November 2009

Sound Shore Executive Resigns from New Rochelle Council of Community Services

November 07, 2009 - 14:46

image004.jpgPamela Dupuis, SVP, Patient Care Services for Sound Shore Medical Center of Westchester has resigned from the Board of the New Rochelle Council of Community Services. Her resignation letter notes Dupuis served on the Council for 15 years, most recently as coordinator of "The Village Team" which now serves as the Youth Services Committee for the Council.

Nov. 12 Tobey Benefit Art Exhibition & Reception for the Westchester Philharmonic

November 07, 2009 - 07:00

On Thursday evening, November 12th Westchester teacher, violinist, painter & sculptor David Tobey will host an opening reception & party for an exhibition of his paintings & sculptures to benefit the Westchester Philharmonic, where he has been a long-time violinist member. The reception will be at BID Gallery 542, 542 Main Street in New Rochelle, and is being sponsored by the New Rochelle Downtown Business Improvement District.

Tobey will be exhibiting over 50 of his paintings and sculptures created over the past five years, and a full 50% of all proceeds from art sold at the reception on November 12th and for the duration of the exhibition through November 22nd will go to benefit the orchestra's performance and musical education programs.

More information on the show can be found on the New Rochelle BID's web site.

There will be live music and refreshments and all are invited to attend. There is no admission charge.


General Observations on New Rochelle Testing; A Reply to Dr. Korostoff

November 07, 2009 - 03:01

On October 1, 2009 Bob Cox published and listed an in-depth report on Mr. Korostoff’s report to the New Rochelle School Board on what appeared to be a presentation on a growing trend towards parity and related matters concerning the New Rochelle middle schools; Albert Leonard and Isaac Young. His assertion is that Isaac Young, through what have been significant interventions, are reaching parity with its sister north end school, Albert Leonard. He also goes on to assert that the gaps between African American and white students as well as Hispanic and white students is closing to some appreciable degree. He does not explain what has led to this and, as far as I can tell, his rationale centers around some questionable assumptions as well as an overreliance on 2008/09 data.

Bob Cox painstakingly, sometimes emotionally, questioned the findings and indeed, found numerous content errors in the presentation. This very fact, along with the aforementioned questionable assumption; along with what I judge to be a poor and selective choice of presentation methodology, tell me that (1) this report is vague and selective in research and findings, (2) unacceptable to any analytic parent or voter, and (3), points out the lack of skill and purpose on the part of the designated oversight source, the Board of Directors.

Keep environmental review law intact ...

November 06, 2009 - 19:04


Keep environmental review law intact   (letter to editor, Journal News)


The City of New Rochelle, like most other cities, is facing difficult choices.  One of these choices should be to oppose the proposed "streamlining" of the Environmental Quality Review Act.  In the Journal News (10/11/09) Marion Rose gave reasons why the SEQRA process should not reduce the time needed to evaluate proposed new developments. 

     Suggestions for improving the SEQRA process should be well received in New Rochelle which places a priority on sustainability and conservation.  Bringing neighborhoods into the process from the beginning would be advantageous.  At present the developers answer citizens' concerns in the Final Environmental Impact Statement.  To quote Ms.

Former New Rochelle School Official Resigns 4 Weeks After Talk of the Sound Discloses Controversial E-mail Exchange

November 06, 2009 - 15:18

09A2EE11-A4A0-414C-A9A0-64216FC5F0A3.jpgFormer New Rochelle Assistant Superintendent Fred Smith has unexpectedly resigned his position as Superintendent of the Pocantico Hills Central School District. The surprise announcement came just four weeks after Talk of the Sound published an email from Fred Smith in which he disclosed the existence of a study that New Rochelle school officials have repeatedly claimed does not exist.

The Pocantico Hills school board's announcement offered no explanation for Smith's departure beyond citing "personal reasons" (full text of letter below). Pocantico Hills wasted little time removing the Fred Smith web page but we were able to grab a cached version of his page. Smith was forced out by the New Rochelle Board of Education in 2008 when the board refused to renew his contract, sources say.

