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Digital Edition of the Norwood News is Out!

January 22, 2015

Norwood News Vol. 28 No. 2 (Page 1)
by David Cruz

The latest digital edition of the Norwood News is now available to read and share with your friends. Check it out via your smartphone or the convenience of your home.

Our second edition of the year features surprising news from developer Mark Stagg, owner of The Stagg Group. The cat was let out of the bag this week when we learned the large-scale developer recently  purchased a trio of new properties along Webster Avenue, complementing the other three Stagg properties slated to open. Find out which deeds Stagg took over along the burgeoning corridor The Stagg Group has purchased and what the going price was.

Other stories include a disturbing discovery of a New Jersey man found dead inside the trunk of his car at a quiet street in Norwood, problem vendors along the Jerome-Gun Hill Business Improvement District, a new HIV/AIDS campaign courtesy of the Department of Health and an editorial on the legal loopholes behind the Right to Know bill. We also profile our neighbors in Kingsbridge, exploring the neighborhood’s Business Improvement District and its lone and multi-tasking executive director.

Other hallmarks of the Norwood News are also featured, including the Inquiring Photographer and Out & About sections.

So read up the Norwood News. If you want to get your hands on a free copy just stop by one of 300 locations across the northwest Bronx. Enjoy!

Bronx Youth Heard Promotes Upcoming After School Session

January 21, 2015

David Cruz, program director of Bronx Youth Heard and editor-in-chief of the Norwood News, chats with OPEN 2.0 host Dondre Lemon about the after school journalism program.  Photo courtesy OPEN 2.0

David Cruz (right), program director of Bronx Youth Heard and editor-in-chief of the Norwood News, chats with OPEN 2.0 host Dondre Lemon about the after school journalism program for the 2014 fall session.
Photo courtesy OPEN 2.0

Bronx Youth Heard (Winter application deadline January 29.)

The Norwood News runs the Bronx Youth Heard (formerly known as the Bronx Youth Journalism Initiative), a free after-school journalism program for Bronx high school students. There are two sessions each school year: one in the fall and another in the spring.

We are currently accepting applications for our winter/spring 2015 semester, which is scheduled to start on Thursday, February 5.  Classes are held at Hostos Community College, 450 Grand Concourse, on Thursday afternoons from 4 to 6:00p.m., and run for 12 weeks.

[ATTENTION: Winter applications are DUE THURSDAY, January 29. Download your application now!]

Students learn the fundamentals of writing, reporting, and photojournalism through classroom instruction and hands-on reporting in their own neighborhoods. We take them on field trips – including the newsroom of a daily newspaper. They learn about community activism and civic responsibility, how their neighborhoods work (or don’t), who has power, who doesn’t and why. Guest speakers include public figures in the Bronx and professional journalists. Student work is published in a special youth supplement called Bronx Youth Heard, which appears in the Norwood News, giving youth a powerful voice in their own communities. Students who complete the course will receive a recommendation letter from our program coordinator. Depending on the school’s policy, there’s also the possibility of students earning class credit. We are looking for students of all academic abilities, but they should be highly motivated, love to write, be naturally inquisitive, and care about what’s going on in their communities.

To apply,click here and download the application form or fill it out online here. On a separate piece of paper, please also tell us about yourself, your academic and extra-curricular interests, and why you are applying to this program. Your essay should be at least 400 words long and must be typed. Mail your completed application form and essay to Bronx Youth Heard, c/o Norwood News, 3400 Reservoir Oval East, Bronx, NY 10467. Or fax to (718) 324-2917. The application deadline is Wednesday, January 29.

The program was founded in 2008. To read about an earlier semester, and students’ experiences, here’s an article that appeared in City Limits. And here’s an article that appeared in DNAinfo. The program is currently being funded through the city’s Department of Youth and Community Development thanks to the support of local Councilman Fernando Cabrera. Bronx Youth Heard is also supported by Hostos Community College’s College Now program. For more information, please call David Cruz at (718) 324-4998, or e-mail bronxyouthheard@gmail.com.

