Organisicak Comes Clean on Fast ForWord Program; Shows Quinn Lied to Journal News

August 13, 2009 - 00:38

org-liar.jpgIn April, Ernie Garcia ran a story in the Journal News in which he found that the New Rochelle School Board was spending six times more money than the Yonkers School Board.

Garcia reported:

Members of New Rochelle's Board of Education racked up $28,312.24 in expenses in the period from July 1, 2006, to June 30, 2008, compared with Yonkers' Board of Education expenses of $4,804.71.

When asked to explain why the New Rochelle school board spends so much more than other districts, New Rochelle Assistant Superintendent John Quinn told Garcia the expenses were "predominantly related to travel and conference attendance" which Quinn claimed were "critical to school districts because board members receive training and bring back useful ideas".

Here is the money quote:

"It's very important to have an informed board and a cohesive board," Quinn said. "They've brought back substantive ideas, such as the fast-forward method of training students who have learning disabilities."

This is flat-out lie.

Getting Results: School Board Orders Organisciak to Publish Board Resolutions Online Prior to Board Meetings

August 12, 2009 - 17:46

It only took a year, but after repeatedly raising the issue, most recently at the July 27 school board meeting, the New Rochelle school district will finally begin to publish school board resolutions on the school district web site prior to school board meetings, sources say. The publishing of board resolutions to the web is expected to begin in September.

This a major victory for Talk of the Sound and the people of New Rochelle who can now decide beforehand whether or not they wish to attend a school board meeting based on what resolutions will be voted upon at that board meeting. Still missing is any plan to allow the public to comment on board resolutions before they are voted upon rather than after as has been the case for many years.

Still, this news is a welcome change and one we celebrate. Having been critical of the school board for not publishing the resolutions it is only fair we now commend them for taking this long overdue step.

New Rochelle's Forgotten Trollies

August 12, 2009 - 13:03

lost_trolley.jpg Today I was running in Neptune Park as I have done many many times and noticed something that I have never seen before - trolley tracks. A quick Internet search revealed an NY Times article from July 1912 describing the network of waterfront trolleys that closely followed the coast. The New Rochelle waterfront has some of the most underutilized park spaces in Westchester but it must have been quite a scene when trolleys were bringing the party.

Your Humble Editor with the Former Vice President of the United States

August 12, 2009 - 02:49

MTSU-March08-Al Gore-455px.jpg

I spoke at a conference at Middle Tennessee State University last year but only received this photo from the conference today due to some mixup. Yes, that is Al Gore in the middle. The fellow to his left is Jimmy Wales the founder of Wikipedia and to this left is John Seigenthaler, the host of the event and founding editor of USA TODAY. To his left is Cass Sunstein, a law professor from my alma mater, University of Chicago. Sunstein is a good friend of President Obama and was named as one of his so-called "czars" as head of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Also pictured is Jonathon Landman of the New York Times, Karen Brown Dunlop, President of the Poynter Institute and Beverly Keel who runs the Siegenthaler Chair of Excellence at MTSU.

This really has nothing to do with New Rochelle except that I am from New Rochelle but it strikes me as useful, from time to time, to remind some of the various powers-that-be here in the Queen City that I did not just fall off a banana boat one day and start a blog about New Rochelle. For those who have comforted themselves with the notion that the Talk of the Sound would just dry up and blow away -- think again.

Rabid Police Dog

August 11, 2009 - 00:07

Soon after his son’s girlfriend received a ticket for using her cell while driving, all the rabid symptoms of cerebral dysfunction, anxiety, confusion, agitation, paranoia, and hallucinations surfaced on Deputy Dog Anthony D. Murphy of the NRPD.
His long history of spitefully harassing the PO who wrote the ticket induced his insane and asinine proposition to prohibit Police Officers from getting tattoos.
The whole delusive theory that it would inhibit their performance clearly illustrates what a sick and vindictive mind Murphy has. His contemptible exhibition to exact revenge and retaliation on the PO should be more than enough reason to demand his resignation so as not to jeopardize the public’s safety.

The Canine Creep let a petty incident dramatically impair his malignant judgment. His cathexis towards the PO in question is so ludicrous, because only a month ago, the same PO was one of the attending Officers who chased and captured two men who tried to cut-off someone’s arm with a butcher knife. The Rabid Dog never alluded to or mentioned anything demeaning or debasing about tattoos. Yet, a trivial and personal incident like the ticket prompted him to fabricate the dreadful tattoo proposal. This is the morbid mentality that serves as our Deputy Police Commissioner.

Your Tax Dollars at Work: School District Settles Yet Another Lawsuit

August 10, 2009 - 19:53

The New Rochelle school district has settled the multi-million dollar lawsuit filed by custodian Robert Johnson over the infamous noose-hanging incident at Isaac E. Young Middle School.

Johnson, who is black, had reported that his supervisor Phil Carino, who is white, had hung nooses in an an office at the school during the 2006-07 school year.

Not reported previously -- and left out of the Journal News story -- is that Carino was allowed to quietly retire with full pension last March.

Highly Suspect Isaac Young Data Accounts for Most "Improvements" in New Rochelle Test Scores

August 10, 2009 - 17:58

At last week's school board meeting, Dr. Jeffrey Korostoff made another of his "data presentations" which, as usual, failed to provide the data within any sort of meaningful context, offered no in-depth analysis and glossed over any information that did not reflect favorably on the district. Members of the school board, for the most part, passively received the presentation with only one member, David Lacher, raising any sort of serious challenge to any aspect of the presentation but then failing to sustain his point.

Here is the introduction:


CONTEXT: missing from the report is any mention that in 2007 the Federal government did tests which showed that gains in New York State exam results did not manifest themselves on the federal test. A recent report on New York City schools showed that despite an increase in grades or performance in math on the New York state tests, New York City students were not performing better on the federal test. In other words, there is some evidence that the New York State tests were made easier. In fact, there are jumps in performance in the New York State and New Rochelle test scores between 2007 and 2008 which lend support to this criticism. However, at a previous BoE, Dr.

Free Community Cook-Out at Lincoln Park on August 22nd

August 10, 2009 - 17:43

4th Annual Community Cook-Out

Date: August 22, 2008
Time: 12pm-5pm
Location: Lincoln Park, New Rochelle, NY

There will be free food, games, face-painting, music, dance contests, give-aways, performances, voter education and registration, and free health screenings.

For further information call 914-636-7440
Join us for fun and fellowship!

New Rochelle's Talk of the Sound Surpasses 100,000 in First Year

August 10, 2009 - 15:47

It was a little less than a year ago that I spent a couple of days on my back porch setting up the web site that would become Talk of the Sound. At the time I made a conscious effort not to advertise or market the site. The plan was to simply write blog posts and encourage others to do the same in the hope that over time the site would grow organically.

Having surpassed 100,000 readers in our first year, I would say that we've exceeded expectations. Or as the BoE might put it, we've made "Adequate Yearly Progress", every contributor is "highly qualified", every blog post has been "exceptional" and the entire site a testimony to our "celebration of diversity".

To gain some awareness for the site, I employed the old P.T. Barnum adage, "if you want to draw a crowd, pick a fight". The worked pretty well with the school district and city officials providing useful foils.