I made these photographs earlier today, close to Mosholu Parkway at Van Cortlandt Ave. I tried it myself but chickened out and hid behind the camera. I hope these photographs entice you to grab some SNOW FUN tomorrow!
Friday, February 26, 2010
Last Friday, Governor David Paterson and State Park officials proposed closing 55 parks and historic sites across the state, and reducing services at another 24, as they look for ways to dent the state’s $8.2 billion budget deficit.
Roberto Clemente State Park, the Bronx’s only state park, wasn't among them, to the relief of Joel Marcano, the co-executive director of the non-profit New York City Metro Baseball League, a men's league that uses the park’s floodlit ball field on weekday evenings and at weekends.
But the 25-acre park, which sits on the edge of the Harlem River, could still be impacted.
If the Legislature rejects Paterson’s plan to move $5 million from the state's Environmental Protection Fund to State Parks’ operating budget, scores of additional parks, Roberto Clemente included, would be added to the governor’s list, a State Parks spokesperson said.
In fact, if the $5 million isn't reallocated, the State will propose doing exactly what Marcano had feared – close the park in the evenings. (Environmental groups have already begun lobbying legislators to make sure the money stays where it is.)
Thousands of people would be affected if the park's hours were scaled back. Dozens of leagues, schools and colleges use the baseball field. And the picnic area, playground and basketball courts, are popular with local residents, as are the fitness classes held in the park's main building.
In a telephone interview, State Sen. Jose M. Serrano, whose district includes Roberto Clemente, said he opposed cuts there and elsewhere.
“I’m frankly very disappointed in the governor for entertaining this,” he said.
Earlier this month, Serrano, the chair the Senate's Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation, sent a letter to his colleagues. He wrote:
We recognize that we are confronted by challenging fiscal realities, but even in these financially difficult times we cannot risk losing our state’s most magnificent treasure—our parks.Marcano, for his part, has created an online petition with the aim of keeping Roberto Clemente open at night. So far, 270 people have signed it.
Paterson's recommendations, put forward in his executive budget, are just that: recommendations. The State Senate and Assembly have the final say on what receives funding and what doesn't. Legislators have until April 1st to enact the budget.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.'s State of the Borough Address has been postponed because of snow. It was scheduled for 11:30 a.m. this morning at Evander Childs High School Campus on East Gun Hill Road.
Diaz had been expected to talk about development, living wages, green jobs, and more.
A new date and time has yet to be arranged.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Asian-American dancers and singers, along with Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and Comptroller John Liu, helped ring in the Bronx’s Lunar New Year Celebration at DeWitt Clinton High School on Saturday, Feb. 20.
(Photo by Adi Talwar)
Regardless of one's opinion of Mayor Bloomberg, his administration has done an incredible job of putting public data online in an accessible format. If you are looking for property data, for instance, this site can guide you to everything from deeds and mortgages to liens to violations to maps.
This past week, the City's Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications (DoITT) launched NYCityMap. If you want to read about all of the cool features of this map (including political boundaries and property info), check out the user guide. But, I would have to agree with this Times editorial: the most amazing part is the zoomable map of the City in 1924.
...click on the camera at the top of the page and move the slider beneath it back to 1924. The interactive city of 2010 fades away to reveal an aerial view of the five boroughs assembled from photographs that have been digitally stitched together.The effect is not as simple as it sounds. The old city doesn’t merely replace the new one. It seems to resurface from within it.Of course, what readers of this blog will really want to do is to check out the Bronx 86 years ago. A new Yankee Stadium is just across from the Polo Grounds... intact neighborhoods sit where the Cross Bronx Expressway would eventually tear them apart... Fordham Hospital sits at the intersection of Southern Boulevard, though most of the University's main buildings are not yet built.... the Keeper's House sits across from the Oval -- still operating as a reservoir! Lehman College, and much of the Concourse, for that matter, are yet to be built. I noticed that my street, Rochambeau, ended at 206th Street and the whole block down to Bainbridge looks like a grand estate.
Below are a couple of screen shots of Norwood, Fordham and Bedford Park. But of course you will want to spend some time perusing various neighborhoods on your own. Feel free to post interesting things you discover about your neighborhood in the comments section!
By Alexander Gibbons
In 2006, Ellen McHugh, 66, was struck by a city bus while crossing the intersection at Bainbridge Avenue and Gun Hill Road. She died soon after. Six weeks before that, another senior, Kenneth Filacchione, was killed in a hit-and-run accident at the same intersection. A total of five pedestrians were killed on Gun Hill Road in 2006 and 2007.
Because of this cluster of deaths and a total of 57 serious accidents between 2006 and 2008, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign (TSTC) named Gun Hill the most dangerous street in the Bronx, with the intersection at Bainbridge Avenue being particularly perilous.
The Grand Concourse and Broadway (where two women were struck by a vehicle last Friday) were named the Bronx’s second and third most dangerous roads, respectively.
