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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bronx News Roundup, Wednesday, May 18

Lots going on today in the Bronx, like the distribution of the latest Norwood News in the Fordham, University Heights, Bedford Park and Norwood communities and some other stuff. We'll roll out the NN stories in this space over the next few days, but don't wait for that. Pick up your copy today. Ok, I'm done plugging. On to the news!

Weather: Flood Watch still very much in effect today, with thunderstorms possible after 2 p.m. Keep galoshes, emergency row boat, handy.

Story of the Day: Yankee Parking Garages Flailing 
Sometimes I think Juan Gonzalez, the Daily News columnist, only writes about the mess that has become of the Yankee Stadium parking garages. Today, he's back telling us how terrible the garages are doing financially and that the nonprofit created to manage them, Bronx Parking Development, Inc., is on the verge of defaulting on its $237 million tax-exempt bonds. In April, only 31 percent of the garage complex's 9,000 parking spaces were filled with paying customers. To make up for last year's losses (when 60 percent of the spaces were being used), Bronx Parking hiked it's rates to $35 for self-parking and $48 for valet. So much for former deputy mayor Dan Doctoroff's prediction that the parking garages would pay for themselves and put money back into city coffers. Right now, they're a money pit. On the plus side, this could give more ammunition to the borough president's idea to take one of the garages and turn it into a fancy hotel. 

Quick Hits:
Here's the DN's take on the Living Wage bill debate. (We'll have more on this later today, including the news that Bronx Councilman Jimmy Vacca is leaning toward the mayor's view that the bill will impede development and away from the rest of the Bronx delegation's view that it won't and that it's a step toward providing quality jobs in the borough.)

Were the recent Bronx Zoo "escapes" (see: cobra and peahen) really just an elaborate and brilliant PR stunt? Bravo, says Sal Cataldi, who predicts a slew of Bronx Zoo-related headlines that could be on the horizon, including: "Lady Gaga Image Found in the Spots of a Newborn Giraffe" and "Bronx Zoo African Grey Parrot in Talks to Replace Regis Philbin." Hilarious stuff.

Comptroller (and possible mayoral candidate in 2013) John Liu is making the rounds in the Bronx, saying the city needs to address the problem of homelessness, which he believes is about to explode due to the ending of a voucher program, with a more "holistic" approach. Liu, a Bronx Science grad, also recalled biking on the Grand Concourse during his high school years: "There were blocks where you had to ride your bike fast. There were a lot of dogs around."

Bronx rapper Cory Gunz talks about his hip hop influences growing up in the Boogie Down.  

On the 420th anniversary of her birth, the charismatic feminist and early Bronx settler Anne Hutchinson is getting her due. Today, in conjunction with Bronx Week, borough historian Lloyd Ultan is leading a trolley tour that will detail her life. The first scheduled tour already left, but the afternoon tour begins at 1:30 p.m. at the Bronx County Building, 851 Grand Concourse.


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