January 2010

New Rochelle's Barnard School PTA Steps Up for Haitian Relief Effort

January 23, 2010 - 18:38


When the Haiti tragedy struck people took note. The Barnard PTA took almost immediate action. Within one or two days in my daughters backpack came a quick and heartfelt request for donations by the PTA on behalf of Haiti. The note was specific in what was required and the parents really came through.

My daughter was so impressed with the stacks and stacks of cases of bottled water that went almost up the the ceiling and the length of some wall in the school. It was a sight she will likely never forget. I appreciate that she was able to witness this major and spontaneous outpouring of generosity. It made a big impression on her that will likely yield dividends.

One teacher circulated an email requesting boxes. There were so many donations they needed to be packaged. A truck was coming at pick up, could parents bring boxes, she asked. Parents came through with boxes. Sammarco Stone & Supply donated a truck. Teachers loaded the truck. It was an astonishing display of teamwork and generosity.

The teacher later emailed "When I saw all of the boxes ready to go, it made me so proud to be a part of such a caring community."

LISTEN NOW: Talk of the Sound Managing Editor Robert Cox on a Very Special Edition of "Lou's Roundtable" on WVOX 1460 AM

January 23, 2010 - 17:22

wvoxlogo.jpgBob Cox will be the featured guest this week on a special edition of Lou’s Roundtable. Tune in Thursday, January 14, to WVOX, 1460 on your AM dial at 6 pm to listen to what promises to be a very interesting hour of talk radio. Find out what makes Bob Cox tick, learn about what inspired the New Rochelle Talk website and what Bob’s expectations are for the future. Once again this Thursday, January 14, at 6 pm on WVOX, 1460 on your AM dial. Tune in to listen and call in (914-636-0110) to participate I know I will -- Anthony Galletta.


Click on the player above to the podccast of Lou's Roundtable with host Lou Felicione with guests Robert Cox of Talk of the Sound and Anthony Galletta.

Habitat for Humanity of Westchester Heading to Haiti this Weekend

January 22, 2010 - 22:22

02_20_2009_hopeinhaiti-1.jpgHabitat for Humanity of Westchester will lead a trip to Haiti this weekend.

The group includes Pastor Pierre of Leglise de Baptiste of New Rochelle and a hospital worker from his congregation. The group will meet with Habitat officials in Haiti as well as local ministries. They are brining medical supplies in large duffel bags.

There will be a meeting soon to help create funding for a volunteer village, a construction setting for the rapid building of homes and planning for a jet full of volunteers from Westchester to come down within a months period. Already donations have been given to Habitat for Humanity of Westchester for the trip by TF Andrew Carpet One, Sts. John & Paul congregants, the Lanza Family Foundation, Wood Design of Peekskill & AIA Architects.

An Advisory Board for creation of a home for refugee children has been created by Jim Killorin.

If you would like to donate or get involved visit the Habitat for Humanity Westchester web site, email Jim Killorin at [email protected] or call Jim directly at 914-403-4821.

NYSED Testing Commissioner Keeps Kicking Can Down the Road -- Still No Action on Cheating at New Rochelle High School

January 22, 2010 - 20:43

It is starting to look like unless I can time-travel and come back to the present day with a video tape of my son's teacher cheating on his Chemistry Regents Exam and using that phony test to fail him in her class, nothing I say, no documents I present, no evidence I submit, no logic I apply will be sufficient to satisfy David Abrams, NYSED Assistant Commissioner, Office for Standards, Assessment & Reporting.

It has now been more than 18 months since I first contacted the State of New York State Education Department (NYSED) about the many improprieties surrounding the handling and scoring of my son's June 2007 Chemistry Regents Exam. At that time, I alleged that my son's teacher had purposely reported a score 10 points lower than his actual score in order to cause him to fail her course in order to wreck a tentative resolution agreement that would have avoided months of hearings and hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer funded legal services. Confront with the wrongdoing of the teacher and possible three other district employees, the administration at the high school circled the wagons to defend the teacher. The administration of the school district then circled the wagons around the high school administrators and likewise the Board of Education circled the wagons around the central office administration.

State of New York Sides with Talk of the Sound in Freedom of Information Dispute with City of New Rochelle

January 22, 2010 - 13:21

strome.jpgThe New York State Committee of Open Government has issued an advisory opinion finding for Talk of the Sound and against the City of New Rochelle in an ongoing dispute over claims by City officials that the City is not required to comply with recent changes to the New York State Freedom of Information Law concerning electronic records requests. For over a year now, City Manager Charles B. Strome has instructed his staff to play fast and loose with the New York State Freedom of Information Law.

