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Friday, June 19, 2009

Bronx News Roundup, June 19

We'll start with Pedro Espada, Jr., who is fast becoming one of the most high-profile and controversial Bronx legislators in history.

Yesterday, during a closed-door meeting among leaders in both parties, Espada, a former boxer, nearly came to blows with fellow Bronx State Senator Jeff Klein (who was/is the deputy majority leader). Espada told the Daily News, "I was going to kick his ass." Later Klein responded. "I can take it. He lives in Mamaroneck. I live in the Bronx." (Oooo. Snap. Why do I feel like I'm back in 5th grade?)

Apparently, Espada is upset that the Dems are sending out robocalls to people in GOP districts telling them that Republicans should drop Espada as Senate president.

Ok, on to other stuff:

Mayor Bloomberg was in the Bronx yesterday, at Truman High School on Baychester Avenue, to publicize and take credit for the 9% drop in crime at city schools.

A front page story in Times reports that, over the last five years, the Bronx has had the most murders per capita of any of the five boroughs. The Times also has a cool interative map that shows all the murders in the city since 2003 and allows you to search several categories associated with the murders.

Now, some more Kingsbridge Armory news:

The Village Voice's Runnin' Scared blog has a story on how Moroton Williams, the Bronx-born supermarket chain, is digging in for a battle against the Related Companies' plan to put a new60,000-square-foot supermarket in the Kingsbridge Armory. Morton Williams owns the Associated supermarket directly across the street from the Armory, on Jerome Avenue.

[On a long side note:The story says Related put the supermarket into its plans because the local Community Board (7) wanted it. It's true, several board members and local residents have expressed a desire for a better supermarket for the area, but CB7 Chairman Greg Faulkner said recently that the larger point is that the area needs more healthy eating options, not necessarily another competing supermarket. I'm sure we'll hear more about this at the hearing next Wednesday, June 24 at Lehman College at 6:30 p.m. If you want your voice heard, don't forget to sign up to speak beforehand by calling, (718) 933-5650.]

In a related story, the Neighborhood Retail Alliance, which Morton Williams enlisted for the Armory fight (and also was heavily critical of the city's deal with Related at the Bronx's Gateway Mall), writes on its blog that Council member Maria Baez is against a competing supermarket in the Armory, according to Crain's.

1 comment:

  1. At the risk of thinking outside the box, I would venture to say there are many ways the Armory could showcase low-cost, healthy food sources for Bronx residents besides having a huge supermarket.

    The Armory could provide indoor space for a Union Square-like year-round farmers market, offering locally grown veggies, dairy products, bread, meat, wine, etc. at reasonable prices. Or we could create space for a Kingsbridge Food Coop akin to the emerging South Bronx Food Coop (http://www.sbxfc.org/).

    There are so many options to connect Bronx residents with healthy food that would not threaten a long-time and well-run supermarket already in the neighborhood! I hope these competing interests don't derail an opportunity for community-centered development that reflects the needs of residents as well as developers.


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