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Sunday, May 30, 2010

On BronxTalk - Bronx beer soda and stuff, Koppell, and charter schools

This Monday night at 9:00pm the Memorial Day edition of BronxTalk will feature a fun show about Bronx beer, Bronx soda, and a company that manufactures Bronx posters, postcards, and other promotional items.  

Next Monday evening, June 7, host Gary Axelbank will interview Councilman Oliver Koppell about the living wage bill, the location of supportive facilities, and other contemporary subjects.  

Here's a link to the May 24 BronxTalk about charter schools  

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

The Yankees, Unobstructed — May 30

When your team has a .592 winning percentage on the second-to-last day of May, you should feel good. But it's hard to like where the Yankees are right now.

Nevermind the fact that the Yankees are tied for the third best record in baseball. Nevermind the fact that the Yankees' winning percentage is exactly the same as it was on this day last year. Nevermind the fact that the Yankees have won four of their last six. And nevermind the fact that the Yankees are one week into a three week stretch in which their opponents are as weak as Major League Baseball has to offer.

The Yankees just haven't looked like a good baseball team lately.

Given a 9-3 lead in the fourth inning yesterday, Yankee pitching was unable to hold back the Indians — one of baseball's worst offenses. First C.C. Sabathia padded his ever-ascending ERA, giving up five runs in six innings on 113 pitches. But he left with (what should have been) a comfortable 10-5 lead.

Then Joba Chamberlain came in and promptly gave up four earned runs in 1/3 of an inning. The Yankees ended up losing 13-11.

Wait, what's that you say? Oh, yes, I see. You've pointed out that just three weeks ago I proclaimed "Joba has settled comfortably into his setup role."

Yes, I did say that. Clearly I was wrong.

Since that day (May 9), the Pudgy One has been remarkable in his inconsistency. In fact there's been two Jobas.

  • The Joba we want: He's had three appearances in which he gave up neither a hit nor walk. In once case he struck out every batter he faced.
  • And Sloba. He looks just like Joba, but he's a jittery misfit. Incapable of even rudimentary effectiveness. Sloba has had three appearances in which he surrendered a combined 11 runs in 2.2 innings.
For quite some time now, Sloba hasn't let Joba pitch against the Indians. Ever since midges psyched Joba out in Game 2 of the 2007 ALDS, he's been awful against Cleveland. In the last two and a half years, Chamberlain's given up 15 runs in 18 innings against the tribe. THEY OWN HIM.

In Other Yankee News

Álex Rodriguez hit a scorching line drive off the head of Cleveland pitcher David Huff yesterday. The stadium went silent and Huff was removed on a stretcher, but is doing just fine. ÁROD visited Huff at the hospital and Huff appreciated the gesture.

Curtis Granderson is back after missing most of the month with an injured groin.

Jorge Posada hopes to be back in the lineup soon, but the Yankees are unlikely to take chances with the catcher's injured foot.

NOTE: Make sure to check back every weekend for The Yankees, Unobstructed, BNN's weekly Yankees opinion column.

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

Friday, May 28, 2010

Job Opening at BxNN!

We're posting this again in case you didn't see it the first time. Please spread the word!

We've got a great job opening here at BxNN for the right person -- someone who is entrepreneurial and enjoys working with all kinds of people.  Tons of room for growth. Here's the announcement. Please feel free to pass it around to anyone you think might be interested.

Sales and Marketing Representative Needed

The Bronx News Network, a nonprofit media organization, provides free local news to underserved Bronx neighborhoods. We publish and support bi-weekly and monthly papers including the Mount Hope Monitor, the Tremont Tribune, and the award-winning Norwood News. We also produce the Network blog, bronxnewsnetwork.org which is updated every day and a must-read for involved and influential Bronxites.
We are looking for a Sales and Marketing Representative to work with existing community and corporate clients, conduct research on prospective clients, and increase overall advertising revenue for the organization. The Sales and Marketing Rep. will meet with local business owners to develop affordable advertising campaigns and promote the Bronx News Network at local events.
The Bronx communities we serve are comprised of bustling commercial areas with thousands of prospective advertisers. There is significant earning potential for the right person and tremendous room for growth.

The Sales and Marketing Rep must be a hard-working, self-starting committed team player with excellent communication skills. Prior marketing or sales experience preferred. Spanish also a plus.
$10-$15 hourly wage and/or commission, depending on experience.
To apply, e-mail cover letter and resume to  Jordan Moss, executive editor and publisher, at bronxnewsnetwork@gmail.com.
To learn more about the Bronx News Network, go to http://www.bronxnewsnetwork.org/.

Bronx Students Decorate Tables in Local Parks

Students from Acción Academy and IS 219 worked with acrylic paint and Xeroxed photos to decorate tables in Claremont Park and Crotona Park. In Claremont Park, IS 219 painted a table titled “Peace and Become Your Dream.” Its artwork is focused on addressing violence in the community and providing an encouraging motivation to overcome it. Acción Academy decorated a table in Crotona Park, calling it “Making a Change,” which concentrates on stopping the crime and gang-related violence that they see in their communities.

More photos and info after the jump.

Agosto Won't Challenge Rivera

Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera has one more reason to enjoy herself this holiday weekend. Kenny Agosto, a district leader in Rivera’s 80th Assembly District, has decided not to try to unseat her in the Democratic primary this fall.

Agosto, a founder of the Liberty Democratic Association, said a run this year was “not financially viable.”

“I’m a progressive, but also a pragamatist,” he told us. “I don’t want to waste people’s time.” 

Agosto, who has been mulling a run for months, said he'd consider vying for the seat again in two years. 

Michael Benjamin: "Rand Paul Is An Idiot"

Assemblyman Michael Benjamin is coming down hard on Republican Senate candidate Dr. Rand Paul, of Kentucky, for vague remarks he made recently about whether or not he supports the Civil Rights Act of 1964--the landmark law that outlawed racial segregation.

Identified with the burgeoning conservative "tea party" movement, Paul was on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow show last week when the host asked him if he supports the federal law that bans segregation in schools, the workplace and public facilities--to which Paul gave a less-than-straight answer.

In a press release sent after the show aired, Benjamin had these strong words to say about Paul's politics:

Dr. Rand proposes to "take our country back" by freeing corporations from obeying landmark federal civil rights law and important environmental protection regulations. He would take America back to the days of Jim Crow and Robber Barons.

