Yonkers Proves Itself Deficient in Anticipating the Severity of the Nor’ Easter Despite Being Forewarned
By HEZI ARIS

eHezi Community, Education, Emergency Services, Governance, Health, History, New York State, People, Westchester County, NY, Yonkers, NY 74 Comments

The Frozen in Time Hezitorial

A Special Thank You For the Photographs Submitted as They Reveal the Crisis That Befell Yonkers

Charicature of a younger, better looking Editor-at-Large / Radio Host Hezi Aris.

YONKERS, NY — November 15, 2018 — Many children released from schools this mid-afternoon from throughout the Yonkers Public Schools District have not even at 8pm arrived home. Yonkers Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Edwin Quezada has proved himself flat-footed. So has Department of Public Works Commissioner Thomas Meier. Their individual responsibilities have been cast to the wayside. They have each had their share in not being prepared. They have each had a hand in exacerbating the wrath of Mother Nature many times over. Mayor Mike Spano will suffer the consequences for their claiming to do what they have failed to do, that is, to care for the safety of “our” schoolchildren. Adults are also trapped by the lack of planning. The streets of Yonkers seem more like an ice skating rink than roads one can traverse. The streets were evidently not salted? Cars, buses, and trucks are still spinning their wheels in a valiant but vain attempt to get to their destination. They are where they were first stuck. The scenario on the streets of Yonkers will likely look as they are tonight tomorrow morning; frozen in time.

Will heads roll? They should, but it is not likely to happen! The denial of the incompetence about Yonkers is the undoing of Yonkers prospects. Can the culture change? Can Yonkersites wait that long?

 

 

 

eHeziYonkers Proves Itself Deficient in Anticipating the Severity of the Nor’ Easter Despite Being Forewarned
By HEZI ARIS

Comments 74

  1. Most districts other than Bonkers did an excellent job and called for an early dismissal by 11am. Getting buses off roadways is a no brainer.

  2. Sure, Spano and his goon squad are incompetent. But they didn’t salt the roads because salt costs a lot of money, which a bankrupt city like Yonkers doesn’t have. Spano hedged his bets and chose not to use it this early in the season, but he lost his shirt. At least the fire, police, and DPW made a killing in overtime – more taxpayer money down the drain (unlike the melted salt, however, we didn’t benefit at all from our expenditure). Yonkers sucks.

  3. Everyone heard the same weather forecast for snow on Thursday. Were you alarmed enough to stay home from work and keep your children home from school? If not, why do you blame Yonkers for not doing enough in a storm which hit with unexpected severity right before rush hour? I say give Mayor Spano a break on this one!

  4. As a parent ,I am not concerned with the snow storm and inclement weather as I am most disgusted with the lack of response and effectiveness in communication from the Yonkers Public schools. Dr. Quezada and the YPS failed our children and created chaos in the homes of families. Every parent with children not home for hours was praying for their kids safe return since no one answered our calls.

  5. Mayor Spano took over the Board of Education, so he’s ultimately responsible for its incompetence and that of the Dept. of Public Works. Yesterday’s nightmare was preventable, if this city wasn’t led by a ribbon-cutting buffoon and staffed by his 5000 family and friends, who probably made tons of overtime from this debacle.

    A third term? Haven’t we suffered enough?

  6. “Significant safety issues for our young people”was Dr. Quezada’s lame excuse which is just total bull crap. You should have more faith in Yonkers parents and their many friends and relatives to step in for childcare support. Every other district in Westchester County makes an early call decision. Perhaps you Dr. Quezada are the one unprepared and disorganized. Stop giving these ridiculous excuses and admit you failed Yonkers children.

    1. Agreed by not putting in an early dismissal he put those kids in danger. Maybe next time he will make a better decision. I heard him on news 12 speaking about early dismissal … he said it is not safe. Is he kidding me?

