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The Port Chester Blog Of Record

The Port Chester Blog Of Record - Brain Harrod Editor / Publisher

Saturday, March 12, 2011

03/13/11 Richard And Jananne Abel Throw Former Westmore News Columnist Bart "The Bigot" Didden Under The Bus In A Hard Hitting Editorial That Tells It Like It Is

Forget About Bart Didden: Westmore News Endorses Mayor Dennis Pilla For Third Term In Port Chester

Re-elect Dennis Pilla For Mayor 
To Keep Port Chester Moving Forward

Two bright but starkly different candidates are running for mayor of Port Chester on Tuesday, Mar. 15. Both incumbent Democrat Dennis Pilla and Republican-Independence candidate Bart Didden, a village trustee since July, are motivated to do what they think is best for the village. Because of their sharply contrasting ideas on almost every issue, we need to keep them both on the Board of Trustees for a healthy balance of ideas. We therefore advocate returning Pilla, a moderate, to office for another two years. Didden, a registered Conservative, still has two years left on his term.

Since Pilla has been mayor over the past four years, the village has been going in a positive direction with a good management team, transparency in government, strong finances, a solid, comprehensive code enforcement program for the first time in the village's history, a good working relationship with neighboring communities and a forward-thinking attitude. Corruption is being routed out and the rebuilding has begun. There is no compelling reason to upset the apple cart.

The current board is comprised of strong personalities who, when they're not fighting, have had some healthy discourse on appealing the voting rights case decision and whether to use money left over from old capital projects for the purpose for which it was originally borrowed or return it to contingency are a few recent examples. Diverse opinions and healthy discussion make for good decisions. Eliminating Pilla's pragmatic voice and leaving an empty seat on the board which might not be filled until the next election in two years would be a huge mistake for the village.

Putting his career on hold and devoting all of his time to the job of mayor, Pilla has used his skills as a former management consultant to tackle the multitude of problems facing Port Chester. He took the lead on developing a downtown revitalization strategy being funded largely by grants which has only partially come to fruition. It includes new lights, trees, sidewalks, signs, trash receptacles, a facade improvement program, rezoning the central downtown district to eliminate industrial uses, enhancing the sidewalk cafe ordinance and entertainment regulations.

Pilla is also innovative, forging a first-time partnership with Purchase College and the MTA on a train bridge art project which is in the works. In addition, through his efforts, talented Purchase College graphic arts students are designing gateway signs to the village. Both of these projects will be paid for with grants and need Pilla's guidance to see them through.

Both candidates have their failings. Pilla's is a drunk driving arrest in New York City back in June 2009 for which he later apologized. That was a onetime personal issue. Didden's is the controversial 2007 flyer he authored which was deemed by the federal judge hearing the village's voting rights case to be a racial appeal. Much has been made of that flyer during this election campaign. However, it's not just the flyer and whether or not Didden apologized for it that should be considered here. It's a mindset of inclusion of all races, and we don't believe Didden has that mindset. He might be on his best behavior and trying to reach out to all segments of the community during this election campaign, but how would he treat new immigrants once in office acting as an ambassador for a village that is more than 50% Hispanic?

To Pilla, on the other hand, married to a Colombian, inclusion comes naturally, and he never fails to mention in a positive light the beautiful mosaic that is Port Chester and makes it so appealing.

Pilla has a forward-thinking attitude while Didden looks to go back to the way things were appealing the voting rights decision, for instance. Maybe that works in the short term during an election campaign but certainly not when it comes to the long-term health of the village.

We disagree with appealing the voting rights decision and wasting the taxpayers' dollars with little chance for success. We agree with Pilla that we'd be far better off negotiating with the Department of Justice to get staggered terms, for instance, than gambling on a very unsure bet.

Even though the majority of families living in the village have an income of $80,000 or less and would qualify for affordable (not low-income) housing, Didden is opposed to creating any more affordable units in Port Chester. He's even for doing away with the required 10% set-aside of affordable units within newly-constructed buildings of 10 units or more in residential zones which is currently on the books. Pilla is for changing but not eliminating what he calls an ineffective ordinance. He's for creating an incentive for developers to build affordable units rather than making it punitive and establishing an “in lieu of” fee which would go into a fund to promote single-family ownership and provide home ownership assistance. Didden's close-minded attitude could prevent the village from getting future federal Community Development Block Grants through the county which have been so important to Port Chester's forward momentum.

Village government has never been more open than it is today under the Pilla administration. The Board of Trustees, Planning Commission and Zoning Board meetings are broadcast live on cable TV and streaming live on the internet. We are concerned about the future of open government under Didden who often advocates for topics to be discussed in closed rather than open session.

Additionally, Didden has demonstrated that he won't work well with neighboring communities. He seems to have a contempt for them rather than an interest in seeing how they can work together for the benefit of each. In this day of federal and state budget cuts and a greater need than ever to share services, that attitude is short-sighted to say the least.

