- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.Q6qPkwFC.dpuf July 2011 | Bronx News Networkbronx

Friday, July 29, 2011

Norwood Walks Aim to Build Community and Commerce

Kids line up for face painting during a Weekend Walks event on E. 204th Street in Norwood.
(Photo by Alex Kratz)
By Alex Kratz

On Sunday, hundreds of local residents spilled onto the middle of E. 204th Street for the Weekend Walks event, which included shopping, face painting, fitness instruction and lots of kids playing in an open fire hydrant courtesy of the fire department.

Hosted by Community Board 7 and Mosholu Preservation Corporation, Weekend Walks is a city initiative designed to bring community and commerce together on streets throughout the five boroughs. On E. 204th Street, a two block stretch between Bainbridge and Hull avenues was blocked for shopping and a host of other activities.

Lowell Green, the chair of Board 7’s transportation committee, first learned about the Weekend Walks program last summer and signed the board up to help host the event over the winter. Green, however, was skeptical that the board could pull it off without a co-host. In the early spring, Mosholu Preservation Corporation (MPC), a nonprofit that manages affordable housing and promotes economic development in the Norwood area (and also publishes the Norwood News), teamed up with Board 7 to help organizing and promoting the event.

Michael Lambert, the deputy director of MPC, said he hopes Weekend Walks will help build momentum and interest for an E. 204th Street business corridor beset by two tragic fires in the past two years.

Representatives from several area businesses, including Ridgewood Furniture, Foodtown, Freilich Jewelers, McKeon Funeral Home, Papa John’s Pizza and the new Beso Lounge, participated in the event.

Weekend Walks continues the next two Sundays, July 31 and Aug. 7, from noon to 5 p.m.

New Webster Ave. Plans Bring Cheers and Jeers

Editor's Note: This article first appeared in the latest edition of the Norwood News, on the streets and online now.

Construction has begun at 3600 Webster Ave. on a four-building
affordable housing complex. (Photo by Jeanmarie Evelly)

Change is coming to Webster Avenue.

The gritty, industrial stretch that runs through the neighborhoods of Norwood and Bedford Park was rezoned by the City Council this past March, with a plan designed to encourage more retail stores and residential housing in an area now largely composed of parking lots and auto body shops.

Though not necessarily a direct result of the city’s change—zoning plans are more like gentle hands that shape a neighborhood, and depending on market conditions, it can take years before any real changes are seen—new projects already underway or in the pipeline along Webster are a portent for what the street could look like down the road.

Two developers are eyeing the avenue as the site of separate affordable housing complexes. One is already underway, in a lot technically located in Community Board 12, along the south end of Woodlawn Cemetery and just north of Gun Hill Road. Jackson Development Group is constructing over 400 new apartments in four buildings, calling the massive development “Webster Commons,” and advertising the rentals for low and moderate-income tenants.

Bronx News Roundup, Friday, July 29

We're short-staffed today, so a quick but substantive round-up folks ... Have a great weekend!

This story in the Riverdale Press caught our eye. The Amalgamated Houses, the sprawling, leafy limited-equity co-operative wedged in between Norwood and Kingsbridge Heights, has hired a new property manager, Charles Zsebedics, who was convicted for participating in a scheme a decade ago that defrauded his former company of $1.3 million. The Amalgamated's board was well aware of Azebedics'history but did its due diligence and decided that he had learned from his mistakes and that he was the best person for the job.

Andrew Boryga, a graduate of BxNN's youth journalism program for high school students, continues to do great work for the New York Times in between his academic pursuits at Cornell. In this Times' City Room blog piece, which also appeared in today's print edition, Boryga profiles artist Nicolas Dumit Estevez who had himself baptized on the Bronx River as a new Bronxite and to bring attention to his new exhibit at the Longwood Art Gallery on the Hostos Community College campus.

A plan to close 17 Bronx post offices, the most in the city, continued to roil postal workers and those who say local post offices are a lifeline for seniors and local communities.

The Daily News reports that 60 Bronx businesses are in danger of going under following the massive Jerome Avenue water main break on Wednesday morning.

Cops are looking for the shooter responsible for shooting a 5-year-old boy in the leg while he was walking with his mom near Holland and Astor avenues in the east Bronx last night.

Four police officers assigned to the Bronx district attorney's office have been caught cheating on their timesheets, the Post reports.

Lots of tasty morsels in Bob Kappstatter's column as usual this week, including the possibility that the financially struggling Bronx Museum of the Arts might try to emulate the Museum of Modern Art by developing a new, substantial revenue stream by building housing for artists on an adjacent property.

Mail Employees Go Postal on Closure of Bronx Plant

Editor's Note: This article first appeared in the latest issue of the Norwood News, on the streets and online now.

By Alex Kratz

James Perez, a Kingsbridge Heights resident and 24-year veteran of the United States Postal Service, is having a hard time imagining working outside of the Bronx. But he might not have a choice in the matter.

By the end of the fall, his position and at least 231 others at the Bronx mail processing plant will be eliminated as the USPS consolidates all of the Bronx’s mail processing and distribution into the Manhattan plant. Perez and his co-workers may end up in Manhattan, but they could be transplanted to any postal location within 50 miles of the five boroughs.

The USPS, citing budget concerns due to a “dramatic” drop in mail volume, said this is a done deal, but the postal workers union is not giving up without a fight.

They organized a rally to protest the elimination of the Bronx plant for Wednesday afternoon, July 27. It will start at the recently-closed Oak Point station on E. 149th Street and end at the Bronx General Post Office (where the processing plant is located) at E. 149th Street and the Grand Concourse. There, at 11:30 a.m., along with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., the union will list the reasons why eliminating the borough’s processing center is a bad move and should be reconsidered.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Riverdale Press Echoes Our Call for Release of Neighborhood Crime Stats

When we first sought neighborhood crime stats from the 52nd Precinct a few years ago, I seem to recall it was because we saw that the Riverdale Press has published just such data for the 50th Precinct. In fact, the Five-O is still providing that information to the Press, which they should be commended for. But somehow the NYPD feels that the 52nd Precinct (Norwood, Bedford Park, Fordham and University Heights) and the rest of the Bronx, for that matter, no longer deserves this most basic of public information that is routinely gathered using their taxpayer money. We've been waiting 420 days for the NYPD to respond to our Freedom of Information Law Request, adhere to state law, and release this very public information.

Our journalist pals at The Riverdale Press also found this rather disturbing and published this editorial echoing our call for the release of so-called sector data. Their headline says it all: "All Crime Stats Should Be Public."

If you missed News Channel 4's coverage earlier this week of our campaign you can see it here.

We'll keep marking the minutes until the NYPD does its duty. 

Creston Ave. Crew Busted in Drug Raid

Editor's Note: This article was first published in the latest edition of the Norwood News, on the streets and online now.

