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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Foul-smelling sewage plant packs its bags

NYOFCo, the fertilizer plant that has afflicted Hunts Point with horrible odors for years, has shut down, and the city has agreed to make new efforts to curb the stench from its nearby sewer plant. The Hunts Point Express has the story.

Fireworks at Orchard Beach (and other awesome weekend events)

 Fireworks light the sky at a Fourth-of-July show

The Bronx will start its holiday weekend early with a fireworks spectacular tomorrow evening. “New York Salutes a Boardwalk Festival and Fireworks Extravaganza” will hit Orchard Beach Thursday, July 1, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and will include music, face painting, a magic show and balloon art in addition to the fireworks display. The fireworks launch at nine, but arrive early to get good seats! For more info, call 718.590.5623.

More Fun Stuff:
Barefoot Dancing: Israeli Dances will take place at Van Cortlandt House Museum (in Van Cortlandt Park) Thursday, July 1, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Come participate in learn-as-you-go traditional dances with live music and cool, clean grass for your toes! For more info, visit http://www.vancortlandt.org/events.html.

This Friday, July 2, First Friday! Bronx Beat at Bartow-Pell will feature traditional Irish Folk Music performed by Mary Courtney. Delight in the music of the Bronx’s many cultures, the magic of the mansion at night, and ride the free Bronx Seaside Trolley to City Island! The event will run from 5:30 to 10:30 at the Bartow-Pell Mansion, 895 Shore Road. $8 for adults, $5 for students and seniors For more info, call (718) 885-1461 or visit http://bartowpellmansionmuseum.org/events/calendar.php

Percussionist Wilson “Chembo”Corniel and Grupo Chaworo jam in the Bronx Library Center this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The concert will spotlight Grupo Chaworo's many rich traditions (be-bop, swing,bomba, rumba, tango, danzon, and charanga) and hits from Chembo Corniel’s latest CD, Things I Wanted to Do (2009), which was Grammy-nominated for Best Latin Jazz Album. Visit www.nypl.org for
more details.

Those who don't feel like spending the afternoon indoors can attend a Basic Canoeing  lesson in Van Cortlandt Park. You'll learn the basics of canoeing so you can sign up for an advanced program later in the summer! The group will meet at the Van Cortlandt Golf House & Lower Putnam Trail (in Van Cortlandt Park). The last session begins at 1:15 p.m.  First-come, first-served, so arrive early with water, sun block and a snack! Ages 8+. For more info, visit http://www.nycgovparks.org/

Check out more upcoming Bronx events by clicking the "What's Going On?" Link in the upper-right corner!

Bronx News Roundup, June 30

Last roundup for June. It's been a long, crazy month. Or is that just me? In any case, the news:

18-year-old Erik Zeidler, a recent Bronx Science grad and Young Naturalist Award winner, is studying the turtles of the Bronx River this summer before heading off to college in Kansas. Had to include this quote from Zeidler about his affinity for turtles and other reptiles, courtesy of the NY Times:

“I don’t have many friends into this kind of stuff, and some of them think I’m strange, but I have a girlfriend and I used to wrestle in high school and I love hanging out and playing sports; it’s just that I enjoy being around reptiles.”
A couple of doctors from Montefiore Medical Center's Sleep-Wake Disorder Center answer questions about getting a good night's sleep.

Bronx 12-year-old Justus Williams, a budding chess master, is heading to Greece for an international chess tournament.

Here's some broadcast coverage of the groundbreaking ceremony at Heritage Field, which will sit on top of the old Yankee Stadium lot.

An interesting story about Benjy Melendez, the founder of the Ghetto Brothers Bronx street gang, who discovered Judaism.

Former St. Raymond's hoops star Omari Lawrence is transferring from St. John's to Kansas St.

The Daily News has the accusatory mailer assembly candidate Luis Sepulveda is sending out about his opponent and the incumbent, Peter Rivera, who Sepulveda says is misusing campaign funds.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

City Comes to Budget Deal; Albany Fight Still On

While lawmakers in Albany have yet to come to an agreement on a state budget for the next fiscal year—despite being nearly three months past deadline—the New York City Council and Mayor Michael Bloomberg agreed on a $63 billion city budget on June 24, and the Council voted to approve the budget today.

In a statement, Bloomberg and the Council announced that the budget was balanced, ahead of its July 1st deadline and doesn’t raise taxes. Still, belt-tightening measures will be taken at every city agency to close a recession-fueled budget gap, the Mayor said in a radio address this weekend.

Friends of the Williamsbridge Oval to meet on Thursday, July 1

Friends of the Williamsbridge Oval will be meeting on Thursday, July 1 at 7pm at 3274 Hull Avenue. Like other "Friends" groups connected to parks throughout New York City, the Friends of the Oval harness the energy, ideas, and power of community residents to help the NYC Parks Department improve the park.

The group is open to anyone and everyone who uses and wants to improve the Oval. Issues that group works on are driven by the interests and needs of members. In past summers, the group has organized summer fairs and events at the Oval.

Friends of the Oval have a full agenda for the meeting, including updates on the construction in the park, planning for a meeting with the new Parks Dept. staff person in charge of the Oval, and discussing ways for the group to better collaborate with Mosholu Preservation Corporation, the local police precinct, and the Parks Dept.

Body Found in River Near Roberto Clemente State Park; Identified as Bronx Woman

Police officers and a helicopter survey the water near Roberto Clemente State Park.

[UPDATED: Wednesday, June 30, 11:55 AM]
The body of a young Bronx woman was found in the Harlem River on Tuesday near Roberto Clemente State Park in Morris Heights, according to police. She has been identified as 20-year-old Anjelina Wills, of Webb Avenue near Devoe Park.

Roberto Clemente State Park was swarming with police cars around 5 p.m. on Tuesday. An NYPD helicopter circled above the park and rescue boats were out on the river.

Several residents reported seeing the body. Joey Marshall, who lives in nearby housing complex Richman Plaza, says he called the police after he spotted something in the water from the window of his apartment.

"I saw the body floating," he said. "It was crazy."

Another man, who also lives in Richman Plaza and asked that his name not be used, said he was cooking dinner when he heard a police helicopter overhead. Using a pair of binoculars, he says he saw what appeared to be a young female floating.

Two Economic Development Events Tomorrow

From noon to 2 p.m., the Hunts Point Chamber of Commerce is talking energy savings strategies at a workshop called, "Government Incentives and New Technologies to Help Your Business Improve its Bottom Line" at the Hunts Point Cooperative Market, 355 Food Center Drive. It's $15 for Chamber member, $25 for non-members.

Later in the afternoon, from 4 to 7 p.m., the merchants on Kingsbridge Road are holding a summer kickoff event, featuring clowns, magicians, discounts, coupons and free gifts, on the stretch of the Kingsbridge Road commercial corridor between Jerome and Creston avenues. It's a free event.

