Why Do You Think It’ll Get Better?

Written By: Warren Gross

Do you really think there still are free lunches in these unsettled times? No, that went out with good government and selfless politicians. You only need to be blitzerkrieged by Wolf or given the bumsrush by Rush to know otherwise.

A few evenings ago I was bathed in stardust listening to the majesty of Les Miserables. To the barricades they went and, when it was all said and done, good triumphed over evil, sacrifice trumped selfishness, and all was right with the world.

Then I turned the set off.

When I awoke it was the same old things. The order of business once again, was divisiveness and “breaking news” kept on its petty pace repeating over and over again, the social misery of the day. This one misspoke, off with his damn head, that one filed a suit for damages based on a physical similarity to Kim Kardashian, and while Barack and Mitt fiddled, the nation burned.

Summing this up it was all about getting elected or re-elected. No one had any substance about the belweather issues like the eocnomy, jobs; but plenty about paying taxes, size of government, you know the sorts of things we must have gotten pretty used to by now because WE ACCEPT IT right here, right were we live. There is not a dimes’ worth of difference between the inattentiveness, lack of openess, failure to focus….. yes, everyone loves the middle class and no one knows how to do a damn thing about their travails thinking I suppose, that talking about Joe’s gaffes or Ryan’s attraction to Ayn Rand makes any difference.

Well, looks like most of us feel the same way about how we live and are managed here because we sure have expressed little interest or passion on the topic. And, I do not mean negative gotcha interest or passion. I strongly believe in something very basic and that is that if you are in elected office, you are representing an entire district, city, or nation whatever the case may be. And that means that a poorly conceived and dangerous stop light on the corner of Main and Division; one that has accounted for a number of casualties, including yours truly, is important to all of you. It is just as important as say, a similar traffic light in zip code 10804.

So, I turned to Talk of the Sound and read about an apparent new resident, “Dearalexandria”, relaying stories not dissimilar to those seen in the mean streets of Beirut this very day. She equates it to South L.A She might be right; but, she is a voice and we should listen to that voice. So is the pseudonym posted John Galt. Yes, he is the anti-hero from Atlas Shrugged and maybe his story is real, imagined…. don’t know. What I do know is that he needs to be heard.

Barck hands out index cards it is alleged at his briefing to ensure “softball questions” are posed. Noam does not read TOTS I am told. Congress and our City Council do not spend time in ensuring that the correct, game changing issues are placed before the community. Actually our officials do much better I think with the exception of not stepping up and demanding that their districts are represented at public forums or committees by people of their choice, those who represent their communities.

Yesterday, MSNBC played a promotional piece by Al Sharpton talking about the tax inequity laws of our nation. Yes, it is a serious issue; I would have liked it more if Sharpton would have mentioned his personal anathema to paying taxes in the first place.

But, we are enablers as I have often said. This city would not be focused on the wrong things if you cared enough to say… Enough! The conversation would or should turn to taxes, expense management, lack of proper emphais on commercial development, the need to clean up our visible downtown district, a war of crime and support for our first providers.

It would be better if we had a clergy that would echo togetherness as they were taught and not divisiveness which is more acceptable meat for the congregations. We would prosper if we stopped our twisted view of diversity and adopted ways and means shown to us by Mandela and King.

No, we must pander, obfuscate, ignore, until such time as it comes shriekingly to your doorstep. Then, then, you are doomed because by not being part of the solution, you remain part of the problem.

I am an ignored citizen; partly because I am the new minority whipping boy, the OWG and partly because I am in the wrong place at the wrong time. But, you are not much better off. There is a cost of ignoring someone cut to the bone cradled by our new neighbor, dearalexandria. There is little cost to the so called “riot” in the park. We always had that and it is really racist to think otherwise.

The interesting thing about racism, sexism, homophobia is that we are being increasingly exposed to the other side of the coin. People of color with real issues are being lumped with all others who are rampant whiners. The glass ceiling is really more plexiglass than glass and real victims of this are also being lumped with the opportunists. And, we see reverse racism and sexism being more and more exposed.

But, what does this have to do with Washington or New Rochelle? Actually a whole lot. You have to fall under some aspect of political correctness to be part of the team in both sites. This cuts down on true conversation, real choices, lasting bonding and friendships and, government, the loss of some of our best and brightest. I would like to hear an “Amen” for Hilary Clinton and wonder how deep our quagmire would be if she were not on board.

But, what about the national issues and by extrapolation, the right local issues. I have posted recently on this.. read “Malice in Wonderland” for one and there are many others.

Now I would like to highlight a solution to our DC dilemmas, thus yours and mine, and by simple again, extrapolation, echo the words thrown at Dreyfus by saying to our Mayor and Council…. “Je Accuse”… I accuse you of not being focused on the real problems and needed solutions, by closing your doors to honest dissention, and for being too tired or disinterested to address the smaller problems, the death light at Main and Division, and the bigger issues, attracting, sustaining and supporting a robust growth in our property tax base.

You know me to be Socratic not sophmoric or sophistic. Now, let me highlight anew the two most noble yet neglected OWGs in our nation; the Honorable Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles. It is past time to introduce you to the highlights of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform they chaired and the report they submitted to both parties, our President and our Congress in December 2010. They call it the Moment of Truth.

Whenever I feel hopeless, angry, nonplussed or plain pissed off I return to this and wonder why we have enabled our government to ignore these findings. They are going to be redeemed shortly once Barack or Mitt can figure out how to explain the lack of attention to these findings and recommendations and how to claim discovery.

Under Guiding Principles and Values..

