April 2012

Farewell, Dr. Joseph -- New Rochelle Says Goodbye to a Principal Who Made a Difference in Many Lives

April 30, 2012 - 14:29

YigalJoseph 217Dr. Yigal Joseph will retire this June after 12 years as Principal of New Rochelle's Columbus Elementary School. He will be missed. Dr. Joseph's strong leadership, marked by a boundless enthusiasm for improvement and genuine caring will be missed the most.

"He is, hands-down, the finest principal that I have ever had the privilege of working with," said one senior-level administrator who worked with Joseph for years.

"I am going to miss his inspiration" said Luz Maldonado, the outgoing PTA President at Columbus School. "I think he understands the spirit of Columbus in our lives."

"I will miss his compassion for the kids, his intelligence and all his good heartedness," said Sabrina Watkins, a third grade teacher at Columbus who has worked there for 11 of Joseph's 12 years at the school. She praised Joseph for being innovative, current and forward-thinking in his educational approach.

New Rochelle Proposed School Budget 2012-2013 (FINAL VERSION)

April 28, 2012 - 03:08

The Proposed Budget for the City School District of New Rochelle 2012-2013 was printed and distributed to the Board of Education on Tuesday. A PDF scan version was supposed to be on the district web site the following morning but by the end of the week the document was still not available. Talk of the Sound obtained a hard copy and scanned it both uncompressed and optimized.

When the district releases the official scanned version we will make that available as well. The only announced change to the document was the use of "actuals to budget" budgeting.

Proposed New Rochelle Budget 2012-2013 Optimized 7.3 MB PDF

Proposed New Rochelle Budget 2012-2013 Uncompressed 92.7 MB PDF

See also, New Rochelle Board of Education Citizen Advisory Committee on the Budget - Complete Set of Documents and Video

New Rochelle Seeks Volunteers for 325th Anniversary Celebration

April 27, 2012 - 20:11

HuguenotIn 2013, the City of New Rochelle will celebrate the 325th anniversary of our founding in 1688. During the year-long observance, our culture, diversity and identity will be commemorated, alongside our rich history and growth from a small French-speaking settlement to our present-day eminence as a thriving first-tier suburb.

To organize and facilitate the celebration, a volunteer committee has been formed, spearheaded by former City Councilwoman, the Hon. Marianne L. Sussman, and community volunteers are sought for every aspect of planning. A kickoff meeting will be held for all interested New Rochelle organizations and individuals on Wednesday, May 16 at 7:30PM at City Hall, Council Chambers, 515 North Avenue, New Rochelle, NY 10801.

Dear Blabby: What is the Origin of New Rochelle's "Hazlehurst Park?"

April 27, 2012 - 18:16

DearBlabbyDEAR BLABBY: I live in the Hazlehurst Park neighborhood of New Rochelle near Emerson Avenue off East Main Street. What is the origin of "Hazlehurst Park?"


Dear Hazel,

Hazelhurst Park is early 20th century residential park situated along the New Rochelle-Larchmont border but you already knew that. To really dig into the origin of Hazelhurst Park we are going to need the help of an expert. New Rochelle is fortunate to have just such an expert in New Rochelle's City Historian Barbara Davis, a wonderful and unique community asset who is rarely at a loss when it comes to local history. I asked Barbara to dig into her endless stacks of files and see what she could find about Hazlehurst Park.

She writes back:


Still More Corruption Under the Reign of Aramark Schools; Bonanno Foreman Misappropriates Yet Another School District Vehicle with Wink from John Gallagher

April 27, 2012 - 14:43

Porretto VehicleE 47 1Jimmy Bonanno is untouchable!

At least that is the message he is sending to the New Rochelle Board of Education. He and his crew have been involved in all manner of illegal activity and yet Bonanno laughs in their face, ridiculing the board and his bosses while remaining ensconced in his taxpayer-funded hideaway bungalow at 51 Cliff Street protecting his turf with a personal security system and "guard dogs".