      Look what happened. Parents that work like we all do will next time arrange for early pick up ourselves. That’s what I do. Take care of yourself and family because no one else will. Great job Mike for
      helping these stranded kids.

  7. Listen, I am not justifying what happened. But I have to say it is very easy for everyone to sit behind their computers and complain about what someone else did wrong. It is much harder to have to go out and actually figure out how to DO something.

    No one can deny that this storm was not the storm that was forecast…I was on the FIOS 1 website today and the graphic from yesterday still showed a coating of up to 2 inches for this area. The national weather service was predicting 2-3 inches based on their probability tables. The storm was supposed to start in the early afternoon and change to rain around 6pm. Instead, the storm came fast and furious, dumped 6 plus inches of snow, but hail, and the rain changeover didn’t happen until 9 or 10.

    Brine and salt were put down in at least some places because I saw it on the roads when I was going to work. The entire area was caught with their pants down, not just Yonkers. Children in White Plains, Greenburgh, as far as NJ were stranded (in NJ they slept in the school), so let’s not just turn this into a Yonkers issue.

    I truly feel for the children that were stuck and the parents that were waiting. Could some things have been done different, yes. Can we do better next time, sure. But everyone needs to take a deep breath and put down the torches and pitchforks and stop throwing around unsubstantiated claims.

  8. I am a financial advisor in Chappaqua and my niece is a teacher in Yonkers. She was receiving calls from parents as late as 9:45 pm as their children were not yet home from a long school day. The superintendent is ultimately responsible and keeps the town supervisor/mayor apprised and must make tough decisions. His lack of action and lack of a pro-active approach warrants his immediate dismissal.

  9. So what else is new? The city council and the mayor are unable to explain why the YPS is year after year exploding with students coming from EVERTWHERE except Westchester County and where the money to pay for this yearly influx will be coming from. Evidently, the city council and the mayor can only extend their own terms by circumventing the term limits voted TWICE by the voters, and use their power to tax existing homeowners to pay for the yearly school population increase of high needs students and families. May the corruption continue, starting w the city council and mayor and hell with the taxpayers. There needs to be a special counsel to investigate Yonkers politics.

  10. Just because the school employees worked til midnight does not mean they did a good job. Many School employees were all on overtime. The supt knows he screwed up and has all these outsiders that don’t know the ins and outs of the city schools scrambling and pointing fingers. The YPS is in damage control crisis mode. The Yonkers public schools failed children and left children stranded on buses and even had kids walking home with kind strangers helping them along. No valid explanations and unacceptable.

  11. I work all the way in Millwood and live in Yonkers. I drove to the Saw Mill Parkway having to be driven off at exit 23. I left work at 4:30 pm. I didn’t get home until 11:50 pm. I had to drop my car off at Sleepy Hollow and take the train home. I couldn’t find one hotel to take me in. It was a nightmare. My best friend’s car was stuck in a ditch. People everywhere from Hudson Valley to Westchester were experiencing this insane snow issue. I know I had some co-workers stuck at the office. I only got 4 hours of sleep. I’m never driving out in the snow ever again.

    I’m severely disappointed in how this was handled. There should have been more preventative care put into this day. I could hardly sit in my car for 5 hours having to go to the restroom. I couldn’t imagine if my children had been stuck on the bus with no food and no security as to what they would come home to. It’s sickening. All of the tri-state failed today. Not just Spano.

    1. This is the most accurate and reasonable assessment of yesterday that i have read. All of the governments in lower NY failed yesterday. Yonkers did too.

      But to make this a political issue really demeans us all. Thankfully no one died. Spano did not have a great day as Mayor but I don’t know who did.

      What is wrong with us when all we want to do is place blame? Yes, everyone is to blame. But anyone in the job would have screwed up yesterday folks….even you and I.

  12. My special needs autistic son was on a mini van for six hours. This is beyond an atrocity. I, as most parents, will not accept any explanation from the Yonkers public schools. Not knowing where my son was for six hours and NO ONE at the school district answering my phone calls and intentionally hanging up on me over two dozen times is beyond inhumane.

