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League of Women Voters of Somers, NY

PO Box 371, Somers, New York 10589



November 9th Meeting: Christopher Malone's Preview of the 2016 Election

Every November our favorite professor, Dr. Christopher Malone, comes to the Somers League of Women Voters to share his knowledge and understanding of the politi-cal system with us. Dr. Malone, a nationally renowned politi-cal scientist with 15 years of leadership and faculty experi-ence at Pace University, has been appointed associate dean at the Lehman College School of Natural and Social Scienc-es. Dr. Malone started his new position at Lehman on Au-gust 24 of this year.

In addition to his years as an innovative faculty mem-ber at Pace, Malone was the school’s founding director of the American Studies program, director of the University’s Pforzheimer Honors College and until last September, chair of the department of political science. From 2004 to 2010, he appeared on C-Span, co-teaching a course on American Politics and Public Policy.

Be sure to join us—Monday, November 9th, General Meeting, 10:00am; Speaker, 10:30AM, Somers Library, Reis Park.

President's November Message

I read a book during my last trip to Montreal, a seven-hour ride on Amtrak! Baseball and Philosophy - Thinking Outside the Batter Box, edited by a philosopher and baseball enthusiast, Eric Bronson. It intrigued me. I like baseball and October is a good month to read and write about it. I was wondering how to tie baseball, philosophy and the League of Women Voters together. Here is what I found:

What does it means to be a fan of a team? When you are a genuine fan of a team, you makes a commitment to something you believe in, whatever the rewards or the disappointments. It requires attitude, action, and a commitment to a cause such as the LWV. “We must reach out to something beyond oneself thereby forming a bond with others who are similarly committed”.

There is a chapter in the book on democracy and dissidence and another on Baseball and the search for an American moral identity. Political philosophers have long struggled with the question: how important is it to get along with each other? Our founding fathers decided that democracies, like baseball teams, or LWV committees, can thrive with a little friction along the way!

If we are serious about our freedom of thought and speech (certainly the LWV is!), then we need to safeguard and encour-age dissident voices wherever they causes a disturbance.
In the eyes of many, baseball conjures up a moral image of America at its best--a nation of strivers moved not so much by greed and self interest as by a larger version of excellence of arduous effort, social cooperation and an abiding sense of fair play, like the League? America’s greatness has to do with its collective spirit, one devoted to a common goal; a home run or for the LWV, one more person signing at one of our voter regis-tration tables!

“Baseball’s internal goals are: social constitution, need of disci-pline, hard work, concentration, commitment and a social char-acter to serve some collective purpose about who we are or else we would not have gone to the trouble of putting them out there in the first place”. So is the League of Women Voters!

League Day at the United Nations: December 3

This year’s event On December 3 provides briefings by UN experts on two topics: global healthcare issues and educating the youth of the world. The briefings will present information on the issues and the action being taken to assist in these global issues. A delicious lunch in the Delegates’ Dining Room and tours of the United Nations facility are also available.

Schedule of Events
10:00am-12 noon  Briefings by UN experts - $50.00
12:15pm  Lunch in the Delegates’ Dining Room - $50.00
1:30pm-3:00pm  Tours of the UN - $15.00
All three: $105.00
For information contact Francoise at franbenn@comcast.net

Legislator Mike Kaplowitz's Report on the County

He took the podium saying that we’d have to take “the rest” because his co-legislator, “the best”, was attending to “business”…but we feel Mike Kaplowitz, our County Legislator for the past 17 years and current Chairman of the Board, who makes his annual informed and humorous visit to us, is the best.

He started by telling us that 2015 is a very quiet year on the “Ballot”…..an off, off year with all candidates running unopposed. There is one referendum on the ballot that should be approved. It will allow more time to review budgets between their submission and approval.

The “general state of the County” is good. The County Executive has been voluntarily diminishing his powers, working in conjunction with the Legislators. The Bi-Partisan Government is working well. Among its accomplishments are, a new operator at Playland, $14 million saved with the Family Court move and a new Tax Initiative. In addition, housing in Yonkers has been cleaned up “as best as possible.” Mr. Kaplowitz, if reelected to the Chairman’s post, will make this his last term, feeling that term limits should be imposed.

When questioned about housing, he stated that “affordable housing” applies to “low and middle” income people, not “no income” and strengthens communities by promoting diversity. 750 units are required in the County. 601 will have been completed by the end of 2015. The remainder will be built in 2016. Mr. Astorino’s dialogue with the Federal Government has cost the county $21.5 million…and, it may be fined $60,000 a month. $5 million has been diverted to the State to be administered in Westchester.

The County currently has a $2 million shortfall due to lower gas prices resulting in reduced sales tax income. The loss is being absorbed by making cuts in employment and programs such as aid to battered women. The County’s economic prognosis looks good. Employment is up.

of Events

Due to the changes in schedule this month, there will not be a Bulletin for October. The Bulletin will resume in November.

Tues. Nov. 3rd Election Day

Mon. Nov. 9th
10am Monthy Meeting
10:30am Dr. Christopher Malone "Our Favorite Professor." A preview of the 2016 election, Somers Library, Reis Park

Wed. Nov. 11 Veterans' Day Parade, Bailey Park, 10:00am

Thur. Nov. 3 League Day at the United Nations

Mon. Dec. 14
10am Monthly Meeting
10:30am Holiday Party with refreshments. Join us in honoring Harriet Leib. Somers Library, Reis Park

Mon. Jan. 11
10am Monthly Meeting
10:30am County Legislator
Somers Library, Reis Park

The Annual Fall Luncheon

On Monday, October 5th, the Somers League gathered at Le Fontane Ristorante for a lovely afternoon of good food, good conversation and a very interesting speaker. Andrew Farber, the new Director of the Somers library, discussed the role of the library in our community. Addressing the needs and
concerns of a large diverse group that includes seniors, children, teenagers and adults with many interests requires thoughtful planning.

Currently the Library is providing support to readers for E Readers and other electronic devices through individual assistance from library staff. In addition, The Friends of the Library has been expanding its program offerings to the community, covering a wide range of activities. As Andrew outlined his vision for the continued growth of the Somers Library, it was
clear that the “heart” of our community will continue to thrive.

Our thanks go to Luncheon Chair, Cindy Kennedy and her support, Ann Harper, for a delightful day that was well organized and enjoyed by all.

Grand Opening of Baldwin Place Mews

On October 15, 2015, Ken Kearney, the developer of the Mews 2 in Baldwin Place, celebrated the grand opening of the development during a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Francoise Bennett, Polly Kuhn and Loretta Nelson, representing the Somers League of Women Voters, were invited to attend by Mr.
Kearney. There will be 75 one and two-bedroom apartments for seniors
55 and older, who will now have affordable housing in Somers. Attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony were Rick Morrissey, Town Supervisor, Councilmen Richard Clinchy and Anthony Cirieco and former Town Supervisor Mary Beth Murphy as well as other County and State officials.

Following the ceremony there was a lovely lunch served in their large meeting room in the development where we had the opportunity to speak with new tenants.


Updated by Valerie CastlemanNov. 20, 2015