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Welcome to the Letters to the Editor Section

L to E: The new Train Station RFP process should be a model of transparency

Tuesday, October 28, 2014
by Robin Murphy

Last month, the Town of New Castle released a new Request for Proposal (“RFP”) for the publicly-owned Chappaqua Train Station and the deadline for submissions was last week.  This is the current Town Board’s second attempt to find a tenant for the Train Station and by issuing the RFP in advance of all public presentation, this time they have allowed a more appropriate window (weeks, instead of days) for the submission of proposals, certainly making the current process an improvement over the prior one.  However, there is yet a lot to happen and I am concerned that the Town Board plans to keep the decision-making mostly confidential instead of being transparent and assuring that residents can be confident of the integrity of the process.

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L to E:  In Support of the Upper Westchester Muslim Society Project

Monday, July 28, 2014
by Hannah Kalifeh

This represents a personal opinion from a member of the Muslim community. I am not writing as a representative of UWMS.

My name is Hannah Khalifeh. I am twenty-one-years-old, and a recent graduate from Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York (Class of 2014).  After graduation, I moved back to my family’s home in Chappaqua, where we have lived since I was in second grade in 1999. This summer, I was hoping to hear good news that the proposal for a mosque submitted by Upper Westchester Muslim Society has been finally approved. Unfortunately, I was told that yet another public hearing has been planned for July 30th, an additional step in a long process that has taken eight years now.

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L to E: Keep mosque public hearing open till September

Monday, July 28, 2014
by Vera Garrett

I would like to first state that as a resident of the affected area, this objection has nothing to do with the project being a Mosque, as my brother-in-law and family are Muslim.

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Members of local religious groups plead for close of public hearing, approval of mosque

Monday, July 28, 2014

Editor’s Note:  Below are letters sent this month to the Zoning Board of Appeals encouraging its members to vote on Tuesday, July 30 to approve an application first submitted in 2006 by the Upper Westchester Muslim Society to construct a mosque on its eight-acre property on Pinesbridge Road.  Two weeks ago the ZBA found that environmental review for the project was complete.

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Open Letter to TB members: The entire town has a full stake on the issue of traffic and safety

“One chance to get this right”

Thursday, May 15, 2014
by John and Liza Norton

Dear Board Members;

Allow us please to add our voices to the chorus of New Castle residents who are greatly concerned about the impact that the proposed retail development at Chappaqua Crossing will have on local traffic volume and flow.

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Ltr to Ed:  Chappaqua Neighbors Club welcomes all

April 25, 2014
by Molly Burnett

I am a member of the Chappaqua Neighbors Club and was disturbed to read an anonymous comment in Chappaqua Now implying that the writer had not been welcomed to join the club because of her last name (and, I presume, her ethnicity.)

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L to E: Take It or Leave It, don’t go—we love you!

April 11, 2014
by Nancy O’Neil

There is a place, in our very own community, where you can bring your slightly chipped turkey platter and go home with four picture frames and a stuffed bear.  Or, on a good day, you get a twin stroller and a potty chair, someone else gets your pink princess phone.

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Open Ltr: Before killing the Take-It-or-Leave-It, a little reseach into the charity you’ve chosen

April 8, 2014
by Maggie Christ

To Town Board members: 

When I reached for my kitchen sponge this morning to wash out a mug my daughter had once given my husband for Father’s Day, I plucked it out of the blue and white striped bowl that lives next to my sink. Both the bowl and the mug are treasures that we found at the town’s Take It or Leave It Shop – or, as I like to call it, the swap meet at the dump. And over the almost ten years that we’ve lived here, we’ve dropped off and picked up many other things, most memorably a plastic desk for our toddler which we returned to TOILI when she outgrew it.

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Letter to the Editor: First plan, then develop

February 28, 2014
by Betty Weitz, Ph.D.

It’s a mistake to treat master planning and development proposals simultaneously.

