August 2010

Anna Rose and The August Infinity Rock the Music Conservatory of Westchester with a Special Benefit Concert

August 09, 2010 - 20:44

White Plains, NY – Singer/songwriter/guitarist Anna Rose returns to her native Westchester on Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 7:30PM for a one night only rock benefit concert with The August Infinity supporting the Music Conservatory of Westchester. Presented by Jon Chattman’s, the event opens with stand-up comedian and actor Dante Mercadante (of Yonkers) and features original rock music. The concert will raise funds for the Conservatory’s scholarships and tuition assistance programs.

Anna Rose was born in Manhattan, raised in Northern Westchester, and lived for several years in Los Angeles before returning to New York. During her twenty-four years as a "rock kid," there have been great passions in Anna Rose's life, and then there has been music. "More than anything, I have always straight-up just totally and truthfully loved it," she says. Her songs concentrate on contrasts between people, places, emotions, and several thousand other things in ways that are as carefully considered as they sound completely organic.

New Rochelle Board of Education Approves Removal of Asbestos Tiles Found in 8 Classrooms at Jefferson School

August 09, 2010 - 16:27

At the August 3rd board meeting, the New Rochelle Board of Education approved Resolution 11-79 ordering the removal of vinyl floor tiles containing asbestos in 8 classrooms at the Jefferson School. The resolution lists six of the classrooms: Rooms 105, 106, 118, 119, 205 and 206.

The work is required to be performed in compliance with NYS Industrial Code Rule 56. After completing there is to be an OSHA air sampling. The contractor is required to provide waste and disposal facility manifests.Asbestos Vinyl Tile.jpg

The presence of asbestos floor tiles at a school or other building does not mean there is any risk of asbestos exposure. The asbestos fibers are firmly embedded into the tiles and pose no risk unless the tiles are deliberately broken and asbestos fibers allowed to contaminate the air. Vinyl asbestos tile (or sheet flooring) in good condition would generally be considered "nonfriable".

City of New Rochelle to Hold Special Event to Honor Jim Stowe on Tuesday at 3:30 PM at City Hall

August 09, 2010 - 15:28

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 12 noon, Weinstein Memorial Chapel, 1652 Central Park Ave, Yonkers NY. (914)793-3800. Seating will be limited. A public celebration of Jim's life will be held at New Rochelle City Hall Rotunda, 515 North Avenue, at 3:30 PM.

Amy Paulin, Citing Need for Statewide IDA Reform, Looks Forward to Getting Home Rule Request on New Rochelle IDA

August 09, 2010 - 14:48

Amy Paulin.pngNew York State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin says she is looking forward to receiving a request made by the three Republican New Rochelle City Council members for a home bill concerning the New Rochelle IDA.

"The request is a little preliminary," said Paulin. "Except for emergency measures, the State Assembly is not resuming session until January but I am always interested in reform."

The home rule request comes in the wake of a scathing audit by the New York State comptroller that found a complete lack of process and accountability at the controversial city agency.

"I think IDA's across the state need reform," said Paulin, a consistent advocate for greater accountability and transparency in government.

Additional Notes from New Rochelle Board of Education Meeting on July 27, 2010 (Graduation Rate Discussion)

August 08, 2010 - 21:11

It was so troubling to sit and listen to New Rochelle High School Principal -- a man with a long track record of fabricating data files in SED reports -- that I did not get around to posting my notes on his remarks so I am going to add them to the bottom of that post and add them here as a seperate post so readers do not miss them.

Consider this an update to this previous post: New Rochelle Board of Education "Solves" Declining Minority Graduation Rates the Old Fashioned Way -- Ignoring Them

Some thoughts and questions...

1. If a student earns a grade below 65 but is close to getting a 65 (like a 62, 63, or 64) does the school "round up" those scores? In other words, does a passing grade really mean they got a 65 or better is "close to" 65 the standard? See if you can get Don Conetta on record.

2. Since Mr. Conetta said he was able to forecast the graduation rates for next year, ask him "What do you forecast the impact on next year's certified graduation will have on the number of students walking in the June graduation ceremony next year?

