- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.Q6qPkwFC.dpuf November 2010 | Bronx News Networkbronx

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Espada Misses Vote on Important Housing Bill

Espada at a rally for his "rent freeze" bill in February (file photo)
Sen. Pedro Espada's absence at a special Senate session in Albany yesterday was a conspicuous one, as the controversial Majority Leader failed to make the trek to the capitol, while his primary election rival Gustavo Rivera--now Senator-elect--did.

Also making the journey to Albany? A group of city housing advocates intent on supporting an important housing bill to extend current rent stabilization laws until 2018--a lobbying effort that ultimately failed, as the bill was just a few votes short of the 32 needed to pass.

Espada missed the vote on the bill despite the fact that he is the chairman of the Senate's housing committee and happens to be the legislation's main sponsor.

"No one believed any of the stories [for why he didn't show up]," said Michael McKee, director of the Tenants PAC and the Real Rent Reform Campaign, who attended yesterday's session.

Monroe's Soccer Team Places Fourth at Nationals

Anthony Asante, Monroe's star striker, scored in the semi-final (Photo courtesy of Monroe College)

In its most successful season ever, Monroe College's men's soccer team came within two games of winning the NJCAA Division 1 Nationals.

At the tournment in Tyler, Texas, in mid-November, the second-seeded Monroe Mustangs won their first game against Otero Junior College (CO), before going down in the semi-final to Cinncinatti State, 2-1, in double over-time.

"We lost to a deep and classy team," Coach Marcus Dibernardo told the Monroe Mustangs website. "Yes, it doesn't feel very good now, but soon we'll realize that we had a great season."

Monroe then lost the third-place playoff game, leaving them with an end of season record of 19-2.

According to Dibernardo, the team is stacked with talent, and its success raises the bar for all future Monroe soccer teams. But as well as shining on the field, the players worked hard work and showed character and discipline off it.

"We set out every year to win the national championship," Dibernardo said in a telephone interview. "But education is first, getting their degrees is first. Then the sport."

Dibernardo and his team are already looking forward to next season.

"We wish we could start tomorrow," he said.

Monroe advanced to the nationals after winning the NJCAA Northeast Divison 1 District Championship in Massachusetts earlier in the month.

Bronx News Roundup, Nov. 30

The Daily News' Patrice O'Shaughnessy says troubling questions still remain in the death of Billy Murphy, a homeless man who died in Norwood back in August. Police insist his death was an accident, but those who knew him aren't convinced. For more on Murphy's life and death, check out this Norwood News story and BxNN post.

A burglary at Our Lady of Refuge School in Bedford Park on Sunday may be connected to a string of recent break-ins at Bronx churches.

A construction firm working on the delayed and over-budget Croton Water Filtration Plant in Van Cortlandt Park lied about hiring minority subcontractors.  To atone for the fraud, Schiavone Construction has agreed to pay a $20 million fine. According to the Daily News, the firm was ratted out by a Gambino mobster.

In his weekly column, the Daily News' Bob Kappstatter gives some ink to a campaign aimed at encouraging readers and advertisers to boycott the Riverdale Review, a weekly paper published by Andy Wolf. Tony Cassino, a lawyer and politico who has often come under attack in the Review, insists he's only a bit-player in the effort, and that parents angry at Wolf's coverage of Riverdale schools are the ones driving it. For some background on the campaign, here's a Riverdale Press article. It seems a pretty balanced take on the situation considering the two papers rarely see eye to eye. For more, here's Cassino writing about the campaign on his blog, and here's Wolf hitting back at his "anti-first amendment" critics. 

A Bronx man has been charged with stealing $5 million from Columbia University.

State Senator Pedro Espada, Jr. was a no-show at yesterday's special session in Albany.  Espada, who leaves office at end of the year, was the only absent Democrat.  According to The Times, he cited a family emergency. Yesterday, Espada's staffers were mum on his whereabouts.  Gustavo Rivera, the man who will take ownership of his seat in January, was in Albany yesterday, where he voted on the Senate Democratic leadership

A 15-year-old Bronx boy drowned on Sunday after drifting into the deep end of a hotel swimming pool in Pennsylvania.

The women's basketball coach at Hostos Community College is hoping that four-year colleges begin to take notice of the team's talented players.

Cathleen Black, the city's new schools chancellor, visited PS 109 in Morris Heights this morning. Black was officially hired yesterday.

A pizza delivery man was struck and killed by a car in Riverdale last night as he crossed the street. The driver remained on the scene and wasn't charged.

The family of a Bronx teen shot in the face by a police officer last year is suing the NYPD. The cop lied about what really happened, and had no reason to shoot, the family contends.

Some Bronx organizations which received tax breaks and bonds from the city's Industrial Development Agency in order to boost the local economy, have actually shed jobs, not created them

The Rockefeller Center's annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony will be held tonight.  This year, the tree came from the garden of a Bronx fireman who lives upstate.

Schools Chancellor Gets Waiver, Bronx Assembly Members Continue Criticism

Cathleen Black, the veteran publishing executive, is the city's new schools chancellor. 

Black was put forward for the job by Mayor Bloomberg earlier this month, but her candidacy had been in jeopardy after State Education Commissioner David Steiner queried her lack of related work experience.

Chancellors-to-be need a professional certificate in educational leadership and other qualifications. Black's had a successful career in business and publishing - she's been called the "First Lady of glamorous glossies" - but she's never been a teacher, and her resume boasts just a single day as a guest principal in the Bronx.

To get around this, Black needed Steiner to grant her a waiver, and yesterday he did just that, having been convinced that her lack of experience would be mitigated by the appointment of a chief academic officer to serve as her deputy.

Last night, Bronx Assembly members Vanessa Gibson and Marco Crespo released a joint statement slamming Steiner's decision. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Espada a No-Show at Albany Special Session?

State Senator Pedro Espada, Jr. (File photo)

State legislators are in Albany today to attend a special session called by Gov. David Paterson.

On the agenda:
  • Closing an estimated $315 million mid-year budget deficit.
  • Dividing up hundreds of millions of dollars in federal education aid.
  • The possible changing of a 2006 law, which requires public employees be given a year's notice prior to the closure of certain facilities. (An upstate juvenile detention center, empty but for the staff, has become a symbol of Albany dysfunction.)
  • A proposal to allow the continued operation of the New York City Off-Track Betting Corp.
  • Several other issues, including approving (or otherwise) 147 gubernatorial nominees.
Legislators can also vote on items not on Paterson's agenda. 