His rhetoric is eerily reminiscent of the political rants of Adolph Hitler and Herman Gering. Sixty-five years ago this month, America and her Allies defeated the Nazis, liberated Jews, and set the stage for European prosperity. Rand Paul spits on the graves of our honored dead.

I urge the voters of Kentucky to repudiate Dr. Paul for his retrograde and dangerous political rhetoric. I urge them to elect a United States Senator who shares real American values.

Benjamin has made his own headlines recently after announcing he won't be running for re-election in the Assembly this fall, where he's been since 2003, and hinting that he might make a run for Jose E. Serrano's congressional seat instead. 

Story Of The Day: For Tenants in Foreclosure Limbo, a New Legal Strategy

Bertha Van Wright holds up a photo of a rat she found in her Garden Street apartment. Her building, one of several in the Bronx owned by Milbank Real Estate, went into foreclosure last year and has since fallen into disrepair, plagued by rodents, insects and mold. Last month, a legal group filed a court motion to hold the bank that oversees the mortgage on many Milbank properties responsible for their upkeep. Read the story in this month's Tremont Tribune. (And for some more background on the issue, read this blog post by contributor Gregory Lobo Jost.)

Bronx News Roundup, May 28

 Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone! Enjoy the extra day off. Here are today's Bronx headlines:

A Jamaican drug lord, Christopher Coke, operated a drug ring out of Eastchester and parts of Queens for years, according to police. Law enforcement officials in Kingston, Jamaica have been pursuing Coke for the past four days, in violent assaults that left 74 people dead so far. Coke has still not been found.

A new book chronicles the pandemic of fires that ravaged the South Bronx during the 1970s.

An effort to keep state parks open this summer could lead to major cuts for institutions like the Bronx Zoo and Botanical Garden. The plan would take money from the state's Environmental Protection Fund, which pays for the zoo and gardens, to cover the cost of keeping the parks open.

Sam Suzuki, the Soundview landlord who was issued an arrest warrant by a housing court judge this month for ignoring court orders to fix his crumbling properties, has turned himself in to authorities.

Neighborhoods in the Bronx and Manhattan have the highest concentration of airborne nickel particles during the winter, according to a new air quality study from the Department of Health. Nickel, usually from oil burners, can irritate the lungs and worsen asthma and emphysema symptoms.

A video of Rocking the Boat founder Adam Green discussing the program, a boat-building project for students in the South Bronx. Here's a video interview with some of the program's participants that we took a few months back.

The city has settled to pay $700,000 to a mentally disturbed Soundview man who was shot by police officers during an altercation in 2005.

A pre-trial hearing is happening today for the two men accused of bomb plots at two Riverdale synagogues.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Training Exercise Tonight on E.204th

This is just a test!

From approximately 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., the Office of Emergency Planning’s CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) program will be conducting a training exercise at the East 204th Street underpass between Valentine and Villa Avenues. Please note that pedestrian and vehicular access will not be allowed through the underpass during the exercise. Please do not be alarmed by any training or exercises being held, they are intended to benefit the public's safety.

According to CERT's website, the "Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations."

If you have any questions regarding this matter, please feel free to contact District Manager, Fernando Tirado of the Community Board 7 at - (718) 933-5650 / 51.

Story Of The Day: Shakespeare In Hunts Point

Students from the Hunts Point Shakespeare ensemble act out a scene from "As You Like It." The group spent the last eight months studying the classic works of William Shakespeare under the program,  and will be performing the play for free at The Point CDC in Hunts Point on June 5 and a matinee showing at the Five Angels Theater in Manhattan on June 6. Click here to read the whole story by reporter Hannah Rappleye in the latest issue of the Hunts Point Express.

Bronx News Roundup, May 27

The conviction of former Bronx state Senator Efrain Gonzalez--who was sentenced to seven years in prison yesterday for siphoning money from a nonprofit--is just the latest in a string of corrupt politicians across the city, the Daily News says.

It's not just hot dogs or cracker jacks at the ballgame anymore--here's a review of the new Yankee stadium's steakhouse.

Police are asking for help to find 13-year-old Stephanie Vasquez, who has been missing since Tuesday. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1 800 577 TIPS (8477).

Two Bronx residents were convicted of murder yesterday in relation to a 2007 shooting at a poker parlor in Manhattan.

More than two dozen alleged gang members were arrested yesterday in the 43rd Precinct, according to the Bronx District Attorney's office. The arrested of the reputed members of the Bloods and the Crips stemmed from a nine-month drug ring investigation.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine was awarded a $10 million grant for diabetes research from the NIH (the Bronx has some of the highest diabetes rates in the city).

A Kingsbridge church sent off supplies to Haiti this week after months of collecting donations.

Construction of the long-awaited South Bronx Greenway--the network of bike paths and walkways intended to connect several waterfront parks--will begin this summer.

Upcoming Bronx Events: Memorial Day Weekend

Read on to find out where
Dora will be this weekend:

Friday, May 28

Emily Dickinson's Garden: The Poetry Of Flowers

See spring in The Garden through the eyes of one of America's most beloved literary figures, Emily Dickinson. This exhibition combines her fascinating life's story with her passion for nature, all set in 250 acres of living beauty. Friday, May 28, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Botanical Gardens is located at 200th Street And Kazimiroff Boulevard or you can visit the Botanical Gardens website for more information.

Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine and a Miracle
In honor of Memorial Day, the Bronx Zoo is bringing in a U.S. Marine to read the story of Nubs, an Iraqi dog that was the leader of a pack of wild dogs living off the land and barely surviving. But Nubs’s life changed when he met Marine Major Brian Dennis. Follow Nubs through a freezing desert, filled with danger, to find his friend. Friday, May 28, 3 p.m., Bronx Zoo, 2300 Southern Boulevard. Visit the Bronx Zoo’s website for more information.

Saturday, May 29

Home Gardening Demonstrations
The New York Botanical Garden hosts demonstrations every Saturday and Sunday at their Home Gardening Center, with admissions free on Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to noon. There will be a lesson on making homemade butter on Saturday, May 29, and two sessions on caring for roses in the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden on June 5 and 12. Call (718) 817-8700 or visit the Botanical Gardens website for more information.

