Recent comments

  • Consultant Proposes New Traffic Patterns during North Ave Renovations   8 weeks 5 days ago

    There are already serious parking issues on Huguenot between North and Pintard.

  • Consultant Proposes New Traffic Patterns during North Ave Renovations   8 weeks 5 days ago

    This video, taken sometime in the thirties, shows that North Avenue was one way, single lane, headed north between Main and Huguenot. From Huguenot north it turned into a two way street with trolley tracks going both north and south. From the video it isn't clear if North Avenue continued south past Main. The video also shows what two way traffic on Main and Huguenot was like during that period. I don't believe the streets were made any wider but the trolly is no longer competing for space. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJq41VGYbP8

  • Consultant Proposes New Traffic Patterns during North Ave Renovations   8 weeks 5 days ago

    I told the city they should turn Huguenot Street into a two way street months ago. There are few businesses on Huguenot that require parking and fewer store fronts. It would be far better if some of the Main Street traffic could be diverted there. They needed a consultant to figure that one out?

  • Former New Rochelle Assistant Superintendent Fred Smith Hired Despite Extensive Criminal History   9 weeks 1 day ago

    So, let me see if I have this right; UPS denied Smith a seasonal position delivering Christmas packages because of his extensive criminal background but the New Rochelle Board of Education employed Smith as assistant superintendent, number two in charge, for three years?

    This is a sad realization. I hope someone is held accountable. Whether it be the employee(s) responsible for performing the background checks, the administration and or any current board members who may have been board members during this gaff.

  • Forest City threatens City of New Rochelle with Lawsuit over failed Echo Bay project   9 weeks 3 days ago
    Yup

    I agree _ leave the City Yard where it is. Refurbish what is there; including building a simple salt dome.

  • Forest City threatens City of New Rochelle with Lawsuit over failed Echo Bay project   9 weeks 3 days ago

    This is a bogus lawsuit that will not succeed if New Rochelle fights it.

    The intention of Forest City is to make it too expensive for NR to go through lengthy judicial proceedings and a trial, so the solution is to quickly eliminate the lawsuit, rather than to let it fester. New Rochelle has to treat this as a chess game, rather than playing Tiddlywinks.

    Probably the quickest, best way to cut the Gordian Knot, is by utilizing the following language from Section K.2:

    "Willful misconduct shall not include, among other things (i) the City terminating this MOU in the event of Forest City's default hereunder or the failure of the City, for whatever reason, to relocate the Public Works Yard to another location".

    New Rochelle must simply declare that the only viable location for City Yard, is its current location. As that is obviously true, it would not only destroy Forest City's lawsuit, but would save New Rochelle the time and expense of moving City Yard, and allow reconstruction of City Yard at its current location.

    This would provide New Rochelle the opportunity to completely start anew, to determine what development is really needed to improve New Rochelle's commerce and tax base.

    Doing so is consistent with what I have been advocating since 2007.

  • Forest City threatens City of New Rochelle with Lawsuit over failed Echo Bay project   9 weeks 3 days ago

    This is typical of the deals. These developers manipulate politicians so they can get these projects approved since day one. It doesn't matter if the public supports the project or not. They want it approved and will buy or bribe anyone they have to in order to get approved. Bramson did this to the City and it is HIS failure and no one else's. Disgusting.

    Watch at 12:51 as this developer talks about losing his investment: "We had to make whatever political deals were necessary..."

    http://youtu.be/4-sGkfmIgzk

    This is how things work. The public assumes the risk, not the developer.

  • Forest City threatens City of New Rochelle with Lawsuit over failed Echo Bay project   9 weeks 3 days ago

    Let me render my own opinion here.
    While this latest farce of action comes as no surprise, it does seem backwards. Shouldn't FCE be taking action against Del bello for failing to provide advice that would advance project terms that would be consistent with a favorable decision from the city? Maybe instead of applying grease to the political machinery, they could have formulated a plan that would have offered a favorable return on the investment the city was making as it handed over the last prime waterside property (hee hee) in Westchester? Im sure DelBello et al got a pretty penny to lobby for FCE in hopes of pushing the project through and the folks in Cleveland have to be just a little hot under the collar by now. ( I wonder if anyone actually said " you told us it"s a no brainer" or I thought you said Bramson would deliver) Who knows, maybe FC is holding back Del's money, as in "we'll pay you when you fix this mess"