Pilla, on the other hand, was instrumental in getting the villages of Rye Brook and Mamaroneck and the Town of Rye to partner with Port Chester on applying for a $50,000 state Local Government Efficiency Grant to study whether to dissolve the Town of Rye. The grant was received and bids for a consultant to undertake that study are currently being sought. Even if the decision is made not to eliminate the Town, the study should be useful in identifying additional shared service opportunities across the participating communities.

Lastly, how can we elect a mayor who is unable to deal with the largest property owner in the village, downtown developer G&S Investors? Didden has been advised by village attorneys not to even discuss or vote on anything relating to G&S because of his ongoing lawsuit involving the developer. Pilla has been instrumental in that regard, encouraging G&S to do faux painting within the fake windows on the facade of its building on South Main Street, paving the way for the developer to finally improve the intersections for which it is responsible this spring, and working with G&S to help come up with a reasonable solution to the collapsing bulkhead behind Costco. Delegating such important authority to another trustee, as Didden has said he will do, is scary, especially when we don't know who that individual will be.

The Pilla administration has been the village's most productive in years even though, as the mayor himself admits, there's so much more to do. Based on his past record, Mayor Pilla deserves the chance to continue the positive momentum he has started for another two years.



03/10/11 Journal News Slams Bart Didden And Endorses Mayor Dennis Pilla

On Election Day Tuesday, Port Chester Voters Should Help Put The Past Behind Them, And Re-elect A Mayor Who Knows How To Look Forward

The race for mayor in Port Chester, one of Westchester's most closely watched villages, should be no contest at all — Mayor Dennis Pilla has done that outstanding a job the last four years, and as a trustee earlier. That it is, indeed, a race may say more about the resiliency of bigotry, mainly of the thinly concealed variety, than about his stewardship. Village voters should make a plain statement Tuesday that they support smart, fiscally responsible and progressive leadership, and vote to return Pilla for a third term. The alternative, Trustee Bart Didden, really is no option at all....

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03/12/11 Port Chester Patch - Breaking News Alert

86ae0ecace1431891efcd71ca000d09a Police And Fire
Thirteen Dead in Tour Bus Crash on I-95
Deadly tour bus accident on I-95 kills 13, injures six. Traffic tie-ups as all lanes blocked between exits 14 and 15.
By Jonann Brady | Mar 12, 2011
Thirteen people are dead and six critically injured in tour bus crash on southbound I-95 on the Bronx-Westchester border. All lanes are blocked on I-95 southbound between exits 14 and 15. All traffic… Read More

03/12/11 PORT CHESTER TOPIX MESSAGE BOARD: Fundraiser to benefit displaced fire victims

Topix Port Chester

Port Chester - News March 12, 2011

Fundraiser to benefit displaced fire victims (Journal News)
PORT CHESTER - Village Trustee and firefighter Luis Marino is to host a benefit event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the South End Fire House, at the corner of Midland Avenue and 51-53 Grace Church St., to provide assistance for two families who were recently displaced by a fire on Midland Avenue.

Please send your comments, news tips and press releases to portchesterroundup@gmail.com
Antoinette Strazza, Worked at St. Moritz Bakery (The Daily Greenwich)
Antoinette Strazza, a Greenwich resident, died at Greenwich Hospital on March 9. She was 81 years old.

03/12/11 Can You Believe That This Village Idiot Wants To Be The Mayor Of Port Chester?

Photo: Proposed Port Chester Plaque To Honor Bart "The Bigot" Didden And His 2007 Racist Flyer

Flashback To How Extremist TEA Party Lunatic Bart "The Bigot" Didden Single Handedly Lost The Port Chester Voting Rights Case And Cost Village Taxpayer $1.2 Million

Judge Stephen Robinson: What is it that you meant when you said,"well thank you Mr. Pilla for standing up for the non-Hispanics that elected you the first time"? What did you mean by non-Hispanics? Who were you referring to?

Bart Didden: I am not sure how to phrase it, quantify it or define it.

Judge Stephen Robinson: Were you referring to people of Hispanic origin? When you say non-Hispanic, are you referring to them?

Bart Didden: No.

Judge Stephen Robinson: Were you referring to African Americans?

Bart Didden: I assume not. Well I assume so.

Judge Stephen Robinson: You are referring to African Americans?

Bart Didden: Well I don't know if African Americans are considered Hispanic. I don't think they are.

Judge Stephen Robinson: Are you referring to people of Asian origin or decent?

Bart Didden: Yes

Judge Stephen Robinson: So it is your view that the African American or Asian residents of port Chester who as the people who elected Mr. Pilla the first time. Is that your view.

Bart Didden: I think it was everybody who voted for him.

