October 2009

Nothing That Was Said Changed Councilman Stowe's Mind

October 06, 2009 - 03:12

From the October 5, 2009 Westchester Tribune
The discussion by the New Rochelle City Council on whether to accept the North Avenue study ended when Katherine Gill, Legal Counsel, stated that the request by Councilman Richard St. Paul for removal of the section from Sickles Avenue to the New Rochelle train station, necessitated changes in the report. Mayor Noam Bramson had introduced the study by saying there were three areas that needed to be addressed. First, the potential for set-backs between businesses and residences because nothing in the present law required them. Second how was the greater density of 3.0 (FAR) arrived at, and would a lower density have a stimulus effect? Third, what is the status of the possible rezoning of areas off North Avenue?

Graham Trelstad representing AKRF chose to address the second question first. He said present conditions were looked at and how people felt about the present height of buildings. The building coverage is 80-90% of the lots, but he admitted New Rochelle is largely a suburban city. He felt a FAR of 3.0 would be the most likely way to redevelop the area. An analysis of set-backs could be completed. He felt the Fifth Avenue rezoning would allow development especially since the area is presently not entirely residential.

Another New Rochelle Mafia Arrest

October 06, 2009 - 00:56

The Journal News is reporting:

Twelve men with reputed links to the Luchese crime family, including a brother of the alleged killer in an infamous Yonkers bar fight, were among 19 men charged this morning in connection with a gambling ring that operated in Westchester and New York City....the defendants are: Peter Veltri, 47, and Philip Mercurio, 48, of New Rochelle; Anthony Cuzzo, 40, and Ernest Cuzzo, 67, of Yonkers...The racketeering charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

Organisciak Dismisses Parent Concerns over Failed Health Inspections at New Rochelle Cafeteria

October 05, 2009 - 21:08

At the most recent board meeting held at Jefferson School, two New Rochelle residents expressed concerns over a recent report in the Journal News that New Rochelle has the worst cafeterias in Westchester and Putnam counties. When a mother from one the schools with a failed inspection expressed her concerns, Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak responded by lying to her face, telling her that all complaints were fixed within 48 hours.

This is false.

There were three health inspections at Jefferson School within a two week period -- 11//3/08, 11/10/08, and 11/13/08. The District failed the first two inspections specifically because problems identified on 11/3/08 were not fixed a week later on 11/10. It was 10 days before the problems were fixed not "48 hours" as Organisciak claimed.

John Quinn, Assistant Superintendent for Finance, tried the same line on the Journal News without success.

Quinn...said the inspectors' visits were helpful.

"We use it as a tool and another set of eyes to help provide good quality food service, and we follow up on it. You'll see that in the inspections," Quinn said.

While New Rochelle cleaned up conditions, it sometimes took prodding.

Talk of the Sound Report: The North-South Divide in New Rochelle Public Schools

October 02, 2009 - 14:29

EDITOR'S NOTE: There is a school board meeting Tuesday night 10/6.

The following report is the result of more than a year of research and observing the school board in action. I hope you will read this presentation and share it with your friends, neighbors and, for those of you with children in South End schools, your fellow parents. I hope you will be as disturbed to read this report as I was in preparing it. I welcome your comments and feedback below.

New Rochelle Vista: Concern Expressed by Schoor, Maisano and the New Rochelle Firefighters

October 01, 2009 - 01:43

In the Westchester Herald, September 28 issue by Peggy Godfrey

There are too many plea bargains which give short sentences to people who commit serious crimes, according to Dan Schorr, Republican candidate for Westchester County District Attorney. He told the New Rochelle Citizens Reform Club members he would be more friendly to victims of crimes because he finds what is happening now unacceptable. Ward Henderson asked if a person accused of sex crimes should have access to DNA testing. Schorr felt they should. In answer to a members' questions, Schorr stated over 25% of the Westchester Assistant District Attorneys were resigning in the last few years and many of them cited the frustrating work environment and low office morale. He felt this was unacceptable.
Expressing concern over the City Manager's suggestion that eight firefighters be laid off, Byron Gray, President of the New Rochelle Uniformed Firefighters Association, recounted some history of the service. In l973 there were 200 firefighters and 3000 calls. In 2009 there are 159 men with 8000 calls for service. He especially noted the difficulty servicing the three high rise buildings for a fire which would require more firemen than are presently on duty.