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Phil Katz Online

Westchester, NY:
Astorino Presents Safer Communities Anti-Violence Blueprint

Safer Communities Blueprint unveiledCounty Executive Robert P. Astorino recently unveiled the Safer Communities Blueprint, a resource guide to prevent and stop the spread of violence in our communities, whose initial focus is on addressing the correlation between chronic school absenteeism and at risk behaviors by young people.

"This is just the start," he told more than 100 people at a meeting at the White Plains Library. "The Blueprint is designed as a dynamic document that we will continue to add to. We are already looking forward to examinations of elder abuse and domestic violence."

The Safer Communities initiative was launched in January when Astorino brought together schools, civic groups, and the county's departments of Public Safety, Health and Community Mental Health to develop a multi-pronged plan to address violence – from root causes to consequences – in response to the tragic school shootings in Newtown, Conn.

The Blueprint is an ongoing compilation of best practices that have proven successful in preventing violence combined with a list of resources that are available locally. The 40-page document was produced over the last seven months by the Safer Communities Action Network, a group of 40 volunteers drawn from around the county with a wide variety of professional expertise working alongside the departments of Health, Community Mental Health and Public Safety. 

The initial focus on school absenteeism and suspensions was recommended by the Action Network, which concluded that efforts in Yonkers and Mount Vernon to reduce school absenteeism had been beneficial and should be expanded. 

"The Blueprint shows how communities can come together to solve problems," Astorino said. "Westchester was able to draw on local expertise from people who were willing to give freely of their time to make our county a safer place to live and raise our children. The result of their work is that we now have a path to follow for preventing violence and taking advantage of resources that can help with a wide spectrum of problems, ranging from bullying, to domestic violence to mental illness. We can't stop every act of violence. But we can tap our collective strengths every day."

The Blueprint was unveiled at the Fall Forum, a gathering of more than 100 mental health professionals, educators, law enforcement officials and community leaders.  Jonathan Fast, MSW, PhD, an expert and author on adolescent violence, discussed the importance of the Blueprint and how it can best be used by local communities.

"The Safer Communities initiative represents a unique countywide effort to combat bullying, terroristic attacks, domestic violence, street crime, and other forms of violence using cutting-edge knowledge derived from best practices in public health," Fast said. "That so many people of different professions—law enforcement, academic researchers, educators, health workers, and others—could collaborate so productively over a short period of time is a testimony to excellent organization and dynamic leadership."

The Blueprint employs a public health approach to violence, treating it as if it is a disease. Emotion is replaced with evidence-based data that is applied against what is called the SAFER methodology.

  • Surveillance: Define the problem
  • Assessment: Determine the causes
  • Focus: Target interventions
  • Evaluation: Measure results
  • Repeat: Continue and enhance what's working; drop what's not working.

Since January, the Safer Communities initiative has focused on a variety of collaborations among school districts, nonprofits and county and local governments to prevent violence in practical and cost-effective ways. To date, the Safer Communities initiative has included:           

  • The School Safety Symposium on February 20 at SUNY Purchase, where former NYC Police Commissioner William Bratton served as the keynote speaker.  More than 350 teachers, superintendents, police officers, firefighters and other first responders participated in what is believed to be the largest single gathering of school and law enforcement officials in county history.
  • The county's departments of Community Mental Health and Health and New York Medical College brought together community leaders from the family courts, non-profit groups, mental health agencies, faith-based communities, education and government for an April 9 forum that presented a public health approach to community violence prevention at the Westchester County Center.  Dr. Howard Spivak of the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta was the keynote speaker.
  • The Department of Community Mental Health arranged on May 29 for 300 mental health professionals to view and discuss Path to Violence, a film about a powerfully effective Secret Service program — the Safe School Initiative — that's helped schools detect problem behavior in advance and has thwarted acts of violence.
  • County police officers under a new expanded mutual aid protocol assisted Mount Vernon police officers to patrol the city's streets this summer. The joint effort resulted in 234 arrests, 43 of them on felony charges.
  • School districts in Somers and North Salem asked Westchester County to help them create dedicated school resource officer posts. On August 12, Astorino proposed legislation to provide school resource officers from the county's Department of Public Safety to the Somers and North Salem school districts. The legislation was passed unanimously by the Board of Legislators, and by September, those police professionals were on the job, making a difference in both school districts.
  • The County Executive, County Youth Bureau, Department of Community Mental Health, Yonkers and Mount Vernon school districts and Student Advocacy kicked off a campaign on Sept. 9 to promote "Attendance Matters," a campaign to keep kids in school.  