It's unclear, though, whether anything of note will be accomplished during the session, which is expected to start at 3 p.m.  Reaction from legislators has been tepid.  And while the Democrats continue to hold a 32-30 advantage in the Senate, some lame duck senators - Pedro Espada, Jr. included, according to the Times Union - may not even show.  For any legislation to be passed, then, bi-partisan support would probably be needed.

Bronx Health: The High Cost of Undiagnosed Diabetes

Ed. note: This article appears in the latest edition of the Norwood News. November is Diabetes Awareness Month.

By Jeanmarie Evelly

When most people find out they have diabetes, it’s in their doctor’s office, following a routine physical exam that reveals their blood sugar is too high. But some people get the news in a more dire way — when they end up in the emergency room.

The Bronx has the highest rate of diabetes in the city, with 12 percent of people here diagnosed with the disease. Many more probably have it, but just don’t recognize the symptoms; the city’s health department estimates that some 200,000 New Yorkers are diabetic, but don’t know it.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and health advocates are stressing the importance of screenings in catching the disease early. Unregulated diabetes can cause a number of health problems, like blurred vision and fatigue, to more serious complications over longer periods of time, like heart disease, kidney failure, nerve and eye damage.

“What we would like to avoid are the patients who get hospitalized because their blood sugars are dangerously high,” said Dr. Rita Louard, medical director of clinical diabetes at Montefiore Medical Center.

“For many people, by the time they get the blood test that tells them they have diabetes, they already have the damage,” she said.

Bronx Weekend News Roundup, Nov. 29

Police are searching for a small group of teens who were "just screwing around" prior to a massive fire in the Bronx's Mt. Eden neighborhood on Saturday night. The fire, at 131 E. 169th St., killed at least one man and left 31 people homeless. The Red Cross set up a temporary shelter for the displaced residents nearby at PS 64.

A handful of churches and at least one Catholic school in the north Bronx have been burglarized in recent weeks. One Bronxite told NY1: "I know times are hard, but a church? Some things have to be sacred."

On one day in January, a debt-collection company sued 110 people in Bronx County Civil Court for not paying their bills on time. It's part of a nationwide surge in lawsuits filed by debt collectors who are buying up souring loans on the cheap.

A Bronx firefighter was found dead at the Engine 72 firehouse in Throgs Neck.

One student's report card mix-up illustrates a grading system problem at Eximius College Preparatory Academy in Morrisania. The student received a report card from the academy even though he longer attended classes there.

An off-duty cop was charged with drunk driving after police found him parked on a Bronx street, asleep in his car with the keys in the ignition and radio and lights on.

A Bronx woman was charged in a deadly hit-and-run on Friday in Manhattan.

A Crain's NY columnist says the Bronx is losing out on development opportunities because of efforts to impose living wage jobs guarantees.

One Bronx precinct, the 43rd, which includes Parkchester and Soundview, has logged almost half of the city's missing children cases.

A woman was hit by a stray bullet in Soundview on Thanksgiving day.

The governor has called a special session in Albany, but some lawmakers, like lame duck Bronx State Senator Pedro Espada, may not show up for work.

Albania's Independence Day was celebrated yesterday in the Bronx's Belmont section.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

BronxTalk: Teachers Talk

On the heels of a deal that will pave the way for media mogul Cathie Black to become NYC schools chancellor, on Monday November 29 Bronx teachers will be talking on BronxTalk about the new chancellor, testing and grading, mayoral control, the teacher's union, and factors that have put teachers on the defensive.  

Beginning at 9:00pm on Bronxnet's channel 67 and Verizon fios 33, Dr. Mark Naison the Principal Investigator of the Bronx African American History Project at Fordham University and a fierce advocate of the profession of teaching and Tom Porton, a veteran teacher who is the coordinator of Student Affairs at the Monroe Academies and a member of the National Teachers Hall of Fame, will talk with host Gary Axelbank about teaching in the 21st century.

Dr. Naison will also be presenting a Teachers Talkback internet video project that gives teachers a chance to advocate for their profession in light of the many challenges they face in an oppressive political climate and in the classroom.

Viewers can have their say by calling into BronxTalk at 718-960-7241 during the program.

On December 6, BronxTalk will be presenting a program on the future of Bronx local television.  Bronxites can support the right to their own channels by signing this internet petition:  Petition to support Bronxnet.

One of New York City's longest-running TV talk shows now in its 17th year, BronxTalk is 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. Hosted by Gary Axelbank and produced by Jane Folloro, BronxTalk is repeated each day at 9:30am, 3:30pm, and 9:00pm. Archives are available  here:  http://bronxnet.org/tv/bronxtalk/viewcategory/7/bronxtalk

Friday, November 26, 2010

Bronx Events: Holiday Train Show at the Botanical Garden

(Photo courtesy of NYBG)

Thanksgiving is over, and the holiday season has officially begun. You can get in the spirit this weekend by checking out the New York Botanical Garden's annual holiday train show, a local favorite since it first launched in 1992. Model trains wind across a half-mile of track and around replicas of famous New York City buildings and landmarks (NY1 has video of the exhibit here.) For tickets and more information, visit the NYBG wesbite at www.nybg.org.

This and other Bronx events are listed in our community calendar, below.

Editor's note: What did we miss? Send details to bronxnewsnetwork[at]gmail.com.

Bronx News Roundup, Nov. 26

We hope everyone had a happy, and delicious, Thanksgiving! Here are some Bronx news headlines from the past few days:

Students from P.S. 51 on Jerome Avenue watched a live re-enactment of the first Thanksgiving dinner, transmitted via webcast from Plymouth, MA, and broadcast across the country. Bronx student Stephen Molina told ABC he learned "that the pilgrims didn't have any refrigerators," back then.

While our Thanksgiving predecessors were able to break bread in peace (even without a fridge!) a poll released this week says the majority of New Yorkers would refuse to share a turkey dinner with Mayor Mike Bloomberg. He's the least welcomed in the Bronx, where 60 percent of those asked said they wouldn't share a meal with the mayor.

Shoppers across the city are hitting the stores today in hopes of some Black Friday bargains, as the holiday shopping season officially kicks off.

While overall crime in the city is down this year, the number of violent crimes--muggings, rapes and murders-- is up. Nearly half of the robberies that took place in the city this year happened in the Bronx.