. we all have a patriotic duty to make American better off tomorrow than it is today. (Same for New Rochelle don’t you think?)
. don’t disrupt the fragile economic recovery.
. cut and invest to promote economic growth and keep America competitive.
. Protect the truly disadvantaged.
. Cut spending we cannot afford.
, Demand productivity and effectiveness from Washington.
. Reform and simplify the tax code.
. Don’t make promises we cannot keep.
. The problem is real, and the solution will be painful (lesson lost thus far on New Rochelle who are in constant data denial)
. Keep American sound over the long run.

This is all covered in great depth in the report.

The above is covered in outline on pages 12-13. Below is an annotated version of their six part plan to address the issues.

Part 1 – Achieve nearly $4 trilion in deficit reduction through 2020 more than any effort in the nation’s history.
Part 2 – Reduce the deficit to 2.3% of GDP by 2015 (2.4% excluding Social Security reform), exceeding President’s goal of primary balance (about 3% of GDP).
Part 3 — Sharply reduce tax rates, abolish the AMT, and cut backdoor spending in the tax code.
Part 4 — Cap revenue at 21% of GDP and get spending below 22% and eventually to 21@%.
Part 5 — Ensure lasting Social Security solvency, prevent the projected 22% cuts to come in 2037. reduce elderly poverty, and distribute the burden fairly.
Part 6 — Stabilize debt by 2014 and reduce debt to 60% pf GDP by 2023 and 40% by 2035.

Sadly, the two year anniversary of benign neglect of these findings come due at the end of 2012 and massive recalculations will be necessary even if adopted. But, of course, the Mayans may have something to say about that even given the readapted reading into the Mayan Calendar that speaks to an “age of community ethos and enlightenment.” If so, City Hall and Washington better get their acts together now.

The solution tracks cover (1) discretionary spending cuts, (2) comprehensive tax reform, (3) health care cost containement, (4) mandatory savings, (5) Social Security Reforms to Ensure Long Term Solvency, and (6) Process Changes.

Oh, breaking news…. from Simpson and Bowles to Barack Obama and Mitt Romney…. concerning Moment of Truth —“Call Me Maybe?”

Hate to burden you but you are needed at the battlements and now! If a crime is committed, a citizen injured or maimed downtown, you need to raise a ruckus. This is your community! Is your only advice to Dearalexandria is Move?

Look in the eyes of your children if they are not too bloodshot from playing the latest video explosions or blasting out som ho/bitch aria and, well, take it away and tell them they get it back when mommy and or daddy return from a city hall meeting demanding parity and justice.

I do not apologize for the length of this narrative only for the mispellings. One other thing I am sorry for and that is my voice is limited to TOTS and not being used in the community. Wrong zip code, too loud, opinionated, maybe too hopeful even. But, gee whiz…. OMG I am an OWG.

Dedicated to Noam, Jared, Ivar, Shari, Louis, Al, Barry, Barack, Joe, Mitt, and Mr Ryan

43 thoughts on “Why Do You Think It’ll Get Better?”

  1. Column by David Brooks
    For those who care or despair about USA today and New ERochelle anyday, you might read David Brook’s column in hte August 24th issue of the New York Times. He is, of course on the Editorial page.

    His topic is one of my preoccupations for close to two years, the Simpson Bowles Report cited in my post.

    You will get a teaching moment from Brooks in both neglect (Obama) and poor judgment (Ryan).

    It is important albeit not as interesting as page 6 of the Post.

    But, you can pretty much determine the evolution toward selfishness, non-focus, and just plain hubris that explains our national plight and why we seem to value waterfront views that look at other than ocean flora and fauna or why we tolerate the destruction of a proud nation and city.

    These are two venerable OWGs and you ignore Brooks at your peril. But, then again we get the government we deserve.

    1. Wow, as usual an excellent writeup Warren…
      but as you no doubt noted, I encouraged dearalexandra to move out. I do not think New Rochelle will get better. Ever.

      You know better than I, how many years now has downtown New Rochelle been a ghost town? 30? 40? I’ve lost count.

      New Rochelle still holds a place in my heart, since I came into the world at its hospital before one’s feet stuck to the floor from the filth and germs, and it has something, imo, that neighboring towns don’t.

      Granted, I wasn’t born in the neighboring towns, but I am somewhat familiar with them, and I don’t get a geographical distinction in them, e.g., Pelham, Larchmont, Mamaroneck (albeit very nice towns, whose Mayor didn’t desert the people and leave the downtown a sewer) with the Main Street as the focus. I liked that I grew up in the West and felt superior to those who probably paid to have their shoelaces tied in the North.

      And it does have a few stellar restaurants right now, but they are being kept in business only by the Yuppies who have no interest in the heart of New Rochelle. These stellar restaurants are not catering to the middle and lower classes.

      But that’s it. Greenburgh has a better library, White Plains has a better hospital, Scarsdale has a MUCH better school, and any other town in Westchester has a better downtown.

      So you are still optimistic (or say you are) that the citizens of New Rochelle are going to rise up and take back their city. I know you write a good story, but deep down, and I say this because your writings are always thoughtful and intelligent, I doubt you are benighted enough to believe what you write.

      Bottom line, anyone who cares about New Rochelle should move out.

      1. used you are an honest and perceptive man
        I am really not sure all the time. I have seen so much that is going wrong, a waste of our resources, decency, actually literally the sin of neglect of decent, hard working people, a celebrated history, and so much more.

        YOu are very perceptive. I am frequently down in the dumps or angry enough to slap the living hell out of someone. I see people injufred at a traffic light that should be fixed, missing street trash cans, so much more. I read that the BID guy who literally does not perform gets over 6 figures, that some of our fine council people seem tired and throw up their hands.

        so yes, Used, you are right. But how the hell can I give up. Too many give up, i cannot. what galls me is that people think this sort of fthinking is either jusst misplaced passion or bad fortune.