While acknowledging the inherent dangers associated with Gun Hill Road, some local observers contend the traffic safety issues are compounded by impatient drivers and pedestrians putting themselves and others in harms way.
The Gun Hill Road corridor snakes, east to west, through the north Bronx for 3.5 miles, ending just short of Mosholu Parkway. Along this route are several schools, a Metro North stop, a hospital, a nursing home, and over 250 businesses.
Cars, trucks and buses jockey for position on the busy 4-lane road while hurried pedestrians cross during lulls in traffic, regardless of whether or not they see a “walk” sign.
Maribele Gonzales, a crossing guard with the 52nd Police Precinct who overlooks the corner of Kings College Place and Gun Hill Road, sees the congestion every day. “There’s too much traffic, in the morning and in the afternoon,” says Gonzales.
Schools Weather Update: Parent-Teacher Meetings Cancelled; After-School and Sports Programs To Take Place as Planned
The headline here pretty much sums it up. The Department of Education released a statement saying parent-teacher meetings would be cancelled due to the snow storm, but sports and after-school programs would go on as scheduled.
Last week, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and La Gran Parada Dominicana de El Bronx, Inc., hosted the the Bronx's Dominican Heritage Celebration.
This Saturday, Feb. 27, will mark 166 years since the Dominican Republic gained its independence from Haiti. (Here's some more background on Dominican history.)
Dominican leaders Angela Cooper (educator), Adalberto Dominiguez (journalist/photogrpaher), Julio Gaspar Isidor, general manager of Cibao Meat Products and restaurant owner Chelo Ramirez were honored by Diaz.
There was also a special tribute to the New York Yankees who displayed the World Series trophy as part of the event.
The celebration also featured a performance by El Maestro Will Lapache, along with traditional food and Dominican Folkloric dancing.
Is this the New York Times article we've all been waiting for? The paper published a piece yesterday about a domestic violence case in Bronx Family Court that involved one of Gov. David Paterson's top aides, and raised a number of questions about what role the governor might have played in the mess. The woman who filed the charges claims she was violently attacked by Paterson staffer David W. Johnson. Here is an excerpt of her court transcript, where she claims State Police harassed her about dropping the charges.
And in another incident, an aide to Rev. Al Sharpton was charged with assault after getting into a "cat fight" with another woman at her boyfriend's Mott Haven apartment.
Chase is opening a mortgage crisis center in Parkchester today. Bronx homeowners who are struggling to make payments can seek advice at 1480 East Avenue, or call 718-678-8880.
The Park's Department has named Mill Pond Park, at East 149th and Exterior Street, as February's "park of the month." Mill Pond Park opened last fall as part of the Yankee Stadium Redevelopment Project, which has also sparked a discussion about the possibility of building a new ice skating rink, as the Riverdale Press reports today.
An NYPD officer from Parkchester was charged with DWI and suspended without pay after a crash in Throgs Neck on Sunday. Roniel Dilone is one of a number of cops recently been busted for driving drunk.
A woman who falsely accused a Bronx man of rape back in 2005--sending William McCaffrey to prison for almost four years before admitting she'd lied--was sentenced to one to three years behind bars yesterday for perjury.
Two bodies were found in an apartment in Wakefield on Tuesday.
A Bronx man was arrested on Long Island yesterday after spending counterfeit $100 bills at a Target in Nassau County.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Here's some interesting news going on in the Bronx:
Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson predicts that the merging of Bronx Criminal and Supreme courts will bring nothing but chaos.
The convictions of the two former owners of a Bronx building where two firefighters were killed in 2005 were overturned yesterday due to the lack of evidence. A judge ruled that the owners were not aware of illegal partitions within the apartments. Read more here.
Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada, Jr. and the Bronx Board of Elections were served with another subpoena by AG Andrew Cuomo in search of 2008 senate petitions.
Nine-year veteran Officer Frank Palestro is now known as an NYPD whistle blower for reporting allegations of corruption at the 42nd precinct. "I was the PBA delegate, and now I'm labeled a rat for doing what I was supposed to do."
A long-awaited 18-hole PGA-level golf course at Ferry Point, the site of former dump, is said to be ready by fall of 2011. Mayor Bloomberg has handed the project over to the Parks Department, which is now looking for a firm to manage the course once it's completed.
Yankee fans lost another battle in trying to save Gate 2 from being demolished in June. After it's gone, the Parks Department will then begin the building of the long-delayed Heritage Field Park.
Bronx politcal leaders are gathering their petitions to begin the election war for state assembly, Senate and district leadership slots.
From an apartment building's wall, sculptures watch over and inspire their Longwood neighbors.
A clinic battles the health issues that plague the South Bronx one baby at a time.
The sun powers new trash cans made in Hunts Point.
And photographer Ricky Flores recalls the past--good and bad--in a stunning collection.
