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Monday, January 31, 2011

Bronx Crime Watch: Police Need Help Identifying Pharmacy Robbery Suspect

Untitled from Alex Kratz on Vimeo.
The NYPD sent out the above video hoping someone can help them identify the man shown methodically robbing Webster Pharmacy, 753 E. Tremont Ave., on Thursday night, Jan. 27. Police say the man made off with more than $600 in cash and watches.

In a press release, police described the robber as being a Hispanic male in his mid-30s or early 40s, with a "thin build."

Anyone with information can call NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at (800) 577-TIPS. You can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website or by texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES), then enter TIP577.

2011 Annual Appeal: Just 3 Weeks Left To Donate to Our Campaign

We're officially at the midpoint of our 2011 annual appeal and so far we've raised $2,471. We've only got three weeks left to reach our goal of raising $10,000 for our programs in 2011, and we're asking for your help. If you have not donated, please donate today! To learn more about our programs, visit our About Us page.

And here's a word from Nick Napolitano, active member of Community Board 7, Norwood resident, and BxNN donor! Both Nick and his wife are dedicated fans of the Bronx News Network and we really appreciate their support.

Nick Napolitano for BxNN from Bronx News Network on Vimeo.

Bronx 'Guidos' on Stage

A new comedic play that's coming to Manhattan's off-off Broadway circuit in March aims to show a different side of New York City's "guidos."

"The Guido Monologues: Evolution of the Italian Americans," opens March 8 at The Producers Club Theater on West 44th Street. The cast and crew, according to a press release, are largely Bronx-born and raised, and the play itself focuses on several characters growing up in the Boogie Down.

But don't expect this to be an episode of "Jersey Shore" on stage, says the producer: the play wants to spread a "more positive message about Italian American culture," than Snooki does. Watch the clip below for more info.

Bronx Weekend News Roundup, Jan. 31

Walked past a sturdy, 60ish woman this morning shoveling her walkway for perhaps the eighth or 15th time this winter. She smiled and rolled her eyes and looked at me. "Just making way for the next one," she said. We both chuckled and cursed, knowing full well, it's not over.

Indeed, the National Weather Service has issued a "Winter Storm Watch" for the Bronx this week and says snow could come as soon as tonight, with more on the way Tuesday, with lingering flurries continuing into Wednesday. Sigh. Gird yourselves, Bronxites.

Story of the Day
A dead Riverdale man, Raphael Klapper, collected 828 votes in the general election for the 31st State Senate District this past fall. Klapper, 85, died in May, but the Conservative Party collected signatures and put his name on the ballot anyway. William Newmark, chairman of the Bronx Conservative Party, said he didn't know Klapper was dead until the Board of Elections called him two months before the election to tell him so.

Which brings us to this question: Who in this situation was most oblivious/inept? The Conservative Party for putting a dead man on the ballot? The Board of Elections for keeping a dead man on the ballot? Or the 828 people who voted for a dead man?

(Note: Democrat Ariano Espaillat won this seat, taking over for new AG Eric Schneiderman. [Follow-up note: this past election, the Conservative Party put up another candidate, John McCarthy, in the 33rd District, without telling McCarthy about it. The Norwood resident found out when he received something in the mail from the Board of Elections.])

Quick Hits
An urban planner at CUNY who helped develop a mobile phone app for finding city landmarks, used his own hand-held device to find the Hall of Fame for Great Americans at Bronx Community College and the Loew's Paradise Theater on the Grand Concourse, below Fordham Road.

A new series on the The Huffington Post uses Milbank Real Estate's disastrous investment in Bronx apartment buildings to highlight how similarly risky ventures across the country are hitting tenants hard this winter. (For BxNN coverage of the Milbank saga, click here.)

Legendary Bronx DJ Kool Herc is reportedly too broke to pay for badly-needed surgery.

Legal nonprofit groups like the Bronx Defenders are using a new Supreme Court ruling to push for lawyers to be more proactive in telling their clients about how pleading guilty could lead to deportation for many immigrants.

Near Yankee Stadium, Muhammed Rashid, a Subway sandwich shop employee, was slashed in the neck yesterday after allegedly refusing to share a cigarette with someone.

After their Van Nest building burned down last year, a Bronx family has struggled to survive.

A Bronx minister was indicted Friday on rape charges.

A Bronx man was sentenced to 46 months for gold robberies in northern Virginia.

[Editor's Note:] Just a reminder to our readers that the Bronx News Network is in the middle of our annual fundraising appeal. If you value quality local journalism, please consider donating so we can continue to bring you news and features, like our daily roundup or our borough events calendar. More details on how to contribute can be found here.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bronx Social Media Week Event

Next week is Social Media Week and Clarisel Gonzalez (PR Sun) is hosting a panel discussion with Bronx bloggers and journalists on Feb. 8 at the PeaceLove Cafe in Melrose. Here's more info.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Bronx News Roundup, Jan. 28

Just a few Bronx news stories to get you caught up on this snow piled Friday afternoon.

A very important cautionary tale from yesterday. Two young Bronx girls collapsed from carbon monoxide poisoning after their mother left them in her running car while she dug it out of the snow. Problem was, fire officials said, the mom neglected to clean the tailpipe, causing carbon monoxide to flood the interior of the car. Both kids are in stable condition and are expected to be fine.

But let this be a stern reminder to all parents digging their cars out of this massive snow build-up: CLEAN THE TAILPIPE FIRST!

More on the death of former Bronx State Senator Guy Velella who died yesterday: Times,  Wall Street Journal, NY1 and WNYC

Bronx-born director Rashaad Ernesto Green recounts his experience showing his new Bronx-based movie "Gun Hill Road" at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. At the end of the week, the movie was picked up by a startup distributor.

Upstate local governments are combining forces to clean up the Bronx River before the water even gets to the Bronx.

Enjoy the weekend.

A Census Preview for NYC

Next month the U.S. Census Bureau will release detailed data from the 2010 decennial census. We will be able to access data down to the tract level via the American Fact Finder tool (just updated to be more user friendly) on the Census website, but only the information gathered from what used to be called the short form. No longer in use are the “long forms” that a sampling of the population got in 2000 or 1990 and were used to give estimates on in depth questions such as time traveled to work, country of birth, and sources of income.

The Census Bureau has switched to a new system to gather this type of data called the American Community Survey (ACS) which began in 2005. The ACS is an annual sampling of the population to gather the same type of data that used to be collected on the so-called long forms every 10 years. One main difference, however, is that the sample size in any given year of the ACS is too small to be reliable below the county level.