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Letter to the Editor:  Some Master Plan Thinking for Our Real-Life Town

February 28, 2014
by Chris Roberta

Here are my seven reasons why the Spa at New Castle is a better fit for the Chappaqua Crossing property.  Yes, it’s been thought of before.  But our thinking—all around and under it—has come a long way in the last couple of years.  And in the Master Plan review, we’re about to think big-time about the whole town.

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Letter to the Editor: Top-down decision-making not only fails; it’s against the law

February 28, 2014
by Chuck Napoli

Amending or altering the comprehensive plan—a/k/a Master Plan—to permit the Spa and Chappaqua Crossing cannot continue because rezoning any property must include proper citizen participation in the preparation of the amendment to the comprehensive plan and must result in substantial favorable impacts to the public health, safety, morals, or general welfare of the community—the key factors that legitimize a comprehensive plan update.

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Greenstein and Spade argue that County should not approve Hunts Lane project

December 6, 2013

Editor’s Note: Below is the text of a letter to Legislator Catherine Borgia, Chair of the Westchester County Legislature’s Government and Operations Committee, from Supervisor-elect Rob Greenstein and local architect Bill Spade, Chappaqua for Responsible Affordable Housing, reiterating the concerns they expressed—in a November 21 meeting of the same committee—about Hunts Place as a site for affordable housing.

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In letter to County Legislature Supervisor Carpenter defends Hunts Place project

December 6, 2013

Editor’s Note: Following is the text of a letter from Supervisor Susan Carpenter to the Catherine Borgia, Chair of the Government Operations Committee of the County Legislature, whose approval of funding the Conifer project requires.  Carpenter’s letter responds to the criticisms of the Conifer project voiced by Bill Spade and Supervisor-elect Rob Greenstein in a meeting before the same Committee of Government Operations nine days earlier.

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Open Letter to the Community: Don’t Miss the Merriment at Greeley This Week!

Monday, November 18, 2013
by William McHale

What’s that? You say you don’t have a family member in the cast, or in the school system, and are not considering attending? I urge you to reconsider.  Witnessing the amazing young talent in this community pull off an Off-Broadway-caliber production of still another ambitious play is Merriment-inducing. Thursday through Saturday, November 21-23.

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Ltr to Ed: Setting the record straight on employee use of a town vehicle

November 8, 2013
by Anthony Vaccaro, Commissioner, New Castle Department of Public Works

In a letter last week, Robin Murphy speculated that I wrongly allowed a DPW employee to take a town vehicle for personal use while intoxicated, and that he subsequently caused damage to the vehicle. As Commissioner of this Department I feel it is my responsibility to set the record straight.

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Letter to the Editor: In support of Noam Bramson for County Executive

Monday, November 4, 2013
by Richard Laster

I had the pleasure of first meeting Noam about four years ago, when we were exploring the possibility of his joining the Board of Directors of the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center.  I was chairman of this organization at the time and Noam, the son of Holocaust survivors, was mayor of New Rochelle.  He was a natural to join our group.

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Letter to Editor: Don’t be misled—Team New Castle is committed to sewer project

Monday, November 4, 2013
by Rob Greenstein

At a special hearing conducted last Saturday, the Westchester Fair Campaign Practices Committee found that the Democratic slate led by Penny Paderewski had engaged in unfair campaign practices by circulating a mailer and email to residents which misrepresented certain positions of Team New Castle relating to school taxes and commercial development in our community.

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Open Letter to the Community: Temperament matters

Monday, November 4, 2013
by Ellen Adnopoz, Emily Haft Bloom, Ann Styles Brochstein and Lauren Kraft-Rothberg

As you consider your options tomorrow on Election Day, we would like you to read a few thoughts we have, all of us residents who have lived here for decades, raised and educated our children here, and choose to remain here still, even as our children move on.

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Letter to the Editor: Voters should consider traffic safety at Hunts Place

Monday, November 4, 2013
by Ed Frank

Many residents have voiced their concern that the proposal for a supermarket and retail at Chappaqua Crossing will create traffic congestion. But voters should be aware of the serious traffic safety hazards that will be created if Chappaqua Station, the Conifer project at Hunts Place, is constructed.