As documented in the email excerpts below, in 2008, the City refused to honor FOIL requests via email from Talk of the Sound. In February 2009, the City agreed to honor FOIL email requests, in April they refused, in May they agreed, in October they refused and just this month, after we filed yet another complaint with the New York State Committee on Open Government, the City flipped again. During this time the City has honored email FOIL requests from other residents. The City has also improperly charged residents for fulfilling electronic records requests but has, so far, failed to audit their requests and return the money.

Bruce Negrin Radio Show Thursday Night 8pm WVOX 1460 am &

January 21, 2010 - 19:18

New Rochelle News and Views Line Up

* Is Discontent Building for NR Developers?

* Is Taking a Real Look at New Rochelle Too Negative?

* What a Difference a Year Makes. The Big O is O fer three.

* What Lessons Learned On A National Level Will New Rochelle Politicians Embrace?

* What Makes New Rochelle a Great Place? - A real look behind the question.

* Will the NY State Senate Feel Any Repercussions for the 2009 Shutdown?

*The NYS Budget is Out.

New Rochelle Councilman Barry Fertel Says "Serious Questions" about 14th LeCount MOU if no Kohl's Deal by May

January 21, 2010 - 16:13

sussman-fertel-cna.jpgIn an appearance last night before a meeting of New Rochelle's Confederation of Neighborhood Associations, City Councilman Barry Fertel cast doubts on moving forward with Capelli Enterprises on the LeCount Place project after the expiration of the current extension of the MOU between the City of New Rochelle and Capelli Enterprises.

"If there is no Kohl's deal," said Fertrel, "there are serious questions about approving another extension".

On November 10, 2009, Capelli Enterprises spokesman Joseph Apicella told the New Rochelle City Council that Kohl's Department store would sign an agreement to take space at New Roc City in "a week to ten days away" -- or no later than November 20th. It has now been 62 days since the deal was to have been signed without a deal.


Lincoln School Desegregation Today (Part VIII): Counting Seats to Present Day

January 21, 2010 - 04:58

lincoln plaque.jpg

Editor's Note: This is Part VIII, the last in an Eight-Part series on school desegregation in New Rochelle presented in anticipation of the upcoming 50th Anniversary of the U.S. Court's Landmark Decision in Taylor v. New Rochelle Board of Education one year from now.

Previously: In Part I, New Rochelle gerrymanders the Lincoln school district starting in the 1930s to create a "Negro elementary school". In Part II, the Board of Education's hire consultants who recommend desegregation. In Part III, as white voters approve a plane to build a new Lincoln School, black parents mobilize with the help of civil rights attorney Paul Zuber. In Part IV, parents engage in civil disobedience at New Rochelle Schools, Zuber files Taylor v. New Rochelle Board of Education. In Part V, Zuber presented his case to Judge Irving R. Kaufman. In Part VI, Judge Kaufman made his ruling. In Part VII, the District responds to the Ruling.

Lincoln School Desegregation Today: Part I - Early Gerrymandering
Lincoln School Desegregation Today: Part II - The Dodson Report

AOC Fine Wines, A New Rochelle Gem

January 21, 2010 - 03:16

our_stores.jpgOne of downtown New Rochelle’s true retail treasures is AOC Fine Wines.

Located at the intersection of Huguenot and Division Streets (in the Avalon 2 building), AOC Fine Winesspecializes in small production wine makers. Don’t expect to walk into the store and find the mass produced over “oaked” California Merlot or Chardonnay, as you will be disappointed. AOC looks for producers who view wine making as an art. Winemakers who choose to focus on traditional wine making methods and “terroir”. AOC places a high emphasis on the combination of wine and food. They are happy to offer recipe suggestions for all the wines they offer. A customer might be directed to a selection from a lesser known wine region such as Bierzo in Spain or Puglia in Italy. I am sure they will be surprised at the high level of quality they will find at a very reasonable price.

One of my favorite selections is a Spanish wine from Ribeira Sacra called Abadia da Cova. AOC offers this wine for about $28.00 a bottle. It reminds me of a Brunello di Montalcino, a wine that would start at roughly $60.00 a bottle.

Dunkin' Donuts Opens New Location in New Rochelle

January 21, 2010 - 03:02

logo_main.gifdunkin donuts nr.jpgDunkin' Donuts, America's all-day, everyday stop for coffee and baked goods, has opened up its newest locations in New Rochelle, NY.

Dunkin' Donuts has also partnered with Veterans Advantage to offer special discounts to members of the Veterans Advantage benefit program, a national organization for all who serve, including U.S. Military, Veterans, National Guard, Reservists and their family members. Now through January 31, all Veterans Advantage members will receive 20%* off their online purchases at by entering a special promotion code found on the Veterans Advantage Web site. Throughout the remainder of the year, members will receive at least 10%* off their online Dunkin' Donuts purchases.