All this and more in the new issue of The Hunts Point Express, out today at libraries, community centers, schools and clinics in the neighborhood and on-line at http://www.huntspointexpress.com.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Here's some Bronx-related news from the past few days:
The city has nixed plans to move a controversial charter school into Alfred E. Smith High School, which is being phased out. See here and here.
A teenager from the Philippines is recovering in Montefiore Children's Hospital following 18-hours of spine surgery, aimed at helping him walk again.
Residents of Edgewater Park and Silver Beach Gardens, two communities in the East Bronx, are defending themselves against allegations that they tried to stop black families from moving in.
On Sunday night, police in Melrose shot dead a mentally-disturbed man who they say was attacking his mother with frying pan.
The wife of a Fordham man shot dead by police in December 2008 is suing the city for $285 million. Police say Alex Figueroa, 40, was wielding a baseball bat and refused orders to drop it. Sandra Rodriguez disputes this account. She says her husband was confronting a group of men who had harassed their daughter, but that he never threatened the cops.
Two Bronx subway stations, 161st Street-Yankee Stadium and 3rd Avenue-149th Street, are to be renovated.
Police are hunting for a Bronx woman following a hit-and-run in Brooklyn early Sunday morning.
Assemblyman Nelson Castro and Hector Ramirez, a district leader who's expected to challenge Castro in September's Democratic primary, are both after Democratic party boss Carl Heastie's support. If joint turkey giveaways are any indication, Ramirez's already has Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.'s backing.
A subsidiary of Montefiore Medical Center has received $5 million in federal stimulus money to train 1,350 health care aides.
St. Barnabas Hospital has scrapped plans to relocate a health clinic of theirs despite numerous problems with the building, including the presence of lead and asbestos. (The article in Spanish. To translate, copy and paste into here.)
The Cross Bronx Expressway is home to the worst bottleneck in the country. But there's good news too: vehicles' average speed has increased from 9.8 mph three years ago, to a not-quite-so-sluggish 11.4 mph.
Friday, February 19, 2010
NY1 reporter Dean Meminger was honored yesterday by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. at the Bronx Museum of Arts for his contributions to the African American community.
The Times city room blog writes a story about the new skating rink on 161st St. where the old Concourse Plaza Hotel used to be. The Concourse Plaza rink is the Bronx's first skating circle since the Mullaly Park rink fell into disrepair in the '80s.
The DeWitt Clinton Girls Track and Field team edged by the Bronx Science team to win the indoor track and field championships at the Armory in Manhattan. Columbus came in third.
Mayor Bloomberg was in the Bronx yesterday to kick off a national campaign against mortgage fraud.
This years St. Paddy's Day Parade will honor twenty late Irish Americans as honorary grand marshals. The Post has the story here.
Ever wonder what those guys with the red berets and combat boots are all about? Here's an interesting profile of Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Bronx vigilante group The Guardian Angels. Sliwa talks about his beginnings at a Fordham Rd. McDonalds and a run in with the Mafia.
More about the Pelham bay fire, here.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
A new housing bill introduced by State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada, Jr., which proposes to freeze rent increases for close to 300,000 qualifying city households, has riled some housing advocates who say the bill is pro-landlord legislation in disguise.
Espada said his bill would provide relief to rent-stabilized households that make less than $45,000 a year and spend at least a third of their annual income on rent. But many housing advocates say the bill could actually work against tenants and is typical of Espada, who serves as Senate housing chairman but has earned a reputation for being cozy with landlords.
Last night, more than 1,000 guests attended an invitation-only event in honor of Black History Month, at the Dreiser Loop Community Center in Co-op City.
The keynote speaker was former President Bill Clinton, who received a heartfelt welcome from the crowd, less than a week after being hospitalized.
Clinton recalled the devastation he witnessed in Haiti and told Bronxites struggling in the weakened economy (the borough has the state's highest unemployment rate) to hang on.
-Photos and reporting by David Greene
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Lots of Bronx news out there, let's get right to it.
Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez reminds everyone that the old Yankee Stadium remains firmly in the way of new replacement community ball fields, leaving youth leagues with no place to play. (The old fields were destroyed to make way for the new Yankee Stadium.) A spokesman for the city's Economic Development Corporation says the stadium will be fully demolished by the spring and the replacement fields will be ready at the end of 2011, five years after the original fields were destroyed.
Neil deMause at Field of Schemes chimes in and notes how activists Joyce Hogi and Karen Argenti say federal funds should be withheld for non-compliance.
Speaking of the Yankees, the club is talking to promoters about holding a big-ticket fight between Miguel Cotto and Yuri Foreman at the new Yankee Stadium in June.
Carlos Gonzalez, the son of former Bronx state senator Efrain Gonzalez, is exploring a run for state office. City Hall magazine says he could challenge Assemblyman Jose Rivera in the 78th Assembly District. Gonzalez points out that he also lives in the 33rd Senate District, which is currently represented by Pedro Espada.