    They almost pushed it through until people started to take a really close look at what they were proposing. As you cut through the fog of vague promises, "net benefits" and overreaching projections, it appears the end project didn't quite live up to the rhetoric. As we've seen in reports from United Citizens for a Better New Rochelle, Cause of Action, Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, et al, Forest City has had difficulty in delivering on its promises. Does this rise to the level of Anticipatory Repudiation? Would the folks at DelBello condone this potential behavior? If they thought this could be a clear and present possibility, wouldn't there be some consideration in the language to protect against such behavior?
    As local professionals began to drill down on Forest City's demandsterms, they were able to undo the ambiguity and technical language allowing a clearer understanding of the risk/reward the city was facing. When you put the city's ability to negotiate up against heavy hitters like Del Bello and FC, who do you think will come out ahead? Huge specialty law firm coupled with a multi billion REIT (FC) versus a city that has problems managing a 180 million plus budget? Need I say more. The city was at a clear disadvantage throughout this "sales pitch". Was FC taking advantage, bullying or just very shrewd. Contra Proferentum I say. FC should be suing DelBello for the 2 mil since, in all likelihood, they blew the deal for FC. After all, the revised PDEIS did not address all concerns raised contrary to what was stated in the document. The document, in my opinion, was flawed and I believe there were some council members who didn't even read it. As pushback mounted (even supporters of the mayor saw the truth and rejected his diatribes) 6 council members exercised their sworn duty to act in the best interest for the city. The gang of 6 could not be accused of acting in a manner that could be considered Unconscionable when they place the best interest of the city first and foremost. THEY made the right choice. No person, mentally competent would enter into this agreement as written.

    "Willful misconduct shall not include"….
    "... any other good faith action taken by the City in the exercise or performance of any of its legislative, regulatory, policing or permitting functions or obligations in relation to the Project, except as provided hereunder."
    Yeah, they got it right.

    RFP going out regarding legal representation for the city. Any takers, it could be your finest hour. (billable, of course) Contact city hall.

    So odds anyone?
    DelBello attempts lawsuit, Forest City embarrassed Nationwide

    Countersuit by city under "Malicious use of process"
    "Unconscionable"
    "Unclean hands"
    "Ex turpi causa non oritur actio"

    Both suits dismissed under extreme absurdity - cost to city $215,000.00

    FC takes action against DelBello reaches settlement for undisclosed amount.

    City gets to go back to business, restores Armory, area flourishes and grows unimpeded by outside carpetbaggers, or as the board of ed lady calls them "bona fide developers"

    Res ipsa loquitur

  • City Council Views Computer Projections for New Rochelle's Downtown   10 weeks 2 days ago

    What a pipe dream. Judging by how long it took to build the few high rises we have, and the fact that after 20 years, we still have no meaningful retail, this plan would, at best, take a 100 tears to complete. And who can predict where this country will be in a 100 years? The city would do much better by developing a shorter range plan with more meaningful, realistic goals--like achieving a retail hub that could generate some tax revenue. Or bringing some industrial or corporate development to the city that would create jobs, and spur the need for housing and retail.

    No where in history has a civilization focused first on building housing and then hoped the jobs would follow. In fact, with no jobs, there is no need for housing. Just look at Detroit following the crash of the automakers. And then there is China, where the government built thousands of apartments that nobody can afford and they remain empty to this day.

    This notion Bramson has is based on fulfilling Agenda 21 and it is designed to get people out of the suburbs and into the city in the hopes of reducing automobile travel and therefore cutting carbon emissions. What Bramson doesn't tell anyone is that first, virtually every fossil fueled car on the planet would have to be eliminated in order for it to have even a slight effect on global warming. Secondly, to achieve pipe dreams like this, billions of taxpayer dollars would have to be forked over to private developers for it to take shape and governments are already in significant financial dilemmas. Hence, there is no money to turn this fantasy into reality.

    An example, the Chinese what to build a mega complex in Ulster County called China City. To do it, they want $65 million in taxpayer dollars to bring it to fruition. For the people of Ulster, they will pay higher taxes, deal with more congestion, and more carbon emissions for many years to came. The $65 million will likely never be recouped.

