The Journal News from White Plains, New York on August 16, 2006 · Page 4
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The Journal News from White Plains, New York · Page 4

White Plains, New York
Issue Date:
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Page 4
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4A Wednesday, August 16, 2006 The Journal News R From Page One Mirant ruling to cost taxpayers millions more, consultant says MIRANT, from 1A Point from 2000 through 2003. The Lovett ruling is pending. Haverstraw town, Stony Point, the school district and the villages of West Haverstraw and Haverstraw negotiated with Mirant to reach a settlement The effort failed after Stony Point rejected the settlement in June. Under the settlement, the town of Haverstraw would have paid about $34 million, $16.5 million of which would have been returned to taxpayers through a trust fund, which the town would have used over eight years. "By losing the trust fund, we have lost the taxpayers' millions of their hard-earned dollars," Super visor Howard Phillips said yesterday. "It's all going back to Mirant now. Nothing is being returned to the taxpayers." Farbstein said his preliminary review concludes that the justice's decision on Bowline would cost the school district about $163 million. Under the proposed settlement, the district would have paid $171 million, but of that, $79.5 million would have been returned to taxpayers through the trust fund. Phillips said the town and the district still needed to verify the figures with the county. The figures are markedly different from what Stony Point officials provided Friday. Stony Point special counsel Dennis Lynch has said the justice's de cision would save North Rockland taxpayers about $53 million, compared with the settlement In a press release yesterday, Stony Point Town Board members Stephen Cole-Hatchard and Tim O'Neill, opponents of the settlement, stood by Lynch's analysis. They said they expected an "equally favorable ruling by the court for the taxpayers of Stony Point regarding the Lovett plant." Asked about the vastly different takes on the impact Ferbstein was confident. "I've got to tell you we are not wrong," Farbstein said. Reach Akiko Matsuda at or 845-578-2431. Driver survives 1-87 plunge SUV sails through guardrails, 80 feet down to riverbank Christina Jeng The Journal News SLOATSBURG A total of three guardrails wasn't enough to keep a Ford Explorer from going airborne off the New York State Thruway and landing on a river-bank. The 70-year-old driver, Menelaos Tzelios, of Northport, N.Y., was hospitalized last night after losing control of his sport utility vehicle just before Exit 15. Tzelios was driving southbound when he veered left and sailed off the highway, crashing down onto Seven Lakes Drive and onto the bank of the Stony Brook, state police said. "Thank God there was no one out here," Trooper Carlos Esteves said at the scene, pointing to Seven Lakes Drive. Police said that after Tzelios' vehicle flipped over the Thruway guardrail and over a second one meant to keep cars from driving onto Seven Lakes Drive, his car crashed IT V-- - v';. "s ' EAjjL-?flA3LXa;'M--ifit''-' -"TMirWMLsJ into a third one along the brook, taking out about 15 feet of metal. State police responded to a call about 5 p.m. yesterday, and emergency responders found a conscious Tzelios outside of his car, complaining of neck and back pain. The Sloatsburg Fire Department lifted him out of the brook, and the Sloatsburg Community Ambulance Corps took him to Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern. Trooper Esteves estimated Tzelios traveled about 200 feet from the Thruway to the brook. Hie drop appeared to be about 80 feet Esteves said the driver believed he fell asleep at the wheel. Tzelios told Esteves that just before the crash he stopped for coffee because he felt tired. "He said he felt tired again and he believes he fell asleep behind the wheel," Esteves said. Tzelios might have suffered a A tow truck operator stands on top of an overturned Ford Explorer as he connects cables that will lift it off the bank of the Ramapo River in Sloatsburg yesterday. The driver flipped over a guardrail on Seven Lakes Drive. Angela Gaul The Journal News fractured hip, Esteves said. Onlookers sat on the banks of the brook as a towing company recovered the SUV. Bob Conklin, 53, who lives on Jackson Street, said he was mowing his lawn when he heard a loud noise. "I looked back and saw a lot of dust," he said. "When I looked through, the dust the car was going down." The shaken Sloatsburg resident said he called 911 immediately. The driver was wearing his seat-belt and all of the Explorer's airbags deployed, which police believed helped him to survive the plunge. The Sloatsburg Fire Department used an absorbent boom to soak up fuel and oil and leaked into the water from the vehicle. Reach Christina Jeng at or 845-578-2497. kanti I, 30 YtllX'J of 1T I U.JLi.J.UV lil'idiiion s J Weslvoot Pfllll EmiriM I 155 r J '- " "". Jn selected AS SEEN Pa !l ft Hooker ; KIIUNII'MII. VIH.IUI) ! LCI ' -iiiipu-iiu ii Mem .1 " ft. ; HUH ri: !" or ., i " 1 R... ... CANADEL "Vaiujhan furniture CovijHWjj ALAX, WlltIMlA QUAIJ'l'Y FROM THE INSIDE fXJT Lane BFST OIAIBS, INC. PULA'jKj 'j ra imj it a i t o h . -5 Y Tj A AfMAlCY the iti'intf room finnce ro up Pe!ers-Rev!ngton Furniture V . . . . C3 EJMiIIfe 1 y ' ' ' ff " riTT7 rrrrcv7 ii j . a ii "T" 3 err ' 1 i -" V : ini'iiBtf ' A Kimiyo Matthews, left, helps her sons Henry, 8, and Thomas, 12, practice writing the Japanese alphabet at their Tomkins Cove home. When Thomas was born, Matthews was determined to talk to her child only in Japanese to teach him the language. Kathy Gardner Journal News Mom encourages speaking Japanese JAPANESE, from 1A "My children, they are half-Japanese. I think it's important for them to know where they came from," Matthews said. "I think learning Japanese will help them establish themselves better in the long run." Matthews is one of many first-generation immigrants who want to pass on their native languages and cultures to their children. She wants her children to be able to communicate with her family in Japan, including their grandmother, who doesn't speak English. Also, she wants to talk to her children in Japanese because even