What the Census Bureau has done is to combine ACS data into three- and five-year pools to make better estimates. Three-year estimates (e.g., 2006-2009 data) have been available for a couple of years, but only down to the PUMA level (Public Use Microdata Areas, in New York City also called Sub-Borough Areas which closely align to Community Districts with some exceptions).

Five-year estimates were just released on the AFF site last month and allow users to get detailed data at the tract level. While this represents the average characteristics over the 5-year period of time of data collection, the larger sample size means the data is more accurate. It also allows an ongoing look at neighborhood demographic change instead of waiting 10 years for new data.

Here is the difference between the data sets according to the Census Bureau.

I downloaded the new five-year (2005-2009) data for New York City last week and made a couple of maps. For now I just plotted the PUMA level (Community Board approximations) data and will work on some tract level maps in the near future. Consider it a preview of the barrage of Census data we should be getting over the next few months. I tried to pick some data-sets that we are not as used to seeing. Click on any of the map images to view larger versions.

Percent of Population that did not move in the previous 12 months:
While homeowners are less likely to move than renters, the foreclosure crisis has likely had a strong effect on this data, causing many homeowner families to move who would not have otherwise.

Percent of Population under the age of 18:

Percent of Households that speak English and another language at home:
Here it’s evident that the largest concentrations of bilingual and polyglot households in the City are in the Bronx and Queens. The highest percentage in the City is in Kingsbridge Heights/Mosholu (more or less Bronx Community Board 7).
More maps after the jump...

Bronx Foodie: Hearty Marinara Sauce with Whole Wheat Penne

The weather has been keeping me in the house quite a bit and I've been taking advantage of the time by cooking lots of yummy meals. (Don't forget it's Bronx Foodie's new years resolution to cook 50% of all meals at home.)It's tough to go grocery shopping when it's snowing every other day. But if you pick one day a week and keep your cupboards and freezers well stocked with things like rice, beans, tomato sauce and frozen vegetables, you will always have good ingredients for cooking a healthy meal.

Today I'm sharing a recipe for a hearty marinara sauce with whole wheat pasta. I had a craving for spaghetti with ground beef, but since I'm making an effort to eat less meat, I tried to recreate the flavor with portobello mushrooms and eggplant. This would make a great lunch to bring to work. You could also make it for dinner and sprinkle some mozzerella cheese on top and put it in the oven to melt the cheese. I tried it both ways, but actually prefered the no cheese version.

In terms of ingredients, I chose the portobello mushrooms because they have a "meatier" taste than regular mushrooms. For the eggplant, I used what the local produce market labeled as "dominican eggplant", which is the small light purple kind. I used mostly dried spices, because that's what I had in my kitchen. Like most home cooks, I don't usually measure, so add a few shakes of each ingredient and then taste as you go. Basil and garlic tend to make things sweeter and oregano has a stronger, more bitter taste.

Hearty Marinara Sauce with Whole Wheat Penne
1 package of baby portobello mushrooms, diced
1 small eggplant, skin removed and diced
2 tablespoons of minced garlic
1/4 cup of white onions
garlic powder, salt, pepper, basil, and oregano to taste
1-2 cups of whole wheat penne pasta, cooked (add more to have leftovers)
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce

In a pan, add some olive oil and garlic on low heat. I love garlic so I tend to use a lot, but you can decrease the amount if it's too much for you. After 1-2 minutes, add the onions until the onions are cooked, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and the eggplant, along with garlic powder, salt, pepper, basil, and oregano and let them cook for about 10-15 minutes. Make sure to constantly mix the vegetables and if they start to stick to the pan, add a little more oil.

Once the vegetables are cooked, add the marinara sauce and let everything mix together for about 15-20 minutes and then serve over pasta.

[Editor's Note:] Just a reminder to our readers that the Bronx News Network is in the middle of our annual fundraising appeal. If you value quality local journalism, please consider donating so we can continue to bring you news and features, like our daily roundup or our borough events calendar. More details on how to contribute can be found here.

BxNN Annual Appeal: Donate Today!

We'd like to remind everyone that we are in the middle of our annual fundraising appeal. If you value the news and information that you get on this blog, please donate to our campaign today!

If you'd like to go straight into PayPal, click here. If you have any questions about how your donation will be used, feel free to email me, BxNN's Development Associate, at isalazar@mpcbronx.org.

Even small donations will add up to make a big difference for our programs.

And check out videos from some of our fans, Rosemary Ordonez-Jenkins of Phipps Community Development Corporation and Councilman Fernando Cabrera. We'll have more videos on Monday, so stay tuned. In case you missed this week's video, here's Andrew Boryga, a graduate of our Bronx youth journalism program. After completing our program, Andrew went on to intern and write for The New York Times. Currently, Andrew is a sophomore at Cornell University.

Andrew Boryga for BxNN from Bronx News Network on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bronx News Roundup, Jan. 27

Former Bronx State Sen. Guy Velella died this morning after a battle with cancer; he was 66 years old. Velella served in Albany for decades before a bribery scandal ended his political career.

The New York Times' David Gonzalez on the history of the cross country course at Van Cortlandt Park--a "legendary"and grueling trail for distance runners.

The first Montesorri public charter school to open in New York City will be in the Bronx this fall, in Mott Haven. The schools are known for their unique, hands-on learning techniques.

Parking tickets are becoming a major expense for business owners in the city. One Bronx trucking company spent $450,000 in parking tickets and legal fees last year, according to the News.

Bronx Museum of the Arts has an exhibit this winter and spring featuring the works of early African-American artist Elizabeth Catlett and her influence on later generations of artists.

Police are looking for the suspect in a robbery that took place last month on Southern Boulevard in Morrisania. Video at the cut.

A Bronx man shot to death at a bar in Throgs Neck during a mob hit in 1999 may have been killed in retribution for his own role in a gang murder, his brother told investigators.

Predictions that a gentrifying Mott Haven would make the neighborhood the next Williamsburg were a little premature, amNY says.

The Bluestone Group is looking to sell the debt on a portfolio of six deteriorated Bronx buildings, which the company bought just last spring.

Speaking of Mott Haven: a husband and wife team there started up their own vegan cookie business, with help from the BOEDC.

Coyote sightings, apparantly, are not that unusual in Riverdale these days. A tips from experts: leave them alone.

The Bronx will finally get its own ice skating rink next year at Van Cortlandt Park.

[Editor's Note:] Just a reminder to our readers that the Bronx News Network is in the middle of our annual fundraising appeal. If you value quality local journalism, please consider donating so we can continue to bring you news and features, like our daily roundup or our borough events calendar. More details on how to contribute can be found here.

