Recent comments

  • IT'S OFFICIAL: New Rochelle City Council Kills Echo Bay Development Deal   20 weeks 3 days ago

    Thanks for the video.

    I appreciated and enjoyed every speech.

    I am grateful that Forest City has been rejected. Now it is time to consider new, beneficial, innovative, revenue-generating possibilities.

    Personally, I believe our government's proper place in development is that of improving infrastructure, rather than acting as an agent for private corporate interests.

    If a private development is truly viable, it doesn't need tax reductions or other government investments, other than supportive infrastructure. If private development needs corporate welfare, it clearly is a flawed development.

    New Rochelle needs to find new sources of revenue, but its downtown commercial problem has always been limited access, due to its distance from Westchester's parkways, insufficient parking for those people who do take the time to come downtown from elsewhere, and the ease of getting parking tickets for those who attempt to shop here.

    New Rochelle's downtown commerce has been depressed for decades due to these problems. And yet our government ignores these basic issues, and repeatedly attempts encouraging private development that invariably disappoints or fails to revive our downtown commerce.

    Our government should focus on first creating the environment that would encourage people to drive to downtown New Rochelle from the North End, and from Westchester.

    If that improvement in infrastructure was accomplished, private development would have all the encouragement it requires, without needing tax reductions or other government financing.

    Aside from that, our government should openly discuss our main untapped resource, Davids Island. I believe that is the new shoreline park that should be developed, rather than a third park next to the sewage treatment plant. How can New Rochelle retain all of Davids Island as a park, and yet draw additional revenue from it, beyond its costs?

  • Has Forest City Reached the End of the Road with Echo Bay?   20 weeks 3 days ago

    New Rochelle needs to change its City Charter to replace an appointed City Manager with an elected Chief Executive Mayor.

    In doing so, the Mayor would no longer be a legislator or Member of the City Council.

    The City Council would require a seventh Council District, to maintain an odd number of Council Members.

    This would also make the City Council more responsive to local issues, and create a greater equality between the North and South Ends of New Rochelle.

  • FINAL NAIL IN FOREST CITY COFFIN: City Council Scheduled to Vote on Echo Bay Land Disposition Agreement   20 weeks 3 days ago

    What's to say that Forest City did not make phone calls this weekend? They did in Yonkers Ridge Hill and council people went to JAIL for it. I'm sure the FBI and federal agents will be watching this vote.

  • Has Forest City Reached the End of the Road with Echo Bay?   20 weeks 3 days ago


    New Rochelle City Charter ARTICLE III Section 10. The Mayor, well worth reading! But don’t stop there.

    Back on 10/11/13 I wrote “WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US”, about part of The City Charter. I have done some research regarding the roles, relationships and responsibilities of The Mayor, The City Council and The City Manager. I looked into the past history of the community's unwillingness to support a strong mayor position, and believe that the confusion or unwillingness to conform to the Charter language has been instrumental in our judgment, causing many of the prime issues we experience as a community. I am sure there is a lot more than what I have done so far. It remains a work in progress for me as I concentrate on what I mentioned for now, the roles, relationships and responsibilities of The Mayor, The City Council and The City Manager.

    First for those who haven’t, I would suggest that you start to read The City Charter. While it is 75 pages, it has many sub-sections and you can look at specific areas of concentration to get going. Here is a link for The City Charter; there are also sections for codes, new laws and an index on this page.

    Back on 10/11/13 New Rochelle, “WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US.”

    Back on 10/18/13 in that post Moises Valenica commented,

    “In order to govern ourselves we must understand the role of government at every level, especially our local government, but also the very purpose groups of people have instituted governments among themselves, to protect life, liberty, and property. To be an impartial referee and allow the people to be free and independent, and not steal from them and future generations the fruits of their labor”.