By Alex Kratz

Over the past several years, the area around Creston Avenue, just north of St. James Park, has built a reputation as a hot spot for the drug trade. Periodic violence highlighted the turf wars that accompanied it. Earlier this month, however, local and federal authorities made a big dent in curbing Creston’s infamous image.

Culminating a year-long investigation by the FBI and NYPD with an early morning raid on the so-called “Creston Avenue Crew,” police arrested eight people in the Bronx and three in Puerto Rico. A handful of others were already in custody, while two other Bronxites and a mysterious man named Fnu Lnu (no address was given), also known as “Jesse,” remain at large. In total, charges were filed against 20 people for drug trafficking, firearms and money laundering.

In the course of the raid, authorities discovered three guns, pounds of marijuana, marijuana growing equipment, scales, a police scanner, cocaine and thousands of dollars in cash. It amounted to a fraction of what the organization brought in and distributed over the past five years, law enforcement officials said.

Bronx News Roundup, July 28

Weather: Not too hot today, partly cloudy, with a high 85. Enjoy it now, thunderstorms in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow.

Story of the Day:
Yesterday's massive water main break in Mount Hope caused some serious damage to the surrounding area. In addition to shutting down the 4 train and rerouting various Bronx buses, the breakage has left residents with flooded basements, disrupted utility lines disrupted, and 500 local business and residents are waiting for Con Edison to hook their service back up. In addition, ABC reports that the BX32 and BX 36 are still being rerouted due to a 6 foot deep crater in the middle of the street. See some the damages here:

Quick Hits:
Yesterday, the city announced a plan to revamp Bronx and Queens animal shelters. The city's allocated $10 million to improving these borough's animal care system. Currently, Animal Care & Control Agency operated eight hours a day one or two days a week. With the extra funding, the New York Post says the agency will eventually operate receiving centers and mobile vans in The Bronx and Queens 12 hours a day, seven days a week.

Local education activist, Jesse Mojica was named the new executive director for Family and Community Engagement in the city Department of Education. Mojica has recently worked as director of education policy and youth services for Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.

A Bedford Park guardian wants her 16 year-old-son, who suffers from ADHD, to learn a lesson, so she has decided not to bail him out of Rikers Island. The would-be high school sophomore is accused of selling four Ziploc bags of crack cocaine to an undercover narcotics officer.

Police are looking for a suspect caught on tape trying to rob a woman at a Bronx ATM on Westchester Ave. The suspect placed the woman in a choke hold, but when she was unable to withdraw any money, he threw her to the ground and ran off. If you have any information, call police or Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.

Students at Bronx Community College rallied yesterday to save Julio Hernandez Moreno, a 24-year-old radiology student from El Salvador, who is at risk of being deported. Hernandez told NY 1 that he came to the United States in 2007 as an undocumented immigrant after he was threatened by gang members for being gay.

The family of a 67 year old South Bronx woman, who died of lung cancer, is holding the New York City Housing Authority responsible for her death due to the horrible living conditions of her apartment. The Daily News Reports that the 67-year-old nonsmoker starting having breathing problems about five years ago, when "leaky plumbing first ravaged the bedroom and bathroom walls of her unit at the Morris Houses."

The Yankees go into serious training to prepare for playing the Red Sox.

As has been reported before, Fat Joe might have to change his name. The world famous Bronx born hip-hop has lost over 80 pounds. "I always loved being fat, obviously. I'm Fat Joe," the rapper told the Daily News in June. "If I could gain 1,000 pounds and be healthy, I would love to do that. The biggest killer of people is food." In addition to his weight loss improving his health, it has also had an impact on other hip-hop artists, according to MTV. See what DJ Khaled has to say about how Fat Joe's weight loss inspired him.

Two Wounded in Bedford Park Shooting

By David Greene

A wild early morning shootout on Tuesday in Bedford Park sent two victims to the hospital, police and witnesses said.

The incident was reported at 1:15 a.m., on Tuesday, July 26. Upon their arrival, police discovered two people shot outside of 264 E. 199 Street, near Briggs Avenue. According to a NYPD source, one victim was shot in the leg and the other in the arm. Both were transported to St. Barnabas Hospital and were expected to fully recover.

A second police source said detectives were looking for a black male wearing a purple jacket who was seen running from the scene. One resident of the building, who declined to give her name, said, "They were arguing. It was horrible. One of the victims was in front the building until the first two gunshots went off."

The resident said a second person was shot a minute or two later, a short distance away.

By late Tuesday morning, police still had no suspects in connection to the case.

Long Time Resident Killed in Decatur Blaze

Fire Marshal's continue to investigate the source
of the Decatur Avenue fire that
 killed a long time resident. (Photo by David Greene)
By David Greene

A Saturday afternoon fire on the top floor of a five-story Decatur Avenue building in Norwood claimed the life of a 37-year-old resident Chris Podesta who died of smoke inhalation, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Press officers for the fire and police departments could not confirm the death by press time, but neighbors confirmed that it was Podesta who had died in the fire.

One resident of the block, who declined to give his name for this article, stood in shock after firefighters removed his friend Podesta from the building.

"They brought him out and he was all full of smoke and they were performing CPR on him,” the resident said.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bronx Events: Classical Guitar Concert, Blood Drive and more

The Bronx Council on the Art’s ‘Bronx Beat Concert’ series continues tonight from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Wave Hill. Renown Classical Guitarist Andrew Geddis, who has played for former Mayor David Dinkins, will perform. You’ll have to pay $8 admission to the grounds for adults, $4 for students and seniors 65 or older, and $2 for children over six, but the concert is free. For more information, head to www.bronxarts.org.

In other local events: Twin Park Kids and Aquinas Housing is holding a blood drive tomorrow from 2 to 8 p.m. in honor of Daisy Perez, who while pregnant with her daughter, had to get several blood transfusions due to complications. The blood drive will be held at 961 Cassella Plaza, at East 180 Street and Vyse Avenue.

Check out our calendar for more upcoming events.

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

Gay Bronx Couples Waste No Time in Making History

Editor's Note: This story first appeared in the latest Norwood News, on the streets and online now.

Karen Cofield and Gwendolyn Williams, who met 5 years ago, were married at the
Bronx County Courthouse on Sunday. (Photo by Jordan Moss)
By Jordan Moss

The signs of a highly unusual Sunday at the Bronx County Courthouse, where profound new rights were being conferred on a large group of New Yorkers, were hard to miss.

Staff of the mayor’s office, sporting orange baseball caps, warmly greeted anyone who came within 50 yards of the courthouse’s Concourse entrance. There was no crammed line-up leading to the metal detectors. Cameras, forbidden from courtrooms and confiscated for the duration of one’s visit if found, were waved on through.

History, after all, was waiting for its close-up.

Bronx News Roundup, July 27

Story of the Day: Jerome Avenue Flood Update
The AP reports that the floods from this morning's massive water main break on Jerome Avenue have started to recede. And though the MTA website says No. 4 train service is suspended between 167th Street and Bedford Park Blvd., there were no trains going to Mosholu Parkway or Woodlawn, either, at least not during my morning commute. An MTA service update now says there are shuttle buses running.

