November 2010

Hartley Houses Tax Abatement, North Avenue Corridor, Dog Licensing Tops New Rochelle City Council Agenda Today

November 09, 2010 - 19:30

Great Seal of City of New Rochelle.jpgThe New Rochelle City Council will meet this afternoon at 3:45 PM continue to the evening, go into executive session, take a break and come back for Public Hearings at 7:30 PM to be followed by Citizen to be Heard.

New Rochelle City Council NOV 2010 COW_AGENDA PDF

Items of interest in the agenda include:

  • Amendments to the City Charter relating to the North Avenue Corridor - creating a new Zoning District (Section 54.1) under Article VII, North Avenue (NA) Zoning, mapping the proposed North Avenue (NA) Zoning District changing the zoning classification of certain properties located along North Avenue, alternate locations for required off-street parking facilities by adding the NA. North Avenue Zoning District.

Improving the Schools

November 09, 2010 - 15:22


     When the question was posed, "What can we do to improve the schools?" I began to recall research studies, political agendas,and examples of schools that have experienced significant improvements.  Laura Pappano's "In School Turnarounds, the Human Element is Crucial" (online 10/20/10) comments, that in reform efforts, "It is people who bring the strategies to life."  She continues, in 2001 a new principal, Anthony Smith, of an Ohio high school given the lowest rating of "academic emergency" was able to turn the school around so that it earned the highest rating, "excellent." 

     How you may wonder did he do it?  First he went "door to door in the neighborhood" asking for support.  He met with teachers and asked what worked and what was ineffective.  Then he challenged them by saying if they were not "ready" to help the students they should not return to school after lunch.  But all of the teachers returned.  Smith did not fire or remove any staff members.  He gained the support of Bell's chief executive who promised every student with a "3.3 grade point average" a cell phone and a laptop. 

Home Access Center Now Available for Parents & Guardians of New Rochelle High School Students

November 09, 2010 - 14:33

HomeAccessCenter-Demo.jpgHome Access Center is available for parents/guardians of New Rochelle High School students to view, online, their child's live-period-by-period attendance, schedule with email links to their child's teachers, transcript and GPA information, progress reports, report cards, and check emergency contact info. Please note that in-person registration is required, with a photo ID. To register parents can make an appointment by calling 576-4209 and ask for Elise Bullock.

The Home Access Center will be available for ALMS and IEYMS students in the fall of 2010 then K-5 in the Spring of 2011.

SunGardLogo.jpgYou can learn more about Sungard's Home Access Center solutions on their web site.

Veterans Day Observence in New Rochelle- Stand and Show Your Support

November 09, 2010 - 08:35

The United Veterans Memorial and Patriotic Association of the City of New Rochelle will observe Veterans Day with a ceremony to be held on Thursday, November 11 at 10:30 a.m. at the Veteran’s Memorial Monument, Memorial Plaza, corner of Memorial Highway and Main Street.

Participants include Veterans, City Officials, Elected Officials and the New Rochelle High School Marching Band. All are welcomed to join in this tribute to the men and women who have served this nation.

A Special Thanks From Candidate and Neighbor, Peter Parente

November 09, 2010 - 07:14

Dear Neighbor,

First, I would like to take this opportunity to thank God for keeping my family and me safe and healthy throughout this intense campaign. I would also like to thank my campaign team for being so truly dedicated to helping me to get my message out to the District 3 community. They worked tirelessly, day and night giving 200% from day one of this campaign until Election Day.

To the people of District 3, I am extremely grateful to you for opening your doors to me as I walked the community as well as opening your minds and hearts to my message of a better future for New Rochelle. Coming into this race I had no idea I would meet so many wonderful people; people from all races, creeds and religions; the diversity of this district is certainly unique to the rest of the city. Although it was one the challenges I faced, I did my best to face it head on and made strides to prove that you do not have to come from the same background to be a true representative of the people. Although District 3 is an ‘Opportunity District’ the opportunity is for an equal playing field for candidates from any race so that all can be equally represented.

Iona College Dedicates The Romita Auditorium and Castle Café in Honor of Mauro Romita, Iona Alumnus, Business Leader, Benefactor

November 08, 2010 - 19:51

Iona Romita Dedication.jpgNEW ROCHELLE, NY (November 5, 2010) Iona College today dedicated the Romita Auditorium and Castle Café at the college’s new Ryan Library in honor of Mauro (“Chris”) Romita, Esq. and the Romita family. Mr. Romita is an Iona alum (class of ’61), business leader and benefactor. The Romita family contributed $100,000 to the new facilities.

At the dedication ceremony attended by New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson and other invited guests, Iona College President James A. Liguori, CFC, said: “On behalf of the entire Iona College community who will use these wonderful spaces in the Ryan Library—students, faculty, administrators and guests from our neighboring communities—we extend heartfelt thanks to Chris, his wife, Camille, and other members of the Romita family for their generous gift.”

Project Begins to Take Aerial and Street-Level Images

November 08, 2010 - 19:43

Facet Collection Vehicle.jpgResidents who see a strange van with cameras in their neighborhood should not be concerned: A project to take aerial and street-level images countywide is about to get underway. Weather permitting, it will start this weekend in Yonkers, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle and the Town of Rye. It is anticipated that all parcels will be photographed within the next six to 10 weeks.

Local police departments have been notified so they will know how to respond to any concerns from the public.

The project was first considered as a way to help local assessors update property records. However, it soon became apparent that there were other benefits, particularly in the areas of public safety. For example, this photography is useful in aiding police and fire departments better plan for and respond to emergencies.

Oblique aerial (angle) photography is taken from a plane and may not even be noticed by residents.
For the street level photography, a van goes down the street, public roads, with numerous cameras taking pictures in every direction. These vans will display the logo of the sub-contractor, FACET Technology.

Texas Governor's Race and the Increasing Irrelevance of Newspaper Endorsements

November 08, 2010 - 19:39

Mark McKinnon in the Daily Beast writes:

...the [Gov. Rick Perry] campaign asked primary voters in Texas whether a newspaper endorsement would make them more or less likely to vote for Perry. Only 6 percent said an endorsement would make them more likely to support Perry, while an eye-popping 37 percent said it would make them less likely (56 percent said it made no difference). Talk about a paradigm shift. This is a sea change in the way candidates have historically campaigned. Good news for candidates who never much liked kissing the rings of the media elites. But more bad news for the increasing irrelevance of newspapers and the mainstream media.

Proposed New Rochelle Budget Due Wednesday: About 4% Tax Increase, No Layoffs, 5 New Cops

November 08, 2010 - 17:29

strome.jpgNew Rochelle City Manager Chuck Strome will propose a 2011 budget at a press conference on Wednesday. The budget will propose a 4% tax increase, no layoffs, and 5 new police officers, according to statements made by City Council Members Lou Trangucci and Richard St. Paul at a Reform Club meeting last Thursday.

Without providing specifics, Strome discussed his struggle to come up with a budget with Michael Woyton at New Rochelle Patch.

As announced previously to the City Council, New York State hit New Rochelle with a $2.5 million increase in pension contributions. At the time, Strome indicated that the City would take advantage of an option to finance 64% of the amount due ($1.6 million) and pay the balance ($900,000) in cash. The $1.6 million would financed at 5% over 10 years.

Financing pension contributions in this manner is akin to taking out a bank loan to pay off a portion of a credit card bill -- it does nothing to reduce the principal but does increase financing costs.