Norwood News http://www.norwoodnews.org Serving Norwood, Bedford Park, Fordham and University Heights 2017-08-18T04:00:59Z hourly 1 2000-01-01T12:00+00:00 Out & About: Free Events at Oval Park http://www.norwoodnews.org/id=24062&story=out-about-free-events-at-oval-park/ 2017-08-18T04:00:59Z Editor’s Pick: Free Events at Oval Park Williamsbridge Oval presents the following free events: Outdoor Movie, “La La Land,” Aug. 18 at 8 p.m. (held indoors if inclement weather); Back-to-School, Aug. 19 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring school supplies giveaways, library presentations, cooking demo, and fitness demos; and Splash From the Beach, Aug. […]

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Editor’s Pick: Free Events at Oval Park

Williamsbridge Oval presents the following free events: Outdoor Movie, “La La Land,” Aug. 18 at 8 p.m. (held indoors if inclement weather); Back-to-School, Aug. 19 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring school supplies giveaways, library presentations, cooking demo, and fitness demos; and Splash From the Beach, Aug. 23 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., featuring sandboxes, water tables, beach games and more. For more information, call (718) 367-3657.

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THE WEEKEND WALKS AT EAST 204TH STREET FEATURED IN THE PRINT VERSION OF OUT & ABOUT HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL SEPT. 23. THE NORWOOD NEWS WAS MADE AWARE AFTER THE PRINT VERSION OF THE PAPER WAS PUBLISHED. 

Onstage
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, 250 Bedford Pk. Blvd. W., presents Formell y Los Van Van, Cuban dance orchestra featuring Afro-Cuban, disco and funk music, Aug. 26 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $45 to $60, $100/VIP (VIP includes pre-concert drinks, hors d’oeuvres reception at 6:30 p.m., and best seats in the house). For more information, call (718) 960-8833. 

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and the Bronx Council on the Arts present free summer concerts, all from 7 to 9 p.m. as follows: The Just Nuts Party Dance Band at Henry Hudson Park, Aug. 17; and The Gene DiNapoli Variety All-Star Show on Aug. 21, NY Skyscrapers and Friends on Aug. 22; and River of Dreams (Billy Joel Cover) on Aug. 23; all at the Riverdale YM-YWHA. For more information, call (718) 796-5345.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. presents Bronx Summer Concert Series, at Orchard Beach’s Main Stage at Section 9, through Sept. 3, from 1 to 5 p.m. Included are salsa, freestyle, bachata, merengue, R&B, and pop. Zumba will also be provided. For more information, call (718) 590-3500.

Events
North Central Bronx Hospital, 3424 Kossuth Ave. (between 208th and 210th streets), invites the public to its health fair, Aug. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Elected officials will attend. Events include free health screenings, children’s ID fingerprinting, games, free giveaways, raffles, and more. Rain date: Aug. 24. For more information, call (718) 519-3537.

Williamsbridge Oval presents the following free events: Outdoor Movie, “La La Land,” Aug. 18 at 8 p.m. (held indoors if inclement weather); Back-to-School, Aug. 19 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring school supplies giveaways, library presentations, cooking demo, and fitness demos; and Splash From the Beach, Aug. 23 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., featuring sandboxes, water tables, beach games and more. For more information, call (718) 367-3657.

Councilmember Andrew Cohen will host an outdoor film screening of “Grease” in Harris Field, corner of West 205th St. and Goulden Ave. at 8 p.m. For more information, call (718) 549-7300.

Councilmember Fernando Cabrera presents Summer in the Park, at St. James Park, 2550 Jerome Ave., Aug. 19, and 26 from 4 to 9 p.m. Included are free refreshments, movies and giveaways. For more information, call (347) 590-2874.

Fordham Business Improvement District presents films at 8 p.m.: “Remembering the Titans” on Aug. 18, and “Rocky” on Aug. 19 at Bryan Park (East Fordham and East Kingsbridge roads), preceded by music, games and activities at 5 p.m. Bring chair or blanket. Popcorn is provided. The BID also hosts Back-to-School Sidewalk Sale, Aug. 24 to 26 from noon to 7 p.m. For more information, call (718) 562-2104.

Van Cortlandt Park, West 242nd Street and Broadway, offers a variety of summer activities including: Rowboating on VC Lake: Fridays through Sept. 1 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. (free; enter the park at VC Park South and Bailey Avenue; meet near the lake); Horseback Riding Instruction: Daily lessons by the Riverdale Stables (for more information, visit riverdalestables.com); Swimming: Free outdoor pool open daily through Sept. 10 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (closed from 3 to 4 p.m.; also offered are learn to swim programs (info: (718) 760-6969 ext. 0) or 311); and Art Classes: Fridays through Aug. 25 at 6:30 p.m., for Twilight Hike & Draw (meet at Woodlawn Playground Nature Center). For more information and a detailed schedule, call (718) 601-1553. 

