September 2010

REMINDER - 9/11 Memorial and Candlelight Vigil This Saturday

September 09, 2010 - 07:03


Join the family of friends and neighbors as we pay tribute to those lost, and the sacrifices made, in the aftermath of the tragic attack on our Nation.

This Saturday, September 11th, a Memorial Service will be held on the front lawn of the New Rochelle Armory. The event will begin at 7:30.

Joining in the service will be the Color Guard and members of the United States Armed Forces, Police and Fire units from both New Rochelle and New York City, and many more. A true testament to just how many lives were affected.

The event is sponsored by the United Veterans Memorial and Patriotic Association in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity of Westchester.

Driving directions, a schedule of events, and more information can be found HERE

Take pause to remember those who have lost so much, and show your support for the men and women who continue to serve this Nation 9 years after.

Profiles in Cowardice: Mike Kenny at New Rochelle High School

September 08, 2010 - 21:43

Part 1 in our new series, Profiles in Cowardice

Mike Kenny is the Director of Guidance of New Rochelle High School. He is one of those people of no particular significance in life outside a public school system, who gets little respect even from his peers and yet can have a dramatic negative on a child's future.

In 2006, my son was scheduled to take the PSAT Exam, the practice exam given by the College Entrance Examination Board or "College Board". As a "classified student" my son was entitled to extra time on exams including standardized tests like Regents Exams, AP Exams, SAT Exams and the PSAT Exam. This was never an issue with tests given by his teachers; they left a copy of the exam at the testing center at the high school and he sat for the exam. Some people imagine that the extended time testing accommodation is some sort of luxury. It is not. For a child without a disability maybe but for my son it was entirely necessary and entailed sitting in a testing center for many hours -- four hours taking a two hour final exam or eight hours on a four hour exam, not exactly and kid's idea of fun.

In the weeks before the date of the PSAT Exam, I was looking for a document from the College Board confirming that my son would receive extra time on the PSAT. The letter never came.

New Rochelle School District Declines Talk of the Sound Request to Remove Illegal Ban and FOIL policies, No Press Releases

September 08, 2010 - 20:50

Last week I appeared before the New Rochelle Board of Education to formally request that the Board of Education rescind an illegal "ban" issued by Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak under which I am supposedly denied access to school grounds except in the case of otherwise public events or meetings involving my own children. This "ban" was in response to my parking in the lot at Isaac E. Young Middle School to report out whether it was true that Isaac Principal Anthony Bongo was smoking cigars on school grounds each afternoon (it was true). Bongo used his cousin, a cop on the New Rochelle Police Department, to attempt to intimidate me so that I would not run a story about his cigar smoking (of course, I ran it). Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak responded by sending a letter advising building principals to be on the look out for me and that I was banned from school grounds.

It was during about this same time that the district began to illegally ignore my Freedom of Information requests. When I filed an appeal to Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak, he illegally aggregated my requests made over several months in order to artificially inflate the time it took to compile the records I had requested in order to create an invoice for several hundred dollars.

New Teen Driving Laws in New Rochelle State

September 08, 2010 - 19:41

Fresh GreenLight Press Release

Effective September 1, 2010, Teen Drivers under the age of 18 are restricted to only 1 passenger in the car. This law applies to ALL drivers under the age of 18 - even those with their Senior License from HS Driver Ed.

The other important change for new teen drivers is that those teens who take HS Drivers Ed are now required to complete 50 hours of supervised driving with a parent or instructor - 15 hours of that driving must take place in the evening. Previously this wasn't required - meaning teens could go for their road test with only 6 hours of driving instruction.

Why is this a good thing?

Most of you know that car crashes are the # 1 killer of teens in America - killing over 6000 teens a year. And the majority of those deaths are caused by inexperience and distraction behind the wheel. The truth is, HS Drivers Ed hasn't changed in years and most experts agree it's totally ineffective at reducing accidents.

Most states, including New York, are enacting Graduated Drivers Licensing laws which slowly allow more responsibilities (passengers, nighttime driving) once Teen Drivers have at least a year or so of experience driving. GDL laws have been proven to save lives and makes our teens safer on the road.

WELCOME BACK, DONNA: New Rochelle Board of Education Rewards Sexting Security Staffer with More Pay, Better Hours

September 08, 2010 - 19:32

donny henry portrait for ALMS yearbook.jpgWhoever said "crime doesn't pay" never worked in the New Rochelle school system.

Donna "Hardcore" Henry, the woman at the center of a "sexting scandal" last year for her role in obtaining and transmitting a nude image of a female student at Albert Leonard Middle School, has received another board-approved pay increase and is being allowed to transfer off the night shift at New Rochelle High School where she was sent after her suspension over the sexting incident last May.

