Inside Bryant Gardens

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

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posted by The Webshop at 8:49 PM | 0 comments links to this post

Friday, January 01, 2010

10 Green Ways

All Gain: No Pain
10 Easy, Cheap Ways to Save Energy, Save Money & Save the Planet

1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Do your part to reduce waste by choosing reusable products instead of disposables. Buying products with minimal packaging (including the economy size when that makes sense for you) will help to reduce waste. And whenever you can, recycle paper, plastic, newspaper, glass and aluminum cans.

2. Use Less Heat and Air Conditioningthinkgreen
Turn down the heat while you're sleeping at night or away during the day, and keep temperatures moderate at all times. Remove or cover window air conditioners in the winter. Weatherize your home or apartment, using caulk and weather stripping to plug air leaks around doors and windows.

3. Change a Light Bulb
Wherever practical, replace regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs.

4. Drive Less and Drive Smart
Less driving means fewer emissions. Besides saving gasoline, walking and biking are great forms of exercise. Use mass transit system, and check out options for carpooling to work or school.

5. Clean green.
Use non-toxic cleaning products or make your own using baking soda, club soda, vinegar and salt.

6. Use Less Hot Water
Set your water heater at 120 degrees to save energy, and wrap it in an insulating blanket if it is more than 5 years old. Buy low-flow shower heads to save hot water. Wash your clothes in warm or cold water. Use the energy-saving settings on your dishwasher, don't pre-rinse, and let the dishes air-dry.

7. Use the "Off" Switch
Save electricity and reduce global warming by turning off lights when you leave a room, and using only as much light as you need. And remember to turn off your television, video player, stereo and computer when you're not using them.

8. Do the Maintenance
When you do drive, make sure your car is running efficiently (check tire pressure, fluids, hoses, belts; change fluids) Change air conditioner, air cleaner filters.  Clean radiators. Fix leaky valves and faucets.

9. Eat smart
If you eat meat, add one meatless meal a week. Meat costs a lot at the store-and it's even more expensive when you consider the related environmental and health costs. Buy locally raised, humane, and organic meat, eggs, and dairy whenever you can. Purchasing from local farmers keeps money in the local economy.

10. Encourage Others to Conserve
Share information about recycling and energy conservation with your friends, neighbors and co-workers, and take opportunities to encourage public officials to establish programs and policies that are good for the environment.

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posted by The Webshop at 1:46 PM | 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bryant Gardens Gets Beautification Award

The White Plains Beautification Foundation presented the Bryant Gardens Cooperative with its 2009 Neighborhood Beautification Award at its November meeting.

White Plains Beautification Foundation President Mary R. Merenda presented the Award on Monday, November 16, 2009 at a meeting at 12:30 pm in the White Plains Public Library, Room B, 2nd Floor. She said the “lovely gardens this year” at Bryant Gardens enhance the City of White Plains, helping to make it a “city within a garden.”

From left, Louis Bruno, Robert Orlofsky, Robert Compasso and Tony Garrido.

Bryant Gardens Board of Directors President Gaierose Haskel pointed to a long-term commitment to beautification that began over two decades ago when Mr. Orlofsky took over as Property Manager.  Supported by the Board and assisted throughout by Head Gardener Tony Garrido, Mr. Orlofsky has directed the plantings and improvements, garnering earlier awards in 1991 and 1998

According to Ms. Haskel, this latest award is yet another “tribute to the vision and direction” of Mr. Orlofsky.

The White Plains Beautification Foundation is a not-for-profit charitable organization comprised entirely of volunteers. One of the Foundation's goals is to have people think of White Plains not just as a major business and shopping center, but as "A City in the Park."

The Bryant Gardens Cooperative, located in White Plains, NY off Bryant Avenue, between Mamaroneck Ave and North Street, consists of fifteen two-story Colonial style garden apartment buildings nestled on 22 acres in a park-like setting minutes from downtown White Plains.

For more information:
White Plains Beautification Foundation website; contact President Mary R. Merenda at 914-761-8224 or by email.
Bryant Gardens Cooperative website; contact Louis J. Bruno at 914-574-2269 or by email.

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posted by The Webshop at 8:36 PM | 0 comments links to this post

Saturday, May 16, 2009

2009 School Board Budget Vote & Election

I am convinced, with President Obama, that the future of America depends on the quality of education. In White Plains, the School Board Budget Vote and Election on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 gives us the chance to support both excellent quality and continuing improvement.

The Budget and the Election this year are both contentious and more important than ever. They deserve a few minutes of your time now to read about them, and on Tuesday, to vote at the Mamaroneck Ave School at 7 Nosband Ave off Bryant Ave between noon and 9:00 pm. (Voters who don't live at Bryant Gardens can call 422-2071 to find their polling location.)

