A CUP OF JOE REPORT Saturday, April 6 By Senator GEORGE LATIMER

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LATIMER_Headshot-2012RYE, NY — April 10, 2013 – Two dozens residents of Rye and environs spent roughly two hours
together over coffee and conversation in the back area at Ruby's Oyster Bar and
Bistro on Purchase Street in Rye – the latest round of the "Cup of
Joe" series with Judy, Steve and George – County Legislator Judy Myers,
State Assemblyman Steve Otis and State Senator George Latimer. The topics
ranged from the future of Playland, and the latest twists and turns in
Westchester County's saga over a federal housing mandate, to the State's recent
passage of gun control legislation. Along the winding conversation path were
questions about the STAR program and Metro North clean up of the Rye RR station
and area, among other matters.


Irwin Lefkowitz and John Parkinson raised the issue of Playland:
both the status of the Sustainable Playland proposal, and the prospects for
opening on schedule. Legislator Myers indicated that the County Administration
is stating that the Park will open on May 11, but the reconstruction process
for the area damaged by Hurricane Sandy does not appear to be on schedule. The
Ice Casino seems to be likely to miss the target date; conflict exists between
the Board of Legislators and the County Executive on the sharing of the precise
information of the progress made. Regarding the SPI alternative, the contract
is before the BOL; some legislators have opposed the proposal, but no firm
decision has yet been made, pro- or con.

The debate over gun control and the interpretation of the Second
Amendment took center stage as the most compelling State issue; resident Henry
King shared his unhappiness with the legislation passed in January, at the
urging of Governor Cuomo. Both Assemblyman Otis and Senator Latimer indicated
their belief that the bill passed was not a step toward confiscation of
firearms or needlessly restricting individual rights to bear arms; both
supported the principle of the Second Amendment, but noted that like all
rights, there were reasonable restrictions warranted…in this case, limiting
for the future weapons that can cause multiple deaths in a very short
timeframe.  The healthy exchange of views did not achieve agreement
between the viewpoints, but did allow both sides to air their opinions.

Sis D'Angelo repeated her request that Metro North pay serious
clean-up attention to Purchase Street under the train bridge, and elsewhere at
the Rye RR station – follow up by both State legislators to follow. Bill Lawyer
asked – and got – an update on the STAR program changes, most importantly,
re-registration of all STAR beneficiaries, to root out any fraud or illegal
deductions, which was passed in the recent State budget. Joe Murphy raised the
issue of teacher evaluations, the new "APPR" performance review
provisions and the cost of implementing the mandate. Bob Hiden, a new resident
at The Osborn, engaged on the latest round in the battle between HUD and the
County Administration over the housing settlement, which Myers addressed from
her legislative vantage point; the main disagreement exists between the
Executive Branch in the County and the Federal government.

Rye City Council members Catherine Parker, Joe Sack and Julie
Killian attended as well, and participated in the give-and-take on issues
affecting the City as well as the County or State.

Latimer and Myers began their joint coffee program 8 years ago,
and Otis joined them in December after his election to the Assembly. The trio
marched down to Mamaroneck, where another 25 residents awaited for the
afternoon session at The Nautilus Diner. Otis and Latimer conducted a session
in Port Chester two weeks ago, and they will be planning a future New Rochelle
rendezvous as well.

A return to Ruby's is expected in early July, once the State
legislative session is complete. All three legislators can be reached by phone
at: 995-2802 (Legislator Myers); 777-3832 (Assemblyman Otis); 934-5250 (Senator
Latimer).

eHeziA CUP OF JOE REPORT Saturday, April 6 By Senator GEORGE LATIMER

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