though she speaks English fluently, she believes she can express herself better in her first language. Matthews came to the United States in 1985. She and Sam Matthews were married about 15 years ago. The Matthews family has mostly lived in Tomkins Cove, where Japanese is rare. There are no Japanese schools nearby. The 2000 census counted five Japanese residents in Stony Point, 268 in Rockland County and 6,731 in Westchester County. When Thomas was born, Matthews was determined to talk to her child only in Japanese to teach him the language. The effort continued when the couple had their second, third and fourth children: Christabel, now 11, Henry, now 9, and William. The three older children are students in the North Rockland school district, and William will follow his siblings as a kindergartener in the fall. Kimiyo Matthews said she had known about full-time or weekend Japanese schools in Westchester and in northern New Jersey but did not want to send her children to these schools because it would take too much time for them to commute. Also, she was confident that she could be a good instructor because of her teaching experience at a language school in Manhattan. In addition to carrying on daily conversations with her children in Japanese, she teaches them reading and writing every day, using Japanese picture books. As they grew up, Matthews realized that the pace of language acquisition in her younger children has been much slower than for the oldest one. Thomas, who spent the longest time with his mother alone, managed to improve his Japanese conversation the best His sister and two brothers had more time to talk among themselves in English, so that they acquired less Japanese, she said. "They speak in Japanese only with me, and they use English among themselves," Matthews said. "As they grew up, English became prevailing because they had more complex things to talk about. They'd feel frustrated if they have to use Japanese, because their ability is limited." Christabel, who picked up Japanese very quickly when she was an infant, openly expressed her lack of interest in learning Japanese. "I don't like it," Christabel said. "It's boring." Atsushi Kaizuka, assistant principal of the Japanese Weekend School of New York, which serves about 800 Japanese or Japanese American students at its Westchester and Long Island schools, said Matthews' attempt seemed to be an uphill battle. Kaizuka, assigned by Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, has been overseeing the weekend schools for nearly four years. He said that even for children who come to his once-a-week, weekend schools, keeping up with the language is not easy. "Children are immersed in an English-speaking environment every day at local schools," Kaizuka said. "To accomplish her goal, she really has to create an environment for her children to speak Japanese. Conversations with her are not enough for them to maintain their Japanese." Matthews had become aware of the limitation, and recently, she took three of her children Thomas, Christabel and Henry to Japan. For two to three weeks, they were temporarily enrolled in Japanese schools, staying at the home of a friend of Matthews' in Chiba, a suburb of Tokyo. "I was worried for the first couple of days," Matthews said. "But then, children from school started visiting them at home, and they played together." Thomas said he had a good time in Japan and would probably be willing to continue practicing the language. "I think it's good to speak another language because you can meet more people," said Thomas, who added that he and his classmates in Japan spoke in Japanese because his classmates' English was not good enough to carry on conversations. During their stay, the children visited their grandmother, Yukiko Yoshida, 70, of Tokyo. "It was great that they managed to speak in Japanese with my mother. She was very happy about it," Matthews said. "It would be disappointing if I had to translate their conversations." Kaizuka said temporary schooling in Japan during the summer is common among Japanese children in the United States. Among 800 students at his weekend schools, about 150 went to schools in Japan during the summer after finishing American schools in June. (Japanese schools recess for the summer in late July.) "It's a good opportunity for children to learn about Japan," Kaizuka said of the temporary schooling. "Most of them have a great experience in Japan." While adjusting from the jet lag of her recent trip, Matthews said she would plan another trip to Japan for her children soon. "I really want to teach them Japanese, although I found it's much harder than I thought," Matthews said. "Even if they've got a long way to go, I want them to continue studying Japanese." Reach Akiko Matsuda at or 845-578-2431. Heightened security mars students' return TRIP, from 1A Despite that, Harris said, the events of the day did not destroy the preceding weeks, which included trips to Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and Parliament "Overall, it was a great experience," he said. "Basically, I learned about the English culture." Lee Eigner, a 14-year-old who will start his freshman year at Bri-arcliff High School, echoed those sentiments. He said the trip was "sightseeing with academics." Eigner said the last day was "scary" but didn't diminish the great experience. "It just makes you think about what could have happened," Eigner said of the plot adding that there was an upside to the delay. "We got to spend a lot more time together." Sara Tucker said she and other parents were "very nervous" while watching the news unfold on CNN last week. After the airliner took off, parents kept in touch via an e-mail chain, which had up-to-date information on where the children were at any given time, she said. "It was extremely valuable," she said. "It provided information and emotional support." Tucker said she believed the trip was a real-life lesson on the current state of world affairs. "I think they learned a lot about international relations and the media," she said. As for her son, Harris, he said he'd like to go on an ambassador trip again. "I'm planning on doing it again next year," he said, "if my parents let me." Reach Gerald McKinstry at or 845-578-2439. id. 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