Recent comments

  • IT'S OFFICIAL: New Rochelle City Council Kills Echo Bay Development Deal   21 weeks 7 hours ago

    NY State has one of the most viable economies in the USA. NY has been center of the USA economy since the founding of our republic.

    NY State has lower unemployment, and more job opportunities than most of the States in the USA. That is why educated people from throughout the USA, indeed from the entire world, come to NY to advance their careers and make their fortunes. Of course, that does create a lot of competition for the many well-paying jobs in NY State.

    In comparison, it is those states of low taxation and poor public education in the Deep South, that are examples of how not run a State.

    The real estate market in lower NY State, was less damaged by GW Bush's national bursting of the real estate bubble, and lower NY has largely recovered from it. New Rochelle's real estate, in particular, avoided most of the real estate value problems suffered by much of the USA.

    There is no reason to perceive a current real estate bubble, especially in New Rochelle which itself never actually had a bubble, due NR's proximity to the vibrant economy of NYC, and due to NR's excellent public schools.

  • IT'S OFFICIAL: New Rochelle City Council Kills Echo Bay Development Deal   21 weeks 8 hours ago

    The things that are not problems or meaningful issues, are Agenda 21, ICLEI and the UN. You might as well be ranting about Space Alien Probes or the Mayan Calendar. Why not focus on the many real issues that exist in New Rochelle and the USA, rather than complain about such unfounded, paranoiac, visions of non-reality?

    The other issues John Imburgia refers to in this post, might be important, but diminished by grouping them with valid UN-related attempts to deal with global warming.

    What the USA needs to get on track, is for our Congress to be more functional and less partisan. The Senate's recent reduction in filibusters is a good start. When Congress is unable to legislate, that stifles our economy. That’s a way to regain control of our republic.

    It’s important that our federal government seed our national economy by major investments in infrastructure. Consider how much the USA benefitted by building our interstate highway system in the 1950-60’s, or by space research during that same time.

    Declaring a war that ends corporatism, sounds a bit communist.

    I do have problems with the way capitalism overly-controls our democracy, but I wouldn’t want to see the end of capitalism. Perhaps you mean, ending corporate welfare? Or ending the ability of corporations to donate money to politicians or political causes?

  • IT'S OFFICIAL: New Rochelle City Council Kills Echo Bay Development Deal   21 weeks 11 hours ago

    I agree with every word Ken, and I have been saying this for years. You cannot keep driving down wages at the private sector and increasing government salaries, taxes, housing costs and energy costs and expect the economy to flourish. Jobs that pay a living wage need to be brought back to America or the country will collapse--and it is well on its way.

    You are also right about NYS. That is why businesses fled in droves to areas like Pennsylvania. Corporatism rules. We are not a nation controlled by the people, but a populous controlled by government, big banking, and the corporations.

    If governments would spend more time giving tax breaks and incentives to companies that create good paying jobs, and stop regulating and taxing them to death, we might have a chance of getting back on track. I still say however, that it is all tied to Agenda 21 in one way or another.

  • IT'S OFFICIAL: New Rochelle City Council Kills Echo Bay Development Deal   21 weeks 13 hours ago

    NY State is one of the worst environments for attracting any business let alone manufacturing industry. When you tax, mandate and pension corporations to death forever you reap the lack of jobs. Skilled jobs are coming back to the USA as quality dictates and as automation rules. However they are never Coming back to NY State under the present political climate.
    In fact the bad news for our Southern NY Area is a real estate collapse is not far off as the wages to be had in NYC stagnate while the taxes, pensions and benefits do not cease in the Public Sector.
    Local Governments are Junkies they can not kick the habit. Sooner or later Upstate and Downstate may in fact be one in terms of stagnation.
    We have much bigger problems that the ICLEI and the Agenda 21 issues we have a State that cannot layoff the tax and mandate pedal which drives business out.
    When those who are keeping it afloat figure out they are not able to keep pace the house of cards may just come down. Even Detroit is in better shape today.

  • IT'S OFFICIAL: New Rochelle City Council Kills Echo Bay Development Deal   21 weeks 14 hours ago

    This victory is bittersweet, however. As indicated by Bramson, through Louis Aragon, the city still plans on pushing forward with residential development, and utilizing tax breaks and "public/private partnership" deals to achieve this goal. The concept is based on Agenda 21 and is reiterated in GreeNR with the help of ICLEI. As stated in GreeNR, Bramson's goal is to densely pack another 2500 residential units into downtown NR. Unfortunately, what both NR and this country need to get back on track economically is industry. Industry is what creates jobs and drives the need for housing. Housing that is constructed by developers without the need for taxpayer funded incentives.

    Instead of implementing Agenda 21, the city should be pressuring Congress to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. and ending these unfair trade agreements this country has with other nations like China. We should not be supporting policies that allow goods to be sold in the U.S. that are manufactured in sweatshops by child labor. NR needs to end it's alliance with ICLEI and break away from this ridiculous notion of Agenda 21 which is nothing more than a plan to turn the middle class into low paid service workers for the wealthy elite who wish to control the planet.

    Defeating Echo Bay was the start of the war that ends corporatism and focuses us on regaining our republic. Much more needs to be done and we need to push NR officials to end our alliance with ICLEI and focus more on regaining tax producing industries and retail establishments that support the sale of American made goods.

  • IT'S OFFICIAL: New Rochelle City Council Kills Echo Bay Development Deal   21 weeks 1 day 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?   21 weeks 1 day 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   21 weeks 1 day 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?   21 weeks 1 day 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   21 weeks 4 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   21 weeks 4 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   21 weeks 4 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   21 weeks 4 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 6 days 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.