The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal offer different profiles of Corey Fisher, the Bronx native who's now a star player for Villanova's basketball team. As a teenager, Fisher once scored a stunning 105 points in a single game, according to the Journal. The Times contrasts Fisher to his infamous great-uncle of the same name, a Harlem crime boss during the 1970s. 

A new report released this week says the demand for food in the Bronx has increased this year by 74 percent, while stimulus funding upped the amount of money for food stamps in the city by $458 million.

Merchants around 161st Street say business is still in the slumps since the new Yankee Stadium opened a few years ago.

Local bodega owners are still buying untaxed cigarettes from illegal vendors for their cheaper prices, despite the city's efforts to crack down on the trade.

Ongoing inspections of the dilapidated and now-infamous Bronx Milbank properties found 1,200 new violations in the 10 apartment buildings, according to HPD--that's in addition to the 3,577 open violations that were already on file.

A Bronx sanitation company says celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey owes them $25,000, the bill for several months of garbage removal at Ramsey's Manhattan restaurant The London.

A pregnant woman is suing the NYPD for what she claims was a false arrest and three days spent in jail. Stephanie Badillo, 19, was arrested in Tremont earlier this month in what police said was a drug bust; she was kept at the 48th Precinct station before later being released because of insufficient evidence.

Community Board 11, which includes Bronxdale, Pelham and Morris Park,  is looking for a new district manager. 

Two buildings in Riverdale--Cambridge Mews on Cambridge Avenue and the unfinished Tulfan Terrace on Oxford Avenue--were built by developers with ties to the mob.

Note: start a discussion about any of these stories, or anything else on your mind, in our readers' forum.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bronx Foodie: Thanksgiving Pies

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Last week we posted some classic Thanksgiving dinner recipes along with some shopping tips. This week we're showing some love for Thanksgiving pies. If you're looking for a last minute recipe, we've got you covered.

Check out apple pie recipes here, here, and here. The last one is by Paula Deen, the mistress of all things butter and deep-fried. Her recipes should be reserved for special occasions, since you'll want to share your creations with about 10 other people.

You can find a couple of pumpkin pie recipes here and here.

Here's another recipe by Paula Deen for sweet potato pie, and Epicurious has a recipe for "Old-Fashioned Pecan Pie."


Local Group Gives Turkeys to Bronxites in Need

Merengue singer Hector Acosta (aka El Torito/The Little Bull) was the event's sponsor (Photo: J. Fergusson)
With Thanksgiving approaching, a number of Bronx organizations and elected officials have been giving out free food.

Last night, at the Monte Carlo Room, a nightclub in the shadow of the Kingsbridge Armory, a small non-profit called Hands On New York gave away more than 100 frozen turkeys.

"Now I have a low income, so this is very helpful," said Flavio Goday, one of the recipients, who lives in Fordham with his wife and children. Goday said he's a jeweler by trade, but that the economy and the rising price of gold means sales are down, and he was forced out of work.

Hands On New York gave another 40 turkeys to local churches. The organization was founded by Haile Rivera, a University Heights resident who worked on the Obama campaign. (Earlier this year, Rivera was hired by State Senator Pedro Espada, Jr., but found his services no longer needed when Espada's unsuccessful primary campaign was over. As election season approached, Espada had doubled the number of staff on his Senate payroll, raising a few eyebrows in the process.  Many staffers, Rivera included, also worked on the campaign, but did so, they insisted, as volunteers and not on the state's dime. For Rivera, Hands On New York is something he does on the side. Since being laid off by Espada, he's landed a job at Groundwork, a non-profit that runs youth programs in Brooklyn.)

Rivera and Hands On New York have been donating turkeys at Thanksgiving for several years now. "It was an idea of my mom's, something she did, and I took it from there," Rivera said. 

This year, the event's sponsor was Hector Acosta, a well-known merengue singer from the Dominican Republic, and friend of Rivera's, who's currently on tour in the US.  He donated $2,600 of his own money.

"I feel good doing it," said the friendly Acosta, who had a hug for just about everyone. "I didn't have these opportunities growing up, and I'm now in a position to do it myself."

Gustavo Rivera Interviewed on Capital Tonight, Featured in Village Voice

Last night, state Senator-elect Gustavo Rivera was interviewed on Capital Tonight, a political show hosted by Elizabeth Benjamin. Rivera, who's been up in Albany attending orientation sessions for new legislators, talks about defeating Pedro Espada, Jr. in September's primary, and the future of the state Senate.  It's still unclear whether the Democrats or the Republicans will have the majority come the new year.

Talking of Rivera, he's featured in the Village Voice's annual Thanksgiving Honor Roll Call which recognizes those who have bought dignity and fairness to the city. Writes Tom Robbins: "Gustavo Rivera provided one of the few hopeful notes in a gloomy political season, thanks to his gutsy decision to take on a statewide embarrassment, Bronx State Senator Pedro Espada."

Thanks to the BxNN reader who sent us the first link, and Riverdale Ramblings for alerting us to the second.

Bronx News Roundup, Nov. 24

Two construction companies responsible for some of the state's largest public-works projects, among them the Croton Water Filtration Plant in Van Cortlandt Park, are under federal investigation. The feds suspect the contractors evaded laws that they hire a certain percentage of subcontrators owned by minorities or women. The long-delayed and massively over-budget water plant (photos here), is one of the most controversial construction projects in Bronx history. Click here for some background.

Cathleen Black, Mayor Bloomberg's Schools chancellor pick, suffered a set back yesterday when the state's education commissioner, David M. Steiner, expressed doubts about her readiness for the job.

Co-op City's board of directors have voted to remove a board member from one of the complex's coveted townhouses. Leticia Morales was improperly bumped up to the top of the waiting list, the board determined.

A pregnant Bronx teen is suing the city and the NYPD. Stephanie Badillo claims she was handcuffed and strip-searched by cops who mistook her for a drug dealer.

An off-duty Bronx cop who was arrested for drink-driving on Monday, repeatedly smashed his car into the back of a pick-up truck.

Fifteen corrections officers were injured after a fight broke out at Rikers Island.

Aaron Davis, a former owner of the Morris Park Boxing Club, talks about boxing, his old club (which burnt down last year), and the new one he's opened near Westchester Square.  The story and audio slide-show is by Graham Kates, a former Norwood News intern and author of the BxNN's The Yankees, Unobstructed column. 

Thanksgiving is the busiest time of the year for workers at the Hunts Point Produce Market, the largest wholesale food distributor in the country. (On a separate note, the market's future remains uncertain, with businesses threatening to move to a cheaper site in New Jersey.)

