The Voice of New Rochelle: What Did I Miss?

Bob Marrone is back. The former host of Good Morning Westchester and columnist for the Patch has returned to the local conversation. Bob will blog once a week about the issues of the day.

Bless me readers for I had left, it has been six weeks since my last expression. Now, I am back on my own dime but no less moved to comment on the issues of the day. I have also been away from the morning microphone, but expect to begin a weekly show on WVOX in the very near future.

One thing is certain; the news did not take a break. 

Locally, Mayor Noam Bramson decided to throw his hat in the ring for county executive. This is a good thing for him and an even better prospect for Westchester. Bramson is perhaps the brightest person holding elective office in the region, and the way I see it, the more people who can benefit from his thoughtful, heartfelt approach to governing the better. 

No one is perfect. The mayor’s low-key style can sometimes hide these qualities from view, and it is fair to disagree with his policies and politics. He also—for the sake of appearances—could show a little more patience when people are being crude, or launching angry tirades at him; something that has been sport for a dedicated, if small, segment of the city. His electoral record which shows overwhelming majorities whenever he runs, however, tells the larger story. 

If people take the time to really know Noam Bramson, he should win, even over an opponent who himself is likeable and sincere. Bramson is simply special.

I have read where some of my friends in the Westchester media have made sport of publishing the names and addresses of those they disagree with. I have been traveling lately and I can assure you this has made news from coast to coast. Separate from one’s politics, it appears that these “outings” may well have been legal. The question is, however, at what cost? This is a real genie out of the bottle, and raises the question of where to draw the line?

Nationally, I am still reeling. 

I had just the night before finished reading Laurence Rees’ definitive account of Auschwitz, spellbound by the chapter dealing with the unimaginable heartache of mothers being separated from their children when they got off the trains, when the news broke about the slaughter in Newtown, CT.   

I had not yet overcome the sadness of wondering what it must have been like for parents and children alike. I was also struck by the desperate courage of mothers at Auschwitz who cut themselves to use their blood as rouge on the faces of their older children so that they might appear healthy and, thus, be chosen for work rather than the certain death of the gas chamber.

Here in Connecticut, I still cannot get my head around the notions of a mother who chose guns as an outlet for her severely disturbed son. Nor can I get my head around her leaving the weapons so accessible. Her bartender and sister had nice things to say about her. I still wait for others to come forward and explain her behavior.

For years, I have not been able to comprehend how our mental health system lets people who they know are potentially dangerous out on the streets. To be fair, this is a complex problem involving out basic freedoms, our system of health care and government. Nonetheless, we have to try.

As for the innocent children and the heartbroken parents, I can only express my deep sadness, love and condolences. It is so unthinkable. My only hope is that the families will find a way to go on, and not try to answer the question as to why these things happen. For thousands of years, religious leaders, philosophers and lay people have tried to provide one. Such a quest is as useless as trying to find the edge of the earth.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Billy January 09, 2013 at 03:49 PM
And where can I get some? This guy sounds brainwashed or maybe he's just braindead. Anyone know how much property taxes have increased over Noam's tenure? Must be an astoronomical number. And now Bramson's planning to borrow New Rochelle into the poor house. Bramson's got no chance of becoming county executive.
Martin Sanchez January 10, 2013 at 05:01 PM
Bob – while I normally enjoyed reading your missives, this one is disturbing due to the overzealous support for Noam Bramson. While some in our community are enamored with Noam for any number of reasons, I note that he has done virtually nothing to embrace the diversity that is New Rochelle. In other words, he does not walk the talk. He has not done any outreach to the communities of color: he does not patronized their restaurants or their stores. He hides in his segregated enclave regurgitating sound-bites that in no way address the varied issues confronting our entire community. It’s not that he lacks a vision, but that he must open his eyes and rid himself of the political blinders that will not help him or our community. Martin Sanchez
fuzzy January 11, 2013 at 06:28 PM
No Bob is going to get a job from Noam if he makes county exec. The people of Westchester should just drive through New Rochelle and see what this Mayor has done for our city. HA HA
Suzanne January 15, 2013 at 05:34 AM
The taxes go up because the Tea Partiers and austerity like County Exec. Astorino. Note how the Republican controlled (least liked since they've been recording) Congress said they weren't sure about Sandy Aid. Even Peter King and Gov.Christie, were blasting them and their "no revenue" BS. As for Noam, He's presided over a decade of tax breaks for the big corporations (GE & at least 11 others paying $00.00), Gov.Cuomo cutting the Millionaire's Surcharge (4.5 Billion with a "B"/annum, which could have gone to help municipalities keep taxes down, rather than fill the pockets of the bankers we bailed out). Why do you think the colonies eventually became ONE Nation? They could easlily have become 13 separate countries. So, we could all pull together against come what may! They say in business the complaints are what people will go out of their way to say. I see short sighted-can't see past your own nose comments, nothing more. Oh, Chuck Strome holds the purse strings anyway. I think Bob was talking about more than Noam though. To quote Monty Python: "I like trafic lights." Nice to hear from you Bob, I've missed you, when I drive my son to school. Moreover, think about those poor children, their parents AND those awful, overpaid teachers, who died in a senseless and horrible way. Maybe, read a book that isn't authored by Bill O'Reilly or Matt Drudge. Suzanne inthe Red Dress!
Suzanne January 15, 2013 at 05:38 AM
And furthermore, as to the mentally ill, there is no parity, and no Big Lobbying Firm for them. They have to hurt someone, then we fill the jails with them. We can thank Jeraldo Rivera's "Willowbrook" piece, Watergate and the people's distrust of Gov't that followed, along with the recession, for the laws that outlawed the hospitals rather than reformed them. Suzanne in the Red Dress!


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