October 2009

Halloween Day Wine Tasting

October 31, 2009 - 16:57

Join us Saturday October 31, 2009 from 1 - 5 pm for a SPOOK-tacular wine tasting to celebrate Halloween!
We will be tasting South African wines from the Stellenbosch region featuring; 2008 Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc; 2005 Alto Cabernet Sauvignon

Both of these wineries specialize in the production of high quality wines. Mulderbosch is widely accepted as being one of the best white wine producers in the country, while Alto has by far the best location and terroir for growing red grape varietals, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon.

We look forward to seeing you..!!!  410 Mamaroneck Avenue, Mamaroneck, New York

Read It and Weep: Obama Education Secretary Says State Education Departments Are Lying to Children

October 31, 2009 - 15:54

Apparently it is not just a few community observers who question the work of the public schools. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan issued the following statement on Mapping State Proficiency Standards onto NAEP Scales: 2005-2007, which the National Center for Education Statistics released today:

Today's study confirms what we've known for a long time: States are setting the bar too low. In all but a few cases, states aren't expecting students to meet NAEP's standard of proficiency. Far too many states are telling students that they are proficient when they actually are performing below NAEP's basic level. At a time when we should be raising standards to compete in the global economy, more states are lowering the bar than raising it. We're lying to our children when we tell them they're proficient but they're not achieving at a level that will prepare them for success once they graduate.

Just to be clear, this is an issue distinct and apart from the problems at Isaac E. Young Middle School where wide disparities in test data on test that are and are not reported as part of determining Adequate Yearly Progress. This report shows that the districtwide 7-8% increase in test scores is a function of of lowering the bad.

Living in Sin: 18 Years at 10 Congress Street with No Certificate of Occupancy

October 30, 2009 - 16:55

Building Permit 43600 10 Congress Street Notice of Violation-detail.jpg

The City of New Rochelle Bureau of Buildings on Friday issued a Notice of Violation for Unlawful Occupancy for 10 Congress Street to Mr. Carl Carilli more than 18 years after Carilli first filed for a building permit for the dwelling which he has occupied illegally for years, according to sources familiar with the matter. The Bureau of Buildings has given Carilli until November 9th to file the required documents and obtain a Certificate of Occupancy.

Sources tell Talk of the Sound a Bureau of Buildings official examined the folder for 10 Congress Street as a result of work on a nearby property not owned by Mr. Carilli and discovered the open building permit.

New Rochelle School District Publishes Goals & Objectives For Senior Administrators

October 29, 2009 - 22:04

For the first time ever, the New Rochelle School District has published Goals & Objectives Statements for Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak and Dr. Jeffrey Korostoff with, hopefully, more to follow.

This is a topic Talk of the Sound has raised since last year. I raised it again on Tuesday. As the leading critic of the school district let me compliment the Board. This is the sort of swift, decisive step towards greater transparency and accountability that marks a healthy, well-functioning school district.

Just in case they change their mind I've copied and pasted the Goals & Objectives Statements below.

Richard E.

Rockwell, Fazzino SoNo Nov 19th and 20th

October 29, 2009 - 20:46

Rockwell in So No..did you know Norman Rockwell lived and worked and walked here, using many New Rochellians as his models - some who have stopped by the Rock, the Habitat Rockwell Restore at 591 Main St, with Rockwell prints and talks on Rockwell as the ultimate American Artist.

On Nov 19th and 20th, Tom Daly, curator of education for the Norman Rockwell Museum, will speak about Rockwell in New Rochelle as part of both a lunchtime series and early evening talks. Also members of Charles Fazzino studios will show a present day Rockwell of New Rochelle and will donate signed Fazzino prints to Habitat for holiday sales as a benefit for homes...

Come to where artists who knew America was well represented on Main street in So No, at 591 Main Street New Rochelle...for more info call Jim Killoran at 914 403 4821.