  13. Why take preventative measures before a snowstorm when you can wait and plow after normal working hours? Overtime, overtime, overtime. Snowfall=financial windfall.

  14. It’s criminal what happened. People stuck for hours. People with medical conditions. All because you want to save$ on salt!? Not just Yonkers, NYC, Westchester, Putnam counties. No brine on the taconic. People we left in harm’s way, car accidents. Someone needs to not only lose their job but be punished. Jail time or better yet, I say line them up outside city hall and charge residents a quarter to thow snowballs at them. I’ve got $20.

  15. If the town actually plowed the streets or put down sand/salt none of that would of happened. I left work at 3 yesterday and was home at 11 after struggling with traffic, and getting stuck a few times. This could of been prevented if the town had prepared but nope im guessing they’re trying to save money. Im glad me and my kids where able to get home safe while others werent as lucky

  16. The mayor of Yonkers and his henchmen are too busy planning what movie will be filmed here next or what development they can sell, or what industry giant he can get a tax kickback from to care about plowing streets, salting the roads, getting kids home safely, or cracking down on the rampant speeding and traffic violators, including the city’s own vehicles. For crying out loud their salt and garbage trucks routinely hit cars and they have officers who have cost the city’s taxpayers millions in lawsuit settlements still on the force. Yonkers used to be known as the home of the brave. It should be called home of the shade (as in shady as hell).

  17. If there were neighborhood schools none of
    this would of happened.
    I am glad at the folly of school busing.
    On the positive side :
    it made for precious memories.
    Get over it. Softies.
    Want busing but do not want the hardship it brings
    to us taxpayers and traffic.

  18. Drove from the Wakefield campus of Montefiore to our Yonkers home, took four hours and forty minutes. (Car has an app which gives precise time, milage and fuel consumption.) Almost all of that was from Wakefield to the 233rd street entrance to I87, took us less than 15 minutes from there to get home. Yonkers roads were so much better than the city for a change!
    The real problem was the lack of preparation for drivers, who seem unable to appreciate how to drive in four inches of snow.

  19. I’m not a city worker nor a Spano. Having said that, the entire region was caught off guard with the snow fall. The matter was made worse by it arriving during rush hour. I agree that there should be a contingency plan for the schools permitting an early release. The resolve becomes more complicated by the fact that there may not be anyone home to receive the children if both parents work. Not sure when the plows were deployed but you can’t plow until there is an accumulation of snow. Salters were out earlier in the day yet no one could predict the quick volume of snow, not even the weather man/woman. This was a problem not only in Yonkers but all over the Hudson Valley.

  20. I was on a bus with thirty kids for over five hours. I couldn’t reach transportation. The wheels on the bus were spinning out because these buses are not properly maintained. The drivers pager system and cell battery were dead. It was a nightmare.

  21. BOE is working on a letter to staff and families telling them how great the storm was handled and thanking the civil servants aides for being on the yellow buses for ten hours with crying babies. A day late and dollar short. All bunch of blah blah bull.

  22. I recall back in 2007 when we had the big winter storm and kids didn’t arrive hime until 7pm. Heads rolled and former Supt. Petrone was fired. This 2018 snowstorm crisis is of tremendous magnitude in terms of the mishandling and the lack of planning in every aspect.

  23. Yonkers School district is the worst. Thy don’t care about the kids, Dr. Quezada needs to get relieved from his role. This is why familes with kids are moving out of Yonkers to a better School District.

  24. Bottom line is Yonkers school district had no plan. Children and teachers should NOT had been stuck on school buses or in cars for Ten plus hours. The school system failed miserably and to make matters worse parents spent hours not knowing where their young babies were. Totally unacceptable in every sense.

