Welcome back to Breaking Bronx. Here are some local news stories we’re reading this Wednesday afternoon:
It’s baseball season! But for some Bronx teams, there are challenges to face before hitting the field. Players at the Bronx High School of Science, and other high school who were hoping to use the sparkling new baseball diamonds at Harris Field, are unexpectedly stuck waiting another season because the grass on the fields is not ready. The Riverdale Press first wrote about the delay in March; the Times‘ School Book blog covered it today, with a video (see below). Students have been without the Harris ball fields since construction started in 2008, part of a makeover financed by the Croton Water Filtration Plant fund. The project was further delayed when ground contamination was discovered at the site in 2009.
In other Bronx baseball news, the new field at Macombs Dam Park–promised by the New York Yankees in exchange for public parkland the team paved over to build its new stadium–officially opened Monday, hosting its first game when All Hallows High School took on Cardinal Hayes. And though players said the fields were “perfect,” resentment lingers over how long it took the Yankees to build the parks, leaving local teams without a field for six years.
“We want to be positive about the future. But we do remember that the Yankees were inconvenienced not for one minute and the community was for years,” former Community Board 4 member Joyce Hogi told the Daily News.
Hundred of Bronx residents turned out at the Bronx Museum of the Arts on Monday for a public discussion about the state’s plans to overhaul how it handles juvenile offenders from the city. Gov. Cuomo’s Close to Home Initiative will transfer young offenders held in non-secure state facilities to the city’s custody starting this fall.
The assistant principal at PS 106, in Parkchester, turned himself in to police on Tuesday after he was accused of fondling two female students at the school.
More damaging testimony coming out of the trial of former Bronx State Sen. Pedro Espada. He had his nonprofit health clinics, Soundview, paying exorbitant monthly fees for janitorial services, spending thousands of dollars on cleaning services that should have cost around $100 a month, a witness said on the stand. The cleaning company getting paid? One operated by Espada’s own son, Pedro Gautier Espada, who is also facing charges with his father.
Police are looking for a robber targeting Bronx beauty salons.