As readers have noticed, the web site has been relatively inactive for the past couple of days as I have been devoting time to organizing my campaign for the New Rochelle Board of Education. The election is May 17th, just 2 weeks from today!
Tonight is the first event of this very brief campaign, a forum where all six candidates running for school board in New Rochelle have been invited: Robert Cox, Naomi Brickell, Rachel Relkin, Peter O'Keeffe, Dr. Salvador A. Fernandez, Colin J. Thomas. The event is being hosted by the End Civic Association at Halligan Hall at Holy Name Church. There will be three additional scheduled candidates forum’s, one sponsored by The League of Women Voters on May 9th at 7:00 p.m., one by the PTA on May 11th at 7:00 p.m. at New Rochelle High School and one by WVOX, 1460 AM on May 13, from 11 a.m. until noon where callers will ask questions on a live broadcast.
There has been so much excitement getting ready for the campaign, I forgot to announce that the district held the drawing last Thursday for poll position on the voting machine ballot and we managed to get the first spot on the ballot! I hope that is a sign of things to come!
FUNDRAISER THIS SATURDAY NIGHT!
The campaign will be holding its only fundraiser this Saturday night at the American Legion Hall, Post 8 at 112 North Avenue from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. Of course this is a spontaneous event given the nature of the short campaign so we really need your help to spread the word: please email and call your friends today. This is not your typical fundraiser. We want everyone to have a good time, raise some money for a good cause (electing me to the school board!) and build excitement for brining real change to the New Rochelle Board of Education. We've got 100 tickets available at $40 per ticket for which you get ice-cold soda, beer, wine, delicious food provided by AJ's Burgers and great entertainment -- DJ Carlos Sanchez, Keyboardist Matthew Pryce and the always rockin' A to Z Band playing your favorite cover tunes -- this is going to be a fun event. It is the first time ever that Talk of the Sound readers will have an impromptu gathering in one place. I am curious myself as to who will be there. Any excess funds in the campaign will go directly to the victory party the night of May 17th.
Folks have been buying tickets before we even announced so hurry up, RSVP now via email at [email protected] or call me directly at 914-500-8386 and I will put you on the guest list. We will give you instructions on payment options -- check via the mail, check or cash in person either before or at the door or online via credit card or PayPal.
UPDATE: Some folks have been asking about whether this is a kid-friendly event. Yes. I am bringing my two younger kids but would figure my wife will want to run them home about 8:30 p.m. or 9:00 p.m. The rock band will be coming on about then so it is likely to be a bit loud for younger kids at which point it would be more of an adult event but to each their own. Everyone is welcome!
As for the hard work over the past few days, the hardest part has been crafting the message of the campaign and getting that message into the "palm cards", both English and Spanish. That was accomplished over the weekend and fine tuned until today, they went to the printers this morning and we should be ready in time for the weekend. As a Talk of the Sound reader, you get to have a sneak preview right here (feel free to email this article around to your friends and family!).
Click "read more" to see the new palm cards.Read more
This is a short campaign with a lot to do and every little bit helps. You can call me directly at 914-500-8386 or email at [email protected] but for specific items it will be quicker for you to contact the appropriate campaign team leader:
1. Host a Lawn Sign or Window Sign: If you are interested in spreading the word please contact Greg Pryce at [email protected]
2. Absentee Ballots: If you need an absentee ballot or want to help put absentee ballots into the hands of voters who will be out of town on May 17 or senior citizen voters who cannot make it to the polls on election day please contact John D'Alois at [email protected]
3. Phone Bank: We want to make phone calls to registered voters the week before the election. We need English and Spanish speaking volunteers. If you are interested please contact TBD at [email protected]
4. Election Day Poll Watchers: We need to have two people for each of the 12 polling places (the 10 public schools plus Holy Name and MLK Center at 95 Lincoln and 570 Fifth Avenue). If you are interested please contact Mickey Boyle at [email protected]Read more
Crusading hyper-local blogger Robert Cox has announced the launch of his campaign for a seat on the local school board. Just months after a death threat was painted on the side of a boat owned by an employee of the local school district in New Rochelle, NY, Cox filed a stack of signed petitions from voters including a number of prominent New Rochelle residents, among them current and former elected officials, school board members, community leaders, parents fed up with declining academic results and property owners fed up with ever increasing taxes.