Bronx News Roundup, June 29

A group of Ghanaian immigrants now living in the Bronx are bringing a new musical sound to the borough with "hiplife"--a mix of hip hop and African music.

A group of students from the Ghetto Film School in Mott Haven are travelled to Belfast, Ireland to shoot their own horror movie. The school sends students to a different foreign country every year to film, according to this Daily News article.

Jamal Glover, a 32-year-old Bronx man, drowned in a creek while swimming with friends in upstate New York on Sunday night.

The Times' David Gonzalez profiles Ernest "Butch" Kelley, a neighborhood advocate who helped revive a park on Kelly Street in the South Bronx. Kelley passed away last month.

Real estate company Bluestone Group is coming to the rescue of distressed Bronx buildings, abandoned by landlords who defaulted on their mortgages, by buying the properties and fixing them up. The group is in talks to purchase a number of buildings owned by slumlord Sam Suzuki, who was given jail time last week for neglecting to repair a number of his apartments, even after several court orders.

A man was found shot to death this morning in the elevator of an apartment building on East 149th Street.

The Daily News' Bob Kappstatter has a ton of juicy Bronx political gossip in his weekly column. Some highlights? Former state Senator Efrain Gonzalez is finally heading to jail this week, and it looks like there's another contender for Michael Benjamin's assembly seat (we wrote about candidate Eric Stevenson in the last Tremont Tribune).

A groundbreaking ceremony is being held today at the site of Heritage Field, the park being built in the footprint of the old Yankee Stadium. Construction of the park should be done around fall of 2011 (critics have said the project, which was planned to make up for parkland destroyed by construction of the new stadium, has taken too long.)

An NYPD cop and Bronx resident was cleared of assault charges yesterday in a Manhattan court. David London was on trial for the beating of a man in the lobby of a Manhattan apartment building. The incident was caught on tape by surveillance cameras.

A group of animal lovers helped save a hawk that fell from its nest in Mott Haven this weekend.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Bronx News Roundup, June 28

Organizers were dismayed when the city shut down a public viewing of the United States vs. Ghana World Cup match on Saturday afternoon at Lou Gehrig Park, just blocks from Yankee Stadium. (FYI: Ghana defeated the U.S. 2-1 in overtime). The city cited safety concerns as the reason for the shut down, but Cary Goodman, executive director of the 161 Business Improvement District, wasn't convinced.

Goodman told the NY Times: “Is anybody really saying that in this Bronx neighborhood, where 45,000 people come for a baseball game, that the police cannot safely and successfully ensure a community event like watching TV?”

Anna Maria Silva, 40, was fatally stabbed in her apartment on Watson Avenue shortly after midnight on Saturday. After making a 911 call, a man who the police said was known to the victim admitted to the crime.

The Bronx band "Graveshift," composed of two sisters and two brothers ranging in age from 13 to 20, won second place in the Battle of the Bands contest on Sunday night at Manhattan's Webster Hall. The Daily News has the story.

The principals of Bronx Guild High School and Bronx Regional High School spoke out against a New York State requirement that would require high school students to gain a Regents Diploma in order to graduate. Both administrators expressed practical concerns with the requirement in the Times' article.

Problems at JFK high school continue in the wake of last week's bake sale scandal.

The Times profiles the stylish and effective principal of MS 391, Pedro Santana. (Note: this article wrongly says MS 391 is in the "South Bronx." Actually, it's located in the north central Bronx, on Webster Avenue, between about 182nd and 183rd streets. Decidedly not the South Bronx.)

Living Wage Face-Off in Daily News

Yesterday, the Daily News featured opposing viewpoints on the living wage issue in its op-ed pages. Take a look here and here and tell us, and your fellow BxNN readers, what you think (just click the "comment" button under this post). Obviously, this is on everyone's radar following the battle over the living wage issue at the Kingsbridge Armory, which has led to legislation being deliberated in the City Council that would require retailers to pay workers at least $10 an hour in developments that receive public subsidies.

Story of the Day: Electric Delivery Truck Hailed in Hunts Point

An electric delivery truck is being hailed by Hunts Point advocates who hope it's only the beginning of curbing truck emissions in the asthma-prone area. In 2008, a similar vehicle owned by a seafood business debuted.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hunts Point harvest

The first crop has come in at the vegetable garden created by teens in The Point Community Development Corp.'s ACTION program. Fifty heads of freshly-picked lettuce will go to the new Hunts Point CSA Farmshare. See The Hunts Point Express here, here and here.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

Graduation Day at Mott Haven Academy Charter School


Last Monday, 40 kindergartners, most of whom are in the child welfare system, graduated from their class at the Mott Haven Academy Charter School, a charter school sponsored by The New York Foundling, a non-profit agency.

According to a press release, the school's model is unusual in that it "integrates the rigorous academic curriculum of a charter school with the supportive social services that many of these children and families rely on to remain intact."

Pictured is Jessica Nauiokas, Mott Haven Academy’s principal and founder, with one of the young students. (Photo courtesy of The New York Foundling.)

Bronx News Roundup, June 25

According to state investigators, staff at John F. Kennedy High School helped themselves to more than $90,000  - money students at the school had raised through bake sales and other fund-raisers.

Police are asking for the public's help in locating a missing Bronx teen.  Syderria Gilyard, 14, was last seen on Wednesday. 

Christopher "Dudus" Coke arrived in New York last night after being extradited from Jamaica, after police there finally captured him following a month-long manhunt that left more than 70 people dead.  The alleged drug lord is charged with running a large-scale gun and drug ring in the Bronx and Queens.  

The family of an auxiliary cop who was shot dead in the Bronx 17 years ago has finally been awarded a line-of-duty death benefit.

In a lawsuit filed yesterday, a polio survivor claims the Bronx Zoo is impossible to navigate in a wheelchair, and thus violates federal and state laws.  

Four Bronx siblings, members of the band "Graveshift," could be on the verge of stardom.  

Healthy Bodega Initiative in East Tremont

To follow up on Ivonne's previous post about healthy food finds: if you're in the East Tremont area in the next half hour or so (and if you love free food as much as I do) stop by the bodega on the corner of East Tremont and Daly Avenues for some tasty free samples.

There's a stand set up there as part of the city's Healthy Bodega Initiative, and folks from City Harvest are handing out refreshing fruit drinks and mayonnaise-free tuna sandwiches on whole wheat bread (made with lemon juice and cilantro). The demonstrations use only ingredients from the participating bodegas to encourage people to consider the joints for their healthier food options. They won't be there for long, so hurry over.

New Green Cart in Bedford Park

Last week, just as the weather was getting warmer, a new green cart debuted in Bedford Park on the corner of Grand Concourse and Bedford Park Blvd. It seems to be the first green cart in the neighborhood, though we'd like to hear more about this from our readers.