Some video footage:

A BxNN reader says she had no running water at her home on E. 162nd and Grand Concourse; another woman I chatted with this morning said the water was waist-deep on 176th Street, and she put plastic bags over her legs to walk up the road. 

Quick Hits:
The U.S. Postal Service could close as many as 17 post office locations in the Bronx because of funding losses (a plan many are protesting, as we reported last week.) The Bronx closures account for more than half  of the locations on the chopping block list. Another office in Crotona Park was already shuttered this spring.

Huge Water Main Break Floods Jerome Ave.

A massive water main break in Mount Hope this morning has flooded a portion of Jerome Avenue and surrounding side streets, around 177th Street, NBC is reporting.

Check out the video at the link--we're not talking about a little leak here--the streets are completely washed out and water is practically covering some parked cars.

Because of the break, the MTA says riders should expect delays on the 4 line, and there will be no service in both directions between the 167th Street Station and the Bedford Park Boulevard-Lehman College Station. Delays are also posted for the BX1, BX2, BX3, BX18, BX32, BX36, BX40, BX42 and BXM4 buses.

We'll keep you updated as we hear more.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Street Sculpture Goes Up on Fordham Road

Bronxites ponder a new art sculpture that's on display at Fordham Road and Grand Concourse.
(All photos by David Greene)

Locals passing the Grand Concourse at East Fordham Road have been scratching their heads recently at the sight of a newly-erected piece of public art.

The ten-foot metal sculpture titled, "Silver," by Bronx artist Christian Marche was created from recycled materials found on the streets of the city. The work depicts a woman in a cage and a cat sitting on top of a street sign, among other unusual details. The project is sponsored by the Fordham Road Business Improvement District (BID) in partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation's Urban Art Program and the Al Johnson Art Studio.

Additional funding came from the Bronx Council on the Arts, through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Greater New York Arts Development Fund Re-grants Program. The official unveiling is expected to take place next week, and the sculpture will be on display until the end of the year.

Bronx Events: Oval Park Clean Up Party Tonight

Friends of Oval Park are hosting a litter pick up party tonight, at Williamsbridge Oval Park, at 7 p.m. Come help pick up trash, hang anti-litter signs and get to know your neighbors better. Garbage bags will be provided, but feel free to bring your own.

For more Bronx events and community meetings, check out our calendar, below.

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

Bronx High School Students Wanted for Youth Journalism Program

Bronx News Network is recruiting now for the fall semester of the Bronx Youth Journalism Initiative--a free journalism program for Bronx high school students. The next semester starts on Sept. 21, 2011.

During the semester, students will learn the fundamentals of writing, reporting, and photojournalism through classroom instruction and hands-on reporting in their own neighborhoods. We will take them on field trips - including the newsroom of a daily newspaper. And they will learn about community activism and civic responsibility, how their neighborhoods work (or don't), who has power, who doesn't and why.

Student work gets published in a special youth supplement called Bronx Youth Heard, which appears in Bronx News Network publications - the Norwood News, the Mount Hope Monitor, and the Tremont Tribune - giving youth a powerful voice.

We are looking for students of all academic abilities, but they should be highly motivated, love to write, be naturally inquisitive, and care about what's going on in their communities. Click here to find out more about the program or to download an application form, or call (718) 324-4998 and ask for Jordan Moss or Jeanmarie Evelly.

You can also like the Bronx Youth Journalism Initiative on Facebook! Click here.

Joe Liberatore, Longtime Arthur Avenue Vendor, Has Died

A plaque on display at the Arthur Avenue Market calls Liberatore "Little Italy's Mayor."
(File photo by Fausto Giovanny Pinto)
Joe Liberatore, one of the original vendors at the Arthur Avenue Retail Market in Belmont, passed away Monday night at the age of 93, according to a post yesterday on the "Arthur Avenue, the Real Italy of New York" Facebook page.

Liberatore had been a staple at the Italian indoor bazaar since its opening in 1940, and more recently had been peddling plants and seedlings (like basil, olives and bay leaves) at his Liberatore Joe's Garden of Plenty.

Residents are sharing their condolences and memories of Liberatore on Facebook, here.

Bronx News Roundup, July 26

Weather: Sunny and in the mid-80s today.

Story of the Day: Are Bronx Subway Stations the Ickiest?
A new report out of the MTA found that the Bronx's many subway stations are the dirtiest  in the city, plagued by garbage, leaks and rodents. MTA board member Charles Moerdler, who lives in Riverdale, told his fellow board members that some local stations were in such bad shape they could be condemned, a sentiment echoed by Borough President Diaz who says the Bronx is tired of waiting for much-needed station renovations.

Which made us want to ask you, our dear readers: what do you think is grimiest subway station in the Boogie Down? Where would you most like to see a makeover? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Norwood News' Bronx Crime Stats Campaign Featured on New Channel 4

NBC News aired a segment last night about the Norwood News campaign to make neighborhood crime statistics available to the public, interviewing editors Jordan Moss and Alex Kratz. You can watch the piece here. (The Village Voice also covered the story--read it here).

Based on this campaign, Councilman Fernando Cabrera is crafting legislation to make these statistics accessible to everyone in New York City.

These neighborhood crime statistics would be an invaluable resource for citizens. It's our contention that precinct-wide crime numbers are almost completely useless if we still don't know, specifically, where the crimes are happening.

Our count-up (see below) starts from when we first formally requested sector stats for the 52nd Precinct last June. In October of last year we requested sector stats for every precinct in the borough. We received initial form response letters from the NYPD, but no statistics. For some background, see our Norwood News' editorial here.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Bronx Weekend News Roundup, July 25

Weather: Finally, some heat wave relief. It's a breezy 79 degrees right now, with a chance of thunderstorms predicted for later. Temperatures will climb back up again tomorrow but won't be as brutal as this weekend's.

Story of the Day: Bronx is Booming
The cover story on this week's issue of Crain's New York Business takes a look at the number of positive economic indicators happening in the Bronx right now, and argues the borough is in better shape than it's been in years. Booms in job growth, wage increases, an influx of new immigrants and affordable housing are all marking a shift in the Bronx, Crain's Daniel Massey writes.

“There was a time when people were running away from this borough,” local developer Radame Perez told the paper. “But that's an old story.”

Quick Hits:
Same-sex marriages officially became legal in New York yesterday. We'll have an on-the-scene account of weddings at the Bronx County Courthouse for you shortly.

Charles Himple, a chef who works at Red Lobster's Bronx location in Co-Op City, will star in a commercial as part of the seafood chain's new marketing campaign that features actual employees.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Bronx Events: Summer Streets Celebration on E. 204th

This Sunday, and two others this summer, a stretch of E. 204th Street will become a car-less pedestrian plaza as part of the Department of Transportation's "Weekend Walks" program.

