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February 2010

Klein to Hold Black History Month Breakfast

February 09, 2010 - 21:41

KLEIN TO HOST CELEBRATION BREAKFAST FOR BLACK HISTORY MONTH

New York State Senator and Deputy Majority Leader Jeff Klein (D-Bronx, Westchester) invite you to join him for his free Black History Month Celebration Breakfast on Saturday, February 27th at 9AM at the Mount Vernon Armory. Klein will honor selected community leaders followed by a choir performance. Majority Conference Leader Senator John Sampson will also speak.

Attendance is free however space is limited. Please RSVP at (800)-718-2039

Klein to Hold Valentine's For Veterans Event

February 09, 2010 - 21:37

KLEIN TO HOLD 15th ANNUAL
VALENTINE’S FOR VETERANS EVENT
Senator Klein will join Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA in delivering Valentine's Day Gifts to Bronx and Westchester Veterans
NEW YORK- Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) will join Miss Universe 2009 Stefania Fernandez, Miss USA 2009 Kristen Dalton and Miss Teen USA 2009 Stormi Henley in delivering Valentine's Day cards and gifts to Veterans at the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The gift presentations will be followed by a musical performance by the P.S. 14 school choir. The cards and gifts are the creation and generous donation of students from across the 34th Senate District.
WHO: Senator Jeff Klein, Miss Universe 2009, Miss USA 2009, Miss Teen USA 2009, Bronx and Westchester Veterans, P.S. 14 students
WHAT: Klein and others present gifts and Valentine's to hundreds of Bronx and Westchester Veterans
WHEN: Thursday, February 11th , 11:00AM
WHERE: James J. Peters VA Medical Center, 130 West Kingsbridge Road, Bronx

****Please Note: Participating media are required to RSVP with the James J. Peters Office of Public Affairs at, 718.584.9000, extension 6620, prior to arrival at the Medical Center. Please note: This is a federal healthcare facility. As such, individual photo consents must be obtained prior to publication of patient photos

NEW: Talk of the Sound iPhone App in iTunes/App Store Now!

February 09, 2010 - 16:25

iphoneapp.jpgiPhone owners rejoice. There is now an Talk of the Sound iPhone App.

It has been weeks in the making but we just got word today that Apple approved our cool new app.

The app contains four main buttons and a "more" button. By default the main buttons are Featured Posts, All Posts, All Comments and NewRo Buzz. The "more' button will reveal four additional buttons -- Photos, Calendar, Videos, Tweets. If you click "more" and then "edit" you can drag and drop any of the 8 available buttons to create your own main tray of four buttons at the bottom of the main screen. We are working with AdMob, one of the world's largest mobile advertising networks, to run ads on the app in order to keep it as a free app. We hope you will support Ad Mob and their advertisers.

Main Screen

  • Featured Posts - articles promoted to the left rail of the home page.

Westchester Herald Running TWO Talk of the Sound Stories!

February 08, 2010 - 23:45

westheraldcover.jpg

The Westchester Herald is running TWO stories on their front page that first appeared on Talk of the Sound. Publisher Hezi Aris is running Karen Hessel's fabulous series on the Lincoln School Desegregation Case (the 50th Anniversary of the decision in the case is less than a year away). He also ran with a story which was a joint effort by Peggy Godfrey and myself.

I have asked Hezi where readers can pick up a hard copy of the paper. I believe they are available at the New Rochelle Public Library.

READ HERE: The Westchester Herald

My Questions for the 2010-2011 New Rochelle School District Budget Cycle

February 08, 2010 - 22:17
1 comments

Last year, there were three people who played fast and loose with the truth when it came time to discuss the school budget: Richard Organisciak, John Quinn, Cindy Babcock-Deutsch. There was one suspect statement by David Lacher but I am not willing to go so far as lump him in with the three serial liars mentioned above.

