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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bronx News Roundup, Tuesday, April 12

Weather: Light rain is expected here in the Bronx sometime after noon, with temperatures dropping into the 40s as night falls on our lovely borough.

To the news!

Story of the Day: Kazimiroff Boulevard Re-Renamed
It is said that Dr. Theodore L. Kazimiroff, a jack of many trades (dentist, naturalist, Indiana Jones wannabe) and the Bronx's first historian, once removed a tooth from a lion's mouth in the Bronx Zoo. He had become such a legendary borough figure that, just a year after his death in 1980, a section of the winding road that runs from East Fordham Road to Allerton Avenue and cuts between the New York Botanical Garden and Fordham University was remaned Dr. Theodore L. Kazimiroff Boulevard.

For years, the Garden and Fordham complained that the new street name confused drivers who wanted access to its institutions. (Current Bronx historian Lloyd Ultan was skeptical about this claim). In any case, they finally got their way Monday when Mayor Bloomberg signed into law a bill, sponsored by Bronx City Councilman Oliver Koppell, renaming the street Southern Boulevard, as it was known before it took on Kazimiroff as its namesake. Kazimiroff's widow, Emilia, who still lives close to her husband's former street, wasn't happy about the change, which is apparently such a rarity that Henry J. Stern, a former parks commissioner who reportedly knows everything about New York City ("a living compendium of New York trivia"), couldn't remember it ever happening before. "It is sort of a slap in the face," she told the Times. Dr. Theodore L. Kazimiroff will remain the unofficial and honorary name of that stretch of Southern Boulevard.

Quick Hits:
Speaking of street renaming, honorary or otherwise, Community Board 3 is considering a proposal to rename Jennings Street, between Prospect and Union avenues, after The Chords, a Bronx rhythm and blues band that crossed over into pop stardom with their hit, "Sh-Boom," which ruled the summer of 1954.  Here's The Chords singing their hit in 1980:

To the chagrin of many Bronx artists, Latin jazz is being removed as a Grammy category.

Some food activists, including Karen Washington of the Bronx group La Familia Verde, say the city needs to do more to get Farmer's Markets set up in poorer areas of the city.

Community Board 7 -- Norwood, Bedford Park, North Fordham and University Heights -- has more buildings with rat problems, 14% of them, than any other board in the borough. CB6 is second.

The Capitol profiles Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a former Bronx state senator.

East Bronx Councilman James Vacca is starting to feel some heat for not supporting a living wage bill that the rest of the Bronx delegation has signed on to.[Link fixed]

Montefiore Medical Center is working to teach its patients how to cook colon-healthy meals to help them prevent colon cancer. Speaking of cancer, the New York area is reportedly very aggressive in its end-of-life cancer care as there are financial incentives to keeping patients out of hospices. But Montefiore's chief medical officer, Dr. Gary Kalkut, says this trend has nothing to do with federal financing.


  1. What's the point of commenting if you engage in censorship? Foul on you! Censorship should go against the grain of any news reporting entity. BTW, I'm only putting it as anonymous because I don't understand what you need. It's not clear at all.

  2. There are streets all over the city that are named after residents who made a contribution to the neighborhood. The original street name remains as the official address, and a sign with the name of the honoree is placed above the street name. Why couldn't that be done with Southern Blvd./Kazimiroff Blvd.? Once again, the Botanical Garden proves itself an unfriendly neighbor. Remember the Fordham radio tower fiasco.

  3. To the second anonymous commenter- what you have proposed is exactly what is happening: changing the official street name back to Southern Blvd and keeping Kazimiroff as an honorary secondary name and still included on the signage (at the urging of CB 7 among others). What struck me is how expensive it is to replace 15 signs- $87.50 per sign!

  4. The renaming of Southern Blvd to Kazimiroff Blvd is not going to catch on, especially near Hunts Point where the shopping strip is (since that strip and the entire neighborhood is often referred to as Southern Boulevard).

    As for renamings, there are plenty of streets that have been renamed entirely:

    Wilkins Avenue is now Louis Nine Blvd (named after former Assemblyman Louis Nine who died in 1983)

    New York Blvd in Queens is now Guy R. Brewer Blvd (named after another ex-Assemblyman)

  5. This is clearly a case of name discrimination, which shouldn't be tolerated in a city as diverse as ours. I guess if Dr. Kazimiroff's name was easier to spell, i.e., Smith, Jones or Koch, there wouldn't be any problem. There are some VERY creepy people running the Botanical Garden. It's hard to imagine how anyone, including that creep at the Botanical Garden, Gregory Long, could be this callous to the 95 year-old widow of Dr. Kazimiroff. This will probably kill her. Even though everyone knows this was Long's idea, his name isn't even mentioned. Instead, after throwing another one of his endless hissy-fits, he now runs and hides behind his lapdog, Koppell. And I wonder how Koch can sleep at night, knowing on the same day the bridge was renamed for him, the street named for Dr. Kazimiroff is being renamed. After all, it was Koch himself who presided at the renaming ceremony back in 1981 and said that the name change would be for perpetuity. What disgraces he, Long and Koppell are.

  6. Why couldn't they at least have waited for his widow,who is 95 and still lives on 201st ST in Bedford Park, to die. Really,after 30 years they could have waited just a few more.


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