Fox News' Glenn Beck Knocks Co-Op City

The Bronx took another hit on Cable TV this week when right-wing political pundit Glenn Beck compared  Co-Op City, the borough's massive housing cooperative development, to a socialist country.

Last week, Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., blasted the TV show "American Idol," for its negative depictions of the borough, after one contestant took camera crews on a tour of his former home on the Grand Concourse.

Glenn Beck, of course, is no stranger to controversy and stirring up anger. His hour-long show consists of him standing before a TV monitor and giant chalkboard, usually ranting against liberal politics.

In Tuesday's episode--the entirety of which is embedded above--Beck rails against the idea of social equality and uses Co-Op City as an example of  "a place where everyone’s life is interchangeable." His comments start at the 34-minute mark.

"Sounds like these beautiful complexes—this is in New York City," a sarcastic Beck says to the camera, as a photo of Co-Op City appears on the screen behind him. "Don’t you want to live there? Oh, man. That is so beautiful. That’s the great society for you, right there. And those are the lush ones."

Bronx officials and Co-Op City residents immediately fired back.

"How dare he?" Councilman Jimmy Vacca told the Daily News. "I'd like to know the last time Glenn Beck stepped into Co-Op City."

What do you think of Beck's remarks? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Snow Commute: No Bronx Buses

(File photo courtesy of Sen. Diaz's office)
Morning, folks. The MTA website seems to be having some technical issues, most likely from all the harried commuters who are trying to visit it at once. But they've posted a winter service advisory update to let us know that bus service in the Bronx is suspended right now (bus service in the other boroughs is being restored, slowly.)

As for trains, the agency says most lines are running, but expect delays all around. You can check here for twitter updates on specific lines. 

[Editor's Note:] Just a reminder to our readers that the Bronx News Network is in the middle of our annual fundraising appeal. If you value quality local journalism, please consider donating so we can continue to bring you news and features, like our daily roundup or our borough events calendar. More details on how to contribute can be found here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tropical Color In the Bronx

Yesterday after a 30 minute walk in the snow the Caribbean Garden exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden was a great place to spend a couple of hours observing the play between light and plants. If you want a dose of warm weather and tropical color, head on over to the Caribbean Garden exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden. Please click here for details.

Bronx News Roundup, Jan. 26

Yup, more snow. A winter storm warning is in effect today until 6 p.m., so bundle up; the weather folks are saying four to eight inches.

President Obama gave his second State of the Union Address last night, one that called for a bipartisan effort to fix the nation's economy and a proposed 5-year spending freeze.

Salon.com has named Bronx Rep. Eliot Engel number three on a list of Congress' "top five biggest aisle hogs"--politicians who stake out an aisle seat before a big speech in hopes of getting a handshake and a few words from the President. Check out this video of the worst offenders through the years:

The family of a 24-year-old Melissa Barthelemy, one of four victims believed to have been murdered by a serial killer on Long Island, say they received taunting phone calls on the woman's cell phone in the days after she disappeared.

Police are searching for a group of ten men who shot up a Melrose street last night, killing a 21-year-old man.

A Bronx woman pleaded not guilty yesterday to manslaughter charges for hitting and killing a woman with her car in Manhattan in November.

A Lehman College student stuck in Chile during protests there this month became the unofficial spokesman for about 1500 other stranded tourists, and earned himself a certificate of appreciation from the U.S. State Department.

Plans to lay seven miles of pipe from Van Cortlandt Park to Hunts Point have been scrapped by the city due to soaring costs. The plan was part of the ongoing Croton Water Filtration Plant project.

A Bronx couple is facing jail time for animal cruelty charges after nearly 100 emaciated cats were found in their artist's loft in Brooklyn. A neighbor told the Brooklyn paper the two were simply trying to care for the neighborhood's strays.

The widow of a murdered Throgs Neck man gave chilling testimony in court yesterday against her husband's accused killer, an alleged mob man.

A mugger tried to steal the cell phone of former Gov. George Pataki's eldest daughter at the Freeman Street subway stop.

The State Senate's Republican majority gave committee chairmanship roles to Jeff Klein and the other members of his Independent Caucus. Klein will chair the Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.

A 17-year-old student at Celia Cruz High School for Music was found dead in the snow on a Harlem street over the weekend. Loved ones of Gregory Willis Jr. say they are baffled by the quiet teenager's mysterious death; autopsy results are pending.

[Editor's Note:] Just a reminder to our readers that the Bronx News Network is in the middle of our annual fundraising appeal. If you value quality local journalism, please consider donating so we can continue to bring you news and features, like our daily roundup or our borough events calendar. More details on how to contribute can be found here. 

Update on Fundraising & How You Can Support Our Youth Journalism Program

As you may know, we're in the middle of our 2011 fundraising campaign, and so far we've been able to raise $1,920. If you have not sent your contribution yet, please consider donating today and help us raise $10,000 by February 18th.

Your support will help us continue our programs this year, which include publishing our newspapers, producing our blog, and running our youth journalism program.

Our youth program, the Bronx Youth Journalism Initiative, is now in its fourth year. Under the guidance of experienced editors and BxNN staff members, students learn the basics of reporting and writing articles. As few Bronx high schools have student newspapers or journalism classes, our program provides an important resource to high school students in the Bronx. Take a look at this clip from one of our first students, Andrew Boryga, a sophomore at Cornell University, who after completing our program went on to intern and write for the New York Times.

Andrew Boryga for BxNN from Bronx News Network on Vimeo.

The spring session starts next week. Click here for more information. Your donation will really make a difference. Please donate today!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bronx Youth Journalism Program--Deadline Extended!

The Bronx News Network, in collaboration with College Now, is running a free journalism program for Bronx high school students. We've extended our deadline to this Friday, Jan. 28, and we're looking for a few more eager applicants.

Applications can be downloaded here. On a separate piece of paper, please also tell us about yourself, your academic and extra-curricular interests, and why you are applying to this program. Your essay should be at least 400 words long and must be typed. Fax both your essay and the completed application form to our office at (718) 324-2917.

The next semester starts on Feb. 2. Classes will be held at Hostos Community College at 450 Grand Concourse on Wednesday afternoons from 4 to 6 p.m., and run for 12 weeks.

More details here.

Bronx Crime Watch: Police Seek Shooting Suspects

Police are still searching for two suspects involved in the post-Christmas shooting of a 16-year-old boy.

The unnamed victim, a Hispanic male, was shot once in the upper leg during a dispute with two other young men at the corner of Bainbridge Avenue and E. 212th Street, in the early morning hours of Dec. 26. The injured boy was removed to Montefiore Medical Center in stable condition, according to a spokesman for the NYPD.