The event is designed to highlight local shops and merchants and to bring the community together for an outdoor good time. This one will run from 12 to 5 p.m. on E. 204th Street between Bainbridge and Hull Avenues, and will feature face painting, cooking demonstrations, giveaways and more.

More events our listed in our community calendar, below.

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

Bronx Weekend Train Service Update

Here's a rundown of scheduled service changes for trains that run through the Bronx for this weekend, July 22-25. Not much trouble in the Bronx, but those of you traveling to other boroughs might be forced to endure a transfer or a train going local.

2 train
(3:30 a.m. Saturday to 10 p.m. Sunday July 23-24)
--No trains between East 180 Street and 149th Street-Grand Concourse. (Free shuttle buses provided for alternate service.)
(12:01 a.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Monday, July 23-25)

--Manhattan-bound trains run express from Franklin Avenue to Atlantic Avenue.
--To Eastern Parkway, Grand Army Plaza and Bergen Street, take a Manhattan bound 2 or 3 to Atlantic Avenue and transfer to a Flatbush Avenue-bound 2 or New Lots Avenue-bound 3.

From these stations, take a Flatbush Avenue-bound 2 or New Lots Avenue-bound 3 to Franklin Avenue and transfer to a Manhattan-bound 2 or 3.

Bronx Heat Wave: Extended Hours for Pools and Spray Showers

With temperatures reaching triple digits today, Mayor Bloomberg just sent out an announcement saying all city pools will remain open until 8 p.m. With little relief on the way, pools will be open again tomorrow, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tonight and tomorrow, spray showers at city parks will stay on until 9 p.m.

To find a pool near you, call 311 or visit nyc.gov.

Bronx News Roundup, Friday, July 22

Welcome to Friday's Bronx news roundup. Let's get down to business, starting with the scorched earth we are all living through here in the Boogie Down and elsewhere around the country.

Weather: The National Weather Service says temperatures could reach 104 this afternoon and have issued an Excessive Heat warning. (My question: is there an Egregious Heat warning?) Tomorrow it is supposed cool down to a high of 100. We won't see any real relief until Monday when temperatures are expected to drop down into the relatively frigid low-80s! 

Story of the Day: Bronx Cop Penalized for Ticket Fixing
The Bronx ticket-fixing scandal has claimed its first victim. (Unless, of course, you factor in the criminal cases that blew up in the face of prosecutors who were relying on testimony from cops implicated in the scandal.) Gregory Manning, a former financial secretary with the Patrolman's Benevolent Association, pleaded guilty yesterday to departmental charges at the NYPD Advocate's Office. Manning, who had testified three times in front of a grand jury called to investigate dozens of cops implicated in ticket fixing, was docked 40 days vacation, suspended for five days and issued a $500 fine for his transgressions. Manning had already filed retirement paper work, but the NYPD would not process it because the veteran cop was involved in the ongoing grand jury investigation. This could be a path others implicated in the scandal who want to retire might take as well.

Quick Hits:
Rev. Carmen Hernandez, an outspoken advocate for gay rights and LGBT justice, and her partner Dorris de Armas, a grandmother, will be one of 98 couples getting married in the Bronx on Sunday, the first day gay marriage will be allowed in New York. (764 couples are scheduled to tie the knot in the five boroughs Sunday, the most ever on a single day in NYC history.) In an interview, Hernandez talks about her love for de Armas, her homophobic mother and her decision to come out to her congregation at age 30.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Union to Hold 'Emergency Rally' to Save Bronx Post Offices

Next Wednesday, Bronx postal workers will team up with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. to protest the steady stream of Bronx post office closures, including the phasing out of the borough's processing center.

Since the beginning of the year, the United States Postal Service has closed the Crotona and Oak Point post offices. The Van Ness office was also slated to be shut down, but an outcry from residents and elected officials have put that closure on hold for the time being.

According to James Perez, a union rep who works at the Bronx processing center on East 149th Street, the USPS has already begun shifting about half of the processing of Bronx mail to Manhattan and is intent on shuttering the center altogether and displacing its 271 workers. (Earlier this year, the USPS said they were contemplating a consolidation plan, but had not implemented it.)

MTA Chief Resigns; Bronx's Vacca, Transit Chair, Responds

Big state-wide news is rippling through New York. MTA Chief Jay Walder resigned today to head an even larger international transportation company. Bronx Councilman Jimmy Vacca quickly sent out a statement saying a worthy replacement needs to be installed quickly as the MTA faces enormous challenges.


“This resignation comes at a crucial time. A year after the worst service cuts in the MTA’s history and yet another fare and toll increase, the most serious challenges for straphangers may still lie ahead. While Chairman Walder deserves credit for taking on many structural issues that previous MTA leaders had delayed for a tomorrow that never came, the MTA continues to face a $250 million operating gap and a capital budget that runs out January 1. It’s getting harder and harder to do more with less, and the MTA needs someone at the helm not only who understands the role mass transit plays in the lives of everyday New Yorkers but who is prepared to get to work on day one.”

Bronx Events!

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

Bronx Sports Roundup: Red Hot Gardner, New Fordham Baseball Coach, and More

Yankees' Gardner the Great
Yankee speedster Brett Gardner has been on an absolute tear since the All Star break, and River Avenue Blues breaks it all down. He's batting over .500 since the Midsummer classic. Since the start of the 2010 season Gardner been one of the most productive players in all of the majors, with only a handful of players besting his production since then. There's even been talk of sliding him into the leadoff spot, moving Yankee captain Derek Jeter down in the order. Watch some of the gritty outfielder's best moments:

New Coach For Fordham U's Baseball Team

Public Agencies that Ain't So Public

The free city newspaper amNY can feel our pain on the public information front. The paper sent FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) requests for the most basic personnel information to 38 city agencies and found that several of them were slow to respond or have not yet fulfilled the request, including the Fire Department, the Department of Education and the Buildings Department. Take a look. Sound familiar, BxNN readers?

Roberto Clemente Pools Reopen After 2 Year Hiatus

(File photo by Rebecca Chao)
 Some good news during this sweltering heat wave: the Olympic-sized swimming pool at Roberto Clemente State Park finally reopened last week, after a major renovation job kept it closed for two hot summers in a row.

Local residents--particularly those at who live at nearby River Park Towers--had been angered by the timing of the project, which started in the summer of 2009 and was originally supposed to take just one year.

When the pool still didn't open last summer, the State Parks Department said the delay was because of the how extensive the renovations were. The new facilities include a completely refurbished main pool and dive tank, new spray pad area with over 20 spray features, new wading pool with a fountain and new locker rooms.

There will be a reopening celebration tomorrow morning. For more information, call the park at (718) 299-8750.

Bronx News Roundup, Thursday, July 21

Weather: Today's high of 96, which will really feel more like 104 with the humidity, will be roundly trumped by tomorrow's high of 101, which will really feel more like the seventh circle of Hades.  