        Bulls–t. These problems can be fixed. You can help, I can help.. but so far who listens. It sounds like a madman ranting but I want to make this place work again, to help Jim Killoran and others like him to build a City.

        I cannot express it any better and yes, I might bail out in 48 hours. I don’tknow.

        I love hearing from you because people like you are what this place is all about, not some poser in zip code 10804 who thinks hardship is having to walk to the local shopping center.

        1. Thank you, Warren, high praise as usual…
          when it comes from you. Hah, I’ve been 10801 (the West IS -or was- best!) and 10805 in my time.

          But, lol (don’t you hate lol?), I thought I noted this before, I’m not a ‘he’ but a ‘she’.

          Granted, an old, cynical, curmudgeonly, misanthropic ‘she’, but I doubt there are very many people in Westchester who love New Rochelle (NOT New Roc and NOT New freaking Ro) as much as you and I do.

          I don’t want you to give up, Warren. You are the optimistic ying to my very pessimistic yang. That is as it should be. There is need for both of us in this formerly glorious city.

          So, when do we and the other old time New ROCHELLIANS (no politicians or yuppies need reply) meet up at Dudley’s? I went recently and Steve is truly a wonderful bartender.

          1. And, can someone tell me…
            what is this? Am I the only one seeing it here? If I am, can someone tell me why and how I fix it? TIA.

            warning: strtotime() [function.strtotime]: It is not safe to rely on the system’s timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected ‘America/New_York’ for ‘EDT/-4.0/DST’ instead in /home/newroche/public_html/docs/modules/comment/comment.module on line 1514.

        2. 10804
          Mr. Gross…what exactly don’t you like about the folks in 10804…please be explicit and keep it to one paragraph…thank you

          1. 10804 out of touch
            I do not speak for anyone but myself but the problem with the folks in area code 10804 is that they are out of touch with New Rochelle. For the most part, they don’t come south of Eastchester Road except to conduct business at City Hall once in a while or use the train station, I’m sorry the “Transit Center”. They certainly, for the most part, don’t support our business district and their young children have no need to use the main library in downtown New Rochelle because they have their own children’s library on Eastchester & North. The Huguenot Children’s Library is testament to the north/south divide. We are one of the most overtaxed communities in Westchester and we support a children’s library whose legal occupancy is under 60. That’s not an error, the legal occupancy is lees than 60 in a public library serving a city with a population in excess of 75,000.

            At the end of the day, the people in area code 10804 espouse and flaunt New Rochelle’s diversity but they have NEVER experienced the diversity they assert. They talk the talk but have NEVER walked the diversity walk!

            The NRFD dubbed Eastchester Road the Mason/Dixon Line… need I say more?

          2. 10804
            NR Old Timer…when were you last at the 10804 Children’s Library and the Children’s park adjacent to it? Take a moment and and visit and you’ll see diversity. And while you are at it…check the sales slips at any of the stores/gas stations south of 10804 and see the percentage of their sales which come from 10804.

          3. 10804 Bridget
            I was there Friday (HCL) and the “diversity” is from the neighboring apartment buildings NOT from below. Why don’t you visit Columbus, Trinity or Jefferson playgrounds and see if there are any children, parents or families from the 10804 zip? Better yet, check how many 804’ers frequent Hudson Park or the Tiki Bar. Sorry if you didn’t realize NR has a beach where one can actually swim. The main opposition to recycling the NR Armory is from 804’ers who support the administration and have no clue what it is to serve country. Remember FREEDOM is not free!

            Why not request ethnic breakdowns from the school district for Ward & Columbus and compare? Finally, if you seek the truth, compare state scores for Ward and Columbus better yet compare state scores for ALMS & IEYMS. Diversity exists in the minds of 804’ers while 801’ers LIVE diversity every day!

          4. More of the same poor reasoning
            Who swims in LI Sound? What a joke you make of yourself with such statements.

            I went to Roosevelt School which had a diverse student body and we’re all better for it.

            Sorry you’re so bitter…

          5. Is HCL information accurate?
            Why the sidestep? Is the Huguenot Children’s Library history correct? Did the “804’ers” reneg and cost taxpayers over $1 million a year? Come on fess up. I am dirt-old and still swim in the sound. Maybe you should try it, it would boost your imune system and maybe you’ll make my age. Roosevelt school is a fond memory as I attended the old three-story brick Columbus with four ball fields which is now a joke with one “field” that a 10-year-old could hit a hme run.

            I think the point is that many who remain in New Rochelle remember her glory days and are trying to get her back on track. Not necessarly to that time but to a new glory. She has lost her way and the Queen City’s Crown is tarnished. If we 101’ers (all zips) can’t unite and focus on a better New Rochelle the Queen City is doomed.

          6. Stink or Swim?
            Just read the Cover article in the Journal News on the LI Sound, specifically how there is no oxygen in the water and how the efforts to clean it up are not doing so well.

            Wait a sec…….10804 does not come in contact with the LI Sound. Hmmmmmm, should we blame the other parts of the city for ruining the LI Sound???

          7. If, Bridget 10804, next time you drive through 10801,
            you don’t lock your car doors, assuming you even know where 10801 is, I’ll buy you a drink at Warren’s get together.

          8. Bridget-10804
            Bridget, See the percentage of sales that comes from the East End of New Rochelle, zip code 10801. We have many businesses and never receive our fair share nor do we have a seat on any appointed boards.

            When was the last time you attended any citizens to be heard meeting? Or do you just take for granted that the mayor will take care of everything for you.