Police released video surveillance stills (above) of the two suspects, who fled the scene after the shooting. Both are described as black, thinly built males between the ages of 16 and 18. One suspect was wearing a blue "varsity" jacket with beige sleeves, while the other wore a black puffy coat and was carrying a firearm.

There have been no leads and no arrests, according to police.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1 800 577 TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

All calls are strictly confidential.

[Editor's Note:] Just a reminder to our readers that the Bronx News Network is in the middle of our annual fundraising appeal. If you value quality local journalism, please consider donating so we can continue to bring you news, and features like our daily roundup or our borough events calendar. More details on how to contribute can be found here. 

POTS Community Survey

Local nonprofit Part Of The Solution (POTS) is looking to adjust its food pantry service hours, and they're asking for community feedback to see what hours would be the most benefitial to exisiting and potential clients.

The program provides free supplemental food and some non-food items to families in the following zip codes: 10453, 10457, 10458, 10459, 10460, 10463, 10466, 10467, and 10468. Each household receives enough non-perishable food for 3 days of meals, plus fresh fruits and vegetables.

POTS is asking that residents who live in the above zip codes fill out this quick community survey.

Learn more about POTS by visiting http://www.potsbronx.org/.

Bronx News Roundup, Jan 25

As I'm sure you can see, this never-ending winter has blessed us with more snow this morning. The weather means delays on the 2 line in the Bronx, according to the MTA's website, so give yourself a little extra travel time today if you're taking the train.

Speaking of snow: the City Council held its fifth public blizzard response hearing at Hostos Community College last night, where Residents and Borough President Diaz blasted the city and the Sanitation Department for the slow snow cleanup.

A fire broke out early this morning at three multi-family homes on Arthur Avenue in Tremont, with one tenant taken to St. Barnabas Hospital after going into cardiac arrest.

An NYPD car mix-up resulted in one Norwood resident's arrest--for stealing his own vehicle, the Daily News reports.  Jamieson Prince, 43, is now suing the police department for $1 million.

The driver of a van that flipped over in a fatal accident in September is facing felony charges for driving with a revoked license. The accident killed six people, including the pastor at Joy Fellowship Christian Assemblies in the Bronx, and his wife.

Sen. Jeff Klein and his newly formed Independent Democratic Conference are criticizing the Office of Children and Family Services, which oversees the State's youth prisons, for racking up overtime and compensation claims.

A few Bronx women told the Huffington Post that they think Mayor Bloomberg is out of touch, in response to recent remarks he made about the city's streets being safe for women at night.

Police have identified one of the bodies found near a Long Island beach to be Bronx resident Melissa Barthelemy, 27. Investigators believe a serial killer may be responsible for her death and the deaths of three other woman, who all advertised themselves as sex workers on Craigslist.

As John F. Kennedy High School in Marble Hill prepares for closure next year by the DOE, charter school group New Visions for Public Schools is testing the neighborhood waters. The organization plans to open two new schools on Kennedy's site.

The Wall Street Journal posted this video footage of the explosive excavation of a tunnel at the Croton Water Filtration Plant. The $3 billion project at Van Cortlandt Park has been rife with scandal and delays since it began (here are some archived stories from the Norwood News)

[Editor's Note:] Just a reminder to our readers that the Bronx News Network is in the middle of our annual fundraising appeal. If you value quality local journalism, please consider donating so we can continue to bring you news and features, like our daily roundup or our borough events calendar. More details on how to contribute can be found here.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Local Street Takes Late Reverend’s Name

Daisy Staggers, widow of the late Rev. James B. Staggers, with the new street sign. (Photo by F.G. Pinto)


[Editor's Note: A version of this article first appeared in the latest issue of the Tremont Tribune, which is on the streets now]

On the Anniversary of Martin Luther King JR’s Birthday, a packed congregation came together to honor another great Reverend, the late James B. Staggers, with a street renaming ceremony.

“Rev. James B. Staggers Place” was unveiled by Council Member Joel Rivera and Rev. Staggers’ wife on East 181st Street between Vyse Avenue and Bryant Avenue in front of New Tabernacle Baptist Church.

The choir led by Staggers’ daughter started the ceremony by bringing down the house and everyone to their feet.

Fellow reverends, family and friends, and Council Members including Helen Foster and Joel Rivera then spoke on his many achievements, calling him a loving and caring man.

“I am so proud and happy to see honor restored to my late husband,” said a choked up Daisy Staggers. “He would do anything he could for anyone that needed his help.”

Staggers (December 11, 1925 – September 18, 2008) served as pastor of New Tabernacle Baptist Church for 38 years. During that time he obtained the 501 {c}{3} not-for-profit certification for the church allowing them to establish services such as a food pantry and drug and alcohol programs for the community. He was a member of many religious organizations and conferences throughout the U.S.

Rivera called him a “stabilizing force in the community [who] gave hope in bad times.”

“When a child walks down the street and sees that sign and asks who is that, a story of a struggle will be told,” Rivera, the sponsor of the renaming, added. “Hopefully that child will want to become involved in the church, become a leader.”

Bronx Crime Watch: D.A. Busts 22 Alleged Drug Dealers at River Park Towers

Last week, a grand jury indicted 22 alleged drug dealers from River Park Towers, a complex of high-rise apartment buildings at Richmond Plaza, on the Major Deegan Expressway in Morris Heights. The defendants are charged with multiple counts of selling and possessing cocaine, heroin and marijuana, according to press release from the Bronx District Attorney's Office sent out last week.

The arrests were the result of an undercover investigation launched last June in response to an increase in shootings and other violent incidents at the Towers. The 22 people being charged, who range in age from 23-years-old to 51-years-old, sold drugs to undercover detectives more than 120 times. The deals primarily took place in a public courtyard shared by several of the apartment buildings, which investigators described as a "drug bazaar."

[Editor's Note:] Just a reminder to our readers that the Bronx News Network is in the middle of our annual fundraising appeal. If you value quality local journalism, please consider donating so we can continue to bring you news and features, like our daily news roundup or our borough events calendar. More details on how to contribute can be found here.

Bronx Events: Blizzard Response Hearing

(File photo by Lenny Shutterman)
Finally, an official outlet for all of your snow rage! The City Council is holding a series of hearings in every borough this month to get public feedback on the city's response to the big post-Christmas blizzard. The Bronx hearing will be held tonight at 6 p.m. at Hostos Community College, Savoy Building D, at 120 East 149th Street.

Similar hearings held already in the other boroughs have been tense and emotional, as speakers told stories of unplowed streets trapping ambulances and other emergency vehicles.

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

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

[Editor's Note:] Just a reminder to our readers that the Bronx News Network is in the middle of our annual fundraising appeal. If you value quality local journalism, please consider donating so we can continue to bring you news and features, like our daily roundup or our borough events calendar. More details on how to contribute can be found here.

