March 2009

Watchmen on the IMAX at NewRoc

March 13, 2009 - 03:37

image954832635.jpgI have been looking forward to seeing Watchen for quite a while and was determined to see it on big IMAX screen but I could not bring myself to fight the crowds at New Roc on opening weekend. Patience is a virtue. It is Thursday night, I got a great parking spot without even having to look for one, no ticket line, the theater has about 25 people in it, no screaming kids and a great seat with no one crowding me.

Weekdays but especially Thursday night is the beat night to come to New Roc. Shhhh. Don't tell anyone and ruin it.

Parents Should Select Book at New Rochelle High School Not the School Board

March 13, 2009 - 01:39

I go to the New Rochelle High School and the books they give us is not what I call good reading. The PARENTS should have the decision on what books the students should read not the school board, if they do give the parents that they shouldn't give them a list let the parents choose what books are appropriate and good in literature A.K.A. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, that book has excellent foreshadowing and giving excellent feelings and strong thoughts about the book, the stuff they give us A.K.A. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. That book is so dry that i can pour water on it and it will turn to dust. There is not a lot of good foreshadowing or something to pull the reader in. My English teacher (not going to mention names) tells us that the book has great foreshadowing and stuff like that. The school district gets (very very very rough estimate) $96,000 dollars for books and they give us the old not good foreshadowing, don't get me wrong I would like to read Romeo and Juliette, that book/script has some good foreshadowing, well what can we do the school district "thinks" they know whats best for us. Well I think there wrong I think there is time for change in the school board, There needs to be drastic measures.

National Art Honor Society Inducts 15 New Rochelle High School Students

March 12, 2009 - 22:36

The City School District of New Rochelle put out the following press release (h/t Hall Monitor)

The New Rochelle High School chapter of the National Art Honor Society inducted 15 new members during a ceremony held Wednesday morning, March 11 at the school. The students qualified for members based on three measures: Artistic Scholarship and Achievement; Character, and Service.
New inductees are Kelsey Francella, Amy Ginghold, Alica Heinemann, Karen Hernandez, Sergio Hernandez, Danielle Kleinman, Julia Marvel, Victor Morales, Jessica Orellana, Yumna Piracha, Victoria Stoerger, Wajiha Syed, Janneth Valencia, Aleksander Vukasinovic, and YanetZepeda.

New York State Educational Budgeting 101

March 12, 2009 - 19:01

At the "budget workshop" otherwise known as the school board meeting under another name, there was some confused looks around the room when John Quinn told board members that the money indicated in the 2009-10 column of the budget is not what the district is planning to spend in 2009-10 but rather what the district was in the midst of spending this year. Quinn said this approach was standard accounting. I cannot imagine that even the New Rochelle School District would not follow standard accounting practice.

To try to understand this, I called the folks at NYSED to get clarification and they pointed me to this page

Office of Educational Management/Grants Services > Budgeting

I am not an accountant and this sort of stuff makes my head hurt so maybe some bright, motivated reader will take a look and see if they help the rest of us understand why the school district presents its budget this way.

In either case, how do we find out what we thought we were learning by reading the budget -- how much is the district going to be spending during 2009-10 on salaries and benefits (and everything else)? In my day of learning about school budgets -- reading, interviews with government officials in New Rochelle and Albany, etc. -- I came away with two initial conclusions.

Liveblogging School Budget Workshop on General Support Expenses

March 11, 2009 - 04:40

image262219001.jpgThis meeting is being videotaped so I am not going to provide a transcript just a few comments.

John Quinn is reviewing pages 2-32 and 95-106

Confusion at page 13 over what colums for 2008-09 and 2009-10 budget actually mean. Some board members seem confused. Me too.

The City Council except for the Mayor and Stowe all just showed up - Lou Trangucci, Richard St. Paul, Barry Fertel, Marianne Sussman, Al Tarantino.

Peg Pecunia takes over at page 95 on transportation.

Quinn jumps in at page 99.

[from my iPhone]

Columbus Principal Yigal Joseph Caught Up in Mount Vernon Federal Corruption Trial

March 10, 2009 - 20:32

EDITOR'S NOTE: Dr. Joseph issued a public statement on his personal web site stating that the Journal News article inaccurately reported on his testimony in the case and that concerns expressed by Talk of the Sound were unfounded. Readers may also wish to read: Farewell, Dr. Joseph -- New Rochelle Says Goodbye to a Principal Who Made a Difference in Many Lives

Tim O'Connor of The Journal News is reporting that Columbus Elementary School Principal Yigal Joseph testified as a witness for the prosecution in the federal corruption trial of Wayne Charles and former Mount Vernon Planning Commissioner Constance Post.

Prosecutors allege that the two set up a shell company, "Micros Only", and used Joseph as a front man for their allegedly illegal operation which was used to defraud the Mount Vernon City government of $2.3 million.

New Rochelle School District Offers Budget Long on Pay Increases and Short on Realistic Revenue Assumptions

March 10, 2009 - 06:22

FD6B9BB8-E643-4997-9470-DEB5DB4BA80E.jpgTonight (Tuesday) is Round Two of the Epic $230,000,000 School District Budget Battle. The tone-deaf district leadership has chosen the worst economic decline in three generations to propose the biggest school budget in the history of New Rochelle.

Because the District refused to provide the public with copies of the budget prior to the first meeting last Tuesday there was no opportunity for voters to to run the numbers and fact-check the budget as presented by Superintendents Richard Organisciak and John Quinn. As you will see, they have good reason to want prevent the public from getting a good look at the bloated monstrosity of a budget they are attempting to foist an apathetic public. Sadly, of the 46 people who attended the first budget meeting, 38 were District insiders. Just five members of the pubic came forward to ask a question during the paltry 3 minutes offered for public Q & A.

Tonight: Superintendent of Schools to Address Parents at Trinity Elementary School

March 09, 2009 - 11:32

The Superintendent of the City School District of New Rochelle, Richard Organisciak will be on hand at the Trinity Elementary School PTA meeting this evening.

Trinity School Library
Monday, March 9th, 2009
7:00 PM

Topics: 2009-2010 School Budget, Full Day Kindergarten and other changes at Trinity Elementary School

Who Will Be Stimulated By The Stimulus Money?

March 09, 2009 - 06:17

Free money ! It's enough to get anyone salivating just thinking about how it could be spent. What would you do ? A new car, A house, maybe that yacht you envisioned, sailing the Bahamas, carefree and casual. Sounds pretty sweet. The only problem in this scenario is the fact that there is no such thing as free money. If you were down on your luck and your neighbors chipped in with some financial assistance would you be comfortable spending it on the yacht, or would you get some clothes for your kids, fix that sewer that keeps backing up, or generally take care of some of those things that have been in need of attention but you just haven't had the money ? All this money, if it ever materializes, comes from our neighbors (taxpayers) and with it, you would think, comes some sort of responsibility to use it to help the citizen's quality of life.