Monday, April 30, 2007

Simple Solutions To Westchester River Flooding

Whenever I go into the city via Metro North, I always sit by the window. The Harlem line follows the Bronx River, which is known to flood in many areas, including the parkway surface, shutting it down.

The river is, basically, digusting. It's so obvious why the flooding gets to be so severe, and the same goes for the Hutchinson River and even parts of the Saw Mill river.

So, how could we make this problem better? First, remove all the trash and debris from the river and surrounding areas- it's digusting how much there is. This includes the dead brush and fallen trees that in places dam the river, slowing it's flow. The river also needs to be dredged in certain areas. In some places the river gets to be less then a foot deep. Aligning and widening the river in certain places would help tremendously, as would flood walls and overflow ponds. Finally, an comprehensive study needs to be done to find illegal drainage into the river, or legal drainage that is causing problems, like overdevelopment.

I'd also like to see, after the above tasks are completed, having the river banks restored. Plant native plants that have died due to the toxicity and slow death of the river. Stocking the river with native fish, along with providing them with a habitat.

Simple solutions typed up. Will they cost money? Yup, a lot of money. However, how much does the damage from a flood cost? What would the consequences of a healthy river be? A lot of the labor could be done by prisoners or those in need of work. Work to be accomplished by them could be task like removing the dead brush, fallen trees, and trash removal. An excavator could be brought in to deepen and align the river. And on and on we could go with solutions, yet we will react as usual in this county, not be proactive.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Family Values Tour 2007

Thanks to a heads up by Truck4, I found out the lineup for this year's Family Values Tour 2007. Joining Korn will be Stone Sour, Flyleaf, Evanesence, and Atreyu, amongst other favorite bands of mine.

Hopefully, I can get good tickets for their Sunday 7/29/07 stop in Hartford, CT. I'll be back fresh from my honeymoon in Hawaii.

In other x635 music news, the reclusive Disturbed is possibly working on a fourth album for a Fall release, which means they won't be touring this summer. I can't wait until the next time I can see them live. Hopefully, this time I can see them if they do HOB in Los Angeles.

Greenburgh Emergency Services Nickled And Dimed By Paul Feiner-Again

According to the Journal News, Greenburrgh Police is requesting $97,000 to build a garage behind it's headquarters to house it's specialized vehicles.

I'm all for it. There's no reason that GPD's specialized vehicles, nor it's ambulances, flycars, and cruisers, should be housed outside. Protection from the elements for these vehicles is sorely needed. In the meantime, kick some of the DPW trucks out of the Sprain Rd. garage and put them in there.

In a Town that wouldn't think twice about spending $100,000 on an item for a park, or $30 million for a libary, it's a shame that they nickle and dime the Police Department. Disgusting. Feiner would rather spend $10,000 for a temporary "fabric structure" fix until they have the money to build a permanent structure. His reason for denying the funding- the library. I hope the residents of Greenburgh are happy in their new libary while the Police Department's fleet falls apart and puts the lives of the towns residents- and civil servants- in danger. For example, the Cascase vehicle operated by GPD is used in the region and is a neccesity in today's Haz-Mat world, not to mention fires.

It's too bad that the former Franks Nursery site is so contaminated by the decades of pesticide and other retail gardening chemical storage. That would make a perfect Police Headquarters and Court, with plenty of room for everything-including parking.

Again, Paul Feiner wastes the taxpayers money. Not only is he destroying the lifespan of the towns emergency vehicles, which will cost money when the vehicles have to be replaced sooner then needed, but he is also wasting money on a temporary fix. It would be nice if this town would take action instead of putting band aids on its wounds. Oh yes, and get its priorities straightened out. $30 Million Library in the internet age. Yes, Police Department Inexpensive Building To Protect Important Town Vehicles. No.


Niece Wants The Late Thomas Carvel Dug Up

According to a report by today's Journal News, the niece of Thomas Carvel, a former Ardsley resident and founder of the Ice Cream giant that began in Hartsdale, exhumed and examined for foul play in his death in 1990, which was at the time ruled of natural causes. Mr. Carvel is buried at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale.

The niece has been battling her now-late aunt for the inheritance of the Carvel Foundation and it's fortunes.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Did Greenburgh PD Use It's New Mobile Command Center?

Since I have been mostly sick or out of the loop over the past week, or I don't remember, did Greenburgh PD set up and use their new LDV Mobile Command Center, delivered last July, for the East Hartsdale Ave. flooding disaster last week?

If anyone knows, please reply as a comment or email me at

Consolidated Edison- On It

Many people complain about Con Edison, yet I believe they are one of the most reliable utility companies in America given the circumstances they work under. It's frusterating not to have electricity, but many times it's beyond their control (weather, etc).

I feel Con-Ed is a lot more ready for anything, as this vehicle operating at the Mamaroneck flats flooding disaster shows:

Yet Another Beautiful Piece In The Greenburgh DPW Fleet...