Immigrants in the Bronx are getting in the holiday spirit.

A Bronx-based trash collecting company says chef Gordan Ramsey owes it $25,000.

And finally, a tour of JFK's childhood home in Riverdale.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bronx LGBTQ Youth Forum Tonight

We got wind of this a little late, but wanted to alert people to a forum being conducted tonight about how to build support for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, bisexual and questioning) youth. It starts at 6 p.m. at Bronx Borough Hall, 851 Grand Concourse.

This is one of a series of forums the city's Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) is organizing around LGBTQ youth issues in commemoration of National Runaway Prevention Month. It is also designed to build off of a report by the NYC Commission on LGBTQ Runaway and Homeless Youth called “All Our Children: Strategies to Prevent Homelessness, Strengthen Services and Build Support for LGBTQ Youth.”

Earlier today, we sat down with Dirk McCall, the relatively new executive director of Bronx Pride, the borough's only social services organization that caters specifically to the LGBTQ community. McCall and some of his staff will be in attendance tonight, as will members of DYCD and anyone else who wants to attend.

We'll have more on McCall's work to turnaround the struggling, but vital Bronx Pride group, which offers a bevy of services and support groups operating out of space at The Hub on 149th Street near 3rd Avenue. McCall said he wasn't sure exactly where the conversation was going to go tonight, but he will surely be advocating for more resources as they are sorely lacking.

Bronx Pride will be holding its own community forum on Dec. 9 at Davidson Community College.

Bronx Events: C.S. 211 Read-Aloud & Canned Food Drive

Tomorrow morning, the library at C.S. 211 in Crotona is hosting a "Community Read-Aloud," welcoming you to come read books with the students there. They'll also be collecting canned goods for the school's fall food drive, as well as any spare pennies you might have for their Penny Harvest.

The Read-Aloud starts at 8 a.m., at 1919 Prospect Ave. You can RSVP to Richard Feldman at 646 431 7734 or rdfeld@aol.com.

Check out this and other Bronx events happening this week in our community calendar, below.

Editor's note: What did we miss? Send details to bronxnewsnetwork[at]gmail.com.

Bronx Pols Split on Bloomberg's Choice for School Chancellor

This afternoon, an eight-member advisory panel appointed by State Education Commissioner David M. Steiner will meet to discuss the credentials of Cathleen Black, the veteran publishing executive who is hoping to become the city's next Schools chancellor.

The panel will then make a recommendation to Steiner as to whether or not he should grant Black a waiver. State law requires that chancellors hold certain qualifications, including a professional certificate in educational leadership. Black, who Mayor Bloomberg tapped to replace News Corp.-bound Joel Klein, has never before worked in education, and so her fate is in the commissioner's hands. 

The meeting comes just as opposition to Black's appointment appears to be growing. In a poll released today by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, the majority of respondents deemed her unfit to lead the school system.

Several Bronx politicans have also questioned Black's suitability. 

Bronx Crime Watch: Three Teenagers Shot on E. 163rd St.

Three Bronx teenagers were shot last night at the corner of East 163rd Street and Park Avenue. While two of the victims were listed in stable condition (one was hit in the arm, the other in the leg), the other was fighting for his life after being hit with multiple shots in his torso.

Police responded to the shooting at 6:42 p.m. They did not identify the victims, but said all three of them are black. The two expected to live were listed as being 16 and 19 years old. The young man in critical condition was listed as 19 years old.

Bronx News Roundup, Nov. 23

Police are searching for a Bronx man, who lives on University Avenue, in connection to a number of break-ins and burglaries on the Lower East Side.

Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo visited a now-empty juvenile detention center in upstate New York yesterday, citing it as an example of Albany dysfunction and inefficiency. Tryon Residential Facility for boys was made famous after a Bronx teenager died there in 2006 during a violent scuffle with staff at the facility, which will close this year.

The key witness in a Bronx court murder trial is now keeping mum and refusing to testify; prosecutors say he was intimidated into silence by the men being tried, and their cronies.

Local business owners are gearing up for the start of the Holiday shopping season this Black Friday, and looking for ways to entice reluctant shoppers.

With Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson and Senate President Malcolm Smith in the hot seat over Aqueduct raceway casino allegations, Bronx State Senator Jeff Klein is poised to climb the ranks of the Democratic Party this year, says Bob Kappstatter.

His column this week also gives a shout out to our very own Alex Kratz for his Norwood News story on the thriving prostitution trade near St. James park. 

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn released a report on the city's food industry yesterday, calling for a number of sweeping policy changes, including a revamping of the Hunts Point Market. Bronxite Harry Bubbins, of the community garden group Friends of Brook Park, weighs in, saying that Quinn and the Council need to put more support behind local gardens and urban farms.

A look into Cardinal Spellman High School's girls' basketball team this season.

Note: Don't forget to check out some of the new features on this site, like our events calendar, community forum, and the SeeClickFix feature, where you can report and track responses to neighborhood problems.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bronx Crime Watch: Armed Robbery Suspect Wanted by Police

Police say they have identified a suspect wanted in connection with three recent gunpoint robberies in the Bronx. They sent out video (see above) of the suspect, David Piparo, 48, of City Island, this afternoon.

Piparo is wanted for his alleged involvement in the failed robbery of the We Buy Gold pawn shop on Bruckner Boulevard on Nov. 10 and two robberies of Game Stop -- one of the video game chain store at 43 Westchester Square, the other of the Game Stop at  2163 White Plains Rd.

In each case, the suspect brandished a black handgun and fled on foot, police say. Piparo is described as being 5-foot-10, 195 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes. He has a scar under one eye and multiple tattoos.

Note: Anyone with information in regard to this suspect is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Additional note: For all the latest crime news, as well as additional resources and information, check our Crime Resources page.

Bronx Business: Fordham Road TELCO Closing Up, 7 Months After Opening

Just three weeks ago, Telco still had "Grand Opening" signs up. Now, it's closing. (Photo by L. Hurley)
From grand opening to imminent closing.

That's the story of Telco department store's brief run on Fordham Road.

Started in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn in 1972, Telco has steadily grown into New York City's outer boroughs. The Fordham Road location, which opened about seven months ago, was the company's first Bronx store.

It may be it's last. The store's manager said business was slow from the beginning and never picked up. The store, which was busy with customers this afternoon as shoppers, seeing the "liquidation" signs (just three weeks ago, the store was covered in "Grand Opening" signs), finally took notice. Too little, too late.

