Recent comments

  • City of New Rochelle Denies Reports of Free Parking; Scanner Audio Says Otherwise   35 weeks 4 days ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • New Rochelle Launches Pothole Patrol   35 weeks 5 days ago

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

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

  • Mario G. Suarez, P.E. (1926 - 2014)   35 weeks 6 days ago

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

  • Mario G. Suarez, P.E. (1926 - 2014)   35 weeks 6 days ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    "It's still there," he said.

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

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

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

    He was 75 years old at the time.

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

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

  • Mario G. Suarez, P.E. (1926 - 2014)   36 weeks 11 hours ago

    Bob -

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

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

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

    - Brian Sussman

  • Charter Revision Commission Presents Final Report and Recommendations to County   36 weeks 1 day ago

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

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

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

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

  • New Rochelle Downtown Traffic Study January 2014   36 weeks 2 days ago

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

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

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

  • Consultant Proposes New Traffic Patterns during North Ave Renovations   36 weeks 3 days ago

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

  • Consultant Proposes New Traffic Patterns during North Ave Renovations   36 weeks 3 days ago

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

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

  • Forest City threatens City of New Rochelle with Lawsuit over failed Echo Bay project   36 weeks 3 days ago

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

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

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

  • Consultant Proposes New Traffic Patterns during North Ave Renovations   36 weeks 3 days ago

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

  • Consultant Proposes New Traffic Patterns during North Ave Renovations   36 weeks 3 days ago

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

  • Consultant Proposes New Traffic Patterns during North Ave Renovations   36 weeks 4 days ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Consultant Proposes New Traffic Patterns during North Ave Renovations   36 weeks 4 days ago

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

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

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

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

  • Consultant Proposes New Traffic Patterns during North Ave Renovations   36 weeks 4 days ago

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

  • Consultant Proposes New Traffic Patterns during North Ave Renovations   36 weeks 4 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   36 weeks 4 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   37 weeks 22 hours 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   37 weeks 2 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   37 weeks 2 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   37 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   37 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   38 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   38 weeks 2 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   38 weeks 2 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.

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