January 2010

Former New Rochelle Corporation Counsel Bernis Shapiro Resurfaces in Orange County

January 26, 2010 - 19:31

B9271799-5581-45E0-A2A7-D70C6A8EA6B2.jpgThe Newburgh Advocate is reporting that former New Rochelle Corporation Counsel Bernis Shapiro is the new Corporation Counsel for the City of Newburgh.

Ann Kuzmik, Administrative Assistant to the City Manager of Newburgh confirms the Advocate story and tells Talk of the Sound Shapiro will be starting Monday, Feb. 1st. A formal announcement will be made later this week.

Phil Reisman's "Must Read" Piece in the Journal News on

January 26, 2010 - 19:21

reisman.jpgJournal News columnist Phil Reisman has a must read piece up today:The Public-Private Labor Equation: Is It Fair?

Reisman says the report should not be a surprise to anyone:

Given the decline in American manufacturing, continuing corporate downsizing and outsourcing of jobs overseas, last week's announcement by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that most union members in the country are now public-sector employees should really come as no surprise. Private workers now account for only 7.2 percent of the union work force, the lowest since the days of Upton Sinclair and the labor muckrakers of the early 20th century.

Then the kicker:

Talk of the Sound Server Issues -- Site Unavailable for Several Hours on Monday

January 26, 2010 - 14:42

No, Chuck Strome and Richard Organisciak did not conspire to block access to Talk of the Sound.

Our web hosting provider informs us there was some as yet unknown glitch with the server that hosts this web site which they believe is now resolved. Fingers crossed.

In the future, if you experience such a problem and are concerned you can contact us.

We are also working to add an alert feature that will go out via RSS, to Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Trump Tower NYSC Health Club Closed Due to Flooding, Ceiling Collapse

January 26, 2010 - 14:11

C57C4BDE-771D-4B9C-920F-B0A5643257F8.jpgA Talk of the Sound reader sends the following:

While at NYSC in Larchmont yesterday evening I noticed the place was overly crowded. I asked the receptionist what happened. She explained the Roof collapsed at the New Rochelle location and it would be closed for a while.

Calls to the New Rochelle NYSC location at 175 Huguenot Street (Trump Tower) are being re-routed to the Larchmont location at 15 Madison Avenue (near I-95 Exit 17). A person answering calls to the New Rochelle location said the ceiling collapsed due to water coming into the building due to the heavy rains yesterday, that the ceiling was damaged and there was water damage in the facility. The person did not know when the New Rochelle facility would be re-open.

If you are a member of NYSC and have further information or an update when the location re-opens send us an email at newrochelletalk AT me DOT com.

UPDATE: Channel 12 News Roof damage from storm shuts down gym (video)

New Rochelle Doctor Kidnapped, Forced to Treat Russian Gangster Exposed to Weapons Grade Uranium

January 26, 2010 - 13:51

NewRo Doc on 24.jpgLast night in New York City, two men burst into the office of Dr. Joel Levine of 1614 Brook Street in New Rochelle and forced him at gunpoint to treat a Russian gangster who was recently exposed to Uranium 235. The two men are part of a conspiracy to sell weapons grade uranium to the leaders of coup intended to overthrow Omar Hassan, President of the Islamic Republic.

Dr. Levine was attempting to call for help when one of the two men drew a gun on him and told him " men are outside your house in New Rochelle...they're outside the gate...the address is 1614 Brook Street...the light in your little daughter's room just went out about ten minutes ago."

Of course it was all in good fun. Just another eventful evening for Jack Bauer and the cast of 24, as the "retired" CTU agent races against the clock to thwart a plot to transfer weapons of mass destruction to an unstable Middle Eastern country. To watch the scene, click the image from 24 above and skip ahead to the 36:09 minute mark.

Recap: Day 8, Episode 5

For NewRo The Bell Tolls: Journal News Wake Up to Looming School Budget Crisis

January 26, 2010 - 00:08

Talk of the Sound has been reporting for more than a year on the out-of-control spending by the New Rochelle School District and warning that totally unrealistic assumptions about property assessments, state aid and one-time injections of stimulus funding. Now the Journal News has joined the party. Well, better late than never. The Journal News appears to be laying the foundation for the sticker-shock soon to be felt around Westchester County as school budget season approaches.

