November 2009

New Rochelle Solution to School Budget Crisis? Take Homeowners to Court!

November 19, 2009 - 00:24

DSC_0573_2.jpgHey, New Rochelle homeowners guess what? Feeling stressed out? Worried about making that mortgage payment? Worried about that 8.9% City tax increase or that 4.5% County tax increase or the pending Sewage tax increase which will cost residents millions of dollars? Well has Richard Organisciak and his pals at the New Rochelle school district got a surprise in store for you!

You are going to want to sit down and buckle up for this one.

After the school district put together a budget devoid of any sense of the economic reality facing the country -- giving every employee raises over the next two year while the country edged past 10% unemployment (no layoffs for FUSE members!), the same geniuses who created a new entitlement program called "Full-Day Kindergarten" and otherwise gave drunken sailors a bad name have a brand new fund-raising scheme called "Sue Homeowners for Infinite Taxes".

Local Author Speaks at New Rochelle High School

November 18, 2009 - 23:22

Acclaimed author and New Rochelle resident Cynthia Ozick and Molly-Thomas Hicks, Literature Specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), held a discussion about the novella, The Shawl, before an audience of students in eleventh and twelfth grades at New Rochelle High School on Tuesday, November 17. The classes have been reading Ozick's the book The Shawl as part of New Rochelle’s Big Read. Audience members had the opportunity to pose questions to the engaging author and Ms. Thomas-Hicks, who has facilitated similar Big Read events in communities across the country. Cynthia Ozick reminisced of her high school days. Her advice to potential writers was to also be readers. She discussed the "seed" for the novella, as well as historical context, and character symbolism. New Rochelle is one of 269 communities nationwide participating in The Big Read which began in September 2009. New Rochelle began its focus on The Shawl on October 18. The lunch-hour discussion at New Rochelle High School was one of many events hosted by the New Rochelle Public Library that have been taking place throughout New Rochelle during the project, which will conclude at the end of November.

From Maggie Skau at BoE.

Art Students Present Portfolios at New Rochelle High School

November 18, 2009 - 23:14

About 50 junior and senior high school students presented their art portfolios to representatives of colleges, universities and art schools during an Art Portfolio Review Day hosted by the Art Department at New Rochelle High School on Friday, November 13. During a preliminary moderated assembly program, representatives each gave an overview of their institution, which was followed by a discussion of the commonalities and specialities of various art education programs. After the presentations and discussions, representatives met with students for individual portfolio reviews, giving students advice. Several students' art portfolios were accepted at the Portfolio Review event.

From Maggie Skau at BoE.

Author Speaks to Students of Civil Rights Experiences

November 18, 2009 - 23:11

Carlotta Walls LaNier, author of "A Might Long Way" spoke to seventh and eighth grade students at the Albert Leonard Middle School in New Rochelle on Thursday, November 5, about her personal experience as a student at Little Rock Central High School during 1957. According to Mrs. LaNier, it was one of the most gripping watershed moments of the Civil Rights Movement when she and eight other students integrated Little Rock Central High School. She spoke to students of what it was like to attend school with a military escort, as well as the painful experience when her family home was bombed. Carlotta Walls LaNier is a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, and sits on the board of the University of Northern Colorado.

From Maggie Skau at BoE.

NAACP "Doubly Shocked" to Learn New Rochelle Schools "Censored" Obama Education Speech Last September

November 18, 2009 - 19:14

Leaders of the New Rochelle Chapter of the NAACP appeared before the New Rochelle Board of Education last night for the second meeting in a row to express their outrage over the decision of Jefferson School Principal Cindy Slotkin to distribute a letter to parents of Jefferson students offering them the option to opt-out of a taped video presentation of President Obama's recent "Back to School" speech. After nearly an hour of "debate and dialog" between members of the school board and the NAACP, school board President Sara Richmond stated that, speaking for the entire board, no one on the board was aware of opt-out letters being sent home.

LeCount and Counting

November 17, 2009 - 17:00

At a recent City Council Meeting Cappelli's lead person Joseph Apicella claims they have spent 17 million dollars on the Le Count Place project.
I wonder about that math. Seems a bit Fuzzy as usual.
When you contract to purchase property you don't actually spend that money completely unless you have closed on the property. Knowing that some of these real estate transactions have yet to close you can see that the statement by Apicella should have been that we are going to be purchasing and investing 17 million dollars gathering the real estate needed some day....Maybe if the IDA sweetens up the PILOT Money???
LeCount is a now self blighted area as most of the property associated with this is now either boarded up or vacant. This is now going on for almost 4 years as they are looking for extention # 13....
In traveling across the street you see more vacancy as Apicella now admits Shop and Stop is closing.
I say Show us your deal in writing with Target and supply the City Council with the phone # of the person @ Kohls who your lawyers are negotiating with.

New Rochelle Tap Water May Have Been Tainted (or Maybe Not)

November 16, 2009 - 05:00

NOTE: Talk of the Sound asked Jeff Coleman of DPW for clarification this morning. No reply yet.

In the late morning some residents of New Rochelle received a recorded message for the Deputy City Manger of New Rochelle stating that there was a water main break in the City that was causing water pressure issues throughout the City and that the issue will be resolved by the evening hours. He also went on to say that the water was safe, this is where the story is. During this water main break, some United Water Official informed someone at the New Rochelle Police Department and City Hall that he water was NOT SAFE to be consumed. If this was the case, why would our Deputy City Manager leave a message on city residents’ phone’s stating that the water was safe for consumption?

This is a very serious communication issue that may have placed many New Rochelle residents at harm, especially young children, the sick and the elderly. Who was this United Water Official and who are the Police Officer and City Official that received this health alert that never was relayed to city residents?

DWP Alert: Water Main Break on Pershing Avenue in New Rochelle

November 15, 2009 - 21:28

United Water of New Rochelle has reported a major water main break in the area of Pershing Avenue. United Water has isolated the problem and is working to repair the water main. Company representatives indicate that you may experience reduced water pressure, and some discoloration. The water is safe, and it is anticipated that the repair will be completed tonight. Thank you.

To listen to the above message, you will need audio software and speakers on your computer.

Journal News reporting water is NOT safe to drink.

New Rochelle Mayor Bramson Praises Organizers and Funders of Now-Cancelled 2009 Thanksgiving Parade

November 13, 2009 - 22:02

Mayor Bramson's 2009 State of the City Address (March 19, 2009)

The State of the City may be strong (or not) but the state of the parade is DOA. Readers reminded me of how excitedly the Mayor announced that the City's three colleges, Monroe, CNR, and Iona, had agreed to pay for the parade. Representatives of the three schools even stood to be recognized by the crowd. So, what happened? Our inquiries to all three schools have gone unanswered.

I have spoken tonight primarily about the role and responsibility of the public sector but we must remember that the character and strength of this city is defined by much more than municipal budgets and laws. Especially at a moment of great challenge, each of us is called to action. There are countless examples of citizens and groups, houses of worship and not-for-profits that are rising to this occasion...