The cart offers summer favorites like pineapple, cherries, and watermelon. If you live in the area, be sure to check it out.

Straight from the Farm to the South Bronx

Photo Credit: Marcus Yam/The New York Times

The New York Times has a short video feature about the new South Bronx farm share, which was created by Dennis Derryk, a community organizer and professor at the New School for Management and Urban Policy.

Similar to a Community Supported Agriculture or CSA, Derryk's program allows residents to pay for shares of fruits and vegetables from several farms in upstate New York. But instead of paying hundreds of dollars at the beginning of the season, shareholders only have to pay two weeks in advance and the rates are on a sliding scale based on income.

To learn more about the Corbin Hill Road Farm, where residents will begin to get most of their fruits and vegetable, visit the farm's website

Read the full story at New York Times .

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Out and About With Gustavo Rivera, an Espada Opponent

Gustavo Rivera, a state Senate candidate, talking to potential petition signers

Early yesterday morning, State Senate candidate Gustavo Rivera and a handful of his volunteers worked the rush hour crowd on the downtown platform of the Fordham Road 4-Train station. 

They were after signatures so that Rivera can get on the ballot.

One exchange went like this:

Volunteer:  "Are you a registered Democrat living in the Bronx?"

Middle-aged man: "I don't vote. All the politicians are crooked."

When asked the same question, several other commuters pretended not to hear, and walked on, eyes straight ahead - the kind of response (or lack of) that beggars on the subway often elicit. 

Still, not everyone was so unresponsive. 

Joshua Iscoa, a local resident and computer programmer who was heading to work, even let a train pass by as he listened to Rivera's pitch.

Typically, that pitch begins with Rivera informing the potential petition signer that Pedro Espada, Jr., the current office holder, is a bad guy who has abused his position. Rivera then reels off a few of his own accomplishments: how he's an experienced educator, how he helped Obama get elected, and how he's worked for several other pols with stellar reputations, including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

Bronx News Roundup, June 24

Angel Franco's photography of the 46th precinct is featured today in the New York Times' Lens blog. Franco documented the west-central Bronx from 1979 through 1984, when the area was known as "The Alamo."

The police are asking for the public's help finding a man who's wanted in regard to an incident of forcible touching on a 13-year-old girl on June 17 in the Bronx. The Village Voice has the details.

The Times reported that Dennis Derryck, a 70-year-old mathematician and professor at the New School for Management and Urban Policy, has developed a commercial community-supported agriculture plan (C.S.A.) for the South Bronx. The plan allows residents to pay farmers for weekly deliveries of produce from an upstate farm and eventually own shares in the farm.

The management of the Bronx's Co-Op City met with 500 porters, janitors, handymen, and other building workers yesterday to draw up a tentative, four-year contract. The contract will provide salary adjustments, secure health care for the workers and their families, and, best of all, keep them on the job.

According to the NYPD, an armed suspect died in the Bronx this morning after a shootout with officers. Police say they were searching the Hunts Point home with a warrant at about 9:15 a.m. when the suspect and at least two officers opened fire.

The MTA has cut shuttle service from the 6 train to the floating pool in Barretto Point Park. NBC New York has the story.

A recent poll from Quinnipiac of 1,650 New Jersey residents lists the Yankees as New Jersey's favorite baseball team.

Bronx Pols Say Firehouse Cuts Could Return Borough to Darker Days

Flanked by union reps, fellow Bronx pols and residents holding photos of burning buildings, Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. warned that the mayor's plan to cut firehouses could bring back the dark "Bronx is burning" days.

Bronx politicians, union leaders and firefighter representatives gathered at Engine 96/Ladder 54 in the South Bronx yesterday to oppose the closing of firehouses in the Bronx and throughout the city.

In an effort to balance the budget, Mayor Bloomberg has proposed closing 20 firehouses citywide. It's still unclear specifically which firehouses will be slated for closure, but Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., the Bronx's Council delegation and Council Fire committee chair Elizabeth Crowley wanted to remind the mayor of what happened last time the city cut fire companies in the northern borough.

“Last time the City closed fire companies in the 1970s, 25 percent of the Bronx burned down,” Crowley said.

In the 1970s, the Bronx was literally burning. Engine 96, where the rally was held, was one of the busiest fire companies in the world. Between 1970 and 1980, in seven different census tracts (out of the borough's 289 tracts), more than 97 percent of Bronx buildings were lost to fire and abandonment, according to data compiled by FDNY historian Joe Flood. In 44 other census tracts, more than 50 percent of buildings were lost to fire and abandonment.  

“While we all understand the need for the FDNY cut backs during this economic downturn, compromising public safety shouldn’t be an option," said Diaz, Jr. "Closing twenty companies will raise response times, leaving the public and firefighter’s safety in jeopardy. We fought hard to keep Ladder 53 on City Island open last year, and will do the same to avoid any closures that could put Bronxites at risk.”

Palma also recalled when fires were uncontrolled due to an under-funded FDNY. “Forty years later, we cannot allow these same mistakes to be made again and history cannot be allowed to repeat itself," she said.

Also in attendance were Bronx Council members Maria del Carmen Arroyo and Fernando Cabrera.

Story of the Day: District Leader Runs for Benjamin's Assembly Seat

District Leader Eric Stevenson is running for Assembly in the 79th A.D. 

The Tremont Tribune has the story of who is stepping in, with the backing of Bronx County Democrats, to run for the seat being vacated by Michael Benjamin. (Photo: James Fergusson)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Bronx's Best and Brightest

With high school graduation season in full swing, we thought we would take a minute to congratulate all of our outstanding Bronx scholars. 

Here is a (not quite complete) list of valedictorians at Bronx high schools this year, provided to us by the Bronx County Historical Society and schools we were able to contact::

Megan Ma
Bronx High School of Science
Christopher Sacco
Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music
Alexander Amoateng
DeWitt Clinton High School
Rikelmy Burgos
Discovery High School
Todd Hirsch
High School of American Studies at Lehman College
Jen Branch
High School for Teaching and the Professions
Vrutel Patel
John F. Kennedy High School
Laura Tazarez
Kingsbridge International High School
Quashay Hardy
Leadership Institute (HS 279)

 [The list continues after the jump]

Hunts Point Riverside Park Vandalized

Hunts Point Riverside Park is one of the prettiest open spaces in the city, the gateway to the Bronx River and a symbol of community engagement. On Saturday night vandals spraypainted graffiti on every surface, from walkways to piers to benches and even trees. The full story is in The Hunts Point Express.

Diaz, Parker Battle in the Senate Chambers

State Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz, Sr., sent out a press release this morning to "set the record straight" about his very public argument with fellow Senator Kevin Parker, of Brooklyn.

The two exchanged heated words in the Senate chamber yesterday when Diaz planned to vote against a democrat-backed bill. He claims Parker threatened him verbally--using a colorful obscenity to do so.

