October 2009

City Charter Gives Mayor Bramsom Power to Remove Domenic Procopio from New Rochelle Civil Service Commission

October 21, 2009 - 13:38

Mayor.gifA question that Chuck Strome has so far refused to answer from Talk of the Sound is pretty simply, who within the City government has the power to fire Domenic Procopio as Chairman of the Municipal Civil Service Commission. From our reading of the City Charter it would appear that this power is reserved for the Mayor. Section 175 on "Appointment of Commissioners" reads The members of the Municipal Civil Service Commission as prescribed by law shall be appointed by the Mayor.

The entire section of the relevant portion of the City Charter follows:


Civil Service
Section 173 Municipal Civil Service Commission – 59 – The Municipal Civil Service Commission shall be constituted as prescribed by law and shall elect one of its members President. The members of the Commission who are in office when this Charter takes effect shall be the members of the Commission (subject to the power of removal as prescribed by law) until the expiration of their terms of office and until their successors are appointed and qualify. Their compensation shall be fixed by the Council.

Section 174 Secretary and employees

Illegal Housing - cross reference Property info with school records.

October 21, 2009 - 12:43

The cost of illegal housing to the taxpayers is in the million. Many of the homes being used as multi-family residences are single family houses being used as 2 or 3 family or 2 family houses being used as 3 or 4 family houses. These owners are paying very little in property taxes and school taxes, however, they have multiple families with many children in the school system. They reap the benefit of large rent rolls and the rest of the tax payers gets stuck paying their bills. Some of these houses pay as little as 2500.00 a year in taxes yet have 3 families with 9 kids in the school system at a cost of over 100k a year. It's a tough situation to remedy because some of the city hall bigs own some of these properties. An easy start would be to cross reference the property records with school records. It should take a matter of minutes in a database query. If you have a 2 family house that has 4 families using that address in the school system = RED FLAG. a single family with 2 or 3 families using it as an address in the school system = RED FLAG. It's a start.

Dozens of Ursuline Students Arrested in Early Morning Roundup (SEE CORRECTION BELOW)

October 21, 2009 - 12:37

CORRECTION: No Arrests During Ursuline "Ring Day" Roundup

FBE656AA-6C26-42D2-B817-A7B2688508CB.jpgTalk of the Sound has learned that dozens of Ursuline students were arrested last Friday for alcohol-related violations. Initial reports are that the arrests were made Friday morning before school. New Rochelle police responded to calls from residents that the students had gathered near Indian Trail in New Rochelle.

The students gathered in anticipation of Ring Day, a long-held tradition at the all-girls Catholic school, described on the school's web site:


Accident on Pelham Road

October 20, 2009 - 20:45

Yesterday (10/19/2009) there was a pretty scary accident on Pelham Road, almost directly in front of Trinity School. The accident occurred about 12:30.

A neighbor who is an EMT in Mamoreneck was the first to respond, he happened to be home and lives almost in front of the accident. The city responded with 3 firetrucks, the Critical Incident Truck, and numerous police cars. A Fireman entered the vehicle while it was on its side to help out the driver.
It seems as if the SUV flipped on it's side when it struck a parked minivan.

The SUV was supported by blocks/wedges of wood to give it stability.
The driver was taken away in an ambulance, but according to a policemen on the scene she wasn't seriously injured.

You can see the damage to the minivan by the rear driver's side tire.

As always the NRPD and the NRFD responded professionally and quickly. The accident was cleared just in time for the Trinity dismissal which is a nightmare on a regular day!

A Disturbing Visit to Isaac E. Young

October 20, 2009 - 18:26

    A short while ago two of us went to visit Isaac E. Young middle school.  Our purpose was to find out about the instruction in the classroom.  The guard told us the principal was "in a meeting," but when presented with the fact that George Imburgia had been given permission to visit the schools by Superintendent of Schools, Richard Organisciak, we were escorted by a guard to the Principal, Anthony Bongo. 
   We inquired about Isaac's test scores which are lower than Albert Leonard's.  When Mr. Bongo denied these differences in the scores, we asserted they had been presented by Robert Cox at the last school board meeting.  Bongo then called Organisciak and the lower scores were verified.  I was then directed to Laura Marinara, chairperson of Humanities.   She pulled up the language arts scores on her computer and then discussed instructional improvements that have been made at the school, emphasizing teaching strategies and techniques used to raise reading scores.  I told her my personal view that for students to understand what they are reading that knowing the content and vocabulary was important and should be emphasized along with techniques.  She was receptive to my conversation.  

