Words in Edgewise: Recommended Reading June 1, 2024

Words in Edgewise: Recommended Reading June 1, 2024
Rod Stewart sings “Grace” on stage at Royal Kilmainham Hospital, a stone’s throw from Kilmainham Gaol, on May 26, 2024.

DUBLIN, IRELAND (June 1, 2024) — I am going to tell you all about recent developments in the craziness I cover in a moment but because I put in so much work I feel the need to tell you about what has been going on behind the curtain with the Substack to Ghost transition (all but complete as of yesterday).

The key point is that the Ghost site, called Words in Edgewise but now domain-mapped onto robertcox.ie requires a paid account to read almost all articles — Premium Accounts ($7/mo) get everything, Basic Accounts ($5/annually) get about 15% of the content. Free Accounts, grandfathered in from Substack get this weekly newsletter and (rarely) an article available to anyone and everyone. For everyone else, signing up for a Free Account is no longer a subscription option. My job over the rest of 2024 is to convince Free Account subscribers to pay a token amount to show some level of support ($5.00 a year is about a penny a day). Any Free Accounts not upgraded to a paid account by December 31, 2024, will be purged. My goal is to be 100% paid users as of January 1, 2025.

As for the transition…

Economists know it is a Pareto-Optimal Solution — most readers will know it as the 80/20 rule (80% of outcomes result from 20% of all causes for any given event) — but whatever you want to call it, the first 80% of moving from Substack to Ghost was the easy part. It’s that last 20% that is the bear.

The 80% got done a week ago so what was in Substack is in Ghost and all new articles are now being published on Ghost. The 20% is stuff you will never see and likely aren't concerned with — linking my credit card processor (Stripe), acquiring a new domain, domain-mapping, creating pricing tiers and sub-mailing lists and lots of other tiny but critical settings details. I still have more rough edges to round off.

The coolest thing to me is that I was able to get the domain address robertcox.ie.

You cannot get an “.ie” domain unless you are domiciled here in Ireland. When I went poking around, I was shocked my name was available as this is rare.

The biggest bear is that because I did not have robertcox.ie until recently, there was no easy way to redirect links from Substack articles to robertcox.ie. I was reduced to brute force.

I wrote a re-direct template, looked up the URL for an article ported over to robertcox.ie, added that URL into the template, looked up the Substack version of the same article, left the headline and cover photo but deleted the body of the post, pasted in the template with the Ghost link and updated the content.

You can see a few random examples here, here, and here.

I also had 20 articles on Talk of the Sound that belonged on Ghost/robertcox.ie. I had to transfer them then get the new URLs, add that URL into the template, look up the version of the same article on Talk of the Sound, leave the headline and cover photo but delete the body of the post, paste in the re-direct template and update the content.

You probably saw a few of these articles hit your inbox as I was doing this work, to confirm everything was working as expected.

I managed to move and redirect all the Talk of the Sound articles that needed moving. I moved and redirected all the Substack articles published in 2024. I intend, a few months at a time, to redirect the rest of my articles going back to my first Substack post in November 2020. This is tedious, exacting work, so I am not going to bother to redirect newsletters like Recommended Reading, FOIL WARS, AMZA, Live Music is Better, Court Tracker and Court Reporter’s Notebook — just the actual articles.

OK. Enough with the technical stuff.

I promised you I would get into the craziness — so here we go.

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Sustainable Westchester: (Trying to) Follow the Money

I started this article off with an explainer.

This article is not intended to be complete or even completed, but rather a living document which will grow over time. If you see something — suggested edits, new names, additional information on names already included, corrections or augmentations, financial records, news stories, links, etc. — say something, by emailing me: robertcox@talkofthesound.com.

This is what I call a road map article. Readers are welcome to read it and will learn a lot, but my focus is on what I call “an audience of one”, Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah. In this instance, I am putting down in one place all I know about the key players in the confidence trick known as Sustainable Westchester, so prosecutors can use that information if they chose to pursue an investigation (and I am highly confident they will). I have done this successfully in the past and expect to be successful now.