Surprise! The Bronx is the most unhealthy county in the entire state of New York, according to a recently released report that measured access to health care, economics, behavior and environmental factors. Westchester County, just north of the Bronx, is one of the state's healthiest.
Here's a video report about the dramatic fire and rescue in Pelham Bay on Monday.
The Times' story about the troubling record of the top to aide to Gov. Paterson takes a detour into the Bronx, where the aide, David W. Johnson, reportedly had an altercation with a woman in October that led to police intervention. (Paterson's office says the complaint about Johnson in the Bronx was withdrawn and that Johnson had turned his life around after being arrested on drug charges as a teenager.)
The Riverdale Press has a list of all the recipients of grants handed out by the Bronx Council on the Arts.
Granola-y tree-hugger Matthew Modine adds some star power to the recently formed Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Twelve people were injured yesterday when a fire swept through a Bronxdale apartment building. Here's a dramatic photo of a woman holding a baby girl out of a fifth-floor window so she could breathe.
In Bronx Park, recently, a group of young adults took a tree-climbing class - part of a new job-training program for aspiring arborists.
United Bronx Parents has come to the aid of Tato Laviera, a Nuyorican poet who was struggling to find an affordable apartment.
The DOE plans to close the construction trade program at Alfred E. Smith Career and Technical Education High School and replace it with a 18-month-old charter school. But the charter school has its own problems, among them, poor teacher and student retention. Moreover, its founder and former director is Richard Izquierdo, the nephew of Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo. Izquierdo was charged last year with stealing $200,000 from a non-profit.
The Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp. has a new president. Marlene Cintron, most recently the director of the state Senate's Puerto Rican and Latino Caucus, replaces Ray Salaberrios.
New procedures at Lincoln Medical Center have led to fewer infections in the hospital's intensive care unit.
The Daily News covers Bronx Community College's attempts to expel University Heights Secondary School from its campus. More here in this month's Mount Hope Monitor.
Least we forget, Councilman Larry Seabrook isn't the only Bronx politician looking at possible jail-time. In his weekly column, the DN's Bob Kappstatter ticks off five or six others under investigation.
Majora Carter, the founder of Sustainable South Bronx, was in Georgia yesterday to give a talk to a group of university students about green jobs and environmentalism. Carter now runs her own consultancy firm and was paid a tidy $18,500 for her time.
In high school basketball, Wings Academy are the new Bronx Borough champions.
A eclectic mix of celebrities and politicians - among them, actress Mary-Kate Olsen and Congressman Eliot Engel - name their favorite places to eat. Engel's? Liebman's Delicatessen on West 235th Street.
Last week, we posted an exclusive report on a possible challenger to Sen. Pedro Espada—community activist Desiree Pilgrim-Hunter.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
http://potsbronx.org/Part of the Solution (POTS), one of the biggest and best soup kitchens and multiservice assistance centers in the Bronx, is holding a gut-busting charity fundraiser tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. at Excel Martial Arts, 3044 Westchester Ave.
Basically, you pay $25 and get a courtesy hardcore 3-hour workout (or you can workout for a few minutes and take off, no commitment necessary) conducted by New York Fit Body Boot Camp. Plus, 100% of your $25 goes to POTS, which will use the money to feed the hungry and provide other potentially life-changing services for people in need of just that.
Here's more details and how you can sign up.
Here's a story the Norwood News wrote about POTS last May. (You might notice the photo from our logo.)
Lots to get to today. Here's some Bronx stories to get your day started.
NY Times reporter Sam Dolnick takes a walk around the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx and mulls the Armory, stops at the Tibbet Diner, Van Cortlandt Museum, the Bronx Ale House (site of the upcoming BxNN bash on Feb. 25. RSVP now!) and other local spots. Nice little multimedia slide show comes with the story.
Times Columnist Clyde Haberman goes off on "Bagel Larry" Seabrook and the scandal-plagued state of the City Council, which coincidentally voted to extend their term limits last fall. (I think we need to put this to a vote: should it be "Bagel Larry" or "Cash and Carry Larry"?) More on Bagel-nomics here.
Speaking of Bagel Larry (we'll go with this one for brevity purposes), Seabrook didn't show up to work yesterday, leaving his colleague, Maria del Carmen Arroyo, who remains under a cloud of suspicion, to fend off reporters' questions.In the same story, The Daily News also says that Assembly members Peter Rivera and Carmen Arroyo (Maria's mom) are also under being investigated.
More on the Bronx's new golf course in Ferry Point.
Bronx Rep Eliot Engel calls Washington, DC's reaction to the recent snow storm "wimpy."
Bronx hip-hop legend Afrika Bambaataa is working with a social networking site that promotes dialogue between people who speak different languages.
The Department of Homeless Services is changing its policies after a 17-year-old high school student was stuck in a Bronx intake center and missed her Regents graduation exam.