Here's Hoping Journal News Folds Soon

October 20, 2009 - 17:57

For anyone who even remotely pays attention to the news, you know that newspapers are falling like dominoes all across the country. This week came word of another round of layoffs at the vaunted New York Times which has the largest newsroom in the United States. The Journal News, owned by Gannett, has been no exception, having cut another 50 of the remaining 192 news jobs this past August.

All we can say is, the end cannot come soon enough.

Stowe Amazed at "Insensitivity to Properties on Fifth Avenue'..

October 20, 2009 - 02:06

  Stowe Amazed at "Insensitivity to Properties on Fifth Avenue"  by Peggy Godfrey        (in the October 19, 2009 issue of the Westchester Herald)

   The Fifth Avenue rezoning as part of the North Avenue projected rezoning plan was discussed at the New Rochelle City Council's October 13, 2009 meeting.   Graham Trelstad, consultant representing AKRF, felt the use of landscaping and buffers for residents next to the proposed Fifth Avenue rezoning to four story buildings would be an appropriate way to deal with this problem.  Mayor Noam Bramson was "in agreement" with the consultant, and felt without this rezoning the resulting area would be too narrow for development. 
Councilman James Stowe was surprised at the comments because the Fifth Avenue properties have non-conforming zoning, and parking is also an issue.  The creation of a transitional zone between the businesses and homes was discussed by Councilwoman Marianne Sussman.  She felt "zoning per se is not the answer," but felt this alternative should be presented to Council.  Trelstad responded that to respect the area, tiering the height of buildings or setbacks could be used.  Sussman replied that it's not enough just to consider certain setbacks, landscaping and less intensive use, "It's what will work."

New Rochelle Unable to Explain How Senior Official Got "Combat Veteran" Property Tax Exemptions Despite Not Having Served

October 20, 2009 - 01:29

It has been two weeks and counting as government officials in New Rochelle, NY continue to stonewall after revelations that the Chairman of the City's Civil Service Commission received "Combat Vet" property tax exemptions for the past 8 years despite having never served in the U.S. Military. New York State "Combat Vet" tax exemptions are reserved for those who fought and died for the United States or their spousal survivors. The official is an immigrant from Italy who never served a single day in the U.S. military.

Adding yet another twist to the bizarre tale, City officials today told Talk of the Sound that is does not possess any records of any request by any owner of the property at 7 Pinebrook Road for the current property tax exemptions including the STAR exemptions and Combat Vet exemptions that City officials have told Talk of the Sound were initially granted in 1999.

At City Hall earlier today, a spokesperson for the City refused to respond to repeated questions as to whether City officials would respond to questions posed by the Talk of the Sound over the past 10 days.

All you can eat pasta nights @ Pronto Pizza

October 19, 2009 - 21:11


Mondays & Tuesdays are all you can eat pasta night at Pronto Pizza & Pasta starting @ 5pm.

prontopizza134 North Avenue

New Rochelle N.Y. 10801



Choice of

Choice of Pasta

Soup (Pasta Fagioli, Stracciatella, Chicken Noodle, Minestrone) or Salad (Garden Salad, Cesar Salad)
Spaghetti Meatballs, Ravioli, Penne Vodka, Baked Ziti, Rigatoni Taormina, Penne Bolognese, Penne Primavera, Linguini w/ clam sauce, Fettuccini Alfredo, Fettuccini rabe, Farfalle Caprese, Manicotti or Orichetta broc-rabe & Sausage

Along with a complimentary glass of wine for $11.99

Dine in only & not to be combined with other offers.

A Fireman's Prayer

October 19, 2009 - 19:04

The Fireman's Prayer
"When I am called to duty, God, wherever flames may rage;
Give me the strength to save some life, whatever be it's age.
Help me embrace a little child before it is to late;
Or save an older person from the horrors of that fate.
Enable me to be alert, and hear the weakest shout,
and quickly and efficiently put the fire out.
I want to fill my calling and to give the best in me;
To guard my every neighbor and protect his property.
And if according to Your will I am to give my life,
Please bless with Your protecting hand,
My children and my wife."