If I were a law enforcement investigator, I would give a lot of consideration to Dan Welsh, Nina Orville and Noam Bramson, but my spidey-sense tells me to start with Mike Gordon. He certainly got on my radar two weeks ago with his bombastic threats and denunciations (4th speaker, at 7:20 mark) after Lewisboro terminated their agreement with Sustainable Westchester.
The next day, Gordon wrote a threat letter to Lewisboro Town Board members, Lewisboro Democratic Committee members, and others.
SEE: Founding Co-Chair of Sustainable Westchester Board Threatens Litigation after Lewisboro Cancels Contract

Named individuals in this edition of my road map article are:

  • Mike Gordon
  • Noam Bramson
  • Dan Welsh
  • Nina Orville
  • Nicola Coddington
  • Dan Chorost
  • Sara Kaye

The next update will include Rye City Council member Sara Goddard, Lewisboro Supervisor Tony Gonçalves, information on Yonkers, White Plains, Bedford and Mount Vernon, and additional 990 information on Nina Orville and Nikki Coddington like this:

There has been an interesting development in New Rochelle: New Rochelle Considers Terminating Sustainable Westchester Contract

Every member of the New Rochelle City Council said last week they wanted a presentation from Sustainable Westchester. When that might happen is anybody’s guess — and as the supposed purpose of the Democrats on council is to not act on Al Tarantino’s proposal to terminate the ESA with Sustainable Westchester, they have essentially given the non-profit a veto. Sustainable Westchester simply need not send anyone to present in New Rochelle until the fall.

What makes this so interesting is who from Sustainable Westchester will appear before council. Will it be Dan Welsh, currently the subject of two ethics investigations in Lewisboro? Will it be Noam Bramson who has had two sustained sets of ethics charges against him, including illegal votes on resolutions benefiting Sustainable Westchester while he was on both the Board of Directors and the Committee of Electeds. Whether it’s Welsh, Bramson or some sacrificial lamb, get your popcorn ready because this will be must see TV.

But did Lewisboro actually terminate the Sustainable Westchester contract after the Town Board voted 3-1-1 on May 13 to rescind the current ESA? I am still gathering information for a story but was stunned at the response I received from the Lewisboro Town Clerk to my FOIL request for the termination letter.

Here is the actual resolution.

Here is a blurb I wrote for social media.

Word is that Lewisboro Town Supervisor Tony Gonçalves is refusing to act on the will of the Town Board, claiming the Board approved a Motion to Rescind the Electric Services Agreement with Sustainable Westchester, which he claims is not the same thing as a Motion to Cancel the agreement.

That will be a neat trick, considering that rescind literally means to cancel an agreement.

I hope to have enough for a story in the coming days.

ETHICS COMPLAINT II: New Rochelle Mayor Violated City Charter by Hiring Special Counsel

It is becoming clear that Mayor Yadira Ramos-Herbert is not just mistake-prone but has a visceral disdain for the New Rochelle Code of Ethics, New York State General Municipal Law, New York State Public Officers Law, the New Rochelle City Charter and Robert’s Rules of Order. She clearly does care to respect the law, which is ironic considering she somehow managed to get some school to print her out a law degree.

Under the New Rochelle City Charter, the Mayor of New Rochelle has no legal authority to spend taxpayer money without a public vote at a duly noticed City Council meeting. Despite this, Mayor Yadira Ramos-Herbert hired a law firm and obligated the City of New Rochelle to significant legal and financial obligations and more.

Mayor Ramos-Herbert appears to have knowingly and deliberately violated the New Rochelle City Charter, the New Rochelle Code of Ethics, the New York State Public Officer’s Law, and the New York State Freedom of Information Law.

I have filed a complaint to this effect with the New Rochelle Board of Ethics (included in the linked Premium article).

