March 2009

Schools Finance Chief Quinn to Address Reform Club on School Budget at American Legion Hall

March 26, 2009 - 20:45

UPDATE: School Board candidates Dr. Jack Wagner and Jeff Hasty will also address the audience and take questions. Deidre Polow also plans to attend.

The New Rochelle Citizens Reform Club and the Confederation of Neighborhood Associations will co-sponsor a meeting on Thursday, March 26th at 7:30 PM at the American Legion Post 8 Hall, 112 North Ave., New Rochelle, in the 2nd floor meeting room.  The special guest speaker will be John Quinn, Assistant Superintendent for Business Administration, New Rochelle Public Schools.  Mr. Quinn will speak about the Rochelle School Budget for 2009 - 2010.

Invitations have also been extended to the candidates running for the School Board seats this year, to say a few words about their candidacy, following Mr. Quinn's presentation.  A question-and-answer period will follow.  The meeting is open to the public and there is free parking on site or in the Mormon Church lot across the street.

Exciting Spring Events Planned for SoNoNewRo

March 26, 2009 - 17:21


Did you know Rockwell lived here, and giants walked here…the paths of history of the giants all crossed SoNo’s streets…

Norman Rockwell’s mini museum, at 591 Main Street, has a donation coming of a signed Norman Rockwell Print to be kicked off by Curator Tom Daly..the first weekend in April, the kickoff of a whole series of events of history, art and music….stay tuned….

Dates first weekend in April…

Cinco de Mayo festival!  Did you know Antonio of New Rochelle’s first leaders for the latino community here…can you celebrate the gift of diversity and music and great Mexican and fine foods…can you join us for the first Cinco de Mayo scholarship breakfast followed by a taste of SoNo….it all happens during early May….Ole y gracias a ti!  The First annual Cinco de Mayo festival is coming…

Learn more at SoNoNewRo Online.

Comparing Notes: Attention Parents With Children in Resource Room

March 26, 2009 - 01:35

NRCP has received an unconfirmed report of a student at Ward Elementary School is receiving one on one Resource Room after school.

This is what we have so far:

• A Resource Room teacher at Ward Elementary School refused to accept a 6th student in the class citing the need for a variance approval from New York State Department of Education. Under New York State Law a school can only place a maximum of 5 students in a resource room class. There is only one way to legally add another student. This must be done via a variance. The other way is to simply add another Resource Room section.

The linked SPECIAL EDUCATION VARIANCE REQUESTS states the following:

Special education programs may request approval through Special Education Quality Assurance for a variance from the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education in the following instances:


Consultant teacher caseload in excess of 20 students with disabilities (as per Section 200.6(d)(3) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education).

Resource room teacher instructional group in excess of five students with disabilities; and/or

MacMenamin's Lawyer Withdraws Citing "Serious Ethical Concerns", Possible "Criminal Investigation"

March 25, 2009 - 14:59

Talk of the Sound has obtained a copy of the motion filed by New Rochelle bankruptcy attorney David Stone asking Judge Adlai S. Hardin to allow him to withdraw as the lawyer for MacMenamin's Grill, Ltd. In the motion Stone tells the court "serious ethical concerns have arisen that make it impossible for the applicant [Stone] to continue with its representation of the Debtor [MacMenamin's Grill]. Such matters involve allegations of improper conduct in violation of the Bankruptcy Code, some of which may rise to the level of requiring criminal investigation."

Court documents show MacMenamin's Grill has a single shareholder, Brian Macmenamin who also serves as the president.

Concurrent with Mr. Stone's request to withdraw, the United States Trustee brought a motion to deny the dismissal sought by the debtor in possession, to appoint a Trustee and/or to convert the case to a Chapter 7 proceeding which typically results in a liquidation of assets. Sections of the U.S. Trustee filing are excerpted below.

School Board Votes to Push Back "Final" Budget to April 21

March 25, 2009 - 03:01

The City School District of New Rochelle's Board of Education voted to delay delivery of the "final" budget -- due next week -- until April 21st. Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak cited a desire to wait to see if more money is forthcoming from Albany and to provide District officials an opportunity to make adjustments to the budget in light of public comment made to the school board over the past few weeks at the so-called "budget workshops". A parade of New Rochelle residents have come before the board to criticize the district for seeking an increase of over $8 million in the school budget at a time when the rest of the community is experiencing significant financial pain.

It appears that the board has come to realize the depth of voter anger over the large increase in taxes that the district would need to fund the $180 million property tax levy built into the budget.

Hours After Receiving School District Checks and Invoices, Trustee Shuts Down Don Coqui

March 24, 2009 - 17:05

Within hours of receiving information from Talk of the Sound about the relationship between MacMenamin's Grill and the City School District of New Rochelle, Robert L. Geltzer, the U.S. Trustee appointed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains to run MacMenamin's, arrived unexpectedly at the restaurant and shut it down.

Earlier in the day Talk of the Sound had questioned Geltzer about the relationship between the school district and the restaurant. Geltzer expressed surprise to learn that MacMenamin's Grill was doing business with a school. We informed Geltzer that MacMenamin's Grill has been awarded a no-bid contract by New Rochelle and reportedly had similar "cooking school" deals with the Scarsdale and Valhalla school district and The New York School for the Deaf.

Mayor Bramson Vows New Rochelle will be stronger

March 24, 2009 - 15:59

EDITOR'S NOTE: City of New Rochelle announced today that The State of the City will be rebroadcast today on Cablevision/Verizon beginning at 8 a.m. and then every other hour until 10 p.m. Communications and Marketing Manager Kathy Gilwit cautioned that the video was edited due to a technical glitch. Gilwit hopes to have the video on the City's web site later today and a better edited version of the speech available online by the end of the week.

Despite the economy, Mayor Noam Bramson of New Rochelle claimed the State of the City is "strong."  Citing a responsible city budget which cut spending $3 million this year, he added that the Federal Stimulus Package will help the city.  Among the "wide ranging strategies" he proposed were reduction of energy costs.  Another was being granted the ability to increase the utility tax to 3% to achieve a 7% reduction in taxes.  He suggested that employee raises, especially police and fireman, be deferred because the alternative would be damaging cuts in the budget.

“M.A.I.N. S.T. New Rochelle ” Program Debuts Tomorrow (Wednesday, March 24)

March 24, 2009 - 14:54

Elected Officials to announce the “M.A.I.N. S.T. New Rochelle ” program

WHEN: Wednesday, March 24, 2009, 10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

WHERE: 565 Main Street

WHO: Deputy Mayor Richard St. Paul, Councilman Lou Trangucci and Councilman Albert Tarantino

WHAT: Elected Officials to announce the “M.A.I.N. S.T. New Rochelle ” program. M.A.I.N. S.T. New Rochelle stands for Municipal Aid and Incentives Necessary for a Stable and Thriving New Rochelle. M.A.I.N. S.T. New Rochelle is a business retention and incentive program designed to retain existing small businesses in Downtown New Rochelle and attract new businesses to Downtown New Rochelle. The M.A.I.N. S.T. New Rochelle program will include providing cash grants to new businesses toward securing leases, marketing and capital purchases. In addition, the program will provide cash grants to existing businesses for marketing, capital improvements, and retention.