"As I stated last night Senator Parker was saying eff this, eff that. In front of the ladies," Diaz said in a statement. "It's uncalled for. If I want to vote no on something, nobody is going to tell me to eff me. What are we, babies?"

Parker responded in turn by dropping in on the Capitol press room this afternoon to announce that he wouldn't apologize to Diaz, according to the Daily News.

He called Diaz's behavior "irrational" and "crazy," according to the article, and told reporters that Diaz should be the one to apologize, "Not just today, but for the eight years that he’s been here." Read more here. 

It's not the first time Parker's made headlines for his temper: the Brooklyn rep was indicted on assault charges back in 2009 for allegedly roughing up a news photographer. 

Bronx Green Business Summit This Friday

Come join Bronx business owners, advocates, executives, entrepreneurs and the Bronx News Network this Friday at the Bronx Green Business Summit.

The summit will include breakout sessions on "Attainable-Measurable-Sustainable" business practices, an expo area of green products, programs and services and a Keynote Luncheon featuring Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.

The event will be held at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, 3901 Fieldston Road, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more info, call Angela Boston at (212) 289-8506 ext. 305 or visit www.bronxgreenbusiness.com.

Renovations at Roberto Clemente's Pool Still Not Finished

The pool at Roberto Clemente State Park in Morris Heights is still undergoing renovations, which started last year. (File photo, Mount Hope Monitor)

While most public pools will open at the end of this month (City-run pools are slotted to open on Tuesday) swimmers near Roberto Clemente State Park will have to find somewhere else to cool off--for the second year in a row.

Local residents were irked last year when the park's Olympic-sized swimming pool was closed for the summer to start renovations, which were supposed to take only 12 months. But construction is still going on, according to Rachel Gordon, a regional director with the State Parks Department. She had no estimates for when the project would be finished.

"It's nowhere near ready," said Leon Johnson, president of the nearby apartment complex River Park Towers, and a Community Board 5 member. "They’re talking about August, they’re talking about October. Nobody swims in October. From what I could see, it may be time to close the pool by the time it opens."

Gordon said the project was ongoing because the renovations--which include new locker rooms, a new spray park, and adding a sloping floor to the main pool to allow diving--are so extensive.

"It's a huge, huge, huge job," she said. "They did an enormous amount of work. The improvements are absolutely dramatic."

But Johnson said the new additions would do little to appease neighborhood residents looking for a place to stay cool.

"It's going to be a hot summer," he said.

Story of the Day: Seeds for Future Sowed in Classroom Garden

The perimeter of Steve Ritz’s classroom at Discovery High School is consumed by sprouts, vegetables, and flowers that grow in pots, and on walls.

What began here as a simple science experiment has grown into a gardening phenomenon that is opening doors and eyes. It has led to a school-wide lesson in healthy eating and, ultimately, to Ritz’s students getting certified and employed as green technology workers.

Read more here in the Norwood News.

Bronx News Roundup, June 23

The Obama image on a toolbox that landed a Tremont firehouse in hot water earlier this week has been removed, FDNY officials have said.

A farm in upstate Schoharie County is a new source of fresh produce for the South Bronx.

Two Bronx sites were granted landmark status yesterday. The Haffen Building, on Third Avenue in Melrose, and the Noonan Plaza, on West 168th Street in Highbridge, are now both preserved as city landmarks--meaning they can't be altered without the approval of the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Speaking of landmarks: the city is considering making the Grand Concourse, between 153rd Street to 167th Streets, into a historic district. 

Mayor Bloomberg's tactic of breaking up large, failing schools into smaller ones seems to be working, according to one study. This AP article sites John F. Kennedy High School, which was broken into six smaller schools, as one success story.

A number of medical sites, including Montefiore, are giving free prostate cancer screening tests this week as part of an annual campaign sponsored by the Daily News. A full list of sites offering the tests can be found here.

Former Yankee player Johnny Damon says he misses the team's old stadium

State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr., who represents many neighborhoods in the South Bronx, says fellow Senator Kevin Parker, of Brooklyn, threatened him on the Senate floor yesterday after Diaz voted against a bill.

Police are searching for a teenage mother and her infant son, who were last seen Monday on Boston Road.

Defense lawyer Murray Richman compared his client--City Councilman Larry Seabrook--to the Kennedy brothers in court yesterday, according to the New York Post. Seabrook is accused of funneling city money to groups that employed his relatives, which Richman compared to the nepotism of the Kennedys, who all worked in government.

On Tuesday afternoon, a 38-year-old man was killed in a propane explosion while he attempted to retrieve a broken barbeque grill from a shed in the Bronx on 2401 White Plains Road.

David Johnson, the former aide to Governor Paterson accused of assaulting a former girlfriend at her Bronx apartment, is refusing to answer questions from investigators by invoking his fifth amendment right.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

100 Hundred Years Young at St. Patrick's

Local Centennian's receiving gifts in celebration of their 100 years of life at St. Patrick's Home on Tuesday.

This afternoon, St. Patrick's Home for the Aged and Infirmed, located right off of Mosholu Parkway, celebrated the lives of 13 residents who either turned triple digits or have surged right past the century mark.

The celebration included a review of all of the historic events over the past 100 years, lively Irish step dancing and a presentation of gifts by family members and friends.

The residents celebrating over 100 years of age included: Rose Paladino, Anna Benson (103), Anna Roorra (102), Elizabeth Kioski, Josefine Diesto, Louise Erto, Theresa Verna, Mary Leech, Mary Turner (101), Mildred Davis, Nora Roach, John Burns and Bridget McCahill (100).

New Issue of the Tremont Tribune

June's edition of the Tremont Tribune is on the streets and online now. Here are some of the stories featured in this month's issue:

  • A group of home care workers--whose company runs eight locations in the Bronx--are attempting to unionize, despite resistance from their employer. 
For more, pick up a copy of the Tribune or visit www.tremonttribune.org. And don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more updates!

Pianos in the Park

Children take advantage of "Play Me, I'm Yours" and the shade at Sackerah Woods Playground

Shaded under the open-aired municipal facilities at Sackerah Woods Playground, in Van Cortlandt Park's southeastern corner, sits a curiously inviting blue and green piano.

The piano's creative aesthetic is accompanied by an open invitation: "Play Me, I'm Yours," written just above the keys. The piano is part of a citywide public art project that temporarily placed 60 pianos in parks, playgrounds and gardens. The Sackerah Woods piano is one of four in the Bronx.

The art project is run by the New York-based charity, Sing For Hope, which imported the concept from a similar project in Britain where they envisioned the pianos as "a catalyst for conversation."

At Sackerah Woods on Monday afternoon, the piano was dominated by adolescents investigating the instrument's capabilities while, at the same time, escaping the sun from beneath near-by the monkey bars.