And finally, pessimistic Yankee blogophiles are already conjuring up ways in which the World Series Champion Bronx Bombers' upcoming season could fall apart. (Hint: it may something to with Kate Hudson and/or Cameron Diaz.)
Happy Valentine's Weekend!
In a letter to Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, Community Board 2 has called on the Department of Education to approve plans for Hunts Point High School for Sustainable Community Initiatives, a school to prepare students for green jobs, saying the school “is capable of changing the landscape and mindset of the area and making Hunts Point a preeminent educational and vocational destination of choice.”
The full story is in The Hunts Point Express, which has been following the proposal for years, and has endorsed it in an editorial.
If you haven't yet RSVP'd for BxNN fundraiser at the Bronx Ale House on Feb. 25 and are planning on coming, please do it now. Don't miss out! We can only accommodate 80 people, so the sooner you let us know the sooner we can guarantee you a spot! (If you've run into one of us personally and told us you're going to come, you still need to formally RSVP.) It's going to be a great crowd of Bronx advocates, activists, community leaders and all-around Boogie-Down boosters. We also need your input on our new Web site which will be on display for attendees only! Admission is only $20. Appetizers will be served and there will be happy hour special on the Ale House's amazing craft beer selection!
So e-mail Ivonne Salazar today at isalazar-at-mpcbronx-dot-org or call her at 718-324-4461, ext. 221.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
With the indicted Larry Seabrook a no-show at today's City Council session, reporters covering City Hall and the slush-fund scandal found someone else to question: Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo.
Not that she was talking. According to the Daily News' Elizabeth Benjamin, Arroyo had nothing to say as she walked through security.
The councilwoman's nephew, you may recall, was charged last year with stealing $200,000 in public money. Some observers believe the same investigation could eventually bring down Arroyo and her mother, Assemblywoman Carmen E. Arroyo.
Seabrook, meanwhile, resigned this afternoon as chairman of the Civil Rights Committee.
Quick programming note: For the time being, we will be posting an events listing once a week on Thursday afternoons. If we've missed anything, please email us at email@example.com or just post it in the comments thread.
Happy Valentine's Day from the Bronx News Network!
On Feb. 13 The Bronx Library Center, at 310 E. Kingsbridge Rd., presents the Orlando Marin Quintet at 2:30pm. For more information, call (718) 579-4244/46 or visit www.nypl.org
Got any sweet Valentine's Day Plans? Need to find something to do quick? Then head on over to Wave Hill this Saturday (Feb. 13) where a special Valentine's Day brunch will be offered in the Mark Twain room. Cost is $22 per person. For more information, call (718) 549-3200. Reservations must be made by 4pm on Friday.
Take the kids over to the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum at Pelham Bay Park (895 Shore Rd.) Activities, games, and stories will teach kids what it was like to live in the 19th century. For more information, call (718) 885-1461 or visit www.nycgovparks.org.
On Feb. 11 The Van Cortlandt Senior Center at 3880 Sedgwick Ave. is hosting Fiesta Latina. The event includes dinner and a performance by El Duo. Dinner begins at 5:15pm. Suggested donation is $4. For more information, call (718) 549-4700.
Like musicals? The Riverdale Y at 5625 Arlington Ave. will be presenting a rendition of "The Music Man" on Feb. 13 at 8pm. The show will run for six nights. For more information, call 718-548-8200 or visit www.riverdaley.org.
The Lehman Chamber Players will perform "Beethoven's Quartet in E-flat Major," excerpts from Dohnany's "Serenade for Strings" and Brahms' "Piano Quartet in C Minor" (fancy stuff) on Feb. 17 at 12:30pm. The event will take place at Lehman College at 250 Bedford Park Blvd. The event is free. Monocle not required. For more information, call (718) 960-8247 or visit www.events.cuny.edu.
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, in association with Sal Abbatiello of Fever Records, presents the hottest disco party in town – DISCO VALENTINE, on Saturday, February 13 at 8 p.m., featuring Tavares’ “It Only Takes a Minute Girl,” “Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel;” France Joli’s “Come to Me,” “Gonna Get Over You;” The Trammps’ “Disco Inferno,” and much more.
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is on the campus of Lehman College/CUNY at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West. Tickets for DISCO VALENTINE are: $50, $45, $40 and $35 and can be purchased by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718.960.8833 (Mon. through Fri., 10am–5pm; Tues. 10am-7pm, and beginning at 12 noon on the day of the concert), or through 24-hour online access at www.LehmanCenter.org.
Larry Seabrook, the indicted Bronx councilman, has been asked to step down from his position as vice co-chair of the Black, Latino and Asian caucus. Meanwhile, the behind the scenes jostling to succeed him in the Council has already begun. Names being tossed around include Assemblyman Carl Heastie, the chair of the Bronx Democratic Party.
Still on Seabrook, the media has been lifting the lid on his messy love-life. In 1993 he divorced his wife but somehow neglected to tell her. She found out seven years later.