The Budget The 2009-2010 budget totals $185,778,149. Because of strong pressure from the community, including from the White Plains Council of Neighborhood Associations , of which Bryant Gardens is a member and I am the Co-President, the increase over last year is the smallest ever -- 0.74% (less than 1%).

The confusing thing this year is that the proposed budget and the state-mandated contingency budget are the same amount, so whether the budget passes or fails the increase in school taxes will be the same, about 2.41%. So why bother voting?

You need to vote YES on the budget because the contingency budget curtails much-needed extracurricular activities due to state-required cuts in use of the school buildings.

The proposed budget, which you can examine for yourself , isn't perfect. But it is a carefully-crafted program that maintains quality and growth consistent with Federal and State mandates and contractual obligations.

The Board The School Board, which is not a City agency, consists of seven members who serve staggered three year terms without pay. This year three seats, or nearly half the Board, will be elected.

The six candidates, in my order of preference, are:
  • Peter Bassano, a local attorney (a Board of Education Member since 2002)
  • Donna McLaughlin, Board of Education President
  • Jim Hricay, former White Plains Deputy Budget Director, now Stamford Budget Department
  • Reynolds Longfield, a former cosmetics sales and marketing executive, now an educator
  • Elsie J. Lahrmann, retired Director of Emergency Planning and a natural medicine practitioner
  • Augie Zicca, Jr., a retired Westchester County Correction Officer and former IBM analyst

The controversy, unusual in a School Board Election, comes from two sources -- the Teacher's Union and the politicians.

The Teachers, who might be expected to know better, have decided to blackball the two strongest candidates, the incumbents Bassano and McLaughlin, both of whom are committed, knowledgeable and experienced -- qualities that will be very important in guiding new Superintendent Clouet, when he takes over July 1. The Teachers Union endorses Hricay, Lahrmann and Zicca.

What's the beef? The Teachers have been working without a contract since last June, and the incumbents, at the direction of the community, have been taking a strong stance on cost of living increases. The Teachers want to "teach them a lesson." But at what cost?

Jim Hricay, whose wife teaches at the Highlands School and who has children in the White Plains system, is qualified by motive and training, and besides, is a friend and next door neighbor to Kerry Broderick, the Teachers Union president.

Elsie Lahrmann apparently "qualifies" by friendship, too. Her family is friends with the Brodericks. But nobody can figure out how Augie Zicca qualifies.

Certainly not the Democrats, who got into the fray by regurgitating some of Augie's past sins, including alleged intolerance towards immigrants. Which would be bad enough in itself, but Augie and Ms. Lahrmann are Republican stalwarts, which led the Donkey to bray about the Elephant.

No one has endorsed Reynolds Longfield whose business and educational credentials would make him a strong candidate if his motive were clear. Now in his second career, he teaches in what he calls "The Inner City," where he has qualified as a potential principal and potential district leader. I'd guess he'd like to use the School Board as a stepping stone to a Superintendent's slot.

The Journal News Editorial Board has endorsed , with sound logic, Bassano, McLaughlin and Hricay. I agree with their endorsement and urge you to return two great educators to the Board and start grooming another in Hricay.

You can decide about the candidates for yourself by watching the Candidates Night sponsored by the League of Women Voters, which originally took place Tuesday, May 12, and which is airing on community access channels 46 (Verizon Fios) and 77 (Cablevision). Unfortunately, Zicca and Lahrmann, were no-shows, so you won't be able to evaluate them for yourself.

Candidates Night broadcasts:
Friday, May 15 - 8:00 pm
Saturday, May 16 - 12:15 pm & 4:00 pm
Sunday, May 17 - 9:00 a.m., 3:15 pm & 7:00 pm
Monday, May 18 - 12:00 pm, 3:00 pm, 5:15 pm, 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm
Tuesday, May 19 - 9:00 a.m., 12:00 pm & 3:00 pm

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posted by The Webshop at 3:43 PM | 0 comments links to this post

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Let's Ban Smoking -- Really

Everyone knows smoking contributes to heart, lung and other diseases. You can see why in the picture of a healthy human lung, left, and a blackened smoker's lung. But smokers aren't the only ones affected.

Most people know secondhand smoke is harmful, too. Andy Spano knows it. He banned smoking in Westchester workplaces in 2003. The people in Pueblo, Colorado know it, too. Their 2003 ban on smoking in public places is credited with a 30% drop in heart attacks.

At Bryant Gardens, House Rule 1(b) says:
Smoking is prohibited in the public areas of the buildings, including halls, stairways, basements and laundry rooms.

But a violation of Rule 1(b) is NOT "deemed to be a violation of a substantial obligation of the tenancy of the lessee." Translation: it's not enforceable.

We know smoking is harmful. We have a ban against it in public places at Bryant Gardens. Now we need to make it real by making it a violation of the lease, and enforcing it.

And perhaps the Board of Directors should consider turning down prospective shareholders and sub-letters who smoke!

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posted by The Webshop at 9:37 AM | 0 comments links to this post