Last night, the board of education passed without comment Resolution No. 11-92-2 which reads as follows:

RESOLUTION No. 11-92-2

RESOLVED, that the salary adjustment of the following staff due to reassignment from third shift to second shift be authorized and approved effective September 1, 2010:

Donna Henry Cleaner Grade 1 - Step 15
$44,437 per annum
2,688 night duty

New PAC To Support Republican Military Veterans Running In NY

September 08, 2010 - 13:06

VetsforNY Press Release:

White Plains, NY - September 8, 2010: Today Kieran Michael Lalor announced the formation of Vets For NewYork, a political action committee designed to help conservative Republican military veterans get elected to federal, state, county and local office in New York State.

According to Lalor, "The fundamental problem with government at all levels is that it is populated with self-serving politicians and bureaucrats. True reform can only be achieved if we elect candidates who will put the interest of the people first. Since veterans have already demonstrated selfless service to country they make the ideal candidates to address the many problems we face."

Continued Lalor, "As conservatives our candidates will give voice to hardworking patriotic New Yorkers who believe in limited government, free enterprise and traditional values."

Lalor is also the founder of Iraq Veterans for Congress, a federal PAC that supports conservative Iraq and Afghanistan veterans running for Congress. In the 2010 election cycle the group has raised more than $100,000 from over 10,000 donors in all fifty states and has made major contributions to more than a dozen campaigns throughout the country.

$ 4.35 billion given to Race to Top winners for school reform

Submitted by JAyden on Wed, 09/08/2010 - 08:57

An economic stimulus plan was given by Obama explaining that schools in America will get $ 4.35 billion to improve. His education initiative, entitled "Race to the Top," rewards schools with the most ambitious plans to "improve schools and close the achievement gap," writes MSNBC. Nine new "Race to the Top" winners are announced to share this round's $ 3.4 billion grant, according to the U.S. Department of Education: The amounts going to Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington D.C. can be announced later on. New student assessment means can be created and a $ 350 million award will go to that. Source for this article - Race to the Top winners get $4.35 billion for school reform

Others besides 'Race to the Top' winners changing

Enhanced Cable Programming Begins in September

September 07, 2010 - 21:26

City of New Rochelle Press Release:

Planning, Zoning and IDA Board Meetings Now Aired Live and Rebroadcast

New Rochelle, NY—Beginning this month, New Rochelle residents who subscribe to Cablevision
and Verizon services will be able to view Planning, Zoning and Industrial Development Agency
meetings live and on limited playback. This program was unanimously approved by the New
Rochelle City Council in June.

The September meeting schedule is as follows:
Zoning- Tuesday, September 7, 7:00 pm
Planning- September 28, 7:30 pm

Meetings will be broadcast live and played back as programming allows on Cablevision
Channel 75 and Verizon Channel 28. The complete schedule will be available on
line at and on the bulletin announcements.

City Council meetings will continue to be broadcast as usual and will take precedence over other
board meetings should a schedule conflict arise. City Council meetings only are also available live

DISCLAIMER: By unofficial policy directive, City Manager Charles Strome has let it be known that City workers are not to co-operate with Talk of the Sound on stories beyond what is absolutely, affirmatively required by law such as FOIL requests.

Changing of the Guard at New Rochelle's William B. Ward Elementary School

September 07, 2010 - 21:01

DSC_3589.jpgKen Regan appeared before the New Rochelle Board of Education for the final time as Principal of William B. Ward Elementary School after 22 years of service. Incoming Principal Franco Miele was on hand with his family. The Board of Education offered their thanks for Regan's service and welcomed Miele. Mary Jane Reddington and Diedre Polow shared their memories of interviewing Mr. Regan when he was hired in 1998.

Asked if he had any parting words for parents at Ward School, Regan told Talk of the Sound, "I'm leaving but I'm not leaving the planet". Regan turned more serious when talking about his successor.

"Mr. Miele has energy and the ability to relate to children," said Regan. "15 staff at Ward approved him".

DSC_3578.jpgAsked what he felt was most important about his time at Ward, Regan talked about the Mary Campbell Peace Pole at Ward and wanted to remind parents and students that Ward's designation as the "Peace Magnet" school is not something to be taken lightly.

New Rochelle's Residence Park Association Donates over 100 Backpacks to Children at Hope Community Services and Food Pantry

September 07, 2010 - 19:47

DSC_3547.jpgThe Residence Park Neighborhood and Civic Association of New Rochelle donated more that one hundred knapsack-bookbags, filled with pens, pencils, notebooks, rulers, and other school supplies; to the children whose parents are served by Hope Community Services and Food Pantry at 50 Washington Avenue in New Rochelle.

In addition to the school supplies, Residence Park residents donated money, which was used to "top up" the knapsacks. Additional funds will be used to buy winter coats for some of the most needy children.

COSTCO on Weyman Avenue donated more than 75 bookbags and supplies.

Organizers with the children and a mom: Carol Troum (white shirt) is the Executive Director of HOPE and Karen Collins (black dress) is from Residence Park. Not pictured, Terry Hamburger, Project Manager at HOPE.


Joan Bristol of Residence Park keeps track of things.