Two days after Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak attempted to quell anger on the New Rochelle Board of Education over reports of district employees making personal use of district vehicles, a Bonanno employee is still taking a district vehicle home every night and weekends.

Nightmare Ends on Stephenson Boulevard in New Rochelle

April 26, 2012 - 18:56

HickeyMovingDay 110Stephenson2

The neighbors from hell are packing up and leaving town.

In November, Talk of the Sound reported that the house at 110 Stephenson Boulevard was on the market. A moving truck was spotted today in front of the house. John D sent along several photos.

Patrick Hickey, the primary owner of the house spent years orchestrating a campaign to drive his next door neighbor out of her house. Talk of the Sound's eight-part series Nightmare on Stephenson Boulevard exposed to readers Hickey's relentless harassment of Suzanne Ribando. It is with no small satisfaction that we report that it is Hickey who has been driven out of his house, and the City of New Rochelle. Goodbye and good riddance.

Westchester Youth Declare April 20 As Marijuana Prevention Day

April 26, 2012 - 12:57

Stairscapes2(White Plains, NY) -- The images of skulls on the steps of the Westchester County Center in White Plains may look like something from Halloween, but the Westchester Coalition for Drug and Alcohol Free Youth had another date it mind when it put them there – April 20.

April 20 is a date where some people around the nation gather to smoke marijuana, but the teen members of the coalition decided to take the concept and turn it on its head. The teens have declared 4/20 as Marijuana Prevention Day and are holding a news conference and rally at 4:20 p.m. Friday outside the County Center at 198 Central Ave. to urge Westchester’s young people to stay drug free.

County Executive Robert P. Astorino applauded the coalition for its latest effort to keep Westchester’s youth away from dangerous drugs.

“These young people are taking a public stand against marijuana use and are sending a powerful message to their peers. I hope that all our youth will be wise enough to follow their example,” he said.

Question for NR Neighbors?

April 26, 2012 - 05:48

Why would any member of the city council support more residential development at Echo Bay site? Nothing against the council and Forest City, but I think this is just nuts. Another residential development is the last thing the city needs right now. Have we not learned from our mistakes? We are packed into the southern half of city like sardines, schools and roads are jammed and retail options are a joke. I would guess that 90% of NR must shop in other communities for most things.

So we have some space for a new development, and it will be mostly residential??? Does anyone think this makes any sense???

"Dinner for Two" Heats Up State Senate Campaign

April 25, 2012 - 22:14

37thStateSenateIt's not even May but already Republican State Senate candidate Diane DiDonato Roth is attacking Republican State Senate candidate Bob Cohen for attacking Democrat State Senate candidate George Latimer over his personal relationship with New Rochelle City Judge Susan Kettner while Republican State Senate candidate Bob Cohen is ignoring Republican State Senate candidate Diane DiDonato Roth attacking him while renewing his attacks on Democrat State Senate candidate George Latimer for failing to explain $17,000 in credit card receipts paid by Latimer's Campaign Committee as Democrat State Senate candidate George Latimer says little and New Rochelle City Judge Susan Kettner says less.

This is going to be interesting.

New Rochelle High School Student Dies Unexpectedly Following Routine Surgery

April 25, 2012 - 21:28

Moon Over NewRochelleHighSchoolNew Rochelle High School is in mourning after news came this week of the unexpected death of classmate and student Ed Alan Rojas.

According to an announcement Tuesday by Principal Don Conetta at New Rochelle High School, Rojas, a senior, died over the weekend as the result of complications during routine surgery. Students who knew Rojas say he had an allergic reaction to anesthesia during surgery on his ankle following a soccer surgery. He was due to graduate in June.

Conetta said the school will be collecting donations for the Rojas family and hopes to present a substantial donation to the family on Friday.

"Your continued support and sensitivity is admired and greatly appreciated", said Conetta who plans on meeting with Senior Class Advisors and Officers in the near future to consider other expressions of sympathy and remembrance.

For anyone wishing to learn more about making a donation please contact the school offices at (914) 576-4500.

On Twitter, those who knew him posted remembrances: