Recent comments

  • New Rochelle Employees Union Announces Tentative Contract with New Rochelle School District; 2-2.5% Pay Increase   5 years 11 weeks ago

    There are other members of F. U. S.E , it's not a teacher only union, there are mechanics, tradesman, custodians, security officers etc. That's alot of people not getting raises.

  • MEMO: NRPD and CSDNR Should Collaborate to Build an iPod Database   5 years 11 weeks ago

    Some students probably wont hand it up to get it scanned for the serial, get pictures taken of it, and a description. There is a way around that when you first register it with he database. Someone can steal an Ipod, then have it registered with the school, and then if the person that got the Ipod stolen from him then he wouldn't be able to get it back. Then the school would get in trouble if the guardian of the child could get the police involved and match the Ipod up to the Itunes that the child that got the Ipod stolen from and if its a match then the school will have big problems.

    -A@NRHS

  • New Rochelle Employees Union Announces Tentative Contract with New Rochelle School District; 2-2.5% Pay Increase   5 years 11 weeks ago

    As you are posting anonymously I have no idea who you are or why anyone should care what you think but it is certainly not true that all arguments are worthwhile. Arguments that are fallacious, based on untruths or otherwise unsound are not "worthwhile". Some arguments are self-serving, illogical or just plain stupid and should be dismissed out-of-hand.

    In this particular case, I commented on a post about greed being a driving factor in the tentative contract. I did not disagree with the "argument" and I am not dismissing it. It is not necessarily false or stupid. It may even be true. My concern is in addressing the core issue: the union manipulating the system to drive up spending to unsustainable levels not only within a particular budget period but long-term in the form of unfunded pension liabilities. What is happening with GM is a case in point. It is my view that the "they are greedy" is not a line of argument likely to carry the day. While it may well be the case, it is entirely subjective and goes to the state of mind of the union and its members and therefore not a fact-based argument.

    In either case, it is not "bullying" to express my view or challenge someone else's point of view. The name of the site is TALK of the Sound. We have an active comments section for a reason; so commentary and debate can take place. To that extent this is a marketplace of ideas and in that sort of marketplace the fact that you, me or anyone else expresses a particular point of view on a topic does not require that everyone else buy what is being sold.

    You seem overly concerned with the question of whether or not I or anyone else should have the right to respond to someone else's comment and label that "bullying". Nonsense. That this site offers you a forum to express your view does not entitle you to a particular response. If you believe that the union is being greedy than make the case for that instead of just uttering a claim and then expecting your verbal ejaculation to be accepted as received wisdom.

  • New Rochelle Employees Union Announces Tentative Contract with New Rochelle School District; 2-2.5% Pay Increase   5 years 11 weeks ago

    Cox; stop bullying public opinions. While you are an educated man you are far from perfect. While your points are valid so are others. Greed is a major factor whether it’s a raise or feeding friends and family at the public trough. Removing excess staff would be a major savings but all savings count! My grandmother taught me to take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves. Instead of being holier then thou acknowledge valid opinions even if they are less “worthy” in your world. Last I checked you can’t walk on water!

  • New Rochelle Memorial Day Parade 2009 - UPDATED IMAGES   5 years 12 weeks ago

    This was a proud day for New Rochelle and all its veterans.

  • My Life in New Rochelle: Tom Roberts   5 years 12 weeks ago

    I remember going to this mall, outdoor skating summer and winter, roller and ice. Later on the rink was taken over by "Peachtree's" for outdoor bbq's and cocktails. Do you have any pictures of this mall and the skating rink??? If you do, you may want to give everyone some happy memories and post them on deadmalls.com thank you, Frank jerseycityfrank2004@yahoo.com

  • 15 Minute Lunch   5 years 12 weeks ago

    go too trinity.Was a reply ever recieved?Most kids if they have the choice between recess or lunch,they would pick recess.But i understand that there is a section set aside for those who dont finish there lunch.There is no room ,its called over crowding and lack of monies for monitors.

  • Trinity Elementary School Reverse Course: Pledge of Allegiance No Longer "Optional"   5 years 12 weeks ago

    The 2008-2009 City School District Calendar on page 2 shows school hours as being: 8:27 am for the first bell and 8:45 am as the start of the first session.
    When did this change and were parents notified? I was under the impression that 8:30 was on time.

  • New Rochelle Employees Union Announces Tentative Contract with New Rochelle School District; 2-2.5% Pay Increase   5 years 12 weeks ago

    ...or a Language Arts teacher.

  • Union Chief Marty Daly Says Schools Contract "Fair"; Admits Seeking Shorter Contract to Seek Bigger Raises Sooner   5 years 12 weeks ago

    daly is really good at what he does. should be superintendent and go against whoever becomes FUSE delegate. I suppose we can expect the usual rationalizations from new rochelle district and many blog readers about the deserving teachers, overworked administrators,etc....

    come on really! what else is there to know? The journal news guy is a poor excuse for a journalist. he is certainly not in the league of a dwight worley.

    all the information is there for rational and reasonable people to look at.

    warren gross

  • New Rochelle Employees Union Announces Tentative Contract with New Rochelle School District; 2-2.5% Pay Increase   5 years 12 weeks ago

    I don't think much of your book when it says that delaying a raise by six months means you cut the amount of the raise in two. Getting a 2% raise then a 2.5% raise but having the raise deferred for six months does not mean that the raise is actually 1% and 1.25%.

    Let me see if I can explain this to you in the simplest possible terms so that even you can follow it.

    You have a teacher making $100,000 on June 30, 2009.

    The new contract starts on July 1, 2009 and they are still making $100,000

    On Jan. 1, 2010 they get a 2% raise so they are now making $102,000.

    On Jan. 1, 2011 they get a 2.5% raise so they are now making $104,550

    On June 30, 2011 the contract ends with the teacher making $104,550 which becomes the base salary for the next contract.

    The effect of the contract is to raise the teachers salary by a total of 4.55%.

    In terms of cash in pocket the teacher gets a total of $100,000/2 for 6 months, then $102,000 for 12 months and then $104,550/2 for 6 months or...

    $50,000 + $102,000 + $52,275 = $204,275. for an EFFECTIVE increase of 4.275% over two years or, if you want to take a simple average which does not concern itself with the investment rate, 2.14% per year. Without the delay, the simple average would 2% + 2.5% = 2.25% per year so the effect of the delay is to decrease the average effective salary increase by 2.25% minus 2.14% for a total of .11%.

    So, the effect of the delay is to reduce the effective increase by a little over 1/10th of a percent not to cut it by 50% as you have claimed.

    At the same time, whatever increase is negotiated 2 years from now will be applied to that salary of $104,550 as will pension benefits so although the delay decreases the effective increase the base salary it has no impact at all on the salary upon which future increases will be based.

    Now, according to you the raise is really only 1% and 1.25% because you are cutting it in half because it is delayed by a few months (6 to be precise).

    Under your scenario this is the same as a 1% raise on July 1, 2009 followed a year later by a 1.25% raise a year later. Let's see how that works.

    The same teacher is making $100,000 on June 30, 2009.

    The teacher gets a 1% raise to $101,000 on July 1, 2009.

    A year later, on July 1, 2010 the teacher gets a 1.25% raise which comes out to be $102,263 or a 2.26% increase.

    So, you are understating the amount of the raise by about half and understating the new base salary going into the next contract by over $2,000.

    If you STILL think what you have claimed makes sense then vote against the tentative contract and let's make a new deal where we give this teacher a $2,500 cash bonus and a zero percent increase. According to you claims that is a better deal for the teacher in this scenario, right?

  • New Rochelle Employees Union Announces Tentative Contract with New Rochelle School District; 2-2.5% Pay Increase   5 years 12 weeks ago

    I would gladly trade a pay increase double what is in the tentative contract if the school district would get rid of the surplus teachers, staff and administrators currently on the district payroll.

    Mr. Organisciak said the district employs 2,200 people for a school system with 11,500 students enrolled. Think about that! There is one employee for every 5 students. And this does not count "outsourced" employees whether they be lawyers, contract workers, temps, BOCES, cooking school teachers, etc.

    The District is perfectly happy to have a debate over whether or not teacher's salaries are too high or whether maintenance staff get too much overtime because they have ready answers for that and can swat down any argument. They will talk about "fairness" and the need to be competitive with other school districts in Westchester. For the maintenance staff they will talk about emergencies and unforeseeable "calamities" like snowfall.

    The issue is not whether teacher's salaries are too high but whether we actually need as many teachers as are on the payroll.

    The district was able to "reassign" 13 full-time teachers to the new full-day kindergarten program. People should be asking: reassign from where? Where are these 13 teachers today and how can it be they do so little that they can be taken away from their current duties and reassigned. The total cost to the district of carrying these 13 teachers this year was about $1 mm.

    There is also the issue of improperly enrolled students. After disputing claims here that there are hundreds of students enrolled in New Rochelle schools that do not live here, Ms. Polow at the LWV forum proceeded to rant on and on about how 60-90 students a year ARE removed from the schools and that in some case students are ALLOWED to be enrolled in the school even when they do not live in New Rochelle because the Superintendent gave them a waiver for person reasons such as joint custody situations. By her own math, over the past 5 years the district has found and removed 300 to 450 students and there is some unspecified number who are given waivers. Yet, the district stridently objects when school board candidates point to Mount Vernon which found 816 wrong enrolled students and call for a similar residency investigation to determine the full extent of the problem in New Rochelle. After claiming the problem does not exist, Ms. Polow now admits that there have been hundreds of students wrongly enrolled which raises series questions about the process by which students are enrolled in the first place. Whether the number is 300, 450 or 800, the fact is that the District has a history of wrongly enrolled students so to attack residents who raise this issue at board meetings is demagoguery plain and simple.

    Let's get off losing arguments like debating 2% pay increases which involves less than $2.5 mm and focus on whether we have 100 teachers and related staff we do not need, 50 clerical staff we do not need 50 maintenance staff we do not need. Eliminating 100-200 unnecessary positions is worth tens of millions of dollars and savings and has a long-term benefit of reducing pension liabilities.

  • New Rochelle Employees Union Announces Tentative Contract with New Rochelle School District; 2-2.5% Pay Increase   5 years 12 weeks ago

    Greed is the driving force!

    Greed is the driving force behind the above comment. Whether it’s 1%, 1¼%, 2% or 2.5% makes no difference because it should have been ZERO. We have a system whereby teachers are encouraged to slack after receiving tenure because unless they shoot themselves in the foot they cannot be fired. Teachers pay nothing towards their health and retirement benefits, work less then 200 days per year and have the summer to relax or work a second full time job. All this and one would think the teachers would be willing to share the pain in these challenging times but they want a raise. It’s not only the teachers; it’s the school system when you consider that Organaschac took a $13,000 raise. The greed is most evident in the fact that similar positions in the city administration pay 10% to 15% less. It’s time to stop the pigs from feeding at the trough.

  • New Rochelle Employees Union Announces Tentative Contract with New Rochelle School District; 2-2.5% Pay Increase   5 years 12 weeks ago

    Our new contract starts July1 we don't get our raises till Jan. 1 that's 6 months in my book,

  • Trinity Elementary School Reverse Course: Pledge of Allegiance No Longer "Optional"   5 years 12 weeks ago

    At the May 4th PTA meeting, the pledge of allegiance topic was discussed. Here is a piece of the meeting minutes --

    "Pledge of Allegiance
    • There was a 2 week trial basis where the pledge of allegiance was being recited in the classroom, leaving it up to the teacher’s responsibility to choose a time to pledge.
    • There were many comments/concerns by parents, teachers and staff who were
    not happy with the individual classroom pledge. Some classrooms recited on a daily basis
    and some did not.
    • The Pledge of Allegiance is back to being recited as a whole school over the public announcement system every morning.
    • Parents were reminded that the start of school begins at 8:27am and children should
    arrive promptly. When a child comes to school late it disrupts classroom teaching time."

    It really was exciting that the parents spoke up and got results so quickly. The immediacy of the reaction was amazing.

