01/24/2022 Weekly Editorial Roundup
Play • 45 min

Tom Walogorsky, editor of North Salem News and The Somers Record; Brian Marschhauser, editor of Yorktown News and The Katonah Lewisboro Times; and Bob Dumas, editor of Mahopac News, join host Brett Freeman for this weekly editorial roundup.

Walogorsky kicks off the discussion by explaining a possible real estate development in Baldwin Place by Urstadt Biddle Properties. In this development, everyone shopping at HomeGoods will be relocated to Mohegan Lake, with another larger retail store coming. Urstadt Biddle Properties are proposing a new apartment building that would be 5 stories with 160-units of affordable living apartments. Walogorsky mentions everyone is negative about this development and explains their concerns.

Marschhauser then shifts the discussion to the overlay districts which are basically rezoned properties in downtown Yorktown Heights. He explains that these were rezoned to encourage mixed-use developments, giving the developers the ability to build more prominent, taller buildings, promote walkability, and hold a certain aesthetic standard. He elaborates on the specific properties getting rezoned and explains the excitement among the people of Yorktown regarding this rezoning.

Dumas discusses a jaw-dropping story of a theft that happened on January 18. A babysitter, elementary school teacher, and JV volleyball coach in Somer Central School District was arrested for stealing money from his employer's home [Nicole Borelli Stern]. Dumas details that Nicole caught him on camera in real-time rummaging through a purse and stealing $1,250. Dumas reports that more than $50,000 in cash and jewelry was missing over the past six months, and initially, they suspected somebody else. Michael Yoder, the babysitter, has been charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree only for the money stolen out of the purse, with investigations of all the other missing money ongoing. Dumas also relays that Stern's pet pig might have eaten some of the money that fell on the floor during the robbery when he rummaged through the purse.

Dumas then discusses a cause for concern regarding pollution in the Downtown Business District in Mahopac caused by dry cleaning waste seeping into the water table. He reports that the Department of Environmental Conservation has discovered chemicals in drinking well water above accepted limitations. A heating oil tank has been found buried in the ground behind a chamber building that had leaked petroleum into the ground, causing damage worth about $20,000.

More stories in this roundup include a car discovered floating off the shore of Lake Mahopac, nepotism and the selection criteria in town council positions, former Yorktown Highway Superintendent Eric DiBartolo's guilty plea to petty larceny, and the race for county executive.

Episode Highlights:

  • Three editors from the Halston Media team join today's roundup

  • Tom Walogorsky, editor of North Salem News and The Somers Record; Brian Marschhauser, editor of Yorktown News and The Katonah Lewisboro Times; and Bob Dumas, editor of Mahopac News
  • Possible real estate development in Baldwin Place and the main concerns
  • The traffic problem with such real estate developments

  • Comparison of this development with the Kmart building in Mahopac two years ago
  • Details of the overlay districts, the rezoned properties in downtown Yorktown Heights
  • Theft story where Nicole Borelli Stern's (daughter former town councilman Mike Borelli) babysitter was arrested for stealing money out of her home
  • Pollution in the Downtown Business District in Mahopac caused by dry cleaning waste seeping into the water table and the discovery of chemicals in drinking well water above accepted limitations
  • Details of an empty car discovered floating off the shore of Lake Mahopac
  • Nepotism concerns around a new supervisor in town, Mike Desirae, the former police chief. Everybody was worried about issues of nepotism that his wife had been hired as a senior accountant in the town's accounting department
  • In Bedford, Ellen Calves appointed Kate Galligan as her Deputy in one of her first decisions. And Kate Galligan is a former Bedford councilwoman who resigned last year to join the staff of Kitley Covill, a former Westchester County Legislator
  • Similar incident in Lewisboro. Peter Parsons, the former Lewisboro Town Supervisor, had long-named Leo Masterson, the town's Comptroller, as his Deputy. Last year, he named Tony Gonzales, his Deputy's councilman, to prep him for the job. Tony ran and won the supervisor job this year. And then Tony, now back as Lewisboro's supervisor, appointed Leo Masterson as his Deputy again
  • Eric DiBartolo's guilty plea to stealing about $15,000 worth of merchandise from the Home Depot in the Cortlandt town center. Eric pleaded guilty to petty larceny, a lesser crime, which was a slap on the wrist compared to the standard penalty for the crime's gravity
  • The race for county executive


Quotes

"If you do put a residential property in there, you do get a boost to property taxes, sales taxes, the other merchants that are in the area. I don't know how I personally would feel about living in an apartment building where you're walking out into retail parking."

"They're trying to do their best to make it more walkable and to have more people living in the downtown area."

"Yorktown is interesting because, like Somers, it's actually like a ton of state roads in their downtown area.”

"With the overlay districts being approved, the floodgates have been opened. We're going to see a lot of developments."

"Triangle center has been rumored to be taking advantage of these overlay zones. Who knows what's in store there? But like I said, the development floodgates are open, and it should be a very busy year in 2022 for Yorktown."

"He was arrested in front of her and her children. And she said she felt stabbed in the heart because he was a close family friend, and she felt betrayal like you would not believe."

"I don't know why somebody would think, stealing $1,200, somebody wouldn't notice that was missing. If somebody stole $5 from my wallet, I would notice that it was missing."

"In fairness to the person, he or she might have left the scene of the accident because they were freezing cold and they wanted to get warm."

"But one thing I wasn't aware of—and I guess it's because it's not the town code; it's a state law—that supervisors can appoint somebody to the deputy supervisor position who isn't an elected official, and this has been happening with frequency since January 1."

"The Speaker of the House does not have to be a congressperson. The Speaker of the House can actually be whoever the majority of the House members choose."

"I'd be curious if a town clerk could ever be appointed as a deputy supervisor."

Links:

Halston Media Group website

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