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February 2009

New Rochelle Lines Up For Its Helping of Pork: $100mm for Skating Rinks, Boat Storage, Soccer Fields, Streetscapes

February 28, 2009 - 02:32
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streetscape.jpgThe 7th largest city in New York State has dusted off long dormant or unworkable plans coupled with goodies for multi-million dollar real estate developers and dumped them into a nearly $100 million grab bag of spending initiatives that will do little to stimulate the economy but a lot of keep favored contractors working on the Federal dime while delivering the goods for deep-pocketed developers who have pumped dollars into the Mayor's campaign fund. Mixed in among some genuine infrastructure projects can be found projects to build a skating rink for $8,000,000, a boat storage facility for the cash-strapped yachting crowd, $1,500,000 for soccer fields, basketball courts and picnic tables, more for bike paths and something called "streetscapes" which will apparently be so beautiful that residents will forget they're broke and go shopping on Main Street. This in a City that has given away tens of millions of dollars in the form of tax abatements to encourage big box stories like CostCo and Home Depot to relocate on the old City Dump at the far end of town.

New Rochelle Submits List of Shovel-Ready Projects for Stimulus Funds

February 27, 2009 - 21:45
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echobaydev.jpgNew Rochelle's City Government has submitted its Stimulus Package Wish List (link opens PDF doc) to Albany in the hopes of getting a slice of New York State's share of the stimulus pie. New York State is expected to get $24 billion of which New Rochelle is asking for a little under $100 million of which it hopes to get a fraction. The City School District of New Rochelle will submit its own request. The preamble from the request follows:

The City of New Rochelle is requesting $97,755,000 to spur economic activity, combat the negative fiscal impacts of the current downturn, and position our community for sustainable growth. The projects and initiatives referenced below would create or save more than 5,500 jobs, preserve or enhance critical infrastructure, protect environmental resources, promote energy efficiency, build affordable housing, and support public safety.

Egyptology Students Run Wild in New Rochelle Schools

February 27, 2009 - 20:16
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These are merely hieroglyphics marked on the walls of New Rochelle High School by over-eager Egyptology students. Move on. Nothing to see here. Wait, they don't offer courses on Egyptology at New Rochelle High School? Well I am sure there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for these hieroglyphic like drawings which appear to indicate inclusion in certain social organizations that like to mark their territory with interesting doodles and various color-coordinate items of clothing. If you run across similar handiwork by there local artists and their compatriots please snap a few photos on your cell phone and email them to us.

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New Rochelle School Board Member's Son Roughed Up by Staffer at Trinity School

February 27, 2009 - 03:38
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On Thursday, February 26th the word around Trinity Elementary School was that a Special Education Aide intentionally escalated a situation in an already tense third grade Special Education at Trinity Elementary School classroom. The incident involved the son of a City School District of New Rochelle Board member who attends Trinity.

This is what we have so far. Tony (not real name), the third grade son of a City School District of New Rochelle Board member, complained to staff that another boy in the class was looking at him. His complaints were dismissed. We understand the situation escalated. When Tony refused to leave the classroom after being told repeatedly by the Special Education Aide, we are told that the Aide pulled the chair from under the child causing him to fall to the floor. This is when Tony, lost any composure he had left and the situation reached its peak. Sources tell us that the Aide often baits Tony to get him upset as way to get him removed from his current placement. We understand that the Principal and the Assistant Principal at Trinity were made aware of the situation. We also understand that word of the events spread like wildfire through the halls at Trinity Elementary School.

Trinity Elementary Teacher at City Hall? Something is Definitely Being Swept Under the Rug

February 27, 2009 - 02:40

It appears that Mr. Sean Kennedy, a former 4th grade CILA (Children's International Language Academy) teacher at Trinity Elementary School is currently spending his days at City Hall. Apparently, a replacement for Mr. Kennedy has been hired, officially welcomed to the staff and working in his place.

Our sources could not tell us why Mr. Kennedy is no longer at Trinity other that he did something "inappropriate." We do not know what "inappropriate" would mean to the fourth grade C.I.L.A. parents whose children were in Mr. Kennedy's class. We can only speculate that the infraction committed was serious enough to be removed from the school and away from children but not enough to be fired immediately.

