BEECHMONT BUGLE - online version Official Newsletter of the BEECHMONT ASSOCIATION WINTER ISSUE JANUARY 2009
Beechmont Launches Web Site In its efforts to improve communication with all the residents of Beechmont, a new web site was authorized by the Board. The new site may be accessed at:
Our webmaster is Martin Friedrichs, and he and the members of the Board hope to make this an interesting, and informative way of communicating with the residents of Beechmont. It is hoped that in the future it will feature Association news, stories on long time residents, articles and photos of new residents, etc. It will be interactive in that it will provide a quick way of communicating with the Board. In addition it already has links to Iona arts events, the City of New Rochelle, etc. We invite you to comment on our new webpage and we value your suggestions. You will also find a map of all the properties in Beechmont. Some real estate agencies are confused with the boundaries of various communities in New Rochelle and will sometimes list a home in a neighborhood incorrectly. The website also shows many beautiful images of homes and places in Beechmont including some historic reproductions. It contains a reproduction of the original description of Beechmont contained in the 1902 sales brochure issued by City Realty, the developers of Beechmont. (See page 3.)
Are You Paying Too Much in Taxes? One way to find out is to use New Rochelle’s web-based Information Property Portal. A link to the portal is also found on the Beechmont webpage. After clicking on the link, scroll down to the box GIS, type in your house number and street address in capital letters and click on the MAP IT button.. Note that many times it will accept only an abbreviation such as DR for Drive and PL for place. A map of New Rochelle is loaded and at the top you will once again have to type in your house number and street address in capital letters and press the MAP IT button. It then shows a map of Beechmont with your property highlighted. On the right hand side of the window you will find a list with the lot and block number, the primary owner, the total assessed value of your property, year built, amount of land, residential zone, market value, etc. You can also access the same information about your neighbors. By clicking the “+”sign next to the “zoom in for zoning” slide in the upper left corner of the map, street addresses for each parcel will appear on the map. Using the tax rate for the city and county and the school district you can compute your yearly taxes and compare this with your neighbor’s. Perhaps, your taxes are relatively too high and you may want to enter an appeal with the City.
Beechmont Email Addresses One of our immediate goals is to obtain the email addresses for each home in Beechmont so we can communicate almost instantaneously and at the same time save on the costs of postage and mailings. In the 1970’s all communication and mailings were essentially handwritten until desktop computers and mailing list software became available. We are asking every Beechmont resident to send in their email address to Vstanionis@verizon.net
Business Week: New Rochelle “Best Place to Raise Kids for 2009” New Rochelle, with a population of 74,113 and a median income of $89,684, was chosen by Business Week as one of the best places nationally to raise children and in particular in New York State. Business Week selected cities having at least 50,000 residents and a median family income between $40,000 and $100,000 using additional criteria such as quality of education, air quality, crime rate, recreational and cultural venues and diversity. School performance and safety were rated the most heavily along with amenities and affordability. They described New Rochelle as “an ethnically diverse place with a bustling downtown and mix of single-family homes and apartments.” The full article can be accessed from a link on the Beechmont webpage.
Beechmont Committee Membership On the Beechmont website you will find a list of Beechmont committees that will always need new members. Perhaps, you would like to volunteer and help the Beechmont community achieve its mission of “beautifying Beechmont and protecting the interests of its residents.” Please send us an email if you will be able to participate on one of these committees. A contact list is located on the Beechmont webpage.
Westchester Chamber Orchestra to Perform at Iona on Sunday Afternoon, February 8, 2009 at 3 pm. Israeli cellist Amit Peled will perform at the Westchester Chamber Orchestra’s concert on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2009 at 3:00 p.m., at Iona College’s Christopher J. Murphy Auditorium in New Rochelle. He will perform Ernest Bloch’s "From Jewish Life: Prayer" and Haydn’s "Concerto for Cello, Hob. VIIb:2, D major." The Orchestra will also perform Tchaikovsky’s "Serenade for Strings." Tickets are $40 for general admission, $35 for seniors and $15 for students. However, the Association has 1/2 price ticket vouchers for Beechmont residents and would be happy to make these available. On the night (day) of the concert, and at the box office, each holder of a voucher will pay 1/2 their normal price. Contact Vstanionis@verizon.net for vouchers.
Barry Charles Hoffman Founder and Artistic Director His versatility on the podium has been showcased at the WCO's Iona College Series, where his innovative mix of newly commissioned works and standard favorites has won consistent acclaim.
Robert Sherman Host and Narrator Broadcaster, writer, teacher and radio personality, Robert Sherman is probably best known for his work at WQXR, where he has been Program Director, Executive Producer and (currently) Senior Consultant. Now beginning its seventh season at. Iona College in New Rochelle the WCO was founded in 1984 by its Artistic Director, Barry Charles Hoffman. For many years the WCO gave its concerts at various sites throughout Westchester County and in 1994 began its association with Iona College. The Westchester Chamber Orchestra is a fully professional orchestra, quickly becoming known in and outside of Westchester County for its first rate and inspiring performances, world class soloists, innovative programming and its world premiers of meaningful new works it has commissioned.