    All of the citizens of New Rochelle share part of the responsibility for the way our city government is run and the condition it and the city are in. So it is up to us to correct it and we should all do our share to help get it right for the future of this once fine city by the sound. You have to recognize and admit you have a problem to fix it and move forward toward recovery. Like with the Echo Bay Project, it will be a lot of work and conversation to get the message right and get it out to the people of New Rochelle. Communicating the correct information and facts are our best weapons against the many heads that believe everything is just fine in New Rochelle. Everything is not fine as the new city budget is being discussed with a request to go above the tax cap once again.

    There is something wrong with our system of government that needs to be addressed by The City Council and The City Manager. Much of what is being done is beyond the scope and description of the position of mayor as stated in The City Charter. What is being done is by choice, not by design. What is New Rochelle doing with a strong mayor at 90k or so when The City Charter and subsequent referendums voted down several times by the City electorate indicated that in no uncertain terms did the community want a strong mayor? So, any statement about working incredible hours is by his choice and not the communities.

    New Rochelle, It’s Our Government and We want it now! We need more informed citizens in New Rochelle. The Citizens of New Rochelle have been kept in the dark way too long. As we have begun to step up and speak out for what is right, more conversations and actions need to happen for The City of New Rochelle and its citizens to succeed.

    “Common Sense for the Common Good”

  • Bramson Admits Defeat on Echo Bay, Forest City Demands Vote Tuesday   20 weeks 6 days ago

    Your TOS has opened up New Rochelle City and School district to scrutiny in a number of ways.
    Investigative Reporting
    Exposing Corruption, Cronyism, Legal although unethical practices and it has been done in both written format and cartoon, caricature and by allowing the people their constitutional rights to speak freely.
    Now there are those who are blind and maybe a bit too literal in these matters but I prefer to bask in the pleasure of BOSS TWEEDS fall from grace.
    When I compared Bob Cox and TOS to the Cartoonist Mr. Nast for being the nemesis to BOSS TWEED our Mayor Noam Bramson the correlation is and still is poignant as TOS is the metaphorical NAST cartoonist.
    Certainly Brian Sussman can take it all literally but that is his choice not reality as my point was and is that this great web site itself is NAST.

  • Bramson Admits Defeat on Echo Bay, Forest City Demands Vote Tuesday   20 weeks 6 days ago

    Matthew has done quite a few hilarious "photoshops" which are sort of like cartoons.

    Matthew has been bust lately so I have done a couple including the one with Noam and Bruce Ratner kayaking in the mud and this latest one with Noam waving a surrender flag.

    Matthew's are clearly better but I do my best.

  • Watchdog Group -Cause of Action- Issues Statement on Bramson's Echo Bay Concession   20 weeks 6 days ago

    I hope the mayor realizes that his attempts to implement Agenda 21 throughout Westchester and in NR are not welcome. We are fed up with public/private partnerships where the developers get richer and the taxpayers get poorer.

    It's also time for NR to end it's membership with ICLEI and get rid of the sustainability coordinator. We don't need a sustainability coordinator to tell us how to use commonsense methods to save energy.

  • Greg Merchant, Man Behind Forest City's Phony Echo Bay Petition, To Be Dropped from New Rochelle IDA   20 weeks 6 days ago

    Seems like Bramson is looking for a scapegoat to take the heat off him.

  • Greg Merchant, Man Behind Forest City's Phony Echo Bay Petition, To Be Dropped from New Rochelle IDA   21 weeks 10 hours ago

    And what about Greg Merchant's seat on the panel judging the Armory competition? He needs to be removed from that panel immediately if the decision on the finalist is to be made before January.

  • Bramson Admits Defeat on Echo Bay, Forest City Demands Vote Tuesday   21 weeks 10 hours ago

    If there is a vote, I hope to see all seven City Council members vote against Forest City. That would be healthy for our community, our political parties, and would reflect the greater cooperation in government that is desired by most people.

    It's important that our city government abandon five decades of unproven assumptions as to the nature of development to supposedly improve New Rochelle, and to consider anew, what New Rochelle's problems are actually caused by. Only then can we proceed towards remediating those problems while minimizing new problems caused by those solutions.

  • Bramson Admits Defeat on Echo Bay, Forest City Demands Vote Tuesday   21 weeks 10 hours ago

    Ken, it's too bad you are only see this as a partisan political victory, because it certainly is not that.

    Forest City has been rejected because two or more Democrats and the two only Republicans on the City Council decided to vote against it. Therefore it is has non-partisan, politically cooperative outcome, and that in itself is a victory for the people of New Rochelle.

    Regarding the cartoon your refer to, it is my understanding that Bob Cox doesn't create those, but rather publishes 'photoshopped' cartoons that are created by another person.

    Bob, can you identify the creator of these cartoons?

  • Bramson Admits Defeat on Echo Bay, Forest City Demands Vote Tuesday   21 weeks 11 hours ago

    Ivar Hyden was always questioning the viablilty of Forest City, and supportive of maintaining the armory. He has fulfilled his campaign promises.

    I had videoed Ivar's election debates and presentations, and they are still on YouTube, where anyone can see and listen to them them. Thank you Ivar.

    I'm unsure of Shari Rackman's positions on Forest City or the Armory when she ran for Councilperson, but I find her decision impressive, and I thank her for.

    Noam has demonstrated his pragmatism, by agreeing to abandon Forest City, and I thank him for doing so. I know this was difficult for Noam, but he has done the right thing, and I thank him for that. I hope to see Mayor Bramson vote with the majority on November 26.

  • Bramson Admits Defeat on Echo Bay, Forest City Demands Vote Tuesday   21 weeks 11 hours ago

    This has been a trying experience and there are no winners or losers and that will surely be the case if everyone cheers and returns to the same methods that put us where we are today. We should all take a moment to appreciate the victory of defeating poor planning and decision making based on motives other than the best interests of The City of New Rochelle and its citizens. The outcome makes sense. I do warn everyone that all celebrations should be done with positive and professional conversation. We cannot lose the momentum of positive thinking conversation that has been gained from this victory. Do not waste this with childish name calling and mudslinging, which gets us no anywhere.

    As you can see, your voice and heads do count. We all must continue to keep up on what happen in New Rochelle to maintain the voice we all fought so hard for. We must build on the momentum, the energy and the sense of community built by the citizens and City Council Members that have stepped up and fought for smart development over the past several months.

    This has been the first true effort for bringing the Citizens of New Rochelle, The City Government of New Rochelle and the entire New Rochelle community together towards one goal, a better, brighter, and thriving and community minded New Rochelle. We have only just begun and there is much work to be done for the future of The City of New Rochelle. With the right people in charge and if an effort were shown, the local community, local companies and local groups would and could work with the city to help turn around the once “Queen City of the Sound”.

    “Common Sense for the Common Good”.

  • Greg Merchant, Man Behind Forest City's Phony Echo Bay Petition, To Be Dropped from New Rochelle IDA   21 weeks 11 hours ago

    What's next giving back of campaign finance money from friends and family of Forest City Ratner and their consultants?

  • Bramson Admits Defeat on Echo Bay, Forest City Demands Vote Tuesday   21 weeks 14 hours ago

    What was it that finally got Shari and Ivar to go against this?

  • Bramson Admits Defeat on Echo Bay, Forest City Demands Vote Tuesday   21 weeks 15 hours ago

    I am pleased to know that good people can make a difference in local politics. Certainly happy to work hard to help Astorino get elected at the expense of Noam Bramson's political career.
    Echo bay demise is like Icing on the cake.
    A few good resignations would be like Utopia.

    Oh by the way can we count this picture of Bramson with the white flag as a cartoon/characterchure?

  • Has Forest City Reached the End of the Road with Echo Bay?   21 weeks 17 hours ago

    Bob, thank you. I really think the metaphor was inappropriate in a variety of ways. And as a Jew, I recoil in horror at anyone referring to any human as vermin.

    I'll write something on how our city charter and state laws describe the powers of our city council, mayor and city manager.

  • Bramson Admits Defeat on Echo Bay, Forest City Demands Vote Tuesday   21 weeks 17 hours ago

    Just curious if Forest City will now take New Ro to court for something, anything? Any of our learned TOS readers would care to hypothesize?