            Only when we all meet and discuss issues will we be one city, but the mayor refuses to have a community meeting and bring this city together. I wonder why and so should you.

          9. 804’ers go back on their word
            I will give 804’ers their due credit in that they renovated the HCL BUT their original mission statement stated the Partnership for the Huguenot Children’s Library would be responsible for funding the library in perpetuity. The 804’ers couldn’t maintain funding so they hitched their wagon to Peter Korn’s library debacle that split this city north & south forever. The original HCL website stated for children and their caretakers while the NRPL website stated for children and their parents. Once again there aren’t many 801’ers with nannies.

          10. The more you say…
            The more you say the dumber you look!

            Saw lots of 10804 residents at the Celebrity Softball Game, volunteering at the New Ro Humane Society, getting a bite at Dudley’s and Greasy Nick’s to name a few spots, at the movies at New Roc, shopping at Talner Jewelers, attending the Performances hosted by the Main Library, going to Doctor’s appointments on Lockwood, purchasing goods and supppies at Costco, enjoying the shore at Glen Island park, departing on boats at the marinas…

            You gotta get out more homie – you’re missing alot!!!

          11. BMW, sorry for your ignorance
            Bro, I bumped into more of your friends shopping at Lord & Taylor, Scarsdale, Eastchester, Mamaroneck & White Plains than you ever identified in downtown NR. There’s more patrons from the Bronx than 804’ers at Costco. Bet there are more Beemer’s in 804!

          12. Shopping
            Old Timer…were you shopping in Lord and Taylor and in the other towns you mentioned or were you doing a marketing survey? If you were shopping…how many of the items you bought could have been purchased in 10801? What has the number of Beemers in 10804 have to do with anything…you are wrong about Costco’s customer base..check it out.

          13. No sense..
            There’s no sense in what you are trying to convey. I presented a few of what are much more examples of 10804 residents venturing into other areas of the city to conduct business, consumer, charitable, volunteer, medical, recreational activities. You did not even try to refute these facts.

            All you have for an argument is nonsense.

            And BTW it’s Bimmer, see how ignorant you are!

            The divide and conquer way, the class warfare way is futile. Also – if things are so bad in that part of town how come houses on Kensington Oval fetch 1.5-2.5 M?

          14. My observation
            I have been following with interest, here is my observation. In fairness the “examples” you present are very general and unsubstantiated. Anyone who has lived anywhere in NR for 10 or more years realizes the north south divide exists. You cite exceptions in the 10801 area code that rival the general rule in the 10804 area code. One should never make the exception the rule.

            For the record, the average single-family house vale is $459,551 in 10804 and $235,166 in 10801 !!!!!

            It’s a tough pill to swallow no matter which side of the Mason Dixon Line you are on. 801’ers require more core services; police, fire & sanitation due to their urban, inner city setting and 804’ers while requiring the same core services prioritize bike paths & GreeNR in a more suburban, rural setting.

            You state “the class warfare way is futile” while calling Timer “ignorant” because he doesn’t realize it’s “Bimmer” not Beemer. You just proved his point and demonstrated class warfare thrives in 804.

            Maybe you should call President Obama and tell him of you class warfare strategy, it’s backfiring on him too.

          15. bridget FAir Question
            It is a dymbolic distaste for a group of enablers who act as a rule on the need to restore and rebuild this city. It is personal only inasmuch as it identifies an affluent part of the City who demontrate little concern for those less fortunate, who support an administration who would ignore the reality that we have so many people in need, so little attention paid to dangerous conditions, allow deteriorate and rot to replace a place once treasured by people a hell of a lot better than I am and perhaps the silenat apathetic well off are as well.

            Don’t ask me for one paragraph Bridget, it too is symbolic of a sound bite, Face Book, twitter and social media age that contributes to these things.

            Oh, by the way, I am not a bleeding heart, granola munching, hydrophonic worshipper. I rather feed the least among us and then teach them how to fish, perhaps even hydrophonically farm.

            You are likely a fine, lovely person and by no means are my words directed at you. At least you have the decency to respond. Bless you.

          16. Unfair Response
            Why not place blame on those who reside there? Why not blame the residents who live in the Tudors on Sunhaven Drive, the Elites in Premium Point, the people who live in the $1,000,000 + homes on Kensington Oval? Why do you blame people who purchased homes in 10804?

            Do you blame the Residents of Manhattan for the Bronx’s decline in the 60’s and 70’s, do you blame the Northwest Suburbs of Detroit for the decline of downtown Detroit?

            And to say we demonstate little concern for others? How the Hell do you know what people do to support others? Really an ignorant diatribe on your part.

          17. Ignorance or Reality?
            The 804’ers espouse New Rochelle’s diversity while reality defines the truth. Here are some comparisons;

            District 6 / 10804 District 1 / 10801
            80% White 25%
            6% Hispanic/Latino 62%
            8% African American 10%
            $165,154 Avg. HHI* $61,282

            *Average Household Income

          18. America, America…
            Here’s what s so Great about America…
            Anyone with the means to do so can purchase a home in the 10804 zip code. Hurray for the Free Market, Hurray for Capitalism, Hurray for Democracy!!!

            Hope to see you at our secret 10804 meetings where we plot against the rest of the city when you move here! Go to the Starbucks on North Ave and the barrista will give you the secret handshake after you give her a soft boiled egg…

          19. The 73%
            US Percent of Whites as a total of the Population is 73%. You stated Whites make up 80% of the 10804 zipcode.
            That’s not too far off the National figure of 73%.

            What’s the problem?

