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Friday, March 6, 2009

Bronx News Roundup, March 6

Assemblyman Ruben Diaz, jr. filed his petitions with the Board of Elections yesterday, making him the first candidate to ask to be included on the ballot for Bronx Borough President. Liz Benjamin reports that the ballot line will read "Bronx Unity Party," but the muscle behind him is Carl Heastie's new democratic machine, which claims to have collected 16,500 signatures for Diaz in just three days.
Diaz is set to formally announce his candidacy on Monday.

The so-called "gang of three" is back. Bronx State Senators Pedro Espada, jr. and Ruben Diaz, sr., as well as Brooklyn's Carl Kruger, are refusing to support the Ravitch plan, which would avoid huge MTA fare hikes and service cuts in part by imposing tolls on the Harlem and East River bridges.

The New York Observer notes that city comptroller Bill Thompson has become a much louder voice on the board of the Industrial Development Agency (IDA) since he began eying a run for mayor. The IDA is the city agency charged with arranging tax incentives for big development projects - like the new Yankee Stadium or the Kingsbridge Armory. Thompson participated in a rally this week demanding a serious community benefits agreement from the Armory developer (see below). More on that in this week's Norwood News.

Two former NYPD officers are facing a civil trial fourteen years after allegedly shooting two young robbery suspects over twenty times while they lay face-down on the sidewalk. The shooting was one of several which enraged citizens during Rudy Giuliani's tenure as mayor.

"Brazilian Modern," this year's orchid show at the Botanical Garden, is getting good reviews.

A Bronx woman has been named McDonald's Crew Person of the Year.

The Australian news media has developed a special interest in Bronx schools lately: this is the second Australian story this month to feature a Bronx school, this time the Bronx Lab School. (Last week's story, in another Australian paper, can be found here)


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