November 2009

Time to Put a Fork in New Rochelle Chamber of Commerce?

November 10, 2009 - 18:24


The recent news that the New Rochelle Chamber of Commerce had cancelled this year's Thanksgiving Day Parade may have been the death knell for a once proud organization which has been working to advance the concerns of the New Rochelle business community and the economic vitality of the city since 1922. The organization, in steady decline for the past several years, has seen its decay accelerate since the creation of the New Rochelle Business Improvement District in 2000 and the implementation of a half-baked development plan that relied heavily on outside real estate investment and "big box" retailers with no stake in the local community.

A review of the Chamber's "About Us" Page reveals just how far the organization has fallen:

  • A Haunted House Committee which meets annually to design, construct and perform in New Rochelle’s Famous Haunted House. DISCONTINUED
  • A Thanksgiving Parade Committee which meets annually to design, construct floats and to stage Westchester’s only Thanksgiving Parade.PARADE CANCELLED

DPW ALert: No Change in Veterans Week Refuse Collection

November 10, 2009 - 17:33

This is the New Rochelle Department of Public Works with information regarding an important change in this week's garbage and recycling collection schedule. This week, garbage collection and recycling will be collected as per a regular weekly schedule. North End garbage will be collected on Monday and Thursday, South End garbage collected on Tuesday and Friday and commingled recycling collected citywide on Wednesday. The collection schedule for the week of Veterans Day was changed after your public works brochure had been printed.

Please call the Department of Public Works at 235-5830 if you require additional information. Thank for your cooperation.

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

Electing Someone  "Who Will Listen to Us"

November 10, 2009 - 15:54

Can you fight city hall?  This year's election may have given an affirmative answer to that question.  Voters from all parts of the political spectrum when asked how they felt about the election results in Westchester had responses which indicated voters wanted change and they got it.   Lorraine Pierce, Secretary of the New Rochelle Citizens Reform Club summed up a lot of sentiment being expressed.  "The elections this year were not so much a referendum for or against Democrats or Republicans,  but a referendum against incumbents who for too long have disregarded the will of the people they represent.  I only hope this message carries over to the New Rochelle elections in 2011."

There were a number of people who expressed confidence in our County Executive-elect, Rob Astorino.  Bruce Negrin, WVOX radio host, felt "finally common sense has come back.  Astorino stuck to his message about this being the highest taxed county in the country."   He was in shock with the high percent of votes Astorino received against Andy Spano.  New Rochelle Councilman Lou Trangucci felt "people have spoken and Astorino won by a land slide."  Mitch Spalin, Vice President of the South End Civic League, admitted she was "glad voters finally decided to elect someone who will listen to us."

A thoughtful comment by Marino Michelotti was, "Voters were responding to the  outrageous tax incr

Pocantico Hills Pays Former New Rochelle Asst. Supt. $80,000 to Leave Town

November 10, 2009 - 14:33

09A2EE11-A4A0-414C-A9A0-64216FC5F0A3.jpgThe Journal News is reporting that the Pocantico Hills Central District has paid $80,000 as part of a separation agreement with now-former Superintendent of Schools in Pocantico Hills Fred Smith. Smith was the Assistant Superintendent of Schools in New Rochelle prior to accepting the Pocantico Hills position in May 2008.

In response to a Freedom of Information Law request, Pocantico Hills Central District has revealed they paid Smith $79,461 but that no other benefits or money would be paid. The agreement states Smith decision to leave was "personal".

Jay Scotto-Friedman, Acting Superintendent in Pocantico Hills said at a school board meeting last night, "The district actually provided for less than he would have been entitled to."

Smith's contract with the PHCD began in 2008 and would typically run until 2011.

NEW RO 4 $ALE: Civil Service Honcho Gets Free Pass on STAR Exemption "Errors" as 7 Pinebrook Road is Readied for Market

November 09, 2009 - 23:27

Procopio at 7 Pinebrook Road.jpg (Dominic Procopio outside 7 Pinebrook Road earlier today, a "for sale" clearly visible)

Procopio Must Pay Back Combat Vet Exemptions

New Rochelle Tax Assessor Louis Pirone is blaming "State policy" for his decision to waive all past due amounts for eight years worth of STAR exemptions pocketed by Domenic Procopio, the Chairman of New Rochelle Civil Service Commission. Pressed to cite a single statute or policy that supported this claim, Pirone would only say "STAR is not restorable" by "State policy".

Procopio is being asked to pay back taxes totaling $2,674.44 for the eight years of Combat Veterans property tax exemptions he received to which he was likewise not entitled, a small fraction on the total amount owed by Procopio. Tax experts tell Talk of the Sound the full amount is well in excess of $10,000.

Domenic Procopio has not responded to repeated messages left for him at the New Rochelle Civil Service Commission office.

Downtown Development Thwarted by Proliferation of Storefront Churches in the New Rochelle Business Improvement District

November 09, 2009 - 16:00

downtown churches-schools.jpg

The New Rochelle Downtown Business Improvement District is facing a threat from an unexpected source -- the New York State Liquor Authority. Under New York State Law, applicants for a liquor store license, wine store license and on-premises license cannot be within 200 feet of a school, church, synagogue or other place of worship. Due to the quilt-pattern of existing churches and schools in the area and the recent proliferation of storefront churches along the Main Street corridor in the heart of the BID, all but a half block area between Division Street and Centre Avenue is now off-limits to new bars, restaurants or nightclubs. This does not affect businesses which have continually operated with a liquor license before a church opened within 200 feet of that establishment but does impact a location that changes owners.

In the past two years three new storefront churches have opened on Main Street in the heart of New Rochelle's Business Improvement District. The most recent signed a lease over the summer.

Early Morning in So No

November 08, 2009 - 06:47

Many like to take a walk from the Main Street and within less than one mile 9 miles of waterfront exist...a simple bike ride, it allows people to see the water, beautiful in a great way...Starlite Diner is open early on Main and Kaffeine,. as well as you will see Tucker on Main Street before he goes into Carpet One...

Today pre holiday sales exist as people are getting deals early...come to So No New Ro today..