Wave Hill, a Bronx oasis at 675 W. 252nd St. in Riverdale, offers Family Art Projects: Be a Bee, Aug. 19 and 20, to wear wings, antennae, pollen cup and kazoo to hum with, followed by a bee parade at 12:30 p.m. weather permitting; and Shades of Summer, Aug. 26 and 27, to create sunglasses equipped with colored lenses, Aug. 26 and 27; both in the WH House from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Also scheduled is Honey Weekend, Aug. 19 and 20, featuring a variety of programs (call for details). Grounds admission is free until noon Saturdays and Tuesdays all year. For more information and a schedule of events including tours and walks, call (718) 549-3200.

Library Events
The Bronx Library Center, 310 E. Kingsbridge Rd., presents for children: Big Top Science: (ages 5 to 12), series of chemistry and physics demos that explain how a bed of nails can provide a great night’s sleep, and more, Aug. 26 at 2 p.m. Teens/young adults can enjoy: Back-to-School Crafts: make pens, pencils, locker magnets and more, Aug. 21 and 28 at 4:30 p.m. Adults can attend: Microsoft Word 2010 for Beginners: Aug. 24 at 2 p.m. For more information, call (718) 579-4244/46/57 or visit www.nypl.org.

The Mosholu Library, 285 E. 205th St., offers for children: Talent Show: (ages 18 months to 12 years; registration required), all are invited to show their talent, Aug. 30 at 1 p.m. Teens/young adults can enjoy: film: “Kong: Skull Island,” Aug. 19 at 1:30 p.m.; and Craft-eens! Crafts every Wednesday, Aug. 23 and 30 at 3 p.m. Adults can attend: Knitting Circle: Thursdays at 3 p.m. For more information, call (718) 882-8239.

The Jerome Park Library, 118 Eames Place (near Kingsbridge Road), offers for children: Preschool Storytime and Craft at 11:15 a.m.: (ages 3 to 5), including puppetry, dramatics, crafts and flannel boards, Aug. 17, 24 and 31; Kids Get Active Fridays at 2:45 p.m.: (ages 5 to 12), dance moves on the Wii game console, Aug. 18 and 25; Rhythm and Sound: (ages 3 to 12), audience members join percussionist on stage to play instruments, Aug. 21 at 3 p.m.; and film: Aug. 26 at 2:30 p.m. Adults can attend: Computer Basics at noon: Aug. 17, 24 and 31. For more information, call (718) 549-5200.

NOTE: Items for consideration may be mailed to our office or sent to norwoodnews@norwoodnews.org, and should be received by Aug. 21 for the next publication date of Aug. 31.

 

 

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Neighborhood Notes http://www.norwoodnews.org/id=24084&story=neighborhood-notes-153/ 2017-08-18T04:00:40Z MMCC Trip Mosholu Montefiore Community Center (MMCC) offers an overnight trip to Washington D.C. and Baltimore, Oct. 5-6, with a visit to the National African-American History & Culture Museum. Stay includes one-night hotel and several meals. For more detailed information and rates, call the MMCC Senior Center at (718) 798-6601. Job Expos Employer pop-up recruitment […]

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MMCC Trip
Mosholu Montefiore Community Center (MMCC) offers an overnight trip to Washington D.C. and Baltimore, Oct. 5-6, with a visit to the National African-American History & Culture Museum. Stay includes one-night hotel and several meals. For more detailed information and rates, call the MMCC Senior Center at (718) 798-6601.

Job Expos
Employer pop-up recruitment expos are taking place at the following libraries from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Bronx Library Center, 310 E. Kingsbridge Rd. and Belmont Library, 610 E. 186th St., both on Aug. 30; and Eastchester Library, 1385 E. Gun Hill Rd. on Aug. 24. For more information, call (718) 579-4260.

Naloxone Availability
Individuals with prescription health insurance coverage, including Medicaid and Medicare, can receive up to $40 in co-payment coverage for naloxone. This medicine is used to reverse opioid overdoses. Uninsured New Yorkers and those with no prescription coverage can get naloxone for free through New York’s network of registered opioid overdose prevent programs. A listing of pharmacies accepting the new health insurance coverage can apply to http://on.ny.gov/ZhDGZW6.

