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Friday, August 28, 2009

Bronx News Roundup, August 28

Happy rainy Friday, everyone! Here's what's being written and reported about the Boogie Down:

So much for State Senator Pedro Espada's "good press" the other day. The Albany Times-Union reports that Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is looking into whether Espada lied on a grant application for his health care company.

Espada was seeking and awarded a $3 million grant to build a new diagnostic health center in the Bronx. The grant was frozen in late June when the state comptroller's office discovered that Espada's nonprofit company owed a significant amount of back taxes. When applying for the grant, Espada said his company, Comprehensive Community Development Corp. (known commonly as Soundview Health Network) did not more than $15,000 in back taxes, but the Times-Union reports that Soundview had a $185,00 IRS debt.

Lying on such an application can lead to fines, contract termination or even prison.

The NY Post reports that Espada's Soundview Health Network, which reportedly generates some $15 million in annual revenue, owes more than $1 million in back taxes.

Big news for Bronx environmental advocates: the Attorney General is giving $2 million to borough organizations to help them in their efforts to clean up the pollution in the Bronx River. The Point, a Hunt's Point group, is receiving $150,000 to build a green roof and track how much storm water it prevents from going into the river. The Bronx River Alliance is receiving funding for two projects. Here's more details from the Times' City Room blog.

NY1 video from the cab procession and memorial service held yesterday for the Bronx livery cab driver who was murdered on Sunday. It was one of three recent cab driver murders in the borough.

A man is suing the NYPD because they failed to contact him, or even look for him, after his sister died in her Bronx apartment.

Some commentary on the new coalition that is lobbying for the Yankees to live up to its promises to the community.

John Petro, an urban policy analyst, says requiring a living wage at a redeveloped Kingsbridge Armory mall is not to much to ask of the project's developers, The Related Companies.


  1. John Petro identifies himself as an analyst in his piece about the Armory, so I was disappointed to find that he was only offering general opinions. That seems a little misleading, and may give people a false sense of certainty instead of helping to clarify a complex set of issues.

    I was hoping he had done some actual analysis! (What are the additional costs for the developer/manager to restore and maintain a historic landmark? What is the market demand and what are the competing sites? What does the City save by shedding its maintenance responsibilities for the Armory? etc.).

    Unfortunately, his article did nothing to provide a basis for understanding what the developer could realistically require from retail tenants without bankrupting the project.

    There's nothing wrong with offering an opinion, and I think most people would agree with him in principle. Still, more analysis to help us understand the real potential revenue and likely constraints would help everyone. It would seem especially helpful when an author identifies himself as an analyst!

  2. Pedro Espada brings a lot of baggage with him. Nobody should be surprised that his health care empire might owe close to a million dollars in unpaid taxes. Fiscal rsponsibility has not been one of his strong points. His first attempt to feed at the trough of public money was his unsuccessful bid to steer millions to two groups outside his district, recently formed to receive this money and consisting of people with ties to his health center.

    By the way. What is the status of the Bronx D.A. office's investigation into his residency which requires him to actually live in his district once elected and to have lived in it at least one year prior to his election?


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