  • School District Has a Little Fun Playing “Kick the 15 Minute Lunch Down the Road” With Trinity Parents   5 years 12 weeks ago

    Thankfully the district has finally granted additional time for the Trinity 4th and 5th graders lunch period. The 4th and 5th graders have had 15 minutes to buy and eat lunch for years.

    This blog published the Trinity lunch schedule in another story. My son had been complaining that he did not have enough time to eat his lunch, but I had discredited his comments until I found out he really had a very limited amount of time.

    After asking the Trinity admin for more time, being told that it was not enough for me to complain, starting a petition, collecting signatures, etc. The Trinity administration created a lunch committee.

    We had one meeting, which was eye-opening experience, but seemed to me to have no direct result. The local administration and district still insisted that 15 minutes was enough. Dr. Weiss said again that she heard in med school that eating standing up was faster than eating sitting down.

    Finally, I went to the school board budget meeting and meant to present my topic, but chickened out due to the tv cameras and crowd. I put a letter in the hands of Chrisanne Petrone, who promoted the topic to the school board. They pushed on the district and finally, I don't know how, the following was announced at the May 4th Trinity PTA meeting:

    "Lunch Schedule
    • The 2009/10 plan will give students adequate time to have 20 or more minutes eating time.
    • The second art room will become the second cafeteria.
    • Kindergarten recess will begin at 10:30am. Kindergarteners will eat lunch at 11:00am."

    And that is that, I don't know if other grades are losing time or not. The 2nd art room becoming a 2nd cafeteria was necessary, I thought, because the occupancy of the Trinity cafeteria is 147 and some grade levels have that many children.

    Thanks for reading! Thanks for the blog! Thanks to the petition signers and supporters.
    Karen

  • New Rochelle Employees Union Announces Tentative Contract with New Rochelle School District; 2-2.5% Pay Increase   5 years 12 weeks ago

    one word comes to mind, fulough.I think a couple of months off w/ out pay.Would help.

  • New Rochelle Employees Union Announces Tentative Contract with New Rochelle School District; 2-2.5% Pay Increase   5 years 12 weeks ago

    no, the teachers are really not our most important commodity. you might rethink this if your house catches fire, you are assaulted or robbed, your garbage is not picked up and so on. yes teachers are important, but so are so many other occupations. You really should carefully check out the union contract, the salary and benefits, the working hours, so many other things then look carefully at what other union members and non-union members are doing over the past few years to support their community and nation. so many of them understand the need for renegotiation, give-backs.... frankly, I don't think you understand the economics involved here -- bob cox has explained it carefully and well despite a lot of personal barbs and insults thrown his way. we haven't really looked at the explosion of medical costs in society and how these costs threaten our national economic structure and will inevitably lead to either socialized medicine, massive changes in medicare and medicaid, etc... and responsible unions and unionmembers known they need to play a part to help turn this around. if they don't..... it will be catastropic.

    do you really believe in your heart of hearts that this union should not step forward and do their part to help the parents of the children by helping ease the tax burden? do you really think that there is so much national and state money that it can be drawn down upon with reckless abandon by this one cost center? And do you not question a board that did not open negotiations on demanding member contributions toward their health and welfare plans or who took their superintendent aside and asked him for a give-back on his "contractual" increase?

    No, they used the arrogant, unfeeling arguments such as "suck it up"," we really wish we had more state money", or feigning false empathy for the burdened taxpayer.

    Look you may think that people like me are unreasonable, angry, or anti-child. Far from the truth at least where I am concerned. I believe in fair play and sacrifice and I strongly believe in openness and community support and service and try to do this in my private life. I believe we have a core of fine teachers, a reasonable number of dedicated admiinistrative and principal staff, and a body of wonderful kids from all parts of the city who deserve the best we have and who need to understand shared sacrifice, accountablity, and fair dealing in a society that values these attributes less and less.

    I hope no supporter of the school budget turns his or her back on the first responders, for example, who stand up for a decent wage at contract time. They don't have the good fortune of a political and social stream fighting for them or a district, board, and union leadership who are joined at the hip.