Health Bucks
Health Bucks coupons, which offer $2 discounts on fruits and vegetables purchased at farmers markets, is available through the offices of Councilman Ritchie Torres, 573 E. Fordham Rd. (718) 842-8100, or Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson, 1377 Jerome Ave. (718) 588-7500.

Free Summer Meals
Free summer meals for children age 19 and under is available until Sept. 1 at public schools, community pool centers, New York City Housing Authority complexes, libraries and other locations around the city. No registration, documentation, or ID is required to receive breakfast or lunch. Nearest school location is PS 8, 3010 Briggs Ave. Breakfast is 8 to 9:15 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. For additional locations and times, go to http://bit.ly/UuevOA.

Farmers Market
NYC Health + Hospitals holds a farmers market near NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx the corner of Mosholu Parkway and Jerome Avenue every Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Nov. 22. For more information, call 311.

Sen. Bailey Office Hrs. at MMCC
Constituent service hours by the office of state Sen. Jamaal T. Bailey are now available at Mosholu Montefiore Community Center (MMCC), 3450 DeKalb Ave., every first and third Wednesday of every month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and every second and fourth Wednesday from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, call (718) 547-8854.

MetroCard Bus/Van
Buy or refill your MetroCard at a MetroCard bus or van at the following locations on every second and fourth Friday of each month: Fordham Road and Grand Concourse from noon to 2 p.m.; Fordham Plaza, Third Avenue and Fordham Road from 2:30 to 4 p.m.; and Van Cortlandt Village, 3887 Sedgwick Ave., from 9:30 to 11 a.m.; and every fourth Monday at Scott Tower, 3400 Paul Ave. from 1 to 3 p.m. For more information, call (718) 330-1234 or 511.

 

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BCC to Remove Confederate Statue at Bronx Hall of Fame http://www.norwoodnews.org/id=24102&story=bcc-remove-confederate-statue-bronx-hall-fame/ 2017-08-17T19:24:30Z Following the massive condemnation of demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va, Bronx Community College (BCC) plans on removing the sculpture of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson from its much visited Hall of Fame, school officials announced. The move comes several days after neo-Nazi and white supremacists converged onto Charlottesville over the removal of […]

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BCC to Remove Confederate Statue at Bronx Hall of Fame
THE BRONX HALL of Fame, home to some 100 sculptors, minus two busts following the neo-Nazi protests in Charlottesville, Va.
Photo courtesy Bronx Community College

Following the massive condemnation of demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va, Bronx Community College (BCC) plans on removing the sculpture of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson from its much visited Hall of Fame, school officials announced.

The move comes several days after neo-Nazi and white supremacists converged onto Charlottesville over the removal of a statue bearing Lee’s image from public spaces. The violent protests resulted in the death of Heather Hayer, who was killed by a car that appeared to have deliberately run over counter-protesters by alleged driver James Alex Fields, Jr.

“For 60 years, Bronx Community College of The City University of New York has remained committed to reflecting its values of diversity and inclusion in all of its actions and statements,”  Thomas A. Isekenegbe, Ph.D., President of Bronx Community College, said in a statement. “Embracing difference includes creating space where all people feel respected, welcomed, and valued. To that end, we will be removing and replacing the busts of Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson from the Hall of Fame for Great Americans.”

The Hall of Fame opened in 1900 and features some 100 busts of famous historical figures. Lee had been the general of the Confederate Army during the Civil War, which saw the North and South clash over slavery. Statues of Lee can be seen across the southern states to this day, though growing dissent towards the statues on display has grown. Stonewall Jackson was Lee’s second in command during the Civil War.

The move also came after fierce condemnation from elected officials who objected to the sculptures alongside other famous Americans that include presidents Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.

“Their inclusion at this location is especially galling: there is nothing great about two men who committed treason against the United States to fight to keep the institution of slavery intact,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. in a statement. “A more appropriate location for these statues would be a museum, such as the New York State Military Museum in Saratoga Springs, where they could be presented in a historical context rather than venerated. But they should not stay in The Bronx any longer.”

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Op-Ed: Working Towards College Access for All http://www.norwoodnews.org/id=24100&story=op-ed-working-towards-college-access/ 2017-08-17T16:11:18Z Like many New Yorkers, I was the first in my family to go to college. It didn’t even occur to me until midway through high school, when one of my teachers told me I’d need to go to college if I wanted to follow my own dream of becoming a teacher. She made college a […]

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Like many New Yorkers, I was the first in my family to go to college.