  • Has Forest City Reached the End of the Road with Echo Bay?   21 weeks 18 hours ago


    I am certain you do not mean it that way but please realize you are effectively hijacking this thread.

    This entire exchange could be summed up as follows: Ken compared me to Thomas Nast and Noam to Bill Tweed and you felt the comparison was not apt. Rather than simply say that you have digressed into a dissertation on all the ways that Noam and the position of Mayor in New Rochelle are not the same as Tweed and the Mayor of New York City. And then Ken is responding.

    Like any metaphor, the comparison is not meant to be perfect but more of a rhetorical flourish. Surely you know that.

    The subject of the article is what I might call a pre-post-mortem on the Echo Bay Deal. That you can find all the many ways you can think of that Ken's metaphor is not apt bears not one whit on the topic at hand -- the apparent collapse of the Echo Bay deal and the meaning of that for Noam Bramson's political standing in New Rochelle.

    While you also know I agree that I do not approve of ad hominem attacks directed towards you or anyone else, you might find that responding to them directly or, in this case, indirectly does not decrease but rather increases the likelihood of a recurrence.

    I would simply ask that all parties to this digression of a digression exchange email addresses and argue these points elsewhere -- I am reasonably confident that the only people interested are those engaged in it.

    Finally, if anyone cares to write a standalone article on the powers of the Mayor in New Rochelle I would encourage that so that any debate on that subject would be appropriate to the article.

  • Has Forest City Reached the End of the Road with Echo Bay?   21 weeks 1 day ago

    Ken Lewis:

    I guess you know little of the historic Boss Tweed.
    That would explain it, wouldn't it?

    If you were to cut the hyperbole and absurd comparisons, and learn some factual history you might actually make some sense. It appears you prefer fantasy to fact, which is fine, except when you declare to others that your fantasies are fact.

    I suspect your purpose is that you find pleasure in making outrageous declarations to slander others, rather than to use historical context. You might find it fun and easy, but you accomplish nothing meaningful and destroy your own reputation.

    Tweed did not have a ceremonial job, so that is part of the problem with your unfactual fantasy. Tweed was a Congressman, NY State Senator and member of the NY County Board of Supervisors, a member of various boards and commissions, and Chair of the NY County Democratic Party. Tweed was never a Mayor or Councilman. But Tweed was certainly crooked and went to jail for it.

    It appears you don't understand the NR City Charter.

    I think you are confused by the term, 'ceremonial mayor'. It doesn't mean our Mayor has no real power, but rather that he is a legislator, not an executive or administrator.

    The same is true of Harry Reid or John Boehner. Would you consider Majority Leader of the Senate or Speaker of the House to be ceremonial? Reid and Boehner are among the most powerful elected government officials in the USA.

    The Mayor of New Rochelle is a Councilperson and President of our City Council, pursuant to our City Charter. Those powers are clearly not ceremonial.

    Additionally, Noam Bramson as Mayor of NR, is empowered by our City Charter to appoint persons to various boards and commissions. All our other Mayors have done the same thing, as it defined by our City Charter as part of the job of NR Mayor. Those powers are clearly not ceremonial.

    However, the Mayor of New Rochelle is not an executive office and not an administrator, as defined by our City Charter. Nor have our Mayors acted in such a capacity since 1933, when unfortunately our City Charter changed our govenment structure to make a City Manager our chief executive and administrator.

    I assure you, if our Mayor acted beyond the powers defined by our City Charter and by our NYS laws, someone would have already begun a successful court action in NY Supreme Court or in USDC SDNY. Since you're so cock-sure of your fantastic beliefs, why don't you be the one to do so? A civil suit only need prove a 'preponderance of evidence', not 'proof beyond a reasonable doubt'. I'm calling your bluff.