Story of the Day: Bronx Charter School on Probation for Shady Lottery Practices
The Academic Leadership Charter School, which opened on East 141st Street in 2009, is in hot water and in danger being closed after city investigators discovered that the school may have manipulated its lottery selection process to weed out unwanted students. City officials accused the school's leadership of investigating students' past history and possibly even testing them before the selection played out, a huge charter school no-no. The lottery system, which is mandated by state law, "is at the heart of being a charter school," says James Merriman of the New York City Charter School Center. If the school doesn't revamp its lottery process and implement other changes, the school could be closed.

Quick Hits:
Residents say the city should have shuttered a Morris Heights brownstone that had been chopped up into illegal subdivisions before a fire that engulfed the house resulted in the death of a 65-year-old man.

Update on News Channel 4's Report on BxNN's Sector Stat Campaign

We're told that the segment on our neighborhood crime stat campaign may run tonight on News Channel 4 at 11. We'll let you know when we know definitively.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bronx National Night Out

Bronx police precincts are holding National Night Out events across the borough on Aug. 2. The NYPD sponsored events are designed to increase awareness about crime and drug prevention, along with strengthening neighborhood spirit, according to Borough President Ruben Diaz.

Residents can participate in games and munch on food while getting to know local officers.

Click here to find more information about your neighborhood's National Night Out.

City Officials Mark Affordable Housing 'Milestone' in the Bronx

This affordable housing development in West Farms Square is one
of thousands that was financed this year by the city. (Photo: Jeanmarie Evelly)
Bloomberg administration officials gathered in the courtyard of a West Farms apartment complex this morning to celebrate what they say has been a landmark year for the city's affordable housing stock.

Officials announced that the city is ahead of schedule in Mayor Bloomberg's New Housing Marketplace Plan, which aims to "create and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing by the end of 2014."

The number of units financed in the last fiscal year, which ended June 30, puts the city three-quarters of the way towards hitting that goal number, a fact hailed by officials as a major accomplishment in light of the recession and the budget restraints of the last few years.

Energy-saving Tips for Heat Wave Survival

With highs in the 90s for the rest of the week, Con Edison is providing tips to conserve energy.

  • Run energy-draining appliances like washing machines, ovens, dishwashers, or dryers in the morning or at night, when it's cooler.
  • Con Ed offers a free programmable thermostat to anyone with central air conditioning. Head to their website to find out how to get one.
  • Turn off your lights and other appliances when not in use.
The company says it will have extra personnel to address additional problems incurred by the heat wave. Anyone experiencing problems with their power service can call 1-800-752-6699.

Bronx Crime Watch: Williamsbridge Drug Gang Indicted

A Bronx grand jury indicted 40 supposed drug dealers last week in connection to a massive cocaine-selling scheme in Williamsbridge, according to the Bronx District Attorney's office.

Police had been watching the group for over two years, in an investigation that sounds like something straight out of "The Wire," complete with undercover drug buys and taped telephone conversations.

The dozens charged stand accused of selling seven kilograms (that's over 15 pounds, or $250,000 worth) of crack cocaine a week, setting up shop along White Plains Road, between 211th and 241st Streets.

Two men believed to be the masterminds behind the enterprise--Sean “Showboy” Nelson, 31, and Jason Weir, 27, both of the Bronx--face the most serious offense of the group and a mandatory life prison sentence if convicted.

Bronx News Roundup, Wednesday, July 20

Quickie roundup today. 

Weather: Prepare yourselves. Today's high in the low-90s is nothing compared to what's coming. The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Watch warning starting tomorrow afternoon as "a large dome of high pressure" moves from the middle of the country to our neck of the woods.

Story of the Day: Pugilists Collide in Bronx Produce Market
Bunch of press today about the upcoming Saturday night boxing match/cancer fundraiser at Hunts Point market, including this story about Livingstone Joseph, a Bronx boxer from the Virgin Islands who has lost an aunt and uncle to cancer. More on the event here and here.

Quick Hits:
James Schlau, a registered sex offender, was sentenced to 60 years for violently sexually assaulting three Bronx prostitutes last year.

Italian-American academic Dr. Joseph Scelsa of Morris Park was named the grand marshal from this year's Bronx Columbus Day Parade, which is scheduled for Oct. 9.

Bronx Events: Fun Outdoor Summer Stuff, Tonight

(Photo: Bronx Council on the Arts)
If you're looking to take advantage of the great outdoors before the next two days of super-stifling heat hit (it'll be a manageable 80 degrees tonight), there are a couple of events taking place in the parks.

Flutist and Latin Grammy Award nominee Dave Valentin will perform tonight at Wave Hill, at 7 p.m., part of the park's "Sunset Wednesdays" and the Bronx Council on the Arts' "Bronx Beats" concert series. The show is free with admissions to the Wave Hill grounds ($8 for adults, $4 for students and seniors and $2 for kids over six.) Visit www.wavehill.org or www.bronxarts.org for more info.

For those with little ones, Friends of Crotona Park will be showing Justin Bieber's movie (they made a Justin Bieber movie?) "Never Say Never," at the park's amphitheater, at Charlotte Street and Crotona Park East. Show starts at 8 p.m.; come early to have your face painted by Chussie the Clown. The film is free, but bringing your own blankets and chairs is recommended. Call 718-716-1128, ext. 10 for more.

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

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

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Parents: Tell The DOE What You Think

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott is asking New York City parents what kind of information they want from the DOE about their child's school and education. Here's the link to the survey; deadline is July 25. Check out the flier below for more info.

Bronx Assemblyman Stevenson Rallies for Strauss-Kahn Accuser

Bronx Assemblyman Eric Stevenson is joining a chorus of local leaders coming to the defense of the woman who says she was sexually assaulted by Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the French politician and former head of the International Monetary Fund.

Stevenson, just coming off his first term in office, held an event last Friday at the Futa Islamic Center in Morrisania, a popular meeting place for the neighborhood's Guinean community--the West African country from which the woman involved in the incident hails.

“Rumors about her past that have nothing to do with the case even if they were true should not prevent the case from being heard," Stevenson said in a statement. "A dismissal would discourage victims from coming forward for fear that they themselves would be put on trial.”

So Far, So Good on Bronx Milbank Repairs, Say Tenants

Editor's Note: This story was first published in the latest edition of the Norwood News, on the streets and online now.

By Jeanmarie Evelly

Steve Finkelstein bought the Milbank buildings
back in April, under intense scrutiny.
(Photo: Jordon Moss)
Two and a half months ago, when Steve Finkelstein took over the infamous Milbank buildings—10 formerly foreclosed properties in the northwest Bronx that made national headlines last year for their terrible living conditions—he had a lot of eyes watching him.

The plight of the Milbank tenants, as the group came to be known, captured the attention of countless city groups, the mayor, the City Council and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), all of which vowed to monitor the new owner to make sure conditions at the buildings improved immediately. Finkelstein, a Scarsdale-based landlord who owns dozens other of Bronx buildings, bought the properties for $28 million at the end of April after months of negotiations with tenants and the city.

