A First Look at the Project, Intriguing Queries

Additional photos courtesy of RPEA

Fascinated, RPEA members asked insightful questions/NNYB

Fascinated, RPEA members asked insightful questions/NNYB

Someone wanted to know if the cables on the new bridge could be played like a harp. “Can you land a Cessna on the bridge?” another member asked.

Good-natured laughter ensued as everyone’s eyes focused on the speaker. Special Project Advisor Brian Conybeare answered all questions, some with a grin, during a recent presentation to the Westchester Putnam Chapter of Retired Public Employees Association (RPEA).

“It’s the first time our program had a topic of broad public interest,” member Cheryl Gajowski said, since programs focus on members’ specific interests.


“We have had many and varied speakers at each Lunch Meeting,” Chapter Chair Judy Bernstein said. “Our chapter has four lunch meeting per year at different venues, and our members look forward to these meetings to hear the different messages each speaker presents.”

Members have a chance to socialize, invite potential members and make friends and become informed, Bernstein said. This meeting was an eye-opener as it’s the first time many in the group learned about the bridge project.

members 1

“This is the second year we are finding a venue located within the greater geographic population hub in south/easterly Westchester County with a possible broader new member base,” she said. “In addition, our membership enjoys visiting new venues.”

Her husband, Dr. Martin Bernstein, took flying lessons and asked about the Cessna landing on the new bridge and in the river.

Questions ranged from suicide prevention and safety netting to mass transit options to lane configurations when the new, wider bridge meets the three-lane Thruway in Rockland.

“I learned there will be two spans, and the train (if and when it comes) will be between them,” Bernstein said. She’s also happy to learn all supplies are made in America, and that when it’s demolished, the old bridge will be recycled in the USA.

members 2

RPEA’s staff is mostly government retirees sharing the same concerns all of us face in our lives; it has 19 chapters in New York, Florida, and in the Carolinas. Headquartered in the State Capital makes it convenient to work with state legislators on concerns everyone shares.

A former town planner for Yorktown and Bedford, Bernstein has a master’s degree in urban planning. “I reviewed plans and summarized their physical, social and conservation planning designs to the planning board,” she said.

Members were employed at state, county or local levels of public service and volunteer by meeting with legislators and explaining their interests and legislative priorities. There are 19 chapters in New York, Florida, and in the Carolinas.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

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