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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

News Roundup for Aug. 29

Surprise, the gap between rich and poor is yawning in New York City, where the Grand Canyon-like chasm is wider than in any other major metropolitan city, according to a 2006 census report. The Bronx remained the poorest borough with 29.1 percent of people living in poverty (though it was down from 29.2 in 2005!). The NY Times article didn't mention the Bronx, except to say that an astounding 54 percent of South Bronx kids are living in poverty.

Here's a funny (actually, sad) post from a Palm Beach Post sports reporter heading back to somewhere "nice" in the Bronx on the 10 bus after the U.S. Open (Riverdale, we assume). The post from his blog is titled: "The Scenic Bronx at 2 a.m." Bronxites are used to this kind of crap, but you'll want to read this anyway. It takes mindless Bronx bashing to a whole new level.

The Daily News scooped us with this story on millions of gallons of underground water being pumped into the overworked sewer system from the Croton Water Filtration Plant project in Van Cortlandt Park. The DEP insists it was prepared for this, but it's yet more fuel for outspoken filter plant critics who wanted the plant built above ground in Westchester rather than below ground in the NW Bronx.

According to the article, Jim Morgan, an NYU professor, predicted the water issue, writing a letter to former DEP commish Chris Ward, saying: "What you're buying here, if you persist on building this thing in Van Cortlandt Park, is the mother of all leaky basements."

We'd also like to point out that the Daily News story, although it doesn't mention her, originated with the activism of Karen Argenti, a relentless Bronx environmentalist, who filed a Freedom of Information Law request (FOIL) with the state Department of Health. The info about the millions of gallons of water at the site would never have seen the light of day, if she hadn't exercised her rights as a citizen and requested the information. Nor would it have gotten any ink, had she and other like-minded activists not badgered reporters about it. Good work, Karen.


  1. The Daily News story is a shocking and infuriating example of how the New York City government speaks out of both sides of the mouth. Another local paper is carrying it as filter plant is soaking taxpayers. (www.riverdalepress.com/atf.php?sid=526)

    Just two months after NYC sent in their CSO Abatement (LTCP or Watershed Facility Plans), which questioned the validity of low impact infrastructure (green roofs, tree beds, etc), they come up with this uninformed statement.

    What’s basically happening is that a $2.1 billion water plant project is resulting in more than a million gallons of water to be dumped into NYC’s combined sewer system causing CSOs into the Harlem River EVERYDAY! The article reveals that the city is calling the cost to the rate payers of discharging more than 1,196,000 gallons per day into our sewers negligible. This is progress as they were denying it up until yesterday, and it was only revealed to me upon a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) visit to the state agency monitoring the DEP.

    Just so we are straight, that is more than 436,540,000 gallons of dry weather water discharged ANNUALLY (436 million) into the Harlem River. It is projected in the FOILed documents that this will continue forever. This is NOT a construction discharge, but will be there even after the building is completed.

    This boondoggle is costing NYC residents money in terms of what we pay in service rates, restoration and rehabilitation costs for the river, and health costs because people get sick when they come in contact with water that is polluted with sewage. It is time the city heard from people objecting to the city's apparent inattention to a critical health problem.

  2. I really enjoy this blog - the information and the tone. As a Woodlawn resident, it's great to have an informative blog about the area I call home. Thank you! -- gayle

  3. Thanks, Karen for the additional information, and thank you Gayle for your interest in the blog. We are always encouraged when we hear from readers.
    -Jordan Moss, Editor, Norwood News

  4. What exactly is considered poverty, tho'? Back in the 1960s, it was really easy to determine that poor people didn't have running water, telephone, and other basic necessities.

    You have families, who have two kids, and both parents' income combined is less that 35,000. Some are less than 24,000. But they have phones--a lot of them have cellphones, running water, and all the things we didn't have before President Johnson worked hard to create that wonderful program--the Great Society.


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