Bronx News Roundup, July 19

Weather: keep the sunblock handy and the AC cranked on--another hot and sunny one today, with temperatures in the low-90s. The heat will continue through the rest of the week, hitting a peak on Friday.

Story of the Day: Former Council Speaker Turns Bronx Builder
Today's Wall Street Journal takes a closer look at Gifford Miller, a former City Council speaker and one-time mayoral hopeful who, according to the story, "has no interest in ever returning to politics." His new career path--real estate--has brought him to the Bronx, where his firm is attempting to rezone a swath of land  in West Farms/Crotona Park to build a massive affordable housing complex.

We wrote about the $400 million project, which will consist of 10 high-rise buildings around the Cross Bronx and Sheridan Expressways, in the June issue of the Tremont Tribune, and some readers seemed wary of the plan. Read more here. 

Quick Hits:
The family of a 13-year-old Bronx girl say they will sue the Department of Education, claiming the girl was repeatedly raped by a computer repairman employed at her Harlem school.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Carnage on Fordham Road; Three Injured in Crash

The driver of this car kept driving after crashing twice on Fordham Road (Photo: D. Greene)
By David Greene

On Saturday evening, witnesses said a car (pictured) traveling west on E. Fordham Road side-swiped another vehicle. When attempting to flee that crash scene, the driver slammed into the back of a taxi near Creston Avenue. Despite the heavy damage the vehicle sustained, witnesses say the driver continued toward Jerome Avenue, where an unidentified pedestrian was also hit. The crash remains under investigation. Less than three months ago, a woman was killed by a taxi that had crashed into the front of a department store on Fordham Road, near Bainbridge Avenue.

Bronx Crime Watch: Still Waiting on Neighborhood Crime Stats

This may seem redundant, but we believe that redundancy will one day bear fruit, otherwise known as invaluable neighborhood crime statistics that our Bronx communities deserve.

Until then, we're still tallying the days until the NYPD releases neighborhood sector crime stats, which we requested from them via a Freedom of Information Law request last year. The Village Voice covered our campaign recently; read the story here. For some more background, see our Norwood News' editorial here.

Bronx News Roundup, Monday, July 18

Welcome back to the program, ladies and gentlemen. To the Bronx news!

Weather: Hot, with a high around 93 and rain possible after 4 p.m. Higher chance of rain and thunderstorms overnight. The rest of the week is expected to be similarly blazing, without as much possibility for rain.

Story of the Day: Bronx Students to Help Build School in Mali
This summer, students at the Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics, which has a heavy focus on community service, are exporting their manpower and $74,000 to build a school in the West African country of Mali. After spending the year fundraising, a dozen students from the school left for Mali yesterday to get construction off the ground. They will stay for 13 days as part of an international school building program run by the nonprofit group builOn. The scariest part for one student: "The only part that's making me nervous is the flight. I'm afraid of heights," said sophomore Raychell Velez.

Quick Hits:

Friday, July 15, 2011

Opinion: Lessons About Supporting Bronx Artists on the Eve of Paul McCartney's Bronx Concert

Bronx resident and singer-songwriter Jann Klose (photo courtesy Anne Leighton)
By Anne Leighton 

I felt so energized after a long day of pitching singer-songwriter Jann Klose to the media when Gregory, who runs the Boogiedowner blog, wrote me back, "Thanks for thinking of me and keeping in touch. I do enjoy your persistence in what you do." Then, after my neighbor read Frank DiGiacomo's mention of my artist's story in the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, she told me to check her post on Paul McCartney's FACEBOOK page, cheering support for Jann in his quest to open for the Beatle at Yankees Stadium this week.  A few days later my friends at the BBC Merseyside, in Paul's hometown of Liverpool, UK, called, "Will Jann talk with our afternoon drive guy Billy Butler on July 13 at 10 a.m. east coast time?" 

I've been working with Jann, who lives here in the Bronx, the past seven years.  We've found support from people, media, and concert venues all over the world.  He's performed in the Beatles' stomping ground of Hamburg, Germany (where he spent his teenage years, as well), and has performed in their hometown of Liverpool.  A few critics have compared Jann favorably to McCartney, some to Lennon, he covered George Harrison's song "Something" live at BB King's, and opened for Marshall Crenshaw who played "John Lennon" in Broadway's BEATLEMANIA.  Here in the Bronx, we've found more encouragement from the people and the media than arts' organizations and venues.  A number of folks have taken road trips to his shows out of town, and people--of all ages--are telling their friends about his live concerts.

Bronx Business: A Place Where Mexican Cowboys Can Suit Up

Owner Mario Martinez (Photo: F. G. Pinto)
By Fausto Giovanny Pinto

Along the ethnically-diverse enclave that is the stretch of the Grand Concourse between 182nd Street and Fordham Road, lies African grocery stores, Dominican barbershops and a scene out of a Mexican-flavored Wild West movie.

Spurs, heavy-duty rope (to lasso bulls) and countless styles of cowboy boots and hats fill the shelves and walls that make up the niche clothing shop, Rudy El Vaquero.

“Here they have what I want, for good prices,” said Angelica Valerio, who has been shopping at the store for over a year. “And whatever they don’t have, they will get.”

Movie Night at Joyce Kilmer Park and Other Bronx Events This Weekend

In collaboration with the African Film Festival, the Bronx Museum is hosting a free movie night at Joyce Kilmer Park tonight, starting at 7 p.m. Find this and other Bronx events this weekend below.

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

RizzQue Business: Get Your Sexy On at New Bronx Dance Studio

RizzQue owner Jeanette Cardona (foreground) and instructors like Philicia Edwards (background) have brought pole dance fitness to Norwood. (Photo by Adi Talwar)
By Rachel Sander

Jeanette Cardona originally planned on naming her new Webster Avenue dance studio and boutique Casa Cardona. But considering the studio’s offerings, which include instruction in both belly and pole dancing, Cardona decided instead to take a risk and be bold, maybe even a little risqué, in naming her new business.

Armed with a catchy new name, RizzQue Studio and Boutique, and a diverse arsenal of dance clothing as well as traditional, risqué and kid-friendly dance classes, Cardona’s Norwood-area studio is thriving.

Bronx Neighborhood Farmers Markets Return for the Summer

The farmer market at Montefiore is open Thursdays. (Photo by Justin Bodden)
The warm weather means the return of outdoor farmers markets, offering a variety of fruits, vegetables, baked goods and other farm-fresh items. Today, a new farmers market, run by Bronx high school students in conjunction with Community Board 8 and GrowNYC, is opening up near the Kingsbridge Armory. It's a new addition to our comprehensive list of Bronx markets, which you can find below. (If we missed any, fill us in with a comment.)