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Letter to the Editor: Don’t Forget to Vote!

League Logo
Polls are open from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
November 1, 2013
by Mary Kirsch, Voter Service Chair
League of Women Voters of New Castle

In 2012, 76% of New Castle voters went to the polls and voted for President and for federal and state officials. In 2011, only 33% turned out to vote for town supervisor, other local officials and a proposition about town government. That’s a big difference!

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Statement by Candidate for (and current) Town Justice, Judge Noah Sorkin


October 18, 2013
by Judge Noah Sorkin

After serving as a New Castle Town Prosecutor for five years, I was honored to be appointed as interim Town Justice in December 2012, filling out Judge David Zuckerman’s term after his elevation to the county court.  As your town judge, I have drawn upon my experience as New Castle Town Prosecutor, in addition to many years as a state prosecutor and in-house General Counsel.

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L to E: School district’s hosting of Chappaqua Farmers Market at Bell would benefit our town

Tuesday, November 18, 2014
by Nancy Huehnergarth

As a weekly shopper at the Chappaqua Farmers Market, I was deeply dismayed to learn that the Chappaqua Central School District (CCSD) has refused to host the indoor winter farmers market at the Bell School.

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Editorial: Supervisor’s hands are still all over the master plan review

Monday, September 29
by Christine Yeres

Supervisor Rob Greenstein is eager to show that his hands are off the master plan review, but last week he demonstrated again that his hands have never been off it.  Operating through the town planner, Sabrina Charney, he continues to make decisions without either informing his other TB members or consulting the Master Plan Steering Committee, whose members were appointed by the Town Board to run the master plan review. 

When asked in last week’s TB meeting whether the members of the Master Plan Steering Committee had given their input on the RFP for a professional consultant to help with the master plan review process, no TB member or its counsel seemed to know.  Yet Greenstein was prepared to issue the RFP that night.

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Open Letter: CC’s Wallace Auditorium as cultural resource and a home for The Chappaqua Orchestra

Monday, July 28, 2014
by Michael Shapiro

Dear Supervisor Greenstein:

As I have mentioned to several people in town government over many years, The Chappaqua Orchestra is in favor of the renovation of the Wallace Auditorium at Chappaqua Crossing, and the auditorium thereafter being run by the Town or a not-for-profit corporation.  Properly renovated, the Wallace Auditorium could become the long desired home of the The Chappaqua Orchestra and other performing arts organizations.  Due to the very busy schedule at the high school, Greeley is not readily available for us.  Having a performing arts center at Chappaqua Crossing would also enliven the development by giving Chappaqua a priceless cultural resource, and the Chappaqua Orchestra a home.

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L to E: Some problem dog walkers in our parks need to obey the law

May 30, 2014
by P. Cullen

This is an accident, or worse, a law suit waiting to happen.  For quite some time, professional dog walkers have been taking over the town parks.  There is the possibility that if one of these dog walkers causes an accident (if one of their charges bites a resident/visitor), the town could be sued.  When bite incidents have happened in the past, the Town Board has considered the possibility of banning all dogs from town parks.

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Open Letter to TB members: New Castle doesn’t deserve “good”—it deserves “great”

Applicants for train station lease gravely disappointed in the process and final decision
Monday, May 19, 2014
by Peter and Erin Chase

Dear Mr. Greenstein & Town Board:

Our family moved to Chappaqua because we fell in love with the small town feel and sense of a strong community.  We immediately knew we wanted to open a small restaurant and be a part of this community.  For almost a year we have been working with a local broker trying to find a space to lease.  In February we were made aware, by our broker, that the train station was possibly available, as negotiations were breaking down on the lease.

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L to E: Transparency?  The town administrator’s contract was supposed to be for six months

Monday, May 19, 2014
by Robin Murphy

Dear Editor:

Although I voted for Rob Greenstein as well as the other Team New Castle candidates, Adam Brodsky and Lisa Katz, I have been disappointed that their promises to bring “small business mindset” and “a new approach” to New Castle town government have so far been empty.  The appointment of Jill Shapiro as Town Administrator—with no attempt to invite other candidates to apply—raises serious questions.