Bronx News Roundup, Jan. 24

An NYPD officer accidentally shot the elderly father of a suspected drug dealer during a raid on his home in Soundview early Saturday morning. The injured man, 76-year-old Jose Colon, was shot in the stomach after Detrective Andrew McCormack mistakenly fired his gun; he's in stable condition and expected to survive. His son, Alberto Colon, is in police custody for drug possession.

The Times takes a look at the family of McCormack, the officer in the incident, whose police officer father was killed in the line of duty during a standoff with a mentally disturbed man in Pelham Bay back in 1983.

A 16-year-old Bronx girl who was shot in the head last year during a gang shootout on her way to school says she feels a connection to Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who is recovering from a similar injury. Today, Mayor Bloomberg held a press conference at City Hall with dozens of gun violence victims to push for background checks for gun purchases.

The Arizona shooting has also sparked a local response, as Borough President Diaz and Bronx residents who've witnessed gun violence firsthand say that weapon laws need to be stricter.

A man who is already serving a prison sentence for an unrelated crime has been charged with the 1993 slaying of a young Bronx mother. The victim's 4-year-old daughter had identified the man, DeJohn Hoffman, as her mother's killer at the time of her disappearance.

Recognize these burglars? Police released this video that captured two bandits during a robbery of a Hunts Point apartment building, in hopes of catching the suspects. 

A group of pro-choice supporters rallied outside a women's health clinic in Hunts Point on Saturday, the anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade case, which legalized a woman's right to choose in 1973. The participants say they want to make sure abortion remains legal.

The MTA plans to shell out $455 million as part of a "renewal" plan to renovate 29 subway stations in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens, including Zerega and Castle Hill Aves. on the No. 6 line.

More on the Theatre Arts Production Company School, where principal Lynn Passarella is under fire for supposedly letting students coast through with A's in order for the school to score high marks on the DOE's progress report reviews.

A woman accused of dressing like a nurse and kidnapping an infant from a Harlem hospital in 1983 is now in police custody. The child, Carlina White, now 23, was reunited with her biological parents in the Bronx last week.

Assemblyman Peter Rivera, and the nonprofit he funded for years whose executive director is being investigated on corruption charges, both owe their landlord thousands of dollars in rent for former office space at 7 Hugh Grant Circle. Rivera and the group also owe thousands in state and federal taxes. More background here.

According to weather.com, it's a biting 14 degrees in the Boogie Down right now. Here are some tips on staying warm.

[Editor's Note:] Just a reminder to our readers that the Bronx News Network is in the middle of our annual fundraising appeal. If you value quality local journalism, please consider donating so we can continue to bring you news and features like this daily roundup, or our borough events calendar. More details on how to contribute can be found here.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Men's Shelter and Healthcare coming up on BronxTalk

This Monday night two community advocates will talk about the controversial men's shelter in Highbridge.  Beginning at 9:00pm, Ernesto Maldonado, a community leader who heads the Stop the Violence Campaign and the founder and president of the Citizens Activist Network (C.A.N.) and local resident Agnes Johnson will talk about the transition of this facility and its implication to the surrounding neighborhood.

Then on Monday, January 31 two health care experts will talk in detail about health care reform and what it might mean for the Bronx.  It will be an excellent way for Bronxites to get information about what is and is not in the bill so they can make their own plans for health care.

Viewers with questions or comments can call in to both shows at 718-960-7150.

One of New York City's longest running TV talk shows now in its 17th year, BronxTalk is seen each Monday night at 9:00pm on Bronxnet's Cablevision channel 67.  It's also on Verizon Fios channel 33 and streamed live at www.bronxnet.org.  Hosted by Gary Axelbank and produced by Jane Folloro, BronxTalk is repeated each day at 9:30am, 3:30pm, and 9:00pm. Archives are available here: BronxTalk archives

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bronx Foodie: Quick and Healthy Chicken Dinner

I hope everyone is off to a healthy start since the last Bronx Foodie post. Some of you may remember that last week Bronx Foodie set a new year's resolution to encourage our readers to cook half -- seriously, you can do it! -- of all meals at home. Click here for more tips on how to do that.

Now, here's an easy dinner recipe that even non-cooks can handle. Chicken cutlets with mushrooms cooked in wine is a fast recipe to cook that would also make great leftovers for lunch the next day. Pair it with a side of brown rice (just read the box for instructions) or a salad.

Oh and by the way, don't forget about our Bronx News Network fundraiser! Donate today.


Chicken with Mushrooms

4 thinly sliced chicken cutlets
1 box of mushrooms, sliced(either white or baby portobella)
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1/2 cup of dry white wine

Season the chicken on both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic.

Put a large pan over high heat. When it's really hot, drizzle a little oil and then add a tablespoon of butter. Put the cutlets into the pan and cook on both sides for 5-7 minutes each or until they are nice and brown on each side. Take out of pan.

In the same pan add the rest of the butter and cook the mushrooms until they just start to get tender and brown. Then add the wine and cook down by half. Toss the mushrooms on top of the chicken.

If you use thicker cutlets, make sure to insert a meat thermometer and that it reads 180 degrees or higher. If you use thin cutlets, you should be fine.

Update on Our 2011 Annual Appeal

We’d like to update you on our annual appeal, which we’ve been running for about two weeks. So far we’ve raised $1,495, and we’re really thankful for all of our supporters. If you haven’t made your contribution yet, please take some time to donate today. Our goal is to raise $10,000 by February 18 th so that we can continue to run our programs in 2011!

The Bronx News Network is a non-profit organization. The information we provide here, and in our print publications, is free to anyone who wants it, but it costs us a lot of money to produce. We need the support of our readers to make it all work and to grow BxNN so that we can provide more news to more Bronxites.

Your support will help us publish our two bi-lingual monthlies -- the Mount Hope Monitor and the Tremont Tribune -- and run a youth journalism program for high school students.

We also publish the BxNN blog and we want it to be a “home page” for the Bronx and a place for dialogue that leads to community improvement. Our blog is read by many important leaders and decision makers, as well as Bronx residents. Here’s one of our fans, Councilman Fernando Cabrera on why he reads our blog every day.

Fernando Cabrera for BxNN from Bronx News Network on Vimeo.

Donate today! Just click on the “Donate” button at the top right.

