a little burned out. Through my whole life, horses have been a very big passion. What I always wanted to do was ride competitively. So about four years ago, I took a leave from Woodfield, and my wife and I bought two beautiful show horses. We put our efforts into learning to ride, and for two years we did a lot of showing throughout the United States.

We bought a farm in Vermont where we lived, but in my heart I've always been a frustrated social worker. It was always a part of me that was missing -- that people connection. A very good friend of mine, Veronica Elliott, who I had worked with at Woodfield Cottage and who by then was on the board of the Fairview-Greenburgh Community Center, introduced me to the town of Greenburgh and Barbara Perry, the Commissioner of the Department of Community Resources. I met with Barbara and Veronica and took a position in the after-school program at the community center.

Q. How did you go from there into fund-raising?


A. It was at the time of the new administration in Albany, and you could see the change in government already stirring about. The talk was that many social programs would be eliminated. So I told Commissioner Perry that I'd like to take a shot at development. So Barbara, myself and Liz Merrinam, who also works for the town, put together a proposal for the Fairview-Greenburgh Community Center.

Once that was completed I used the help of my family office in finding out about foundations that basically would fund community centers with social and educational programs.

Q. How did you do?


A. We weren't so successful. We sent out maybe 100 to 150 proposals to different foundations for community-development projects. We kept getting rejected and rejected. I wasn't so happy. I went back to our family office and to Sal LaSpada, the family's philanthropic adviser, and I said, ''Sal, this is not working out that well.'' He gave some really good advice. He said, ''George, what you should do is look within the community or outside it to neighbors first who would have a vested interest in the community.''

About the same time, Paul Feiner, who has been supersupportive of the project, suggested that I move my office up to Town Hall. So I stopped working in the after-school program last year so I could put my full attention on the fund-raising effort. I have an assistant there, Evelyn Stewart. With her and the community center and Barbara Perry, we started to put together individual funding proposals.

At that point with the budget cuts, a lot of preventive programs were being eliminated. For over six years the community center had had a foster-care prevention program that tied in with the after-school program.

With the Governor's budget cuts the program was completely eliminated. So the town picked up a small portion of it. I was totally appalled. So I said, ''Let's write a proposal about our family-service program.'' That was my first big venture. I took Sal's advice and went out to our community.

Q. What was your approach?


A. We would write letters and call them up and try to make an appointment and say, ''We are with the town.'' And once you say you're with the town, well, a lot of people don't want to give money to a town. We were very persistent. Then we'd go and meet with them.

Q. And how did you do?


A. Our first donor was Keren Development, based in Greenburgh, toward the foster-care prevention program. Then we started networking. I went to AT&T and the Bayer Corporation, which gave us support. I went to Chase Manhattan Bank, CIBA, Con Edison and Natwest Bank, which is now Fleet Bank.

Last march, one year after we started, the foster-care program was up again, all with private money.

Q. What other programs are you trying to get money for?


A. The after-school program at the community center is another. Through lots of work, we recently received a $49,500 grant from the Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund in the Westchester Community Foundation. What that does is to expand the program to 200 children from 150.

Q. Are these corporations tired of being hit up?


A. I guess they are in a way. But my own pitch is, We all should give back to the community. After all, for so many years these corporations have profited from the community. And these young people who benefit from the grants might become hard-working employees of those same companies or their customers.

Anonymous said...

Paul.

You are a pandering IDIOT!!!! Why don't you ask your Rockefeller connection how many people John D. Rockefeller has MURDERED to amass his fortune? Why don't you ask your Rockefelller connection why is it that the mere presence of a Rockefeller in many countries in Central and South AMerica will cause RIOTS because of how their companies have pillaged the natural resources of the indegionous peoples of those countries.

Paul, you don't know your history and you are accepting money from a family with much more blood on their hands that the Gotti's. You should be ashamed of yourself/

PS: Why don't you ask your Rockefeller connection the following question; What did John D. do to workers who gathered in a home with the desire to unionize.