          20. again its symbolic
            BMWCLH don’t take it too literal. Again, it is symbolic. 10804 represents something that separates it from a good deal of the rest of the City in terms of a tale of two cities. It is difficult to dispute that there is a significant portion of the community that is underrepresnted and as important, our ability to attract investment will and has been, judged by the Investment community in part by our inability to maintain a stable, viable, safe business district.

            Dont’ take my word for this. Inquire yourself. When you have trouble attracting funds, you have to be more generous than you should be to developers, or venture capitalists in terms of tax breaks and abatement.

            We know about Avalon, but look at the appearance of 25 Leroy (sic) with a street front, ground floor commercial space which is a disgrace to the eye and frankly, surprised the current high end condo owners put up with this.

            If you dig into it, I will venture an educated guess that the City signed off on a tax break on the space if it remained unoccupied as long as a “good faith effort” was placed by the owner to rent the space. Well they charge SOHO rates and it is to their interest to leave it unoccupied. It is to our interest to see that it is not or at least the owner has the courtesy or sense to make it look presentable.

            But why should they? The City should have written a favorable set of terms in the contract and they could have done this without sacrificing the issuance of a tax break.

            But they lack experience, sense, or simply have no issue with the separation of districts. So the symbolic presentation of zip code differernces which is sort of like Beverly Hills 90214 without the sexy intrigue.

            I am going to work with some downtown business and community people to see whether the landlord will allow for the presence of a non-profit art salon, or even place some city departments – like DeBart and BID in there — subject to a reasonable length of occupancy if a lessee is found.

            So, that is why I used the symbolic references. As I told Bridget, it is symbolic but unless and until we balance the City, educate the folks who keep pushing for the wrong things such as more residential edifices, sustainability use other than its real intended uses (who really needs hydrophonics for example, when there are so many bread and butter needs.

            I hear the squishing of oil and that means Napersenk and Forest City is still in play. Ok by me as long as it does not harm to the Armory or for that matter, is liberal thinking in terms of other matters. Noam and the Administration have literally no ethical, moral, or business right to court Forest City who, I allege, repeat allege, are “unindicted co-conspirators” in the Ridge Hill trial of the fomer council woman and ccnsultant which, I think, will come back in play shortly.

            If you want them to assume a communications role for the City, practice checkbook diplomacy, and likely, have played a role already in the RFPs for the Armory (it smacks of their kind of work), then at least make sure they do no harm to much larger issues that we face daily below New Rochelle Road.

            Sorry for the length, but that is me. If you think it is fitting, I will substitute a new symobolic term for 10804. How about “the silent enablers”?

  2. We Must Get Together
    Warren, I think it is time we have that get together. It is not helping our city if we are fighting amongst ourselves.

    Please post the time and place and let’s see who shows up.

    1. The debate
      I think this is postive and productive. People are talking and disagreement is open and contained. It beats apathy any day.

      Knitter, what I hope people see is that these are not flag burning, tree hugging, gun totin radicals or bleeding hearts. These are people with points of view and that is what is so important. You are one; a valued one who has come forward on many occasions to speak up for your sense of what is right for New Rochelle.

      Every poster loves this Cit and that is the common denominator. I am not reading postings that show me an agenda built around self interest.

      I am someone with considerable issues and faults and you can probably tell this from my long sometimes ranting, unediting posts. But like you, Bridget, Old Timer, BMW, Ralph, we have taken paths to a common destination. The saddest thing about this, the only downside to me, is that the City Administration is not really concerned or interested enough to spread out to embrace these views depending on Forest City, Monroe, Iona, Cappeli, Apocella, Napersentk, Jerome…. maybe fine people, likely are, but checkbooks should not trump concerned citizenship and I am hoping ot gain membership in the westchester county association — more on this but they are a powerful advocacy group dealing with workforce development, business growth, sustainability and many of the aforementioned names are members and on the advisory board.

      Actually I view this as positive; very positive, providing that there is a substantive role for John Q Public and Jane Public to play in all of this. If I am granted membership, I will be a voice for those who cannot, a poster of information and perhaps I can help shape the conversation and debate to areas that literally promote business growth and development.

      Okay, Knitter, typical me…. rambling on.

      But, if anyone wants to meet with a bald 75 year old man and simply affirm our supp0rt for the community… I will be at the Patisserie on Huguenot Street between 8AM and 9AM on September 5 and 6. If I can help in any way at a community meeting or the like let me know.

      So, September 5 and 6 8am – 9am. Bald, older than dirt as Ralph might say, Knee Brace and gym clothes. Hard to miss.

      Again, without TOTS we are a community struggling to communicate.


      1. New Rochelle can and will get better, It Must!

        I too am a long time citizen born and raised in New Rochelle. I have seen the days of RKO, Town, Lowes, Bloomingdales, Arnold Constables, Palace Shoes, Grants, and F& W Woolworths and Schrafft’s Ice Cream. Those were the days that the people with disposable incomes would shop at Bloomies and go to lunch at Schraff’s. My grandmother was one of them. The people from the North End and many surrounding cities would shop Downtown. It is these businesses and the many others like Lillian Vernon that brought people into Downtown every day to work and shop. Due to the concept of the major shopping centers and malls they slowly moved away. Macy’s was a white elephant. It was not just the change in the demographics and the increased use of the car to get around. Poor management, judgment and planning of past and current government that created this problem as well. I agree with what you say.

        Yes, we are the enablers. This city would not be focused on the wrong things if people cared enough to say… Enough! Way too many opportunities have come and gone. Now is the time for people to speak up. You are right, the conversation should turn to taxes, expense management, lack of proper emphasis on commercial development, the need to clean up our visible downtown district, a war of crime and support for our first providers. The City of New Rochelle and its taxpayers can’t afford anymore bonds and poorly managed deals. Priorities need to be evaluated and saving and cost cutting is a must, not at the cost of taxpayer safety and essential personnel. Every corporation does reviews and revamps their manpower and management needs. It is time The City Council reviews the jobs at City Hall first and foremost. There is plenty to start with at City Hall. Start from the top down. Not the bottom up. See you on the 6th of September.