Future challenges to be addressed by the Action Network include bullying, elder abuse, and crisis intervention. 


- See more at:

available in hardcover, paperback and Kindle book,
 is filled with gritty battle scenes, political strife, sex, intrigue and civil war against the rich cultural backdrop of
Republican Rome and her Empire.

…Katz, it should be noted, has an exciting narrative style. The words pop on the page and he keeps the story moving. -EVE MARX, Record Review Newspaper.

Imperator (Victorious General), by PhilipKatz, is the life story of Julius Caesar the man that would rise from the streets of Rome to the pinnacle of power and world domination. Witness the youth of the man whose very name would come to symbolize unrivaled power and become the coveted title every Roman Emperor to follow would assume, a man whose policy of Clemency toward his enemies would seal his fate on the “Ides of March”. Meet the Caesar you never knew! IMPERATOR.

Imperator by Philip Katz(Published by Copperhill Media), the first in the series, is a fictional memoir
by Julius Caesar in which he tells the story of his youth in the first person
as it goes from the halcyon days of childhood to the bloody days of his teens.
It is an engrossing, fast-paced adventure story and political thriller as the
impoverished but charismatic young Roman nobleman becomes the protégé of his
uncle the great general and statesman Gaius Marius.

An unmistakable sign from the gods of Caesar’s future greatness is revealed to Caesar and Marius cementing the bond between the two as Marius takes the young Caesar under his wing for the uncertain days ahead. Becoming embroiled in the politics of Rome and eventually the civil war between Marius and Sulla young Caesar learns
fights and loves against the backdrop of the beginning of the collapse of the
four centuries old Roman Republic that ruled the World but could not govern its
self. Witness through the eyes of young Caesar the great events and great
personalities that are reborn as flesh and blood people struggling with the day
to day decisions that would resonate through the millennia. Imperator
details the political struggles, the lust for power and the ideological fight
to preserve Rome by a small group of pragmatic reformers that would result in
Civil War on an epic scale time and time again and how one exceptional young
man makes his way to adulthood in such a world.


Purchase Wolf Legion Just $1.99.

The author of Imperator stays true to his Roman roots in his new chapbook series, Wolf Legion; Rome's Vampire Wars: It's the late 2nd century BC. Rome and her Empire are infested by a seductive race of shape-shifting vampires, and only the Wolf Legion can save Humanity!
Book I introduces us to Rome's secret weapon and last hope, the Prefect of the Guard, Aelius Sejanus. Sejanus, his hand-picked Wolf-Pack of Vampire Hunters and a beautiful Nubian witch named Martha, face the growing threat of an all out vampire invasion of Rome.

War makes for strange bedfellows and Sejanus and the Immortals are no exception. The first casualty of war is the truth and Sejanus struggles with who to trust, and how to uncover the hidden hands behind events.

This edition contains; a glossary, guide to Roman Republican Government and a list of historical sources.

Wolf Legion is available exclusively on Amazon's Kindle platform for $1.99.

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Forum Imperator

is a chapbook companion to the novels
Imperator and
Wolf Legion. It was published to enhance the experience of reading Philip Katz's Novels set in the dynamic period leading up to the Fall of the Roman Republic. This specially designed Kindle book has an active table of contents for easy navagation.
It also includes: Author's notes, articles and essays on ancient Rome, a glossary, a guide to Roman Republican government and sources.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read!

, October 8, 2011
Aristotle S Spencer (Victoria, Australia) - See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Imperator (The Life of Gaius Julius Caesar) (Kindle Edition)
This is a gem of a novel.

I have read a number of historical novels based on the life of Julius Caesar and his exploits and on reading this novel by Philip Katz it brought back many fond memories of those books. What made this association so remarkable was the close agreement by all these authors on the historical facts that surround this famous character in his early years.

Philip Katz has done his historical research so well that this novel could easily be used as a reference text on Julius Caesar's early life.

The author has managed to capture the persona of Julius Caesar in a manner that readily brings to life this famous individual to present day readers. The framework of the novel and the writing style of the author engage the reader from the start to finish and leaves the reader with a thirst for more.

I hope that this novel is a first of many more to come.
5.0 out of 5 stars
Roman history as a compelling tale of one Man's life., February 20, 2011
This review is from: Imperator (Hardcover)
This is the most interesting book about ancient Rome that I have ever come across. The reason is that it is so accessible. The writer has obviously devoured vast amounts of Roman history, and Caesar's story specifically. His research is our gain as the book weaves a wonderful tale that once you start you cannot put down. Caesar becomes a flesh and blood person before your eyes. His courage, his organization, his far seeing political abilities all come to life on these pages. Really just a great, involving read. Highly recommended!