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New lease on life—in a new neighborhood—for Take-It-or-Leave-It Shop


April 11, 2014
by Bill Kuebler

Take It Or Leave It fans rejoice. The Take It Or Leave It Shop will reopen bigger and better than ever. I had a very nice talk with Supervisor Greenstein yesterday afternoon. The passionate letters to this site and the wonderful speakers at the town board meeting Tuesday showed how vital and popular our little community is. Thank you all.

This is how I understand the situation—and keep in mind things will certainly evolve.

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L to E: Leave “Take-It-or-Leave-It” alone—it works for the community

April 8, 2014
by Robin Murphy

Dear Adam, Elise, Jason & Lisa,

Yesterday, someone mentioned on the Chappaqua Moms facebook page about the changes in Take It Or Leave It.  When pressed for an explanation, Rob Greenstein responded as follows:

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L to E: On creating a commercial center and town hall at Chappaqua Crossing

April 4, 2014
by Suzanne Chazin

I know there has been a lot of talk about creating a commercial center in the former Reader’s Digest property and also moving the town offices up to Chappaqua Crossing. I think this is not a good idea over the long term for the health of our community.

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L to E: Retail at Chappaqua Crossing “a bad project that will be bad for our town”

Monday, March 31, 2014

Editor’s Note: In 2013 Steve Coyle, an investor in commercial real estate for the past 25 years, wrote several letters to the editor in NCNOW stating his reasons for opposing proposed retail zoning for Chappaqua Crossing.  Last week he wrote again to NCNOW stating his reasons for believing that “this is a bad project that will be bad for our town.  I don’t know how to say it any more clearly than that.” 

A Town Board with three new members is again fast-tracking the application for a zoning change at Chappaqua Crossing to permit a 40,000-square-foot Whole Foods and 80,000 square feet of additional retail, which Supervisor Rob Greenstein has stated he intends to approve regardless.  But this rezoning now makes up only half of Greenstein’s plan.  The other half is to move Town Hall to the cupola building at Chappaqua Crossing and develop (or have Summit Greenfield develop) the town hall site with “transit-oriented” residential. 

Because 1) a Master Plan review process is only just getting started, 2) Adam Brodsky’s volunteer Downtown Business Development Advisory Committee (meant to advise the TB on viability of the two-part plan and on its implementation) will not meet until late April, and 3) the details of Supervisor Greenstein’s plan have not been released nor its ramifications studied in any detail, NCNOW asked Coyle what he thought about the two-part plan. First, Coyle’s letter of last week:

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Ltr to ZBA: Deny Alfredo cell tower application; there are alternatives

March 18, 2014
by June and Roger Blanc

To the Zoning Board of Appeals
Ladies and Gentlemen:

We live in close proximity to the site covered by the above-captioned applications (together, the “Applications”) and we respectfully recommend that the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Planning Board (together, the “Boards”) deny the Applications for the reasons set forth below and other reasons the Boards may find appropriate.

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L to E: Issue a moratorium on new zoning ordinances until the Master Plan is updated

March 14, 2014
by Jeffrey Kay

I am happy to hear the Town Board has put into motion the update of the 1989 Town Development Plan, and that on March 18 the Steering Committee will meet with the Town Board and Pace consultants to discuss details of the community outreach. Town Supervisor Robert Greenstein stated “the overall purpose of the Master Plan is to provide a “roadmap” for development in the Town of New Castle over the next twenty years.” However, given how contrary the proposal for “The Spa at New Castle” is to the Master Plan, it is unfair both to the residents of our town and even to the developer to proceed with the application, the environmental (SEQR) review and the consideration of rezoning a residential neighborhood into a new commercial district concurrently with the update of the Master Plan.

