10. New Rochelle High School Football Team Wins NYSPHSAA State Championship
Ranked #2 in the State after an undefeated regular season, the team entered the playoffs with high hopes which appeared to have been dashed when their head coach was suspended. The team won three games in a row including the title game in the Carrier Dome to set a New Rochelle record for wins in a season with 13.
9. Tree Crushes Girl on Halloween
Neighbors had complained to the City for months about the dead tree the came down on Halloween, severely injuring a young trick-or-treater who has was crushed underneath. The City had complained to Con Edison right up until the morning the tree fell. The incident exposed a flaw in how tree removal in managed in New Rochelle.
8. End of Parente-Trangucci Melodrama
With self-inflicted wounds, brothers-in-law Peter Parente and Louis Trangucci saw what is likely the end of their involvement in the public sphere. Parente’s foul-mouthed xenophobic rant on Facebook saw him removed from the New Rochelle Veterans Advisory Council. Trangucci’s acceptance of campaign funds from real estate developers, including an illegal campaign contribution, led to a trouncing at the polls on election day. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
7. Sentencing in January 2018 School Violence Cases
Z’inah Brown was sentenced to 17 years in state prison for the stabbing death of another New Rochelle High School student, 16-year-old Valaree Schwab. Dominique Slack and Carl Booker were both sentenced for stalking Schwab in an incident resulting in her death to “shock probation” where they were incarcerated in Westchester County Jail for six months and five years’ probation. Bryan Stamps was sentenced as a Juvenile Offender to one to three years in state prison for Assault in the First Degree, a class B felony. for stabbing a classmate at New Rochelle High School.
6. Westchester County Sales Tax 1% v 14%
Westchester County Executive George Latimer pushed through an increase in the Westchester County Increases Sales and Use Tax Rate beginning August 1, 2019, Westchester County is increasing its local sales and use tax rate from 3% to 4%. This change applies to all taxable sales and uses in Westchester County outside the cities of Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, White Plains, and Yonkers. 44 of 48 municipalities saw a sales tax increase. The overall cost to consumers was an increase in the sales tax rate from 7 3/8% to 8 3/8%. Latimer and the media took to calling that a 1% increase when it is a 14% increase; taking the local sales and use tax rate from 3% to 4% is a 33.3% increase. Call it 14% or 33.3% just don’t call it 1%.
5. New Rochelle City Council Elections
For the first time ever, the majority of members will be women come January 1, 2020. Mayor Noam Bramson was re-elected, Barry Fertel and Jared Rice retired. Bramson named Rice as a judge on the New Rochelle City Court to replace Judge Gail Rice. Louis Trangucci was soundly defeated.
4. School Board Dysfunction
The New Rochelle Board of Education, under the leadership of Jeffrey Hastie became a dumpster fire with Hastie supplying the gasoline and matches. Like a dog chasing a car, when Hastie was chosen as Board President he did not know what to do. The past year continued the trend of high administrative turnover, state investigations into a failure to meet requirements for instructional hours at the two middle schools, a state investigation into the Apex grade inflation, a re-opening of the District’s Apex investigation, and more. A total CF (if you read the late Jim Bouton’s Ball Four you know the term)
3. Suspension and Resignation of New Rochelle head football coach Louis DiRienzo
The announcement that Coach D had been “reassigned to home” on the eve of the New York State playoffs generated shock and anger among the school sports community and beyond resulting in massive media coverage, protests and calls for the resignation of the Schools Superintendent and Board Officers. His resignation in December took the wind out of the protests but anger against District leadership continues to simmer at a low boil.
2. Swastikas in Schools
After a flurry of Swastikas was found at the high school and two middle schools in the Spring of 2019 there was a lull until around Thanksgiving when five more were found, 4 at New Rochelle High School and a big one at Albert Leonard Middle School. Since we first reported on the Swastikas 13 months ago a total of 20 Swastikas have been reported to New Rochelle Police. No one has been caught.
1. Hiring of Dr. Feijóo as New Rochelle Schools Superintendent
Superintendent Dr. Laura Feijóo has been the most controversial hire in the history of the City School District of New Rochelle. A month before her hiring was announced, she joined a $90 million reverse-discrimination lawsuit against the Schools Chancellor and New York City Department of Education leading to numerous protests, a formal complaint to the New York State Commissioner of Education and a lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court. That was just a warm up for what came next, her decision to suspend Coach Louis DiRienzo caused a furor. The FUSE union demanded she be removed from office. Football parents joined in and went after school board members as well.