Recent comments

  • New Rochelle's City Council Flouts Armory Decision   5 weeks 3 days ago

    I find it very strange that the discussion item concerning the armory on the 3/11 Council meeting agenda was referred by Lou Trangucci and not Al Tarantino, whose district includes the armory.

    Perhaps Councilman Tarantino should call another East End meeting so that he can get some input from concerned citizens. He won't find it necessary to invite guests this time who don't appear on the agenda.

  • Lesson Number Two: Why Did New Rochelle Schools Pay $5,792 to Move Dirt to Make Room for "Snow Storage"   6 weeks 15 hours ago

    I have been reading your primers as well as Anna’s update on the flag pole and was thinking we need a committee of knowledgeable and honest citizens to review the validity of these expenditures. But then, isn’t that why we have elected a Board of Education?

  • New Rochelle School District Snow Removal, Do We Really Need to Spend $100.000 on Contractor?   6 weeks 3 days ago

    Anthony,

    Bulfamante did not have the capacity to do the school district alone. However, they managed to find the capacity to service the City of New Rochelle. That's how the game is played, split the contracts up in order to create additional deception.

  • New Rochelle School District Snow Removal, Do We Really Need to Spend $100.000 on Contractor?   6 weeks 5 days ago

    Brian,

    You are raising 2 issues -- that a business bidding on a contract builds in profit for itself in any bid, that contracting out to private businesses invites corruption.

    Given your extensive business expertise, I am surprised you do not realize that there are times when it is CHEAPER to hire an outside contractor because they have specialized equipment or specialized personnel or can otherwise be more efficient. There are also times when it is more expensive. It is NOT the case that just because a private contractor seeks to make a profit that they are not also cheaper or can do a better job for various reasons.

    I chalk this up to your knee-jerk liberalism that default to the idea that bigger government is always better.

    But you are wrong in what you said because your are making such a broad, absolutist statement.

    On the second point, while it is certainly true that public entities contracting our for services can lead to corruption, it is also true that corruption can occur without contracting out for services.

    New Rochelle demonstrates this has it has both -- and both at the City, School District and Housing Authority level.

    There is corruption involving outside contractors AND there is corruption involving direct employees.

    The issue is not whether to bid out the work or to use direct employees but whether there is proper management and oversight which ever is used.

    And THAT is the problem in New Rochelle at every level -- a lack of oversight where the mice play as the cat sleeps (except in New Rochelle there has been no cat for a long, long time.

    Now there is! Meow!

  • New Rochelle School District Snow Removal, Do We Really Need to Spend $100.000 on Contractor?   6 weeks 6 days ago

    Privatization of government services is usually a bad idea, as businesses require the additional costs of profit, and contracting businesses invites corruption.

    This is true in snow removal, parking meter and ticket collections, construction etc.

    Privatization of government services is one of the main reasons for the increased costs of federal, state and municipal government since the early 1980's.

  • New Rochelle School District Snow Removal, Do We Really Need to Spend $100.000 on Contractor?   6 weeks 6 days ago

    Intersting, I presume Zonzini & Bulfamante were on the 2012-2013 contract because neither was large enough to handle the contract alone. I believe Bulfamante also has a contract with the City of New Rochelle. Seems like certain contractors have the inside track.

  • 03/22 Warhit Family To Be Honored By Boys & Girls Club of New Rochelle 7 PM at Mercedes Benz of New Rochelle Showroom   6 weeks 6 days ago

    Best wishes to Quay Watkins and the Boys & Girls Club of New Rochelle for a successful event.

  • New Rochelle School District Snow Removal, Do We Really Need to Spend $100.000 on Contractor?   6 weeks 6 days ago

    Yes, the contract from 2012-2013 listed both Zonzini and Bulfamente, but the extension for 2013-2014 is only Bulfamente for the full amount, beforehand it was 50,000 each.

  • New Rochelle School District Snow Removal, Do We Really Need to Spend $100.000 on Contractor?   6 weeks 6 days ago

    It is my understanding that Mr. Zonzini moved from New Rochelle to South Carolina.

  • New Rochelle Board of Education President Preemptively Blames Talk of the Sound for "Failed" Superintendent Search   7 weeks 9 hours ago

    David was very wrong!