"I figure 'Don't get mad, get elected'", said Cox about the death threat as he walked out of New Rochelle City Hall on Wednesday.
Exposés of the school district by Cox on his Talk of the Sound blog have become the bane of school officials determined to cover up problems in the district over the past several years.Read more
I announced on my radio show on WVOX last Friday my intention to file papers this week to run for school board in New Rochelle. Over the weekend I began obtaining the required signatures and getting the necessary paperwork in order. The papers are due Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. but I will likely file sooner than that.
Once I file, I will explain more fully how it came to be that the most vocal critic of the New Rochelle Board of Education and the current administration opted to become a candidate for one of the two open seats but for now let me say that it had been my hope to find a candidate that was not selected by "insiders" and would advance my goals of increased transparency, accountability, equity, and excellence in the New Rochelle system. After looking long and hard and talking to over a dozen prospective candidates, all of whom ultimately opted not to run, it became clear that if no one stepped forward the available board seats would be filled by two candidates hand-picked by current board members with the goal of maintaining the status quo on the board. If all was well in the New Rochelle schools that might be acceptable but all is not well, as has been documented amply on Talk of the Sound over the past several years, and so more of the same is not only not acceptable but also intolerable. I came to realize that I had no choice but to step forward to present New Rochelle residents with a clear alternative to more of the same.
If you are satisfied with ever-increasing taxes then please vote for my opponents.
If you are satisfied with declining test scores and graduation rates then please vote for my opponents.
If you are satisfied with a system that allows criminals to work in our schools and come in direct contact with our children then, by all means, vote for my opponents.
If you are satisfied with classrooms overcrowded with children who do not live in New Rochelle vote for my opponents.
If you are willing to accept school budgets that purposely obfuscate the district's finances, school vehicles being misappropriated for private use, the willy-nilly paying out wages and overtime with no system in place to reliably clock workers in and out during the work day, or students enrolling in our schools from Yonkers, Mount Vernon and the Bronx then you most certainly want to vote for my opponents.
But if you had enough of the waste, fraud, and abuse then vote for me.Read more
Today will be a special show and perhaps my last for several weeks as I consider a run for school board in New Rochelle. Many people have been encouraging me to run over the past year and I am now at the point of giving it serious consideration. The filing deadline is next Wednesday so if I decide to run I will not be able to host a show on WVOX as an active candidate for elective office.
I intend to use today's show to discuss why I am considering a run for school board and what I hope to accomplish should I be elected. One thing is for sure, I would be giving up some degree of freedom to report on certain matters within the district that our discussed in Executive Session but I am under the distinct impression that much of my reporting on incidents and problems at the schools are not being shared by the Superintendent with the Board of Education anyway so this may not be much of an issue.Read more
New Rochelle High School Football Coach Lou DiRienzo has launched a Twitter account to provide news and information about the New Rochelle Huguenots Varsity Football team. Twitter is a popular social media service which can be access for free at Twitter.com.Read more
New Rochelle Board of Education members Quay Watkins and Sara Richmond will not stand for re-election to the school board next month. The school board is comprised of 9 members with two up for re-election each year except for once every five years when only seat is up for election.
The news, rumored for the past several weeks, was made official with an announcement today by the League of Women Voters. In announcing their New Rochelle LWV Candidate Forum to be held May 9, 7:30 p.m. at the New Rochelle Public Library, the League of Women Voters added:
Board members Quay Watkins and Sara Richmond have indicated that they will not run for re-election to the school board, which have 5-year terms.
A student at Albert Leonard Middle School received a 5-day suspension earlier this week for distributing brownies laced with marijuana. Several students reported feeling sick after eating the "pot brownies".
The incident was widely discussed among students at Albert Leonard Middle School. Several students who say they know the student, an 8th grade female, tell Talk of the Sound that the student's older sister was recently disciplined for a drug-related incident at New Rochelle High School.
One City School District of New Rochelle employee, who asked not to be identified, told Talk of the Sound the student may have been selling the brownies and that some student knew they were ingesting brownies laced with marijuana.
UPDATE: A reader sent the following note:Read more