It didn’t even occur to me until midway through high school, when one of my teachers told me I’d need to go to college if I wanted to follow my own dream of becoming a teacher. She made college a reality for me. I know first-hand how important it is to have teachers who make college a reality for their students.

More than 50 years after my teachers put me on the path to college and a great career, we’re making College Access for All a key part of our Equity and Excellence for All agenda for New York City schools. No matter their neighborhood or zip code, every student should have the opportunity to go to college when they graduate high school.

The numbers are clear: we’re seeing results and we’re closer than ever to achieving this vision.

Our high school graduation rate is at a record high of 72.6 percent. A record high 55 percent of our students are enrolling in college or other post secondary programs.

In the first year of College Access for All, New York City made the CUNY application free for over 30,000 students; made the SAT exam available free during the school day for all high school juniors; and brought over 20,000 middle school students on trips to college campuses. We also launched or expanded a number of citywide events including our first-ever College and Career Month; citywide parent workshops on applying to college in a number of languages; and College Application Week, Financial Aid Awareness Month and College Decision Day.

Last week, we released the annual New York City School Survey, and we heard about the changes that our students, families, and teachers are seeing. For example, 82 percent of our high school students said that school staff helped them consider which colleges to apply to, up from 75 percent the year before. 93 percent of parents said that their child’s school kept them on track to college and careers, up from 92 percent the year before.

This fall, we’ll expand College Access for All programs to reach over 600 middle and high schools. At the middle school level, this means more students visiting college campuses – over 40,000 next year – and more family events on what college means and how to get there. At our high schools, this means new funding, college coaches, and teacher training to boost graduation and college enrollment rates. Across the City, it means increased opportunity for our students every day.

Yet none of these changes are possible without the strength of our educators, communities, and, most importantly, families.

As the school year approaches, I encourage families to start thinking about your child’s plans for college and careers, after they graduate high school. Encourage your child to do the same – such conversations will give them goals to reach for, with your support. When school’s back in September, reach out to your parent coordinator and ask them about how college can be a reality for your child.

Our City is home to generations of future leaders – if we work together to support them, I know that they will realize their full potential.

Carmen Fariña is the Schools Chancellor for the New York City Department of Education 

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The Bronx Develops: Luxury Student Housing Rises in Bronx’s Little Italy http://www.norwoodnews.org/id=24067&story=bronx-develops-luxury-student-housing-rises-bronxs-little-italy/ 2017-08-17T15:09:23Z The Norwood News, in partnership with WFUV and BronxNet TV, brings you a four-part series on development projects happening across the Bronx and its impact on community residents. For Fordham University students, living off campus is a respite from on-campus housing prices and its rules. It’s worked for Brendan Batcheller, a senior at Fordham’s Gabelli […]

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The Norwood News, in partnership with WFUV and BronxNet TV, brings you a four-part series on development projects happening across the Bronx and its impact on community residents.
The Bronx Develops: Luxury Student Housing Rises in Bronx’s Little Italy
CONSTRUCTION SITE FOR future luxury unit marketed for students on Hoffman Street in Belmont, a few blocks from Fordham University.
Photo by Jacob Shore

For Fordham University students, living off campus is a respite from on-campus housing prices and its rules. It’s worked for Brendan Batcheller, a senior at Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business. The public accounting major said living off campus is markedly cheaper than living within Fordham’s gates.

“The cost of a year’s rent for us is less than nine months’ worth of living in a dorm,” Batcheller said in an email. “There is definitely a greater sense of independence living off campus–having to deal with a landlord, paying utilities, fixing things as they come up, etc. provides a more realistic living situation than calling [a resident advisor] or Facilities whenever you have a problem.”

 



The demand has drawn developers to create off-campus housing in Belmont, dubbed the Bronx’s Little Italy and blocks from Fordham’s campus. This has worried some who view these developments as keeping permanent residents out. But the development comes with a twist—these days, luxury housing is trending. Developers like AB Capstone intend to give students an off-campus luxury alternative to Fordham dorms.

Currently under construction is AB Capstone’s third luxury housing unit, the first company to bring such housing to the neighborhood. Their most high profile residence is dubbed Artu Viale on Arthur Avenue, two blocks from the Arthur Avenue Retail Market. It was completed this spring.

Creative Director of AB Capstone Joseph Zanzuri said the apartments cost roughly $1000 per bedroom, though he did not elaborate further. But residents said one- and two-bedroom units typically go from $1500 to upwards of $3000.

Artu Viale and the property under construction on Hoffman Street are joined by a 30-person luxury residence on Lorillard Place, each a block away and marketed as an upscale option for students. Students have already moved into the Artu Viale and Lorillard properties.