Answer: He had the doors of the home locked shut and he burnt the people inside alive.

Paul, if you had any class you would boycott any involvement with the Rockefeller family.

Anonymous said...

Paul,

READ AND LEARN the HISTORY of who you are partnering with:


Under the Nazis, the German chemical company I.G. Farben and Rockefeller's Standard Oil of New Jersey were effectively a single firm, merged in hundreds of cartel arrangements. I.G. Farben was led, up until 1937, by the Warburg family, Rockefeller's partner in banking and in the design of Nazi German eugenics. Following the German invasion of Poland in 1939, Standard Oil pledged to keep the merger with I.G. Farben going even if the U.S. entered the war. This was exposed in 1942 by Sen. Harry Truman's investigating committee, and President Roosevelt took hundreds of legal measures during the war to stop the Standard-I.G. Farben cartel from supplying the enemy war machine.

In 1940-41, I.G. Farben built a gigantic factory at Auschwitz in Poland, to utilize the Standard Oil/I.G. Farben patents with concentration camp slave labor to make gasoline from coal. The SS was assigned to guard the Jewish and other inmates and select for killing those who were unfit for I.G. Farben slave labor. Standard-Germany president Emil Helfferich testified after the war that Standard Oil funds helped pay for SS guards at Auschwitz.

Anonymous said...

WHOA! 2:27 & 2:36

PIPE DOWN! That article was published in 1996!!

Dear 2:58 said...

So are you saying that because the article is 13 years old that it is no longer valid??? Are you defending Standard Oil's paying for the SS Guards at Auschwitz? Are you defending John D Rockefeller's killing of the workers who wanted to unionize in Colorado in 1914? Should we forget about it because it happened 100 years ago?

Paul has some strange defenders but to try to change history so as to assist in his re-election campaign is going way too far.

Paul should return ALL of the Rockefeller money. It is BLOOD MONEY!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

4:46
I posted the article. I do not dispute what you have said here regarding Rockefeller. I certainly do not defend Paul.

My point was that the center had untold amounts of contributions back then and the town actively solicited them for corporations. I don't believe we do that any longer and currently we are footing the bill for ever expanding TDY programs ourselves.

Regardless, no where does that article say that we have ever received money from the Rockefeller's. It only says that Mr. Gumina married into the family.

??? said...

He had the doors of the home locked shut and he burnt the people inside alive.

I've never heard of this before. Show me where this account is published.

Anonymous said...

These are the craziest posts that I have yet seen, in this blog of crazy posts.

The Rockefeller Foundation and various Rockefellers have made magnificant charitable contributions over the years, to schools, arts institutions, communities, etc. Is nobody supposed to accept cnaritable grants from the Rockefellers or their Foundation because many decades ago Standard Oil was a dictatorial employer in an age of dictatorial employers, and they had business arrangements with I.G. Farben?

People like these posters, who nurse these kind of never-ending grudges, would refuse to honor Hugo Black -- one of the greatest free speech justices -- because he once belonged to the KKK. Or insult JFK because his father didn't want the US to fight Germany. The Germany of the Third Reich has become one of the most democratic counties in Europe. The Spain of Franco and its fascist behavior has become a liberal country. There are many examples of people or organizations or countries doing bad things and then changing.

Are we forever to think only of past grievances and not move forward. Pity people who think that way.

Anonymous said...

Holy cow! :D

Then it's settled. We should get the Rockefeller Foundation to pay for TDYCC.

Anonymous said...

Ludlow Massacre


20 April 1914

The events leading up to what is called the Ludlow Massacre began about seven months earlier. There were over eleven thousand coal miners working in Colorado for the Colorado Fuel & Iron Corporation (CF&I, a company owned by the Rockefeller family). They, like many of the miners of the past, were made up primarily of immigrants or recently "native Americans" ( Greeks, Italians, Serbs).