Here's yet another photographic Greenburgh DPW Truck (#10) that shows of the diverse and interesting fleet of vehicles maintained by Greenburgh DPW. This truck is in excellent condition, has been rebuilt several times by the Greenburgh DPW shops. It's primary role after many years is is to go out in the cold and make the town's roads passable during winter's snowy days.

Nothing like a Greenburgh DPW Mack. Hopefully, I can find in nice light and photograph one of their newer Mack Granites soon. But still nothing like this classic beauty.

And, here's Truck 6, a showing a little more wear and the old Greenburgh DPW paint job, white over orange (now all orange as seen above on Truck 10)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Each Time I Hear The Sirens.....

I live in the center of the fire district in which I work. I live where two of the major travel routes of our apparatus intersect.

Every time I hear the sirens with the air horns and Q, I am reminded how much I miss my job. When I'm resting in bed, laying on heat trying to relieve the pain and reading as much fire service material as I can, to "keep my head in the game", or anytime in fact, and hear the our trucks, and I know distinctly which one it is, when they are going to or returning from somewhere, I know it is them without having to look out the window, with the feeling that I belong inside and driving those trucks. I love hearing the air horn honk each time a truck passes my home, with the meaning of just saying hello

I'm working hard to recover completly from my injuries. Each day, I grow a little stronger. But I miss the job, and most importantly, the guys who I work with who are friends and teach me all kinds of things, about the job, myself, life and the list goes on. That is the insparation for me to heal, and each time I hear the sirens, I'm reminded to fight through the bad days and come back a stronger and smarter firefighter at the department I have dreamed of working at my whole life.

Many of you have supported me throughout this ordeal, and I thank those who have. It's times like this in which you know when your friends shine out.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Craftsman Tools- What Happened?

My father had always used Craftsman Tools. They were sturdy and dependable. From tough toolboxes to drill presses and screwdrivers, he had it all. And if they did break, they replaced it-no questions asked. I have a Craftsman snowblower, and it is built great and durable.

Recently, I purchased a small Craftsman tool cart for delivery to my house. I'm using it to store some assorted stuff. When I got it, it was unbeliably a POS. It was made out of very lightweight thin aluminum, when you slid the drawers out it felt like the were going to pull out (and did) and the whole thing was manufactured as cheaply as possible. The drawers jammed repatedly hanging up on other drawers, and the whole thing was flimsy.

So, I asked a friend (Thanks hfd23) to return it to Sears. Not only did they not care, but they made him go all over the Sears White Plains just to get a refund- that's after he found someone who actually admitted to working there. Sears has some good products, but HORRIBLE customer service at their White Plains location from what I understand.

Afterwards, I sent him to Lowes, to see if the same kind of product was any different. Nope, same POS tool cart. Same with Home Depot.

Now, Home Depot's Rigid Brand, Lowes Kobalt Brand, and Craftsman still do make great stuff, but I'm amazed they put their names on these cheap piece of crap toolcarts.

I guess if you want a sturdy toolcart nowadays you go to the Northern Equipment catalog or Snap-On.

Well, he bought me a toolbox with small drawers that suits my needs. Even the more expensive toolcarts were still made the same way. I think when I buy a house, I'll justt refurbish my fathers old Craftsman boxes and tools. They really don't make them like they used to.

My Own Mack Granite Snowplow-Sort Of

Many of you know that one of my favorite trucks in the world is a Mack Granite equipped for DPW snowplow/spreader operations.

Well, I finally got my own. Sort of. It's a HIGHLY detailed 1/34th scale replica produced by First Gear, and available through Midwest Replicas. It is super detailed, I think even more detailed then the real thing! Check out the photos @ This is probaly my favorite piece in my diecast collection now.

Check out the photos of mine here:

And if you want to buy your own:
Midwest Replicas Mack Granite Snowplow

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

My Opinions And Statements On This Blog

I just wanted to reiterate something with my blog readers. This blog is written independently by me, so the views, comments, and opinions expressed here are completly mine and are in now way affiliated with anyone or anyplace else.

If you have an issue with anything posted on this blog, any comments, suggestions, etc...always feel free to email me at

County Need To Purchase More Equipment To Respond To Flooding Incidents

I believe that the storm we had over the past couple of days will happen again, more often, as Westchester grows and develops more land and ignores the maintainence of streams, rivers, runoff basins, etc. Also, the enviromental changes of global warming will cause this to happen more (that is debatable, but I just wanted to support my point below)

Does anyone in the area have "High Water Rescue Units"? I'm talking about those huge Memphis chasis ex-Military troop carrier trucks that are high and can drive in deep flooded water. Yonkers has something similar but I'm not sure what they use it for.

Along with a hovercraft and a trash pump trailer, this I feel is a neccesity for DES to obtain right away. We spend so much time preparing,training and equiping for Tech Rescue. Hazmat, etc but more common things like an event of this magnitude that's been happening more and more lately are ignored.

