June 18, 2013 at 9:20 PM
By David Greene
Last Friday, a lovely spring evening in Kingsbridge turned into a scene of chaotic violence, when, according to police, a young man riding a bike rolled down Bailey Avenue, pulled out a gun and fired off a half dozen shots into a crowd of people, mostly children, hanging out in an apartment building parking lot.
One of bullets hit a 9-year-old girl in the stomach. The bleeding girl was taken by car to the emergency room at North Central Bronx Hospital where she was treated for her wounds. She was eventually transferred to Jacobi Hospital and released this past Sunday, much to the relief of her family.
The shooting set off a massive investigation that would eventually result in the surrender of a 17-year-old who was charged with attempted murder, among other charges. Read more
June 18, 2013 at 8:57 PM
This Wednesday, June 19 is World Sickle Cell Day, and Montefiore Medical Center will host its first annual Sickle Cell Awareness Day to educate the community about this inherited disease. The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 19 at 111 East 210th Street (East Gardens) and will feature a guest appearance by rising boxing star Eddie Gomez. Sickle cell specialists from Montefiore and Albert Einstein College of Medicine will be on hand to discuss managing sickle cell disease and will provide free oxygen saturation testing. Call (718) 430-2186 for more information. Click here to see Eddie Gomez in action.
June 18, 2013 at 1:54 PM
By Andea Ceetra
At the end of May, a Rodeway Inn quietly opened its doors for business on Webster Avenue, offering free Wi-Fi and complimentary breakfast. Built despite enormous community opposition, the new hotel’s opening has put skeptical local residents on guard.
According to staff, the 5-story 37-room Rodeway Inn, a sub brand of Choice Hotels, currently offers no hourly rates, unlike most so-called hot sheet motels that operate in the Bronx. Single rooms start at $109 a night; double rooms begin at $119. The inn has already hosted 20 to 22 guests, according to staffers, and they are hoping to attract Fordham University visitors and tourists looking for access to the New York Botanical Garden, Yankee Stadium and the Bronx Zoo.
Barbara Stronszer, a community board member and president of the Bedford Mosholu Community Association who vehemently opposed the hotel, said the community will be “up in arms” if the inn begins offering hourly rates. Stronszer vowed to take action if it becomes a “hot sheet” motel or a breeding ground for illegal activities.
Inside, plush purple and white couches line the small seating area in the front lobby. The rooms include freshly polished dark brown headboards, bright lime green comforters and new flat screen TVs. Outside, a man in a neatly ironed work shirt pulled a small suitcase from the hotel to his car across the street, a bag of dry cleaning draped over his arm.
Despite this polished appearance, some of the strongest opposition continues to come from concerned parents whose children attend nearby PS/MS 20. Read more
June 18, 2013 at 1:40 PM
Jewish Home Lifecare is hosting two talks, “Article 81 Guardianships and Special Needs Trusts” and “Changes in Medicare and How It Relates to the Elder Community” on June 20 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Kittay House garden level, 2550 Webb Ave. Light refreshments will be served. For more information or to RSVP, call (718) 410-1441.
June 18, 2013 at 12:14 PM
Bronx Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj wants to give the Bronx more access to Albany powerbrokers and insiders and he’s busing Bronxites upstate today to make it happen. In conjunction with the Bronx Borough President’s office and Montefiore Medical Center, Gjonaj’s office is hosting Bronx Day at “The Egg” convention center in downtown Albany. They’ll be showcasing some of the best the Bronx has to offer and allowing borough leaders, stakeholders and residents to meet with some of the state’s most powerful committees. Later, they’ll be holding a cocktail reception to allow for more schmoozing and networking. In an interview on Bronxnet (above), Gjonaj talks about today’s events and why they’re doing it.
June 18, 2013 at 7:15 AM
By Andrea Cetra
More than two dozen activists, including a group of high school students, dropped hundreds of banners throughout the Bronx last Tuesday in the hopes of getting State Senator Jeff Klein’s attention and demanding the Senate co-leader act on campaign finance reform legislation.
Police responded to this public showing by summoning three participants to court for “posting unauthorized on public property,” but according to Jonathan Wright, the campaign’s press contact, the disruption didn’t stop the group’s momentum.
“We thought it was a creative way to get the message across,” said Wright of the illegal banners, which sported slogans like “Pass Fair Elections Now,” and “Klein, Stop Blocking Money Out of Politics.”
It was the most visible show of pressure on Klein, who is also feeling the heat to pass a package of campaign finance reform bills from fellow Democrats, Governor Andrew Cuomo and political action committee led by a billionaire’s son. Reform advocates say the reforms are needed to lessen the influence of big money on politics and allow better candidates to run for office.