CORRECTION: No Arrests During Ursuline "Ring Day" Roundup

October 29, 2009 - 16:22

Talk of the Sound reported previously that dozens of Ursuline students were arrested before school. New Rochelle Police now tell Talk of the Sound that although the girls were taken from the scene by police they were not arrested.

Police records show that on October 16th, NRPD received an anonymous call reporting disorderly behavior on Indian Trail, not far from the Ursuline School. Police responded to Indian Trail and found 19 adolescent females. All were students of the Ursuline School and it was learned that they were celebrating ring day. Although no students were observed drinking, the responding officers noted that the ground was littered with beer bottles and cans. Al of the students were brought to Ursuline School and left in the custody of the school’s principal, and assistant principal who in turn notified the parents. No arrests were made nor summonses issued.

My Reply to Dr. Korostoff's Defense of Phony Test Data at Isaac E. Young Middle School

October 29, 2009 - 03:33

At last night's Board of Education meeting I took a few minutes to respond to Dr. Korostoff's remarks to the Board on October 6th in which he attempted to respond to our report on the North-South Divide in New Rochelle.

I was not able to reply as much as I would have liked in the limited time available so I expanded on these remarks in this post (below). I edited Dr. Korostoff's 14 minute speech to 7 very brief clips the related to my remarks. I would suggest watching the video first then reading the post.

There is not time to respond in full to Dr. Korostoff’s recent remarks to this board but as they were, in part, directed at me I will reply here briefly.

Dr. Korostoff offered three reasons why “observers from the community” might take issue with the work of the district.

New Rochelle Board of Education Passes Phony 211 Waiver Resolution

October 29, 2009 - 03:23

On 9/29, the BoE passed resolution 10-110 regarding 211 waivers for Bruce Daniele, Robert Coyne and Rolf Koehler. The criteria laid out in the resolution do not comport with the Post-October 7, 2008 Statutory Criteria for 211 Waivers because the district has not prepared a detailed recruitment plan for these positions or undertaken extensive recruitment efforts. The district has not demonstrated that there is an urgent need for their services. The vacancies they filled are not unplanned, unpredictable, or unexpected nor are thee appointments being treated as non-permanent as they appear to be the final filling of the position. It is hard to imagine in the current job market there are NO available, qualified non-retirees.

In either case, the resolution says that the three men were recruited based on their prior service as NRPD officers. This is not correct. As Rolf Koehler did not serve with the NRPD I have asked the Board of Education whether the the District amend the resolution and resubmit it to the board.

Questions for School Board on Record 10 Failed Cafeteria Health Inspections

October 29, 2009 - 03:06

Last night I addressed the school board on the topic of a recent Journal News report New Rochelle School Cafeterias Ranked Worst in Westchester: Ants, Roaches, Rats and Flies. I made the following remarks to the board and then left them a list of the questions asked in those remarks:

Last month at a board meeting, Mr. Organisciak told a parent that all failed health inspections were fixed within 48 hours. Mr. Quinn made a similar statement to the Journal News. One fifth of the failed inspections in 2008 were at Jefferson. There were three health inspections at Jefferson School within a two-week period -- 11/3/08, 11/10/08, and 11/13/08. The health inspector came three times because the problems found on 11/3 were not fixed on 11/10 which means that the problems at Jefferson were not fixed for at least 168 hours and as much as 240 hours after the initial inspection -- not 48 hours as Mr. Organisciak has claimed. Will Mr. Organisciak revise his previous statement and contact the parent to advise her that he has done so?

New Rochelle Asst. Schools Superintendent Says Community Cannot Understand "Complexities" of Work of Public Schools

October 29, 2009 - 02:14

On October 6th, Dr. Jeffrey Korostoff used his annual appearance before the school board to respond to criticism from Talk of the Sound regarding our report on the North-South Divide in New Rochelle Schools. A full transcript follows the two part video below (YouTube allows only 10 minute videos and the entire video segment runs 14 minutes so it was split into two parts). We will deal with his rather absurd presentation in a separate post.