Article in the Westchester Herald, May 17 by Peggy Godfrey
Sustainability Consultant Debra Newborn explained that because New Rochelle was selected as one of the three cities to be part of the ICLEI pilot, the Draft GreenR 2010 Vision and Action for a Healthier Community Plan was created. Thirty three (33) volunteers were selected by City Manger Chuck Strome, comprised of experts and community leaders. The community workshop attracted 150 residents. She asked if this plan makes sense for the residents of New Rochelle and if there is a reasonable probability it can be accomplished. Although she felt most initiatives in the report would save money, she explained there is a need for a thorough cost analysis, especially for future allocations using grants and voluntary actions. She is looking forward to constructive suggestions. The public hearing was held on May 11 at New Rochelle City Hall.
I don't know who is responsible for the restricted access to the internet at our schools, but I know that it is a struggle for many teachers and students in our school district. Having limited internet access in our computer labs and libraries makes it hard for us to do research projects, assigned essays, and studying. Some students may not have internet access even at home which means they need to go either to a library or somewhere else just to research. The internet access problem at our schools is making school work even more difficult for those students who don't have computers/internet. I understand that some websites should be blocked, but when it comes to educational websites there should be no debate over that. I believe that needs to change.
Freshman at NRHS
Today over 200 parents and 100 children attended a conference at Columbus Elementary School where they were greeted by Dr. Yigal Joseph. The keynote welcome was provided by Martha Lopez, former Hispanic Outreach Director for Westchester County. Her eloquent welcome was appreciated by many of the parents. This conference provided parents with an opportunity to obtain information and leadership skills that will enable them to better navigate our schools and the various city & state entities. Issues such as parenting, voting & immigration were discussed in small groups.
The organizers would like to thank Kelly Johnson from the City's Youth Bureau for facilitating this event. Thank you and we hope we can do this again.
Rep. Nita Lowey sent out the following press release this morning:
NEW ROCHELLE – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-Westchester/Rockland) was joined today by New Rochelle Council Member Barry Fertel, Mayor Noam Bramson, and residents of the Forest Heights neighborhood to announce an abandoned and deteriorating home owned by the Somali government will be demolished and improvements made to the property at no cost to New Rochelle taxpayers.
“This abandoned residence is an eyesore to the community,” said Lowey. “It is unsafe and it reduces property values for the homes in the surrounding area. I am pleased we have reached a resolution that will be beneficial to the Forest Heights neighborhood without any cost to New Rochelle taxpayers.”
“The removal of this unwelcome eyesore in a beautiful residential neighborhood, after years of neglect, is but one example of how we can improve the quality of life for our residents,” said New Rochelle Council Member Barry Fertel.
On Sunday, June 13th from 1 to 5 P.M. Westchester artist, art collector and enthusiast Yvonne Wynter will open her home at 52 Nob Court in New Rochelle to art gallery owners, interior designers and the public for "Brunch & Browse", a reception and exhibition of art by the local well-known artist David Tobey. The event marks the closing of a two month showcase held there of Tobey's work that features paintings, sculptures and new prints by the artist.
Ms. Wynter first saw Tobey's art at his solo exhibition in November of '09 at BID Gallery 542, a gallery established last year by the Business Improvement District of New Rochelle. She fell in love with his work, and purchased a number of his paintings for her own collection. "Once I saw David's work" she said, "I knew that many of my friends who were also art enthusiasts would want to see them too. There were only a few days left before David's show at the BID Gallery was closing, so I just decided to offer the walls in my own home for him to show them later in the year." It turned out that Mrs. Wynter was right. Many of her friends who saw David's art immediately fell in love with it too, and the first event attended by over 100 people was a huge success.
Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson was on hand Thursday, May 12, to help kick off a new bike program at Beth El Synagogue Center’s Nursery School. The Nursery School recently purchased new bikes and helmets for their 3- and 4-year old classes. The little bikes without pedals, called “Strider Bikes,” are developmentally appropriate bicycles for nursery school aged children. The children learn to balance and glide without the added step of pedaling. Since the program started, some of the children have already had asked their parents to take off the training wheels at home.
Given the recent spate of burglaries in the North End of New Rochelle, I figure I had better share this message which landed in my inbox this morning. Here are a few things a burglar won't tell you:
1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.
2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.
3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste... and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.
4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it..
5. If it snows while you're out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.
6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don't let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it's set. That makes it too easy.
Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) held a press conference in Albany this week to announce the Smart Growth Agenda for New York State. Joining with colleagues Senators Martin Dilan (D-Brooklyn) and Velmanette Montgomery (D-Brooklyn) and Assemblyman Sam Hoyt (D-Buffalo), along with numerous coalition groups, the Senator outlined her vision for more sustainable environmentally sound planning.
“There is growing concern that modern development practices have led to urban and suburban sprawl that is not serving the state’s long-term interests,” said Senator Oppenheimer. “Development without regard to the environment or to a particular community’s needs and desires makes no sense.”
“As a lifelong environmentalist, I believe strongly in smart growth principles. That’s why I am the lead sponsor of the smart growth policy bill, which establishes smart growth infrastructure criteria and obligates state agencies to fund public infrastructure projects in a manner consistent with those guidelines (S. 5560). It would also require the relevant agencies to consult with residents, environmental groups and other stakeholders before approving state infrastructure projects.”