    The same holds true for when the US government bailed out GM. They brought $50 billion dollars of stock in the company which nobody wanted and then sold it last year for $40 billion. In exchange, GM added jobs that paid half of what they used to--jobs that didn't pay a living wage--and Detroit lost more than half its population and it is now bankrupt.

    Somebody in government ought to get off the dime and stop chasing these pipe dreams and develop a real plan that brings industry back to the US and restores wages in this country so that people can afford to live. Invest in America's future. Not the future of the Chinese government or the future of rich developers and politicians.

  • EXCLUSIVE VIDEO 15 Left Homeless After Fire Rips Through Three Story Apartment Building on Drake Avenue in New Rochelle   10 weeks 3 days ago

    So why didn't you, Martin Sanchez, ask if the Councilman representing Drake Ave was present to provide support? As in emotional support! As in providing a symbolic "I care about you" to those that were displaced. Are you able to comprehend this?

    I think when Martin stops his hypocritical gagging on Noam's crotch, he will be able to perceive reality in a better light.

  • EXCLUSIVE VIDEO 15 Left Homeless After Fire Rips Through Three Story Apartment Building on Drake Avenue in New Rochelle   10 weeks 3 days ago

    Brian, if you read my question, I had nothing to say about the Fire Department, who I admire. I did not intend to manufacture an issue. I simply presented a query about the tragic fire and wanted to know if the Mayor was present to provide support. As in emotional support! As in providing a symbolic "I care about you" to those that were displaced. Are you able to comprehend this. I think once you stop gagging on Noam's crotch, you will be able to read my question in better light.

  • CAUGHT ON TAPE: New Rochelle Planning Board Member Chuckles Over Destroying "the entire South End of New Rochelle" to Improve the Views   10 weeks 4 days ago

    It is upsetting to say the least, that a member of the Planning Board or any board should have such a opinion about New Rochelle. The members are representing the city or should I say the citizens of New Rochelle. Perhaps Dr. Lipow did not receive the memo that we are starting to work together. When you show such distain for one part of New Rochelle, you are showing disrespect for all areas of New Rochelle. There is room for discussion and debate, but all parts of this city have merit and can contribute. Perhaps Dr. Lipow should get out more and see what he is missing.

  • CAUGHT ON TAPE: New Rochelle Planning Board Member Chuckles Over Destroying "the entire South End of New Rochelle" to Improve the Views   10 weeks 4 days ago

    Brian, I couldn't agree more! Lipow’s callous remarks about the south end reveal his disdain for the very diversity he once touted. Lipow is a hoax talking out of both sides of his mouth. It will be interesting to listen to WVOX today at 5 pm to Dr. Lipow’s weekly radio show to hear his explanation. Unfortunately for Lipow there is no expiation that would be acceptable. There is only apology, groveling and resignation from the Planning Board!

  • CAUGHT ON TAPE: New Rochelle Planning Board Member Chuckles Over Destroying "the entire South End of New Rochelle" to Improve the Views   10 weeks 5 days ago

    If the disgraceful Walter Lipow resigned from the Planning Board, New Rochelle would be a far better place.

  • CAUGHT ON TAPE: New Rochelle Planning Board Member Chuckles Over Destroying "the entire South End of New Rochelle" to Improve the Views   10 weeks 5 days ago

    Apparently, Dr. Lipow, a longstanding member of the Planning Board, has finally shown his true colors. Do we really want someone on that Board who is only concerned with his end of town and not the entire city?

    As a matter of fact, a comment made by him later on at that same meeting concerning an addition to a 24-unit building on Stonelea Place reflected his disinterest. He asked no questions and stated that he didn't care one way or the other.

    I think it's time for Dr. Lipow to retire from the Board and for the city to bring in a person who is interested in the ENTIRE city and what would be in the best interest of its citizens.

    While on the subject of the Planning Board, it's painfully apparent that the majority (if not all) of the Board members do not familiarize themselves beforehand with the properties discussed at their meetings -- quite unlike the Zoning Board, whose members travel to the various locations before their meetings to become familiar with the sites. If you watch the entire proceedings of the 1/28 Planning Board meeting, you will see that no one on the Board was familiar with the various sites discussed.