Bronx Republicans J.C. Polanco and Jay Savino have been served with subpoenas by federal prosecutors investigating a $50 million voting-machine contract the city's Board of Elections awarded a Nebraska company. Polanco is the Bronx Republican commissioner; Savino is the chairman of the Bronx Republican Party. More here.
The Bronx Democratic Party has endorsed Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
A man is suing a Bronx co-op complex for discarding his deceased father's possessions.
The police are hunting five men suspected of robbing a parking garage in Morrisania last week. After tying up an attendant, the men stole cash and a BMW.
Yesterday's snow storm was welcomed by tire shop owners on Jerome Avenue.
An ice-skating rink has opened on East 161st Street.
BoogieDowner clears up some erroneous information floating around cyberspace about two local supermarkets.
Joshua Clottey, a world-class boxer, has quietly made the Bronx his home these past seven years. Next month, the Ghana-born welterweight is scheduled fight Filipino phenom Manny Pacquiao.
In Throgs Neck, near the Whitestone Bridge, a new golf course is being built. Ferry Point Golf Course is scheduled to open in 2011. Golf legend Jack Nicholas had a hand in the original design - previous plans to build here fell through - and continues to be involved.
A Riverdale couple recently celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary.
We have a slightly tweaked version of the story we originally ran in this space on Monday about activist Desiree Pilgrim-Hunter's possible run for the senate seat occupied by Pedro Espada, Jr. (We hear Pilgrim-Hunter is holding a fundraiser tonight. These are the types of events that will determine if she's in it for the long haul.)
A profile on the energetic new commanding officer of the 52nd Precinct. Plus an editorial on his prospects and how the NYPD can help communities police themselves. (Here's a hint: it's by providing them with more detailed information about where crime is happening in the neighborhoods they live in.)
In other crime news, we have a story on the two 52nd Precinct cops who were suspended after a video surfaced of them beating a hand-cuffed suspect. Also, there's a brief about the precinct's first murder of 2010.
The COVE, a youth center in the Knox-Gates neighborhood, has reopened under new (old) leadership and a new focus.
DeWitt Clinton High School just opened a brand new Business Center.
Speaking of high schools, the Bronx Science boys basketball team compiled more wins this year than the last two combined and almost made the postseason.
A team of doctors from Montefiore Medical Center, just back from Haiti, tell their story about participating in the massive post-earthquake relief effort.
Plus: find free programs and services throughout the Bronx in our expanded Neighborhood Notes section (seriously, this page is packed with invaluable info) . . . find out what's going on arts and entertainment-wise in or Out and About section . . . and our Inquiring Photographer asks readers what they think about the looming city budget cuts.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
We hope everyone is staying warm in this blizzard! Here are some of today's news stories to read while you're snowed in:
The front page of today's Daily News had more on the biggest Bronx story this week: Council member Larry Seabrook's indictment, that was unsealed Tuesday. The 66-page document lists a number of offenses, according to the article--from funneling large sums through suspect nonprofits to claiming $177 on his expense report for the cost of a bagel. Read more here.
For those of you who were worried about those chickens in Highbridge, fear not: the Daily News followed up yesterday's story, about wild birds who've settled down in a lot on Edward L. Grant Highway, with today's piece on a nearby business manager who vows to find a safe home for the flock.
The boys swim team at Bronx Science made the Public Schools Athletic League semifinals.
The New York Times city room blog ran a story yesterday about two new supermarkets coming to the Bronx--one in Norwood and one near Tremont Avenue--as part of the city's FRESH initiative, a program to encourage new grocery stores in underserved areas.
The Times also ran a review of this Ghanian restaurant on the Grand Concourse in Fordham Heights.
A prisoner escaped police custody yesterday at the Bronx Criminal Courthouse on East 161st Street, after changing clothes to impersonate another man. Police are still looking for 22-year-old Michael Bautista, who was being arraigned at the courthouse for assaulting his girlfriend and a police officer.
On March 25, 1990, in the wee hours of the morning, Delmo Flores arrived at the corner of Southern Boulevard and East Tremont Avenue, and watched in horror as a fire consumed the Happy Land social club, where he had planned on spending the rest of the night.
The dance club lacked emergency exits, sprinklers, and exit signs, and an arson fire started by a jealous lover with $1 worth of gasoline and two matches spread quickly, trapping and killing 87 people within minutes. It was one of the deadliest mass murders in New York history.
Twenty years later, Community Board 6, in conjunction with Bronxnet, is collecting stories like Flores’ for a short documentary which will commemorate the anniversary of the Happy Land fire.
More here in the Tremont Tribune.
By Hannah Dreier
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
pleaded guilty to four federal fraud charges last May, according to documents from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The Village Voice reported in January that Gonzalez considered withdrawing his guilty plea, with his defense claiming it was “involuntary” and that his previous lawyer, Bronx attorney Murray Richman, gave him bad legal advice.