The legislative session in Albany ends on Thursday and there is little reason to believe that a campaign finance reform package will be brought to a vote. But it won’t be for lack of pressure on Klein.
Klein shares power with Republicans who have taken a hard line against public of financing of elections, which is at the heart of the Democratic campaign finance reform package supported by Assembly Democrats, Cuomo and the Independent Democratic Conference, which includes Klein and three other breakaway Democrats. On top of that, Klein has criticized the assembly proposal because it fails to eliminate certain loopholes that would give public financing money to political parties. Read more
Bronx News Roundup: LGBTQ Group Opens Without Doors, 9-year-old Kingsbridge Shooting Victim Comes Home & More
June 17, 2013 at 5:53 PM
By Alex Kratz
Quick Bronx News Roundup this afternoon:
– Despite a lack of physical office space, the Bronx’s newest and only organization dedicated to LGBTQ issues, the Bronx LGBTQ Community Services Center, is starting to provide programming with an outreach event on Friday. With recent string of hate crimes in the city, the group says it needs to act now, the Daily News reports.
– A 9-year-old Kingsbridge girl who was shot in the stomach on Friday night while playing in a parking lot on Bailey Avenue was released from the hospital on Sunday, the NY Post reports. Meanwhile, police arrested 17-year-old Billie James in connection with the shooting, ABC News reports.
– A Bronx woman is helping prison inmates sell their artwork, DNAinfo reports.
– Here’s a crazy Bronx statistic: There are 200,000 single-parent households in the Bronx that are headed by single moms. Only 33,000 headed by single dads. A new mentoring program run by Visiting Nurse Services of NY is working on changing that dynamic and prepare more dads to be more engaged parents, the Daily News reports.
– Think your Bronx park isn’t getting the love it deserves? Well, that might depend on how much money your City Council member is allocating for parks in their district. For instance, South Bronx Council member Annabel Palma has allocated zero money to parks in the last three years, but says she’s benefited from city initiatives that made huge upgrades to Soundview Park, allowing her to put her money elsewhere, the NY Times reports.
That’s it for today. We’ll be back on Wednesday with another Bronx News Roundup.
June 17, 2013 at 5:12 PM
Here’s the schedule of upcoming public and community meetings in the northwest Bronx.
COMMUNITY BOARD 7 committee meetings are held on the following dates at the board office, 229A E. 204th St., at 6:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted: Health & Hospitals on Monday, June 17 on 6 p.m.; Housing on Monday, June 17; Community Relations/LTP on Thursday, June 20; Land Use & Zoning on Thursday, June 27. For more information call (718) 933-5650 or visit bronxcb7.info/calendar.
COMMUNITY BOARD 7 is scheduled to hold its general board meeting at the Visitors Center Café at the New York Botanical Gardens, 2900 Southern Blvd. (across from the main entrance to Fordham University), on Tuesday, June 18 at 6:30 p.m. For more information please call (718) 933-5650 or visit bronxcb7.info/calendar.
The 52nd PRECINCT COMMUNITY COUNCIL will be holding a meeting at St. Ann’s Parish, 3519 Bainbridge Ave., on Thursday June 20, 2013 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. For more information please call (718) 220-5824.
June 17, 2013 at 1:44 PM
By Alex Kratz
Chills ran up my spine while I was taking this video at the end of Ibrahim’s funeral service at the Woodlawn chapel on Friday, June 7. With the music building inside and the rain coming down outside, everyone in attendance, a diverse group of his friends and family (as you can see from a quick pan of the crowd) was transfixed or dancing to the rhythms.
June 17, 2013 at 11:39 AM
By Alex Kratz
Ibrahim Gonzalez’s nickname and alter ego, Mambo Dervish, also served as the most concise description of a man who defied labels throughout his life, which ended last week at the age of 57.
The first part, Mambo, spoke to his love of music, especially Latin jazz, which he promoted on his radio shows and played with various bands throughout his life. The second part, Dervish, was a nod to his Muslim faith and deep spiritual life.
The name, however, still only tells part of Gonzalez’s story. He was a musician, radio show host, spiritual teacher, composer, photographer, writer, journalist, videographer, and cartographer.
As it says on his personal website, mambodervish.com: “Ibrahim Gonzalez has been keeping his involvements with all of his passions moving along as a total lifetime dedication to self discovery.”
In other words, he always had something going on. He liked not being pigeonholed. Gonzalez once said that choosing a favorite artistic medium to work in was like “choosing a favorite child.” (He knew something about that, as well. Gonzalez had five kids and 11 grandchildren.)
In many ways, it felt like Gonzalez, the Mambo Dervish, was just getting started when he abruptly and unexpectedly passed away in his sleep last Tuesday morning. Read more