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Friday, December 3, 2010

Bronx News Roundup, Dec. 3

Happy cool, crisp Friday morning. Here's some Bronx news stories to get you started today.

We'll start with an update on an old friend. Former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, who left his job two years to work as the Obama Administration urban policy director and is now the NY/NY regional director of Housing and Urban Development, spoke to a group of Columbia graduate school students yesterday. He hinted at a possible return to elected office, saying he still had $2 million in campaign funds after dropping his bid to become the next comptroller two years ago.

Carrion also talked -- vaguely, but strongly -- about some major urban development projects coming soon from his federal agency, saying: "We can not allow significant portions of the American populations to lag, to not be educated, to no have good physical wellness, mental wellness."

Now, some news that will affect Bronx courts:

A new report says people arrested for low-level misdemeanor crimes, like smoking marijuana, jumping subway turnstiles or shoplifting, are spending days, sometimes weeks, in jail because they can't post bail, which advocates say is being set too high and leading defendants to plead guilty to crimes they might otherwise fight. The cost to keep these individuals jailed in 2008 alone: $42 million.

This one's a little wonky. The city wants to alter how it distributes 44,000 so-called "conflict cases" to publicly-appointed defense attorneys. Previously, the cases were contracted out to private attorneys at a cost of $47.8 million, but now the city is bidding those cases out to defense groups like Legal Aid Society and the Bronx Defenders. But five county bar associations sued the city and now those cases are up in the air until a judge rules on the case in a couple of weeks. In the latest round of contracts for "primary cases," Bronx Defenders caseload will rise to 28,000 from 12,500.

Homeowners on a dead-end Riverdale street say they're unfairly being forced to install sidewalks in front of their homes.

A Westchester attorney who pleaded guilty last week to bribing a Yonkers councilwoman is now cooperating with federal prosecutors in two separate investigation, including the awarding of a contract by the city's Board of Elections. The BOE probe may involve the attorney's connection to Bronx Republican leaders.

And finally, some good news:

A baby aardvark will make his Bronx Zoo debut today thanks to the proactive care of zookeepers.

One unemployed Bronx woman has a lead on a job after 18 months of fruitless searching.

Ed. note: Start a discussion about any of these stories, or anything else you want to talk about in our reader's forum. Highlight problems in your neighborhood with our SeeClickFix feature. And find out what's happening in our constantly-updated events calendar


  1. Let me be clear, when I referred to Carrion as an "old friend," I simply meant he's an old familiar face that we don't see much of anymore. We're not buddies with him and we're not suggesting he's been a great friend of the Bronx (that's up to others to decide). In any case, it may not have been the most accurate choice of words, but don't read too much into it.

  2. It's amazing that even after having worked in the White House and now in a an important regional position, Adolfo Carrion still has no concrete accomplishments and nothing concrete to say. His "announcement" was of nothing. This is not a surprise to Bronxites. The man is virtually without original ideas and if he doesn't have someone paying someone else off for an under-the-table deal, he can't and won't get anything done. A lifetime political hack. He should quit his job and get on the unemployment line like all the Bronx people he never helped.


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