Editorial: Not a Good Message, Mr. Council Speaker

When New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson took the reins from his predecessor, Melissa Mark-Viverito, we knew change was certainly inevitable. We just didn’t think this was going to happen. Within two weeks from the time Mr. Johnson was sworn in, out went several members of the Speaker’s Public Technology Unit, whose job was to work with the city’s diverse community and ethnic media. This move, which the office addressed as benign, spoke volumes. Four staffers were let go; all of them Latina women. The four employees worked well in sending out a message to New York’s community and


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Cuomo Orders Pharmacists to Help During Flu Outbreak

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed an executive order allowing pharmacies to administer vaccines to children ages 2 to 18 as of Jan. 25 to combat the flu outbreak as weekly diagnoses and hospitalizations reach record highs. Cuomo’s executive order suspends a section of state education law that prevented pharmacists from administering immunizations to persons under age 18, thus enabling New York youth to have a better chance at avoiding a nasty flu strain in a particularly beleaguered state. The state has logged 7,800 cases of the flu strain with 1,759 requiring hospitalization. “I urge all New Yorkers to help us


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Bronx to Finally Get Animal Shelter

There will finally be a city-funded animal shelter in the Bronx, city officials announced. The 47,000-square-foot Bronx shelter is expected to be built in Co-op City by 2024, and will have room for 70 dogs, 140 cats, 30 rabbits, and 20 animals from other species. The news comes after years of wrangling by animal rights groups in the Bronx, who see shuttling animals to Manhattan as unfair. In a statement, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the shelter will “offer direct adoption because we know how much New Yorkers love their pets, especially those in need of a home.” City-funded animal


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CEC Meeting Doubles as JHS/MS 80 Pep Rally

They came prepared with signs defending the school’s reputation. And they were very vocal about praising it. Despite reports by the New York Post portraying a school in turmoil, students and parents of JHS/MS 80 rallied behind the school. They came together at the recent Community Education Council (CEC) meeting on Jan. 18, packing the school’s auditorium. Signs held aloft by a group of students displayed the hashtag “#IstandwithMS80” superimposed on images of children holding hands in a hallway, while another student raised a hand-drawn sign reading “We R Staying.” Among the guests was Antonio Ramos, an online celebrity regularly seen on MTV’s


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Academic Accords at Lehman College

GUSTAVO VEGA with the El Colegio de México (COLMEX) (l) shares a moment with Lehman College President Dr. José Luis Cruz (r) at a symbolic signing between Vega’s and Cruz’s academic institutions aimed at strengthening cooperation and promoting mutual understanding. These agreements between Lehman College and eight other schools are intended to lead student and faculty collaboration. The event happened at the Bedford Park-based college on Jan. 18. Photo by Miriam Quinones

Spelling S-h-o-w-d-o-w-n at PS 94

  After 15 rounds and a suspenseful 90 minutes, 10-year-old Mazeen Chawdhury emerged champion of PS 94 King College School’s annual Spelling Bee, which drew plenty of oohs, aahs, and aha moments. Separating Raisa Alam, the runner up, from first place: serviceable. Raisa fell short in spelling the word, but Mazeen did, of course. A first place ribbon soon followed. The two, along with third place winner David Marcos, took on 22 others in an edge-of-your-seat competition that ranks as one of the more anticipated events at the Norwood grade school. The group of competitors were already some of the


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Mosholu Library Gets Children’s Librarians

Finally! Two children’s librarians are officially on the job at the Mosholu Public Library, library officials confirmed. Nicole Figueroa and Katie Loucks started on Dec. 26 and Jan. 8 respectively. Both are full-time librarians, according to the New York Public Library. Officials plan to hold a community meet-and-greet on Feb. 12 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the library, 285 E. 205th St.

May Opening for Doe Fund Building in the Bronx

After two years of its proposal, a supportive/affordable housing residence in Norwood will be opening its doors later this year after unexpected delays. But the committee that heard the latest development is worried over whether they’re guaranteed spots for current neighborhood residents. At the Community Board 7 Housing/Land Use Meeting on Jan. 9, John McDonald, the COO of The Doe Fund, a non-profit group that’s nearly built the $29.5 million affordable housing unit at 3100 Webster Ave., outlined the project. He was joined by Amanda Septimo, a community outreach consultant for the Villa Avenue project, who explained the issues surrounding


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Out & About: Sweet-Toothers Invited

Editor’s Pick  Sweet-Toothers Invited The Bronx Library Center, 310 E. Kingsbridge Rd., invites teens and young adults to its Chocolate Cake and a Book event, Jan. 27 at 4 p.m. Guests will be treated to cake in addition to a free book. For more information, call (718) 579-4244/46/57 or visit www.nypl.org. Onstage Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, 250 Bedford Pk. Blvd. W., presents Hasta Siempre, featuring Luis “Perico” Ortiz, performing salsa music, celebrating his 55th anniversary, Jan. 20 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 to $65; $100/VIP (which includes pre-concert reception including hors d’oeuvres and drinks at 6:30 p.m.).


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