Stagg Group To Build More Housing On Webster Avenue

January 20, 2015

THIS VACANT PROPERTY on Webster Avenue was recently purchased by The Stagg Group, making it the second purchase along the corridor by the large-scale development firm. Photo by David Cruz

THIS VACANT PROPERTY on Webster Avenue was recently purchased by The Stagg Group, making it the second purchase along the corridor by the large-scale development firm.
Photo by David Cruz


Property owners make its second major purchase along desirable corridor
By DAVID CRUZ

The large-scale developer building up Webster Avenue has purchased another chunk of property along the burgeoning corridor. Read more

Accepting Applications for Winter/Spring Session Bronx Youth Heard

January 19, 2015

New BYH Image
The award-winning Bronx community newspaper the Norwood News is now accepting applications Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 3.03.57 PMfor the spring semester of Bronx Youth Heard, an after-school journalism program for high school students. The program is free and open to any high school student who lives or goes to school in the Bronx.

Throughout the course of the semester, students learn the fundamentals of writing, reporting, and photojournalism through classroom instruction and hands-on reporting in their own neighborhoods. They learn about community activism and civic responsibility, how their neighborhoods work (or don’t), who has power, who doesn’t and why. We take them on field trips and bring in guest speakers, including working journalists and public figures.

Best of all, at the end of the course, student work is published in a special youth-focused newspaper called Bronx Youth Heard, which appears in 15,000 copies of the Norwood News, giving youth a powerful voice in their own communities—not to mention a newspaper clip to add to their portfolios and college applications. Students will get paid for their published work and we will reimburse for MTA travel.

You can see a copy of Bronx Youth Heard, produced by students enrolled in the fall 2014 semester, here http://bit.ly/BYHPublishedJan2015. Also included is a flier and application form, which students should fill out and submit along with a typed, 400-word essay. In their essays, students should tell us about their academic and extra-curricular activities, which explain why they’re applying to the program and what they hope to get out of it. We’re looking for students of all academic abilities, but they should be highly motivated, love to write, be naturally curious, and care about what’s going on in their communities.

Applications and essays can be submitted online at http://bit.ly/BYHSpring2015.Or sent to: Bronx Youth Heard, c/o Norwood News, 3400 Reservoir Oval East, Bronx, NY 10467. The information can also be emailed to bronxyouthheard@gmail.com.

The Deadline for applying is Thursday, January 29. Classes begin on Thursday, February 5, and are held every Thursday afternoon for 12 weeks from 4 to 6 p.m. at Hostos Community College, located at 450 Grand Concourse. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach David Cruz, editor-in-chief of the Norwood News at (718) 324-4998 or bronxyouthheard@gmail.com. If you’d like to be informed about future semesters, please email as well.

Opinion: “Why I am Visiting Israel”

January 16, 2015

by Ruben Diaz Jr., Bronx Borough President

The people of the United States have stood strong with the people of Israel from the day that country was founded in 1947. As the only democracy in the Middle East, and as our key ally in the fight against terrorism, Israel holds a special place in the hearts and minds of Americans. This is especially true in New York City, which has shared a unique and significant relationship with the Jewish people and the state of Israel for decades.  Read more

Police Investigate Death of New Jersey Man Found In Norwood

January 16, 2015

POLICE SEAL OFF East 211th Street and Tryon Avenue after officers find a dead body in the truck of a 2013 BMW. Photo by Miriam Quinn

POLICE SEAL OFF East 211th Street and Tryon Avenue after officers find a dead body in the trunk of a 2013 BMW.
Photo by Miriam Quinn


by David Greene and David Cruz 

The 52nd Precinct’s first reported homicide of the year may have taken place elsewhere.  Read more

CCRB Reprimanded Nine Officers From the 52nd Precinct in 2014

January 15, 2015

CHRISTOPHER DUNN, a lawyer for the New York Civil Liberties Union, comments on the CCRB's effectiveness during the Board's first gathering of 2015.  Photo by David Cruz

CHRISTOPHER DUNN, a lawyer for the New York Civil Liberties Union, comments on the CCRB’s effectiveness during the Board’s first gathering of 2015.
Photo by David Cruz


By David Cruz 

In its first meeting of 2015, the Civilian Complaint Review Board revealed it was formally reprimanding seven officers from the 52nd Precinct while already punishing two officers in 2014. Some misconduct included excessive force and abuse of authority, said officials.  Read more

Autopsy to Determine Cause of Death of Norwood Infant

January 15, 2015

by David Greene

Bronx detectives are awaiting the autopsy report after the death of an eight-month-old infant who died Tuesday evening in Norwood.

