September 2009

Has anyone read the school district's code of conduct of conduct booklet?

September 18, 2009 - 00:26

Has anyone read it? I just read it and there was some questionable polices. Like in the "Acceptable use policy for technology and the internet 5550"

If you go to the 28th page of the the booklet it says "Computer and network users are strongly advised to use caution about
revealing any information on the Internet, or storing such information on
the School District’s computers or the network, which would enable others
to exploit them or their identities: this includes last names, home
addresses, Social Security numbers, passwords, credit card numbers or
financial institution account information, and photographs. Under no
circumstances should a user reveal such information about another person
without that person’s express or prior consent."

What I think is wrong about that is, in a classroom with computers or going to a computer, etc.. Is that the teacher tells the students to type there first and last name, save and print. They tell us to save it. That to me is wrong and violating the policy. Which would result in the student getting in trouble if the network admin actually check everything, But it would also be the teachers fault for telling them, because all the kids except me don't read the code of conduct.

Also with number 12) "Computer and network users may not engage in “spamming” (sending

"Consider the Source" Email Circulates, Parent Who Warned of Cafeteria Problems Was Ridiculed by New Ro Superintendent

September 16, 2009 - 15:37

902D5FA9-EE7F-448C-8AB7-6774E419B988.jpgIn the weeks prior to the 2009 school board/budget elections a Ward School parent circulated an email warning of the rapid deterioration of the hot lunch program at Ward and asking if other parents in the district had noticed similar problems at other schools.

When asked about this email by parents from another school during a public appearance to campaign for passage of the school budget, Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak dismissed the concerns raised in the email and personally derided the concerned parent, telling other parents, school administrators and school board members to "consider the source" in what is one of Organisciak's favorite rhetorical tactics known as "poisoning the well". In other words, "who are going to believe, me or her? And remember, I make a quarter-million dollars a year and have a fancy title. She is just some kooky parent with a grudge".

A Talk of the Sound reader has submitted what appears to be the email that circulated in March 2009 to which Organisciak referred:

Subject: RE: School lunch
Sent: Thursday, March 05, 2009 5:44:54 PM EST

Tax Abated Development ? Did Mr Fertel Read This? He Had a Tantrum on the Radio Monday

September 15, 2009 - 22:54

If anyone had the chance to hear Mr. Fertel with Bob Marone on Monday, you would have had quite a laugh. It appears he's losing it in the same fashion as his sidekick Noam is. How can anyone really take this guy seriously when he starts jumping up and down and whining about the people raising the issues about the failed policies of the city council? Except for bike paths and bike racks he hasn't done much of any substance to actually help the city overall (unless, of course, your one of his personal friends) As my councilman, he was an embarrassment with his misrepresentation of what's really going on, and at the city level, it was a disservice to the citizens who choose to take part in the direction of the city. Tell me Barry, who was on council when the latest PILOT or abatement was agreed on? Tell me Barry , should we really turn a blind eye to past failed policies and continue the irresponsible ,backroom, self serving , "hope I can get a bigger one than Tim Idoni did" kind of progress that takes 50 years to benefit anyone other than the developers, if at all ? You are WRONG Barry on so many levels (except the “I have to save my own ass” level). Looking back IS CRITICAL to moving forward, if only to do it more efficiently, let alone properly.

New Rochelle School District Tries (and Fails) to Spin Devastating Journal News Cafeteria Report

September 15, 2009 - 17:21

902D5FA9-EE7F-448C-8AB7-6774E419B988.jpgErnie Garcia and Cathey O'Donnell of the Journal News have their Cafeteria Inspection Reports story up on and New Rochelle school officials are furiously spinning in a vain attempt to shift responsibility for their vermin-ridden kitchens and their practice of serving hazardous food to children.

We wrote about this yesterday: New Rochelle School Cafeterias Ranked Worst in Westchester: Ants, Roaches, Rats and Flies

In working on our story yesterday based on a review of the health department reports obtained by the Journal News, I knew to expect the following excuses:

1. "we are a big school district"

2. "Aramark"

3. "old news"

Sure enough, Quinn is quoted offering the following excuses:

Mollom Comment Filter Fixed, Talk of the Sound Commenting Re-Enabled

September 14, 2009 - 20:24

11FEA02E-E870-4211-8A1B-49299F02A283.jpgTalk of the Sound uses a comment filter created by the guy who founded Drupal, the software we use to host the site. They had problems over the weekend and asked users to install an updated module which we have done. Comments should now be working.