New York Botanical Garden Green Market
Where: The Mosholu Gate, on Southern Boulevard between Mosholu Parkway and Bedford Park Boulevard
When: Wednesdays, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Poe Park Green Market
Where: 192nd Street, between Grand Concourse and Valentine Avenue
When: Tuesdays, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Kingsbridge Heights Youth Market

Where: West Kingsbridge Road, between Reservoir and Aqueduct Avenue
When: Fridays, 1 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Bronx News Roundup, Friday, July 15

Weather: Not a cloud in the sky. High in the mid-80s. This weekend: more of the same with temperatures creeping up into the high-80s, low-90s. Good beach weather.

Story of the Day: BxNN Beats Times on Muller Story, Loses Headline Battle
A little inside baseball today. (Skip to the Quick Hits if you get bored.) Anyone working in the editorial side of the journalism industry will tell you that a) timing is everything, and b) headline writing is the one of the hardest things to do well. Early yesterday, Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.'s press office sent out a press release with a letter attached that accuses the mayor's office of deliberately abusing the BRAC process to ensure that the vacant Muller Army Reserve Center in Wakefield becomes a homeless shelter.

We've been following this story for more than two years, but this letter contained details, strongly-worded allegations and possible legal action. All the elements for a good, poignant news story. So we rushed to get it up on this site as soon as possible. We ended up beating the Times by about an hour. Chalk one up for BxNN! (On a side note: Kudos to former BxNN intern and native Bedford Parker Andrew Boryga for producing a well-written piece for the Grey Lady's website.) For the most part, we can't compete with the bigger papers, but we do strive to bring Bronx news to our readers as swiftly as possible. And we also take pride in the fact that our stories lead to coverage in bigger papers and more-trafficked websites. Our story on the Oval Park pop-up piano drew national attention and we've been banging the drum on this Muller Center story for two years now. We see ourselves as a megaphone for the Bronx and when our stories get picked up, our megaphone gets amplified exponentially. That means more people will pay attention to our oft-overlooked borough. And that's a good thing.

Which brings me back to headlines. Our accurate, boring, and too-long Muller Center headline: "Bronx BP Asks Feds to Intervene in Muller Center Dispute; Yonkers Mayor Asks Bloomberg to Reconsider Shelter Plan." The Times' headline: "City Hall Accused of Steamrolling Opposition to Bronx Shelter." That's also accurate, but also punchy and succinct. Obviously, there's is much better. So I'll take the win for speed, but here's a tip of the cap to the Times' headline writers.

Quick Hits:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bronx BP Asks Feds to Intervene in Muller Center Dispute; Yonkers Mayor Asks Bloomberg to Reconsider Shelter Plan

In a letter to federal authorities, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. said the mayor's office blatantly skirted the formal process meant to determine a new use for the vacant Muller Army Reserve Center in Wakefield in order to push its own agenda -- the creation of a 200-bed men's homeless shelter at the center.

Because of this, and what Diaz characterized as a complete disregard of public sentiment, Diaz asked the two agencies responsible for approving a plan for the Muller Center -- the United State Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEM)-- to reject the shelter plan submitted by the mayor's office. He also asked them to "convene a meeting amongst the parties to determine how, if possible, a conforming submission could still be provided."

If this doesn't happen, Diaz says, "I will have no choice but to pursue legal action."

Meanwhile, Yonkers Mayor Philip Amicone sent a letter to Bloomberg urging his administration to reconsider its "seriously flawed" shelter plan because of the negative impact it would have on Yonkers, which shares a border-line with Wakefield that lies just 250 feet from the Muller Center.

Bronx News Roundup, Thursday, July 14

Ladies and gentlemen of the Bronx and beyond, welcome to Thursday's edition of the roundup. Enjoy.

Weather: Gorgeous. Cooler. Enjoy.

Story of the Day: Ex-Chilean Guerrilla Turned Bronx Social Activist Fights Deportation
Victor Toro, a South Bronx immigrant rights activist and social worker, continues to fight an uphill battle against deportation back his native Chile, where Toro says he was tortured during the 1970s by the military regime of Augusto Pinochet. He fears prosecution a Chile now run by another ruler with a military background. Toro, who co-founded the leftist guerrilla group MIR in late 1960s, was expelled from Chile after spending a year in concentration camps. A doctor at Montefiore Medical Center testified that Toro still suffers from post-traumatic stress as a result of the torture he experienced during that time. He ended up bouncing between countries for several years before arriving in the Bronx in 1984. Since then, he helped found the La Pena community center and been a staunch and vocal advocate for immigrant rights. Arrested by immigration officials in 2007, Toro's court appeal is close to coming to a conclusion.    

Quick Hits:
The naked suicide plunge taken by a Bronx couple off the Tappan Zee Bridge continues to baffle friends. One of the jumpers, Alfa Choice, was a former teacher at Bronx Science.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bronx 'Renaissance Man’ and Activist Ozzie Brown Remembered

Ozzie Brown (left) and Paul Foster share a laugh at last month's Community Board 7 meeting. (Photo courtesy CB7)
By Alex Kratz

Ozzie Brown, a colorful, loquacious and dedicated member of Community Board 7 who was also active in the civil rights movement and an advocate for diabetes awareness, died last week after a battle with cancer. He was 67 years old.

Locally, Brown was best known for the active role he took as a member of the community board. But Brown was much more than that, a “true Renaissance Man,” said former Bronx Borough President Adolf Carrion, one of Brown’s best friends.

“Ozzie was a worldly person,” Carrion said. “He brought a mix of experiences that many people would be surprised to hear about. He was a musician, a promoter of music, a philosopher, a lover of the arts.”

Bronx Events: Free Outdoor Music, Tonight

There are few things better about summer in the city than the seemingly endless bevvy of outdoor concerts. And what's better about an outdoor concert than when they're free? You've got your pick of two taking place tonight right here in the Boogie Down.

At 7 p.m., Wave Hill and the Bronx Council on the Arts will host another installment of their Bronx Beat concert series. Tonight's show features a performance by guitarist Christian Diaz; the show is free with the cost of admission to the Wave Hill grounds. Visit www.wavehill.org or call (718)549-3200 for more information.

You can also head down to Crotona Park to see Garifuna group Xctasy take the stage, starting at 7 p.m., as part of the CityParks Foundation's SummerStage lineup. Call (212)360-2777 or visit www.summerstage.org.

Check out our events calendar to find out what else is going down in your neighborhood.  

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

Bronx Health: Sarcoma Walk in VC Park Raises Nearly 15k

[PHOTO: Young Sarcoma patients, family members, and the pediatric hematology/oncology team at The Children's Hospital at Montefiore gathered on the track at Van Cortlandt Park on Saturday at the start of CHAM's Stomp Out of Sarcoma event.]

Held last weekend at Van Cortland Park, this year's "Stomp Out Sarcoma Walk," hosted by the Children's Hospital at Montefiore, raised nearly $15,000 for awareness and medical research.

Sarcoma is a form of cancer that develops from bone or muscle, according to the American Cancer Society. It occurs more commonly in children, with Sarcoma representing 15 to 20 percent of childhood cancer diagnoses and one percent of adult cancer diagnoses.

