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Letter to the Editor: Former Planning Chairman Should Be Applauded

Architect Larry Werfel of Werfel, LoPinto & Assoc., Architects P.C. voices his support for former Planning Commission Chairman Dwight Douglas. Werfel's firm is responsible for designing the Renaissance Project substance abuse facility in Ellen

The integrity shown by Chairman Douglas is an act of valor shown by men of principle.

I remember JFK’s book “Profiles in Courage”, with examples of courage and integrity of men throughout the history of our great country. Chairman Douglas shares that courage. I applaud his clear response against NIMBY and for the principles of and law. The few self- interested citizens of the community who spoke at the hearing and signed the petition should be ashamed of themselves.

Helping fellow human beings deal with a scourge of addiction should be a goal shared by all. The political knee jerk of the Article 78 is typical of too many of our elected officials. Show courage to do the right thing.

Larry Werfel, AIA
Werfel, LoPinto & Assoc., Architects P.C.
75-19 Vleigh Place
Flushing, NY11367
www.werfelassociates.com

Branwen MacDonald November 20, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Peekskill already houses a number of social service facilities, and with all due compassion our community needs to strike a balance between helping those in need and helping the rest of the community to grow and thrive. A better example of "NIMBY" would be all the well-to-do communities in Westchester who do not have any public housing projects, homeless shelters, health clinics, OR methadone clinics in their towns. As an architect interested in social justice, you are probably well aware that neighborhoods of people making lower incomes, perceived to have less power and ability to speak up or fight, can easily become dumping grounds for every project or facility that others might find undesirable. I'm open to conversations about how much negative impact the clinic would have. I hope it wouldn't be much, but even if it's a small negative impact we're already a struggling community. The program is doing just fine at the hospital and is being moved to Peekskill because it isn't profitable enough. Yet the citizens of Peekskill are "NIMBY" but the hospital is…what? I have nothing against the planning commission or the man you're lauding in your opinion piece. I know they had their reasons. But I think you should reconsider your opinion that as residents we are just mindlessly and ignorantly opposing this project.
Wendy Kelly November 20, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Tina I bet all the great restaurants/businesses/practices that invested in Peekskill thousands upon thousands of dollars knew nothing of this project. Mary should be ashamed at herself she is not serving us well at all.
Liz Claire November 20, 2012 at 07:32 PM
It should be noted that Mr. Werfel lives in Oyster Bay, LI. The nearest methadone clinic to his home is 15 miles away in Huntington. And he accuses us of being NIMBY? People who live in glass houses... Tina, I had the same idea about using the vacant medical offices across the street from the hospital. My guess is the other Doctors there don't want the traffic and potential threat to their patients. "First do no harm..." and that includes creating a risk to the elderly and young children that frequent those offices. Same would apply to 3 Corporate Drive.
Wendy Kelly November 20, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Yeah Liz thanks for this information Oyster Bay better not mess with Peekskill NY we are a very tough, smart group of citizens. Traffic improved tremenously 5 years ago it was a nightnmare. Liz don't forget HVHC mission statement: Hudson Valley Hospital Center is dedicated to serving the health care needs of the community and to providing quality, comprehensive medical care in a compassionate, professional, respectful manner, without regard to race, religion, national origin or disease category. Offering state-of-the-art diagnostic treatment, education and preventive services, the Hospital is committed to improving the quality of life in the community. In fulfilling this mission, the Hospital will strive to continuously improve the care provided and develop and offer programs, facilities, systems and alliances that most effectively respond to community health care needs.
Evan Liaskos November 30, 2012 at 02:46 AM
If looking out for the best interest of my business - (the business that enables me to support my family and my hard working employees to support theirs, as well as provides for us to help others in the community as well as serve many hard working locals quality food and service ) as well as the community at large makes me a self- interested citizen, then SO BE IT and I say it proudly. I could care less about your opinion or the opinion of people not from this community who are only saying this to make money. If this is such a good thing, then FIND ME JUST A FEW SOULS who are in support of this facility who do not stand to gain financially from it happening. I know you are one of the people who are gaining financially. Why not volunteer to put one next to your office or home??????? You can design that one too.

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