Recent comments

  • Debate Over Relocation of New Rochelle Public Works Yard Heats Up   3 days 38 min ago

    New Rochelle, one true location for A New City Yard is right where it is now!

    It is time The City of New Rochelle wakes up and uses their heads and accepts the fact that maybe the one true location for A New City Yard is right where it is now!

    With some creative thinking and proper negotiations by The City Manager and Development Commissioner a solution is out there, solution that benefits The City of New Rochelle, its Taxpayer and the children of New Rochelle that have wanted a skating rink. One that was promised, don’t take away viable business and a skate park that is actually used more than people think. This is an election year and like with the County Executive Race more eyes will be open as well as minds! Make a push, make a statement, make a difference this maybe our last chance.

    I have spoken about this in the past. All the property that was purchased by The City of New Rochelle in The Beechwood Avenue area could be developed into affordable housing. Jim Misano can work a deal like The Garito Manor Senior building on Union Avenue with 25 owner-occupied townhouses next door. There is some residential and affordable development for you and where it is needed. Gosh, what would New Rochelle be able to do once they sold the land? Take the profit and financial support and invest that money into cleaning up The City Yard. Naw, it can’t be done, it is impossible.

    Wrong! It is possible and other developers would take an interest if The City of New Rochelle Staff, The City Manager and The City Council showed some creative interest, used better marketing strategies and would be willing to entertain their ideas and not keep falling into the traps of the same old political and greed motivated schemes of the developers du sure, Forest City, Capellie, Monroe College and Iona College. I include the colleges because they seem to have developed more land than anyone else these days. This may all sound familiar, it is and you can read it in a POST from me back on 11/07/2013.

    Echo Bay Development back as line item on The City Council Agenda, Will true discussion take place? By Bob McCaffrey on Thu, 11/07/2013

    http://www.newrochelletalk.com/content/echo-bay-development-back-line-it...

    What ever happened to United We Stand, We need another stint in boot camp!
    By Bob McCaffrey on Fri, 05/03/2013

    http://www.newrochelletalk.com/content/what-ever-happened-united-we-stan...

    Just a short piece of the article:
    I have said so many times, we are not the only ones with a struggling downtown and Armory. New York City has proven several times it can be done. They are working on yet another Armory Project at The Kingsbridge Armory in The Bronx. Yet another empty armory that is set to become what is being billed as “The World’s Largest indoor ice skating center”, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced this back on Tuesday April 23, 2013 in The Wall Street Journal. What happens next is that the areas and communities around these developments begin to thrive and grow achieving smart and lasting growth.

    So The City of New Rochelle wakes up and shows that they have leaders with ideas and a willingness to support other creative ideas and developers. There is a joint effort to build a State of the Art City Yard where it currently stands. With some creative thinking the new developer works together with the city and community. The City Yard can be covered by the development of green space while integrating the area into a sports and entertainment community next to where The Armory is developed, becoming the cultural center of a multi-purpose hub with a theme based on the waterfront, the naval history of the Armory, the history and diversity of The City of New Rochelle. Be creative and secure funding and grants where ever possible. It has been shown that it is possible if the right people get involved at a city, county, state and federal level.

    Create a vision of The New Rochelle Waterfront for all the people of New Rochelle which includes saving the Armory in some way shape and form. Be innovative, be creative and design a mixed use area above The City Yard which would be an ice rink facility and sports complex similar to a small Chelsea Piers in New York City. New Rochelle hockey teams won’t have to go to other cities to play; The New Rochelle Opera and Symphony would have a home and not have to use other auditoriums like they currently do. Create a concert venue with restaurants and places of interest with shops and boutiques, a destination place for people from outside of the city as well as The Citizens of New Rochelle. Give people a reason to want to visit New Rochelle and stay awhile and spend money.

    The City of New Rochelle needs to look at more options for The City Yard, don’t jump just to jump. Ideas and negotiations can take place with the current City Yard in play. It is an idea that should be and should have been tried over the last twenty years of back and forth planning for The Echo Bay Area. With all these auto dealerships and their off-site storage locations, I see some prime locations for a New City Yard. Why hasn’t anyone looked at them? Do they make campaign contributions? There is one Used Car Dealership right next to the current City Yard and I believe they once owned some of the Beechwood Ave property, how about a trade or in this case use eminent domain as a point to convince them to sell.

    Let’s make it work for New Rochelle for once!

  • New Rochelle Mayor, City Councilman Stir Embers of Racial Unrest Over Mike Brown/Eric Garner Decisions   3 days 17 hours ago

    With Regards to Bramson as the Champion for the Black Community I tend to trust Pearl Quarles judgment over anything he and Jared Rice can cook up.