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Ltr to Ed: Why a 150-foot cell tower on Armonk Road should not go forward

Planning Board conducts informal hearing for tower proposal at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, January 6

View from a driveway directly across the road; red dot in center of photo (just above phone wires) is balloon marking height of proposed cell tower
Monday, December 16, 2013
by Tej Anand

Verizon/Homeland has filed an application for installing a 150-foot cell tower on 620 Armonk Road (NY Route 128) in New Castle. The proposed cell tower will be directly behind the tennis courts of the Twin Oaks Swim & Tennis Club (See the map below).  The Homeowners Association of Whippoorwill Lake Road has put together a petition asking the New Castle Planning Board to deny Verizon’s application.  We have put forward ten reasons why constructing a cell tower at this location is incompatible with its historical and natural surroundings, and will impact the quality of life and the property values of surrounding neighborhoods.

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L to Ed: Our Legislature should support local control of zoning, vote no on Conifer funding

December 13, 2013
Written by Rob Greenstein with William R. Spade, Architect - AIA, Co-founder of Chappaqua for Responsible Affordable Housing

In early January of this year, Rob Astorino came to New Castle Town Hall on for his “Ask Astorino” session.  I asked him “What is your opinion of the affordable housing proposal at Hunts Place?” “What do you think of that location?”  Astorino responded: “One of the biggest things I’m fighting for is local control,” he said.

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A Transition-Talk Tent set up, on the fly, to hear ideas for the new Town Board

Talk
You heard the milk cartons!  Now talk!
talk
Here.  Now.
With 76 comments since publication
November 22, 2013


Editor’s Note:  Here’s NCNOW’s temporary tent, à la De Blasio (his is at Canal and Sixth Avenue) , set up to hear ideas, suggestions or complaints from residents over the next month, between holidays.  What issues should Rob Greenstein, Lisa Katz and Adam Brodsky pay attention to?  Come into the tent by clicking “Read more….”—and leave a comment.

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L to E: Letter of Support for New Castle Democrats from Elise Mottel

November 1, 2013
by Elise K. Mottel

I am writing in support of Penny Paderewski for Town Supervisor and John Buckley and Mike Wolfensohn for Town Board. As a sitting town board member and an active Democrat, my endorsement will surprise few, if any. I feel that the reasons I am supporting the Democratic slate are important to share before the election.

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Ltr to Ed: Conifer project is all about suitability

November 1, 2013
by Roger Klepper

I have given much thought to the proposed Conifer affordable housing project.  At first glance, it appears to be not unlike many other matters currently before the town, with a long list of positive and negative considerations.  Much like Chappaqua Crossing, this can serve as ample fodder for lively debate among the town’s residents.  But Conifer is in fact different.

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L to E: NC needs a Supervisor who is knowledgeable and steady

November 1, 2013
by Janet L. Wells

Putting aside the drama and emotion of the election season, the Town of New Castle needs a Supervisor who is knowledgeable and steady, knowledgeable about the many and varied parts of town government and steady while solving current and future problems.  Penny Paderewski is that person.

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L to E: Incumbents are well-intentioned, but stuck in a rut

November 1, 2013
by Mark Mutkowski

The unfunded mandates Gregg Bresner writes about have been a clear issue now for at least a decade and the solution to the problem will require sacrifice from all constituents, but we are not even in a conversation at this point, we are just kicking the can.  Any town board absolutely does need to have a strategy for dealing with the New York State, not just throwing its hands up.

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Ltr to Ed: Some thoughts on Halloween and the election

November 1, 2013
by Mark Goodman

My wife and I moved to Chappaqua in 1985.  Her birthday is Halloween and when we were house hunting, we happened to be in Chappaqua on the day of the Ragamuffin Parade.  My wife and I decided that any town that celebrated her birthday in such grand fashion was a place we wanted to live.

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L to E:  When “experience” becomes “baggage,” it’s time to vote for a new way forward

November 1, 2013
by Robin Murphy

I started attending Town Board meetings and work sessions on a regular basis a few years ago and, based on the information gleaned there and in town, I feel strongly that the Democrats’ one-party control has caused problems for our town.

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