Early school budget picture not pretty

...the early picture is so ugly that all concerned may want to cover their eyes.

While the school budget crisis will reverberate all around the area, it will be particularly acute in New Rochelle which has been largely alone in continuing the massive year-on-year budget increases and adding more staff despite the economic crisis which has gripped the country since at least 2008. While almost every district in Westchester was limiting budget increases to between 0 and 2 percent, New Rochelle was adding millions to the ever-expanding budget.

After a decade or so of increasing spending, partly to accommodate growing enrollments, virtually all school districts have been paring down their budgets the past few years.

New Rochelle Tasti D-Lite Among First in Nation to Embrace Geolocation Customer Loyalty Program

January 25, 2010 - 16:03

IMG_0600.jpgTwitter users may have noticed an increase in tweets coming form the Tasti D-lite store in New Rochelle. They have begun to turn up in our "New Ro Buzz" list of links (home page, center, near the top) and in our new Twittermap Geolocation list of links (home page, center, near the bottom). The store is among the first in the company's chain of 47 locations to allow customers to automatically send a Tweet each time they make a purchase at the story.

The New Rochelle Tasti D-lite store is located next to the Wykagyl Starbucks,. is reporting:

Participants register for their loyalty program "Treat Cards" online, given the option of allowing Tasti D-Lite to send an alert out on their behalf whenever points are earned or redeemed - for example at their New Rochelle location.

Journal News Examines New Rochelle Police Department Records for New Rochelle Public Library

January 25, 2010 - 15:45

B5499C27-1249-4A6C-A409-738F023AFC61.jpgErnie Garcia has a story up on the Journal News which contains some honest-to-goodness investigative reporting: New Rochelle, Yonkers libraries ramp up security.

We have said it before and we will say it again, the work done by Ernie and Date Desk Editor Cathey O'Donnell is, by far, the best reporting done by the Journal News. In this case, the paper FOIL'd to obtain incident reports from the New Rochelle Police Department and looked for patterns in the data.

The Journal News found that most of the police calls involved "disruptive behavior" and most of those came between 3 PM and 6 PM.

Thomas Geoffino, the director of the New Rochelle Public Library acknowledge the problem and said the library has responded to after-school "unruliness" by installing surveillance cameras at the main library in downtown New Rochelle. Geoffino acknowledged the problem but was not overly concerned.

"We do see some exuberant behavior during that time", said Geoffino. "Oftentimes kids can get a little rowdy, but in most instances it is nothing exceptional.

49th Anniversary of Lincoln School Desegregation Passes Unnoticed, Advent of 50th Anniversary Dawns: Jan. 24, 1961

January 25, 2010 - 14:35


January 24, 2010 marks the 49th Anniversary of the U.S. Court's landmark decision in Taylor v. New Rochelle Board of Education in which Judge Irving Kaufman found that the New Rochelle Board of Education has engaged in "de facto" racial segregation and ordered the desegregation of the Lincoln Elementary School in New Rochelle, NY.

Today is the beginning of the one year period which contains some of the most important dates in the history of New Rochelle, NY and more broadly the national civil rights movement. We got the ball rolling on this with a Eight Part Series in Talk of the Sound (see links below) tracing the history of segregation in New Rochelle up until present day.

Fertel, Sussman Feel Electing Council by Districts has Shortcomings

January 25, 2010 - 13:20

New Rochelle Council members Barry Fertel (D. 5) and Marianne Sussman (D.6) told the Confederation of Neighborhood Associations that their decisions were based on their city-wide experiences.  Council member Sussman recounted her ascent to the City Council, starting with her membership with Citizens for a Better Environment.  This group "pushed City Council to get state money which resulted in building Five Islands Park."  After attending law school she became a member of the Planning Board where she got to know the City better.  In 2000 when she ran for City Council, the downtown, where she emphasized she had always shopped, was struggling.  She said, "No one wanted to come to New Rochelle" and people felt nothing was happening.  After the City went to Council Districts she found it effected Districts 5 and 6 more.  She has also served on the IDA (Industrial Development Agency) and cited Bakers Pride as a firm with at least 50 employees that received IDA support.  This agency in her view produces "long term advantages" for the City.