    Oh yes, in case it wasn't clear we are at zero or negative inflation and that is what the district tax demand should have been especially if this contract was properly bargained and not signed, sealed and delivered weeks or months earlier.

    Warren Gross

  • New Rochelle Employees Union Announces Tentative Contract with New Rochelle School District; 2-2.5% Pay Increase   5 years 12 weeks ago

    Pisticci,

    You are being absurd. There is nothing "funny" about showing the level of inflation starting in November 2008. Do you even READ the newspapers? Have you even heard of the global economic crisis? Jeez, wake up!

    There is a perfectly good reason to measure the level of inflation AFTER October 2008. In case you are not aware there was a significant series of financial events in the fall of 2008. Let's see if I can refresh your memory with a few of the lowlights:

    9/7/08 - FNMA and FHLMC are taken over by the government

    9/14/08 - Lehman Brothers announces Bankruptcy; Merrill Lynch sold at a firesale price to Bank of America

    9/16/08 - AIG liquidity crisis due to credit-default swaps

    9/18/08 - Electronic bank run as $550 billion pulled from U.S. banks in period of 2 hours.

    9/19/08 - TARP proposed by SecTreas;; President says situation could be worse than the Great Depression

    9/21/08 - The two remaining investment banks (GoldmanSachs, MorganStanely) convert to bank holding companies

    9/25/08 - Washington Mutual, the nation's largest S&L is seized by FDIC

    10/2/08 - Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 signed into law by the President.

    10/6/08 - Dow Jones drops 777 points, largest point decline ever

    By mid-October, commodities have collapsed. The NYT reports (http://tinyurl.com/4z44dq)

    "The global financial panic and the economic slowdown have put at least a temporary end to the commodity bull market of the last seven years, sending prices tumbling for many of the raw ingredients of the world economy. Since the spring and early summer, when prices for many commodities peaked amid fears of permanent shortage, wheat and corn — two cereals at the base of the human food chain — have dropped more than 40 percent. Oil has dropped 44 percent. Metals like aluminum, copper and nickel have declined by a third or more.

    Get it?

    There is the world before the global economic crisis and after the global economic crisis. Since September/October 2008, we are in a new world of economic contraction (negative GDP) and deflation (negative inflation). This is not some "trick" to criticize the district for agreeing to across the board pay increases. The simple fact is that we are in the midst of a deflationary, economic contraction of historic dimensions where trillions of dollars in wealth have been destroyed and the crisis has yet to hit bottom. The problem is getting WORSE not better.

    AP: Foreclosure woes mount for those with good credit
    http://tinyurl.com/ohlyd8

    "A record 12 percent of homeowners with a mortgage are behind on their payments or in foreclosure as the housing crisis spreads to borrowers with good credit. And the wave of foreclosures isn't expected to crest until the end of next year, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Thursday."

    NYT: U.S. Home Sales Remain Sluggish as Supply Soars
    http://tinyurl.com/q69che

    "A glut of unsold homes continued to grow last month, fed by a new wave of foreclosures, even though sales of existing homes rose, a national real estate trade association said Wednesday. The National Association of Realtors reported that the inventory of unsold houses, townhouses and condominiums rose to 3.97 million in April, the highest level since November. At the current rate of sales, it would take 10.2 months to exhaust those unsold properties."

    Let's just hope, to borrow from Churchill, that this is not the end or even the beginning of the end but, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

  • New Rochelle Employees Union Announces Tentative Contract with New Rochelle School District; 2-2.5% Pay Increase   5 years 12 weeks ago

    I don't know about you. But I recently had my house appraised, the value is down $150,000, from the last time I had it appraised in 2005.