5.0 out of 5 stars 
An amazing work of first person fiction, March 23, 2011
This review is from: Imperator (Hardcover)
For more than a year I have caught glimpses of Philip Katz's book: Imperator, The Life of Gaius Julius Caesar, as he launched chapter after chapter onto Scribd. I devoured each in absolute awe of anyone who could absorb history in such fine detail and then turn it around and personalize it in such a way, that you could actually believe Caesar himself to be the author. Now, the book is out in hardcover and I am no less impressed by Mr. Katz's ability to reveal his strengths as an author. The book begins just so: I Gaius Julius Caesar, Imperator, Pontifex, Maximus, Dictator, Perpetvo, Conqueror of Gaul, Descendent of the Goddess Venus, and Anchises of Troy, do now commence to relay to posterity the events of my life as I recollect them. And so he does. Katz starts in Caesar's childhood, introduces us to life in the suburba, gives us a taste of his family and culture. He then captures the brutality of war, the conundrums of politics and the sense of history this man was making. (But not before indulging us in a brief chapter set in modern day when this memoir is revealed to scholars for the first time.) To do this by rewriting other works is one thing. To personalize it as if writing a real diary is an amazing feat all together. The bibliography, Appendix and Glossary are filled to the brim. It is simply so impressive how Philip Katz not only took on this topic, but made it his own through an enormous amount of hard work and hard writing. He is to be applauded for creating "A Fictional Recreation of the Life of the Greatest of All Romans."


5.0 out of 5 stars
Imperator-Gaius Julius Caesar brought to life, February 17, 2011
This review is from: Imperator (Hardcover)
Philip Katz has brought the most famous of all Romans alive again with his fictional novel Imperator..Gaius Julius Caesar travels the streets of Rome as a young man..You will feel drawn into Caesar's early life as you read the pages of this well written book..

Extensive writer research is evident and makes young Caesar's early life believable..Readers feel they are reliving actual history and can hear the chariots rumble in the streets of Rome..You are quickly brought into the realm of Rome both from a political and historical standpoint.

Imperator is a very well written book and is both intriguing and captivating to the reader..From start to finish Katz keeps the reader wanting to know more and more about the thoughts and actions of this famous Roman..


5.0 out of 5 stars
Impressive Work on Julius Caesar's Life, February 15, 2011
This review is from: Imperator (Hardcover)
Author Philip Katz set out to write "Imperator" because he felt he could bring a unique layman's point of view to the subject of Gaius Julius Caesar and the fall of the Roman Republic, free from the traditional dogmatic approach taken by the academic community. In addition, he believes the tale of the fall of the Roman Republic is a timely and relevant, cautionary tale for the 21st century America.

In his own words, "It is far too simplistic to attribute Caesar's vast accomplishments to ambition and lust for absolute power alone. While Caesar was referred to commonly as tyrant and was allegedly assassinated for the same reason, Caesar never altered the Republican form of government, which he is accused of destroying. Closer examination of the facts presented in the extant sources only make sense when seen in context of an extremely complex personality capable of great compassion for individuals and what was seemingly cold disregard for the lives of millions. In the pages of Imperator a character comes into focus from the extant documents of the period taking into account just how subjective these accounts were. In fact, most of the sources for the period, with the notable exception of Caesar's own writings and those of the orator Cicero, were written many years after the time of Caesar and were written by those opposed to the factions to whom Caesar belonged. The story of Caesar must be viewed within the context of the unique time in which he lived and the unique situation into which he was born."

"Imperator - The Life of Gaius Julius Caesar" is a fictional recreation of the life of the greatest of all Romans.

In present days' Rome, namely at the Bibliotheca Casanatense, the senior curator, accompanied by a team of scientists and students, receives the first of ten volumes representing the personal memoir of Julius Caesar, which were suppressed by Caesar's successors. The volumes were kept and protected by Ethiopa's Jewish community, the Beta Israel, for over two thousand years until a time when a publication was deemed safe.

"Imperator" by Philip Katz represents this first volume, and it covers Caesar's early years, reflecting on the golden days of his childhood that quickly gave way to hostilities between the great men of the state, followed by blaze of civil war. Reading "Imperator" made me feel and live the atmosphere of ancient Rome, and understanding the Gaius Julius Caesar as Katz envisions him.

Katz has invested some substantial research and passion into the subject of the otherwise sparsely recorded history of Caesar's childhood, and it reflects in the details of his writing. "Imperator" is a must-read for everybody interested in Roman history.

- Wilfried F. Voss, Author of The Bleeding Hills
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