Sunday, May 30

Car Show
Fordham University and the 48th Precinct’s Community Council are hosting their 6th annual car show on Sunday, May 30 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Fordham Road and Southern Boulevard. Call Aida I. Haddock at (917) 642-0197 or Louie Soto at (845) 590-5869 for more details.

Free Memorial Day Holiday Tent Concert
The Bronx Arts Ensemble Orchestra will be conducted by David Gilbert and feature soprano Halley Gilbert, trombonist Papo Vázquez, vocalist Rafael De Jesus and pianist Orlay Alonso. The free BAE Memorial Day outdoor tent concert is scheduled rain or shine. Seating will be provided. Pedestrians can enter the park at Broadway and 246th Street. Sunday, May 30 2 p.m. Free parking is also available at the Van Cortlandt Golf House, Van Cortland Ave. South & Bailey Ave.

Goulden Avenue And Bedford Park Boulevard West
A guided walk with the Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct follows the path of the Old Croton Aqueduct to (but not on) the High Bridge. Learn about aqueduct history, engineering and nearby historic sites.Optional extension across Washington Bridge to view Manhattan end of High Bridge. Meet at 9:30 a.m. at Bedford Park Blvd. and Goulden Ave. Bring lunch and water. About 4-5 miles. For further information call 914-478-3961 or email czfahn@yahoo.com.

The Boyfriend
The Roaring Twenties lives on in this heartwarming musical about a group of British girls attending a finishing school on the French Riviera. Join the girls and their potential "boyfriends" as they dance their way through the stories of romance and the arrival of their unexpected parents! It's a silly spoof of all 20's musicals, complete with Charleston, Soft-shoe and Can-can. Join the Rising Stars for this uplifting show; perfect for a spring evening at the theatre! Sunday, May 30, 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., 5625 Arlington Avenue or visit the Riverdale YM-YWha website for more info.

Dora & Diego’s 4-D Adventure at the Bronx Zoo
Beginning Friday, May 28 – Memorial Day weekend – the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo will present Dora & Diego’s 4-D Adventure, a new family friendly theatrical film and attraction based on Nickelodeon’s hit animated preschool series Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego, Go!. For the first time ever, families can see these popular characters animated in digital 3-D, with special effects that make the story burst off the screen into a 4-D experience. To kick off the new attraction, Dora and Diego costumed characters will make special appearances on Saturday, May 29 and Sunday, May 30 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. as part of the ongoing line-up of live family entertainment as WCS’s Bronx Zoo continues Animal Tales Extravaganza. Visit the Bronx Zoo’s website for more information.

Protestors Say They Were Banned From Espada's Town Hall

Pedro Espada addresses a crowd at a town hall meeting on May 19 (photos by Alma Watkins)

A group of housing advocates who tried to attend State Senator Pedro Espada’s town hall meeting last week say they were physically barred from entering the building, according to two people who attempted to join the meeting.

Michael Leonard, a local resident and self-described activist, says he was stopped outside the Davidson Community Center, where the session was held, and told by a man in a suit that he wasn’t welcome there.

Another woman, who asked that her name not be used for fear of retribution, said she was pushed away and had her hand ripped from the door when she tried to enter the building. The man blocking her entrance told her to “get the hell out” of there, she said.

The woman said Espada's staffers recognized her from some of the senator’s previous rallies, which she had attended to protest his controversial rent freeze bill  - legislation Espada has been pushing for months that he says would freeze rent prices for a number of New Yorkers but that tenant advocates claim is pro-landlord legislation in disguise.

Five people were banned from the meeting, according to the woman. They called the police when they were refused admission, and when cops arrived, Espada’s staff told the officers that the event was private, she said.

A spokesman from Espada's office said the meeting was open to the public, with mailers being sent to addresses throughout the district. Police officers were at the meeting, he said, but only as a normal police presence that comes to oversee any public event. Some people were asked not to come inside because they were holding signs and chanting and would disrupt the purpose of the event, according to the spokesman, who denied that anyone was physically removed or blocked.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Kingsbridge Armory Battle Inspires Citywide Living Wage Bill

Two Bronx politicians are picking up the torch from the living wage campaign that was at the heart of last year's battle over the Kingsbridge Armory.

City Council members Oliver Koppell and Annabel Palma introduced a bill yesterday, dubbed the Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act, that would require all development projects that receive public subsidies from the city to pay workers eventually employed there a living wage--$10 an hour with benefits or $11.50 an hour without.                                                                                      
Living wage--just $2.75 more than the mandated minimum wage of $7.25, and adding up to about $18,000 a year, according to Koppell--was a hot button topic last year during the redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory. The City Council voted down plans for a shopping mall at the hulking Bronx building in December because Related Companies, the developer, would not agree to a living wage provision for workers there, despite the fact that the group would be getting millions of dollars in taxpayer funded credits.

"Today, we're showing everyone that this debate is not just about one parochial section of the Bronx. This is a citywide debate," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., who joined a bevy of Bronx pols and leaders--and those from other boroughs--on the steps of City Hall yesterday to show their support of the bill.

Bronx News Roundup, May 26

Efrain Gonzalez was sentenced to seven years in prison yesterday. The former Bronx State Senator was found guilty of siphoning hundreds of thousands of dollars from two Bronx nonprofit foundations that he created. {We'll have more on this later.}

An infant was found in a parking lot on East 161st Street in the Bronx yesterday. After an argument, the parents of Ezra Isiah Reyes separately left the lot without the child. Lincoln Hospital later reported him to be dehydrated but otherwise unharmed.

While nearly all of the state lawmakers from New York City  supported an act involving ethics laws and a provision to reveal how much they earning on the side, 63 of the 90 representatives declined to reveal their earnings to the Daily News.That includes nearly all of the Bronx representatives. There was one notable exception: State Senator Pedro Espada, Jr., who said he earned more than $250,000 as head of his Soundview Health Clinics.

Bronx citizens are invited to voice their opinions on a rezoning proposal in Tremont and Bathgate. A public hearing will be held June 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Community School 211.

Crain's New York reports that one of the state's biggest mortgage insurers saved 28% of NY mortgages from falling into foreclosure this past year; 6% of the $152 million worth of mortgages saved were for homes in the Bronx. 