  • EXCLUSIVE VIDEO 15 Left Homeless After Fire Rips Through Three Story Apartment Building on Drake Avenue in New Rochelle   10 weeks 5 days ago

    Ms. Heyman I only offer the information to show how the administration changed the part-time council positions. The positions are now skewed as neither part or full time. All that is necessary to qualify for health & pension benefits is 30 hours per week served and all seven members of council are eligible for benefits that full-time civil servants receive. The difference is that civil servants are able to retire, with benefits, after 20-years of service while council representatives receive full pension and health care benefits for life after only five years of service. This loophole of council representatives receiving full-time benefits after only five years of service is a choice by the administration and NOT mandated in the NR City Charter.

    One former member of council did not achieve the required 5 years of service so the administration assigned her a temporary Homeland Security position to supplement her council service to meet the 5 year requirement and now enjoys life-time benefits ala NR taxpayers.

  • Dog Shot During Armed Robbery in New Rochelle, Police Manhunt Underway   10 weeks 5 days ago

    Anyone who would shoot a dog gets whatever's coming to them.

    Despicable.

  • CAUGHT ON TAPE: New Rochelle Planning Board Member Chuckles Over Destroying "the entire South End of New Rochelle" to Improve the Views   10 weeks 6 days ago

    If this is what a planning board member feels about the south side of New Rochelle then i don't think he should be on that board.If he wants better views maybe he should move out of this city. Mr.Bramson should remove this member ASAP.

  • EXCLUSIVE VIDEO 15 Left Homeless After Fire Rips Through Three Story Apartment Building on Drake Avenue in New Rochelle   10 weeks 6 days ago

    For what its worth...

    Al Tarantino was at the 52 Drake Fire.

    I guess all this talk of who is at fires IS having some impact.

    Today, at the 470 Pelham Road Fire, Jared Rice was there (briefly). Al Tarantino, who had been in Manhattan, left New York City and was at the scene of the fire. Chuck Strome was there. The Mayor, apparently, did attempt to come to the fire although he did not make it to the scene.

    In cases like this, I think Council people can be helpful especially if it is there own District. At the very least, victims/displaced persons did seem to appreciate seeing their Council Member at 470 Pelham Road Fire (Al).

    So, charters and laws aside, I think folks appreciate when their elected officials are on scene to help in whatever way they can especially when the fire results in making New Rochelle residents homeless.

  • EXCLUSIVE VIDEO 15 Left Homeless After Fire Rips Through Three Story Apartment Building on Drake Avenue in New Rochelle   10 weeks 6 days ago

    Since you are hell bent on getting the last word I will state this is my last post on this subject as we are now beating a dead horse. Once again your verbose response confirmed what I have said all along. You are correct about Paduano's charter commission and Lenny deserves full credit BUT as you confirm, it was the NAACP,s lawsuit that resulted in the current 6 council district system.

    I know there are many people with more knowledge than me. You, on the other hand feel your opinions are absolute. I have worked closely with many of the people you cite, know some personally, one was a neighbor whose business I was a patron of and I worked closely with Ron Tocci when he handed Noam his first defeat. None of that matters.

    It's not rocket science, roughly 72,000 NR residents, roughly 12,000 African Americans; 72,000 divide 12,000 = 6. Six council districts would all but ensure African American representation on city council!

  • EXCLUSIVE VIDEO 15 Left Homeless After Fire Rips Through Three Story Apartment Building on Drake Avenue in New Rochelle   10 weeks 6 days ago

    My reply to Sanchez was that under our City Charter, the Mayor has no executive powers, and that he'd have no reason to be at the Drake Ave fire, whereas the Fire & Police Commissioners and our chief executive, the City Manager, would have had a functional reason for being there. No one has yet contradicted that truth.

    It was in response to you, that I explained that although the Mayor has no executive powers, that the Mayor does have powers additional to the other 6 members of the City Council.

    I stated that those additional powers included being able to appoint two City Judges and appoint members to some boards, create and appoint all members to a Charter Commission and that until the late 1990’s the Mayor also appointed all members to the Board of Education. None of those are executive or administrative powers.

