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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

DAILY VOICE: Another Registered Sex Offender Reports Move Within Mount Vernon

A registered "sexually violent" offender convicted of forcibly raping a woman in 2010 has changed addresses in Westchester County.

The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services issued an alert on Wednesday to Westchester residents regarding the residency of 35-year-old Warren Singleton, who has moved from a Sandford Boulevard apartment to a residence on West 8th Street in Mount Vernon.

The Division of Criminal Justice Services has assigned Singleton as a level two threat, which means he is at "moderate risk of a repeat offense."

According to the Division of Criminal Justice Services, Singleton raped and forcibly compelled his female victim with a knife in December 2007......


PRESS RELEASE: Mount Vernon City School District Celebrates Reading Challenge Achievers

The district celebrates improvement in literacy rates across all grade levels thanks to the Superintendent’s Reading Challenge.
The Mount Vernon City School District gave away more than 200 nooks to students at the Superintendent’s Third Annual Reading Challenge Carnival on the football field at Mount Vernon High School last Thursday.
The carnival was held for the 2,000 students who reached their reading goals this school year. At the beginning of the school year, Superintendent Dr. Kenneth R. Hamilton challenged students to reach his goal of reading 150,000 books collectively during the school year. Pre-kindergarten-8th-grade students were challenged to read books during the year – students in pre-K, total of 15 books each; students in K-grade 2, 40 books each; and students in grades 3-8, 30 books each. Dr. Hamilton invited students who achieved these goals to the end-of-year carnival and students in these grades far surpassed the superintendent’s challenge, reading more than 156,000 during the school year.

Nadine Bennett attended with her son, Savion Abel, a second grader in Kiya Finch’s classroom at Holmes Elementary School. It was Savion’s reward for a great year of reading.
“We go to the library a lot,” Bennett said. He often reads two books a night. He enjoys reading but the rewards of the reading challenge are a great incentive. It’s something for him to look forward to.”
The program and the district’s own innovative reading programs have been quite successful at raising reading levels for students. The district collected data showing the change in the percentage of students on or above level for grades 2 through 8 from the beginning of the school year testing (performed between Sept. 6 and Oct. 7, 2016) to the mid-year testing (performed between Jan. 3 and 27, 2017). Grade 2 students increased from 20 percent at the beginning of the year to 45 percent at mid-year. Grade 3 students rose from 31 percent to 52 percent. Grade 4, from 20 percent to 31 percent. Grade 5, from 20 percent to 26 percent. Grade 6, from 15 percent to 23 percent. Grade 7, from 22 percent to 29 percent. Grade 8, 24 percent to 26 percent.
The district gave away 200 nooks and Barnes & Noble gift certificates to the students. They were purchased with money from Superintendent’s Reading Challenge fundraisers during the year. To help students avoid the “summer slide” – learning or reading skill loss during the summer months – the district is also providing more than 8,400 students in grades Pre-K-12 with take-home book packs customized by Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education, and media company. The book packs will also include a letter from Dr. Hamilton promoting the importance of summer reading.

“I am so proud of everyone who participated in the Superintendent’s Reading Challenge this year,” Dr. Hamilton said. “I was blown away by the number of parents who came up to me to share how the Superintendent’s Reading Challenge has helped to get their children excited about reading. That makes it all worth it.”
“Reading impacts learning in all subject areas so it is important to emphasize daily reading at home to complement the work in school,” Dr. Gayle White-Wallace, Standards Administrator for Pre-K, ELA, Literacy and Social Studies (Elementary). “We look forward to everyone having a wonderful summer of reading so they come back in September ready to meet the challenges of their new grade level.”
The event was attended by students, parents, School Board Trustees; and school district administrators. Students enjoyed carnival rides, bounce houses, inflatable slides and obstacle courses, and games. A disc jockey, face painters, and stilt walkers kept the crowd entertained, along with OLI the Octopus – the school’s literacy mascot – and Clifford the Big Red Dog.
Students who their grade-level goal for number of books read received a medal, certificate and the invitation to the carnival. Students who read more than 20 books received a certificate of participation. Two readers from each school will join Dr. Hamilton for a fun celebration.

MULTI-HOUSING NEWS: Four Developments Coming to Suburban NY

The developers announcing the Mount Vernon, N.Y.,projects include The Alexander Group/Bluestone, Direct Investment Development, Enclave Equities and Simone Development Cos. The initiative aligns with the state's new $2.5 billion housing package signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to attract investment statewide in more market-rate housing. 

Four major real estate development projects have been unveiled for Mount Vernon, NY, in suburban Westchester County, including market-rate and upper-income housing for artists, Millennials and seniors.

