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Job Protesters Come to Westchester

YORKTOWN, N.Y. - Job protesters startled drivers on the Taconic Parkway Friday afternoon. Standing just south of the AMVETS Memorial Bridge, they waved signs demanding funds to repair the Westchester bridges listed by the federal government as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

The group, from the activist organization MoveOn.org, held anti-WallStreet signs as well as signs supporting the Administration’s American JobsAct. The jobs bill includes almost $3 billion for infrastructure in New YorkState, as well as $1.8 billion for teachers and $2 billion for schools.

Westchester has more bridges on the needs-repair list than any othercounty in the state, said Peekskill resident Tim Barnes, coordinator for theAmerican Spring Council, the MoveOn.org group representing the northernpart of the county as well as Putnam. The New York State Department of Transportation’s own ratings show the AMVETS bridge to be in “deficient condition.”

The state’s highway budget is in the red, said Maria Schafer ofGranite Springs, regional organizer for MoveOn.org. “Money from the jobsbill would more than cover the deficit,” she said.

Some of the passers-by honked and waved in support of the protest.Officers from the state police and Yorktown police force observed thepeaceful protest, to ensure that the slowing traffic didn’t create a safetyhazard during rush hour.

Drenching rain interrupted the event, sending the protestors diving fortheir cars. Barnes said the group planned a “mock town hall” on Thursday, Oct. 20, at the Somers office of U.S. Rep. Nan Hayworth. Hayworth supports the taxcuts included in the jobs bill, but opposes the infrastructure and otherspending. “We hope Hayworth will meet with us,” Schafer said. So far, heroffice has turned them down.

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