“Arthur Avenue is a place for tourists and locals to shop and eat. But most of the people who do live in these houses around us are predominantly students. So how have we hurt the community by offering something better than there was before?” said Zanzuri. “More students are looking to live off campus nowadays.”

Another real estate firm marketing off-campus housing in Belmont include Brooklyn Standard Properties (BSP). They completed a deal last month to own a swath of buildings previously marketed as off-campus housing for Fordham students. The deal was finalized by co-founder David Manheimer who secured 104 rental units in 10 buildings, totaling their Fordham portfolio to 14 buildings since January.

Like Zanzuri, Manheimer said his company offers “premiere rentals for the neighborhood.” Manheimer said they won’t discourage other Bronx residents from living in their units, though they’ll prioritize their units to Fordham students.

The Bronx Develops: Luxury Student Housing Rises in Bronx’s Little Italy
FRONT PAGE OF Brooklyn Standard Properties’ website, marketing campaign for Fordham students.
Image courtesy Brooklyn Standard Properties

Their website, www.fordhamhousing.com, directly markets apartments to Fordham students, even suggesting they’re affiliated with the university. Fordham University does not sponsor off-campus housing developments, but companies like the BSP saw a market for students who wish to live off campus, said Manheimer. The website offers students $250 for every referral leading to a rental. “[W]e market towards students because I think that’s the highest supply of tenants in the neighborhood. It’s smart business to market that way,” he said.

But some worry that by continuing to market housing developments and properties to mostly Fordham students, a spot in housing is lost to someone who leaves after four years rather than someone looking to stay in the neighborhood long-term. District Manager of local Community Board 6 John Sanchez said when one markets housing exclusively for students, you can keep out young professionals looking to live there longer than four years.



“We don’t want community residents to be denied the chances to have these apartments,” said Sanchez. “I think when you have an exclusive development or you market it as exclusively for students, that can create tension between residents and the students. And there shouldn’t be that tension because the students are a part of our community.”

Councilman Ritchie Torres, representing the neighborhood, said he’s not opposed to luxury student housing but would prefer more development in the area tailored to long-term residents and working professionals, like the Bronx’s many healthcare workers. “The key to deconcentrating poverty is to have a mix of incomes living in the neighborhood,” said Torres. “It’s a noble pursuit.” Torres said the new buildings going up have not displaced any residents so far, but he will be on the lookout for it.

For Frank Franz, treasurer of the Belmont Business Improvement District, students are vital to the Bronx, even if they only live there briefly. Franz, a lifelong Bronx resident, wants to see the borough build up the quality of Belmont’s housing developments not just for students, but for the borough’s teachers, police officers, and medical professionals. “You can’t get people of better means living here in crappy housing,” said Franz, “The neighborhood needs to be economically diversified.”

Belmont has historically been a delicate balance of Italian heritage, college town, and recent immigrants. The NYU Furman Center put the neighborhood in 2015 at 64.1 percent Hispanic, 29.7 percent black, and 4.5 percent white. The district also has the city’s highest unemployment rate with 44 percent of residents living below the federal poverty line.

Fordham University has changed from the small commuter college of years past to boasting three campuses and more than 6,000 undergraduate students at its Rose Hill location. Despite recent developments and increased renovations of properties to rent to students, Fordham University maintains that fewer students are moving off campus. By looking at the difference between housing deposits and number of students, university spokesman Bob Howe said around 500 to 1,000 students leave Fordham housing to live in Belmont. “Fordham students rent apartments across a variety of housing types in the local neighborhood, few of which could be described as luxury housing,” said Howe in an email.

For Sanchez, the development in Belmont should involve the community board so they can work on housing that balances both the population of students in the area with young professionals who work in the Bronx and are the future of the borough. “The students are a huge boon to the economy but in the same way so is the community that has been here for years.” Sanchez said, “I think having them coexist is a lot better than trying to separate university from the community. We should be intermingling.”

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Financial Focus: Why Not Lower Interest Rates for a Janet 401k Bump? http://www.norwoodnews.org/id=24094&story=financial-focus-not-lower-interest-rates-janet-401k-bump/ 2017-08-17T14:22:17Z Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen believes our economy is strong. She believes that good jobs are being created and that we don’t want to get too strong because in her opinion, if we do then she has to make interest rates higher- so the economy can cool down. She wants the Fed to start […]

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Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen believes our economy is strong. She believes that good jobs are being created and that we don’t want to get too strong because in her opinion, if we do then she has to make interest rates higher- so the economy can cool down. She wants the Fed to start this process, of raising interest rates, as early as September.