        We can’t give up just because some say it can’t be done. Actually, that is when I dig in my heals and fight even harder for what I believe in. Things can get better. Change must come. It is never too late. Where would this country be today if we gave up every time someone said it can’t be done?

        “Common sense for the Common Good”

  3. Why Do You Think It will Get Better
    I commented on a similiar post a few months ago. I don’t have too much to add to this as I don’t have all of the historical information on New Rochelle only having lived in New Rochelle a year and a half now. I have lived in Westchester my entire life so I am familiar with all of the towns for the most part as well as the 10804 area.

    I had high hopes for a change in New Rochelle when I moved here. Not anymore. In fact, I think crime is on the rise and Downtown looks even worse. I had a very unpleasant walk from my car to the Gnarly Vine downtown and told my Husband we won’t be doing that again. If we can’t feel safe getting out of the car in Downtown, what are we doing here? The only shopping we do in NR is Shop Rite and that is not always a great experience. Even the Target has Security. It is sad when you go to other towns for ALL of your shopping needs. Also a lot of driving for me and inconvenience at times for someone that works full time!

    Once I am in my house, I am in for the day/night. I give up. Looking to move as soon as we can. I don’t think most people care either. I am sorry, but I would prefer to live in 10804 as there is “life” over there and no crime. I am tired of seeing flashing sirens of police cars flying by day and night. You will say I am another one who doesn’t care. I have just given up trying to care as I watch the situation get worse and worse while other areas like White Plains get better and better.

    1. Every City Official, Citizen, Neighborhood Associatioin, Read !
      This is New Rochelle. This is as honest, eloquent, and Direct as any assessment could be. That you Ms Spano and for those in City Government who claim they do not read Talk of the Sound, stop your denial and heed this woman’s testimony.

      In a smonth of so, the Mayor, assorted City Officials, and the Enablers of Decay will be in a bus showing County Members of the Westchester County Association our downtown area. It will similar to riding through a jungle habitat, safely inside a vehicle, looking at our Avalon, Trump Towers, and who knows what else, but they will not hear this citizen’s voice, the voices of those who live down here, in fear for their safety and lacking the basic recovery support that our beloved and once thriving City enjoyed.

      The aims of this Association are excellent and I am sure that most of the people on the bus are skilled, compassionate, and open.

      So, once the date and times are announced, I ask you all to bear testimony by lining the route and display signs, banners, or whatever works so that you can be heard.

      The list of “advisors” representing New Rochelle are all of the usual first level donators — Forest City, Monroe, Iona, Cappelli, Jerome, Apicella… I do not think any of our four downtown or midtown Council Members are represented.

      I have asked for information on membership so that you have at least one advocate that will point out what so many of us have tried to do for several years; simply summarized by the simple recognition that to restore and rebuild New Rochelle, we need to implement Section III’s primary recommendation in the 1996 Comprehensive Plan. That has to do with putting our downtown business district right…. nothing to do with words like “repurpose” In fact, “repurpose” is dangerous as it leads to the abuse of power and neglect we see happening in matters such as the acquisitioi of property by stealth and lack of City planning and governance by the Jerome family for Monroe.

      It would take an idiot or an administration totally unsklled not to recognize Monroe’s business plan and bigger idiots like us, you and I, zip codes 10801 to 10805 not to see the power of the checkbook in New Rochelle.

      why in the name of all that is Holy do we sit idly by and rationalize that a ceremonial mayor, with no explicit Charter authority that supports the roles and responsibilitiese he has undertaken, requires any “compaign fund?” This is especially odious given the fact that the damn thing is in the six figures.

      If the City Council rationalizes that they need “repurposing” to rebuild the one hope for building a commercial base and relieve property tax burdens on us, to restore safety and security downtown, to ask recent middle to high net worth residents in high rises to put up with neglect, invasion of college students, and so much more, then this Council, member by member will have to answer to their God, if the have one, their families, or the mirror.

      I hate, I despise this negativity…. but to use language I am most comfortable with, repurposing is fine, not now though…. we do not need or want de novo, we want organic change.

      From here on in, I will write op eds for TOTS but not respond to much more. You know where I stand. I stand with people like Jim Killoran.

      I will stand along the bus route when they pass through… respectfully, but visible and perhaps my presence is tesetimony to what this excellent poster, the child in the library, the women accosted in daylight walking from the change station, the accident victims along Division and Main, the closed and shuttered stores that could not compete, the restuarnat owners whose business is threatened nightly, Mr Cohen who has seen the destruction of the area and the risk to his business, and to all residents FROM ALL ZIP CODEs who in ohur 325th year of existence find ourselves in the same condition as our great nation.

      1. Seriously, Warren?
        The crooks will be on a bus? I would love to hear how the crooks spin the downtown sewer that is New Rochelle! They will no doubt hire their own driver, who under pain of death will not reveal a word. Any reporters on the bus? Will TOTS be there, will lohud, will patch? No matter, the riders will get their bribes, they care not about New Rochelle.

        “The aims of this Association are excellent and I am sure that most of the people on the bus are skilled, compassionate, and open.”

        You actually believe these words? Warren, Warren, Warren.

        “why in the name of all that is Holy do we sit idly by and rationalize”

        That’s been my question for – how long has it been since Idoni I and Idoni II took office?

