March 2010

If City Government Made the Right Decisions...

March 25, 2010 - 18:49

Since 1992 The City of New Rochelle has been in a downwards spiral in a collision course with debt. Decisions under former mayor Tim Idoni and current mayor Noam Bramson have caused New Rochelle to be in its current economical and financial state. What use to be the Queen City of the Sound is now The Tramp on the Docks.

The city’s development decisions, under their watch, has caused economic disaster. Even an idiot knows that if you want to build a city, you must first build businesses, not residents. The Avalon Projects, New Roc City and Trump Tower were major errors that cost the City of New Rochelle millions of dollars while making Idoni’s, Bramson’s and other City Official’s pockets very full.

The Bruce Negrin Radio Show Tonight at 8 PM on WVOX 1460 AM

March 25, 2010 - 18:16

"New Rochelle News and Views" airing on WVOX 1460 am or

Direct Studio # 914-636-0110

Tonights Line Up:

State Senator Jeff Klein I knew you had it in you!

New Rochelle, No Matter what you say there are solid improvements. Let us list them.

Opinion Question, Is your City Council Person doing a good job?

Has The New Ro Election Season Begun already?

You have no right.

March 25, 2010 - 18:12

I'm not really sure who you think you are. I do believe however that who you are showing to be is someone that likes to make things alot worse. People make mistakes and that is human error. You aren't perfect and neither am I. DO NOT HOLD RESPONSIBILITY TO THOSE WHO WE CALL FRIENDS. Are you responsible for what your friends do? I guess so. Your Facebook listing of friends of Diana Wessel is a childish and very disrespectful thing to do to all of us. Remove this as you have been warned.

I appreciate your immediate removal of this post.

New Rochelle Business Improvement District Adds Facebook, YouTube, RSS

March 25, 2010 - 14:42

bid.jpgThe BID web site for downtown New Rochelle has undergone a social media makeover. The web site now offers RSS feeds which allows for instant alerts to RSS-enabled devices including mobile devices. There is a new Facebook Fan Page and a YouTube Channel.

Hat's off to BID Director Ralph DiBart. This is a great move by the BID, providing new ways for the public to keep informed at home, at work or on the go through their mobile device.

The Facebook Fan page has already grown to 175 members. Let's see if we can push it over 1,000. Click here to join now. It's free, fun and a great way to keep informed above events and deals in downtown New Rochelle.

Check out the latest BID YouTube video: New Rochelle BID Downtown Showcase Apartment @ The Avalon

Abandon Ship! Sak's Fifth Ave. Bails When Forest City Can't Deliver. Will New Rochelle Be Next?

March 24, 2010 - 21:16


Citing Forest City's inability to "meet a key provision of the deal", Saks Fifth Ave has decided to sever it's ties with the controversial $685MM Ridge Hill development project. From a story reported in The Real Deal, a Forest City spokesman found it "hard to say" what might replace the high end retailer, noting it will take "creativity" to find the right answer.

In other news, Crain's New York is reporting Forest City Ratner Cos. failure to make a mortgage payment as the reason it's loan on the Metro Tech Center was placed on a "watch list". With a 97% occupancy rate and typically generating "more than twice the amount necessary to cover debt", the article finds it "puzzling" to see the the loan placed on the list.

Looking for a Foodie to be Talk of the Sound Food Editor

March 24, 2010 - 20:39

We have added contributors to run our events calendar, cover the City Council and map out each week's tag sales. Now we are looking for someone to serve as Food Editor. This person will love food, enjoy dining out and have a good sense for dining options in New Rochelle.

The Food Editor would have three primary responsibilities.

1. Develop an online repository of menus from every restaurant in New Rochelle.

2. Write restaurant reviews or edit those others.

3. Publish news and information about restaurants in New Rochelle (openings, closings, new chefs, etc.)

All positions are unpaid/volunteer positions; our policy on "comped" meals or menu items is that the reviewer can accept them if they wish but they must disclose any comped items or any relationships with owners or staff.

New Rochelle's Ward Elementary School Art Fair a Smashing Success

March 24, 2010 - 19:18

Last night New Rochelle's Ward Elementary School was transformed into a chic Art Gallery as student artists from K-5 presented a showing of their work. The kids were thrilled to show off their art work and the room buzzed with excitement. Parents were invited to view the art and purchase a framed original artwork by their child for $30.

The event was organized by Patty Anderson, Ward School Art Teacher, Maryann Cantone, Co-President of the Ward PTA and Kenneth Regan, the school's Principal. Art supplies, snacks and drinks were also for sale.

Senate Passes Oppenheimer Bill to Strengthen Open Meetings Law

March 24, 2010 - 18:52

The New York State Senate last week moved towards greater openness and public participation in government decision-making, approving Senator Oppenheimer’s bill to enhance judicial enforcement of the open meetings law, S. 7054. The Senate also passed three other Sunshine Policy bills, which further reform the state’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIA) and Open Meetings Law.

"My legislation promotes public access to government decisions by making clear that a court may invalidate an action taken in violation of the open meetings law,” said Senator Oppenheimer. “Where appropriate, a court may also require training in the requirements of the open meetings law to ensure future compliance.”

While existing law permits a court to invalidate actions taken behind closed doors in violation of the open meetings law, subsequent judicial decisions implied that a court could not rescind an action taken in a public meeting even if deliberated unlawfully behind closed doors. This legislation clarifies that a court can invalidate an action in that circumstance and remand the matter to the public body for reconsideration. In addition, a court may require public officials to participate in training sessions on the open meetings law.

The Senate also approved Sunshine measures that:

IDA Set to Sneak Through "Payment Acceleration" Deal This Afternoon, Leaving $35 Million Avalon Windfall Untouched

March 24, 2010 - 15:25

Avalone One.jpgThe IDA will be meeting tonight at 5:30 PM at the City Hall Annex on Beaufort Place, over by the Fire Department headquarters.

The principal item of business will be the IDA’s ratification of the Avalon deal which was worked up by the City Council. The official line will likely be that the IDA’s approval is pro forma and required, and that the meeting is a formality.

The Avalon "payment acceleration" deal is tied to the sale of Avalon One to Hartz Mountain for $100 million. Howard Ratner, the City's Finance Commissioner, told council members several weeks ago that the value of the tax benefits given to Avalon Bay account for 35% of the purchase price. IDA approval might be a formality but it is a $35 million formality with significant long-term implications for the City of New Rochelle.

Why the Projected New Rochelle School Budget Increase is Too Low

March 24, 2010 - 14:52

School Board 2010 Budget Meeting - 5.jpgThis year's proposed New Rochelle public school budget comes with good and bad news. The Superintendent of Schools, Richard Organisciak, originally stated the latest budget proposal is $3.56 million (or 1.59%) less than last year's budget. The change in the tax rate was projected to increase 3.8%. In a letter dated March 2, Organisciak said another proposed 15% ($5.6 million) or more in cuts proposed by the State could "wreak havoc with all aspects of our existing education and service programs." One solution offered was to identify areas where budget reductions could occur. The School Budget Review session on March 9 gave the public an opportunity to respond to this proposed budget which Organisciak said needed another cut of more than one million dollars. Sara Richmond, President of the New Rochelle Board of Education, added the budget was "a work in progress." However, at the March 16 meeting Robert Cox, editor of New Rochelle Talk of the Sound blog, reported that the budget cut was increased to $5.0 million (or 1.8%) less than last year's budget and will result in 35 staff layoffs.