Thank you!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bronx Workshop: How to Grow a Profitable Business

Speaking of advice for small business owners (see the post below), the non-profit group Workshop in Business Opportunities is running a 16-week course on how to run a profitable business, at nine locations throughout the city, including one in the South Bronx. We're told there's no set deadline, though applicants are accepted on a first come, first serve basis. The courses start in February. Visit www.wibo.org or see the flyer below for more info.
WIBO Spring11 Workshop

New Bronx Office to Help Small Business Owners

Officials cut the ribbon on SCORE's first Bronx office (photo courtesy of the Borough President's office)
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., and Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation President Marlene Cintron cut the ribbon today on a new Bronx office for SCORE, a nonprofit that offers free counseling for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

The new SCORE office will be in the building that houses the BOEDC, at 851 Grand Concourse, where business owners can seek advice from professional mentors every Thursday from 10 to 4 p.m. You can make an appointment by calling (718) 590-6252.

"Our Bronx businesses need and deserve every resource they can get," Diaz said. "I am thrilled that SCORE has made a decision to provide direct access to its services to Bronx businesses."

Learn more about SCORE on their website: www.scorenyc.org

One More Bronxite of the Year

Though the deadline technically passed, we wanted to mention another nominee we received for Bronxite of the Year--when we asked our readers to tell us about members of their communities who made a difference in 2010. If you missed the original post, you can see everyone who was nominated here.

Reader Shoshana Brown e-mailed us a glowing nomination for longtime teacher and Bronx resident Gail Brown.

"She came to the Bronx in the 1980s and lived in Hunts Point," Shoshana wrote. "She weathered storms of poor landlords and high crime rates to fall in love with a borough that loved her back."

Brown has spent her decades in the Bronx helping her students succeed, designing youth programs and supporting a number of local groups and organizations. She and her students helped turn an empty lot in the South Bronx into a community garden, Shoshana said.

"Gail Brown is a Bronxite that is committed to the community and to creating a world that is safer, positive, and healthy for all people. She sees challenges and takes steps to address them," she wrote.

Thanks again to everyone who sent in their suggestions!

BP Diaz 'Digusted' by American Idol

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., is firing off against last night's episode of "American Idol," where one contender, a 16-year-old boy named Travis Orlando, took camera crews on a tour of the Bronx neighborhood where he grew up.

"You have robberies, you have killings, anything you can possibly imagine, it goes on here," Orlando said of the shelter where he lived with his family, which appears to be on the Grand Concourse. The video, complete with a dramatic musical montage, shows shots of liter on the street and ambulances whirring by, sirens blazing. You can watch the whole thing above, including Orlando's audition (he sings the Beatles song "Eleanor Rigby.")

In a statement sent out this morning, Diaz said he's "disgusted" with the show's treatment of the borough.

"Rather than focus on the amazing revitalization the Bronx has seen over the past three decades, the producers of the show chose instead to highlight the negative stereotypes that have plagued our borough for years," he said. "The portrayal of the Bronx by the producers of American Idol in such an extremely negative light is not only shameful, it does not accurately represent how far the Bronx has come."

What do you all think? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Bronx News Roundup, Jan. 20

Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the organization that matches adult mentors with children and teens, is looking for volunteers in the Bronx. The group received only 27 Bronx mentors last year.

A Bronx woman has been reunited with her daughter, who was kidnapped over two decades ago.

Councilman Oliver Koppell and Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., continue their fight for passage of a Living Wage bill, which stemmed from last year's battle over plans for the Kingbridge Armory. The two pols attended a rally in Harlem last week in support of the legislation, which Mayor Bloomberg and the business community have opposed. 

A 16-year-old boy from the Bronx wowed judges on American Idol this week. Travis Orlando "took viewers on a tour of his rough Bronx neighborhood near the Grand Concourse thoroughfare," according to MTV.com.

Rayvon Guice, 21, of the Bronx, has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for shooting two women in last year's chaotic "wilding" in Times Square on Easter Sunday.

A student from Bronx High School of Science is a semifinalist in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search for his genetic research project.

The family of Betty Williams, the murdered Bronx woman whose body was discovered inside a suitcase on the Upper East Side last month, are trying to reunite with her 3-year-old son. The boy was placed in foster care after his mother struggled with addiction problems.

A couple was killed early yesterday morning in a car accident on the Grand Concourse near East 165th Street.

Pedro Espada's memoir, which never materialized, was meant to be in part a political attack against then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, according to the Post. Investigators have been looking into the proposed autobiography to find out if Espada used money from his Soundview Health Clinics to pay for the ghostwriter he'd hired.

Students at Theatre Arts Production Company High School, on Webster Avenue, say it's easy to get straight A's at the school, which is one of the higher performing in the city. The Department of Education is looking into whether or not grades at the school have been fudged. The Times has more here.

New York Democrats, including Sen. Jeff Klein, are laying off staff this year due to budget constraints. The party had racked up millions in debt during their two years in power.

Bronx Crime Watch: Police Look for Missing 10-Year-Old

Nathaniel Martinez went missing yesterday. (Photo: NYPD)
Police sent out an alert early this morning asking for assistance in tracking down a missing 10-year-old Bronx boy. Nathaniel Martinez (pictured) went missing from his home at 2333 Loring Place North -- just south of Fordham Road and east of Sedgwick Avenue -- yesterday and that he was wearing "a black and red coat, green and white shirt, black jeans and black boots," according to the alert. Nathaniel is described as being 5-feet tall and weighing about 70 pounds. He has dark hair and brown eyes.

If anyone has any information about Nathaniel or thinks they might have seen him, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). You can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers' website or by texting their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. Police say all calls are strictly confidential.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bronx News Roundup, Jan. 19

The state has banned former Sen. Pedro Espada, Jr., and his son from its Medicaid program. Espada is the CEO of the Soundview Healthcare Network, and was criminally indicted for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the string of clinics.

Speaking of Espada: investigators are trying to determine if he used Soundview money to pay a ghostwriter he'd hired back in 2006 to help pen an autobiography. "I think he wanted to be a hero character in his memoir," the writer told the Post of the book, which was never completed.

Don Kirshner, a Bronx-born music producer and television host, passed away yesterday at the age of 76. He had hand in some of the most popular songs and musical acts of the 1950s, including Manhattan's Carole King and fellow Bronxite Bobby Darin.

News for outer borough residents, where yellow city cabs are often hard to come by: Mayor Bloomberg plans to legalize livery cabs to make street pick ups. The proposal has yellow cab drivers irked, saying the move will cut into their income.

The Mayor is expected to make the announcement during his "State of the City" address today, at 1 p.m.

Police have ruled the death of a Bronx couple's 11-day-old baby an accident. The infant was smothered while being carried by her mother in a carrier harness during an outing.

The Bronx saw a shocking 107.7% jump on in the number of murders that took place in the borough's public housing complexes in 2010, compared to the year before.