The "Play Me, I'm Yours" project will continue to provide the pianos until July 5 and can also be enjoyed in the Bronx at Fordham Plaza, Grand Concourse and Joyce Kilmer Park.

David Gonzalez recently wrote about the pianos on the New York Times' City Room blog.

Bronx News Roundup, June 22

Fire Department officials have launched an internal probe after an image of President Obama, painted on a toolbox inside a Tremont firehouse, was defaced with the words "Hustler" and "Allah Akbar."

More details on the murder of Mohamed Jalloh, the 18-year-old Bronx resident who was stabbed to death in Washington Heights on Sunday.

A Riverdale man was shot dead execution-style outside a hotel in Yonkers early Monday morning.

Richard Izquierdo Arroyo, the nephew of Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo, and grandson of Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo, will be sentenced this Friday. "Little Ricky" pled guilty in March to embezzling $115,000 from a nonprofit group. Despite this, Assemblywoman Arroyo had no qualms keeping him on as her chief-of-staff.

The upcoming trial of Councilman Larry Seabrook may be further delayed after his lawyer, Murray Richman (aka "Don't Worry Murray) told a judge that he - Richman - may have a conflict of interest with one of the witnesses. Seabrook, who has a nickname of his own, faces money laundering, extortion and fraud charges. Some of the charges are tied to the so-called "slush-fund scandal" which has already bought down Richard Izquierdo Arroyo (see above) and former Manhattan councilman Miguel Martinez, among others.

A federal judge will decide later this week whether or not to bail the four men accused of trying to blow up two synagogues in Riverdale last year.

Last Friday, housing adovcates rallied outside State Sen. Jeff Klein's home in Pelham Parkway, to protest his refusal to support a vacancy decontrol bill.

Not for the first time, parks advocates are accusing the city of giving Bronx residents a bum deal with regards to the new parks and playgrounds slated to replace the parkland the Yankee Stadium swallowed up. 

Jewish Home Lifecare recently cut the ribbon on its latest residence for low-income seniors. The 71-unit building is located at 2552 Webb Ave.

Four Bronx youths are suing the city, and demanding $1 million apiece, after being arresting last month for having a water-balloon fight on Walton Avenue.

A community group in Mott Haven wants to reseed Bronx Kill with oysters and mussels, in an effort to clean up the polluted waterway which separates the Bronx from Randalls Island.

At several outdoor locations in the Bronx, pianos have appeared for residents young and old to bang away on.  The pianos are part of a citywide art project called “Play Me, I’m Yours.”

The Jersey Shore's Nicole Polizzi, better known as Snooki, could be Bronx-bound.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Rasta Afternoon at Monte

The Fingees in the courtyard at Montefiore Hospital.

Monday afternoon felt more like happy hour at a Jamaican resort than lunchtime in the courtyard at Montefiore Medical Center.

As part of a weekly Summer Concert series (on Mondays), Bronx reggae band, The Fingees, performed for a moderate crowd of Montefiore employees under a ceaseless summer sun.

As hospital employees enjoyed their lunchtime meals, The Fingees set a relaxing Caribbean atmosphere, adding to the already tropical weather. Playing two sets of three songs each over half an hour, The Fingees were a pleasant surprise for an afternoon work break.

The Fingees are comparable to the Wailer-esque "island sound," but with an added Bronx edginess. Imagine if Bob Marley grew up near the Grand Concourse instead of Trenchtown.

The newly finished courtyard and ongoing programming is part of an effort to utilize outdoor space and create a more campus-like environment throughout the three Montefiore hospitals, according to Monte President Dr. Steven M. Safyer, MD.

The courtyard, which is now providing musical acts every Monday afternoon throughout the summer is on track to providing the type of atmosphere Safyer is aiming for. A recent article in the Norwood News by Jordan Moss features a more in-depth look at the courtyard's construction at Montefiore. The article can be found HERE.

Benjamin Holds Off on Serrano Challenge

Finding a general lack of political support, Bronx Assemblyman Michael Benjamin has decided not to challenge Congressman Jose E. Serrano this fall, according to a story on City Hall magazine's website. He added, however, that he would give it another shot in 2012.

Benjamin, who generated some buzz for calling Tea Partier Rand Paul an "idiot" a couple of weeks ago, had already indicated that he would not seek re-election to his assembly seat.

Carl Heastie, the Bronx Democratic Party Chairman and a colleague in the assembly, tried to talk Benjamin out of running against Serrano several times over the past months, Benjamin said.

Benjamin believes that he might have a better chance to defeat Serrano after the congressional district lines are re-drawn in the near future, but City Hall said that reapportionment may not sway things in his favor. 

Police Hunt Killer in Perry Avenue Shooting

Detectives are looking for the individual who shot and killed a man along Perry Avenue (pictured above), a quiet tree-lined street in Norwood, just three short blocks from the 52nd Precinct.

Police were called to Perry Avenue, between Mosholu Parkway North and E. 204 Street, at 2:24 a.m., on Saturday, June 19, when officer's discovered the victim, who had been shot several times.

The victim was rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival at 3:55 a.m.

One resident of the block, who declined to give his name, said, "I heard about five or six shots. I looked out the window and I saw a dead guy, he was wearing a white t-shirt and people were yelling, 'Help, Help.'"

The resident said the victim was shot behind the wheel of a silver Mercedes, but no such vehicle was seen on the block just a few hours later.

Police have since identified the victim as 27-year old Jason White, but would not say where White was from. Police officials would also not comment on a possible description of the suspect, which one police source described as a Hispanic female wearing black Spandex pants.

--Reporting and Photo by David Greene

Bronx News Roundup, June 21

The Times profiles Father John Flynn, the retiring longtime pastor of St. Martins of Tours church whose presence has become a fixture in the Crotona area since 1981. He presided over his last mass (pictured above) on Sunday.  The Tremont Tribune wrote about Father Flynn in March.

The city is holding a hearing today on a proposal that would turn the Grand Concourse -- from 153rd Street to 167th Street -- into New York's newest historic district. Back in the day, "If you lived on the Concourse, it was a sign that you had made it," Bronx Borough Historian Lloyd Ultan told the Post.

 The Daily News writes about a couple of Bronx teens looking for work in a tough job market this summer.

A bail hearing for the four men accused of plotting to bomb two Riverdale synagogues is set for today. Protesters, friends and relatives say there's not enough evidence to keep them in jail. The defendants say they were coerced into the plot by FBI operatives.

As of yesterday, police were still looking for a teenage mother and her daughter who went missing.

An 18-year-old refugee from Sierra Leone who lived in the Bronx was stabbed to death early Sunday morning in Washington Heights. Another man was shot and killed hours later in Melrose.(On early Saturday morning, a 27-year-old man was found dead on Perry Avenue, in Norwood, with multiple gun shot wounds.)

A career military man who grew up in Mott Haven was killed at a Georgia  Army base.