  25. The bigger issue is the lack of the Yonkers public schools officials responding to the thousands of concerned parents with children as young as 4 on these school buses. What was the district’s plan once the snow began to fall? What was the district emergency phone number for parents to contact? How many extra clerks paid overtime to handle calls coming in? The district failed the children miserably.

    1. Thoese few hours of snow and rain caused problems all over , I was stuck on jersey turnpike three hours , lots of places were unprepared but something we have to deal with , I believe elementary schools schould close when an inch or more of snow is expected , if we choose to drive or use public transportation then we must be prepared to deal with days like this , schools shouldn’t have to be open to babysit in such weather , or if the parent is that concerned go get your kid yourself like I did.

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      Author
  26. Yeah fat Mike Spano, Generation Yonkers where you hide at night and school children never know what time they will see their parents. Hurry up and get off the street it is getting dark.

  27. The worst part of this nightmare in Yonkers Schools was the dysfunctional Useless Transportation department not answering calls and disconnecting phone calls. I was never able to get through to transportation. It’s obvious there was no plan in place to deal with this snow or at least to respond to calls letting parents know where poor kids were.

  28. Mike Spano wants another term but can’t figure out how to deal with a snow storm. I was out on the roads and never saw any salting on the roads or plows. Mike did you ever hear of early dismissals you m*r*n, my kid got home at 10pm.

  29. There was a bus load of kids stranded at Boyce Thompson school until after 9pm. Bus couldn’t make it up the unplowed hill. Eddie Quezada and Tommy boy Meier should’ve gotten in their city owned vehicles to rescue the children.

  30. These useless, incompetent fools like Quesada and Meiers need to be fired immediately. Quesada thinks this is DR and he’s driving a yellow cab. Yellow buses are not a cab service. Doesn’t give a crap about the poor kids.

  31. I am a bus monitor and didn’t get home until 10:30. Screaming kids on the bus needing to use bathroom. We were slipping and sliding and stuck for hours. It was a disaster and paying me for six plus hours of overtime amounts to pennies.

    1. Then you should find better work that is more suitable to your skill level. If you are looking to upgrade, McDonalds has a training program.

  32. And Spano wants a third term. He should find new departmental leaders. That’s right, under the friends and family plan, you don’t need to worry about being fired.
    Sabatino’s boyfriend can keep his taxpayer funded job. Breen will get more of his family on City payroll, while he snoozes through Council meetings.
    Nikolai Spano will continue pulling the strings, as we all pay more taxes for less services.

    1. You can always find a bunch of them at Midland Pizza, hanging with mustache Tony, allegedly on a break, but, yes, waiting to go into overtime.

      Better yet, they drive off after the party and don’t bother to put their plows down on Midland Ave. after wasting their time and our money.

  33. Meier and Quesada…fired. Absolutely disgraceful how this administration handled this storm.Streets were and still are impassable and those poor kids,stuck for hours on buses.Hate to be in theses guys shoes.As Ricky said to Lucy..you got some explaining to do.

  34. How atrocious is this that the schools could not call for at least a one hour early dismissal. I am a teacher and it took me over three hours to get home. I will be taking a day off tomorrow to recover from this disaster.

  35. My daughters commute from North Broadway took 3 hours. She is 7 years old and came home in tears. How despicable is Yonkers school system.

  36. This is a disgrace. Haven’t seen anything like this since Petrone made bad call. Quezada needed to call an early dismissal like all other districts. My five year old got home at 7:25. There were screaming babies on the bus near McLean Avenue.

    1. You are correct, they were all busy voting on giving the Mayor extra term limits and adding another property tax on our homes. The residents paid out more and lost their STAR money and look what we have now (and maybe four more years of this). Where was everybody today??? Those poor children must have been terrified.

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    Author

    Does the city of Yonkers know that its snowing? There are car accidents everywhere. Its rush hour and haven’t seen a single plow! I want a tax refund.

    NOTE: Posted by Hezi to this writing because it was previously placed under a subject to which it was not applicable

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