A Bronx woman was busted trying to use counterfeit $100 bills for her purchases at the Palisades Mall.

Jurors in a Bronx Supreme Court will get to hear a tape of accused killer Daniel Carbuccia's plan to re-enact a scene from the mafia classic "The Godfather," to scare a witness out of testifying against him.

A gorgeous Mediterranean-style mansion in Riverdale's Fieldston Historic District is up for sale. Anyone with a spare $4.5 million want to buy it for me?

Craigslist has starting pulling ads from posters trying to sell the controversial drink Four Loko online. Bronx Sen. Jeff Klein has been on a mission to get the booze-and-caffeine mixed beverage off the market for good. Apparently, you can still buy cans of the stuff on eBay.

Workers at Woodlawn are trying to garner the support of plot owners at the cemetery in an ongoing union dispute over layoffs.

A man who was killed after accidentally plunging his truck into a Wisconsin lake earlier this week has been identified as 43-year-old Peter Ramanand, of the Bronx.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bronx Events: Caribbean Garden Exhibit at the NYBG

Tired of this cold, miserable winter weather? Escape to the Botanical Garden, now through Feb. 27, for its Caribbean exhibit, featuring the garden's most tropical selection of flora. A lush display of banana and mango trees and exotic plants like the butterfly orchid will help you forget, even temporarily, that you have to go home afterwards and shovel your car out of a snow bank.

Tickets are half off for a limited time only, meaning $10 for adults, $9 for students and seniors and just $4 for the little ones. The Garden will also being hosting a visitor photo contest of the exhibit starting this week; more details here.

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

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

One Title Lost, Two Found For Down But Not Out Boxer

By David Greene

Like the roller-coaster life he has lived until now, former middleweight boxing champion Iran "The Blade" Barkley, who recently regained one lost title belt, has now learned he will be getting a second belt--19 years after defeating Thomas "The Hit-Man" Hearns.

Barkley, 50, lost his first belt, the WBC Middleweight Championship belt he'd won from Hearns with Ring Magazine's "Upset of The Year" performance in 1988, back in October when a relative changed the locks to the family home at the Patterson Houses on Third Avenue.

The fighter would get a box of his possessions, minus the coveted belt. Barkley recalled, "I had it where I kept it." He reported the theft of the missing belt on October 28, and the NYPD released a photo of the belt to media outlets on December 8.

Barkley's Middleweight belt was recovered recently after it was
 sold to a sports memorabilia dealer. (Photo by David Greene)
Days later, a sports memorabilia dealer would contact Barkley and return the belt, Barkley recalled, "He didn't want no part of this and gave me back my property." Barkley thanked the man as well as the detectives at the 41st Precinct. Barkley declined to give the seller's name, in hopes of saving what family ties remain.

Barkley now says, "I don't have anything to say, it's a new year now and I'm just going to go on with my life, and I'm going to look forward to something new and better."

"Winning the belt was a great feeling," Barkley says of his first title, now holding his prized green belt with both hands, with Hearns' name written on it in magic marker. He continued, "Knowing that there was a lot of people, believing that I couldn't do it."

Bronx High School Students Wanted for Youth Journalism Program

The Bronx News Network, in collaboration with College Now, is running a free journalism program for Bronx high school students.

The next semester starts on Feb. 2. Classes will be held at Hostos Community College at 450 Grand Concourse on Wednesday afternoons from 4 to 6 p.m., and run for 12 weeks.

Click here for more details.

Bronx News Roundup, Jan. 18

In December 2009, arsonists broke into a Unionport church, scrawling obscenities on the walls and stealing computers before setting the place alight. The church has since bounced back, rebuilding and doubling the size of its congregation.

Workers who claim they were laid off by Woodlawn Cemetery after joining a union, rallied outside the cemetery yesterday afternoon. They've previously accused their supervisors of racism.

Last year, 27 people were murdered in Bronx housing projects, up from 13 in 2009.

A Bronx boxer is returning to the ring after a 25-year absense.

Three Bronx men have been arrested for allegedly using counterfeit bills at a mall in Middletown in upstate New York.

Jorje Jimenez, a Lehman College student and possibly the best wrestler in the city, could be new Jersey-bound, dealing a blow to those trying to promote the sport here in New York.

State Sen. Jeff Klein's breakaway Independent Democratic Conference is already in trouble, says the Daily News' Bob Kappstatter in his weekly column

State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. is accusing Gov. Andrew Cuomo of "blackmailing" New York.

A Bronx gymnast with bags of potential is on the way back after a serious injoury.

A Q & A with Majora Carter, the founder of Sustainable South Bronx who now runs her own consultancy firm.

Youngsters from the Bronx and Westchester took part in the third annual Intergenerational Martin Luther King, Jr., Great Debaters Contest on Saturday morning.

More on Assemblyman's Peter Rivera ties to a non-profit organization whose executive director has been charged with corruption.  Rivera allegedly told investigators he knew nothing about Neighborhood Enhancement for Training and Services' day to day operations, and didn't even know the executive director drew a salary - which is little strange considering he's given more than $2 million to the group over the years. If nothing else, the allegations and rumors surrounding Rivera have ended any chance he had of landing a job on Gov. Cuomo's team. Here's the Bronx News Network's original post about the investigation.

Soundview Health Care Network, the group of health centers run by Pedro Espada, the legally challenged former state senator, is still open for business, despite the scandals.

Last week, Cathie Black, the new Schools chancellor, quipped that "birth control" was the solution to school overcrowding.  Mayor Bloomberg has since tried to defend her, but was booed yesterday at a Martin Luther King, Jr. Councilman Charles Barron and others say Black's remarks had racist connotations.

Espada's replacement, Gustavo Rivera, gave a wide-ranging interview to Feet in 2 Worlds about his plans for district and the alleged "debt" he owes those who helped him win election. 

More on the Archdiocese of New York's decision to close six Bronx schools.

Students at Fordham University are apparently eager to learn Twi, a language widely spoken in West Africa as well as parts of the Bronx.

More on a new city program - the Proactive Preservation Initiative - which is designed to identify buildings that are falling into disrepair. The program was inspired by the terrible conditions at 10 Bronx proprieties owned by Milbank Real Estate.

Resident of a Riverdale co-op are being driven barking mad by a neighbor's "singing" dog.

Photographer Shines a Light on Abandoned Bronx Island

North Brother Island (Photo credit: The Kingston Lounge)

Ian Ference, a photographer who specializes in shooting derelict New York City buildings, has turned his lens on North Brother Island.