BEECHMONT 104th Year Celebration This year’s gala celebrating the 104th year of the founding of The Beechmont Association was held on Wednesday, November 19, at Juliano’s on Main Street in New Rochelle. See photos of dinner An open bar serving cocktails and hors d’oeuvre began at 6 pm with dinner served at 7 pm. Hon. Barry Fertel, who represents Beechmont In District 5 of New Rochelle, swore in the new officers and members of the Beechmont Board.
New Rochelle Council Meetings featured on TV Meetings of the New Rochelle City Council appear regularly on Verizon FIOS on channel 32 and on Optimum TV on channel 75. Some residents find them to be informative, entertaining, and better than watching a soap opera. Beechmont resident, Mayor Noam Bramson, presides at the sessions which are often tense and confrontational. They are meetings where Republicans and Democrats are often at odds on how to do their best for the citizens of New Rochelle. Elected to the City Council representing District 5 in 1995 at the age of 25, Bramson became the youngest and is now longest-serving City Council member.
Iona’s Chapman Gallery on North Avenue Hosts Exhibit Gallery Exhibition: From Africa to America: Visual Reflections on the African Diaspora The gallery exhibition will take place starting Monday, January 26 - Thursday, February 26, 2009 at the Brother Kenneth Chapman Gallery on North Avenue across the street from Cannone’s Pizza. Admission is free to the community. Curated by Jennifer Zazo as part of Black History Month, this exhibition will examine the African Diaspora and its rich infusion into contemporary culture through a diversity of artists and media. An opening reception will be held on Sunday, February 1, 1:00 - 3:00 pm. On Thursday, Feb. 19, there will be an opportunity to meet the curator and a gallery tour at noon. On February 26, from noon to 3 pm, there will be an Art and Dessert Closing Reception. Check the link for Arts Events on the Beechmont webpage to find more cultural events available to the Beechmont community.
Keep Beechmont Out of the Dark Ages Please report a street light that is out to the New Rochelle Street Lighting Department at 235-8257. Be sure to include the house number of the property where it is situated or a description of the light so that the workers can easily locate the light.
House Numbers for Emergency Identification Many residents have inquired once more about obtaining reflective house number signs. They are designed to identify a home both day and especially at night by using reflective numbers similar to the typical highway signs. The numbers must be four inches in height to meet standards for emergency identification. The house number signs come in many different styles: traditional, modern, antique in addition to the common “Boardwalk” model on a 48 inch pole with accompanying street name and are offered by www.addressamerica.biz/index.asp or 1-888-991-3322.
Recent Beechmont Initiatives The Board put Beechmont’s plan to apply for Historic Status in New Rochelle on hold and is studying the various options available to it including hiring a consultant to determine Beechmont’s eligibility. A proposal for two signs at the entrance to Beechmont were rejected by the Board of the Association. A proposal to apply for the traffic calming program was also laid to rest when the Association was informed by the City that Beechmont was too much of a through street for the traffic calming program. The Traffic Calming committee is considering alternative suggestions to slow the cars on Beechmont Drive and keeping commercial vehicles, such as one well-known towing company from City Park, from using it as a through street and short-cut. Please report any violations to the City. The committee welcomes your suggestions. The Beechmont Association Bylaws are being revised and updated and will be sent out to all paid members of the Association this spring for review and a vote.
Beechmont Lake Fountain In 1902, the Beechmont Lake was created by Eugene and John Lambden, who at that time started the development of the Beechmont area (although some homes and roads already existed). A plan for improving the water quality in Beechmont Lake has led the Board to consider purchasing a fountain similar to the two in front of the high school on the Twin Lakes to aerate and restore oxygen to the lake, mitigating the effects of the algae build-up during the summer. A benefactor has come forth to cover the costs of the fountain and its installation in memory of his son. The fountain would be turned on periodically and not be on all the time. The plan also includes lighting when used at night. However, the City believes that the Lake would have to be dredged before such a fountain is installed because the maintenance costs of cleaning and unclogging it would be too high. As a result, a committee is studying the problem to see if a fountain for shallow-water lakes is available. A consultant is researching different types of fountains for Beechmont. He has been used in the past by the City as a consultant for the lakes.
Noise Pollution and the City Ordinance During the hours of 8 am to 10 pm noise levels should not exceed 65 dB(A) which is about the loudness of ordinary conversation at about a distance of 6 feet. During the hours of 10 pm to 8 am, noise levels shall not exceed 55 dB(A). This would seem to imply that the noise level should be half as loud as when heard at 65 dB(A). A difference of 10 decibels is perceived as differing in loudness by a factor of two. No person shall permit or allow any animal under his/her control to bark, whine, howl or make any other noise continuously for a period of 10 minutes or more at a volume which can be heard anywhere beyond the residential, commercial or industrial location from which such noise emanates. Note that "continuously" shall mean constant, with few, if any, brief breaks or periods of silence. No person shall operate or permit to be operated any powered tool or equipment, including but not limited to saws, sanders, drills or similar devices, outdoors in a residentially zoned district during the hours of 10:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. Between April 15 and October 15 inclusive of each calendar year, power-driven garden tools, including but not limited to lawn mowers, lawn tractors and hedge trimmers, shall not be operated in the City of New Rochelle, except at the following times: (a) On weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., except grass may be cut with an internal combustion engine lawn mower by an occupant of the premises where it is being cut on weekdays between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. (b) On Saturdays between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (c) On Sundays between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.