“He has to say what he has to say,” Richman responded in a phone interview. “I carry no grudges. He’s my pal, and I’m sorry that he feels he was forced to take the plea, which is absurd.”
While the Bx34 bus managed to dodge the chopping block during a round of service cuts last month, the MTA is now proposing to discontinue its overnight and weekend service. A series of public hearings will be held in March--the link lists a number of other Bronx cuts and reductions--followed by a vote on the service changes. If approved, the changes would most likely go into effect in late spring or early summer, according to an MTA spokesperson.
The Bx34, which runs from Woodlawn to Fordham Rd, was spared from complete elimination at the end of January.
A lot happened in the Bronx this weekend while the New Orleans Saints were busy scoring the Super Bowl title. Here's a rundown on some of the biggest news stories:
Ex-state Sen. Efrain Gonzalez Jr. says it was bad legal advice that made him plead guilty to 2006 corruption charges, and now wants to withdraw his plea.
The U.S. Attorney's office just announced: "A press conference will be held today to announce charges against New York City Council Member Larry Seabrook for alleged public corruption offenses."
Press conference is at noon today at the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan.
The Times which has been covering Seabrook's troubles has more details here.
Monday, February 8, 2010
By Alex Kratz
Desiree Pilgrim-Hunter, a Bronx activist who became the face of last year’s strong community push for living wage jobs at the Kingsbridge Armory, is exploring the possibility of making a run at the state Senate seat occupied by Pedro Espada, Jr.
In the past two weeks, in preparation for a possible run, Pilgrim-Hunter has begun assembling a team of advisors and has quietly reached out to potential donors and supporters.
“The next few weeks will basically be a stress test to see what kind of support is out there for me,” Pilgrim-Hunter, 53, said in an interview over the weekend. “But I am taking steps to prepare myself should I decide to run. Because one thing is for certain: if I get in, I'm getting in to win. And it’s as simple as that.”
So far, Pilgrim-Hunter said she has received positive feedback, including this accolade from the head of the retail workers’ union.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Heads up: NYC is on a blizzard watch. Snow may start up this evening and continue well into tomorrow afternoon, so plan accordingly. Of course, this is only rampant speculation.
In other news:
The city has forced an overnight homeless shelter at the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center to close its doors. The official explanation: land devoted to park purposes (the community center is owned by the parks department) cannot be utilized for any other purpose. The center may still offer its other services to the public during the daytime.
After passing from one owner to the next, and years of bitter labor struggles between owners and employees, the old Stella D'oro Bakery will officially be shut down. On Monday the factory will be auctioned off by its current owner, Brynwood Partners, who moved production to Ohio after buying the company from Kraft. 150 people will be unemployed as a result.
A rape victim is receiving $1 million from Parkchester South, a condominium on Tremont Avenue. The attack happened in 2003, but recent details indicate the condominium was the suspect was responsible for nearly a dozen robberies and assaults between 2002 and 2003. Residents were kept in the dark about the crime spree.
David Gonzalez over at the Times talks about the history of graffiti in New York City. In the article, Gonzalez talks to Eric Felisbret, who recently released a book anthologizing New York graffiti. Felisbret's website can be found here.
Anyone see that movie Big Fan? The Daily News has a lighter story about football fanaticism in their story about how the NFL saved the life of Benny From The Bronx, a local sports talk radio caller.
Alex just mentioned this in his post on BxNN's 2000th post. We're having a BxNN fundraiser/friendraiser at the Bronx Ale House, a fantastic new bar/restaurant on W. 238th St. near Broadway. It's going to be a great time. We'll be celebrating some recent awards and testing out our new Web site. If you can't read the invite above the basic details are: Friday, Feb. 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Bronx Ale House, 216 W. 238th St. $20 admission, free appetizers, half-price drinks, raffles and other prizes. To RSVP, just call Ivonne at 718-324-4461, ext. 221. Thanks and spread the word!!!
Water rates are again coming back into the news in the annual reporting of outrageous increases set forth by DEP and rubber-stamped by the Water Board.
According to the Staten Island Advance, New Yorkers should expect another double-digit increase this year in the neighborhood of 14%. Going back over the last four years we have seen increases of 12.9%, 14.5%, 11.5% and 9.4%. The average single-family homeowner bill is expected to top $1,000 for the first time, and the impact on affordable housing will be significant to say the least.
As the article points out, we should continue to expect these large annual increases as the formula has not changed: increased capital costs at DEP and decreasing water usage across the City.
One can only hope that some changes are on the way with new Commissioner Cas Holloway. According to the Daily News, Holloway has instituted an across the board 8% spending cut in his first month on the job, while bringing the Bloomberg bullpen to his new agency.
Two water related blogs continue to put forth proposals for further changing the way water rates are structured. Waterblogged.org has a post about submissions for innovative design solutions that manage runoff from roadways that flood the sewer system and cause raw sewage to be dumped into our waterways.