As was a fact of life for those in such occupations, the work was hard and dangerous (at the time, Colorado had one of the highest miner fatality rates in the world), they were paid little and poorly treated. They made $1.68 a day, in what was company scrip—meaning it wasn't good anywhere except at stores and businesses run by the company. They were regularly cheated by the company underweighing their mine carts. CF&I also ran and controlled school facilities, libraries, and ministers, and collected their rent—they owned towns where they lived. In fact, their lives were owned by the company and the workers wanted something more in return.

Strike!
Previous talk of a strike had been dismissed by the union but something happened to set things off. A young labor organizer was shot to death by men in the hire of the company (a "coroner's jury" of local businessmen ruled it to be justifiable homicide). This was the proverbial last straw and the workers gathered to discuss a strike.

They had hoped that the owners would agree to collective bargaining and had invited them to discuss their various demands (of which, only two were not already " guaranteed" by Colorado law). On 23 September 1913, close to 95% of the workers went on strike, following the announcement on the 17th:

All mineworkers are hereby notified that a strike of all the coal miners and coke oven workers in Colorado will begin on Tuesday, September 23, 1913.... We are striking for improved conditions, better wages, and union representation. We are sure to win. (www.pbs.org)

Not wanting to tolerate such dissent, the miners were quickly evicted from their homes despite the cold Colorado winter ahead.

Rockefeller responds
John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and his business associates were pleased with the action taken as much as upset by the strike. Rockefeller wrote the vice president of CF&I in October:

We feel that what you have done is right and fair and that the position you have taken in regard to the unionizing of the mines is in the interest of the employees of the company. Whatever the outcome, we will stand by you to the end. (www.pbs.org)

That same month, the vice president wrote to him that the

net earnings would have been the largest in the history of the company by $200,000 but for the increase in wages paid the employees during the last few months. With everything running so smoothly...it is mighty discouraging to have this vicious gang come into our state and not only destroy our profit but eat into that which heretofore been saved. (www.pbs.org)

(He is referring to union organizer and social activist Mother Jones—who was eventually arrested, confined, and then expelled from the state—and the United Mine Workers Union who had come to aid the striking workers.)

Strikebreakers
The United Mine Workers Union (or United Mine Workers of America, UMWA) helped them by setting tent cities in the surrounding hills, while the workers continued striking and picketing. In response, the Rockefeller "interests" brought in more men from the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency—basically hired gun strikebreakers (it was one of them who had shot the labor organizer)— to help deal with the "problem." They brought along Gatling guns and rifles and began to raid the "cities." With the raids began the casualties. Miners armed themselves for protection against the "detective agency" and its band of hired thugs and gunmen who had already set themselves up in local sheriff's offices, making themselves a sort of unofficial police organization.

Despite the hired "muscle," the workers managed to hold out and continue the strike and resist the raids. They even managed to drive back an armored car with a mounted machine gun. With the strike and the workers' ability to fend off strikebreakers, the mines were unable to continue operating—which angered not only the corporate ownership, but the governor of the state. In order to bring a halt to the situation, he called out the National Guard (which had its wages paid by the Rockefellers—three to four times what the workers had made per day).

At first, the miners thought the National Guard was there to protect them, even greeting them waving flags and cheering. The facts of matter were soon learned. Guardsmen beat and arrested—"by the hundreds"—miners and "rode down with their horses parades of women in the streets of Trinidad, the central town in the area" (Zinn, People's...). Rockefeller was pleased with the proceedings (in a letter to the vice president):

You are fighting the good fight, which is not only in the interest of your own company but of other companies of Colorado and the business interests of the entire country and the laboring classes quite as much. I feel hopeful the worst is over and that the situation will improve daily. Take care of yourself, and as soon as it is possible, get a little let-up and rest. (www.pbs.org)

Not willing to be simply beaten down, the workers took action. They killed a strikebreaker and some mine guards (they were escorting scabs to the mines). They severely beat another and the murderer of the labor organizer was shot and killed. The guard and detectives stepped up their harassment and abuse.