Bronx dad Orlando Caceres was issued a $35 parking ticket after ushering his wife and newborn into Bronx-Lebanon Hospital yesterday morning. Miah Caceres was born in the backseat of the car on the way to the hospital.

After being open for more than two years, radios still do not work in the Bronx Hall of Justice.

New In The Tremont Tribune

May's Tremont Tribune is on the streets and online. Check out some of our latest stories:

  • The primary race for Pedro Espada's state senate seat is getting crowded, with Community Board 7 manager Fernando Tirado and former Gillibrand staffer Gustavo Rivera both declaring their candidacy. 
  • Speaking of Espada: some coverage of his current legal woes, as well as his recent financial contributions to a three local groups
  • Tenants in two apartment buildings on Garden Street, owned by Milbank Real Estate, have found themselves living in terrible conditions after their buildings went into foreclosure last year. Now, a legal group is working on behalf of residents in ten other Milbank buildings to hold the bank that oversees the mortgage responsible for maintenance. 
  • Assemblyman Michael Benjamin, whose district covers much of CB6, says he won't be seeking re-election this fall. He's toying with the idea of running against Congressman Jose E. Serrano instead. 
  • A group of students from PS/MS 3 have scored a grant to help fund their quest to clean up a local park.
For more, including some great photos of recent events and our community calendar, visit www.tremonttribune.org. And don't forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Have Your Say on the Future of the High Bridge

The High Bridge at dusk, photographed from the Bronx side of the Harlem River

Barring delays, the High Bridge, a long-closed pedestrian bridge which spans the Harlem River connecting Highbridge in the Bronx with Washington Heights in Manhattan, will reopen in 2013, following a $62 million renovation.

This spring, the Parks Department held two public-visioning meetings - one in Manhattan, one in the Bronx - during which local residents and parks advocates shared their ideas for the bridge's future with a gaggle of city officials, designers and architects.

If you missed them, and still want a say in the design process, you can fill out this form which was recently posted on the Parks Department's website.

Scenes From Bronx Weekend

Our talented colleague and contributor Adi Talwar, a Bronx transplant, took the above shots from the Bronx Parade on Sunday. The parade complemented, and led into, the food, fun and music festival on the other side of Mosholu Parkway.

Luckily, the rain didn't crash the party, as it has, frustratingly, on previous parade/festival days. The Bronx News Network, the only media organization with a booth at the festival, set up shop on the south side of Mosholu Parkway, just a couple of hundred of feet away from the main stage near Bainbridge Avenue.

We had a chance to meet lots of people, some fans of our work, some just getting to know us. Overall, there was a good-natured spirit and vibe to the entire event, which was highlighted by an energetic performance by hip-hop legends the Sugar Hill Gang (below), accompanied by the equally legendary, and buffed, Bronx MC Mele Mel. (Not sure about the spelling -- I've also seen it spelled "Melle Mel." If anyone has more insight on this, let me know in the comments section.)

It was just one highlight in a day full of good performances. Congratulations to everyone who participated. One last note, just to give you an idea of the eclectic nature of the day. Directly across from the street from us at the festival was an ROTC recruitment table, where uniformed teenagers did push-ups and toted replica machine guns, and Good News Christian Church, which had set up a prayer station.

Bronx News Roundup, May 25

A 14-year-old girl has gone missing from her home on East 168 Street, and the police are asking for the public's help in locating her. 

The Daily News' "Best of the Borough Series" looks at Bronx food, Bronx culture, Bronx sports, and the Bronx for kids.

Mayor Bloomberg says the so-called living-wage bill is "poorly thought out and will not work."  The bill (full name: The Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act ) is sponsored by council members Oliver Koppell and Annabel Palma.  It's being introduced today.

Thirty-six individuals have so far graduated from the Osborne Association's Green Career Center in Morrisania.  The center, which opened in March, provides former prisoners with the skills to land a "green" job.

On her blog, a Bronx teacher laments the lack of news coverage Sunday's double-murder in Mount Hope has received. 

This summer, several Bronx pols "will find themselves in real knockdown brawls to hang onto their seats," says the Daily News' Bob Kappstatter.

The Bronx Democratic Party has endorsed Eric Stevenson, a district leader who's running for Michael Benjamin's assembly seat.  Benjamin plans to step down and may challenge Congressman Jose Serrano

In an editorial at the weekend, El Diario la Prensa criticized the National Puerto Rican Day Parade Committee for giving State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. a lifetime achievement award.  Diaz is undeserving because of his opposition to gay marriage, the paper argues.  You can read Diaz's response to the editorial here

iPADs are banned from the Yankee Stadium. 

The Bronx Zoo's lion cubs are nameless no moreDaily News' readers picked out Nala, Adamma and Shani.

The Bronx Halls of Justice has been open two years, but court officers' radios still don't work inside, increasing the likelihood of prisoner escapes.

The first in a two-part series about life in River Park Towers, a huge housing complex in Morris Heights on the edge of the Harlem River.  While the view is stunning, the buildings and apartments have seen better days. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Backed By Bronx Activists, A 'Small Victory' for Edda Lopez

Edda Lopez Speaks at Rally from Alex Kratz on Vimeo.

[Update, 5:55 p.m., Tuesday: Spoke earlier today with Justin Haines, Lopez's lawyer. My brain still hurts. This thing is a million times more complex than I thought, but this post will at least give you an idea of what's going on here. We'll have a more fleshed out version of the story in next week's Norwood News. Also, apologies to Councilman Fernando Cabrera, who we left out of the first draft of this post. Cabrera, who showed up with at least two staff members -- Greg Faulkner and Zellnor Myrie -- said he canceled an event to be there and spoke at the rally.]

Everything was going great for Edda Lopez 15 years ago. You could say she was living the American Dream here in the Bronx. She had a good job, a good husband and a family. She became a homeowner.

But her world quickly began to crumble (see video above), starting with the death of her husband from diabetes complications. Soon, she became ill herself and eventually lost her job.

In an effort to keep her home, Lopez attempted to refinance her mortgage, but says she was swindled by a mortgage broker into accepting a so-called "balloon" mortgage. The monthly loan payments eventually ballooned to the point where she couldn't keep up with them, although she continued to make partial payments.

Recently, Lopez took advantage of a new federal program called the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), which gives banks incentive to modify the terms of loans in order to make them more affordable for homeowners like Lopez.