Telco will officially close in about the month or so, the manager said.

[Reporting by Layza Garcia.]

Bronx Weekend News Roundup, Nov. 22

Welcome to Monday everyone. Here's some Bronx news to get you in the know this week.

The city and the cooperative that operates the Hunts Point Market are not making much progress in crafting a new lease agreement. Both parties agree the site needs about a $320 million upgrade, but there is a large difference of opinion on how much each should contribute to the cause. The cooperative's lease runs out in June.

Loads of coverage of the Army-Notre Dame football game at Yankee Stadium on Saturday. Here's how the baseball stadium was transformed into a football stadium. Lifelong Yankees fan Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, college football's most famous underdog, spoke to Cardinal Hayes High School students the day before the game. In attendance at the game: two dozen soldiers wounded while fighting in the Middle East, where war continues without much attention from folks back at home. Not much drama during the game, which Notre Dame easily won, 27-3.

A couple of traffic tragedies hit the borough this past weekend. Police are searching for a driver who hit a man with his car last night at 167th Street and Jerome Avenue and then left him to die.

Police charged a Boston man with drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter after his vehicle, traveling north in the southbound portion of the Major Deegan, ran into another car, killing a New Jersey man. This, police say, was after the drunk driver hit someone on Fordham Road and then drove onto a southbound off-ramp.

Video monitors will be installed to catch drivers who illegally enter into the city's new bus-only lanes, including the one on Fordham Road for the Bx12.

Former BxNN intern Andrew Boryga (we're so proud!) writes about a lost documentary that followed two Bronx gangs -- the Savage Skulls and Savage Nomads -- in the late 1970s. The documentary, "80 Blocks from Tiffany's," is being re-released.

After a precipitous fall from grace, Bronx native and former boxing champ Iran "The Blade" Barkley is living in a Holiday Inn Express on Boston Road.

A woman is suing a Bronx couple who run an animal shelter for allegedly giving her a crazed cat.

CBS reports that "dozens of people" marched on Saturday in response to a surge in anti-gay attacks, including the brutal torture and sodomizing of three victims last month in Morris Heights. Here's a little background on how and why the march was organized.

Verizon Supports Bronx River Greenway

We received this press release about Verizon's $18,000 grant to the Bronx River Alliance to support education along the Bronx River Greenway. We reprint it here in full because it's also a good update on what's been going on with the Greenway.

Verizon Grant to Bronx River Alliance

Friday, November 19, 2010

Peter Rivera Joins Cuomo's Transition Team

Andrew Cuomo announced last week that Bronx Assemblyman Peter Rivera, whose district covers West Farms, Van Nest and Parkchester, will join the Governor-elect's transition team, to help advise him on economic development and labor issues, before he takes the State's helm in January.

This is in spite of previous reports that Cuomo, in his role as Attorney General, had been investigating Rivera for having too-cozy ties to a nonprofit group he'd funded, according to the Daily News.

"Cuomo said he will scrutinize the relationships state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. and Assemblyman Peter Rivera have with separate non-profit groups," the Daily News reported last year. Here's the link. 

Clinton Football Overcomes Early Struggles, Looking for Next Big Upset Tomorrow

By Selim Khan

The clock may not be ready to strike midnight just quiet yet. Just like the 2007 New York Giants that went on to an improbable playoff run that ended in a Super Bowl victory, we may be seeing another Cinderella story taking place right before our very eyes in the DeWitt Clinton Governors varsity football team.

The 12th seeded Governors used a total team effort to pull off the upset against heavily favored #5 seed Erasmus Hall Campus, 20 – 16, this past Saturday at Midwood HS Athletic Complex in Brooklyn in the opening round of the PSAL playoffs.

They will play an even-more-heavily-favored Lincoln High School team tomorrow at noon on Lincoln's home field in Brooklyn.

Governor's Coach Howard Langley was confident in his bunch because even though Erasmus may have boasted a couple of talented Division I prospects, he wasn’t sure they had “25 kids better than us.”

PS 204 Cuts Ribbon on New Building

Students helped cut the ribbon at last Tuesday's opening ceremony. (Photos: J. Fergusson)
In September, PS 204 moved into the Morris Heights Educational Complex, a brand new building on University Avenue, much to the joy of students, parents, and teachers.

The elementary school's old home, a converted synagogue a few blocks away on West 174th Street, was in terrible shape. And it lacked a gym, an auditorium, a library, and other amenities that typically make a school a school.

The new building, a state-of-the-art facility which PS 204 shares with P723, a small special needs school, boasts all of these amenities - and then some.

Last Tuesday, the schools held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening.

"Our story is how we went from rags to riches," said Marcy Glattstein, PS 204's principal, speaking in the auditorium afterwards.

Bronx Gay and Straight Unity Rally Set for Saturday

Gay and straight leaders in the Bronx are combining forces for the LGBTQS (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Straight) United as One March and Rally to counteract what they see is a surge in violence against the gay community.

The two-mile march will travel from Bronx Community College, the starting point for a similar (but silent) rally a few weeks ago, travel to 1901 Osborne Place, the site of the recent and gruesome anti-gay attacks in Morris Heights, and then culminate on the steps of the Bronx County Courthouse.

The rally will assemble around 11 a.m. at BCC, University Avenue and 181st Street.

In a press release, organizers sited the anti-gay attacks at Osborne Place and Mnahattan's Stonewall Inn, as well as attacks on straight people for simply "looking" gay.

More Money Woes for the Mary Mitchell Center

The Mary Mitchell Center,
at 2007 Mapes Ave.
(Photo by James Fergusson)
Staff at the Mary Mitchell Family and Youth Center in Crotona are facing another financial hurdle this month, as the Health Department is demanding upgrades be made to the center's kitchen to comply with licensing laws.

The center serves hot, healthy meals each afternoon for students in its popular after-school program. Now, the city says they have until February to purchase and install a new stove, with a fire suppression system that meets Health Department requirements, to avoid losing their childcare license.

"It's a big expense," said executive director Heidi Hynes. "It's just not something that we can do."

The Department of Education, which owns the building and runs a GED program there, told Hynes that it would buy and install the stove, but at the cost of approximately $35,000.

The center is already struggling to pay the city another $30,000 to cover maintenance fees on the building, which had been waived for over a decade in an agreement with the DOE since the Mary Mitchell Center officially opened in 1997. This summer, however, the city announced that it could no longer afford the fees.