    When you replied that you couldn’t find anything in the City Charter giving the Mayor the power to appoint a Charter Commission, I replied that power was provided to all NYS Mayors under the Municipal Home Rule Law, and that our Mayor’s powers originated not only with our City Charter, but also with NY statutes such as MHR Law I cited.

    In the mid 1990's thru early 1990's, I was very much in contact with my friend New Rochelle NAACP President Napoleon Holmes and with Mayor Leonard Paduano, Councilman Fran Judge, Assemblyman Ron Tocci and citizen advocates Elaine Waltz, Teddy Webber, Kochumathen Babu and others, regarding the referendums to amend the City Charter to abandon the At-Large City Council, abandon the City Manager, and replace those with an executive Mayor and a City Council consisting of Councilpersons representing Council Districts.

    I participated in many meeting over this issue at City Hall and other venues. I am certain I have a better understanding than do you, as what occurred to create our current NR government structure of a districted City Council.

    The referendum that changed our City Council from At-Large to Districting was the one initiated by Leonard Paduano’s appointed Charter Commission. NAACP lawyer Randolph M. McLaughlin participated, along with many citizens and advocates, in the public discussions and meeting that led to the wording of the referendum, but Mr. was not on the Charter Commission, nor did he or the courts create the Charter Commission.

    It is Leonard Paduano that we have to thank for that Charter Commission and referendum. Of course Napoleon Holmes and Randolph McLaughlin were supportive of Mayor Paduano’s Charter Commission but they did not legally compel the creation of the Charter Commission, nor of the Referendum, nor of replacing the At-Large City Council with one of Council Districts.

    What the NR NAACP did accomplish in Court, was after the voters approved that part of Paduano’s Charter Referendum replacing an At-Large City Council with Districting. The problem was that only half of Paduano’s Charter Referendum had passed. The other half that was voted down, would have replaced the City Manager with an Executive Mayor while removing the Mayor from the City Council.

    The Charter Commission hadn’t anticipated half the Referendum passing with half failing to pass. As a result, the voters created a City Council that had four Council Districts and one At-Large member. If the entire Referendum had passed, there would have been five Council Districts and no At-Large Council Members.

    After that referendum, the NAACP was concerned that four Council Districts was not enough to provide ethnic diversity on the City Council, and advocated for more Council Districts as the way to assure ethnic diversity on the City Council. It is in that regard that the NAACP and Randolph McLaughlin successfully sued New Rochelle, resulting in another referendum that changed Districting from four to six Council Districts.

    But that was after Paduano’s Charter Referendum had already determined that the Councilpersons, other than the Mayor, would be elected within Council Districts. Even with six Council Districts, the NAACP was concerned about ethnic apportionment, and has taken NR to Court several times over than, the most recent of which resulted in reapportioning the Council Districts in 2006.

    I am not calling in reinforcements, I am asking that persons in the center of the 1980’s and 1990’s referendums, and who have direct knowledge, should comment at TOTS. Those people include Leonard Paduano, Ron Tocci and Elaine Waltz. I have no idea why you don’t want to hear the perspectives of those with knowledge, other than that you prefer your half-understood assumptions to facts.

  • EXCLUSIVE VIDEO 15 Left Homeless After Fire Rips Through Three Story Apartment Building on Drake Avenue in New Rochelle   10 weeks 6 days ago

    Brian, in your original reply to Mr. Sanchez you begin with "Under New Rochelle's City Charter" and that is what framed the debate and my responses. As I stated previously, your explanation is mostly correct but you have strayed off the original course you outlined. What you are wrong about is the fact that the NAACP's lawsuit is responsible for the current six council district system. The referendum you refer to would have gone to an at-large vote and that was a chance the NAACP felt they could not afford to take. Napoleon Holmes sums it up best in the article;

    Suit Calls Election System in New Rochelle Biased

    That step would only perpetuate the problem, placing the issue itself to an at-large vote, said Napoleon Holmes, the president of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. “That would put us back to square one," Mr. Holmes said. "We filed the suit because we can't afford that chance."

