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December 2009

All About ICLEI: Part V

December 08, 2009 - 17:58

This is Part V in a 7-part series "All About ICLEI"

All About ICLEI: Part I - The Mayor's Speech
All About ICLEI: Part II - The ICLEI Pilot Program
All About ICLEI: Part III - The Five Milestones for Climate Mitigation
All About ICLEI: Part IV - United Nations Economic and Social Council & Agenda 21

In Part I we heard Mayor Bramson announce the The ICLEI Pilot Program, in Part II we began to unravel the organizations behind the ICLEI Pilot Program and some of the vague or undefined terms used to describe ICLEI. In Part III, we looked at the organizations behind ICLEI's Five Milestones for Climate Mitigation. In Part IV, we outlined the historical development of ICLEI from a 1990 Global Warming conference organized by the United Nations and their efforts to implement Agenda 21. Next up we look at who is running the UN Commission behind Agenda 21 and raise some questions for New Rochelle residents.

UPDATE: LeCount Square Showdown POSTPONED; Major Turning Point in New Rochelle's Downtown Development

December 08, 2009 - 17:41
3 comments

UPDATE: Just got back from City Hall. The City Council voted to postpone the vote. The extension will expire automatically at the end of the month.

In what is shaping up to be one of its most important vote in years, the New Rochelle City Council is scheduled vote tonight on whether to grant the developers of the LeCount Square project an unprecedented 13th extension of their exclusive right to the develop the property. The extension vote will be the first since Louis Capelli suffered a brain aneurysm over the summer and amounts to a confidence vote for the beleaguered company.

5 anderson.jpg

When the Developer Extensions Become More Like Hostage Negotiations, It's Time to Let Go

December 08, 2009 - 06:48

As the city council wrestles with the decision on whether or not to grant extensions to developers, prime property sits, vacant, nearly blighted. Property that would otherwise be on the tax rolls, generating commerce and life to the downtown area has been held hostage by a developer who admits it could be years before anything happens. As they struggle to keep afloat, their pitchman comes to town with all the drama of a snake oil salesman, apparently lying to council about the benefits of their latest concoction.

New Rochelle Board of Education Acknowledges Organisciak Lies by Releasing NYSED Letter -- 16 Months Late

December 07, 2009 - 20:54
4 comments

Last week Talk of the Sound published an email exchange in which New York State Regent Saul Cohen confirmed the existence of a letter sent by the NYSED Department of Assessment to New Rochelle High School Principal Don Conetta regarding evidence of gross improprieties regarding my son's Chemistry Regents Exam. Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak has repeatedly stated that no such letter exists including denials made to members of the New Rochelle Board of Education. In sending the letter today, the Board of Education President Sara Richmond has now confirmed what I have said all along, that Organisciak has been lying and that there is such a letter.

NYSED letter dated August 25, 2008 & the NRBOE letter dated December 7, 2009

The letter accompanying the NYSED letter from the Board of Education reads as follows:

Dear Mr. Cox

The members of the Board of Education have reviewed the e-mails you sent us last week. Based on the information you provided, we were able to locate the letter you referenced. A copy of the August 25, 2008 letter sent from Meg Overrocker to Donald Conetta is attached herewith.

Cappelli Representative Lies to Council about LeCount Square

December 07, 2009 - 18:08
15 comments

On November 10, 2009 Mr. Joseph Apicella, Cappelli Senior Vice-President, delivered an update on the LeCount Square project to the New Rochelle City Council. After touting the investment made to date, Apicella was questioned by members of council. Apicella fully acknowledged the probability of downsizing the project and the need to take another look at a full service hotel. Apicella also confirmed that the New Rochelle Post Office was a major stumbling block in that New Rochelle Revitalization, LLC (NRR) part of the Cappelli umbrella, is no closer to acquiring the post office then it was several years ago despite the efforts of Mayor Bramson who recruited Senators Schumer and Lowey to apply pressure. When Councilman Tarantino questioned Apicella about 5 Anderson Street Apicella stated NRR has exercised the option agreement and that NRR has “made any and all payments due.” The balance of Apicella’s presentation was filled with catch phrases; like to remain in the game… don’t have a magic bullet… to cut and run would send a bad message … and my personal favorite; don’t desert me now if you’re a true partner. Apicella stated that there is no litigation and no dispute on option properties. In desperation, Apicella pulled out all stops saying this extension is vital to continuing downtown development like the New Roc expansion.

All About ICLEI: Part IV

December 07, 2009 - 15:39

This is Part IV in a 7-part series "All About ICLEI"

All About ICLEI: Part I - The Mayor's Speech
All About ICLEI: Part II - The ICLEI Pilot Program
All About ICLEI: Part III - The Five Milestones for Climate Mitigation

In Part I we heard Mayor Bramson announce the The ICLEI Pilot Program, in Part II we began to unravel the organizations behind the ICLEI Pilot Program and some of the vague or undefined terms used to describe ICLEI. In Part III, we looked at the organizations behind ICLEI's Five Milestones for Climate Mitigation. Now we step back to look at the origins of the ICELI organizational structure and support system.

To back up, what is ICLEI?

ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability is an international association of local governments as well as national and regional local government organizations that have made a commitment to sustainable development...

Should Two New Rochelle Developers be Given Extensions?

December 06, 2009 - 22:13

Will the New Rochelle City Council consider the proposed thirteenth extension of the LeCount Square proposal bad luck?  At the Council meeting on December 1 several owners of an apartment building at 5 Anderson Street in the area of this development spoke out.  They claimed their agreement with the Cappelli Organization has not been kept.  Michael Longo, one owner, stated, "I have the patience of a saint," but at present it is costing him $2,000 a day.  He felt Cappelli could not carry out this project and has left him in limbo with these 36 apartments.  Cappelli's representative, Joe Apicella,  he said, "lied in front of City Council last month," referring to the $795,000 in mortgage payments and expenses that is owed to the owners of this building.  He felt Council should "not give this extension."

Mark Fonti, another owner, claimed they were told over and over again they would get paid.  He urged the Council to "put conditions" on this approval process.  Fonti claimed he gets calls all the time  and could rent this building 'in a heartbeat."  Insisting the building is not blighted, he urged Council to "intervene" or they may have to start a law suit.

Refuting comments by Apicella at the last Council meeting that the Cappelli organization had "nothing to do with 5 Anderson Street," James O'Toole stated Apicella "lied."  When there are problems with the Anderson

North - South Divide again

December 05, 2009 - 16:24
1 comments

Can someone out there explain why there are fifth grade classes at Trinity with 29 students? 29 students!! This year there are only six 5th grade teachers, due to a rearrangement of staff for full day kindergarten. Last year there were seven 5th grade classes. The 2 CILA classes have only 18.

On the school matters website, for Trinity, it says 14.6 students per class, on average: http://www.schoolmatters.com/schools.aspx/q/page=dl/did=12664/midx=CPCla...

On the NY state website, it lists the average Trinity class size at 21: https://www.nystart.gov/publicweb-rc/2007/17/AOR-2007-661100010008.pdf

This website puts Trinity's avg. class size at 15.2:
http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ny/new-rochelle/schools/362049004399/

What is the district contract? Can anyone provide a snippet? What gives here? This school just feels overcrowded. Can anyone reply with other elementaries in the district with classes this size?

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