If they have the money to obtain the two pieces of Technical Rescue apparatus I understand they recently did, then there's more then enough money and grants to provide swiftwater training, buy a couple of hovercrafts or flat bottom aluminum rowboats, a trash pump trailer, a high water rescue vehicle, etc.

There is such duplication of services, redundancies in apparatus and equipment, it's ridiculous.

When it comes down to the bread and butter emergenices that happen frequently, we're tottally lacking the equipment we really need while our hazmat and tech rescue equipment, even our ladder trucks, collect dust.

Monday, April 16, 2007

American Gladiators Now On ESPN Classic

Growing up, "American Gladiator" used to be one of my favorite shows on TV.

Recently, I browsed through the show on Wikipedia, and found out that on April 2nd, 2007, ESPN Classic has been airing reruns of the show weeknights at 7PM and 1AM, and weekends at 9AM and 10AM. for more information about the show.

I Tivo'd the one tonight which I will watch tommorow.

Was a very cool and unique show. I remember having the "American Gladiator" playsets and going to "American Gladiator Live" at Nassau Colliseum when I was a kid.

I'm Selling My MacBook

Well, I'm selling my MacBook w/ Intel Duo that I purchased a couple of months ago.

Although the computer was great, I just like a PC better. It was an impulse buy because I really wanted to try the Mac OS, I though it would be more useful for me then it was. I really shouldn't have purchased it in the first place...was depending on overtime that never materialized for the money to purchase it.

So, it's up on EBay, if you're interested in purchasing it. It's in mint condition, and comes with a Speck Products blue shell:

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Metro North Stations: Electric Signs Lacking?

Here's something I've never understood.
I've seen these signs in numerous Metro North stations. I have only seen them display the date. What is the purpose or point?
I'm curious why they don't display the time as well, something that would be very useful especially to the travler, especially when traveling by train.
If I want to take it a step further, what about a platform advisory and train ETA on these signs?

Ardsley's New Firehouse Progress Report

Here's a photo that was sent to me of the construction of Ardsley's new firehouse on Ashford Ave. They demolished the old firehouse last June, and this project seems to be moving quite quickly. Should be nice when they are done- I hear they are aiming for a June or July completion.

Monday, April 09, 2007

"All aboard! Up front with a Metro-North engineer"

"All aboard! Up front with a Metro-North engineer"

Very cool article in the Journal News:

Running a train is every little boy's - and some girls' - dream come true, but what's it really like sitting in that snug cab as you pull into and out of stations all day long?

Your eyes flicker from the track and signals ahead of you to the control panel before you.

Is being a railroad engineer the kick you imagined when you laid out the wooden tracks yourself and pulled a set of colorful trains out of the roundhouse?

Going Places spent four hours with Kevin Mahoney, an engineer with Metro-North Railroad, to get a taste of what it's like to run a commuter train.

City Of Stamford's New Mack Granites

Well, add City Of Stamford DPW to the latest DPW to add a Mack Granite to their snow removal arsenal:

Is Installing A Fence Really That Hard (Tappan Zee Bridge)

It seems like every week, or sometimes multiple times a week, we read about another person stopping their car on the bridge and jumping off. I'm always reading about how Tarrytown or Rockland respond with their boat, sometimes saving the person.

Not only does this place emergency responders in the water and on the deck at risk, it also places other motorists at risk when a car stops and parks in a lane, and also causes a rubbernecking hazard. And, at times it causes massive traffic jams on a bridge that has too many already.

So, my question is, how hard would it be to install some high, non-ugly fencing and non or delayed scalable fencing along the Tappan Zee Bridge. I think this would help to solve a very dangerous and deadly issue that seems to be plaguing the bridge.

Friday, April 06, 2007

New York State Thruway Authority Wrecker 1 Bridge Patrol Kitbash

This is a fictional model of the real Wrecker 1, which is the emergency response truck operated by the New York State Thruway Authority for the Tappan Zee corridor. This unit is the first response to a wide range of incidents, including MVA's, Jumpers, Car Fires, etc.

The fictional unit's specs
-2007 Mack MR 4x4 w/ Mack Engine and Transmission
-x635 Industries Body
-25 Gallon CAFS/25 Gallons AFFF/Dri-Chem fire extinguishment systems
-Holomatro Multi too
l-Thermal Imaging Camera-
4 winches. 2 side winches can facilitate repeeling over side of bridges
-Whelen and Federal Signal LED/Strobe package
-Generator and Halogen floodlight system
-Collapsible cones and flares-Speedy-Dr
i-LiveStream Video Feed

And it's primary role:-Ability to secure and tow and kind of car or truck off the bridge.Photo of the real unit:


This took quite a while to complete, and although I'm not as happy with the results as I though- I know the reason why...stupid stringy hot glue. BIG mistake. Other things too, but I learned. This was my first scratchbuilt body plus.

Check out the rest of the photos from throughout the kitbash here.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Cane 169

Many of you are familiar with "Walker 170" that I posted here last week. Well, to match here is Cane 169. Thanks to a friend for painting it for me!