    How can we fail when we have just begun, If only he and the board would give up so easily when challenged with facts and truth about problems with the school system?

    From what I saw at New Rochelle High School Wednesday night at the presentation, the search team from Hazard, Young & Attea feels we have some very good candidates to look at already. They felt there was a very positive outlook even before the Leadership Profile and Draft Criteria were completed. They had already started the search with announcements and advertisements in professional media. Over forty candidates so far and they also said the feedback and dialog from the community was helpful, even Vince. So I don't know what David was saying. Here is info from last night. District website: http://www.nred.org/

    Presentation:

    http://www.boarddocs.com/ny/nred/Board.nsf/files/9GQ3F98395FC/$file/SuptSearch_PP_HYA_2-26-14.pdf

    Leadership Profile Executive Summary:

    http://www.boarddocs.com/ny/nred/Board.nsf/files/9GQ3FQ839F81/$file/SuptSearch_LPR_2-26-14.pdf

    City of New Rochelle School District Draft Criteria:

    http://www.boarddocs.com/ny/nred/Board.nsf/files/9GQ3FE839D09/$file/SuptSearch_DraftCriteria_2-26-14.pdf

    I want to thank the search team from Hazard, Young & Attea, the executive search firm hired by The New Rochelle Board of Education for a job well done. I took part in some of the meetings and the process. It was both rewarding and enriching for us and them. They seem to have recognized the dynamic and what goes on in New Rochelle and kept things open and professional. I am sure this is not their first rodeo. Maybe it is time for a Leadership Profile and Draft Criteria for the New Rochelle School Board Members as well!

  • New Rochelle Launches Pothole Patrol   7 weeks 2 days ago

    I keep passing the same potholes over and over and over. I have given them names most of the however I call Tergis.
    The citizens should report on where's waldo I mean Tergis so we can know we are making progress.
    Right now I suggest we all fill them with Potting Soil and Tulip Bulbs so at least we can have beauty when we are about to need tires,rims.

  • City of New Rochelle Denies Reports of Free Parking; Scanner Audio Says Otherwise   7 weeks 4 days ago

    I added the following comment to the lohud.com story by Ken Valenti linked above:

    So the Journal News says there is a "report" that "New Rochelle police are not enforcing the local parking meters" and THEIR effort to "investigate" this report consists entirely of sending one email to City Hall, asking if the report is true and then publishing, without question, the answer provided by City Hall. The report came from EyeonNewRoc/TalkoftheSound.

    The players in this little drama are Robert Cox, James O'Toole, Ken Valenti and Kathy Gilwit.

    This report went out via Twitter on EyeonNewRoc (James) and TalkoftheSound (Robert). Ken then emails Kathy and prints her words verbatim.

    After Ken's bogus story concerning Kathy's false statement, Ken was shown our response to his bogus story:

    City of New Rochelle Denies Reports of Free Parking; Scanner Audio Says Otherwise
    http://bit.ly/1hlhz4z

    In the article, we include the audio of the police dispatcher telling officers not to enforcing parking regulations.

    All of us know each other and we each have each other's cell phone numbers.

    Given all of this, I would ask Ken to respond here (meaning below the article on lohud.com), in a comment below, to 2 questions.

    1) Why didn't you call me or James BEFORE you ran your story and ask us WHY we reported that NRPD was not enforcing parking rules in New Rochelle as of Friday afternoon?

    2) Why was this bogus story run in the print edition on Sunday despite the fact that it was not only false but that YOU KNEW it was false the day before?

    Maybe instead of parroting the official line at City Hall, you could do some ACTUAL reporting and pick up a phone and call the folks reporting that NRPD was not enforcing parking regulations as of Friday afternoon and then perhaps we could have played for you the audio recording we have of the NRPD dispatcher announcing to all officers NOT to enforce parking regulations.

    For those interested to do what Ken and the JN did not, you can click here, scroll to the end and click the link to listen to the audio: http://bit.ly/1hlhz4z

    And this is why Talk of the Sound has become the trusted source for news and information in New Rochelle and why fewer and fewer people believe the Journal News, the New Rochelle City government or the New Rochelle Board of Education.