The projects, which are all transit-oriented and situated near Mount Vernon’s three Metro-North stations, two MTA subway lines and six nearby highways, are slated to break ground within the coming months.

The developers announcing the projects include The Alexander Group/Bluestone, Direct Investment Development, Enclave Equities and Simone Development Cos.

The initiative aligns with the state’s new $2.5 billion housing package signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo May 18, whose goal is to attract investment statewide in more market-rate housing.

The Alexander Group/Bluestone Group plans a 16-story mixed-use retail and development with 249 market-rate units to 42 Broad St. It will be within walking distance to the city’s Fleetwood Metro-North station.....


NEWS 12: Yonkers to give Mount Vernon 2 firetrucks

YONKERS - Yonkers City Council voted Tuesday to donate two firetrucks to the neighboring Mount Vernon Fire Department.

Council members say the trucks were not in use and were taking up space, and selling them would not have fetched as much as they are worth.

The gift is also part of a bid to repair relations after Yonkers took over a number of Mount Vernon police officers. Officials say their counterparts in Mount Vernon agreed to drop the claims against Yonkers in exchange for the trucks.

"This is a win for both sides," says Councilman John Larkin......


DAILY VOICE: Mount Vernon Welcomes Lifelong Resident As New DPW Commissioner

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. - A lifelong Mount Vernon resident has been sworn in as the city’s newest Commissioner of the Department of Public Works.

Last week, Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas announced that Joseph Nigro, who has called the city home for decades, has been selected as the new DPW commissioner.

According to Thomas, Nigro and his family have strong ties to the Mount Vernon community, where his father’s construction company - which Nigro once worked for - previously held contracts to re-pave Mount Vernon’s streets.

Thomas said that Nigro will now be tasked with overseeing more than 18 miles of city streets.....

WESTCHESTER MAGAZINE: Is Mount Vernon the Next Urban Hotspot?

Developers are making big bets on Mount Vernon becoming Westchester’s next hotbed for urban living. With four different developers currently putting forth major housing plans there, the Southern Westchester city of Mount Vernon may just be the next big story in urban living. Don’t believe the hype? You would had you been at last week’s press conference where Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas revealed details on the four projects currently being pitched, totaling more than $300 million. The projects — being proposed by The Alexander Group/Bluestone, Direct Investment Development, Enclave Equities, and Simone Development Companies — include market-rate and upper-income housing for artists, Millennials, and seniors. Not surprisingly, these developments are all transit-oriented, situated near Mount Vernon’s three Metro-North stations, two MTA subway lines, and six nearby highways. They are slated to break ground within the coming weeks or months. At the event, Mayor Thomas referenced Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent $2.5 billion housing package (which was signed on May 18) to attract investment statewide in more market-rate housing. “I’m proud to be here at this moment where we get to translate a lot of talk into action, and we get to be one of the first municipalities, one of the first cities in all of New York, to be able to implement Governor Cuomo’s major housing bill,” he explained, while holding the pen Cuomo recently used to sign the legislation. Thomas also touted the importance of these types of developments for the greater cause of revitalization in Mount Vernon. The city’s downtown, long known more for decline than development....... http://www.westchestermagazine.com/Blogs/914INC-Incoming/June-2017/Mount-Vernon-Development-Projects/

JOURNAL NEWS: Mount Vernon considers tax breaks for affordable housing

MOUNT VERNON - City officials are considering tax breaks for three development projects, including two for affordable housing.

The Mount Vernon Industrial Development Agency's board is weighing the merits of financial incentives to two residential projects and one commercial proposal seeking property tax deals plus some exemptions from sales and mortgage-recording taxes.

The biggest proposed tax break is for MVP Realty Associates of New York City, which is proposing to build The Pointe, a $104.9 million mixed-use retail-residential project with 350 units of affordable housing primarily on S. 4th Avenue, between E. 3rd and E. 4th streets.

The properties targeted for redevelopment currently pay about $87,642 in real estate taxes and MVP Realty, a subsidiary of Lettire Construction, wants a 30-year Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement worth $6.8 million, according to its application filed with the MVIDA.

MVP Realty also wants a $3.6 million sales-tax break and a $625,268 mortgage-tax exemption for the four-building complex........


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Resources For Critical Readers

The critical readers of Mount Vernon Roundup know that when reading, viewing, or listening to any local "mainstream" news report or blog post, the main thing to realize is that truth and objectivity may be partialy obscured or totaly absent.