3. Can the graduation rate data and the 3-8 ELA and Math Data be normalized over time so that the community can make apples-to-apples comprisons?


Yonkers Tribune Calls Cappelli Viability into Question

August 08, 2010 - 19:10

Louis Capelli.jpgYonkers Tribune: $25 Million Plus Arrears Put Cappelli’s Viability Into Question

...the Times Herald-Record today published an article delineating developer Louis Cappelli owing $24.7 million in arrears to 27 contractor who were engaged in clearing and preparing 1,500 acres in Monticello, New York, on the Concord Properties were the famous Concord Hotel, now demolished, once stood.

Times Herald-Record: Concord contractors owed $24.7 million

Developer Louis Cappelli's deal to transfer the vast majority of 1,500-acre Concord properties to a Kansas City firm has meant nothing to companies that have waited two years to be paid millions for work in 2008. Cappelli lost control of most of the Concord lands to Entertainment Properties Trust, settling a $160 million claim against him.

Cappelli Sells Marriott Residence Inn at New Roc City to Florida-based REIT for $21 Million

August 07, 2010 - 13:12

Louis Capelli.jpgCapelli Enterprises has signed an agreement to sell the Residence Inn by Marriott in New Rochelle, NY to Chatham Lodging Trust (NYSE: CLDT),for $21,000,000 in an all-cash transaction.

For Capelli, the transaction represents a further unwinding of his stake in the New Roc City complex he developed 10 years ago. As part of a settlement agreement with former investment partner Entertainment Properties Trust (EPT), Capelli resolved outstanding legal disputes with EPT by turning over control of New Roc City to EPT.

Chatham Lodging Trust, the new owner of the New Roc City Marriott property, pending completion of the acquisition agreement, is a self-advised real estate investment trust that was organized to invest in upscale extended-stay hotels and premium-branded select-service hotels. The company currently owns eight hotels with an aggregate of 1,057 rooms/suites, and has a total of four additional hotels under contract to purchase.

Family Announces Plans for Memorial Service Tuesday for New Rochelle Council Member James Stowe

August 07, 2010 - 12:56

A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 12:00 Noon at the Weinstein Memorial Chapel located at 1652 Central Park Avenue, Yonkers, New York. Burial will follow at the Sharon Garden Cemetery in Valhalla, New York.

New Rochelle Board of Education Approves "Certified" Graduation at New Rochelle High School for June 2011

August 07, 2010 - 02:01

The Board of Education unanimously but unofficial supported moving towards a certified graduation for the 2010-11 school year. At the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, Sara Richmond, President of the New Rochelle Board of Education, took a non-binding straw poll of board members. All board members supported the change.

The New York State Education Department has, for years, not certified New Rochelle graduation ceremonies. While the district does not release the numbers, reliable sources tell Talk of the Sound that roughly 100 of the students who walk in the graduation ceremony have not actually earned a diploma.

In other news, the City School District of New Rochelle has elected not to offer the New York State Retirement Incentive to district employees.

SED tests will change, removing the Social Studies test for Grades 5-8.; plans are underway to eliminate all foreign language Regents exams except for Spanish and French.

The district received an additional grant of $1.5mm for five years for Mandarin language programs in New Rochelle. This is in addition to a $900,000 grant over three years.

A Note on Sourcing Information from the City of New Rochelle and the City School District of New Rochelle

August 07, 2010 - 02:00

After a knowingly false complaint by Marianne Sussman that I had not made an attempt to fact-check a story reported on Talk of the Sound I thought about the sourcing issue here in New Rochelle.

The problem is that both the City Manager, Chuck Strome, and the Superintendent of Schools, Richard Organisciak, have put out the word that they do not want their employees responding to requests for information from me. In Organisciak's case, he actually sent a letter to administrators and building principals telling them they must refer all inquiries to him (which he then ignores) and another letter informing building principals and security staff that I am "banned" from school property except for purposes of attending a public meeting or event or for matters related to a child enrolled in a particular school. Further, in violation of New York State law, going back to December 2008, the school district refuses to comply with FOIL requests that I make.