Despite keeping up with her new payment plan, Lopez found out from Bank of America (which owns her mortgage) that her house was going up for sale and that she would be evicted in just two weeks. She says she had only found out because she called the bank for another reason.

That's when leaders of her church, New Day, teamed up with organizers and activists from the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition to fight her eviction. They enlisted the help of lawyers from the Legal Aid Society, Councilman Fernando Cabrera, the Borough President's Office and staffers from Congressman Jose E. Serrano's office and then organized a rally in front of the Bank of America on the corner of Fordham Road and Valentine Avenue, last Thursday afternoon. (Watch video of New Day Pastor Doug Cunningham at the rally below.)

Doug Cunningham at B of A Rally from Alex Kratz on Vimeo.

Before the rally even began, a Bank of America vice president in North Carolina, called Lopez's lawyer, Justin Haines, and said they were not familiar with the loan modification terms or Lopez's payment history as the bank had only acquired it (when it acquired Wilshire Credit Corporation) in March. Haines also said they wanted to set up a meeting to talk about the terms of the loan, which local Coalition activist Jospeh Ferdinand hailed as "small victory."

“Bank if America is the new loan service, so they have to get up to date with all the cases that Wilshire left them with,” Haines said at the rally. Haines said that, unfortunately, homeowners like Lopez who are facing swift eviction with little notice or understanding is not uncommon. Fortunately, he said, Lopez had the support of local organizations like her church and the Coalition and elected officials.

Brad German, a spokesperson for Freddie Mac, said Bank of America should have had all of Lopez's loan information and payment history in a file provided by the previous lender.

Bank of America could not immediately be reached for comment.

Upcoming Bronx Events Through May 31

Tuesday, May 25

Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos
Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos presents solo and group exhibitions of art produced in various media and through interdisciplinary practices that connect artists, communities, and ideas within and beyond the Bronx. Longwood's Project Room was created in 1991 to focus on Bronx and Bronx-based artists who present solo and experimental projects that aim to address issues of politics of identity, class, gender and urban and popular culture. , Tuesday, May 25, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. For more information, visit the Bronx Council on the Arts website, or call (718) 518-6728.

Emily Dickinson's Garden: The Poetry Of Flowers
See spring in The Garden through the eyes of one of America's most beloved literary figures, Emily Dickinson. This exhibition combines her fascinating life's story with her passion for nature, all set in 250 acres of living beauty. Tuesday, May 25, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.. Visit The New York Botanical Gardens website for more information.

Baby Story Time
Babies from birth to 18 months old with their parent/caregiver can enjoy great books, lively songs, rhymes, and meet other babies in the neighborhood. Tuesday, May 25, 10:30 a.m. at Soundview Branch Library, 660 Soundview Avenue (at Seward Ave.).

Garden and Conservatory Walk
Join us for an hour-long tour of seasonal garden highlights. Free with admission to the grounds. Tuesday, May 25. Begins at 11 a.m., visit the Wavehill Public Garden and Cultural Center website for more information or visit the gardens at West 249th St. and Independence Ave.

Tuesday Teen Takeover!
The library is yours on Tuesday! Play games, challenge your friends in a video game competition, hop on a laptop, and check out all new materials on the shelves. For ages 12 to 18. 4 p.m., Tuesday, May 25. The Riverdale Branch Library is located on 5540 Mosholu Avenue (at W. 256th St.)

Wednesday, May 26

Community Board 5 Meeting
Community Board 5’s next general board meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 26, at South Bronx Job Corps, located at 1771 Andrews Ave. All are welcome. For more information, call CB5 at (718) 364-2030 or e-mail brxcb5@optonline.net.

Shoot It Right! Free Workshop
This is the perfect workshop for artists with a desire to photograph their artwork. Learn to create an inexpensive photography setup on a budget. Learn easy focusing, lighting, and exposure techniques for documenting 2D, 3D, and very small artwork. *Bring your own digital camera to this workshop if you have one. Wednesday, May 26, 5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m. Hostos Community College, room C – 354 450 Grand Concourse.

Yoga in Nature
Starting in May, Find refuge from city life by practicing seasonal yoga. Decrease stress and increase your energy by focusing on your posture, breath control and meditation. Classes are led by Neem Dewji, certified in Hatha and Therapeutic Yoga from The Yoga for Health Foundation in Bedfordshire, England, and The Integral Yoga Institute in NYC. Sessions are held outdoors only and are weather dependent. 10 a.m., Wednesday, May2 6, Wavehill Public Garden and Cultural Center.

Gather with other stichers to crochet. Perhaps pick-up a few tips and tricks as you work on your own creations! Starts at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, May, 26. Grand Concourse Library, 155 East 173rd Street (east of Grand Concourse)

Bronx News Roundup, May 24

It's Monday and it's cloudy... not a great combo but here's some Bronx news to help awaken your senses!

Two 19-year-old men were killed early yesterday at East Burnside and Walton, in what police say was a gang-related attack. Irving Cruzwas pronounced dead at the scene and Raffy Taveras, who was shot in the neck, was pronounced dead at Bronx Lebanon hospital. No arrests have been made.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr and local health advocates, are taking a stand against Big Tobacco, announcing the formation of the Bronx Smoke-Free Partnership, a group aimed at stopping tobacco marketing towards children in the borough, as well as creating more smoke-free outdoor spaces.

The New York State Health Department released an online map of areas in the Bronx that are at high risk for cancer.

Hundreds of Bronx residents showed up for the bone marrow donor drive this weekend in effort to find a match for the 6 -month old baby girl who has a rare blood disorder.

City Council members Oliver Koppell and Annabel Palma may cause an uproar in City Hall, when they propose a bill that guarantees a wage of at least $10 for workers of development projects that have received more than $100,000 in public subsidies.

Bruckner's Bronxdale Houses will be renamed in honor of former resident, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

The Yankees, Unobstructed May 24

Mediocrity happens. The baseball season is long and teams inevitably go through slumps. But dropping two of three to the Mets? For shame.

That's the LAST PLACE New York Mets. The team so ugly even Willets Point is like "Ew, what an eyesore."

This weekend's Subway Series capped off what was an especially unproductive 17-day stretch for the Yankees. Today is their first off-day since May 6. In that period, they've gone 7-10, including five losses in the past week (two to the Mets).