Question 1: What is the full, true cost of the Full Day Kindergarten Program in 2010-11

John Quinn said New York State would pick up the full cost of the "transition" to Full Day Kindergarten, he joked how the district might even "make money" by adding Full Day Kindergarten, only several meetings later letting slip that 13 teachers were being "reassigned" as Kindergarten teachers. At a cost of $80,000 per year, this cost alone would total more than $1 million yet Quinn continued to present Full Day K as being "free" or "fully reimbursable". So we can better evaluate such "free" programs in the future, I want Mr. Quinn to break out a full accounting of the true cost of the Full Day K program in 2010-11 so we can all see just how "free" this "free program" has become in just one short year.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind as First New Rochelle School Budget Meeting Approaches

February 08, 2010 - 21:24

My experience of the average citizen in New Rochelle is that he/she is fair, hardworking and committed to a sense of country, community and values. For many citizens, some or all of these have been challenged in the past few years by the sheer weight of a repressed economy and the lack of direct and focus relief offered by our elected officials at every level in the nation.

There are some indications that things may be turning around to some degree. However, make no mistake about it, we have many long and difficult days ahead and, if you are a property owner and taxpayer in New Rochelle, these days may be darker than we might like to admit. Yes there is some light, but most of it is still filtered behind tinted glass. The bright hope of transparency and community participation has not been realized on any level; national, state, local community and, the topic of today's report, school district. I do believe that there have been changes for the better in the district beginning with some relatively new trustees who appear to want to improve matters and get closer to the taxpayer. Let's hope that this is the case.

New York State Taylor Law - What You Need to Know for the Upcoming School Budget Forums

February 08, 2010 - 21:19

Introduction

One of the continuing issues property owners in New Rochelle have with the School District is the annual raising of property taxes. When the District holds public meetings for the community to field questions and explain the rationale for increases, they general beginning the meeting with lengthy testimonials from all of the district schools as well as the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) extolling the virtue of the District. By the time they come around to community questions, many people have left the premises based on the hour or on sheer boredom and only then, the dog and pony show and questions appear.

To add insult to injury, people attending the session sometimes have had questions responded to by the Union Head, Martin Daly, which is unusual to say the least, outrageous under any condition, and, were this arrangement under the supervision of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, likely deemed as contrary to law and even an unfair practice. During such occasions, the presence of the Union Head has been justified as being part of an open community meeting. This is interesting from a number of viewpoints; Mr. Daly is not a resident or taxpayer in New Rochelle and his speaking for the District would suggest the negotiations between District and Union is properly described as being a “Sweetheart Contract” --- Mr.

Avalon on the Sound "Sold", Tax Abatement to Continue for New Owner

February 08, 2010 - 17:39
4 comments

81EA8777-6033-4C97-8E67-856A2F6D0BB6.jpgA deal has been reached which will permit the sale of Avalon on the Sound at 255 Huguenot Street. Under the deal , Avalon Bay Communities, the owner of the property, will pay the City of New Rochelle about $9mm, spread over several years, with $3mm coming in 2010. The City is expected to use the funds to offset future tax increases.

The transaction will be discussed at tomorrow's City Council meeting.

Developing...

UPDATE

Frank Pasquale, Former Elected Official from New Rochelle, Gets 6 Year Sentence in Connecticut Sex Sting

February 08, 2010 - 15:24

keyboard.jpgFormer New Rochelle Public Library Trustee and School Board candidate Frank Pasquale III, 44, was sentenced Friday to six years in prison under a plea agreement with Connecticut prosecutors stemming from his arrest in 2008 on charges of criminal attempt at second-degree sexual assault. Pasquale was taken directly from the courthouse in Waterbury, CT to begin serving his sentence.

Under terms of the deal, according to Waterbury Court Clerk William Hoey, Pasquale must serve a minimum of 9 months in prison. His sentence may be suspended after 15 months at which point he will be on probation for 10 years. Special conditions which will apply to probation including registering as a sex offender, a prohibition against unsupervised contact with children under 16 years old, no unsupervised visits with his own children without prior notice to his probation officer. Pasquale will also be required to undergo mental health treatment and undergo sex offender evaluation and treatment.

Pasquale was arrested by local police in Naugatuck, Connecticut on January 24, 2008 when he showed up for a meeting to have sex with what he believed to be a 15 year old child.

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