Yellen, and the Board, have said their number one target would be inflation. According to Yellen, if we go over two percent inflation” then we are going too fast.

Well, firstly, I come from the economic 1980s, a time when interest rates were 20 percent and inflation, at times, close to 10 percent. So, in just knowing that, historical economic statistics tells me that their measure of inflation might actually be too low.

But more important, the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics just came out with their July 2017 reading of inflation, and the Producer Price Index was at -0.1 percent. This means ” inflation,” year over year, is now at 1.9 percent.

While of course we know that health care, for example, went up, 0.3 percent in July, energy and food went down, -0.03 and -0.6 percent respectively.

So inflation is tame, with room, still, actually to grow, without overheating. Then what should the Fed do?

Well, just like the stock market went up and they called it the “Trump Bump”? Well, if Yellen lowers interest rates, you’ll call your 401k rising “The Yellen Bump”.

Your congressmember is home on vacation. Give them a call and give them a piece of your mind: tell them to tell Yellen to lower interest rates!

Anthony Rivieccio is the founder and CEO of The Financial Advisors Group, celebrating its 20th year as a fee-only financial planning firm specializing in solving financial problems. Rivieccio, a recognized financial expert since 1986, has been featured by many national and local media including: Klipingers Personal Finance, The New York Post, News 12 The Bronx, Bloomberg News Radio, BronxNet Television, the Norwood News, The West Side Manhattan Gazette, Labor Press Magazine, Financial Planning Magazine, WINS 1010 Radio, The Bronx News, and The Bronx Chronicle. For financial assistance or a FREE 2017 Income Tax Analysis. Anthony can be reached at 347.575.5045.

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Latest Edition of the Norwood News is Out! http://www.norwoodnews.org/id=24088&story=latest-edition-norwood-news-41/ 2017-08-17T04:00:33Z Dear Fellow Readers, After four weeks on a nice break, the print version of the Norwood News is back with plenty of community news you can use. We begin with page one and some news on a possible homeless shelter arriving to the neighborhood. This hasn’t sit well with residents who want the New York City […]

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Dear Fellow Readers,

After four weeks on a nice break, the print version of the Norwood News is back with plenty of community news you can use. We begin with page one and some news on a possible homeless shelter arriving to the neighborhood.

This hasn’t sit well with residents who want the New York City Department of Homeless Services to reconsider a site on Webster Avenue, directly across the street from a public school. Read about the alternative location DHS is looking at and why it’s a viable and realistic option.

We then spend pages two and three talking about the life and times of Andrew Sandler who, at 31 years old, passed away. Read our editorial on what exactly made Mr. Sandler the ideal public servant.

We also bring you an update to the long suffering Kingsbridge National Ice Center project and the latest step in seeing this project to fruition. Read about Empire State Development and why its involvement with the project is critical to the project aimed at bringing nine Olympic-size skating rinks to the century-old Armory.

The Norwood News, BronxNet TV and WFUV present its four-part series dubbed “The Bronx Develops.” Check out part one by WFUV radio reporter Jacob Shore who explores efforts by developers to build luxury housing specifically for Fordham University students. We look forward to continuing this collaboration with these fine institutions. Check out the next three editions on this series by WFUV reporters Andrew Seger, Diana Nelson, and Julia Rist.

As usual, the regular staples are here–Inquiring Photographer, Neighborhood Notes, and Out & About–all intended to whet your intellectual appetite.

So take a look at the latest edition of the Norwood News, and let us know how we’re doing. Send comments my way to dcruz@norwoodnews.org.

Til next time!

David Cruz, editor in chief
Norwood News

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Inquiring Photographer: Subways and De Blasio http://www.norwoodnews.org/id=24077&story=inquiring-photographer-subways-de-blasio/ 2017-08-16T16:01:50Z This week we asked readers if they plan on voting for Mayor Bill de Blasio in the upcoming election and whether they believe his proposed millionaire’s tax would bring enough funds to overhaul the New York City transit system. I can’t recall if I voted for him initially, but I don’t think I’d vote for […]

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This week we asked readers if they plan on voting for Mayor Bill de Blasio in the upcoming election and whether they believe his proposed millionaire’s tax would bring enough funds to overhaul the New York City transit system.