  • New Rochelle Mayor, City Councilman Stir Embers of Racial Unrest Over Mike Brown/Eric Garner Decisions   3 days 20 hours ago

    Is there really a problem with NR police/community engagement?? Have you actually experienced the "black experience" growing up privileged in the north end?

    Are you sure you weren't speeding in that "nice car"? Could it be you were arrested for disorderly conduct in not allowing a search???

    I believe you're making your experiences out to "fit the mold" to today's topics of conversation.

  • New Rochelle Special Education Director Lied About Disabled Student Forced to Perform Off-Stage at PAVE Concert   3 days 23 hours ago

    Bob -
    You hit the nail on the head. It is absolutely despicable how the school district treats its disabled students. As the aunt of a spinal cord-injured young man (currently a student at Stanford University), I believe the district should make special accommodations in all areas so that these students are treated equally and are not singled out for any reason.

  • A Few Words with Former New Rochelle Councilman Richard St. Paul on AIPAC-Funded Trip to Israel   3 days 23 hours ago

    Hoping this means there's a possibility you'll be running for mayor of New Rochelle!

  • Debate Over Relocation of New Rochelle Public Works Yard Heats Up   5 days 11 hours ago

    The initial steps towards privatization of city services have begun. Public parking both on street, pubic lots & garages will soon be privatized and this has been a long time coming. When a councilman, Noam Bramson proposed privatization of street sweeping. Naturally the smartest person in the room knew it would be political suicide to propose privatization so he coined it "Service Competition" instead. Here is a quote from council minutes in reference to Bramson's "Service Competition"

    Service Competition: Council Member Bramson stated that he, as sponsor of the proposal, supports moving forward. He said that service competition can make the City more efficient, and the proposed program is a fair pilot to initiate. CM 4/21/98-305

    Three months later, Bramson found the courage to be honest and own up to privatization.

    Privatization Pilot: Bramson states; we cast off the dead weight of monopoly to embrace the flexibility and challenge of competition... We say today the government will not be frozen in past practice, but will instead move to meet the future in a creative, enterprising spirit... It is also a statement of confidence in our employees, who I believe will rise to this challenge, compete successfully, and deliver better services at lower costs. 7/21/98-565

    The quote that exposes Bramson's obsession to privatize city services is again memorialized in council minutes;

    "No one gets hurt by awarding the bid to the private contractor, and the City may achieve significant savings" 1/18/00-14

    Bramson's legs were cut off at the knees as his pathetic proposal to privatize street sweeping could not garner a second, forcing Bramson to withdraw his resolution.

    What Bramson can't understand is that the "dead weight" he proposes to "cast off" are the hard working civil service employees of Local 663.

  • Dozens Arrested in Early Morning Drug Dealer Raids by New Rochelle Police   2 weeks 2 days ago

    I can do that if folks would like to see it.

  • Dozens Arrested in Early Morning Drug Dealer Raids by New Rochelle Police   2 weeks 2 days ago
    Wow

    So, any of the houses hit or arrests made off Pinebrook or Lyncroft, Paine or Wilmot? Just curious.

  • New Rochelle Investigating More Tree Murders on Main Street   2 weeks 5 days ago

    These dealers could care less about New Rochelle. Why do you think they have left Larchmont and other areas and we have become the Auto Mall City? The City of New Rochelle needs to do a review of how much these car dealerships really bring to New Rochelle. New Rochelle loves committees, let’s form a committee or hire a consultant to do some research to see what value these dealerships actually bring to New Rochelle. Considering the sales tax on the sale of the cars is charged at a tax rate from where the buyer lives and that city gets the taxes from the car sale not The City of New Rochelle.

    The City of New Rochelle needs to rein these dealerships in and get them in compliance with local codes as well. Many don’t comply with the codes for their frontage plantings now. I know at one zoning meeting Development Commissioner Luiz Aragon even asked the owner of one dealership looking to get zoning approval for construction upgrades, “why is his dealership is called Larchmont and not New Rochelle” . The majority of the dealership was located in New Rochelle with only a corner of the property in Larchmont. With all these dealerships and their off-site storage locations, I see some prime locations for a new City Yard. There is one Used Car Dealership right next to the current City Yard and they once owned the Beechwood Ave property, how about a trade or in this case use eminent domain as a point to convince them to sell.

    New Rochelle has to work more in the interest of New Rochelle and not the Dealerships and Developers as in the past. No more sweet political or patronage deals! Prove that New Rochelle can no longer be sold to the more influential or connected bidder.

