October 2009

Art Gallery Tour of New Rochelle

October 18, 2009 - 21:56

What better way to spend two hours on a rainy Sunday than at the New Rochelle ArtsFest? The Giants were flailing miserably, really bad, and we didn't want to go far. Plus it was all free, and, who knew? Free snacks!

We only saw the trolley from a distance. But is was around town and people were on it.

We went first to the Media Lofts. I didn't know that so many artists had workspaces and galleries in New Rochelle. Some of them live in coops attached to their galleries, pretty cool, if you are into that type of thing.

Here are some photos:

Outside the Lofts Building


Inside the Lofts Building was very industrial, metal, wood floors, high ceilings.

This was our favorite artist. Very realistic of places in the Bronx and even garbage dumps. Also, abandoned railroads in bright sunlight.

Here is her website:

Here are other artists --

There were sculptors --

Why is Chairman Domenic Procopio of the New Rochelle Municipal Civil Service Commission getting two Combat Vet Exemptions?

October 17, 2009 - 17:41

Four months ago, Talk of the Sound asked: Who is Dominic Procopio and Why is He Chairman of the Municipal Civil Service Commission?

Last week we asked: Why is Chairman Domenic Procopio of the New Rochelle Municipal Civil Service Commission getting two STAR Exemptions?

This week we ask: Why is Chairman Domenic Procopio of the New Rochelle Municipal Civil Service Commission getting two Combat Vet Exemptions?

Talk of the Sound has confirmed that Domenic Procopio does not live at 7 Pinebrook Road and so is not legally entitled to any tax exemptions on that property. According to Westchester County property records, Procopio became the sole owner of the property at 7 Pinebrook Road in 2002 but the property was never his primary residence, according to sources at City Hall. Information provided to Talk of the Sound indicates that Procopio has been claiming tax exemptions to which he is not entitled for seven years. According to sources knowledgeable with the approximate value of those exemptions, Propcopio has received more than $10,000 in tax reductions on the 7 Pinebrook Road property which he was not entitled to receive and a similar amount for his property at 126 Liberty Avenue.

The Celebration of the Diwali holiday starts this Saturday, October 17th

October 17, 2009 - 13:30

38C4EC5C-51CA-498B-82B2-41A31046F237.jpgThe time from Mid September to Mid November is an important time in the year for many religions. This Saturday marks the start of the celebration of Diwali. This is a significant festival in Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism.  Diwali is celebrated for five consecutive days at the end of Hindu month of Ashwayuja (which usually aligns with October/November), and is one of the most popular and eagerly awaited festivals in India.  For Hindus it is one of the most important festivals, and marks the beginning of the year in some Hindu calendars.


Tasti D Lite Hoping to Open Within Next Week (or Two)

October 16, 2009 - 21:21

tast.jpg As we reported a few months ago, the original plan was to open a Tasti D-Lite store in New Rochelle in August. Delays on the buildout have pushed things back a bit but anyone that has stopped by the CVS-Starbucks Wykagyl shopping mall recently knows that the the store appears to be close to ready.

We called the number posted on the front door and the woman who answered confirmed that the store is just about ready to open - the staff is in place, the buildout is just about done - and the hope is to open up by the end of next week or early the following week.

I have never had a frozen dessert from tasti D-List (they cannot call it ice cream for legal reasons due to the lack of buttercream content or something like that) but by all accounts this is the wave of the future when it comes to ice cream stores (in other words, Baskin-Robbins will but them out within 3 years!).

UPDATE: Domenic Porcopio's STAR Exemptions

October 16, 2009 - 13:34

On Wednesday Talk of the Sound reported that Domenic Porcopio, the Chairman of the New Rochelle Municipal Civil Service Commission, was getting two STAR Exemptions, one each on two different properties on which he is listed as the primary owner. As we noted, it is possible for two homes owned by the same person to each receive a STAR exemption if at least one of the homes is co-owned with a second person and that the two people involved are each claiming one of the homes as their primary residence. What is not permitted is for one person to claim two homes as their primary residence.

We contacted the appropriate officials at City Hall for clarification and attempted to contact Mr. Porcopio at the telephone listed for his house on Pinebrook. This should be a simple matter to clarify which is why we waited until the following week before running our story on Wednesday. If this is all just some sort of innocent mistake like a "clerical error" then why not simple say so. If Mr. Porcopio is a co-owner on one of the properties and the other owner is receiving a legitimate STAR exemption why not say so?

Instead, the City has stonewalled.

Hearing Underway into Sexual Misconduct Charges Against Spouse of Mayor Bramson's Assistant

October 15, 2009 - 22:03

Mayor.gifA building department inspector whose wife is the assistant to New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson is facing charges of sexual misconduct for a lewd comment made to another City employee last summer, sources say.

The allegations reportedly involve suggestive comments made by the building inspector about the anatomy of a female City employee.

There was an initial delay in proceeding with the hearing because the union representatives that would typically be involved in such a case both work in the Building Department.

This is the second such case at City Hall reported by the Talk of the Sound in the past six months. In May, Talk of the Sound reported on another sexual misconduct case at City Hall which remains unresolved: Sexual Harrasment at New Rochelle's City Hall Creates Hostile Work Environment

WESTHAB told: "People don't welcome development"

October 15, 2009 - 20:24

Using a ten minute power point presentation, Bob Miller, President and CEO of WESTHAB, showed photos of housing properties they have developed and manage in categories such as workforce, special needs, affordable and townhouses. These developments were located in Yonkers, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Greenburg, the Bronx and Manhattan. In New Rochelle the 41 Clinton Place building is the first one by WESTHAB. They will be constructing 40 units of senior housing at the Shiloh Baptist property site using HUD money tax credits. WESTHAB according to Miller is interested in community development, but he felt there was no sense in building in a place where there is a lot of crime outside. They would like to be more active in New Rochelle.

Programs of WESTHAB were described. In Yonkers on Elm Street they turned a home into a youth center with after school activities and trips. They took over a project when a developer had walked away. In Yonkers and White Plains the have a youth police initiative but New Rochelle has an Explorer Program. Working with police and youth the goal has been that neither would think the youth had done something wrong. Identifying empty lots is one way they work with municipal planning departments. Job development is another thrust and they helped 240 people get jobs at $8.50 an hour.

Why is Chairman Domenic Porcopio of the New Rochelle Municipal Civil Service Commission getting two STAR Exemptions?

October 14, 2009 - 22:28

Last June a contributor wrote a post entitled Who is Dominic Procopio and Why is He Chairman of the Municipal Civil Service Commission? Months later, in the comments section, an anonymous commenter made that claim that Procopio was receiving STAR exemptions on two properties that he owned in New Rochelle. We decided to look into it and sure enough Mr. Procopio is listed as the owner of the two properties mentioned and there is a STAR exemption on both properties.

Procopio STAR Exempsions.jpg

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance's Office of Real Property Services web site site reads as follows:

The Basic and Enhanced STAR Property Tax Exemptions are homestead exemptions. Basic STAR is available to anyone who owns and lives in his or her own home. Enhanced STAR is available to senior homeowners whose incomes do not exceed the statewide standard.