Water Watch NYC has recently posted three ways to save DEP, including instituting storm water fees and revamping the Mayoral-appointed rubber-stamping Water Board to actually act as a regulatory agency over DEP. The way the agency handled the recently revealed rate study, for which DEP "shelled out millions of dollars for a report with no conclusions or recommendations" is a perfect example of why both DEP and the Water Board are dysfunctional partners in crime.
This is the Bronx News Network's 2,000th blog post. (Waiting for applause.)
Just to give you an idea of how we've grown over the last few years, consider this. In 2006, we posted just 32 times. The next year, 2007, we made a quantum leap to 329 posts. The following year, 2008, we ramped up our efforts again to the tune of 510 posts.
Then last year, we really hit our stride. Fueled by competitive Bronx Council races and the debate about development at the Kingsbridge Armory (which turned into one of the biggest stories in the city last December), we topped out at 877 posts. The Village Voice recognized us as one of the best blogs in a city teeming with them.
We've done this while continuing to produce quality, award-winning print journalism in all of our affiliated and associated papers. Sometimes, with all of our other responsibilities, it's difficult to maintain a steady flow of stories and information in this space.
But, in the end, we believe in what we're doing here and we've received a tremendous amount of feedback and support from all of you out there who read the blog and make it a part of your daily life. We want to thank you and encourage you to continue reading and commenting as we strive to create a dialogue about vital issues in the Bronx and beyond.
We would also like to hear from you about how we can make this site better, more enjoyable and more informative. What issues should we focus on? What kind of weekly or daily features would you like to see? What don't you like about the site or our blog posts? Do you want more photos slide shows or more multimedia? We want to hear from you.
This is your blog as much as ours. (Applause from us.)
Stay tuned and come celebrate with us at the Bronx Ale House on Feb. 25. More details to come.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
In December, Bronx Community College divulged its intention to evict University Heights Secondary School from its campus at the end of this school year, so that the college can better accommodate a growing student body.
The decision maddened parents, teachers, and students at the school, as well as local politicians, who have been speaking out against BCC.
The Department of Education, meanwhile, has been busy hunting for a new site for the school, and on Tuesday announced they'd found one: the South Bronx High School Campus, at 701 St. Ann's Ave. (near East 156th Street).
Blogging in the Huffington Post, Alan Stringer, a Hofstra University professor and a friend of a University Heights teacher, criticized the DOE's proposal and said it would "kill" the school. He added:
My prediction is that if this plan goes through, students who would have selected UHHS will choose to go elsewhere and four years from now we will find it on the failing schools list and targeted for reorganization.The proposal (published below) will be discussed at a public hearing on March 11, at the South Bronx High School Campus. The final decision rests with the city’s Panel for Educational Policy.
DOE Proposal for UHSS
Earlier this week, The Brooklyn Eagle reported a boom in the number of hotel projects happening in Brooklyn. Data from Smith Travel Research shows that a whopping 40 hotels are being planned for the borough, with 15 in construction already and 12 of those set to open this year.
A Bronx cop was has been indicted after trying to earn a little extra on the side by fleecing drug dealers. Miguel Burgos of the 52nd, who's been police since 2004, was arrested on Tuesday. He allegedly supplied friends with a police scanner and ramming device, which they then used to rob drug dealers.
The Times's David Gonzalez has an interesting piece about a Bronx woman searching for a Bronx vet so she may return a family photo album to him.
The BBC reports on efforts to promote census participation in the Bronx. In 2000, only 56 percent of Bronxites returned the census survey. Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. is pushing to raise that percentage significantly. "We need to be counted," he said.
Knicks hall of famer and Bronx native Dick McGuire passed away at 84 late Wednesday. McGuire was a Knickerbocker legend; he the team to three NBA finals victories in the 50s and later went on to serve as the team's coach.
The mayor, along with Bronx State Senator Jeff Klein, held a press conference in Morris Park this morning to announced the introduction of a state law that would make it illegal to carry guns while drunk.
The "drunk guns" law would work much like the state's drunk driving laws, which make it illegal to drive a vehicle if your blood-alcohol level is above .08 percent. A violation would be considered a class-A misdemeanor offense and punishments could include a year in jail and/or a $10,000 fine. It could also lead to the revocation of gun licenses.
“Guns and alcohol are a deadly mix,” said Senator Klein, in a statement sent out after the announcement. “The time is now for us to get serious about penalties for those who chose to carry a gun while intoxicated.”
“If you are too intoxicated to drive a car, you should not be carrying a gun,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The law would apply the same standards and tests that are now used to prevent and punish driving while intoxicated. And that’s only right. I’m hopeful that our legislators and Governor Paterson will make New York the 21st state to enact such a life-saving, common-sense law.”
The law would not punish those who get drunk and carry their guns around their own home.