  • New Rochelle Investigating More Tree Murders on Main Street   2 weeks 5 days ago

    An inside job

  • As New Rochelle Power Couples Laud Each Other at Fund for Educational Excellence Gala, Their School Taxes Go Unpaid   4 weeks 2 days ago

    RobinSherman GregMerchant

  • As New Rochelle Power Couples Laud Each Other at Fund for Educational Excellence Gala, Their School Taxes Go Unpaid   4 weeks 3 days ago

    This photo is the one and only time I've seen Greg Merchant with his wife rather than with Robin Sherman!!! Glad to see they go out together.

  • New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence Honors Four High School Seniors   4 weeks 3 days ago

    Yes. Julian Merchant is the son of Greg and Lianne Merchant.

    Julian is a top-flight fencer who competes all over the world. His brother and mother are also involved. See the story below...

    USA FENCING ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF THE 2014 BOARD OF DIRECTORS ELECTION
    http://www.usfencing.org/news_article/show/396060-usa-fencing-announces-...

    Lianne Merchant (New Rochelle, N.Y.), the mother of saber fencers Julian and Marcel Merchant, won the age group parent director election with 341 votes. This is the first term on the USA Fencing board for the real estate private equity capital raiser.

  • As New Rochelle Power Couples Laud Each Other at Fund for Educational Excellence Gala, Their School Taxes Go Unpaid   4 weeks 3 days ago

    Should be no surprise that Greg Merchant is now knee-deep into RDRXR.

    He is currently acting as their broker to locate office space for them in New Rochelle.

    Two sets of rules.

  • As New Rochelle Power Couples Laud Each Other at Fund for Educational Excellence Gala, Their School Taxes Go Unpaid   4 weeks 4 days ago

    Rivera bought a building for 1.00?
    Although he turned and eye sore into a gem market value was ignored. Guess who helped cut that bad deal for the citizens?
    We have the same gene pool over and over in New Rochelle all trying to get a piece of power through political association. Follow the money follow the underhanded maneuvers. A good core of people are watching however.

  • As New Rochelle Power Couples Laud Each Other at Fund for Educational Excellence Gala, Their School Taxes Go Unpaid   4 weeks 4 days ago

    While there may be nothing illegal about owing back taxes, it is certainly unethical for the politically connected, including the current President of the New Rochelle Board of Education (Lianne Merchant), to be a participant in a Limited Liability Corporation that is in arrears on school, city & county taxes. The Merchants & the Leghorns have contributed nearly $15,000 to local democratic politicians including Idoni, Bramson, Fertel, Rice, Lopez and County Legislator Ken Jenkins to name a few according to NYS Campaign Finance filings.

    A glaring omission to their campaign influence$ is Councilwoman Shari Rackman, which may account for Ms. Rackman’s independent vote on the failed Echo Bay project. Mr. Merchant was a prime real estate negotiator for that failed development deal and is rumored to be a prime real estate instrument for the current downtown re-development scheme.

    This is the reason New Rochelle has deteriorated; there is a different set of rules for the everyday taxpayer as opposed to the politically privileged. Unfortunately the electorate has a short memory and will probably forget this disgraceful act next November when electing city council.

  • New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence Honors Four High School Seniors   4 weeks 4 days ago

    Bob,

    Is Julian Merchant the son of Gregg & Lianne Merchant?????

  • City of New Rochelle Releases 2015 Proposed Budget of $156.5 Million with 1.79% Tax Levy Increase   5 weeks 4 days ago

    I see in these tough fiscal times, civil service workers continue to get pay raises. But at least we get "extrodinary" service in exchange.

  • FOUR MORE YEARS: New Rochelle Mayor Kicks Off 2015 City Council Races with Fundraiser Next Month   5 weeks 5 days ago

    James Maisano or
    James Killoran or
    James O'Toole

    Thank you!!!

  • Westchester Citizens Against Racism Protest Lawyer's Racist Tweet   5 weeks 5 days ago

    Dear Mr. Barovick...with all your educational accomplishments it's amazing you've not been able to manage your self ordained position in society.

    Hopefully your recent juvenile & incendiary comments regarding Mr. Moss will have a detrimental effect upon your law practice. Early retirement is an option. However if you choose to continue law you could consider a retainer on the part of the KKK...or amble over to MSNBC and ask for a podium next to Al Sharpton.

    Speaking of Sharpton...have you ever seen the clip on YouTube of the encounter between Sharpton and Roy Innis of CORE? I've provided the link for your kind attention.

    You may wish to consider adding to your law library 'Everyday Manners-Emily Post Institute'. It's available at Amazon.

    Finally Mr. Barovick no one likes a bully...especially a race bating bully.

    Shame on you sir!