What's Going On This Week

Chef Trish Sebben-Krupka shopping at last year's farmer's market at the Botanical Garden. 

Tuesday, June 22

Tuesday Teen Takeover!
Every Tuesday at the Riverdale Branch Library, the Teens Takeover! Play games, challenge your friends in a video game competition, hop on a laptop, and check out all new materials on the shelves. Beginning at 4 p.m. at 5540 Mosholu Avenue.

Wednesday, June 23

Van Cortlandt Summer Concert
At 5:30 p.m. at the Van Cortlandt Senior Center, 3800 Sedgwick Ave, the Bronx Opera Company will presenting another installment of their summer concert series.

Gather with other stichers to crochet. Perhaps pick-up a few tips and tricks as you work on your own creations! Crocheting is held every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Grand Concourse Branch Library, 155 East 173rd Street.

The Yankees, Unobstructed — June 21

England hasn't won, France hasn't won, Spain hasn't won, this World Cup has been bana....wait, baseball is still on? Ugh, fine. We can talk about that.

The Yankees have recaptured first place! They've got the best record in baseball and they lead the division by a whopping one game over two teams.

Two teams? The Rays and who? While New York and Tampa have busied themselves squabbling with each other, slowly — stealthily even — the Boston Red Sox have become an unstoppable winning-machine, capable of destroying everything that's good and holy in this world....well, at least in this American League East.

But even with the (somewhat fading) Tampa Bay Rays and (totally resurgent) Boston Red Sox breathing down their necks, there's plenty for the Yankees to be thrilled about. Their pitching has been for the most part, stellar, and one through nine, the batting lineup now only has a single hole. Albeit a very big hole. The #4 spot. Álex Rodriguez.

Currently on pace for his lowest home run total since his sophomore campaign — way back in 1997 — ÁROD has just not had the "pop" we're accustomed to. He doesn't get on top of pitches as much, so he's been driving the ball less and less. And when he does drive the ball, it tends to go flat. It seems like once every two games, a ball leaves ÁROD's bat looking like a home run, only to find itself just shy of the warning track. They are pitches he used to hit for home runs, and swings that used to signal home runs. Only this season they've been long, frustrating, fly outs.

(Full Disclosure: I used the #4 pick in one of my fantasy baseball drafts for Rodriguez, so I keep an especially close watch on his production (or lack thereof).)

That isn't to say he's a waste in the clean-up spot. ÁROD is part of the growing contingent of Yankee hitters who have been shouting "Stop letting us load the bases!" to the rest of baseball.

The LoHud Yankee Blog's Josh Thomson explains:

The Yankees lead the bigs with seven grand slams (Alex Rodriguez, 2; Jorge Posada, 2; Teixeira; Curtis Granderson; Robinson Cano) after belting three this homestand alone. But check out these stats: the club is batting .420 with 37 hits and 103 RBI with the bags juiced this season.

The production already dwarfs last season when the team hit just three slams all year. Even the club record is in jeopardy this season; it sits at 10, which was accomplished in 1987 (thank Don Mattingly for that).

Postgame Notes: Yank homers are grand

Prediction time!

The fates of a lineup's third and fourth hitters are often inextricably intertwined, and so far this season, the Yankees three and four guys (Mark Teixeira and ÁROD) have both contributed lackluster production. But Tex has hit two homers in the last two games (and three in the last six), which might mean he's finally returning to form. If the guy who's up before Rodriguez is getting on base more often, than Rodriguez is much more likely to see strikes consistently, which can only be a good thing. So the prediction is that a good Teixeira equals a strong ÁROD, which in turns equals the Yankees being able to weather the coming Boston onslaught.
NOTE: Make sure to check back every week for The Yankees, Unobstructed, BNN's Yankees opinion column.

For more of Graham Kates' sports writing, check out his True/Slant blog "Coaches in the Crosshairs" (http://trueslant.com/grahamkates).

Energy Alternatives on BronxTalk!

With the oil spill horrifically raging in the Gulf, tonight on BronxTalk, host Gary Axelbank will talk with energy experts about alternatives to fossil fuels.  Beginning at 9pm on Bronxnet's channel 67, Tom Sullivan from SunHydro, Luis Torres from the Bronx Community College Center for Sustainable Energy, and Kate Schakford of the BOEDC will talk about hydrogen fuels and cars, electric cars, and other ways the people of the Bronx can help ease reliance on gas and oil.

Viewers can call into the show at 718-960-7241.

Next Monday night BronxTalk will feature Bronx photographers and artists.  Then on July 5 there will be a special holiday show with a concert band from PS 76 in Allerton.

Since October, 1994, BronxTalk has been seen live each Monday night at 9:00pm on Bronxnet's Cablevision channel 67. It's also on Verizon Fios channel 33 and streamed live at bronxnet.org. Produced by Jane Folloro, BronxTalk is repeated each day at 9:30am, 3:30pm, and 9:00pm. Archives are available at blip.tv and search for "BronxTalk."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Bronx International Film Festival

Tonight's your last chance to catch the Bronx International Film Festival, happening this weekend at Lehman College, which features narrative and documentary films from around the world. Screenings will start at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $5. Visit www.bronxstage.com for more info.

Below is a preview from one of tonight's short films--"Cold April," directed by Mike Smith Rivera:

Click the jump for a summary of the film from the festival's organizers.

Friday, June 18, 2010

What's Going On This Weekend?

The Family Art Project presents "Making Music" this Father's Day at Wave Hill

Friday, June 18
Student Art Exhibition
The Bronx River Art Center presents the Spring Student Exhibition which honors and celebrates the wonderful works of art created by local students. The exhibition is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Bronx River Art Center, 1087 East Tremont Ave., or visit the Bronx River Art Center website for more information.

Speed Networking Mixer
Join SPC in trying to bring unity and collective success to the Borough of the Bronx! Create great connections easier and faster than ever, promote your business to a professional and eager crowd and gain new ideas to help improve the longevity of your business. The event will be held from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Blend Cafe, 582 East Fordham Rd. Reserve your spot at HTTP://BRONXCONNECTS.EVENTBRITE.COM.

Arthur Aviles Tribute
At 8 p.m. at the Pregones Theater, 571 Walton Ave, dancer/choreographer/director and now filmmaker Arthur Aviles will be honored with a 2010 Master Artist Award. For this special occasion he has created an "autobiographical fantasy; the colors of the rainbow that make up my life and career to date in an evening of dance, song and film." Featuring dance films To Be Real (premiere) and This Pleasant and Grateful Asylum, the exuberant dance piece Dorothur's Journey. For more information visit the Pregones Theater website.

Preview: Bronx International Film Festival

Here's another preview from one of the films featured in this weekend's Bronx International Film Festival at Lehman College, which started last night and continues tonight and tomorrow evening. Visit www.bronxstage.com for tickets and information.

