- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.Q6qPkwFC.dpuf A Reporter's Smorgasbord ... BronxTalk Celebrates 15 Years | Bronx News Networkbronx

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Reporter's Smorgasbord ... BronxTalk Celebrates 15 Years

Gary Axelbank and producer Jane Folloro celebrated 15 years of BronxTalk last night.
(Photo courtesy BronxTalk)

The 15th anniversary celebration of BronxTalk, Gary Axelbank's talk show on BRONXNET, last night was reporter heaven -- one-stop shopping for political interviews. Everyone was there.

Here are just a few items gleaned from the evening ...

Asked about the prospects for health reform, Congressman Eliot Engel said a law would pass Congress. "If we don't pass it, we're going to lose our majority," he told me. And what about the public option? There would be an "emaciated public option," he predicted.

I snagged the Bronx borough president, Ruben Diaz, Jr., for a moment and he said he thinks he'll have more votes on the City Planning Commission to back him on his "no" vote on the armory project than just that of his own representative, Kenneth Knuckles. "I don't think I'm going to be the only 'no' vote," he said. Diaz recommended a "no" vote to City Planning because the Related Companies has yet to sit down to hammer out a community benefits agreement. The Commission votes on Oct. 19 and then the City Council, which really has the most say in the matter, has 20 days to decide on the project.

Councilman Jimmy Vacca, who we don't get to see very often because he hails from way over in the east Bronx (I know, we need to get over there more), told us that, despite his well-chronicled bird-dogging of the Buildings Department, he was genuinely shocked by recent revelations of alleged mob infiltration of the agency. He also told us that the Bronx News Network is part of his daily media diet. Nice.

Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and Councilman Jimmy Vacca
shared in the festivities in the BronxTalk studio at Lehman College. (Photo by Jordan Moss)

Fernando Cabrera was in attendance, occupying that post-primary-win, pre-general-election netherworld that Bronx Democrats, while certain of ultimate victory, are consigned to for the next five weeks nonetheless.

Cabrera asked Borough Historian Lloyd Ultan if he could recommend a good book on borough history and Ultan laughed and said that his new book, "The Northern Borough: A History of the Bronx" is just the ticket. I'd also recommend South Bronx Rising, by Jill Jonnes, an updated version of her wonderful book, "We're Still Here," chronicling the borough's rise, fall and rise.

In between interviews with those who have appeared on the show, BronxTalk aired choice clips from the last 15 years. By far the best bite was from Pedro Espada in a debate with Adolfo Carrion when they were both running for Bronx borough president ih 2000. Carrion had just been released from prison for protesting the Navy's ongoing practice bombing of the Puerto Rican Island of Vieques. "Do the job that you were elected to do," Espada chastised Carrion. "And advocate if you must and protest if you must. But do it within the confines of the law."

Congratulations to Gary Axelbank and his producer, Jane Folloro, are in order of course and I'll post a Norwood News editorial and photos paying tribute in a couple of days.


  1. if mr. cabrera (or anyone else) wants a REAL look at the recent history of the Bronx and how we got from where we were to where we are now, then "It's Just Begun" by DJ Disco Wiz and "The Rat That Got Away" by Allen Jones and Mark Naison are absolute must-reads. You will not be able to put them down, guaranteed.

    P.S. of course regular viewers to BronxTalk already know about those books because they were featured on the show. here's the show with Wiz: http://bronxnet.fliggo.com/video/mcHhjfPw and here's the one with Dr. Naison. http://bronxnet.fliggo.com/video/PPzKpNCh

    anyway, thanks to all who attended the 15th anniversary. the feedback has been great it seems everyone had a blast. the show is being replayed on bronxnet's channel 67 all this week and next at 9:30am, 3:30pm, and 9:00pm.

    we have hundreds of great photos, which we'll be posting on the web soon. and... i'll keep everyone posted about the availability of the vast archive of tapes. it's a big job, but we're definitely going to have our dream come true on this one.

  2. The "Honorable" Eliot Engel VOTED FOR:

    IRAQ WAR (and subsequent funding)
    Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (helped bring about financial collapse)
    Food "Safety" Modernization Act (putting local farmers out of business)
    "STIMULUS" bills
    He SUPPORTS the SECRECY of the FEDERAL RESERVE by refusing to cosponsor HR1207 (Audit the Fed bill)

    He is as corrupt as can be. He thinks throwing some slop (money) at special-interests will shut the constituents up. Fools trust tyrants.

    Call him up, let him know we're angry, and come 2010, VOTE HIM OUT.

  3. Looks like CABRERA is keeping his word....he will show up! LOL

  4. if you every saw one of gary shows------all politicans would be quick to show up-earlier...rather than later...lol


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