  • New Rochelle Employees Union Announces Tentative Contract with New Rochelle School District; 2-2.5% Pay Increase   5 years 12 weeks ago

    Nice use of statistics. Using the same chart the average inflation rate for last year 2008 was 3.80.
    Taking the year as a whole and using some of your numbers the inflation rate per month goes like this:
    Jan 08 4.3%
    Feb 08 4.0%
    Mar 08 4.0%
    April 08 3.9%
    Let's not bother using those numbers because they are over a year old. The next batch of stats is within the last twelve months.
    May 08 4.2%
    June 08 5.0%
    July 08 5.6%
    Aug 5.4%
    Sept 4.9%

    Here's where your chart starts, funny how it only shows the lowest points of inflation and not whole story.
    Nov 08 1.1%
    Dec 08 0.1%
    Jan 09 0.0%
    Feb 09 0.2%
    Mar 09 -0.4%
    Apr 09 -0.7%
    I added your numbers to be fair if your going to use the information don't skew it.
    I'm all for both sides of the story but tell it like it is.
    Pisticci

  • New Rochelle Employees Union Announces Tentative Contract with New Rochelle School District; 2-2.5% Pay Increase   5 years 12 weeks ago

    How stupid of me. I forget to check the famous Milk-Oil Index in the Wall Street Journal. I can see right there that Milk Futures have been skyrocketing.

    Now back to reality again for a moment.

    Drop in milk prices continues downward cycle for farms
    http://tinyurl.com/r64x4b

    "...economic turmoil that has seen milk prices drop significantly in January -- reportedly one of the largest drops in 50 years."

    Oops. Milk prices are not going up they are going down. In fact, they are going down ALOT!

    Meanwhile, deep in the heart of Texas we have some oil price data to consider. As I am sure you know, the U.S. Department of Energy has price information on West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil, the U.S. benchmark for oil prices.

    The DOE publishes a Short-Term Energy Outlook (http://www.eia.doe.gov/steo):

    "The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil is expected to remain relatively flat for the remainder of 2009, averaging about $55 per barrel over the second half of 2009. Assuming a modest economic improvement next year, WTI prices are expected to average about $58 in 2010."

    Here is some average pricing data.

    WTI Crude

    2007 - $72.32/barrel)
    2008 - $99.57/barrel)
    2009 - $51.70/barrel)
    2010 - $57.75/barrel)

    In case you are having trouble puzzling that out, what the data shows is that oil prices are the lowest they have been in years. Oil is 60% lower than the highs reached in 2008. The closing price for WTI today was $60.00/barrel which is inline with projections based on weaker global demand due to the economic downturn.

    As for Real Estate values, you don't measure home values for a region or municipality by leaving out all the distressed properties. The entire story about the collapse in home values has been due to price declines associated with foreclosures -- initially due to people defaulting on loans they could not afford to begin with and more recently due to job losses caused by the economic downturn. New Rochelle has NOT "held the prices" established in 2005, not "most", not "any". As far as foreclosed properties being "bid higher" if by more than zero then you have a good point otherwise this is all nonsense.

    I would like to think that people who work for the District are not this ignorant about economics so I am going to hope you are just a troll pretending to be a district employee.

  • Salesian High School Student Found Dead at Home   5 years 12 weeks ago

    DAM BRRO IT MAD WERID HOW YOU ARE GONE LIKE IT JUS HAPPEND OUT OF NO WHERE. IT SUCK HOW A GOOD ASS KID LIKE U IT HAD TO HAPPEN TO WE ALL MISS YOU R.I.P NICK NESOP

  • New Rochelle Employees Union Announces Tentative Contract with New Rochelle School District; 2-2.5% Pay Increase   5 years 12 weeks ago

    MILK and OIL are starting to rise at an extremely quick pace. That is called INFLATION! Prices of homes in New Rochelle are not down 30% cox, that is a lie and just plain stupid. What are down in New Rochelle are the number of sales. Actually New Rochelle has held the prices of most of their sales. The only home prices which have come down are foreclosures, but now those are starting to be bid higher at a very quick rate.

  • New Rochelle Employees Union Announces Tentative Contract with New Rochelle School District; 2-2.5% Pay Increase   5 years 12 weeks ago

    It's a good thing you work in New Rochelle otherwise you really would be upset if you worked in another city or town that had lay offs and no raises. It is unfair to me as a taxpayer that I must have my taxes go up during this economic crisis. Unfortunately, my salary will not be increased. In the real world we get pay cuts.