17 days ago, we yearned for a team with solid hitting in the three and four spots. Mark Teixeira and Álex Rodriguez had unproductive Aprils, but the Yankees were succeeding anyway. The theory went something like — "if the Yankees are this good now, when AROD and Teixeira start hitting well, they'll be an Almighty Super-team. A squad so powerful league commissioner Bud Selig will have no choice but to institute a 10-run mercy rule, just to protect the fragile egos of the other teams and their fans."

We were so innocent then. So naïve.

As AROD and Tex found their swings, the Yankees found pitching mediocrity. For the season leading up to May 6, the Yankees had a 3.45 team ERA, in the 17 days since, they've managed a 4.71. In their last eight games, they've held their opponents to less than five runs only once.

Sitting six games behind first place, it's important to keep history in perspective. Last May, the Yankees were just as inconsistent, Joe Girardi's job was in jeopardy and baseball's favorite topic was that the Bronx's new stadium was a haven for other team's home runs.

By the end of June, the Yankees were dominating the American League East.

Let's hope for a similar recovery. I think it's coming.

NOTE: Make sure to check back every week for The Yankees, Unobstructed, BNN's weekly Yankees opinion column.

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

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Chinese Acrobats at the Lehman Center

These photographs were made last year during the performance of the National Acrobats Of China at the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts. Tomorrow the Golden Dragon Acrobats will be performing at the Lehman Center. It is going to be an awsome show! Hope to see you all there. Click here for show details. Photos and slide show by Adi Talwar.

Charter Schools Debate on BronxTalk

This Monday night on BronxTalk two education experts will debate the effectiveness of charter schools.  Beginning at 9:00pm host Gary Axelbank will talk with Peter Murphy, the Policy Director of the New York Charter School Association, and Dr. Jessica Shiller of the Department of Middle and High School Education at Lehman College about student performance, a cap on the number of charter schools, funding, teacher's union issues, and more.

Viewers who want to have their say can call into the show at 718-960-7241.

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

Friday, May 21, 2010

Bronx Week(end)

Here's what's on tap for the last two days of Bronx Week.  And don't forget to stop by our booth on Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, May 22

The Bronx Ball: The Bronx Tourism Council hosts its fund-raiser gala, The Bronx Ball, under a tent at Orchard Beach from 6 to 11 p.m. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. leads a welcome-home tribute to Bronx-born celebrities on the eve of their induction to the Bronx Walk of Fame.

Environmental Day: Come to River Park on Boston Road and East 180th Street at 10 a.m. to learn the important part trees and other fauna play in our ecosystem. Bring your old clothes to be recycled and get your face painted while you’re at it. First 300 guests will get free hot dogs!

Sunday, May 23

Bronx Volunteer Recognition Day Ceremony: Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. will honor the young people who participate in the New York Police Department Law Enforcement Explorer program. The event starts at 9:30 a.m. at the Bronx County Building, 851 Grand Concourse at East 161st Street.

Bronx Walk of Fame: Come see Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. induct some famous Bronxites into the Bronx Walk of Fame on the Grand Concourse at 161st Street. The event begins at 11 a.m.

Bronx Week Parade: Mosholu Parkway will host this year’s Bronx Week Parade. Thousands of marchers, including bands, students, athletes, and community groups, will celebrate the Bronx in this year’s parade, which salutes Bronx kids. The parade begins at noon at Mosholu Parkway and Bainbridge Avenue.

Bronx Week Food & Arts Festival: After the parade, this festival will feature Bronx artists, restaurant samples, vendor booths, games, and a health pavilion with free screenings. The event starts at noon on Mosholu Parkway.

Bronx News Roundup, May 21

Happy Friday everyone. To the news! 

We'll start with this ugly, sad and disturbing story about a 14-year-old girl stabbed to death in Melrose. The mother's ex-convict, pseudo-boyfriend was arrested in connection with the murder. More from NY1 here.

More (budget related) ugliness : Arts and cultural institutions could be hit hard by Mayor Bloomberg's budget cutbacks. The New York Botanical Garden, here in the Bronx, could lose 42% of its city funding, which officials there say could lead to significant staff cuts and scaled back hours and programming. 

Housing ugliness: A housing court judge took the rare step of issuing an arrest warrant for the landlord of a building on E. 172nd St. that has racked up more than 600 code violations. 

Ok, now for some happier stories. There's going to be a revival of the old hootenanny music scene at Lehman College tonight.

A look at the extreme remote control car scene on the Bronx River near Gun Hill Road.

The Times reviews the new Civil Rights art exhibit at the Bronx Museum of the Arts.

The Bronx Lighthouse charter school received a $100,000 technology grant.

The intersection at E. 203rd Street and Mosholu Parkway, near PS 8, is getting a much-needed crossing guard.

A lawyer who is suing a Bronx judge for not paying back a $500,000 loan (that he allegedly used to pay off gambling debts) had here house raided by investigators early this morning.

BxNN at Bronx Week Festival This Sunday

The Bronx News Network will be at the Bronx Food, Art, and Music Festival this Sunday from 12-5.

Stop by our booth at Mosholu Parkway and Van Cortlandt Avenue to say hello. Sign up for our mailing list and win a chance to receive a $25 gift card.

--The Editors

NBC News: Meet New York's Worst Buildings

NBC News interviewed me about University Neighborhood Housing Program's Building Indicator Project database, and took a look at a number of buildings, including 2710 Bainbridge Ave. You can read more about it here.

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcnewyork.com/video.

Bronx Street Games Featured in New Film

The games we used to play - stickball, hopscotch, skully, Johnny-on-the-pony, and more - are featured in the new film New York Street Games that premiered Thursday night at the Village East cinema in Manhattan.  Well-known Bronxites like Regis Philbin, Robert Klein, and Robert Abrams and numerous others talk about growing up playing those games.  This film, created by Matt Levy, is a delight for those of us who converted brooms handles to stickball bats and melted crayons into bottle caps to get our skully pieces to  glide just right.  It also provides history and little-known facts about the games, as well as dust-off precious childhood memories you had forgotten long ago.  If you grew up in the Bronx (or any New York neighborhood) it's a must-see.   The New York Street Games DVD and a Street Games rules booklet will be available beginning Tuesday, May 25.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

B'N Fit 5K Walk-A-Thon, This Saturday

The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore and the Mosholu Montefiore Community Center are hosting a 2 mile walk-a-thon on Saturday, May 22nd from 8 to 10 a.m.