"Given the current fiscal reality, we are asking community organizations who have not been paying for these services to begin covering these costs," a DOE spokeswoman said last month.

Hynes says she has already had to cut the center's operating hours to afford the monthly maintenance payments. To buy the new stove, they will have to redirect more money from the budget that was originally intended for after-school programming. The center still needs to raise an additional $15,000 over the next month to pay the costs in full.

"Basically, we have between Thanksgiving and Christmas," to come up with the money, Hynes said.

Bronx Foodie: Thanksgiving Shopping Tips

Next Thursday is Thanksgiving and a great excuse for Bronx Foodie to cook some classic comfort food. But I am officially overwhelmed at the number of recipes available on the internet. There is this turkey recipe by Emeril Lagasse that looks good. The NY Times has a feature on how to make a vegetarian Thanksgiving. Here's a blog post on the top 5 vegetables to eat during Thanksgiving. Wondering how to make mashed potatoes this year? Try one of these 50 different recipes.

There are an endless amount of recipes and the links above will take you to some great cooking resources. So instead of focusing on one single recipe this week, I'm sharing some shopping tips as you buy ingredients for all these delicious meals.

Here's a great post on the ten things to buy in bulk to take advantage of supermarket sales. Here are some items that made the list: butter, poultry, frozen vegetables, nuts and oil. I'm assuming that here in the Bronx we'll see most of these items on sale too, so let us know what you find.

Baking items are also great to buy in bulk. As I was on my way to work this morning, I noticed that a 5-pound bag of flour was on sale for $1.50 at the Fine Fare on Grand Concourse and 204th Street.

Here are some more tips for keeping your grocery bills low.

My last tip is to check out a farmers market for ingredients and for good gift ideas. I went to the Union Square Farmers Market on Wednesday and bought a bunch of muffins and apple cider donuts.

I ran out of money by the time I got to the fruit jam table, but that would have made a great gift. These fruit spreads were really good, made without sugar, and costs $5. That's cheaper than the bottle of wine that I usually bring to my mom's house.

So where will you be shopping for all your Thanksgiving groceries? Let us know in the comments section.

Bronx Events: Salsa Star Oscar D'León At Lehman

Venezuelan-born salsa musician Oscar D'León performs at the Lehman Center for Performing Arts tomorrow night, Nov. 20, for a concert at 8 p.m. Tickets are on sale and range from $55 to $85. D'León brings his string of hits to Lehman on this electrifying night including “Llorarás,” “Detalles,” “Mi bajo y yo,” and “Me voy pa Cali.”

Check out this and other Bronx events this weekend in our community calendar, below.

Editor's note: What did we miss? Send details to bronxnewsnetwork[at]gmail.com.

Bronx News Roundup, Nov. 19

CNN profiled Discovery High School students and teacher Steve Ritz for their community gardening program (photos and videos at the link). The group has been growing hundred of pounds of vegetables in their classroom over the past few years, hosting luncheons and a farmers market on campus yesterday.

Plans for the first Bronx Children's Museum are finally underway, with a 2013 opening predicted for the new space in a building at Mill Pond Park, near the Bronx Terminal Market. The new director is holding a forum tomorrow to get input from parents and community members for what they'd like to see at the museum. It will be held at BronxWorks' Community Room, 1130 Grand Concourse, from 11 a.m to 1 p.m.

David Johnson, a former aide to Governor Paterson, appeared in a Bronx court yesterday. He faces assault charges for allegedly attacking his girlfriend in her apartment on Halloween in 2009.

Two talented runners at Bronx High School of Science helped the school's cross country team win the PSAL Bronx Championship this season. 

Police are keeping an extra close eye on Jose Rodriguez, the 27-year-old Bronx man who escaped custody in New Jersey earlier this week by taking off in an unmarked NYPD car--while still in cuffs. He was finally caught early Thursday morning in Connecticut; he faces charges related to a Nov. 1 shooting in the Bronx.

A 19-year-old Bronx man was beaten on a New Jersey road Wednesday night during a road rage incident. Police are still looking for four occupants of the other car involved in the alleged assault.

The MTA is installing cameras along certain express bus routes in the city--including Fordham Road--to catch motorists who drive or stop in bus lines. 

South Bronx documentary film "80 Blocks from Tiffany's" is being rereleased on DVD next week. 

Estrellita Poblano III, on Arthur Avenue, has been named one of the city's top 10 mexican restaurants by the village voice. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Engel Joins Opposition of Wakefield Homeless Shelters

This morning, Bronx Congressman Eliot Engel came out in strong opposition of proposals that would bring two new homeless shelters to the north Bronx neighborhood of Wakefield.

He provided comments at a public hearing downtown concerning the city's plan to award Project Renewal a $87 million contract to turn a vacant car dealership at 4380 Bronx Blvd. into a 100-bed transitional homeless shelter, saying the Wakefield area would be harmed by the excess influx of homeless shelters.

"The character of the neighborhood, a generally low-rise, low-density homeownership neighborhood, would be disproportionately affected and in a negative way," he said in a statement.

Besides the Bronx Boulevard proposal, there is already a plan to create 63-unit homeless shelter on White Plains Road and the mayor's office says it wants to turn the vacant Muller Army Reserve Center into 200-unit homeless shelter.

Engel also said he supported a plan -- pushed by Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and the Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Alliance -- to transfer the national guard units from the Kingsbridge Armory annex buildings into the vacant Muller Center. The annex buildings would then be free to become new schools, as politicians, parents and activists have long advocated for. If not, he said a community center would be more appropriate at the army center.

"The Department of Homeless Services should reconsider these proposals and spare the Wakefield community this disruption of its character and values," Engel said.

Tonight: Puerto Rican Heritage Celebration

November is Puerto Rican Heritage Month, and this evening, at 5:30 p.m., there will be a celebration at the Bronx Museum of the Arts.

For more information, and for details of other upcoming events, check out our calendar below.

Editor's note: What did we miss? Send details to bronxnewsnetwork[at]gmail.com.

Bronx News Roundup, Nov. 18

A 27-year-old Bronx man, who was arrested in New Jersey yesterday for parole violations and possible connections to a murder, escaped custody by driving off in a police car with his knees while shackled by handcuffs and leg irons. It set off a massive manhunt that ended 14 hours and 120 miles later in Connecticut, where Jose Rodriguez was re-arrested, apparently "without incident." Here's more details on the manhunt. 