This is a clear-cut issue, so it will be interesting to see how the thoroughly corrupt New Rochelle Board of Ethics tries to justify taking no action against the Mayor (again).

At least they cannot say they never got it.

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New Rochelle Board of Education President’s Lies About IDA Board Seat

To borrow a phrase from the film Lawrence of Arabia, “A man who tells lies… merely hides the truth. But a man who tells half-lies has forgotten where he put it.”

William Ianuzzi tells lies and half-lies.

I rarely pay attention to the New Rochelle Board of Education these days. It is a ship that hit the proverbial iceberg years ago, starting with the days of Jeffrey Hastie and Amy Mosehli believing they were qualified to run a school district (history now repeating itself with Yadira Ramos-Herbert and the soon-too-sink downtown development). Today, the BOE is less like the doomed ship that sailed out of Belfast Lough and more like a rusting hulk on the floor of the Atlantic with an old lady on a research boat above tossing a large diamond overboard.

I was surprised a few weeks ago when former City Manager Charles B. Strome sent a strongly worded email to the BOE claiming on May 7 BOE President Will Ianuzzi lied about meeting with him to discuss a seat on the New Rochelle Industrial Development Agency.

I asked Ianuzzi about it, and he said he did not say he met with Strome multiple times but rather he was referring to a 2022 email which he provided.

Turns out Ianuzzi was lying.

The video of the May 7 meeting was not posted online until over two weeks later. When it was, it was clear Ianuzzi lied in what he said on May 7 and that he lied to me and Strome the next day claiming he did not lie on May 7.

New Rochelle Board of Education meeting May 7, 2024

I sent Ianuzzi the video and he lied again.

He said he apologized to Strome again and was going to make a statement at the May 30 meeting of the BOE. I pointed out to him, he owes “apologies” for his lies all around starting with Otilia Taylor-Tanner, who asked Ianuzzi about the IDA, Kathleen Gill who Ianuzzi claimed to have met with as well, me for using me to convey his lies to my readers, everyone in the room on May 7, everyone watching at home, and the other school board candidates.

Even though BOE meetings are live on Zoom and can be uploaded online immediately, the May 21, May 22, and May 30 are still not online so I do not know what lies he spewed in any statement he may have made on Thursday.

The whole sordid mess is described in the article linked here. I called Ianuzzi to stand down as BOE President. He is not fit to serve.

How Does Sustainable Westchester Get All That Good Green Power to My Home?

I am sending this out one more time because I thoroughly enjoyed writing this article and want to make sure those who have not yet read do so. The main point of this article is that supporting environmental action is not the same as supporting Sustainable Westchester, a confidence trick meant to dupe well-meaning people into believing they are paying high electricity bills (a tax) so Sustainable Westchester can have green electrons delivered to their wall sockets. That is not what is happening, as I make clear in the article.

Based on my reporting, the New York State Department of Public Services has opened up an investigation into Sustainable Westchester. I fully expect a law enforcement investigation as well, either the U.S. Department of Justice or, more likely, the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.

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My Perfect Day (in Dublin)

It is coming on a year since relocating from New York to Dublin. I have been taking notes on my favorite places in Dublin and some nice things to do. If you are planning a visit to Ireland, here are my thoughts on how to have a perfect day in Ireland’s capital.

Not every article has to be corruption in Westchester County!

Here are a few free articles from Talk of the Sound and Elsewhere on the Web.

ID Released For Mamaroneck Man Killed By Metro-North Train in Port Chester

Dozens evacuated due to fire in New Rochelle apartment complex

New Rochelle Man Arrested on Narcotics Charges in Mamaroneck

Con Edison invests $2.3 billion into infrastructure; will improve the reliability of overhead lines in New Rochelle, Larchmont

New Rochelle Community Gun Buyback Saturday, June 1 at Shiloh Baptist Church

New Rochelle school aide yanked arm of third-grader with autism — but was allowed to keep job: suit

Cheers for now!

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