        Kudos on your last paragraph. Of course, you will be the ‘Tank Man of Tiananmen Square’ of the sewer that is downtown New Rochelle, but I salute you.

        New Rochelle is done, stick a fork in it.

        1. I Do USED
          Ths bus or busses will be largely occupied by people representinig Westchsster County Association, realtors, commercial investors and others with no direct axes to grind in New Rochelle.

          I really have no reason to accuse even our officials of much more than poor judgment, ignorance of how a city is planned and managed, and mostly, insensitivity to the many voices, such as the posters here, who seek a voice, relief from the unnecessary economic and social pressures caused by an Administration who are out of touch, not receptive to the changes in today’s ways of governance, and foolish enough to let the downtown district deteriorate and then, invite the County folks to tour a wasteland and portray it as otherwise.

          I appear harsh, I don’t very much like myself lately, but these are facts that cannot be denied. We have had plenty of time to put the City on the path to recovery. Absolute preposterous, self-serving, non-responsive decisions have been made that makes the September tour into a charade more than a cavalcade.

          But, perhpas it will help.

          My voice will state what the Charter states. We have a 7 person City Council; one of these is a Ceremonial mayor. His predecessor, Tim Idoni was the same. The Charter gives selective addtional powers to the ceremonial mayor and acquiring additonal powers must be at the pleasure and dispositioin of City Council.

          It is clear enough to a layman…. I wish that some TOTS reader, preferably an attorney, would educate me if I am wrong.

          We have had a number of council members who are sor were attorneys and none,includeing St Paul, a minority council party representative, felt this notion either was correct or had merit.

          Stephen Mayo, where aer you now that I really need you.So I will hold the City Council and each individual member culpable for the decline and deteioration of the City and fault those council members who have parts or all of the busines district and the North Avenue corridor, in a brighter light. I consider Fertl is a somewhat dimmer light but he has an Office on North Avenue and Shari Rackman must always consider the large donation from Monroe (Jerome family) to her campaign based likely on her mother’s employment in Monroe. Jerome is one of the largest “enablers” in the City and a noted checkbook writer who has received more than fair value for his largesse.

          so give the majority of the occupants respect and space. They are members of an organization that is seemingly doing te right thing.

          1. Warren, respect is not a given, it is earned…
            and no politician since 1991 (I finally looked it up*) has done a d***ed thing to earn my respect. They have fattened their own bank accounts and driven New Rochelle into the sewer.

            By all means, remain optimistic, someone has to do so. Wasn’t it Truman who said: show me? Well, show me a politician in New Rochelle who will even START on the revitalization of downtown. And by START I don’t mean political rhetoric, I mean level the dollar stores and bring in decent retailers. Then I may believe. A little. But not until then.

            You’ve seen the posts from wspano and dearalexandra, they are newbies to New Rochelle and have none of my 21 year bitterness. Take it from them. The key is to get out before, if it is possible, New Rochelle gets even worse.

            *By the way, his wikipedia entry was obviously written by him. Here’s just a bit of the BS: “During his years as mayor, New Rochelle’s downtown underwent substantial redevelopment. A long period of economic decay came to an end, as tenements, vacant stores and light industry were replaced with middle to upper income apartment buildings, an entertainment complex, parkland, and large retailers.”

      2. Connect the Dots
        Just to name a few of the members on the board of directors for the Westchester County Association , Joseph Apicella-Cappelli Enterprises, Inc., Alfred DelBello-DelBello Donnellan Weingarten Wise & Wiederkehr(associated with Forest City Ratner?), Janet Hasson-The Journal News, Marc Jerome-Monroe College, John Spicer-Sound Shore Health System. I see a conflict of interest. How can you represent the city and be on the board of directors of this association?

        Let’s see what Noam will gives away for $1. Perhaps if Ralph DiBart is not too busy, he can drive the bus.

        1. The Planned Event for New Rochelle
          My wife Maria Jacobson who has a deserved reputation in New York City as an Executive for the International Center for the Disabled (ICD) an organization noted for their work in the employment field for veterans, ex substance abusers, etal and who actually produces both “sustaiability training and contracts has informed me that……

          New Rochelle will host an INVITATION ONLY event under the auspices of the Westchester County Association on September 20th between the hours of 8AM and 1:30 PM.

          The invited guests will be real estate professionals, brokers, site selectors, developers, architects, investors, and engineers.

          the guest list will almost assuredly include members of the Advisory Committee and others deemed suitable by the Administration. Thus names mentioned thus far by Knitter and yours truly.

          Here is the agenda.

          1. a tour of the City — likely by motorbus.
          2. a view of special development opportunities — count on Echo Bay for one.
          3. Laarn about New Rochelle’s Pro Business Policies — I wonder if we will hear what these are prior to this event?
          4. Enjoy a luncheon with panoramic City and River views. not sure of what river? so sounds like Avalon or Trump Towrs.
          5. Meet with New Rochelle Mayor and Development Team.

          It is very sad and very Obama like to deal with something of this importance with no community information, input, and speaks volumes to the exclusion of the plebleian population down these partss.

          I have no choice, but to hold the City Council responsible for this…. each member, one and all, for the lack of both a clear and consistent business plan and strategy since minimally, the issuance of the 1996 Comprehensive Plan.

          This is exactly why so many citizens in our nation are rising up against secretive government and nothing could be more secretive than one that sequesters itself behind a single barricade at 515 North Avenue.

          Ok USED, you’ll love this message. I feel a sense of loss as a citizen and a re-energized need to follow what our founders would do and perhaps Tom Paine, for one, has some advice.

          That said, I WANT this damn thing to work despite the exclusion of so many of us who want to play a role and have been denied because we lack some demographic or some value set.