Wakefield residents will have a chance to speak out against what they believe is an unfair flood of homeless shelters coming to their neighborhood. Three new shelters are in the works and the mayor's office wants to use a vacant army reserve center to house the homeless as well. Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and the entire Bronx Board is against the mayor's plan to turn the army reserve center into a shelter and instead wants the center to house national guard units taking up space in the Kingsbridge Armory annex buildings.

On Saturday, Army and Notre Dame will play in the first football in Yankee Stadium (new or old) since 1987. With 50,000 fans expected, it could be a boon for local business.

Two Bronx women are suing an African braiding shop for allegedly scalding them during the braiding process.

Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. officially recommended a proposal to create the Putnam Greenway, which would stretch from Van Cortlandt Park to 230th Street along the Major Deegan.

Get your Four Loko while it lasts. The ultra boozy and caffeinated beverage, which gained fame in the Bronx after a group of young men allegedly forced a gay man to drink 10 of them before they tortured and sodomized him, is soon to be banned from New York.

The Yankees are giving out Thanksgiving turkeys outside of Gate 2 today, like right now. They started at 10 a.m. 

Girls volleyball team from two Bronx high schools, Bronx Science and John F. Kennedy, lost in the PSAL playoff quarterfinals yesterday.

Note: start a discussion about any of these stories or anything else on your mind in our readers' forum.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Journey into the Heart of Transgender Prostitution in the Bronx

Ed. note: This story appears in the latest issue of the Norwood News, which is out on the streets now. Pick up your copy today.

It’s a slow Monday night for Bianca, a transgender prostitute who operates on the corner of East 192nd Street and Davidson Avenue -- a quiet residential intersection near St. James Park, a place where the “tranny” sex trade has flourished, to the chagrin of local residents, for more than a decade.

“What are you doing here?” Bianca asks a potential customer, smiling coyly. “You’re looking good.”

Bianca’s hair is pulled back tight against her skull, a frizzy, kink of thick dark hair puffs out into a pony tail. Her heavily made-up face is highlighted by voluptuous dark red, almost purple, lips, and big dangling, gold-colored hoop earrings.

“I’m slumming it tonight,” she says, looking down at her baggy, gray-hooded sweatshirt, tight black skinny jeans and high tops. She is tall, but slender. Her sharp jaw line and wide shoulders give off just a whiff of masculinity.

Like the majority of the dozen or so prostitutes who ply their trade here, Bianca has male genitalia, but lives her life as a woman. Off and on, she takes hormones, but for the time being isn’t interested in having full gender re-assignment surgery.

Bianca is 27, she says, and has worked as a prostitute near Davidson and 192nd ever since she was 16.

“My best friend got me into it,” Bianca says. “She was doing it and was making a lot of money at it.” She’s thought about trying to get out, she says, but the money is too good. She earns enough to afford her own apartment on the Grand Concourse and usually only works a few hours a day.

On this Monday night, it’s 11:30 p.m. It’s been two hours and still no customers.

How to Carve a Turkey Without Cutting Off Your Fingers!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner (next Thursday). What better way to enjoy your feast than without any missing fingers?

The Food Education Project at Montefiore Medical Center held an hour-long workshop session today on how to carve a turkey the correct way. With a carving knife, a curved meat fork, a cutting board, a serving platter, and last but not least the turkey, Eduardo Perez from the Market Access Culinary Group demonstrated how to smoothly and safely carve your bird.

Here are his step-by-step instructions:
1. Choose a sharp, thin-bladed carving knife. Running your knife along the bottom of the turkey, find the place where the thighbones meet the body.
2. Slip your knife into the joint to separate thigh from body on each side.
3. Separate the drumstick from the thigh using the same technique (cut through the joint, not the bone, wiggling the drumstick to locate the joint).
4. Running your knife along the bone, separate the meat from the thigh and drumstick; try to get as much as possible in one piece.
5. Cut thigh and leg meat into thin slices.
6. Use your knife in the joint to separate wings from body on each side.
8. Carve thin slices off one side of the breast, cutting parallel.
9. Repeat with the other side of the breast

Perez gave the audience this recipe to a Peruvian quinoa salad to go alongside your turkey. Something to add to your Thanksgiving feast!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

2 cups Roland Red Quinoa, prewashed
2 cus Roland Artichoke Quarters
4 cups Hot Water
2 cups Roland Capers
1 cup Roasted Red Pepper, Sliced
0.5 cups Pland pitted Ripe Olives, Sliced
1 cup Roland Garbanzo Beans
0.25 cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
0.5 Vinaigrette dressing

In a large saucepan bring hot water and quinoa to a boil. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and chill.

When quinoa is cool, add all remaining ingredients. Add dressing and toss until all ingredients are evenly distributed and well-coated.

Garnish with whole artichokes. Serve and enjoy!

Have a safe and fun Thanksgiving everyone.

Botanical Garden Honored with National Service Award

The New York Botanical Garden has been named the winner of a prestigious award for community service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, one of only 10 groups across the country to receive the honor this year.

An ceremony will be held in Washington, D.C. to recognize the winners of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, which includes a $10,000 award. The Botanical Garden was selected for its work in horticulture research and botanical conservation, as well as its community service projects, like "Bronx Green-Up," a gardening outreach program that helped turn vacant lots in the borough into community gardens and urban farms.

“The NYBG is a treasured resource in the Bronx, and the acknowledgment of their exemplary service is long overdue," said Congressman Jose Serrano.

For more info on the Botanical Garden and its programs, visit www.nybg.org.

Bronx News Roundup, Nov. 17

Police nabbed a Bronx man, wanted for robbing a pharmacy, in upstate Kingston.

The NYPD is looking for three suspects who they believe committed a string of robberies in Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx since August.  

A man armed with an ice pick has been robbing women in Co-Op City. The man has been known to follow his victims into elevators; he's suspected to have committed three muggings in the last week.

NY1 polled some Mott Haven students about advice from soon-to-be Schools Chancellor Cathie Black.

A group of Bronx merchants and Assemblyman Michael Benedetto are asking the city to suspend parking meters during the holiday season to help boost local shopping sales. 

The City Council is giving out $400,000 to select homeowners, including some in Soundview, to upgrade their houses to be more energy efficient.

Sustainable South Bronx founder Majora Carter is taking questions from Huffington Post readers this week as part of its "Creative Minds" series.

Lawmakers are trying to stop car rental companies from charging higher rates to residents who live in the outer boroughs (the companies in question charge Bronx residents an extra $53 a day).

