June 2009

Organislak and board reneg on budget lobby promise

June 30, 2009 - 20:14

It was refreshing to hear how the board claimed to have heard the issues raised by the public in the weeks prior to the budget vote . Always sensitive to those who pay their salaries and afford them their status in the community, it seemed they really got it this time . More transparancy , letting us know the issues ,BEFORE, the meetings, so we could comment PRIOR to them voting on agenda items . It was as if there was some headway made . But Nooooooooo. As soon as the check cleared it was back to the usual "behind closed doors" boiler room dealings that many complained about . Oh Jeff , c'mon out now , here's where you're supposed to show us your reform platform . What's that ? You have to check with Ms Polow first ? That's OK , we didn't expect much from you anyway. I'll send out for some pizza for you guys and maybe Ms Henry could get you all some cots because if you're going to go over personnel ISSUES, Lord knows you'll be in there for a while since there are so many issues. Unless of course you hold true to the old ways and just give the offenders a raise . THAT won't take long at all. Right ? Shame shame shame

Board of Education Special Meeting Tonight at City Hall to Discuss Personnel Decisions

June 30, 2009 - 17:33

Members of the Board of Education of the City School District of New Rochelle will hold the following meetings on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at the Administration Building, 515 North Avenue, Second Floor, New Rochelle, New York:

· 6:30 P.M: Committee of the Whole Session…(Executive Session)....Carew Room

The Board anticipates making a motion to go immediately into Executive Session to discuss employment history of particular persons and legal matters with District Counsel.

· 7:30 PM: Committee of the Whole Session….. (Public Session)……Board Room


I. Board of Education Announcements
II. Superintendent's Report
A. Update: Full-Day Kindergarten
B. Westchester-Putnam School Boards Recognition
C. Sustainability Advisory Board
D. Thanksgiving Day Parade
III Review of Draft Resolutions
IV. Board/Community Informal Discussion

· 8:00 PM: Special Meeting …………………………………………..Board Room

EDITOR'S NOTE: Where are the board resolutions for this meeting? Why are they still being kept secret! Why have they not been published online as promised during the 2009 campaign?

EXCLUSIVE: New Rochelle's Thomas Paine Museum Seized by New York State Attorney General and Board of Regents

June 29, 2009 - 22:13

DSC_0331.jpgThe New York State Attorney General and the New York State Board of Regents have seized control of the Thomas Paine Museum in New Rochelle and given temporary custody of the museum's holdings to the New York Historical Society, Talk of the Sound has learned. Calls to the Attorney General's office seeking comment were not returned. The museum itself is locked up, the electricity appears to have been shut off and there is a "final notice" taped to the door by the water company. Through the window, empty boxes are strewn across the floor, beneath a bust of Thomas Paine (see below for photos).

Historian Kenneth Burchell, former board member of the Thomas Paine Museum and author of the forthcoming 6 volume set, Thomas Paine and America, 1776–1809 recently spoke with Talk of the Sound about the declining fortunes of the Paine Musuem and ongoing efforts to protect the remaining assets of the now defunct TPNHA.

Sports Illustrated Calls Dodgeball-Chokehold Story "Sign of the Apocalypse"

June 29, 2009 - 17:44

The Dodgeball-Chokehold first reported here on Talk of the Sound has gone national including a memorable mention in the current edition of Sports Illustrated:


While it appears amusing as SI reports it, sources at the school have reported that the children present during the incident were traumatized and many left the gym in tears afterwards. Something to consider before chuckling too hard over this rather frightening story.

About life in SoNo

June 29, 2009 - 16:14

SONO NEW SECTION TO BEGIN... you want to know what it is like to live in SONO..our downtown neighborhood have great people and professionals like Ron and Paul, who are part of SoNo's bike club...Ron a professional heads up the bike club...Paul who, with his wife, is chair of the great Davenport Lofts condo association and works at Columbia, but has invested so much.."I love SoNo" one can be heard..Jazz, art, people, the place is jumping...along with Brian and his fiancé who work at Credit Suisse....who live in the historic lofts (once Bloomingdales building here in Westchester, now beautiful lofts that would make your mind wonder with imagination of what it was and the ceilings height add to the value)....easy on Metro North in and out of the city..time is well spent here..