It is a fact that the City School District of New Rochelle will often shy away from dismissing unfit staff. Instead, the staff member gets relieved of their duties, sent somewhere else in the district while being kept on the payroll at taxpayers expense. In the real world, people unfit to do their jobs usually get fired. The final outcome is that the taxpayers are paying twice as much for one position in salaries and benefits than they should.

We welcome more information why the City School District of New Rochelle would do this in such tough economic times? We will continue to look into this further.

New Rochelle's "Full-Time" Mayor Moonlights His Way to Six-Figure Income

February 26, 2009 - 19:50
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In 2006, The New York Times ran a glowing profile of Noam Bramson, the then-newly appointed Mayor who had been selected by the City Council to replace outgoing Mayor Tim Idoni who won election as Westchester County Clerk a few days earlier. Some New Rochelle residents have raised questions about the nature of the mayoral position in New Rochelle and whether Bramson is a woefully underpaid full-time City employee or a significantly overpaid part-time government spokesperson who doubles as official cheerleader for economic development for New Rochelle's downtown business district.

NOAM BRAMSON, the longest-serving and youngest member of the New Rochelle City Council, was sworn in last week as the city's 23rd mayor. At 36, he is also the city's youngest mayor, assuming the guardianship of a sprawling, once-prosperous Long Island Sound metropolis that has been struggling for decades....Mr. Bramson, a Democrat first elected to represent the City Council's Fifth District in 1995, won re-election in 1999 and 2003 with more than 70 percent of the vote. In addition, since 1992, he has been a policy consultant and demographics analyst for Representative Nita M. Lowey.

Liveblogging Confederation Meeting

February 26, 2009 - 19:11
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image47565878.jpgJoan Bristol is addressing the group on the history of the Confederation of Neighborhood Association. She will be stepping down; forming an ad hoc committee to reinvigorate the organization.
Biggest problem has been change of leadership. The current list is largely inaccurate. Apathy has been a major issue. Voters often do not vote in purely local elections. Just 3,000 voted in last school board election.

Administrative Revolving Door Continues to Spin at Trinity Elementary School

February 26, 2009 - 12:43
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Jackie Herman, the Principal at Trinity Elementary School in New Rochelle will not return to her position after a two year maternity leave. She has been the Principal at Trinity for four years, two of them have been spent on leave after the birth of her second set of twins. As of the latest information, Richard McMahon will not return as Interim Principal for a third year. It has come to our attention here at New Rochelle Community Pulse that a search will be opened a new principal. Although the City School District leadership at City Hall has known this information for quite some time, as of February 26th, 2009 the position of Principal for Trinity has not been posted nor advertised.

Federal Election Commission Releases 2008 Election Cycle Data for New Rochelle Part 2

February 26, 2009 - 06:49

On February 9th, 2009, the Federal Election Commission in Washington, DC released their final tallies for all Presidential campaign contributions during the 2007-2008 election cycle. The Center for Responsive Politics has compiled the data and made it available at OpenSecrets.org. This article is the second in a series analyzing the FEC final data for the last election. Read the first article.

Excluding donations to PACs, 504 Committees, and Parties, New Rochelle residents made 747 donations totaling $666,444 directly to the presidential campaigns during the 2007-2008 presidential election cycle based on recently released FEC data.

Last time we looked at the biggest losers during the campaign. This time will take a look at the biggest winners.

The Democratic Party in New Rochelle had a 3:1 fund-raising advantage in the most recent election cycle. Out of the $666,444 raised by the campaigns in New Rochelle, the Democratic Party took in $483,229 or 72.5%. The Republican Party took in $180,665 or just 27.1%. Independent candidates took in just $2,550 or less than 1%.

Iona College PRSSA Brings 'Hit the Books Running' to New Rochelle Boys and Girls Club (Remington Unit) Thursday Night

February 25, 2009 - 23:01

Where will you be Thursday February 26 at 5PM?

Come join the Iona College Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) in conjunction with the Boys and Girls Club (Remington Unit) as we bring the Hit the Books Running Program to New Rochelle. Students 11 to 14 years old will learn about college while their parents learn about paying for it. HSBC Bank will be on hand for questions. Refreshments will be provided.

The Boys and Girls Club (Remington Unit) is located at 116 Guion Place in New Rochelle, New York. This event will run from 5 – 7 PM.

Hope to see you there!

Visit ichitsthebooks.blogspot.com for more.

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