Located in the East River just north of Rikers Island, the island has been abandoned since the '60s. It had been home to Riverside Hospital, which among other things treated smallpox and leprosy and other contagious diseases. Its most famous patient: Mary Mallon, better known as Typhoid Mary, who died there in 1938. Today, several of buildings are still standing, though in various states of disrepair.

The island, currently a bird sanctuary and under the jurisdiction of the city’s Parks Department, is off-limits to the public.

But Ference, who goes by Richard Nickel, Jr. (Richard Nickel was a photographer who shot vacant buildings in Chicago, and argued against their demolition), must have made at least two trips - with or without permission. And to our benefit. His photos, which he published on his blog, The Kingston Lounge, are something to behold. He also gives a fascinating overview of the island's history.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Your Bronxites of the Year!

We posted this last week, but seeing as there will probably be no further posting today we thought we'd once again unveil, in the spirit of MLK Day, your choices for Bronxites of the Year -- those who give, and have given, so much to their communities without much recognition or glory. This is a new feature and something we'll probably do every year. Enjoy!

A few weeks ago, as 2010 came to a close, we asked our readers to submit their choices for Bronxite of the Year--taking a cue from Time Magazine and its annual person of the year. We asked you to nominate a member of your community who you thought made a difference this year, who's been a force for good, and who's gone above and beyond.

To be clear, this isn't a contest, but more of a way to showcase a number of individuals who served the borough with distinction in 2010. We didn't pick a winner--we're posting them all below.

So here they are--your picks for Bronxite of the Year.

Meg Charlop at the Tour de Bronx in 2000 (Norwood News file photo)

Zach Charlop-Powers nominated his mother, Meg Charlop, a long-time Norwood resident and veteran public health advocate who worked at Montefiore for more than 25 years in the Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, and most recently as director for community health in the School Health Program. Charlop passed away in a tragic bicycle accident in March at the age of 57.

"My mother was devoted to the Bronx and the people of the Bronx," Charlop-Powers wrote. "She moved into the Bronx in the 70's when everybody else was leaving, and she worked tirelessly and fearlessly."

Charlop's many accomplishments throughout decades of work include organizing tenants against deadbeat landlords, rallying against the use of lead-paint in Bronx homes, and establishing several school health and fitness programs.

"For the work my mother did, for her unbelievable capacity for love of the people of the Bronx, for her dedication to them, and for the rare ability to actually get things put into motion I think she should be your Bronxite of 2010," Charlop-Powers wrote.

Longtime Bronx pastor Father Flynn.
(Photo by David Gonzalez)
Bronx native and New York Times reporter David Gonzalez nominates Father John C. Flynn, who retired this summer from St. Martin of Tours parish, where he was pastor for over 20 years.

Known for his work outside the pulpit as much as within it, Flynn fought for years against neighborhood drug-related violence. He started “Save a Generation,” a program during the 1990s to assist high school dropouts. His campaign for young people to trade their guns in for a crucifix was profiled in the New York Times and other media outlets and he was known for his long daily walks around the church's Crotona neighborhood.

Flynn gave his last sermon in June and is currently living in Riverdale, at a home for retired priests.

Bob Connolly, CEO for BronxWest Consulting, nominates Sister Eileen Richards, who taught math and science at the all-girls Aquinas High School in Belmont for over 44 years. (No photo available.)

"Sister Eileen is as humble and modest a person as I've ever met," Connolly wrote. "She is a person who has spent her entire life in the Bronx. Several times over the years she has had the opportunity to move on to different positions in suburban Catholic schools and each time she decided her place is in the Bronx."

During her decades teaching, Sister Eileen has helped countless young women of the Bronx graduate from high school and go on to college, Connolly said, many of whom "have returned to the Bronx as doctors and other professionals now serving their community in valuable ways."
Bronx political activist Yorman Nunez at a rally (Photo by Adi Talwar)
Kingsbridge Heights resident Jack Marth picked young community organizer Yorman Nunez as his choice--a selection seconded by another reader, Thomas Waters.

Nunez, who's only 22, has worked worked for the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition and even once toyed with a run for City Council in 2009. This year, he jumped on the campaign trail once again to work for two local political candidates--Desiree Pilgrim-Hunter, the first person to challenge Pedro Espada, and later for Gustavo Rivera after Pilgrim-Hunter dropped out.

"He managed a remarkably professional campaign," Marth wrote. "The New Roosevelt Initiative eventually hired him to manage its field operations in support of the Rivera candidacy."

Marth also recognized Juan Antigua and Wendoly Marte for working to get Rivera elected.

"I have great hope for the future of the Bronx because of great young leaders in our community like these three," he said.

BxNN reader Connie Anestis wanted to nominate not one person, but the entire staff at Leroy's Pharmacy on 204th Street.

Employees at Leroy's Drug Store (Norwood News file photo)
"They are so much more than a business," she wrote. "They greet each customer, treat everyone with respect, make no distinction between those with insurance and without, those with cash and those with Medicaid cards."

Leroy's employees are always willing to answer questions and make suggestions about a customer's health regimen, Anestis said.

"They are truly an asset to the neighborhood."

Community activist Karen Argenti nominates BronxTalk host and BxNN blog contributor Gary Axelbank as her choice for Bronxite of 2010, for his many roles as an advocate for the community. He's hosted the BRONXNET show for 17 years, one of the longest running TV talk shows in New York City.

"While being completely objective, his interviews on BronxTalk provide Bronxites with unique in-depth access not available anywhere else," Argenti wrote. "The show has highlighted culture, community, economic, educational, environmental, fitness/health, music, and last but not least, he is not afraid to tackle the issues that impact our lifestyle’s most – politics!"

BronxTalk host Gary Axelbank
"Often, he is the first person community advocates turn to for advice on their issues. In many cases and because of his passion for right over wrong, he provides technical advice, publicity and public relations support, often without taking credit for that input."

Axelbank, Argenti said, is also a longtime Bronx resident and devoted husband and father.

"A real Bronx family!" she said.

Bronx real estate broker Gregory Tsougranis casts his vote for Marlene Cintron, President of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC), the economic arm of Bronx Borough President's office, a position she was appointed to last winter.

BOEDC President Marlene Cintron
"When I had my Bronx real estate trolley tour she came down in person (on a Saturday !!) to meet the prospective home buyers interested in making the Bronx their home," Tsougranis explained. "This is beyond the call of duty as Bronx Economic Czar. She is out there making herself available unselfishly to common everyday people."

Cintron was approached by new Gov. Cuomo earlier this month with the prospect of joining his new economic team--an offer she turned down to stay in the Bronx, according to the Daily News.

"Many people use the Bronx as a stepping stone," Tsougranis said. "She stuck with the Bronx even when courted by higher offices."