SONO COOKOUT BEING PLANNED FOR RESIDENTS.....a gathering of our downtown neighbors is planned..for our residents, a cool, fun, summer event..stay tuned..for more info....

Learn more at SoNo NewRo Online

Save Our Armory Advised to Repackage Cause in More “Compelling Way”

June 28, 2009 - 17:57

Although the developer for Echo Bay has done nothing to further his plans, the SOA (Save Our Armory) committee is continuing to raise questions about the Armory’s future.  Forest City Residential has plans to demolish this building listed in “New Rochelle A Tour Guide to Historically Significant Sites.”(2006)   While at least one member of the New Rochelle City Council has publicly stated his opposition to tearing down this building, the City Council has not officially stated their position.  However, at a SOA committee meeting on June 26 the message was clear:  the building should be preserved for future generations.  Jim Killoran echoed the sentiments of the group when he said we must get to the point where we want to “save our history.”

Summertime Goodness: Tasti D-Lite Coming to New Rochelle in August

June 28, 2009 - 17:10

A brand new Tasti D-Lite franchise will be opening soon at the Wykagyl Shopping Center at 1282 North Avenue in New Rochelle near Starbuck's Coffee. A recent Tasti D-Lite Tweet says the franchise owners are planning for an August opening.


Tasti D-Lite is best known for its signature product, a frozen dessert comparable to, but marketed as a more healthful alternative to soft serve ice cream. The company started in New York but was acquired by the a buy-out firm and is now run by the guy who ran MailBoxes, Etc. before it was sold to UPS. The treat has attained widespread popularity following appearances in episodes of HBO’s Sex and the City season and The Apprentice. And, yes, they use Kosher ingredients.

You can read more about Tasti D-Lite here.

"Two Fine Gentleman" Employed by New Rochelle Contractor Detained by ICE: 1 Jailed, 1 Deported

June 28, 2009 - 16:27

They were apparently such "gentleman" one of them thought it would be a good idea to start whacking the other one on the head with a saw blade, sending him to the hospital. Now they're both getting a one-way ticket south of the border, leaving their wives and children behind.

Vaya con dios, mis amigos!

The Connecticut Post is reporting that two workers for a New Rochelle-based contractor were arrested Wednesday in Derby, CT. Police discovered both men were in the country illegally and turned them over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Two illegal immigrants were arrested Wednesday after one allegedly attacked the other with a saw blade while they were working on the renovations at the Valley Diner. The two men, employees of DeRaffele Manufacturing of New Rochelle, N.Y., got into an argument over the five-inch saw blade, police spokesman Lt. Justin Stanko said. "The argument was over the blade itself. One thought the other one had stolen it," he said.

The argument led to one of the men, Robert Espinosa Amaro, 34, striking the other, Russell Cruz, 44, in the head several times with the blade, Stanko said. Amaro then took off to the nearby Lowe's Home Improvement store, Stanko said, where he was arrested while leaving the store.

New Rochelle City Manager Chuck Strome Announces Sudden "Retirement" of City Attorney

June 27, 2009 - 04:41

DCB39949-2772-4A04-9A14-63F6DB6CE56B.jpgStatement from City Manager Charles B. Strome III:

“The Corporation Counsel for the City of New Rochelle has retired effective the end of business day on June 26 after 12 years of distinguished service.”

EDITOR'S NOTE: The City is formally disputing our reporting that Bernis Shapiro was fired. Our position is that if Strome worked out a deal to avoid litigation by letting Shapiro come back and then file retirement papers that's fine but if they want to challenge our original reporting on this matter they had better be prepared to see every detail of what transpired this week published here on Talk of the Sound.

The Journal News is now reporting on the Bernis Shapiro "sudden retirement":

New Rochelle corporation counsel abruptly retires

The city's longtime corporation counsel, Bernis Shapiro, has abruptly retired, and officials yesterday gave little explanation of what happened.