Inquiring Photographer: Subways and De BlasioI can’t recall if I voted for him initially, but I don’t think I’d vote for him now because I feel he’s a little biased overall, even though his wife is a woman of color. I think he’s a biased person and I don’t think he does enough for the community. The tax would have to be substantial. But would the millionaires have a right to appeal the tax? Because if they can appeal it–and I know they will– it’s a moot point.
Jeannie Resto
Schuylerville

Inquiring Photographer: Subways and De BlasioI don’t know if he’d get my vote; has he been good for us? I don’t feel like he’s done anything for the people. If he’s going to tax the rich and give it to the poor, then I’m with him. Everyone takes the subway and the city needs it to survive.
Boris Britvan
Pelham Parkway

Inquiring Photographer: Subways and De BlasioYeah, I think I will vote for him again; he’s been a reasonable mayor. I think the tax is a great idea, but will it be enough? I don’t know, but I think it’s a good start. We have to do something.
Igor Agaromov
Pelham Parkway

Inquiring Photographer: Subways and De BlasioYes, I will vote for him again. To me he’s been doing a good job. Regarding the tax, I don’t think it’s going to be enough to fix the MTA because it’s become quite a big problem to fix it. But I do think it’s a good start. I also think the rich need to start getting used to giving a little more in taxes.
Frank Ledi
Norwood

Inquiring Photographer: Subways and De BlasioI may vote for him again; I think he’s done a fair job so far. I don’t think the tax will be enough. We’re going to need more than what that tax will raise, but it’s a good idea, a good start.
Nesty Cartagana
Bedford Park

 

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Editorial: Eulogy for a Public Servant http://www.norwoodnews.org/id=24072&story=editorial-eulogy-public-servant/ 2017-08-16T15:37:54Z On a drizzly Monday morning, several hundred mourners gathered to pay their respects for Andrew Sandler, the former district manager for Community Board 7 who had died two days before. It was hard to peg the numbers. There were 200, perhaps close to 300 people at Sandler’s funeral, with elected officials on the city and […]

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On a drizzly Monday morning, several hundred mourners gathered to pay their respects for Andrew Sandler, the former district manager for Community Board 7 who had died two days before. It was hard to peg the numbers. There were 200, perhaps close to 300 people at Sandler’s funeral, with elected officials on the city and state level personally paying their respects.

The large numbers seemed to reflect the respect he carried across communities of Norwood, Bedford Park, and Riverdale. It could also be what Sandler symbolized: the unsung heroes who operate in government.

Sandler was cut from that cloth, spending years working on citizen complaints from the time he began working for then Councilman Oliver Koppell followed by Councilman Andrew Cohen. His experience certainly laid the groundwork for his time spent as district manager for the board, drafting letters, hearing complaints, and acting as a facilitator for positive change. It was a behind-the-scenes role that befitted Sandler’s nature of working on behalf of citizens, away from the spectacle often attached to elected officials basking in attention.

Across the Bronx, officials on the local, state and federal level hire staffers to answer citizen complaints. Some are better than others. And even as the staffer works the phones, visits a problem site, stubbornly sticks with the issue with plenty of follow through, they’ll likely know that it’s the elected representative they work for who will take most of the credit. In the many press releases thrown our way, seldom does the elected official thank the men and women working on their behalf. It would behoove lawmakers to consider adding their staffers to press releases to publically thank them for playing a major role. One takeaway from Sandler’s death (he was only 31 years old), is that there are never any guarantees. Death lurks all over; it can take us at any given moment.

In many ways, working behind the scenes is a thankless job. Sandler didn’t mind. It takes guts to be selfless, knowing that the work one does comes from the heart. Results were Sandler’s juice.

His respect extended beyond his funeral. On the Norwood News website shortly after publishing Sandler’s obituary, a stream of comments characterized Sandler as a go-getter with the community in mind. “I knew Andrew since his days with [Councilman] Koppell,” wrote Walter Algarin. “[T]he consummate public servant, he possessed vigor and idealism when righting a wrong. He will be sorely missed in the borough he loved! Rest in peace my friend.”

Yes, rest in peace, Andrew. You leave this borough on a high note.

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Candidates Spar in Sixth Debate for 13th Council District Seat http://www.norwoodnews.org/id=24051&story=candidates-spar-in-sixth-debate-for-13th-council-district-seat/ 2017-08-15T01:27:10Z The candidates presented Democratic platforms at the sixth debate in the race for the 13th Council District seat, which covers the east Bronx.

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Candidates Spar in Sixth Debate for 13th Council District Seat
THE CANDIDATES FOR the 13th Council District include (l-r) Norwood Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, 82nd Assembly District Leader Marjorie Velazquez, community activist John Doyle, and community activist Egidio Sementelli.
Photo by David Cruz

For nearly an hour, Norwood Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj bore the brunt of criticism by his fellow Democratic rivals in the latest debate for the 13th Council District seat, one of the more active political races in the Bronx election cycle this year.

