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Monday, July 20, 2009

Bronx News Roundup July 20

Symphony Space and the Bronx Museum of the Arts recently commissioned a musical piece by jazz musician Arturo O'Farrill in honor of native Bronxite Sonia Sotomayor, who has been nominated to the Supreme Court by President Obama. The composition will be performed by O'Farrill and his Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra on November 5 and 6 at Symphony Space.

A recent medical study following pregnant women from the South Bronx and upper Manhattan found that the mothers who breathed in smog while pregnant gave birth to children with lower IQs than children who were not prenatally exposed to smog.

A Bronx Supreme Court Judge is debating whether to throw out his conviction of a Bronx landlord after a 2005 fire causing two firefighter deaths because a member of the jury sent complimentary messages to a firefighter who testified at the case through Facebook.

The New York City Police Department is drastically cutting its budget, but the crime rate is still dropping. At a recent police meeting, the Bronx borough commander argued to keep specialized officers on the streets of the 52nd Precinct, but higher-up police officers wanted to move the officers to a different precinct with more crime. At the end of the meeting, the 52nd Precinct kept the special officers, but it remains unclear how long these officers will remain in the area, especially since the Department will have to decrease their number of officers.

Today, Senator Charles Schumer and Bronx housing advocates will insist that Fannie Mae find a buyer for their mortgages of 19 Bronx buildings in disrepair instead of selling the mortgages through an online auction. Tenants of these buildings (most of them located in Crotona) feel that if another speculator buys the mortgages for the buildings, conditions will not be improved. Senator Schumer would like a preservation agreement to ensure that the buildings will be cared for by the future buyer.

Yesterday, the New York Daily News published a report declaring that heroin is gaining popularity in New York City. Their evidence includes the monumental heroin drug bust in Riverdale over July 4th weekend.

The New York Times published a profile of Arthur Avenue over the weekend. It is still one of the best locales for quality Italian food and grocery shopping.


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