While local "mainstream" media outlets and blogs often self-righteously proclaimed that only the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, is published, the critical reader knows that local news reports in "mainstream" media have three primary purposes: (a) to entice their readers, (b) to be "politically correct" so as not to offend the powers that be, and (c) to lure advertisers by showing the number of docile readers the local publication draws.

Beyond these less than honorable motivations listed above, local "mainstream" reporters, editors and especially publishers are also prone to inject their own personal prejudices and biases, either consciously or unconsciously.

The critical reader should be aware of these potential problems.The critical reader needs to have many questions in his mind when examining local "mainstream" media items and blog posts.

Many times the vocabulary employed by local "mainstream" journalists and editors is often pejorative and very value laden.

Actually, this is an argument in and of itself that there is a bias.It is up to the critical reader to point this out by means of blog posts and letters to the local "mainstream" newspaper editors and publishers..

There are honest and objective local "Mainstream" journalists, editors and publishers who try and produce a newsppaper that presents all sides of every issue.

However, these local journalists, editors and publishers who have succeed in resisting the pressures to be biased are few and far between.

Many times the critical reader will discover that these local "mainstream" journalists, editors and publishers cave in to pressures, and/or who are prejudiced and nonobjective by nature.

It is therefore up to the critical reader to carefully evaluate and then reject or accept the claims and assertions that are made in any given news story or blog post.

Local "mainstream" journalists, editors and publishers need to make sure they produce well-researched articles that are based on objective description of empirical facts.

One of the goals of Mount Vernon Roundup is to help these local "Mainstream" journalists, editors and publishers need to strive to convey reality and contribute to enlightenment of Mount Vernon.

However, the critical reader must understand that journalism which abandons these criteria can be misleading and destructive, pandering to the powers that be rather than courageously and honorably serving truth and justice

Resources for Letter Writers

Mount Vernon Roundup publishes email addresses for reporters, editors, and publishers when such addresses are publicly made available.

We encourage our reader to send intelligent, civil, and reasonable emails to these journalists, editors and publishers.

However, a critical reader who sends some correspondence to an email address obtained from this website is, in one sense, representing this blog.

What the writer says, and how it is said, reflects directly on Mount Vernon in general and on this site in particular.

Local "mainstream" reporters, editors and publishers are interested in deadlines and getting stories written that people will read.

If a critical reader can help them do that, then their contributions will be greatly appreciated.

Remember, good stories are factual and well organized, but they also communicate something of the human spirit.

Likewise, letters to local "mainstream" reporters, editors and publishers, while based on heartfelt convictions, also should be well organized, with points and logic developed in a rational sequence.

Proper grammar, spelling, and capitalization also help the local "mainsteam" reporter, editor or publisher view the received letter as worthy of serious consideration.

Brevity and conciseness are very important, and a long-winded rambling discourse is not likely to be given serious consideration.

For that matter, a "letter" does not even have to be a letter, a single sentence can get a point across.

Nor does a letter have to be for publication or even come from a verifiable source, all it needs to do is provide valid food for thought.

Resources For Blog Comments

More and more local "mainstream" media-sponsored web sites are providing submission forms or links where anyone and everyone can post "comments" on their stories.

Some sites also provide various forums of one type or another.However, these forums may require registration.

Many of the comments, suggestions, and cautions that we have provided the critical reader about the submission of comments are very applicable to participation in these forums.

There are no established "standards" for the submission of these comments, and it is necessary and important to very carefully read the instructions, requirements, and limitations for submitting your comments.

Some local "mainstream" newspaper or blog sites may ask for a name, but these are not checked, so there is no need to use your real name if you do not want to.

Other local "mainstream" newspaper or blog sites may allow only a first name, some may permit the inclusions of URL references, links, HTML code, and email addresses, whereas others may not.

When submitting such comments, it is important to "take the high road."Personal attacks, hatefulness, rash accusations, snide insinuations, misleading assertions, and outright lies are the stock in trade of many posters, but the most effective way to disarm and dismiss these posts is to rise far above such tactics.

Name-calling, abrasiveness, unsupported and insupportable assertions, and otherwise descending to the level of negative posters' inanities not only undermines one's credibility, but reduces the likelihood that one's comments will be accepted and printed.

Submissions should be brief and concise.

Two or three short paragraphs is about all that the average reader will assimilate .

Be polite, but factual.

Try to deal with reality, and not with far out ideas or wishful thinking.

Take your own concept or idea and address it as thoughtfully, professionally, and concisely as possible.

But first read the existing comments and make sure you are not repeating what someone else has already posted.

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If you would like to be one of Mount Vernon's newest ethical journalists that is willing to report the complete truth about the diversity and magnitude of the human experience in our city, then please submit your news story to....


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