This clip, from "A Joke," by Andy Brown, is based on short story by Anton Chekov. It'll screen tonight. Here's a little synopsis from the Festival's website:

"Bryce and Nadia have been dating for about 3 months when Bryce decides to bring her to his favorite sledding hill. After a little persuasion, Nadia agrees to ride with him down the steepest slope on the hill. As they are barreling down the hill, Bryce leans in and whispers 'I Love You' into Nadia's ear. When they reach the bottom of the slope, Nadia is not sure if she heard Bryce's whisper or not. And Bryce is not giving her any clues. They continue to go sledding together for the rest of the winter. Each time they descend the slope Bryce chooses the most treacherous moment to lean in and whisper into Nadia's ear. Come springtime, they must part ways because Bryce is leaving to study abroad. Years later Bryce returns to sledding hill and reveals why he had only spoken those words to her while speeding down the slope."

A JOKE - TRAILER from Andy Brown on Vimeo.

Bronx News Roundup, June 18

Bronx teens Rashawn Birthwright, 17, and Javon Maldonado, 17, were stabbed to death yesterday in two unrelated incidents. Maldonado died on the doorstep of the NYPD's 41st Precinct station house in Hunts Point hours after Birthwright was stabbed on Gunther Avenue and died at Jacobi Medical Center. The Daily News has the story.

12-year-old Bronx twins Jason and Corey Grant have started a Facebook-page campaign to persuade LeBron James to play for the New York Knicks. In four days, the site has tracked one million votes in support of LeBron's switch.

After giving birth three times with the help of Bronx midwives, New York state assemblywoman Amy Paulin is seeking to pass a bill that will afford other women a similar, though safer, experience. The bill would repeal the requirement that midwives have a “written practice agreement” with a doctor or hospital, thus allowing them to travel and still have access to doctors and medical facilities.

"Reflections of a Heart," a play about black soldiers who fought in World War II, depicts Isaac Woodard Jr.'s experience in the post-war Bronx. Read the full review here.

The Parks Department and the Bronx River Alliance is inviting New Yorkers to paddle down the Bronx River with their dads this Sunday during the Father's Day Paddle. Participants will canoe through Bronx River Forest, the Botanical Garden, and the Bronx Zoo. Find out more here. [The event appears to be sold out, but you can sign up for the waiting list.]

Former boxing champ Juan La Porte will bring fighters from his Bronx gym to an amateur boxing card hosted by Billy Costello. Now battling lung cancer, Costello continues to spotlight NYC fighters and host matches on NYC turf.

Obama has chosen Rev. Susan Johnson Cook, the senior pastor of Bronx Christian Fellowship Baptist Church in New York and executive director of the Multi-Ethnic Center Inc., for the position of ambassador for international religious freedom. The Catholic Review has the full story.

Bronx resident Edda Lopez-Lennards was featured in the Daily News this morning for her housing struggle involving the Bank of America. Read Norwood News' coverage here.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the premiere episode of Comedy Central's 'Portable Lounge,' a roaming online talk show featuring rising comedians, will take place in the Bronx. Here's more on this show.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bronx International Film Festival

[Note: this was supposed to appear last night, but, for some technical reason that we don't understand, did not.]

The Bronx International Film Festival, which started last night at 8 p.m. at Lehman College, will feature the U.S. premiere of a feature documentary by Mark Henderson entitled "My Kidnapper."

Here's a summary of the film:

"In 2003 Mark Henderson was one of eight backpackers taken hostage whilst trekking in the Colombian jungle. What had started as an innocent tourist adventure, ended up as 101 terrifying days of captivity and uncertainty about his future. Eleven months after his release Mark received an email from Antonio, one of his kidnappers, and one of the other hostages received a facebook friend request from Antonio’s girlfriend, another of their captors. That email was the start of a five-year correspondence between hostage and kidnapper that eventually drew Mark back to the one part of the world he thought he’d never see again and face to face with the man who had once held the key to his freedom.

My Kidnapper is an emotional journey into a kidnapping, told from all sides. This deeply personal, authored documentary follows Mark and three of his fellow hostages as they return to the Sierra Nevada mountains in northern Colombia, the place where they lived out their worst nightmares. As they travel deeper into the jungle, they discover the truth behind what happened to them, come to understand how they all dealt with the ordeal and finally have the chance to confront two of their kidnappers."

Here's a clip, below. Visit www.bronxstage.com for more information or to reserve tickets.

Countdown to Bronx International Film Festival

Here's another preview of a film being featured in this weekend's Bronx International Film Festival, which starts tonight at 8 p.m. at Lehman College and ends Saturday night. Click here to reserve tickets, which cost $5, or to check out some of the other films being shown.

The following clip is from the short narrative "A Girl Like You With A Boy Like Me," directed by Ruben Amar. Here's a little summary from the festival's organizers:

"In a few moments, Bhadraksh will announce to the one he has always loved that he wants to end the relationship. Bhadraksh is a guide, a shepherd, a lighthouse standing proudly in the midst of the ocean, a rampart against masculine weakness."

A Girl Like You With A Boy Like Me (Scene clip) from ruben amar on Vimeo.

Story Of The Day: U-Heights Church Rebounds After Arson

 (Photo by Adi Talwar)
Last Saturday, parishioners at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church held their first mass since March, when a fire--thought to be the result of arson--destroyed the building's vestibule. Read the whole story here in the newest edition of the Norwood News.

Bronx News Roundup, June 17

The Bronx International Film Festival kicks off today (we're one of the festival sponsors). We've been posting trailers for some of the films being screened, so check back here later. And click here for more info, or to reserve tickets.

An off-duty Bridges and Tunnels cop fired his gun at a group of attackers during a road rage scuffle following an accident on the Major Deegan.

Gothamist showcases a collection of striking photographs from the LIFE image archive of the South Bronx during the early 1950s dubbed the "Bronx Slums."

Make sure you buy a ticket--and keep your recceipt--before boarding the Bx12 bus. Transit officials are cracking down on fare-beaters who've been taking advantage of the MTA's "pay at the curb" option, where tickets are purchased before riders board the bus.

The owners of a Westchester building that was the source of an oil spill in the Bronx River on June 2nd will be footing the bill for its cleanup.

The Huffington Post profiles Edda Lopez, a University Heights resident who is taking on Bank of America in a foreclosure battle (the Norwood News ran a story on Lopez earlier this month, as did this blog. Read here and here.)

The Huffington Post also chronicles, through photos, one blogger's trip to a Bronx recycling facility.

Paul DeRienzo, a South Bronx elementary school teacher, writes that charter schools--largely concentrated in the South Bronx and Harlem--could be making our school system more racially segregated.

Police are investigating two fatal stabbings that happened yesterday. 