  • Has Forest City Reached the End of the Road with Echo Bay?   21 weeks 1 day ago

    Placing a cronie in you council seat to give you plural votes.
    Floating eminent domain to force private land owners to sell to Cappelli Ent on LeCount Place.
    Having Nita speak with Schumer so that he can campaign on the Post Office steps to try and force the Postal Service to take undervalue for the building to further help Apicella and Cappelli.
    Allowing Cappelli Ent to close New Roc Ice when it was part of the terms of acquiring New Roc in the beginning.
    Placing cronies on the NR IDA to force Pilots and tax incentives with no return on investment.
    Allowing the DEIS to have false misleading numbers so as to insure PILOT goes through on the deal.
    Placing cronies on every committee and every agency associated with the City of New Rochelle in a manner to influence the outcome.
    There are so many examples in fact this entire site is devoted to exposing Tweed and his games.
    You can call me what you like the facts are the facts. Boss Tweed took a ceremonial job and turned it into his personal wish list. It was going along nicely till the North End Woke up.
    Tweed needs to be run out of town, along with 2 other councilman a City Manager who allowed this to go on, and a few corrupt commissioners who used the public trust to swear to Boss Tweeds lies. Without Bob Cox we would all be in the dark or complaining to ourselves. The proof is in the pudding. The only thing missing now is some perp walking and some jail time for some of these Political Crooks.

  • Has Forest City Reached the End of the Road with Echo Bay?   21 weeks 1 day ago

    "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful New Rochelle!

    If that is the case and Forest City has/does pull out then The City of New Rochelle needs to build on the momentum built by the citizens and City Council Members that have stepped up and fought for smart development over the past several months. Use the coverage to push for a proper development of The Armory. Follow the Waterfront Competition just as close as they have Echo Bay. Get it right, the proper use of The Armory can work as a catalyst for that area and then we can look towards the future of the rest of that area. Gather new and clean information with no political games. Work for all of New Rochelle. I leave you with what I submitted for the Waterfront Competition Ideas.

    November 12, 2012
    Waterfront Competition Suggestion

    While all four ideas create a vision for the New Rochelle Waterfront, something must be created that follows the intent of the deed when The State of New York signed over The Armory Property to New Rochelle, the Veterans and all the citizens. We must create something for all the people of New Rochelle which includes saving the Armory in some way shape and form. I believe there should be an emphasis on The Armory being used as a Performing Arts Center as proposed by SHoP Architects, possibly anchored by The New Rochelle Opera (The Veterans Center for the Performing Arts) with a community center honoring and serving the post-service needs of veterans for New Rochelle and all the Veterans .

    A Performing Arts Center should be the main focus. Use a developer that would use the idea of a Performing Arts Center and or parts of several designs while keeping the concept of a Performing Arts Center possibly anchored by The New Rochelle Opera. 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. The people of the New Rochelle Opera plus other cultural heroes of our Community can add enormous value to our commercial and tax base given a chance.

    Hotels and restaurants alone won’t make New Rochelle a destination for visitors or shoppers. A proper reconstruction of The Armory just might. I don’t know why people don’t take advantage of the fact that The Armory is history. History does sell. Use the Armory as the catalyst for the waterfront area. It could become a contributor to the community in the way of taxes, services, amenities or social enrichment. This could be the first step in the right direction for the area and New Rochelle. I repeat, by using the Armory as a catalyst for the area, not the other way around. Use The Armory/Echo Bay Project as the first true effort for bringing the Citizens of New Rochelle and The City Government of New Rochelle together towards one goal, a better, brighter, thriving and community minded New Rochelle. Everyone wins especially the veterans that need our help.

    Put the petty games behind us. Surely the Armory has meaning, but it is often lost by the on-going conflict between the United Veterans Group and the City Administration. The City would be blessed to take charge of this effort, restore the Armory under Sustainability guidelines and follow a plan it develops and controls to bring about its restoration, its connection to new refocused Echo Bay plan and as important, the development of downtown commercial New Rochelle.

    The City of New Rochelle should give up on Forest City and use the RFI process for the Echo Bay/City Yard Area Project submits for the entire area again. The ideas and concepts would probably be amazing! We don't need Forest City for that; we need a solid team of folks in the community under the direction of the Development Head, with oversight by the City Council.

    Look to better brighter days for all of New Rochelle using “Common Sense for the Common Good”.