The candidates lobbed much of the mud at Gjonaj, pegging him as an established politician with heavy financial backing from the real estate sector. Even so, Gjonaj, the presumed frontrunner, stood stoic as he was needled by the candidates, which include community activist John Doyle, community activist and businessman Egidio Sementelli, and district leader for the 82nd Assembly District and Community Board 10 treasurer Majorie Velazquez.

“There’s two ways to run these campaigns—one on negativity, divisiveness, and one on the very positive, deliver the message and show the people of the 13th Council District what we’re going to be doing,” Gjonaj said. “My opponents obviously choosing the first step.”

The Gjonaj pile-on stood among the dominant themes of the Aug. 14 debate moderated by BronxNet TV host Gary Axelbank, which also touched on issues of public education and small business needs.

THE CANDIDATES DURING a commercial break. They include (l-r) Norwood Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, 82nd Assembly District Leader Marjorie Velazquez, community activist John Doyle, and community activist Egidio Sementelli.
Photo by David Cruz

In a Bronx where development has swept across the borough, the issue of overdevelopment also took center stage. The trend prompted Doyle to declare that “zoning is on the ballot Sept. 12,” the day of the Democratic Primary. He pitted Gjonaj, who has a real estate background, among politicos who’ve warmed up to developers at the public’s expense.

Gjonaj countered that he “can’t be bought” by developers, citing his introduction of the Tenant Rent Increase Exemption program bill that waives future rent increases on families making less than $50,000. “I am not going to be bought by any developer, or any special interest group. That’s my promise,” Gjonaj said. “And I haven’t been able to be bought in the past and I assure you that I’ll always work in the best interest of the people.”

But Sementelli and Velazquez pointed to a $500 donation by Michael D’Alessio, a developer at the center of a controversial homeless shelter proposed at 2800 Bruckner Blvd., currently an office building. The proposal drew a siege of lawmakers, including Gjonaj, who acknowledged to accepting the donation he said was later used to buy refreshments for a meeting focusing on resolutions.

Turning to issues of small business, the candidates were united on the preservation of mom and pop businesses across the district. Sementelli charged that Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) add more of a financial burden to small businesses who face a six percent tax hike that covers private sanitation services and marketing initiatives. “I don’t want to increase bread, I don’t want to increase the milk for our seniors. Six percent is an additional tax that small business owners should not be required to pay,” Sementelli said.

Velazquez, whose mother-in-law had once owned a business near the Baychester Mall before it closed, seeks to preserve businesses through education via the New York City Small Business Services, which assists small businesses in thriving while levying fines for violations. “[W]e also need SBS to come in to help us small businesses know where they may be fined prior to getting their fines, prior to their violations because they’re not on the same standard as these big box shops. With these big box shops those fines are nothing,” Velazquez said.

The 13th Council District covers the neighborhoods of Morris Park, Throggs Neck, Van Nest, Allerton, and Pelham Parkway. It slightly overlaps with Gjonaj’s 80th Assembly District, covering Norwood, Allerton, Pelham Parkway, Morris Park, Van Nest, and Pelham Parkway. The seat is currently held by Councilman Jimmy Vacca, who is term-limited.

The council district also covers City Island, a major stronghold for Doyle, a resident in the neighborhood. But Doyle was quick to point out his involvement outside the community.

“I’m on the board of the 45th Precinct Council, I helped co-start the East Bronx Traffic Coalition, which dealt with things like the Baychester Shopping Mall. I was the only candidate who went down to City Hall to testify against that project, not quite a City Island thing,” Doyle said.

The district also stands as the most Republican, according to a review of the electoral map for the 2016 Presidential campaign, which saw more votes for Republican President Donald Trump than any other Bronx district. Its concentration of Republicans in the district has produced a candidate in John Cerini, a businessman in Throggs Neck.

Whichever Democrat wins the primary will likely face Cerini in the November General Election.

On issues of public education, candidates stuck by Democratic principles, calling for improvements to the public education system by increasing funding for teachers. The trio of candidates once again took aim at Gjonaj for not advocating strongly in bringing in more funds to the district.

Gjonaj accused the candidates of not understanding the government process, adding the state has pumped billions of dollars into the public education system year over year.

Toward the end, Gjonaj rebutted his candidates, admonishing them for running what he dubbed a negative campaign.

“I continue to get the love up here; you gotta have a thick skin for these venues,” Gjonaj said jokingly. “There’s two ways to run a campaign. I’ll take the high road.”

 

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