          Oh, Maria would like me to be calmer and less passionate. If the Administration had any sense, she would be on that invitation list.

          So would Jim Killoran and would assume each council member.

          Welcome to the County

          1. LOL, LOL, Warren, and I HATE using LOL…
            but you made me laugh out loud with:

            “Ok USED, you’ll love this message.”

            Yes, I am as negative a naybob as ever was invented, and if you look up misanthrope in the dictionary, you will see my picture, BUT, as I’ve shared, I STILL love New Rochelle as I love no other city in Westchester and I do NOT want to see your optimism diluted not one little bit.

            Without your ying to my dark as India Ink (remember India ink?) dark yang, what will happen to the Queen City? I too want what you want to work, I just can’t believe in it.

            Calmer? Less passionate? NO! Don’t you think Mr. NewRochelleUSED would like me to calm down? Never, ever.

            Wait, she’s NOT on the list? What a crock.

        2. Where’s armory Atallah he payed his share
          All contributors to the Noam campaign. Thats why I ask about the member of the “good profit”/ armory development team and city planning commission member Wajdi Atallah. His company (sbi consultants) stands to make 2 million dollars off of the work they will do if they get their armory proposal approved. His company has been a contributor to Noam . Even Mr Spicer is in for a couple of grand. Anyone who wants to get a sweet deal and make money has to pay Noam if they want to be allowed to play in new rochelle. Look at this list. EVERY single business person named gets to do what they want to the city. Lets see if the journal news is capoble of actually doing any journalism, or if they will just stay the course and let themselves be spoon fed for the story. Pityfull

          1. Nooooooooooooooooooo, I never woulda guessed…
            “All contributors to the Noam campaign.”

            Ralph who?

            Ralph Kramden I know and love, this other Ralph sounds like a crook.

    2. Excellent summary of the sewer that is New Rochelle, wspano.
      Let this serve as a loud voice to all the crooks in City Hall and any optimists that are still living in New Rochelle. I don’t believe there are many left. The sad part? The crooks in City Hall don’t care.

      wspano, I grew up in the 1950s/1960s New Rochelle. As you’ve read here, it was glorious, there’s no other word for it.

      Starting with Idoni, greed took over and that was the end. New Rochelle ended with the first term of Idoni, and needless to say, with each succeeding term and the plugging in of Idoni II, New Rochelle became New Roc and New Ro and the fat lady sang. IOW, it is over.

  4. Why Do You Think It’ll Get Better?
    I hate that I have become so cynical about the state of New Rochelle in such a short period of time, but I am fed up and angry. The issue here is that you have such diversity but there is a real split. You have citizens that literally feel they can’t go into certain areas of New Rochelle. The unfortunate part is that there are some very good restaurants and shops in Downtown where good people are trying very hard to make a living. Some of the restaurants have won awards like Best of Westchester. How sad! Downtown is never going to be able to improve in its current state and these businesses will never be able to survive in this climate. The people with the money in New Rochelle don’t need to frequent those restaurants where they don’t feel safe even walking. There are so many choices in Westchester. It would be nice though to eat five minutes from your house versus 20 though, right?

    If you get the Spot Crime Report, you would shocked at how much crime is really taking place in areas you would not think are prone to crime. I was surprised at how much crime was taking place where I lived. The police take approximately 20 minutes to come to us when called for anything! Hopefully I will never have an emergency where I myself am in danger.

    I guess I don’t really understand who the politicians are trying to appease? To me, if you want to see the change, it starts with making the ENTIRE city attractive, and with close proximity to NYC, this is one of the reasons we moved here. But with all of the issues, why would anyone seriously choose New Rochelle that could choose any town, other than cheaper taxes? This to me is NOT a reason not a reason as there are no positives here anymore.

  5. Free Lunches and Free Rides!

    Some are still getting the free lunches and enjoying it! You just have to be sitting at the right table with the right people, the right menu, and the right waiter and at their right hand. I didn’t say right time because it seem, any time is good for a free lunch.

    It’s time for Captain Louis Renault to say “Round up the usual suspects.” We are doing another dog and pony show. As Rick said, “Ilsa, I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world”. Only thing is the trifling values and problems of a few are the problems of many here in New Rochelle. They just don’t have a voice as of yet. It is a work in progress.

    Albert Einstein:
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    People and Citizens of New Rochelle we can’t stand by and expect the same people to step up time and again without any support. Time to pitch in maybe send a letter speak at Citizens to be Heard. It may not be much time but it will be fruitful in the long run. We are a city of 71K, I am sure there are more than several people that can make an appearance once a month to speak. The next City Council Committee of the Whole plus Public Hearing & Citizens To Be Heard is September 12th. You can make a difference invest three minutes for your future and the future of New Rochelle.

    September 12, 2012
    Time: 3:45 PM - 9:00 PM
    Time Details: City Council Meeting begins at 3:45 PM with any Public Hearing starting at 7:30 PM and Citizens To Be Heard immediately following. There are no details available at this time. In September go to the city web site for an update.

    “Common sense for the Common Good”

  6. Warren? I miss you…
    I went looking for any mention of Dudley’s, just to append any post to give it another thumbs up for a lunch enormously enjoyed today – Steve still makes a helluva drink and Electra remembered me from LAST summer! – in a belated birthday celebration with my Mom, and I came across a post from Warren.

    I’m still no more optimistic than I was last year, and I’m guessing Warren still is. But…..the downside is that he doesn’t write here anymore, and I mightily miss him.

    Warren, I hope at least that you read here.

    Dudley’s and Steve and Electra – you’re a beacon in New Rochelle, never change, and thank you.

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