    Talk of the Sound reports the truth. City and School officials lie. The Journal News, acting as their stenographer then prints whatever lies public officials care to spew and then Talk of the Sound demonstrates with hard facts -- public records, audio, video, etc. -- that officials have lied and the Journal News has willingly and happily printed those lies.

    What I find most amusing is that all of these folks -- City officials, school officials and the JN are constantly seeking to disparage our reporting and we are constantly exposing their false statements and false reporting.

    If you want REAL news about New Rochelle, you can get it at TalkoftheSound.com

    What I would encourage readers and New Rochelle residents to consider is that this sort of hand-holding between the Journal News and New Rochelle public officials has been standard practice for many years and why it has taken a long time for residents to UNLEARN so much of the false narrative promulgated by our public officials.

  • New Rochelle Launches Pothole Patrol   7 weeks 5 days ago

    "When reporting a pothole, residents should provide detailed information including street name with closest intersection, direction of traffic flow (northbound, southbound, etc.), and hole location in the street (left, right, middle) or traffic lane"

    Excuse me here is the detailed information.
    The Potholes are everywhere they consume the roadways of New Rochelle everywhere North South East West, up down and sideways.
    If the commissioner can't find them have him get in his car blindfolded. Clearly no fault par for the course of winter but in many cases I believe waiting till its this bad is neglect. Right now they can rent the potholes out for housing they are so big and abundant.

  • Mario G. Suarez, P.E. (1926 - 2014)   7 weeks 6 days ago

    Your wife's father gave so much to this world and will be missed. My deepest condolences.

  • Mario G. Suarez, P.E. (1926 - 2014)   7 weeks 6 days ago

    Mario G. Suarez was my father-in-law.

    This obituary could have listed dozens more high-profile projects.

    Perhaps the most significant because it literally saved thousands of lives was the the reactor vessel and containment building at TMI-2, otherwise known as Three Mile Island. When systems were failing all around, the concrete structures held and prevented radiological contamination from escaping the power plant.

    New York State Pavilion observatory towers which still remain at the site of the 1964 World's Fair is another.

    Anyone who has visited Fallingwater in Western Pennsylvania since 2002 will see and hear the story of how the building was saved in large part by the solution devised by my wife's father. When our family visited there several years ago, the management was so excited to have the daughter of Mario Suarez on hand that they arranged an exclusive private tour for her.

    I suppose the best thing about specializing in stress steel concrete is that your work tends to last a very long time :-)

    On a personal level, Mario was a good man, very concerned with his family, and very serious. Of all this children, and his siblings, and their children, he was always viewed as the patriarch of the family even though he was not the oldest. He was a serious person, not to be trifled with on serious matters, but a warm and caring person who achieved universal respect among those who knew him.

    Mario was a huge Yankee fan who watched every game he could on TV and attended many games.

    In 1983, following the infamous Pine Tar Incident -- George Brett was called out after hitting a home run when Billy Martin complained that Brett’s bat was illegally covered in pine tar -- Mario applied his considerable engineering skills to a complex proof demonstrating that pine tar on a bat would cause a struck baseball to travel farther than a plain wooden bat this supporting Martin that the pine tar gave Brett an unfair advantage. Unfortunately, his letter to the Yankees did not receive a response and American League president Lee MacPhail ordered the game be restarted from the point of Brett's home run with the Royals winning 5–4.

    In 1999, we watched on TV an exhibition game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Cuban national baseball team. It was a bittersweet moment for Mario to see his homeland on TV. At the time, I was unaware that the stadium they were playing in, the Estadio Latinoamericano, was built and owned by his father's company. The stadium was later seized by the government and had been remodeled in 1971. Mario paid more attention to the stadium than the game on the field. When a ball was hit to right field Mario broke into a huge grin.

    "It's still there," he said.

    Puzzled, I asked what he was talking about. He explained how, as a student, he had been given the job of designing the bleacher section of the stadium. Despite the renovations, the bleachers remained in tact as they were built in 1946.

    One of my most vivid memories of Mario was Game 5 of the 2001 American League Championship Series between the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners. It was right after the 9/11 attacks. The Yankees had staged an amazing comeback against the Oakland A’s in the previous round of the playoffs where Jeter made that amazing catch falling into the stands. The Mariners had won 116 regular season games, breaking a record set by the Yankees just a few seasons before.