The South Bronx has seen one of the highest jumps in subway ridership in recent years, according to a survey (the Aqueduct Racetrack stop, in Queens, has the lowest ridership, with a 72 percent drop-off over the past decade).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Board Directs Senate Canidate Fernando Tirado to Take Leave of Absence

Last night, during its final meeting before the summer hiatus, Community Board 7 held a closed-door executive session and voted overwhelmingly to direct District Manager Fernando Tirado to take a leave of absence while he runs for senate in the 33rd District.

Tirado announced his candidacy in late May to the surprise of many of the board's 30-plus volunteer members. Several board members expressed reservations about whether the board's work as a non-partisan government agency might be compromised in some way by Tirado's run for office. They asked Tirado to come up with a plan, in writing, for juggling both roles.

Then, last night, the board sat down to discuss the matter and ultimately voted in favor of a measure that directed Tirado to take a leave effective tomorrow. The board also reserved the right to re-evaluate the situation periodically. Board member Ozzie Brown said 22 people voted for the measure, six voted against it, and three abstained.

I talked to Paul Foster and Ozzie Brown of the board earlier today. They said that it wasn't that they feared Tirado would abuse his office, but rather that the board wanted to avoid even the appearance of conflict of interest or partisanship.

"We needed to protect the board," said Foster, who took over as chair of the board when Greg Faulkner left at the end of last year.

In an interview, Tirado said he thought he could effectively handle both roles and wanted to stay on until the petitioning process ends in mid-July. But he also said he understands the board's decision and says this will free him up to focus full-time on his campaign, which pits him against four other Democratic candidates, including the incumbent, Pedro Espada, Jr. 

In the meantime, the borough president's main community board guy, Tom Lucania, will most likely take over for Tirado in his absence.

I'll have more on this later.

This Saturday: Music Festival and Picnic on Mosholu Parkway

FOMP Pre-Fathers Day Event June 2010

Bronx Roundup, June 16

Anthony (Tony D) Palumbo, 61,  already facing charges of shaking down the owners of area bar tending schools, was arraigned yesterday and charged with ordering the murder of an associate, Angelo Sangiuolo, who was killed in 1992.

The four men accused of plotting to bomb Riverdale area synagogues may be set free. After Judge Colleen McMahon indefinitely suspended their trial, she announced the set case could be dismissed due to lack of evidence. The prosecution failed to turn over evidence months ago, she said.

Bronx baby, Sophia Lopez, was recently diagnosed with a rare blood disorder that can only be cured with a bone marrow transplant. No one in her family is an ideal match. Her situation is further complicated because she is of Puerto Rican descent and they make up less than 10% of the bone marrow registry.

A 19-year-old Bronx man was charged Tuesday with being the gunman that killed hardworking driver, Cesar Santos, 48,  police say. The arrest was made with the help of an anonymous tipster who contacted the NYPD's Crime stoppers Tip line. Here's our story on the murder and arrest. Cops are currently hunting down his accomplice, described as Latino, 20, and wearing a white tank top.

A 6-foot-3, 230-pound, sex offender is being charged with attempting to rape a counselor at the Bronx Psychiatric Center who barely got away, according to court documents and the Daily News.

Countdown to Bronx International Film Festival

Here's the next installment in our countdown to the Bronx International Film Festival, which kicks off Thursday night at 8 p.m. at Lehman College and runs through Saturday night. The festival features narrative and documentary  films from all around the world. Tickets are now just $5.

For more details on the Bronx International Film Festival, click here.

In the lead up to the film festival, we'll be showing a preview from one of the featured films. Here's the trailer for a short documentary (about the Bronx!) by Erik Spink, called "The Scavenger."

A brief synopsis:

The Scavenger is the story of Joseph Garagalo a WWII veteran who was in the 121st Battalion, U.S.N. Sea Bees, 4th Marine Division. Many years after his service during the war, he decided that his community was not doing enough to remember those who sacrificed for freedom. So he set out to create The Bronx Veterans Museum. The only problem was; no one wanted to give the museum a dedicated space. After many months of struggle, a very unlikely home opened its doors to a fellow American hero.

The Scavenger: Trailer from Erik Spink on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bronx News Roundup, June 15

The trial of four men accused of plotting to bomb Riverdale synagogues has being delayed due to prosecutors' failure to turn over necessary documents. Defense lawyers said they would file a motion to dismiss the case.

According to a report by the Citizens' Committee for Children, child welfare issues in the Bronx have become worse since the recession began.

A three-year-old Bronx boy survived after falling out of a third-story window that lacked window guards.

Bronx Democrat Joe Crowley's fund-raising history is under review by ethics investigators in the House.

A Bronx-based recycling company has been indicted over accusations that it filed false documents with New York State, in an effort to hide the illegal disposal of waste.

The Daily News's Bob Kappsttater details the latest goings on in Bronx politics.

A little local sports news, the Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy Tigers win their first PSAL 'B' baseball title.

The Orioles are coming back to the Bronx, to play against the team that took away their position as world champions.

Tickets are on sale for the Inaugural New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in December. If you purchase tickets before Sept. 8, prices start at $30.

Arrest in Kingsbridge Heights Cab Driver Murder

Police just announced that 19-year-old Hosny Hernandez has been arrested today and charged with the murder of 48-year-old cab driver Cesar Santos, who was gunned down on June 6 while chasing after two fare beaters in Kingsbridge Heights.

Police said they received a tip that led to the arrest of Hernandez, who was identified through surveillance video in surrounding area. The mayor's office was offering a $10,000 reward, in addition to the $2,000 reward being offered by the NYPD, for information leading to an arrest in this case.

Santos, a Dominican immigrant, husband and father of three who lives in North Fordham, near the Grand Concourse and Kingsbridge Road, was shot just outside of Our Lady of Angels Church on Sedgwick Avenue. He died soon after being transported to St. Barnabas Hospital.

Police originally said they were looking for two suspects in connection with the crime. 

Here's our previous coverage. And look for more on this story in the Norwood News, out on streets tomorrow afternoon.

Upcoming Bronx Events Through June 21

 The Family Art Project presents "Making Music" this Father's Day at Wave Hill

Tuesday, June 15

Community Council Meeting

The 46th Precinct’s next Community Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 15, at the precinct station house, 2120 Ryer Ave., at 7 p.m. Community Council meetings fall on the third Tuesday of every month. They give residents the chance to meet local police officers and air their concerns. For more information, call (718) 220-5234.

Concert: Quintet of the Americas
Quintet of the Americas will be performing their only concert in the Bronx this summer at the Wave Hill House at 2 p.m. The concert is free to the public and will include both multimedia performances, film and woodwind quartets. Wave Hill House is located at 675 W. 252 Street, or you can visit the Wave Hill website for more information.

Tuesday Teen Takeover!
Every Tuesday at the Riverdale Branch Library, the Teens Takeover! Play games, challenge your friends in a video game competition, hop on a laptop, and check out all new materials on the shelves. Beginning at 4 p.m. at 5540 Mosholu Avenue.