Still the strikers hung on through the winter.

massacre.
Sunday 19 April 1914. The Greek workers and their families were celebrating Easter. Some strikers were playing a baseball game. Five armed men on horses showed up to break up the game (arbitrary harassment of the strikers was common and de rigueur). The crowd was too large for them to easily disperse and they decided better of it. Reportedly, as they were leaving, some of the women and children laughed at them. They replied "Oh that's right, have your fun today, we'll have our roast tomorrow" (www.uvm.edu; this might be apocryphal or exaggerated but does give a sense of the antagonism that went on).

The following morning, people were going about their business as usual, trying to maintain a sense of normalcy in the midst of the strife. Little did they know that there were two companies of National Guardsmen stationed in the hills above the largest tent camp (Ludlow) training their guns on them. There were about one thousand men, women, and children living there.

At five minutes to ten, a bomb went off, sending the people into a panic. It was the first of two signals to the men with the guns. At ten, a second one went off and the people scattered, many men running toward the hills to draw fire away from their families. The shooting was indiscriminate, anyone was a potential target. Only having a handful of guns and ammunition, the miners could only offer weak resistance. The shooting continued into the afternoon.

Louis Tikas, a leader of the Greek workers, made an attempt to arrange a truce. He went up into the hills for his meeting and never returned. Women and children who were unable to make an escape to the hills dug pits in the tents to avoid the gunfire. The day wore on and around dusk the guardsmen came down to the camp and began dowsing the tents with kerosene and setting them on fire. Along with the tents were three American flags that the workers had flying. Those remaining fled for their lives.

The following day, amid the charred debris, a telephone linesman moved an iron cot, uncovering one of the pits. Inside it were the burned bodies of eleven children and two women. At least twenty-six people were killed in the massacre.

The day after the events, Rockefeller sent a telegram to the vice president: "We profoundly regret this further lawlessness and accompanying loss of life."

Aftermath

Call to arms
On the 22nd, the Denver members of the UMWA issued a declaration:

Organize the men in your community in companies of volunteers to protect the workers of Colorado against the murder and cremation of men, women and children by armed assassins in the employ of coal corporations, serving under the guise of state militiamen. Gather together for defensive purposes all arms and ammunition legally available....

Hold all companies subject to order. People having arms to spare for these defensive measure are requested to furnish same to local companies, and, where no company exists, send them to the State Federation of Labor. The state is furnishing us no protection and we must protect ourselves, our wives and children, from these murderous assassins. We seek no quarrel with the state and we expect to break no law; we intend to exercise our lawful right as citizens, to defend our homes and our constitutional rights. (www.uwm.edu)

As a result, three hundred armed strikers marched to the area where they began cutting telephone and telegraph wires. Another three hundred workers from Colorado Springs left their jobs and traveled to the area armed with rifles, shotguns and revolvers. Following the funerals for the slain in the massacre, the men picked up arms and went into the hills where they destroyed mines and killed guards.

By then, the stories of what happened had gotten out and there was outrage over the events. Soldiers in Denver refused to go to the area because, according to the newspaper: "The men declared they would not engage in the shooting of women and children. They hissed the 350 men who did start and shouted imprecations at them" (Zinn, People's...). There were demonstrations in Denver—five thousand people gathered, asking the National Guardsmen be tried for murder and calling the governor an accessory. A local cigar maker's union pledged to send five hundred armed men in response. The local garment worker's union had four hundred volunteers to be nurses for the men.

There were demonstrations and protests elsewhere in the country. People marched in front of the Rockefeller offices in New York City. A clergyman protested outside of a church where Rockefeller would sometimes gave sermons. He was beaten by police.

The strike ends
At the request of the governor, President Woodrow Wilson sent in federal troops to restore order. To deal with the demands, Congress took thousands of pages of worker testimony. It came to naught. The union went unrecognized and a total of sixty-six of the strikers and their families were dead. No one was charged with a crime.

