June 2011

On WVOX, Organisiack says 676 graduated from NRHS yesterday (77.5%)

June 23, 2011 - 12:01

UPDATE: Sources tell Talk of the Sound the actual graduation rate was closer to 57.5% than 77.5%. About 500 students actually met criteria for the certified graduation but 676 students were given diplomas.

The graduation rate in 2009 was 66%, in 2010 it was 69% so the 12% jump from 69% to 77.5% represents an implausible scenario where the graduation rose dramatically at the same time the standards were being raised dramatically. By all measures, the opposite should have been the case.

The Board of Education under Sara Richmond's leadership achieved a wonderful thing for New Rochelle in requiring a certified graduation. That achievement was badly marred by the Board's failure to keep close tabs on what Conetta was up to. They never asked just what Conetta meant by "credit recovery". They never demanded a copy of a written policy, never asked how it was to be applied, never asked how many students were expected to be part o this program or the impact on graduation rates. It appears now that as many as 180 students may have received diplomas they did not earn or about 27% of those who walked in the ceremony yesterday.

New Rochelle Schools Supervisor James Bonanno Misappropriates School District Employees to Work on Private Home in Orange County

June 23, 2011 - 05:13

Cornwall Bonanno4New Rochelle Schools Buildings & Grounds Supervisor James Bonanno last month ordered three school district employees to report to work at a house owned by his girlfriend in upstate New York over a period of several days as part of an ongoing renovation of the property, sources say. The house, owned by Bonanno's girlfriend, Heidi Reyes, is located at in Cornwall, NY near West Point, in Orange County.

New Rochelle Schools spokesperson Paul Costigliano declined to comment on the matter.

According to Orange County property records for 30 Hampton Place in Cornwall, NY, the house was built in 1997. It was purchased from the original owner, Reiger Homes, Inc. in 2004 by Ricardo Reyes who then sold the land and house to Heidi Reyes for $1.00. The estimated market value of the property in 2010 was $426,900.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino Plans Veto on Democrats Playland Plan

June 23, 2011 - 00:39

The latest plan by the Democrats on the Board of Legislators to change the fee structure at Playland Amusement Park for non-riders remains “financially and operationally irresponsible and fundamentally unfair” and will be vetoed, said County Executive Robert P. Astorino.

“For the Democrats on the board to change Playland’s pricing structure after the amusement park has been open for a month and to eliminate a substantial source of revenue is financially and operationally irresponsible,” Astorino said. “What’s more, their plan is fundamentally unfair because it shifts the cost burden from patrons who use the amusement park to taxpayers who don’t.”

State Senate Passes IDC Priority Bill To Allow Schools/ Local Gov'ts to Pool Resources, Cut Costs

June 23, 2011 - 00:33

The New York State Senate today passed priority legislation by the Independent Democratic Conference that will cut costs and lower burdens on property taxpayers by streamlining the process for schools and other local governments to jointly consolidate healthcare-related and administrative operations.

“This legislation will give municipalities the tools that they need to cooperatively provide services and administer municipal employee benefits which are a major part of the cost of running local municipal governments,” Senator David Carlucci,(D-Rockland/ Orange), said. “Through common sense measures such as this we can save taxpayer dollars and provide quality services to employees.”

This measure, (S.2843), will enhance the ability of municipalities to pool resources and cooperatively provide municipal employee benefits such as health insurance, and tax deferred employee plans. It will also allow municipalities to offer their employees the ability to participate in more health insurance plans that better reflect the needs of its employees.

28th Summer Series of International Music and Dance at New Rochelle Public Library

June 23, 2011 - 00:31

One of New Rochelle Public Library’s most popular series, International Music and Dance performances bring the sounds and movements of global cultures to New Rochelle this summer, thrilling and delighting all ages. The 28th season of the free performances runs six Tuesday evenings, beginning July 5th. All performances begin at 7:00 pm, and seating is on a first-come/first-served basis, to the capacity of the library’s 145-seat Ossie Davis Theater. Doors open at 6:45 pm.

July 5 Korean Drums and Dance with Vongku Pak
A stunning performance with the sounds, costumes and movement of Korea. Percussionist Vongku Pak and his troupe fuse contemporary Korean drumming styles with elements of traditional dance into dynamic musical performances. Unique rhythm patterns define the salmulnori performance, which includes two sets of drums and brass gongs, and the sulchanggu, which showcases the most distinctive drum of Korea.

July 12 Brazilian Capoeira