College football is coming to Yankee Stadium this Saturday, as Notre Dame will face Army for the first time in the Bronx since 1969.

The New York Botanical Garden's famous holiday train show returns this weekend.

The Observer has this photo slideshow of a number of South Bronx blocks. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Join Your Local Community Board

Looking for a way to get involved in your neighborhood? The Borough President's office is accepting applications, now until Feb. 4, for members of the Bronx's 12 Community Boards. These are unsalaried, volunteer positions appointed by the BP; applicants must reside, work or have some other significant interest in the community.

Applications are available here. See the flier below for more.
CB flier 10

Engel on Rangel: Charges 'Not Something that You Can Just Excuse Away' (VIDEO)

Bronx Events: Discovery H.S. Farmers Market This Thursday, 11/18

Discovery High School students installed a living green wall at an NBC store in Manhattan. (Photo courtesy of Steve Ritz)
Student at Discovery High School in Kingsbridge will be hosting a farmers market this Thursday, Nov. 18 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., featuring organic vegetables, herbs and plants that they grew themselves with green walls and in-classroom gardens. A news crew from CNN will be on hand to film the market for a segment they're doing on the school's gardening program, which started as part of a lesson in teacher Steve Ritz' living environment class.

This is not their first green foray--the students already hosted two luncheons last year, serving only food they grew and harvested. Last week, they built garden installations (with their own irrigation systems!) in the NBC Experience Store, on 49th Street in Manhattan (see above photo).

Stop by Thursday for some fresh organic produce; all proceeds from the market will benefit the school's programs. Other Bronx events this week are listed in our calendar, below.

Editor's note: What did we miss? Send details to bronxnewsnetwork[at]gmail.com.

Story of the Day: Clinton and Kennedy High Schools Share Rivalry and Growing Pains

Check out the Norwood News for a look at the rivalry between Kennedy High School and DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx and what they're each up against this year. (Photo by Adi Talwar)

Bronx News Roundup, Nov. 16

The NYPD is now scanning the irises of crime suspects when they are arrested and before they are arraigned, to avoid fraud and escapes. The new system started in Manhattan yesterday and will be introduced in the Bronx and other boroughs soon.

A Jamaican bakery in Wakefield celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. The Kingston Tropical Bakery, at White Plains Road and E. 226th Street, was opened in 1970 by husband-and-wife team Jessie and John Levi and now employs 36 people.

A Bronx-based moving company is taking painstaking precautions to prevent the spread of bed bugs. 

Dominick Sgobbo, a World War II vet who lives in Pelham Bay (who is also the uncle of Daily News writer Rob Sgobbo, a former Mount Hope Monitor intern) was reunited with his army mess kit after 65 years, when a Dutch archeology student dug it up and returned it. 

Sgobbo also has a story in the paper today about Lehman High School, where students are complaining of dead rodents and urine-stenched bathrooms since a number of custodians at the school were laid off. 

In his weekly column, the Daily News' Bob Kappstatter says Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo's appointment of BP Ruben Diaz Jr. to his transition team is a dig at Mayor Bloomberg. Diaz and Bloomy butted heads last winter over the Kingsbridge Armory deal, which the Mayor pushed for and Diaz helped kill.

Also on Cuomo's new team? Assemblyman Peter Rivera, who, oddly enough, was being investigated by Cuomo in his Attorney General role last year for allegedly having too-close ties to a now defunct nonprofit.

More on the possible closing of several of the city's Catholic schools, and what it will mean for the Bronx.

A man who struck and killed a pregnant woman on Webster Avenue in 2008 has been sentenced to four years in prison. Walter Walker was driving without a license and was convicted of criminally-negligent homicide.

The price of Yankees tickets--including the usually-cheap bleacher seats--will go up again next season.

Don't forget to check out our new features on this site, like our events calendar, community forum, and the SeeClickFix feature where you can report and track responses to neighborhood problems.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Report and Vote on Issues That Need Fixing in the Bronx

SeeClickFix.com is an advocacy website that allows users to highlight problems in the community - both big and small - which they'd like to see addressed.

Users can report a new issue or vote to fix an issue someone else has posted. In both instances, an e-mail is generated and sent to those "watching" a particular geographic area.  The watchers are often elected officials and city agencies. 

SeeClickFix, then, raises awareness and encourages better lines of communication between government and the public.

We've posted a map of the Bronx on our site, along with a list of unresolved issues.  Click here to check it out, and feel free to report and vote away.

Bronx News Roundup, Nov. 13-15

A 17-year-old Bronx girl was severely injured Saturday night when she was hit by a truck on City Island Avenue. Police say the driver was drunk. 

During an undercover sting last Tuesday, 11 out of 28 Bronx bodegas visited sold the controversial drink Four Loko to a minor. The brew (aka: "black-out-in-a-can") comes in 23.5 ounce cans and has an alcohol content similar to wine. It's been blamed for several deaths and the hospitalization of dozens of college students across the country. The drink's already been banned in four states and New York is up next. Yesterday, Gov. Paterson and the State Liquor Authority announced that the Chicago-based company that makes it has agreed to stop shipments to the state. State Senator Jeff Klein has been one of Four Loko's most vocal critics.  

A 60-year-old woman died on Saturday after a fire broke out in her Throggs Neck home.

Vada Vasquez, the Bronx teen who was shot and nearly killed by a stray bullet last November, has been speaking about her experience. Now 16, Vada has staged a miraculous recovery. 

A man has been charged with attempting to murder another man in Claremont on Sept. 18. 

Police are investigating a shooting in Parkchester that left the girlfriend of a Triborough Bridge and Tunnel officer wounded by a round from his gun

The sister of a man who died at an East Tremont assisted-living facility says morgue workers treated his body like a "bag of trash."  She's suing the city's Medical Examiner's Office

Since booth clerks were laid off at the Kingbridge Road subway station (B and D Trains), fare evasion has become rampant, and straphangers say they feel unsafe.

The Bronx Museum of the Arts has been selected by the U.S. Department of State to launch an exchange program which will see 15 American visual artists travel abroad to collaborate with artists and youth in creating community-based projects.

The Wildlife Conservation Society has been awarded a $714,649 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to train future teachers how to make the most of the Bronx Zoo and the Botanical Garden. The program will become part of Lehman College's postsecondary teacher education course.

Retailers in Hunts Point are hoping to attract a big name store to the area. 

On Saturday, Manhattan College will induct eight athletes (two posthumously) into the college's Hall of Fame.