May 2009

School Board Reality Check Memo: New Rochelle Home Prices Continue Collapse

May 26, 2009 - 16:55

This is a special note to our so-called school district leadership: Now that you got your budget passed can we drop the "suck it up" nonsense and start talking seriously about how the reality of the collapse in home values impacts the ability of residents to support the public school system?


I was there so I know you were practically giddy last Tuesday when you managed to dupe 5% of New Rochelle's registered voters into passing your deceptive, bloated school budget. You even deluded yourself into believing that getting 2,200 votes out of a possible 40,000 showed that the community came out to "support" your budget. Great. But now the chickens are coming home to roost.

If you do not cease soon with the campaign rhetoric and PR spin, you are going to find yourself paying the price for failing to make genuine efforts to build widespread community support for your budget. Yes, you "won" -- by lying to the public and running as close to a secret election as is possible -- but now comes time to see what you really won as news comes today that the tsunami of wealth destruction caused by record declines in home prices continues unabated.

Despite Quinn's Promises, OT for School District Maintenance Workers Balloons to $692,195 for 2008

May 26, 2009 - 12:36

Aman Ali of the Journal News is reporting:

For the second consecutive year, 90 percent of the district's top overtime earners were maintenance workers, custodians or tradesmen such as carpenters - each receiving at least $10,000 in 2008. Overall, the district paid $692,195 in overtime in 2008, compared to $673,000 in 2007.

Ali even took the trouble to go back and look at what baloney he was fed the year before the by the District

When the newspaper reported on New Rochelle's 2007 school salaries, John B. Quinn, assistant superintendent for business and administration, said the district hoped to cut back on overtime with tougher scrutiny on employees taking the extra hours.

The lede paragraph actually mocks this claim by Quinn:

Despite hopes to cut back on employees' overtime pay in 2008, the school district spent more than $20,000 more last year than in 2007 - with three employees collecting more than $30,000 each.

Given Quinn's failure to bring overtime spending in line, its a wonder that in July he will be up for his third raise within 12 months.

As New Rochelle City Council Grumbles, Capelli Gets 12th Le Count Square Extension

May 25, 2009 - 02:41

While the New Rochelle City Council granted Cappelli Enterprises their twelfth extension on the plan to build on the Le Count Square site, it was not granted without Council members expressing reservations.  This proposed high rise project which will be the largest in downtown New Rochelle will contain stores, offices, residences and a hotel.   After Councilman Lou Trangucci voted "no," Councilman Albert Tarantino was the first to offer reservations about the proposed six month extension.  He felt the project area presently looked blighted and thought the business owners in the area are negatively effected.  He voted "yes" for the six months extension but was not sure about future approvals.

Councilman Jim Stowe endorsed Tarantino's statement and voted "yes" but added,  number thirteen was the "bewitching" hour.   Councilman Barry Fertel agreed with Tarantino that North Avenue was in a "really unacceptable condition."  He has been a strong supporter of Cappelli.  Fertel mentioned the area around 40th Street in New York City where development never took place.  Council member Marian Sussman and Mayor Noam Bramson voted "yes."  City Manager Chuck Strome said he was meeting with the Cappelli organization about the concerns of the staff regarding this site.  He noted that Cappelli is not the owner of the empty apartment building on the site.

Memorial Day 2009

May 23, 2009 - 13:38


It is
not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of religion.

It is
not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.

It is
not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.

It is
not the campus organizer,
who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is
not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is
not the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote.

Thank you to the reader that sent this reminder of why we honor those who have served and given their last full measure of devotion.

If you would like to show your support, March Down to North Avenue on Monday May 25th and Join the Parade!

Memorial Day Weekend in SoNo & the Loews Theater

May 23, 2009 - 13:07

At 525 Main Street, SoNo residents, and volunteers high school interns, and Executive Driector Jim Killoran are working hard to help see the historic Loews Theatre come back...It is the center piece of Main Street, stated Killoran....high school interns have been cleaning up...and Killoran wanted to see the flags raised on the marquis in honor of Memorial Day....

Volunteers paint Hudson Park, Saturday morning 7-10am...PAINT THE TOWN, PAINT THE PARK...with Brush with Kindness...Mr and
Mrs Trangucci and Jim Killoran and Habitat volunteers enbark early on Hudson Marines of yesteryear, this park is beginning to get a new paint lift....Modern Hardware donated the paint to Habitat and Killoran and volunteers will paint the Tranguccis assistance and donated supplies as well....Its time to Paint the Town and the Park before Memoiral day in SoNoNewRo.....


Crowdsourcing: Is CVS Selling Expired Medications in New Rochelle?

May 22, 2009 - 13:51


During April and May, 2009, surveyors working for United to Win, a consortium of trade and services unions, visited 310 CVS stores in 9 states and found expired infant formula, medication and/or dairy products for sale at 180 CVS stores, more than 58% of stores surveyed.

The new findings include:

  • More than half of the CVS stores surveyed in the Metro Chicago are had expired products for sale including milk that was three weeks past its sell-by date.
  • 69 percent of CVS stores surveyed in Metro Atlanta had some expired products on their shelves including CVS-brand medication more than two years past its sell-by date.
  • Two-thirds of the CVS stores surveyed in Greater Pittsburgh had expired products for sale including infant formula that was six months past its sell-by date.

How Much is Mr. Organisciak Worth to the New Rochelle Taxpayers?

May 22, 2009 - 11:32

In a continuous effort to seek an ever elusive transparency, we thought we would post the current City School District of New Rochelle contract with the Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Richard Organisciak as well as the soon to be expired Teachers' contract.

Now that Mr. O has successfully passed another budget, he is worth his weight in gold. What a great place to be. Kudos to you Mr. O.

Sexual Harrasment at New Rochelle's City Hall Creates Hostile Work Environment

May 21, 2009 - 13:25

B65CCA3E-98C5-461F-977F-E4977BDC8CA4.jpgTalk of the Sound has learned that a junior employee in the City School District of New Rochelle's Finance Office has repeatedly engaged in unwelcome and inappropriate sexually based behavior towards a senior department supervisor creating what has been described by one source familiar with the case as "a hostile work environment".

Kareem Ali, a clerk working on the 2nd floor at City Hall under Assistant Superintendent John Quinn, has been subject to repeated disciplinary action for unwanted contact between him and a female co-worker, a supervisor in the Finance department. Ali is restricted to certain parts of City Hall and is not permitted to pass beyond the men's bathroom in the 2nd floor hallway. He is required to go through an elaborate set of intermediaries to communicate with the supervisor to prevent further direct contact. He is not permitted to e-mail his supervisor directly. All communications, written and verbal, are passed to the supervisor thru another staff member. Despite these precautions, problems persist.

March Down to North Avenue on Monday May 25th and Join the Parade !

May 21, 2009 - 04:56

Pictured Above: Volunteers, young and old alike pitch in decorating the floats for the big day.

March down to North Ave and join everyone as we remember those who sacrificed for our freedom. The Annual Memorial Day Parade begins,  with a Memorial Service at 10:30 in Memorial Plaza. The parade starts shortly after, down Huguenot St, to North Ave and down to Hudson Park. Floats - Color Guards - Bands - Sailors and Marines from Fleet Week - NYPD - NYFD - Mounted Police - Military Displays and so much more. Come to the park and join the party, thank a Vet, have a burger and enjoy the show. You won't be disappointed ! Sponsored by the United Veterans Memorial & Patriotic Association and the City of New Rochelle. Special thanks to the many volunteers who make it all look so easy.