    John T Benjamin

  • Mayor Bramson Discusses New Rochelle's Downtown   6 weeks 19 hours ago

    There is some preliminary work that should be done; it is like preparing the ground before planting seed.

    New Rochelle, we have some great new days ahead of us!

    Warren is unable to post at this time but asked me to post his response to Peggy for him.

    From Warren Gross November 3, 2014

    Peggy Godfrey’s Report on Mayor Bramson Discusses New Rochelle’s Downtown points out long -standing flaws in Community Development in the Queen City. It perpetuates the myth that the faults we face reside other than with our current elected officials. Noam indicts past leadership as being responsible for the fading glory of our beloved City. Sad, very sad, what is not said is that Noam shares much of the burden of shouldering the responsibility. He has been a member of both the City Council and elected Mayor; although in a fashion not granted to him, by the City Charter.

    He is culpable or, at least, negligent in carrying out the mandates explicit in our City Charter. He is also the leading voice, and in some cases, the only voice for management practices that lead to mistakes such as not using the prior 1996 Comprehensive Plan. This important document should have been out forward as an on-going planning document for Council control and monitoring. Properly used it would have been a baseline record and focus for on-going Strategic and Operating Plans. We are also managed largely by fee revenue; an invasive process that too often punishes commercial interests and its clients for being in business. That is an oversimplification, but a conversation with a small business owner on Huguenot, Main, or North Avenue would bear witness to this statement.

    I am here not to condemn Noam but to remind him that he bears his share of responsibility for our diminished business district. So do the other Council Members who do not insist that the mandates of the City Charter are adhered to as our rule of law. Equally chilling is not recognizing that our electorate has over the past several decades, voted against a referendum to change our Charter from its current “weak” or Ceremonial mayor over to a “strong” mayor system.

    Noam must accept that the fault is not in Caesar or in the Stars. It rests with him, his party leaders, and with the rest of the sitting Council. I have supported Bramson for years. He is a brilliant young man, but his tendency is to blame others. The economy was a favorite target and now this preposterous claim indicting other administrations. This young man has been in significant leadership positions for over twenty years.

    I would have no problem supporting him as a strong mayor, but he must be more honest in assigning responsibility. He might be less sophistic in his language. The late and revered Ruby Dee is not, as he indicated, and I paraphrase, larger than New Rochelle. What then of Rockwell, Remington, Gehrig? What does he mean by people standing up and saying something “supportive”?

    Let me try. You will have the support of all citizens who love this community if you commit to transparency, involvement, and honesty. Your “master development” and team that you have pronounced having a nonpareil national reputation (again I paraphrase), should be adept enough to be able to separate form from substance, understand and apply state of the art techniques in Assessment and Strategic Planning and I hope that is their intent and not simply presenting a solution in search of a real problem. There is so much preliminary work that should be done; it is like preparing the ground before planting seed. These include basic enablers such as looking at what really induces commercial and yes, residential interests, to invest in our City. It begins with overhauling our Charter and Codes. We need to have non-political conversations on reassessment and not look at Certiorari in the ways that we do. Do we really understand what public and private investors look for when assessing our community? That means a formal arrangement with the School District, moving some services downtown, much more even if it is not “pretty” such as an off Main municipal vertical garage to support commercial growth or expansion.

    Yes, we need to provide inducements for investors; abatements likely are needed, but their terms and oversight require strong legal support. If RDRXR cannot provide this, then we need a different team. Al Tarantino is wrong when he denies the need for taking over some private property. It may be inevitable. Ivar Hyden is correct, absolutely correct in asking for bipartisanship. Any sniff of special interests or parochial interests must be eradicated.

    Noam speaks as one voice that embraces the Council. That gets you one vote, my vote. We have a nucleus of a fine Council and any primary challenge will be, itself, noted and interpreted for what it is. Just leave well enough alone, make the basic enabling changes, and there is your positive message.

    Warren Gross, citizen

  • Michael Cerreta Passes   7 weeks 5 days ago

    I bought several cars from him over the years and his business was almost a community staple. Sorry to see him pass. RIP.

  • 10/16 Westchester Board of Legislators Hispanic Affairs Task Force in New Rochelle 7 PM   9 weeks 2 days ago

    Bob - I appreciate the post.

    Jim Maisano

  • New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson Gearing Up for 2015 Election?   9 weeks 2 days ago

    Martin & John - it was nice of you to mention me, but I'm very happy serving our community as county legislator and it's been a great experience to serve as Vice Chair of BOL this term.

    Jim Maisano

  • New Rochelle's Discrimination Against Mobility Impaired Students Continues, Despite Two Federal Agreements and a $26 Million Lawsuit   9 weeks 2 days ago

    You are correct.

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