    We went together. We were able to get into the game with nosebleed section tickets. By about the fourth inning I had my eye on seats at field level to the side of the Yankee dug out. In any other circumstances I would have left the upper deck and tried to work my way into those seats but here I am with my father-in-law, the straightest of straight arrows, and there is no way he is going to break the rules. After another inning I could not take it any more so I leaned over, pointed out the empty seats and suggested we might want to consider moving down there later. I turned away from him for a split second but by the time I turned around Mario was already halfway down the stairs of our section. I ran to catch up with him and next thing we were sitting about 10th row (security today would NEVER allow that but back then this was possible). Mario was a huge Yankee fan. He spent the last two innings precariously standing on his seat, screaming his lungs out, while I tried my best to spot on, imagining the phone call I would have to make if he fell. The Yankees crushed the Mariners 12–3 to the win the American League pennant and we made it home safely.

    He was 75 years old at the time.

    Not many years after that Mario left us, another victim of Alzheimer's disease. His passing this week while sad was not tragic. The tragedy was the onset of the disease and the way this disease can take away so much from a great man with a great mind.

    For this reason, the family is asking that folks make donations to the Alzheimer's Association so that some day their might be a cure.

  • Mario G. Suarez, P.E. (1926 - 2014)   8 weeks 10 hours ago

    Bob -

    Is Mario Gonzalo Suarez y de Cardenas, your Father-In-Law? Presuming he is, I am sorry to hear of your family's loss.

    Mario Suarez evidently had an impressively full and satisfying personal and professional life, that continues to benefit Cuban and American society.

    In mourning the loss of a person, we should always celebrate that person's life.

    - Brian Sussman

  • Charter Revision Commission Presents Final Report and Recommendations to County   8 weeks 1 day ago

    Elections are always a better alternative than appointments for any executive, legislative or judicial office.

    Patronage is always a potentionally corrupt basis for appointed office, and also for privatization of governmental services.

    Elections enhance democracy by making our government by and for the People.

    The County Clerk should remain elective and not be turned into political patronage.

  • New Rochelle Downtown Traffic Study January 2014   8 weeks 2 days ago

    The path that became US 1 (Main Street in New Rochelle) was listed for changes in the consultant's report. Why do the residents of New Rochelle have to be told how Main Street should be changed to a two way street, and narrowed by wider sidewalks?

    It's about time for some common sense in city planning. Residents of New Rochelle know downtown reflects what is possible. Constantly increasing the density of the southern half of the city will create many problems. The solutions are not to make former cow paths into one lane, two way roads with wide side walks.

    Consultants need to understand how frustrating it is for residents to be subjected to barrages of suggestions for change in this historic city's downtown.

  • Consultant Proposes New Traffic Patterns during North Ave Renovations   8 weeks 3 days ago

    Here is a link to an interesting 1892 map which indicates the street between Main and Huguenot, which was referred to as North Avenue in the video, was actually Rose Street. North Avenue began on the north side of Huguenot. http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~26253~1110016?...
    From this map it looks as if North Avenue was extended south to meet Siwanoy Avenue at the intersection with Union Street. The older homes were actually on Siwanoy.

  • Consultant Proposes New Traffic Patterns during North Ave Renovations   8 weeks 3 days ago

    Although the southern part of what is currently named North Avenue has been there for a long time as evidenced by the older houses on that street, especially near Pelham Road, that part was named Roise Street and was unconnected to that part of North Ave beginning approximately at Main St and heading north.

    I'll locate a map to publish here. A map fromt the 1920's will demonstrate that North Ave was unconnected to Rose St, and that North Ave did not reach Pelham Rd.

  • Forest City threatens City of New Rochelle with Lawsuit over failed Echo Bay project   8 weeks 3 days ago

    While my preference would be to have the Echo Bay waterfront proerty developed with tangible commercial tax-paying entities there should be no new RFP or any other consideration until the Army Corps of Engineers report sees the light of day. This study needs to be reviewed, digested and maybe updated to see what is truly the best use. A twentysix acre development would probably require some type of residential component BUT if the Army Corps' findings discourages residential development because of the degree of contamination in Echo Bay, upgrading the current city yard may be the "best use" of the land. Either way, the Armory should be converted to a multi-use community center with Veteran space/services, restaurants etc.

