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Friday, April 1, 2011

Bronx News Roundup, April 1

Weather: Sping has sprung! Sunny, in the high 70s today. Welcome Spring! ....  April Fool's. Cruel, I know, but without humor we'd be going a little nuts waiting for Mother Nature to do the right thing. But it really is supposed to be sunnier and warmer this weekend, in the 50s. Honest.

Story of the Day: Another Filtration Contractor Pays Fines in Deal with Feds
Skanska, the contractor handling the almost $3 billion filtration plant project in Van Cortlandt Park, agreed to pay almost $20 million in fines to avoid criminal charges in a case involving a subcontractor that allegedly set up a front operation to avoid government contract requirements that companies "hire a certain percentage of minority- or women-owned contractors or those certified by government agencies as disadvantaged," according to the New York Times. The deal was critical for Skanska as it bids on the Second Avenue subway project.

Experiencing some deja vu? Well, there's a good reason for that. As we reported in December, a subcontractor at the plant, Schiavone Construction, admitted to fraud and paid the federal government $20 million in fines for evading the same requirements.

On a related note, last night, at a meeting of the Croton Facility Monitoring Committee, the advisory body that meets regularly to go over the lastest developments in the massive filtration plant project under way at Van Cortlandt Park and the Jerome Park Reservoir, officials discussed the ongoing lack of sufficient representation of Bronxites in the project's workforce. We'll have more on this and other issues raised at the meeting up on the blog on Monday or Tuesday. 

Quick hits:
Some brave Bronx bystanders stopped a man suspected of shooting a livery cab driver from getting away yesterday, witnesses reported.

Some cool photos, mostly just outside Yankee Stadium, from Opening Day.

Some more details on the Census jump in the boogiedown. Most of the new residents have settled in the south Bronx nabes of Morrisania, Melrose and Mott Haven. 

Former Norwood News intern, Graham Kates, now a reporter at the Riverdale Press (congrats, Graham!) has the details on a massive police search for two dead bodies in Riverdale. They found one and are still searching for the other.

Bridges Juvenile Center in the south Bronx, known to most as Spofford, was shuttered with a giant ceremonial padlock Wednesday, the Hunts Point Express reports, finally succumbing to decades of demands that the notoriously troubled facility close. "Until last month, the vermin-infested detention center on Spofford Ave. held about 100 youth in dark cells with no air conditioning," the Daily News reported.

We can all sleep easier now. The Bronx Zoo cobra was found alive.

We botched the link yesterday, so here again is the Times story about the 3 parks connected to the Yankee Stadium project that are way behind schedule.


  1. The money from the announced settlement should go directly and immediately to restoring the funding taken from Croton projects like Regatta Park.

  2. Gustavo Rivera does not have a district office open yet.


    This is the same thing that you guys crucified Pedro Espada for. Where is the outrage now? Is it because Rivera is a toadie for the poverty lobby? Espada got beat up because he was a powerful Latino that didnt take his orders from the blanco establishment.

    Is there no coverage of Gustavo's not having a district office because he is a safe, domesticated Tio Tomas?

  3. Jay, You're 100% right. In fact, the notion has been raised in the last few FMC meetings.


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