Important notice for Drupal 5 Mollom users
Submitted by Dries on September 14, 2009 - 19:26

Earlier today, we fixed a significant bug in the Drupal 5 module for Mollom that was the likely root cause for some problems reported by several of our Drupal 5 Mollom users. In some cases, the list of available Mollom servers was not being reset correctly, leaving Mollom with an inaccurate list of servers to contact to validate CAPTCHA responses or to analyze comments. If you received some errors about Mollom servers being unreachable, or if you noticed spam getting through to your site, read on.

A bug fix release of the Drupal 5 was made available today: if you are using Drupal 5, you should upgrade to the latest Drupal 5 release available from

New Rochelle School Cafeterias Ranked Worst in Westchester: Ants, Roaches, Rats and Flies

September 14, 2009 - 15:37

902D5FA9-EE7F-448C-8AB7-6774E419B988.jpgNew Rochelle now holds the "honor" of having the worst school cafeterias in Westchester/Putnam County, according to cafeteria inspection reports obtained by the Journal News. The Journal News will report this week that New Rochelle is tied with the Katonah-Lewisboro district with 9 "Unacceptable" inspections in 2008 alone in having 10 "Unacceptable" Inspection Reports.

Overall, of the 335 inspections done by County Health Inspectors in Westchester and Putnam counties during 2008, there were 56 "Unacceptable" ratings. 10 of the 56 unacceptable ratings in Westchester/Putnam counties were in New Rochelle schools or 18% of of the total; 2 of 10 New Rochelle schools had zero unacceptable ratings (Barnard and Davis) so just 8 New Rochelle schools accounted for almost one-fifth of the flunked health inspections in the two counties. Large districts like Yonkers, White Plains, Yorktown and Port Chester has zero unacceptable ratings. Tarrytown, Mount Vernon and Peekskill had one each.

William B. Ward Elementary School Cafeteria Inspections 2006-2008

September 14, 2009 - 15:05
  • Number of Inspections: 4 (+1 Complaint)
  • Number of Unacceptable Ratings: 1
  • Talk of the Sound Commentary: , overall not bad, food/milk maintained at temperatures outside acceptable range, potentially hazardous foods, this may be misleading because food prepared and then delivered from high school day before service, the complaint was about a potential problem not an actual problem.

William B. Ward Elementary School Minor Acceptable 2008
Inspection date: 4/10/2008

Non-critical items "blue": Glass on sneeze guard in dining area cracked, replace.
Non critical items "blue": Missing ceiling tile in kitchen wall area under hand wash sink has exposed concrete cover with wall tiles. Several ceiling tiles missing in the dining area.
Non critical items "blue": Maintain a temperature log of all foods delivered from New Rochelle High School.
Inspectors notes Most foods served here prepared at New Rochelle High School, delivered cold. Food reheated on site and then placed on hot holding unit. 0-220 degrees F. metal stem porbe thermometer available at inspection time, hand gloves available and in use at inspection time. Food temperatures in refrigerator, oven and hot holding unit acceptable.

William B.

Jefferson Elementary School Cafeteria Inspections 2006-2008

September 14, 2009 - 14:56
  • Number of Inspections: 8 (+2 Complaints)
  • Number of Unacceptable Ratings: 4
  • Talk of the Sound Commentary: An absolute disgrace, something you would expect to find in a third-world country, 50% of the inspections were rated "unacceptable", there were two additional complaints that would have been classified "unacceptable" if they had been regular inspections so really the figure is 60% unacceptable. Food maintained at temperatures outside acceptable range, hand wash sink not working, items stores in sink, dumpster area unclean, unsanitary conditions, floors unclean/stained under and behind equipment throughout kitchen and generally filthy. No surprise then that inspectors found live flies, dead roaches and live ants crawling on the food.

Jefferson Elementary School Major and Minor Unacceptable 2008
Inspection date: 11/3/2008

Critical items "red": Commercially processed hamburgers not maintained at a temperature at or above 140 degrees F. during hot holding. Actual temperature 119 degrees F. (Silver door hot holding unit).
Critical items "red": Hatco Glo-Ray display food warmer not maintaining a temperature at or above 140 degrees F., at this time holding hamburgers at 87 degrees F. Hamburgers re-located/discarded at this time.