Bronx Disability Backlog Part of ‘National Disgrace’

“You are all going to be rejected,” cautions Clarence Sessoms, a U.S. Air Force veteran and Morrisania resident who first filed for disability in 2004. His matter has not been resolved. He hopes his third appeal hearing this month can finally secure him benefits he’s been seeking the last 14 years. Genevieve Machado, a Castle Hill resident and former medical assistant who stopped working due to fibromyalgia and a torn meniscus, the latter occurring during a slip and fall and the former surfacing during her career, also feels hoodwinked. She has been working the appeal process and has been unable


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A Warning From a Norwood Activist: Pick Up After Your Dog

If you’re caught not picking up after your dog in front of Sheila Sanchez, expect to hear from her. “I yell at them. I’ll do things, like, ‘Hey you! Do you need a bag?’” Sanchez said in a phone interview with the Norwood News. Sanchez, president of Friends of Williamsbridge Oval volunteer group and a rumored candidate for the 80th Assembly District, has noticed an uptick in residents not picking up after their canines. The list of sightings where Sanchez has noticed an increase include Villa Avenue near St. Philip Neri Church, Williamsbridge Oval Park, and Decatur Avenue between East


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Former Chief of Staff to Mark Gjonaj Formally Announces Assembly Run

Nathalia Fernandez, a the former chief of staff to former Norwood Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, has officially announced she’s running for her old boss’s seat in a special election slated for April 24. “I really take my credit to my experience working in the Assembly District,” Fernandez, a Democrat, said in a phone interview with the Norwood News shortly after her campaign staff released a statement announcing her run. Fernandez’s start in politics began in 2012, when she began working on Gjonaj’s campaign for Assembly. In early 2017, Fernandez took a job serving as the Bronx Regional Representative for Governor Andrew Cuomo, a


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The 411 on 311 Complaints in Norwood

When it came to the more than 15,000 complaints logged to 311 in the Norwood section of the Bronx, tenants at 3525 Decatur Ave. had the most contact with the data-gathering system in 2017, with the bulk of complaints caused by noise. Those were some of the findings determined in an analysis by the Norwood News which reviewed 311 calls filed in Norwood last year. Some questions answered included how long it took a 311 complaint to close, the top 10 buildings with the most 311 complaints in Norwood, what days were most popular to open and close a 311 complaint, and


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SOUPer Bowl Yields Thousands in Canned Goods

Touchdown! Led by a strong fifth grade, St. Philip Neri School in Bedford Park ran through their competition and shocked the Bronx with a surprise soup drive victory this February. The SOUPer Bowl is a soup drive hosted by Our Lady of Refuge School and soup kitchen in Fordham and co-hosted by three other Catholic schools in the Bronx, namely Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (also in Fordham), St. Brendan’s in Norwood, and the surprise winner, St. Philip Neri. St. Philip collected almost 2300 cans in their first year of participation, citing community togetherness, peer to peer mentorship, and a


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Opinion: Building Strong Schools Through Community Engagement

With over 50 years of experience as an educator, I know that it truly takes a village to deliver for students. In each school community, that village is made up of teachers, administrators, support staff, outside partners and of course, families. While I often say it all comes down to what happens in the classroom, when it comes to building strong school communities, families are critical partners. That’s why, as Chancellor, I’ve made family engagement a priority for all of our schools, and there has been an unprecedented investment in families. Whether we’re bringing parents into the classroom to teach


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New Chapter: Norwood Welcomes Children’s Librarians

With vacancies for two children’s librarians at the Mosholu Library finally filled, parents formally met the new staffers who have been at the helm for the last month. Nicole Figueroa and Katie Loucks were brought on to the branch at 285 E. 205th St. off Perry Avenue in January. Figueroa, who previously worked in Riverdale, said one of the most rewarding parts of her job was having children come in with a love of literacy and the desire to read. She described Norwood warmly. “I really like the community. It’s really diverse and everyone is very vibrant,” Figueroa said. Loucks,


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Cohen: Charging Station Needed in Norwood

Councilman Andrew Cohen has requested that the future come to Norwood through a proposed electric vehicle (EV) charging hub. Cohen drafted a proposal for Mayor Bill de Blasio on Jan. 10 having had his constituents in the 11th Council District express interest to be part of de Blasio’s plan to develop 100 new EV fast charging stations across the city in 2018. Cohen believes the northwest Bronx has ample locations conducive to charging hub installation. “I believe a number of locations, both public and private, would be feasible for EV charging. They include the parking lot for the Van Cortlandt


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DHS Moves Forward With Jerome Avenue Shelter

The New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS) announced it plans to contract with a nonprofit to open a homeless shelter at a two-story property on the edge of Norwood. The news will likely be welcoming to parents who worried a shelter would be housed diagonally across PS/MS 20 on Webster Avenue. But while the news will likely be welcoming to parents of the southern Norwood school, the new location has drawn concerns from parents at a school adjacent to the new site. In a joint Op-Ed submitted to the Norwood News, DHS Commissioner Steven Banks revealed that the


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