    New Rochelle has a history of racial problems from the desegregation of its schools to two lawsuits concerning redistricting. We have debated the first and the second was more offensive, in my opinion, as the city council actually decreased the percentage of African Americans, in council district 3 the court-ordered African American opportunity district and refused to comply with Judge Briant’s demand. The NAACP settled for less than the judge’s demand and so it was ordered. Let’s not forget the march that included former councilwoman Rhoda Quash that resulted in resolution 205 to ensure that wealthy developers who were awarded city contracts employ minorities on a ratio that reflected NR’s diversity; a resolution that was disregarded on the Heritage Homes project.

    I have no idea why you feel the need to call in reinforcements? You have presented your position with documentation as have I, TOTS readers are fully capable of drawing their own conclusion!

  • EXCLUSIVE VIDEO 15 Left Homeless After Fire Rips Through Three Story Apartment Building on Drake Avenue in New Rochelle   10 weeks 6 days ago

    I am accurate when I state that under NY State law, the New Rochelle Mayor has powers not defined under our City Charter. There may also be parts of our City Charter than can be voided under the NY Constitution, NY State law, US Constitution and US law.

    I presumed that if you were aware of Municipal Home Rule Law, that you'd have had no rational reason to make your argument based on our City Charter.

    There are other powers of our public officers, as well as powers of the People, defined in MHR law, that are undefined in our City Charter. It’s worth reading.

    Also important is Public Officers Law, which among its other interesting aspects, is the main basis for removing a person from Public Office if they do not live in the district, city, county or state they represent or work in, with some specific exemptions; or if they commit crimes, or for other reasons.

    There would have been little basis for a successful NAACP civil rights suit against At-Large elections in 1991, as New Rochelle had previously elected an African-America, Joe Evans, to the City Council in the late 1960's. I believe it was later NAACP court actions that had an effect on reapportionment of Council Districts already approved by NR voters in one or two referendums.

    Referendums do not exist in Federal Law, and are limited and more difficult to effect in NY than in many other States. So a Federal Court would be unlikely to Order a NYS municipality to initiate a referendum, but a Federal Court might guide a referendum already proposed or initiated or having occurred in NY State.

    If there had been no referendum, and USDC SDNY determined an At-Large legislative body was in violation of the US Constitution or of federal laws, that Court would have declared the New Rochelle City Charter unconstitutional and Ordered NR to amend or rewrite our City Charter. I have never heard of New Rochelle’s City Charter being declared unconstitutional, although Court Ordered reapportionment of existing Council Districts has occurred a few times in New Rochelle.

    The 1991 NAACP suit was independent of, and if anything supportive of Paduano’s referendum. I will research the basis of NYT article further, as it states nothing about the results of the NAACP 1991 USDC SDNY action, which I will look up in LexisNexis at NR library.

    Perhaps Leonard Paduano or Ron Tocci or Elaine Waltz would like to comment, as they were all very involved in Paduano’s greatest achievement as Mayor, his Charter Commission’s referendum.

  • EXCLUSIVE VIDEO 15 Left Homeless After Fire Rips Through Three Story Apartment Building on Drake Avenue in New Rochelle   11 weeks 10 hours ago

    Sorry, Anthony, I stand corrected.

  • EXCLUSIVE VIDEO 15 Left Homeless After Fire Rips Through Three Story Apartment Building on Drake Avenue in New Rochelle   11 weeks 12 hours ago

    After that long-winded explanation, you are still misinformed. That was some response I must admit BUT if you read my post it clearly states; "please quote, from the NR charter, where the mayor has the “unilateral power to create a city charter commission” since I could not find it." As usual, you ASSume I am unaware of NYS Municipal Home Rule Law and as usual, you are incorrect. I am a personal friend of and grew up as Lenny’s (Paduano) neighbor. I am totally aware of what happened and while your explanation is mostly correct, we were debating the mayor's defined powers UNDER THE NR CHARTER.

    In attempting to convolute the court ordered mandate to change New Rochelle’s at-large election system to its current council district system you flat out have it wrong. In fact, the Center for Constitutional Rights, on behalf of 12,000 New Rochelle African Americans, sued to eliminate New Rochelle’s at-large system as a way to ensure representation on the city council. This suit took place early in 1991. I will presume you will accept an article from the NY Times that accurately defines the circumstances surrounding the court mandated council district system
    http://tinyurl.com/q59kslv.

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