    The Armory was deeded to NR for pubic use not to fatten the pockets of wealthy private developers. Other communities have found productive ways to renovate & recycle their Armorys why can't NR?

    Let Forest City file a lawsiut, it's time someone takes on the bully in the schoolyard!

  • Consultant Proposes New Traffic Patterns during North Ave Renovations   8 weeks 3 days ago

    Main and Huguenot were two ways before l950 and the southern part of North Avenue has been there for a long time as evidenced by the older houses on that street, especially near Pelham Road.

  • Consultant Proposes New Traffic Patterns during North Ave Renovations   8 weeks 3 days ago

    If you look around the Radisson hotel, some of those streets are under utilized while others are over utilized. Parts of Hugeunot could handle more traffic. Main Street is maxed out. Just thinking out loud...

  • Consultant Proposes New Traffic Patterns during North Ave Renovations   8 weeks 4 days ago

    This "Traffic Study and Gateways to the City's Downtown" plan, as described, sounds absurd.

    Apparently, Nelson Nydaard Consultants was commissioned to come up with a traffic report, and having nothing useful to report, they came up with New Rochelle's latest folly.

    Development's Commissioner, Luiz Aragon, characterized the "Traffic Study and Gateways to the City's Downtown" as one leg of a four legged stool. I am unsure if that phrasing indicated Mr Aragon was belittling the traffic report, but a four leg stool is less sturdy than a three leg stool.

    I am certain that to remain functional, Main and Huguenot Streets should remain one-way streets.

    What downtown New Rochelle actually needs are the following: better access to Westchester's Hutchison and/or Cross County Parkways, more downtown parking, and no more increase in south end residential building. Policies to increase usage of bicycles downtown should be discouraged, as it is very important to speed up traffic in downtown New Rochelle.

    Most of Pelham Rd's apartment buildings were built during the 1950-60's, greatly increasing the south end's population. Downtown NR commerce benefitted from all the young babyboomers living there, needing food, clothing, furniture, school supplies and entertainment.

    Replacing farms, the vast housing of the north end was also built during the 1950-60's. This moved the center of NR's wealthier population's towards the north end. Because reaching and shopping in downtown New Rochelle is too time-consuming and expensive, those living in the North End have always tended to shop in White Plains, Eastchester, Scarsdale and Yonkers.

    In particular, Eastchester, Scarsdale and Yonkers are popular places for NR's north end to shop, because these are easy to reach and parking is plentiful and often free.

    NR City Hall has continually misdiagnosed the commerce problems of NR's downtown, and has repeatedly tried variations of the same failed solutions since the early 1960's. Part of that problem is due to the tendency to hire outside consulting corporations who are ignorant of NR and whose only impulse is to think of ways for taxpayers to finance corporate welfare benefitting construction companies and their suppliers, while failing to benefit downtown commerce or increasing our tax base.

    Only when downtown New Rochelle provides extensive, inexpensive parking, and a better connection to Westchester's parkways, and faster local traffic patterns, will downtown commerce thrive again, like it previously had until the mid 1960's.

  • Consultant Proposes New Traffic Patterns during North Ave Renovations   8 weeks 4 days ago

    Thank you Dennis, for posting the link to one of my favorite videos. This was originally a silent 16mm movie, which was later transferred to video and narrated by former Fire Commissioner Walter Bell, and former NR Councilman/City Judge Tom O'Toole.

    Huguenot was a two-way street until the 1950's or early 1960's. Whereas, automobiles no longer competes with the trolley, there used to be less local busses and cars in general. However, prior to 1958, I-95 did not exist, so US Route 1 (Main and Huguenot) had much interstate automotive traffic passing through New Rochelle.

    Until the 1930's (or 1940's?) North Ave ended at or just south of Main St. From Pelham Rd where North Ave currently exists was then Rose St. Rose St did not reach Main St, and was unconnected to North Ave.

    Until about 1958, Church St ended slightly south of Pelham Rd, due to Titus Mill Pond extending behind the 'new' Trinity School almost to Harbor House. In the mid-1950's shortly after Trinity School was built, much of Titus Mill Pond was filled in to create the Church St Extension and the field behind the 'new' Trinity School.

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