Judge Stephen Robinson: Do you know who voted for him? Do you have any idea who voted for him.

Bart Didden: I have no idea.

Do you some times get the feeling that Extremist TEA Party Lunatic Bart "The Bigot" Didden is Koo Koo For Coco Puffs ?

Please send your comments, news tips and press releases to PortChesterRoundup@gmail.com

03/12/11 The Raw Port Chester news Feed

News Reports About Port Chester, NY
Didden: We can do better for the Village of Port Chester
The Journal News | LoHud.com
Port Chester refuses to heal," a Feb. 23 editorial; and "Our recommendation for Port Chester Mayor...
Woman indicted on charges after fatal car crash
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
22 crash in Pittsford in which Nazareth College student Gabrielle E. Acevedo, 21, of Port Chester, Westchester County, suffered a serious head injury. Acevedo, a passenger in Pitcher's vehicle, died Feb. 4 from her injuries. ...
Fundraiser for Fire Victims Scheduled for Sunday
Midland Avenue is closed at the Port Chester-Rye border due to a fire. Satta Sarmah Losing your home and all your possessions in a fire is hard enough; going through that ordeal when you have a baby on the way and a family to house is even worse. ...
Thief Poses as Company Man, Gets Store to Hand Him $2.5k Piece of Machinery ...
By Nik Bonopartis  Police are looking for a man who posed as a maintenance company supervisor and convinced employees at a Port Chester store to hand over a piece of machinery worth $2450. The suspect walked into Pathmark at ...

Please send your comments, news tips and press releases to PortChesterRoundup@gmail.com

03/12/11 Extremist Tea Party Lunatic And Mayor Wanna Be Bart "The Bigot" Didden Tells African American Judge He Is A White Casualty And Port Chester Gets Cumulative Voting And Flushes 1.2 Million In Tax Dollars Down The Toilet

Bart Didden Uses His Own Words To Explain To Port Chester Taxpayers How Port Chester Got Cumulative Voting.

Federal Judge Stephen Robinson And Bart "The Bigot" Didden Read A Racist Email Rant Set Out Over The Servers Of USA Central Station Alarm In Port Chester.

Judge Stephen Robinson: The next sentance in the paraghaph says,"Let's call the judge." Does that mean me.

Bart Didden: Yes, sir

Judge Stephen Robinson: "Let's call the judge or are we the same as Rubino?" What does that sentance mean?

Bart Didden: I think that it's evident from my prior comment.

Judge Stephen Robinson: Let me just stop you. It is not evident, because I have listened to everything you've said and I don't know what that sentance means. That's why I am asking you.

Testomony Continues .....

Judge Stephen Robinson: You being a white casualty?

Bart Didden: Me being a casualty.

Judge Stephen Robinson: White Casualty. That's not my phrase, that's your phrase.

Bart Didden: And I wrote that.

Judge Stephen Robinson: No question about it, because I am looking at it. It meant something to you. You intentionaly put the word white in there to mean something, didn't you.

Bart Didden: Probably to highlight that a Hispanic candidate is no different than anyone else in the village of Port Chester.

Judge Stephen Robinson: That's what you think the paragraph means to somebody other than you in your head.

Bart Didden: I hope so


Please send your comments, news tips and press releases to PortChesterRoundup@gmail.com

03/12/11 Fundraiser for Fire Victims Scheduled for Sunday and more news

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March 12, 2011

Your News

Fundraiser for Fire Victims Scheduled for Sunday

| Mar 11, 2011 | 0 Comments

imageTrustee Luis Marino hosts a fundraiser for victims of last week's fire.

Thief Poses as Company Man, Gets Store to Hand Him $2.5k Piece of Machinery, No Questions Asked

Nik Bonopartis | Mar 11, 2011 | 0 Comments

imagePolice say the scammer and accomplices are likely former employees at the maintenance company or grocery store.


A Getaway Not Far Away: Experience the Rivertowns During Restaurant Week

Tobi Spino | Mar 11, 2011 | 2 Comments

imageThe Urban Suburban Mom Hits the Road to find the best deals on mini-vacations right in your own backyard.

Community Bulletin

Social Notes

Fair and Affordable Housing Expo Comes to County Center

Lisa Jeanneret | Mar 11, 2011

If you're in the market for a home, but aren't sure you can swing it, don't miss the Fair and Affordable Housing Expo being held …

Things to Do


'Three Birds Alighting On A Field' Presented by Purchase Repertory Theatre

imageSix performances of Three Birds Alighting On A Field, presented by Purchase Repertory Theatre, are scheduled for March 8-13 in the …


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03/12/11 Today In History: Girl Scout Cookies

March 12
The Girl Scouts of USA, a youth organization for girls, was founded today in 1912, much to the chagrin of dieters everywhere. Step away from the thin mints!

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