Upton Sinclair wrote an open letter to Rockefeller concerning the events:

I intend to indict you for murder before the people of this country. The charges will be pressed, and I think the verdict will be "Guilty."

I cannot believe that a man who dares to lead a service in a Christian church can be cognizant and therefore guilty of the crimes that have been committed under your authority. (www.pbs.org)

There seems to be no record of a reply.

Rockefeller's response to Ludlow
In June, Rockefeller gave his version of what transpired two months earlier:

There was no Ludlow massacre. The engagement started as a desperate fight for life by two small squads of militia against the entire tent colony... There were no women or children shot by the authorities of the State or representatives of the operators... While this loss of life is profoundly to be regretted, it is unjust in the extreme to lay it at the door of the defenders of law and property, who were in no slightest way responsible for it. (www.pbs.org)

It is interesting to note they are "defenders of law and property," rather than the usual "order." He hired a public relations person who put out claims that those who had died in the pit, died of an "overturned stove" rather than gunfire by men who were essentially under authority to act from him.

A year later, in a speech to miners, he showed how "important" and "appreciated" they are to him:

We are all partners in a way. Capital can't get along without you men, and you men can't get along without capital. When anybody comes along and tells you that capital and labor can't get along together that man is your worst enemy. We are getting along friendly enough here in this mine right now, and there is no reason why you men cannot get along with the managers of my company when I am back in New York. (www.pbs.org)

It seems difficult to swallow that even he believed his own line.

In a response to the visit, a UMWA leader commented on how he felt Rockefeller was "sincere" and really trying to "improve conditions." On the other hand, he astutely noted that,

However, Mr. Rockefeller has missed the fundamental trouble in the coal camps. Democracy has never existed among the men who toil under the ground—the coal companies have stamped it out. Now, Mr. Rockefeller is not restoring democracy; he is trying to substitute paternalism for it. (www.pbs.org)

At least that's what he seemed to be aiming for.

Ludlow is now a ghost town. Just some deteriorating, weathered old buildings, left to gradually die and be forgotten. A monument was erected by the UMWA to honor those who died.

Numerous buildings, colleges, and foundations bear the name and/or were built by the Rockefellers. "Philanthropists" are honored by such things.

(Sources: Howard Zinn A People's History of the United States 1980, 1999: twentieth anniversary edition; Howard Zinn Declarations of Independence: Cross-examining American Ideology 1990; www.uwm.edu/Course/448-440/fink.htm; www.fortunecity.com/tinpan/parton/2/werecomi.html; www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45b/030.html; www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/rockefellers/sfeature/sf_8.html)

Anonymous said...

These anti rockefeller comments are bizarre.

tdycc is a disgrace said...

based on what has been said - the tdycc should be closed or sold or become a special recreation district paid for by fairview.

its a racist divisive relic that has no place in obama's america.

Anonymous said...

This town has been divided since Feiner took office.
The problem will not go away because too much time has passed.
He has made or put racist ideas in many of our minds from the way he has decided to make contributions to one part of town in particular and forgetting that there are many others that live in this town.
.

Many of us moved to get away from these problems only to find that they exist here in Greenburgh,

The problem is not only in my school district it is all over town.

yes and no said...

i agree with you to a point. the divisions in the town have existed for over 50 years because there are 6 incorporated villages and a number of civic groups that only represent a handful of people but are sometimes listened to at great cost (see taxter ridge)

all feiner has done is exploit these divisions.

as for the school district problem in central 7ville, there is no solution. its just a long slow decline because no one cares and that part of town has no leaders.

its just going to get worse.

Anonymous said...

Guess what peoples the governor made cuts to the star program and our dear supervisor made cuts to our garbage back door pickup.
What a great way to treat senior citizens.

Anonymous said...

That's what we get for having the Demecrates Run everything. We need to stop giving all the free stuff away to certain people in this town. Get rid of Paterson now! he doesn't see what he's doing to us, with all these tax increases