Is Decorating Store Fronts a Solution for Downtown Downturn?

Aman Ali is reporting: New Rochelle may beautify storefronts

The City Council will vote on legislation tonight requiring landlords to cover empty storefronts with something more pleasing to the eye, such as artwork...The legislation, likely to pass, will require that street-level storefronts in the downtown that are vacant for more than 30 days be covered with "a graphically designed covering" or display art like paintings and sculptures. Both require the approval of the Municipal Art Commission.

Read the entire Journal News story here.

Sean Adams of WCBS 880 was in New Rochelle and reported on the storefront beautification proposal.

Cindy Perman of CNBC picked up the story: Make Those Empty Storefronts Pretty!

Meanwhile, in New Rochelle, NY, the town is getting ready to pass a law that is precisely the opposite: It wants to require landlords to cover up such empty storefronts with artwork or something more pleasing to the eye than a vacant window, the Journal News reports.

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New Rochelle Schools Overtime King Driving Brand New Dodge Hemi, Courtesy of New Rochelle Taxpayers

08495B79-2DF5-4585-8E78-1CA871243473.jpgCan someone fill me in as to why the nice, new, white Dodge Hemi that Jimmy Bonanno is driving around in does not have any BOE insignias on it clearly marking it as a BOE "work" vehicle? Can someone fill me in as to why Jimmy Bonanno is allowed to use this vehicle for personal reasons? Is this a BOE owned/leased vehicle? Is the proper mileage being recorded to differentiate between business/pleasure?Why wouldn't a less expensive vehicle suffice? Please don't tell me that this type of vehicle is needed for work reasons. We all know Jimmy Bonanno does nothing! I see him driving around New Rochelle 7days a week in this vehicle. This vehicle is ALWAYS parked at his house. Did he not receive the letter(ha ha)John Gallagher sent out after the Demasi incident forbidding the use of BOE vehicles for personal reasons?
Lets see....$96,000 base pay, + $35,000 in OVERTIME = $131,000 a year AND the use of a $50,000 vehicle. Yes, when I grow up I want a job with the BOE.

CORRECTION: The vehicle was initially reported to be a Hummer worth $70,000; the article has been corrected. The vehicle is a Dodge Hemi worth $50,000.

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New Rochelle School District Funds Obsolete Locksmith Positions to the Tune of $153,667

In a gross misuse of funds, the City School District shells out a whooping $153,667 a year for two positions of locksmith.

Eduard and Werner Graefe (yes you guessed it, they are father and son) both hold the title of "Master Locksmith" (someone define that for me please). Eduard, hired to the position in 1986, rakes in a grand total of $82,000+. Werner (Warner) comes in at just under $72,000.

How can the BOE justify paying these salaries? Years ago changing locks and
things of the like were handled by the carpenters. Would the District not save a large sum of money by having an outside company perform the same duties? And if it's a Union issue, then why have TWO positions? One person to hold the screw gun while the other pushes??

On another note, I would love to see any paid District expenditures relating to the above positions. Would any of the paid bills perhaps have a Mt. Vernon address?

Eduard Graefe owns a locksmith company in MT. Vernon.

What's next, the hiring of a glazier?

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A Great Summer of History, Fun and Music in SoNo

We are on the road to a great summer of History, Fun, and Music in SoNo…It will be a time when we celebrate great people in history...come for walking tours of Main Street, New Rochelle, where the Lincoln Memorial architect Bacon designed, where Betty Davis entered a theatre..where George M. Cohan wrote about 45 Minutes from Broadway..where there's the piano that South Pacific was written on…amazing; where Elizabeth Ann Seton went to church; where Mighty Mouse flew off the pages as the first creation of Terry Tunes studios…does it get any better than this?

Learn More @ SoNo NewRo Online.

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Talk of the Sound Editor Quoted in AP Story

Granted, the story has nothing to do with New Rochelle but since my organization is based in New Rochelle the story mentions New Rochelle.

I thought readers who do not already know that I have a day job might want to check out this AP story in which I am quoted:

FTC plans to monitor blogs for claims, payments

"It would always be better for bloggers to self-police," said Robert Cox, president of Media Bloggers Association in New Rochelle, N.Y. "We have laws on the books. They apply to everybody, not just people who write blogs."

For those who did not know, I run several blogs and also an organization called the Media Bloggers Association which provides First Amendment legal services, education, training and media liability insurance to bloggers.

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Mayor Bramson on WVOX, Tuesday June 23

Mayor Bramson on WVOX, Tuesday June 23

     According to Bob Marrone, Mayor Bramson will be on WVOX tomorrow morning at  9 a.m.  So this will be a good time to ask about the future of the Post Office Building on North Avenue and Huguenot Street.  He said he would check into the status of its historic significance and whether all the necessary procedures have taken place and report on the radio

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Domain Bidding for Begins Today, Starting Price is $32,500 is auctioning off the domain name The auction is underway and ends on Wednesday, June 23rd at 5 PM.

Anyone interested to bid should jump over to and look for Lot #184. Financing is available for anyone who qualifies.

The starting price is $32,500 with bidding increments of $2,500. So far there was no bids.

Talk of the Sound has no interest to spend that kind of money for a domain address but perhaps the City of New Rochelle might want to consider it given they are in progress on building a new web site. If some rich donor wants to buy it and give it to us, we will happily accept!

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New York State Comptroller Questions $14,216 in "Emergency" HVAC Purchases by New Rochelle Schools

Interesting reading

EDITOR'S NOTE: Pages 10-11 are the section on Emergency Purchases. The Comptroller's office cited the District for not providing specific and adequate guidance on purchasing services in case of emergency, purchases which totaled more than $90,000. In particular, the Comptroller questioned two non-competitive contracts for HVAC repairs for $14,216 where the only indication that the repairs were "emergency" purchases was the word "emergency" hand written across the vendor invoice. The Comptroller called the invoices "questionable" and asked why the District did not bother to even make a few phone calls to "obtain comparative prices."

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