NAACP Outrage Over Obama Speech Opt-Out Waivers Spills our at New Rochelle School Board Meeting

November 05, 2009 - 21:49

The Chairman of the local Political Action Committee for the N.A.A.C.P. appeared before the New Rochelle Board of Education last night to express outrage that parents at Jefferson Elementary School were sent a letter in early September offering to allow their children to opt-out of a screening of a controversial Back to School speech by President Barack Obama.

Mark McClean of the New Rochelle N.A.A.C.P. accused the school district of pandering to partisan politics and showing disrespect to the Office of the President of the United States by allowing parents an option to keep their children out of classrooms showing the President's speech. McClean was sharply critical of school board members, all of whom received a copy of the NAACP PAC's letter expressing their concerns and none of whom replied. McClean described the only response he did get, from Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak, as "patronizing" and "condescending".

McClean described himself as a conservative who doesn't agree with Obama's policies but was concerned that educators had failed in their responsibility to teach students to respect all elected officials.

Diversity in New Rochelle

November 05, 2009 - 17:54

In New York State, the Department of Education asserts that a school district is making progress if 55% of its students graduate from high school. 55%! This is progress? It is what schools aspire to attain. It is what schools do. Is it a service to our children and our community that so few graduate and graduate on time? Let’s look at some numbers. Our New Rochelle High School has over 3400 students. It’s fair to say that there are 850 kids in each of the four grades there. Yet, only 65% of the Latino and 71% of African-American children graduate on or near 4 years upon entering the 9th grade. Note that Latino and African-American children make up 60% of our school population!

Running Tally of Unanswered Questions Asked of the New Rochelle Board of Education since 2008

November 05, 2009 - 15:40

It is the stated policy of the Board of Education that members of the public can address the board for five minutes at the end of a board meeting, that the board will not respond during the meeting to issues raised by the public but instead take the speakers contact information and respond to them in writing after the meeting. In the last two years of attending board meetings I have asked dozens of questions and received such a written reply just once -- and that reply was false. Last month I began submitting my questions in writing after making prepared remarks to the board so there would be no "confusion" as to the questions asked during those remarks and began to create a running tally of questions asked and unanswered.

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Will Mr. Organisciak revise his previous, demonstrably false statement at the 9/27/09 board meeting that all failed health inspections in 2008 were fixed within 48 hours and contact the parent to advise her that he has done so?

Why did Mr. Quinn wait until two years after Jefferson was cited for not having thermometers to buy thermometers?

Does the school board believe that four failed inspections (2006-07) in two years is acceptable?

Does Mr.

New Rochelle's 47 Year Tradition Gone or How the Grinch Stole the Thanksgiving Day Parade

November 05, 2009 - 06:52

Imagine the surprise in hearing WVOX report the Chamber of Commerce's decision to cancel the Thanksgiving Day Parade . According to the report, The decision was made Tuesday night to forgo the traditional parade , a staple of community gathering for the past 47 years, due to lack of support. This is a shock and, might I say, an embarrassment as a New Rochelle resident . The president of WVOX, commented on the news with a sad tone to his editorial as he spoke about the lack of "mom and pop" businesses along the route who typically enjoyed the bounty of people congregating along the way. You don't usually hear a sad tone when Bill O'Shaughnessy speaks.

You can't help but wonder how a decision like this takes shape and what it actually says about the condition of this fine city. There are, in fact, about 50 kids in the Webster School Twirler Squad who have been working after school for weeks in hopes of marching, wide eyed and smiling ear to ear, thankful for the opportunity to show off a little, as they stake their claim as part of our community. It was sad to watch their eyes well up when they found out they wouldn't get their 15 minutes of fame after working so hard. How do you explain to them it's because nobody cared enough ? What's the lesson to be learned here?