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February 2009

Former New Rochelle State Senator Gets Less-Than-Flattering Portrait from Westchester Guardian

February 18, 2009 - 16:10

Disgraced former State Senator Joseph Pisani is the subject of a cover story in this weeks' Westchester Guardian:

Mrs. Masotti approached the Guardian with her incredible story last week. A story that involves top political players, past and present, in Westchester County and Albany; a story that is filled with greed, deception, and plain old-fashioned criminality; a story that actually started long before Mrs. Masotti’s daughter was born; a story that started with one of the most notorious of Westchester’s politicians, Joseph Pisani, Republican ex-State Senator and State Attorney General contender from New Rochelle.

Like so many local websites, the Guardian site inexplicably relies primarily on PDF "hard copy" files on the web and does not provide permalinks to their stories so you can try to get the entire story by visiting their home page or trying to open the PDF file for this week's edition of the paper (it is a 10 MB file so allow time for the file to open). [editor's note: not only do locals governments not want the public to find information but apparently local media outlets don't want to be read either -- pretty ridiculous]

New Rochelle "Kids" Busted at Mount Vernon Bar

February 17, 2009 - 18:30

The Journal News has another police blotter story up about a brawl at a bar in Mount Vernon, this one featuring some New Rochelle residents who were in the wrong place at the wrong time:

David DeRiffele, 20, of 32 Edgewood Park in New Rochelle, Michael Anthony Wagner, 18, 106 Clove Road in New Rochelle and Alyssa Pellicano, 20, of 120 Lispenard Ave. in New Rochelle were charged inside the bar with disorderly conduct, a violation.

Bummer.

MacMennamin's Grill, Gone But Not Forgotten

February 16, 2009 - 19:38
4 comments

Brian MacMennamin has a new partner and MacMennamin's Grill has a new name - Don Coqui. The new partner is reportedly Jimmy Rodriguez who owned Jimmy's Bronx Cafe off Fordham Road near the Deegan Expresswway. Jimmy's Bronx Cafe was a popular hangout for members of the New York Yankees back in the day. A person answering the phone earlier today says that although no date has been set for the official Grand Opening, the restaurant is open while they work in the new menu. We're told it's Caribbean fusion with some old MacMennamin's favorites. Anyone have further details?

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Holocaust Survivor Tale by Former New Rochelle Teacher

February 15, 2009 - 21:54
2 comments

An interesting post showed up in the New Ro Buzz this afternoon that I thought worth promoting to the front page.

I chanced upon Journey to the Golden Door: A Survivor's Tale by Jay Sommer, and like all holocaust centered books, it contained both the all too familiar, and the amazing. In 1981, Jay Somer, a high school foreign language instructor at New Rochelle High School, was named the National Teacher of the Year. His path to that honor was extraordinary.

Read the rest of the post here.

Hannah Montana Star Greets Fans as Iona College Women's Team "Thinks Pink"

February 15, 2009 - 20:52

B41B0472-6BC0-40FD-8754-6F7F2975D49B.jpgIona College's women's basketball team is hosting Siena today at the Mulcahy Center on the campus of Iona College. Today's game is sponsored, in part, by Radio Disney which if offering a special "meet and greet" with Disney star Moises Arias (Rico from Hannah Montana) for Iona Women's Basketball's youngest fans!

The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) officially begins the 2009 WBCA Pink Zone week today as over 1,500 schools and organizations have already committed to participating in the initiative. The WBCA Pink Zone initiative is a global, unified effort for the WBCA’s nation of coaches to assist in raising breast cancer awareness on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond. The week set aside for this year’s initiative is February 13-22.

New Rochelle School Board Slices Arts Funding in Half

February 13, 2009 - 02:44
3 comments

The New Rochelle School Board, without any notification, acted unfairly and cut the Music & Art Department's Budget from $120,000 to $60,000. That's 50% People. This is pretty amazing while they still spend taxpayer's hard earned money on $1000 diners and hiring unneccessary consultants.

I demand an audit of the New Rochelle City School District and everyone involved by an outside independant auditing firm. It's about time the hard working people of this City finds out where all this money is going especially when programs that are proven to help children excel get cut!!! I want heads on a platter!!!

As Windstorm Wreaks Havoc on New Rochelle, Twitter Keeps Residents Informed

February 12, 2009 - 22:18

windstorm.jpg Extra! Extra! Read all about it! The big news in New Rochelle is in the air - literally. With winds at close to Hurricane strength - gusts in excessed of 60 mph - New Rochelle has experienced some major transportation delays but no reported electrical outages so far.

But the big news for us here at Talk of the Sound is that thanks to our new and improved Yahoo Pipe we broke the news of the roof collapse at the New Rochelle Intermodal Transportation Center here first - beating every traditional news outlet in the area including the Journal News, WCBS Radio and Bloomberg.

Here are some of the Tweets which appeared in New Ro Buzz after the roof collapse shut down train service:

kamander: I was evacuated from my train at New Rochelle after the roof of the overpass was blown right off on top of my train, pulling down all the electrical wires.

ebroms: Sooo the platform above the New Rochelle train station collapsed. Hope everyone's ok, but now I can't get into NYC. Lame.

Franklin_Bluth: is currently waiting for the repair teams in New Rochelle to clean up the debris, so he might leave NYC.

Two Tales of One City: Madoff Impact on New Rochelle Cuts Both Ways

February 10, 2009 - 20:57

568DBF8D-05DE-4B7B-A009-FED4F57DD543.jpgLast week, when the Madoff Trustee released 13,000 names on a client list, Talk of the Sound reported on the names listed with New Rochelle addresses. One of the names on the list was Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet who took his own life after being financially ruined by Madoff. Another name on the list was CPA Frank Sisco who writes in the New Rochelle Review of his good fortune in having steered his client away from Madoff.

When I heard the news of Madoff’s arrest, I blurted out “I Told You” and smiled. I immediately thought of my California client whom I had just convinced three months earlier to liquidate her $1.1 million of life savings she had invested at the Madoff firm.

New York Times Paints Bleak Picture for New Rochelle Development Plans

February 10, 2009 - 17:11
15 comments

Diane Marszalek has a sobering account in The New York Times of how the credit crunch has impacted big name developers in our area with a particular focus on New Rochelle.

Marszalek begins:

Less than a year ago, New Rochelle leaders were banking their city’s future on a new wave of development, a multitude of projects designed to restore vibrancy to downtown. The plans included apartment towers with brand names like Trump and a Long Island Sound shoreline with high-end housing and canals for small boats...Today, however, such visions of Westchester’s future do not look as rosy, primarily because of the financial meltdown that, in some cases, has brought the business of construction to a halt, developers and local leaders said.

The spokesman for Capelli calls the situation a "mess" as developers "delay timetables" and "hunker down". Hardest hit are projects like converting New Roc City into a retail center with Kohl's and Target as anchor tenets, the LeCount Square project and the Echo Bay Development project. Developers are formally requesting extensions. Kohl's and Target are nowhere in sight of New Rochelle and Echo Bay Development will not break ground for at least two more years.

Mayor Bramson is quoted in the piece as well:

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