September 2009

A Trick That Never Fails "act boastfully about something we ought to be ashamed of"

September 30, 2009 - 14:14

In Joseph Heller's novel Catch-22 the anti-hero Yossarian a bombardier in World War II is in big trouble for failing to complete his mission as ordered, going back over a target a second time, blowing up the target but in so doing causing the fiery death of the crew of another bomber. Colonel Cathcart, his group commander, angrily confronts Yossarian in the hanger after the mission.

The exchange goes like this:

"I don't give a damn about the men or the airplane. It's just that it looks lousy on the report. How am I going to cover up something like this in the report".

"Why don't you give me a medal?" Yossarian suggested timidly.

"You'll be lucky if we don't give you a court-martial," said Cathcart.

After a brief exchange Cathcart feels stymied.

"But what are we going to do?” Colonel Cathcart exclaimed with distress. “The others are all waiting outside.”

New Rochelle's Avalon: Does the High Rise Get Low Ratings?

September 30, 2009 - 06:52

There's been a lot of discussion lately about the impact of the Avalon towers in New Rochelle . Given all the criticism about the "deal" given to the developer and how it ultimately affects the taxpayer ,it's no wonder that you start seeing things through a jaundiced eye. In an effort to keep an open mind , I took a look at the issue from both sides of the equation .

Were the concessions made by the city successful in bringing a quality product to our downtown ? I guess it depends on who you ask . For all the critique around the issue , there's just as much positive spin from various sources , and there in lies the rub . After listening to both sides , I began to wonder what the residents of these buildings think about their little slice of New Rochelle . As luck would have it , a story revolving around Councilman Trangucci's request to have the Avalons pitch in and help out the city that gave them their start , there was a link to a service that allows tenants to rate their properties. I have to say I was quite surprised by the candor .

Three Firemen hurt at Morning Fire on Pelham Road

September 28, 2009 - 00:53

Thick white smoke could be seen billowing from the garage area of the New Rochelle Streets and Highways building at 40 Pelham Road today, Sunday, 9/27 at 8:45am. Police blocked off Pelham Road in front of the building. Multiple fire engines could be seen fighting the fire from the parking lot of the marina. Other engines were working from Pelham Road.

We went to the Oyster Festival this evening and spoke to two firemen. They said it was a "2 Alarm" fire and all city firemen were called to the scene. The firemen started working on the fire at 7:30am and it was out before noon.

The fire started inside the garage, possibly from a city truck. The fire spread to the ceiling. The smoke had a petroleum chemical smell. There was a lot of damage to the building, particularly the roof.

Three firemen were taken by ambulance to Sound Shore Medical Center and released. The firemen were taken for smoke inhalation, and one fell down stairs. They were released today.

Several firemen had already left to run in the Tunnel to Tower run for 9-11 American hero Stephen Siller. They were not called back to the scene.

Avalon Marketing Executive Disparages Trangucci Proposal to Support New Rochelle

September 28, 2009 - 00:38

0A384DDA-D535-43E9-9818-58485D3B503E.jpgApparently Kevin Thompson, Avalon Vice President for Marketing does not think too much of New Rochelle City Councilman Lou Trangucci's proposal to ask downtown developer Avalon Bay Communities to voluntarily fork over a million buck a year to help balance the City's books.

Mr. Thompson who resides in faraway Fredericksburg, VA, described the request that his company consider helping bear a fraction of the costs their properties have inflicted on the City of New Rochelle as a quote 'donation' unquote where putting quotation marks around the term in what appears to be the national head of marketing's way of disparaging the budget difficulties the City faces in part due his company's misrepresentations about who would be living in their buildings.

School Board Meeting Tuesday at Jefferson Offers Small Victory As Board Publishes Resolution Info Online

September 25, 2009 - 20:15

More than 15 years after the New Rochelle School District launched its web site, the school board has finally made a start at publishing information about board resolutions in advance of the board meetings so residents can see what resolutions are up for a vote before the meeting. We will have more on this later but for now here is the meeting agenda along with information on the resolution list for the board meeting on Tuesday.

Let's give a tip of the hat to School District Clerk Liz Saraiva who is the person putting together these documents.

Items that strike me as interesting will be a report on the supposed energy savings the school has achieved since last Spring, an update on the transportation snafus which have plagues the school system due to Dr. Korostoff's failures to adequately account for the increase in ridership with the advent of full-day kindergarten (some parents have complained that getting home from school takes an hour or more for some kids). I also see a resolution authorizing the suspension without pay of some miscreant and a resolution to publish the "nutrition audit" done by the New York State Comptroller.

Dog's not barking?