  • Has Forest City Reached the End of the Road with Echo Bay?   21 weeks 1 day ago

    Ken, you quoted from Wikipedia, without attribution, something that Ted Cruz has been savaged for repeatedly doing.

    Although I too, frequently use Wikipedia, I realize it often states misinformation, and so I try to verify my facts elsewhere.

    Thomas Nast might be considered the father of the Modern American political cartoon, but he neither the father of the American political cartoon nor the father of the American cartoon. Probably, Ben Franklin qualifies and greatly precedes Nast.

    Ben Franklin, of course, was one of the greatest of Americans, and for many reasons, including cartooning, journalism, science, politics and diplomacy.

    Whatever Bob Cox has done, I am unaware of any cartoons created by Bob. If New Rochelle has some Boss Tweed type, it is certainly not Noam Bramson, nor do I know who it is. Noam controls his own career, but he is not central to determining which other Democrats runs for office.

    Actually, there is a lot of democracy within the New Rochelle Democratic Committee, and our many District Leaders have much influence on candidate choices. Projects, such as Forest City Echo Bay, are determined by the individual City Council Members, and are not policies of the Democratic Committee.

    Republicans tend to be confused on that, because the Republican Party is much more monolithic, less democratic and varied, than the multifaceted democracy of the Democratic Party.

    Ken Lewis, you should be ashamed of yourself for your continuing personal attacks. Have you no sense of decency? Most decent people would consider that only vermin call other people vermin.

    I doubt Box Cox likes his web site to host such extremely immature and abhorrent personal insults, as yours. TOTS excels when it reports facts. But TOTS' becomes less functional when it reputation is dirtied and damaged by it is association with the inane personal insults you and a few others post here.

  • City Council Plot Twist in New Rochelle as Tarantino Demands Echo Bay Vote Next Week   21 weeks 1 day ago

    Jim O'Toole -

    I have not been central to Noam's campaigns. I did not live in Noam Bramson's City Council District or Ron Tocci's Assembly District, and would have had a problem campaigning, as I am on good terms with Ron and Noam.

    I did some campaigning for Noam for County Executive, evidently not enough, as I assumed he had an easy win and therefore spread my campaigning amongst several offices in 2013.

    As Nita Lowey's Congressional District no longer includes New Rochelle, Noam cannot run for that office next year unless he moves from New Rochelle, which would result in his having to resign as Mayor. At this moment, that would probably not be a viable option,

    I doubt Noam would run for Eliot Engel's District, which does include New Rochelle, because Engel is part of the Bronx Democratic Committee in which Noam probably has little pull.

    I see nothing wrong with an elected official running for another office. If you were in an elected office, and wanted to run for another office, I wouldn't criticize you for running that campaign while still serving an elected office, as that would be hyprocritical of me.

    I would certainly advise Noam to get a better campaign manager, as I have never thought Jeremy Sherber to be competent. I blame Sherber for Greg Varian's loss for County Legislator, and had warned Greg early in his campaign to avoid Sherber. It is likley that Sherber did Noam more harm than good.

    Truthfully, I cannot answer your question, because I do not know the answer. I wish I did, as I would advise Noam accordingly.

    It's Noam Bramson's career, and only he can decide what to do next. For now, he should rest up as his campaign had to be exhausting, and then take time to consider his future.

    I do hope Noam shows his flexibility and pragmatism and abandons all associations with Ratner's project, as I believe Ratner did nothing to benefit Noam, while tarnishing his image. I'd like to see all seven City Council members vote against Forest City, and to move on to better things.

  • Has Forest City Reached the End of the Road with Echo Bay?   21 weeks 1 day ago

    "Thomas Nast was a German-born American caricaturist and editorial cartoonist who is considered to be the "Father of the American Cartoon". He was the scourge of Boss Tweed and the Tammany Hall political machine."
    Bob Cox you are like Thomas Nast you have run Boss Tweed into hiding. The Citizens of New Rochelle owe you a debt of gratitude for your undying means of revealing the vermin for what they are.