The event is being organized by the hospital's Division of Adolescent Medicine's B'N Fit Program, which aims to address adolescent obesity and engage teens in combating it. It's $10 to register, and all fees and donations help fund the program.

Participants will meet at The New York Botanical Gardens at Kazimiroff Boulevard, Mosholu gate entrance. For more information, contact Elicia (718) 920-2232 or BNFIT@montefiore.org or go here to register: http://giving.montefiore.org/bnfit

Bronx News Roundup, May 20

Police are asking for help in locating the man who robbed a woman's car in Mott Haven--stealing a container with the remains of her recently cremated mother.

Police are also looking for 14-year-old Moona Choudhary, of 2158 Blackrock Ave., who has been missing since May 17. See this link for a photo.

The four Bronx men who were arrested in February for pelting off-duty cops with snowballs have some new evidence--video surveillance of the incident, where it looks like one of the officers pulls his gun. Watch the video here. The case against the four, who were charged with criminal possession of a weapon, was dropped earlier this month.

State Senator Jeff Klein, who heads the government efficiency task force, lauded Governor Paterson's recent decision to halt overtime pay to state agencies.

There's a new wave of young, Obama-inspired political hopefuls, according to the Daily News--including Pedro Espada challenger Gustavo Rivera.

Ex-Senator Efrain Gonzalez, who pleaded guilty last spring to counts of fraud and conspiracy, asked a federal judge yesterday to grant him a similar sentence as former Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, who was sentenced to two years in prison earlier this month on counts of mail fraud. Prosecutors have asked that Gonzalez get as much as 14 years.

Nine senior centers in the Bronx are on the chopping block as a result of state budget cuts.

A housing court judge issued a warrant for the arrest of a landlord for failing to show up in court and for ignoring orders to fix hundreds of violations at his 1585 East 172nd Street building. 

A group of Riverdale residents stopped the Parks Department from spraying herbicide in Ewen Park.

A look at some of the changes, and non-changes, in Kingsbridge over the years. 

Residents are campaigning to get grocery service FreshDirect to deliver to the Northwest Bronx.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bronx BP: Don't Renew Teaching Fellows Contract

On Monday, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. joined a group of teachers at a union rally and denounced the pending renewal of a $5 million city contract to fund NYC Teaching Fellows, a program that recruits and trains new teachers from other fields.

Diaz said the contract, which was up for a vote this week by the Panel For Education Policy, is illogical in the face of a bare-bones DOE budget.

If budget cuts go through, as many as 8,500 teachers could be laid off, including 20 percent of teachers in the South Bronx, according to schools chancellor Joel Klein.

"It’s the equivalent of the Yankees not paying to resign Derek Jeter, and putting out millions of dollars on a want ad for a new shortstop for the Yankees," Diaz said. "It makes absolutely no sense."

We're still waiting on word from the DOE on the status of the contract, which was up for a vote last night (check back for updates.) Diaz was urging that the vote be postponed; watch the video below for his whole statement, or click here to read a press release. 

Webster Ave. Rezoning Hearing Tonight

Actually, the hearing (at the Bedford Park Senior Center) for the rezoning of Webster Avenue and other surrounding communities is starting at 4 p.m.  Gotta run to cover it. We'll have some post-hearing coverage later this week. 

Here's some background and details.

Tonight: Espada to Host Town Hall Meeting

Sen. Espada at a Mother's Day event earlier this month (Photo courtesy of Franck Laboy)

State Senator Pedro Espada, Jr. is holding a town hall meeting this evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at Davidson Community Center, located at 2038 Davidson Ave. (on the corner of West Burnside Avenue).

According to his press director, Franck Laboy, the meeting is an opportunity for constituents to tell Espada how they feel about their community, and what they see as important.

You may recall that Espada's last townhall meeting was a virtual one.  Tonight, then, is a chance for local residents to talk to him face-to-face. 

Espada, who's been seen a lot in the community of late, is also holding a "Women of Distinction" event this Saturday at Mount Hope Housing Company's community center at 55 Townsend Ave. For more information, call (718) 652-4329.

Bronx News Roundup, May 19

Students from two Bronx middle schools will have their community-inspired lunchroom table artwork displayed throughout city parks this summer.

More than 40 percent of street lights are non-working on major city highways, including the Cross Bronx Expressway and the Major Deegan.

The Times Square bombing suspect stopped waiving his right to a speedy court appearance and made his first appearance in a federal court yesterday. (Not really Bronx specific, but we thought you should know.)

The parents of 6-month-old Sophia Lopez from the Bronx, are searching for a bone marrow donor for their daughter. They are urging Hispanics to come out to the donor drive this Saturday at PS 71 in Pelham Bay.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is scheduled to speak at a Hostos Community College graduation ceremony next month.

The New York City Housing Authority will begin to monitor the energy consumption of tenants within public housing. If the amount of energy used doesn't change, it is a possibility that these tenants will have to begin to pay.

The city's Human Resources Administration is fighting back against Bloomberg's budget cutbacks on case workers and services offered to people with HIV and AIDS. The agency is facing a $75 million cut.

A federal judge refuses to dismiss the case of the four men who claimed to have been pressured into plotting to bomb two synagogues in Riverdale.

BronxTalk Premieres Clinton Students Music Video

This past Monday night, BronxTalk presented the world broadcast premiere of the video De Witt Clinton HS students recently produced on the John Lennon Educational tour bus. The students talked with host Gary Axelbank about their experience producing the video and also presented original spoken word performances. Here's a link to the see the show:

BronxTalk - May 17, 2010
Learn more about the John Lennon Education Tour Bus

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

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bronx News Roundup, May 18

The Bronx Ink takes a long look at landlord Moshe Piller. Despite a reputation for neglecting his buildings, Piller has managed to avoid any serious repercussions, much to the frustration of his long-suffering tenants.

State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. is gearing up for a tough race against Charlie Ramos, of the Bronx for Change group.  (If things turn nasty, perhaps Diaz will gently remind voters of Ramos' criminal record. Then again, Diaz had a similar run-in with the law when he was young man.) 