More than 80 patients, family members and hospital staff participated, making it the largest Stomp Out Sarcoma event yet, Montefiore officials said.

This is the fifth year the Children's Hospital at Montefiore has held a Sarcoma walk, according to the hospital.

[PHOTO: Bronx resident Preston Cohen, 14, who was successfully treated for osteosarcoma at The Children's Hospital at Montefiore, describes his experience during the fifth annual Stomp Out Sarcoma walk sponsored by CHAM's Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. The walk is held annually to raise awareness and funding for research to cure sarcoma, a cancer of the bones and tissues.]

New Street Name Honors Longtime Local Bishop

Editor's Note: this article was first published in the July edition of the Tremont Tribune, out and online now.

The section of Crotona Parkway in front of St. Thomas Aquinas Church is now
 Bishop Francisco Garmendia Place, in honor of the parish’s late pastor.
(Photo by Jeanmarie Evelly)
A busy stretch of Crotona Parkway was renamed last week to honor the late Bishop Garmendia Francisco, the first Hispanic bishop to serve the Archdiocese of New York and a longtime presence in East Tremont, known through the years for his work with the neighborhood’s new immigrant populations.

“He loved his people,” said Betty Cleary, who worked for years as Garmendia’s secretary. “He would go to door-to-door through the neighborhood. Everybody was his family.”

Bronx News Roundup, July 13

Weather: The painfully oppressive heat that's plagued us for the last few days drops off a bit today, with temperatures cooling to the mid-80s. Skies will remain partly cloudy.

Story of the Day: Diaz Sr. Just Won't Quit
State Sen. Ruben Diaz, Sr., continues his tirades against the legalization of same-sex marriage, despite the fact that the bill was signed into law two weeks ago. The Rev. is planning yet another protest, this time in front of Gov. Andrew's Cuomo's midtown office, to "protest the redefinition of marriage and demand that all New Yorkers have the right to vote on this very serious social issue." The announcement of the rally came via a letter to Archbishop Timothy Dolan, inviting him to the event. Diaz held an anti-gay marriage rally back in May, and was the only Democratic state legislator to vote against the measure in the Senate.

Quick Hits:
After allegedly stabbing his girlfriend to death, a man in Edenwald barricaded himself in his Needham Avenue apartment yesterday in a three hour standoff with police.

A 26-year-old Bronx man was arrested after DNA linked him to three act of sexual abuse against women on the subway over the last decade.

Village Voice Echoes BxNN Call for NYPD Release of Crime Stats

Here's Voice's coverage of our push to get  NYPD to release neighborhood crime stats. Thanks to reporter Graham Rayman for thinking it important enough to amplify.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bronx Crime Watch: Police Seek Missing Girl, 13

Angelique Nogue , 13, was last seen Saturday night.
A 13-year-old Bronx girl has gone missing, according to police, who are asking for the public's help in locating her.

Angelique Nogue was last seen on Saturday night around 9 p.m. at home at 1315 Crosby Ave., according to the NYPD. She was wearing a white halter top shirt, light blue jeans, black flat shoes, pearl stud earrings and a rainbow colored watch, police said.

The girl, pictured above, is 5'2" and weighs 105 pounds, has brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information should call the NYPD Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, or log onto the Crime Stoppers Website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or text their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

BOEDC President discusses Kingsbridge Armory on BronxTalk

Last night on BronxTalk BOEDC President Marlene Cintron discussed the Kingsbridge Armory with host Gary Axelbank.  Here's a link to the show:  BronxTalk - July 11, 2011

Next week BronxTalk will focus on the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant.

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

Woodlawn Cemetery Designated A National Historic Landmark

Photo courtesy of Woodlawn Cemetery
On June 30, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that Woodlawn Cemetery, along with 13 other sites across the country, was designated a National Historic Landmark. The title recognizes Woodlawn’s role in preserving and celebrating those who have helped shape the world, according to a press release. The prestigious title has been designated to less than 2,500 places, making the cemetery one of a few.

The 150-year-old, 400-acre Woodlawn Cemetery is located in the Bronx neighborhood of the same name, and is the final resting place to some significant people in our nation’s history: music icons like Celia Cruz to local legends like jazz musician Billy Bang to former New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia.

Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. was one of many who advocated for the cemetery to become a National Historic Landmark.

“The Woodlawn Cemetery is the final resting place for many famous Americans and it is vitally important to preserve our nation’s history for ourselves and for the generations to come,” said the Borough President, who submitted a letter that supported the cemetery’s designation back in October of 2010.

“Without our history we do not know where we came from and we do not know where we are headed,” Diaz continued.

Memorial Services for Ozzie Brown to be Held Today

Ozzie Brown, a colorful, loquacious and dedicated member of the Bronx's Community Board 7 who was also active in the civil rights movement and an advocate for diabetes awareness, died last week after a battle with cancer. He was 67 years old.

Services are being held today for Brown at John J. Fox funeral home at 203 E. 201st St. (at the corner of E. 201st Street and Grand Concourse) from 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.

Former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, who said Brown was "one of his best friends," will speak at the night service.

In an interview this morning, Carrion called Brown a "true Renaissance Man."

“Ozzie was a worldly person,” Carrion said. “He brought a mix of experiences that many people would be surprised to hear about. He was a musician, a promoter of music, a philosopher, a lover of the arts.”

We'll have more on Brown's life and legacy tomorrow and in the next edition of the Norwood News, which hits streets tomorrow.

Bronx Events: Homeowner Resource Fair

Do you owe property taxes or water and sewer charges? Are you on the 2011 NYC Lien Sale List?

If you are, you only have until August 1 to make sure your lien doesn’t get sold to debt collectors!

Come and get help at tomorrow's West Bronx Homeowner Resource Fair organized by University Neighborhood Housing Program and co-sponsored by City Councilman Fernando Cabrera.

You will be able to ask the DEP and Dept of Finance staff about your options for affordable payment plans, removing your name from the lien sale list, and scheduling a home inspection to address leaks or issues with water meters. Come find out how to cut energy and water costs and get a free weatherization kit and learn about foreclosure prevention assistance and loan modifications from a counselor.

To RSVP or find out if you are on the lien sale list call University Neighborhood Housing Program at 718-933-2539.

For more info about this event and others, check out our Events Calendar:

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

Bronx News Roundup, Tuesday, July 12

Speed roundup today, folks.

Weather: Brutal today in the Bronx and most of the rest of the country. Stay inside and drink lots of water. High in the upper 90s with extreme humidity.

Quick Hits:
Bronx State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. continues to enjoy support from staunch opponents of legal gay marriage, including the Unification Church (aka the Moonies) and a notorious anti-gay state representative from Oklahoma.

Two Bronx cops from the 46th Precinct were arrested on Monday for allegedly beating a man who apparently was heckling the officers after being arrested in February.