November 2008

15 Minute Lunch Update -Parents Continue to Struggle to Achieve Adequate Time to Eat Lunch at Trinity

November 29, 2008 - 20:42

New Rochelle Community Pulse has received an update on the 15 Minute lunch at Trinity Elementary School. Here is the story to date:

Parent Leader sends follow up letter to Dr. Weiss' first reply:

After I sent the letters with 129 signatures and received Dr. Weiss' first reply letter, I sent Dr. Weiss a follow-up letter. Attached here.

Parent Leader states:

I felt Dr. Weiss misread the study that I had included and misinterpreted children throwing out food as being done.

Interesting perspective on Citizen Journalism

November 29, 2008 - 15:13

Borrowed from:

Letter: Why Citizen Activists Are Better Watchdogs Than Newspaper Reporters

Activists have proved over the years to be better watchdogs of city government than reporters, anyway. There are several reasons:

Community reporters are the least experienced in the newsroom, with a lot of turnover. Activists are able to draw on years of experience in the real world of business and finance, and tend to stay put in their communities. (It would be interesting to track where these reporters and editors move onto, with newspaper jobs vanishing. Maybe they become feature writers. I know of one former SV News editor who worked as employee or consultant on a public relations campaign to win 5-0 city council approval for high-density, low- income housing in Mission Viejo.

Former Westchester Superintendent Will be Washing Some Other Dude's Socks

November 26, 2008 - 23:59

It is always baffling how hard it is for people to believe the amount of corruption that surrounds us. How people who abuse the public trust and frolic at taxpayer's expense, while the good people remain silent, petrified with fear. Would it not have saved some tax dollars if this Mr. Hornsby was locked up while he was in Yonkers? Everyone knew and no one did anything except dump the garbage elsewhere. We are gluttons for punishment here in Westchester.

The Journal News reports:

Former Yonkers superintendent Hornsby sentenced to prison

"Public officials must pursue the public interest and not line their own pockets at taxpayer expense."

Read the about the charges for which Hornsby was foung guilty:

Details Emerge of Stabbing Incident; Attacker Stabbed Victim in the Neck Causing Blood Loss

November 25, 2008 - 18:17

As the Board of Education did its best to ignore the stabbing incident at New Rochelle High School just hours before the board meeting last night, New Rochelle High School Principal Don Conetta sent out a robo-call to parents of New Rochelle High School students last night about the stabbing that took place yesterday.

Maria Korn Praises Trinity School to Board, Fails to Disclose Role in "Collective Punishment"

November 25, 2008 - 17:18

Astroturfing in American English is a neologism for formal public relations campaigns in politics and advertising which seek to create the impression of being spontaneous "grassroots" behavior, hence the reference to the artificial grass, AstroTurf. The goal of such a campaign is to disguise the efforts of a political or commercial entity as an independent public reaction to some political entity—a politician, political group, product, service or event.

Maria Korn appeared before the school board last night. She presented herself as a parent with two kids in the public school one of whom had just made the honor roll. Korn spent her time in front of the board extolling the virtues of the teachers at Trinity school and how she, as a parent, was able to bond with the teachers at Trinity.

At no point did Mrs.

New Rochelle Superintendent Richard Organisciak Urges School Board, District Employees to "Support" Bankrupt Restaurant

November 25, 2008 - 15:45

In a bizarre, unprecedented and shameless move, Superintendent Richard Organisciak last night formally requested that the New Rochelle Board of Education approve a "resolution of support" for MacMenamin's Grill, an area restaurant that recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Confusion reigned as normally docile board members took the highly unusual (for them) step of asking questions.

One of the questions they might have asked is whether or not family members of senior administration officials have an ownership stake in the restaurant?

Another might be whether New Rochelle students have been enrolled, at tax-payer expense, in the cooking school at MacMenamin's Grill?

Or whether New Rochelle school officials get special treatment at MacMenamin's Grill?

Cindy Babcock-Deutsch Backs Down on Speech Restrictions; Parents Again Free to Criticize District Employees by Name

November 25, 2008 - 14:57

For years now, residents who wish to speak before the school board have been improperly informed that they may not express opinions or ask questions about district personnel. At the beginning of the public comment period, board president Cindy Babcock-Deutsch has read a misleading statement to the effect that personnel matters may only be discussed in closed sessions and only after matters have been referred to the Superintendent of Schools via the proper channels. While this may apply to board members it says nothing about residents may say when addressing the board. As a practical matter the board rarely responds to residents who come before the board to speak during the public comment period.

Don Conetta Offers No Plans for Added Precautions in Wake of Stabbing at New Rochelle High School

November 25, 2008 - 00:16

Aman Ali of The Journal News is reporting that a student at New Rochelle High School was stabbed this afternoon while outside the building.

When asked whether the incident suggested the school should take more precautions to prevent further problems, Principal Don Conetta dismissed such concers.

[Conetta] was asked if the high school will strengthen its security measures in response to the incident.

"I don't see us doing that at this time but we're continuing our investigation," Conetta said. "If we feel like we need to, then we won't hesitate to. But at this time we don't plan on doing so."

The Journal News reported Conetta claimed "the high school 'hasn't had a serious incident in a long while.'

Brian MacMenamin Blames New York State for Grill's Bankruptcy Filing

November 24, 2008 - 17:34

Allen Drury of The Journal News is reporting:

The owner of MacMenamin's Grill, a five-star restaurant known for its fish and steak platters, said the state's delay in granting him permission to expand his cooking school, has forced the business to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

I hope this works out because MacMenamin's Grill really is easily the best restaurant in New Rochelle.

Interesting Lessons Could be Gleaned from the Situation in Bedford School District

November 23, 2008 - 20:24

What is happening in Bedford?

Journal News Reports:

Bedford sued for details of ex-superintendent's $650G departure deal

This has frustrated residents seeking greater disclosure over what led to such a costly deal with the Bedford schools' former top administrator. Voter anger over the pact helped sink two Bedford budget proposals in May and June.

Lets see:

• General lack of transparency and failure to release public documents after FOIL request
• General lack of accountability
• General disregard for the taxpayer
• etc...

Sound Familiar? When did these people forget who they work for?