Still on Diaz, it looks like he won't be officiating at Hiram Monserrate and Karla Giraldo's wedding after all. The couple has broken up. Previously, Diaz insisted they were still in love (despite the assault conviction) and that he would one day marry them.

A Bronx man has been arrested for allegedly robbing a bank in Nassau County some 17 years ago.

Yesterday, Part of the Solution (POTS) broke ground on a new building on Webster Avenue. It's right next door to the old one but three times bigger. The organization runs a food pantry and offers free hair-cuts and access to the Internet, among other things.

The off-duty police officer who was behind the wheel of a car that flipped over on the Bronx River Parkway at the weekend - killing him, his colleague, and injuring four friends - may have been intoxicated.

A wheelchair-bound Parkchester man has been stabbed and beaten by his landlady, police say.

Police are hunting a Bronx man in connection with a murder in Harlem back in March. 

A box containing the ashes of a Queen's woman has been stolen from a minivan in Mott Haven.

The words "I served in Vietnam" are coming back to haunt Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who's running for Senate, and who didn't, actually, serve in Vietnam.  Blumenthal is a graduate of Riverdale Country School.

Da Bakery, a clothes store on Southern Boulevard, sells custom-made clothes to trend-setters seeking to match their attire with their sneakers. 

Desiree-Pilgrim Hunter (one of State Senator Pedro Espada's likely primary opponents) isn't a fan of the Bx12 Select Bus Service on Fordham Road. [via BoogieDowner]

People living in seven apartments building in Co-op City have been told to stop using their balconies because of safety concerns.

Last Saturday, Parkchester celebrated its 70th anniversary.

The neighborhood of Wakefield was featured in Sunday's New York Times' Real Estate section.

At Low-Key Event, Tirado Sets Sights on Espada's Seat

Last night, Fernando Tirado, Community Board 7's district manager, formally announced his decision to run for State Senate in the 33rd Senate District. 

Standing next to the World War I monument on Mosholu Parkway in front of his family and 20 or so friends and neighbors (including three or four CB 7 board members), Tirado gave a brief speech which, while short on specifics as to what he'd do if elected, was high on hope for a better tomorrow.

"For too long we've had to endure the frustration of a government that does not work for the people," said Tirado, who read from a prepared speech. "I tell you today that it's not only time for a change, it's time to move forward from the political culture of inaction that has paralyzed Albany for too long."

Speaking afterwards he said he would continue as district manager until the end of the petitioning process (in July), and that, if he made it onto the ballot, he'd then decide what to do next.  He added, "As you get closer to the primary I am going to ask [the Board] for some time so that I can concentrate on the campaign."

The seat Tirado is after is occupied by Pedro Espada, the powerful yet embattled state senator and majority leader, who could face several challengers in September's Democratic primary.  

So what does Tirado have to say about Espada?  He's not saying, at least for now.  "I'm not going to comment on any candidate including the current senator," he said. "I want people to judge me for me and what I can bring to the table."

Espada wasn't in attendence, but two of his staffers kept an eye on proceedings from the other side of the street.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tonight on Bronxtalk: Broadcast Premiere of Hip-Hop Video

Photo courtesy the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus

Tonight, BronxTalk will feature the broadcast premiere of a music video recorded by DeWitt Clinton High School students on the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, a high-tech production facility that travels the country producing music and videos with high schools, colleges, conventions, community organizations, and concerts.

The Clinton students' video is called "Make it Better - Food4Thought." In addition to showing their video, the students will perform on the show and talk with host Gary Axelbank about making music and working with professional producers and engineers.

For more than fifteen years, BronxTalk has been seen live each Monday night at 9 p.m. on Bronxnet's Cablevision channel 67. It's also on Verizon Fios channel 33 and streamed live at bronxnet.org. Produced by Jane Folloro, BronxTalk is repeated each day at 9:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., and 9 p.m. Archives are available at blip.tv (search for "BronxTalk").

Bronx Events, Through May 23 (The Bronx Week Edition)

As part of Bronx Week, the Bronx Borough President's office turned the Veterans' Memorial Hall in the Bronx County Courthouse into a fully operational spa. In addition to facials, manicures and massages, attendees received information about domestic violence prevention, awareness and services available. This year's focus was on how men can be a part of the solution to stop domestic violence.

This week, we're dedicating this events listing space to all things Bronx Week:

Tuesday, May 18

How to Market your Business with Facebook, Twitter, & More: Bring your company to the next level of online marketing. Jennifer Abernethy, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Social Media Marketing will lead a free workshop that will teach the tricks of the trade behind social media. Bring your laptop, iPad, or Blackberry. The event is at the Bronx Zoo’s Schiff Family Great Hall, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Enter at the Southern Boulevard Gate. Register by calling (718) 590-6032.

Franchise Fair: Want to open a franchise? Go to the Veterans Memorial Hall at the Bronx County Building on Grand Concourse and 161st Street at 5:30 p.m. to learn all the information you need. For more information, call (718) 590-6415.

At 6:30 p.m. Monroe College Online will host a special Bronx Week event to demonstrate how adult students can earn a college degree while maintaining family and employment responsibilities. The event, which will take place in the Monroe College Annex at 2426 Jerome Avenue (one block south of Fordham Road on the east side of the street), will feature a demonstration of the course management system that provides 24/7 access to classes, faculty, and other students. For more information or to reserve a seat, call 800-55-MONROE and ask for Sharon Albert.

Bronx News Roundup, May 17

A little late with the roundup today, but never fear, here's some Bronx news to get you through the afternoon.

Two off-duty NYPD officers were killed in a car crash on the Bronx River Parkway Sunday morning while driving four women home after a party. The four women survived, but were critically injured.

A fifteen-year-old Bronx boy was found stabbed to death in a building on Bouck Avenue after his involvement in a dispute Saturday night.

Politicians and straphangers put the MTA on the spot after exposing the fact the most of the pricey security cameras installed in subway stations aren't working.

Former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerick heads to prison today to begin his 27-33 month sentence.

The family and friends of the the two teenagers who were killed in a shooting last weekend gathered together with the Stop the Violence Coalition and other Bronx residents for a rally against gun violence in Claremont Park Saturday.

A wild car chase in Williamsbridge ended tragically when the driver who was being pursued was shot to death, early Saturday morning.