Police officers from the 52nd Precinct and members of EMS were called to the building at 409 E. 204th St. at 5:21 p.m. on Jan. 13.

NYPD spokeswoman, Detective Annette Markowsi said Wednesday that eight-month-old was “discovered unconscious and unresponsive.”

One witness, a resident of the block who declined to be identified, recalled, “The paramedic came running out of the building with the baby in his arms. The baby looked blue in the face.”

The witness watched as a police car led the way and a second patrol car followed the ambulance for the half mile drive to Montefiore Hospital, where the child was pronounced dead upon arrival.

Markowsi said the infant had not yet been identified and showed, “no apparent signs of trauma.” She added that detectives were waiting for the medical examiner’s autopsy report to determine if the cause of death was accidental.

Residents said that the building near Webster Avenue provides permanent housing to former homeless families and the mother has not lived in the building very long.

The unidentified grandmother who opened the door to the apartment that had a “Happy Birthday” decoration across it, recalled, “Basically what happened was she rolled over on her stomach and her face was down in the crib and she suffocated.”

Bronx News Roundup: Stories From Bronx Journalists

January 14, 2015

by David Cruz 

The Norwood News is putting its aggregator cap on to bring you Bronx News Roundup, a collection of some of the stories Bronx journalists around the borough are working on.

First up, in light of the freezing temps we’ve been feeling around the borough lately, News 12 The Bronx is reporting on sub-zero conditions at International Leadership Charter School that’s compounded by a running air conditioner.

Over in Hunts Point, food workers are threatening to walk off the job at the Hunts Point Produce Market if they’re denied a $5 raise, reports the Daily News.

Winnie Hu of the New York Times profiles the borough’s first-ever senior center specific for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

A report by Scouting NY calls the 180th street subway station the prettiest throughout the city.

Gary Axelbank of BronxTalk speaks with some no-nonsense activists in the Woodlawn section.

And the 49th Precinct in the East Bronx paid its respects to the December killing of two Brooklyn cops with a vigil.

Digital Edition of the Norwood News, First of 2015, Is Out!

January 8, 2015

Norwood News Vol. 28 No. 1
by David Cruz 

If you’re in the northwest Bronx, take a walk to one of 300 locations to pick up your free copy of the Norwood News. Or you could just read it from the comfort of your computer or smart phone. We’re excited to publish the first edition of 2015, loaded with local news, a New Years editorial and our ever-popular Out & About and Neighborhood Notes section.

We’re also proud to host Bob Kappstatter, a guest contributor for the newspaper, who drafted our lead story–year-end crime stats for the 52nd Precinct. Stats show the precinct is headed in a better direction.

We’re also proud to present the 2015 edition of Bronx Youth Heard, a special section of the Norwood News, where several students from Bronx high schools were taught basic journalism skills. Their work is presented in four pages of intriguing stories ranging from computer-mandated homework, teens coping with depression and a cell phone ban that’s soon to be lifted in schools.  We’re so proud of the work these students accomplished this year. Worth the read.

So there you have it, this edition’s news-filled publication of the Norwood News. One item before we close: we want 2015 to be the year letters to the editor return, so please send your letters to dcruz@norwoodnews.org. The maximum number of words per letter is 300. Thanks and enjoy reading!

Two Suspects, One with Norwood Ties, Arrested in NYPD Officers’ Shooting

January 7, 2015

By David Greene 

Two police officers are recovering and two suspects are now in custody after the plain clothes officers from the 46th Precinct approached a pair of suspects wanted for an armed robbery.  Read more

Year-End Stats Show Violence Down In 52nd Precinct

January 7, 2015

SHE’S TAKING A BITE out of crime. Inspector Nilda Hofmann, commanding officer of the 52nd Precinct, helped bring the crime rate down slightly in 2014. Photo by Adi Talwar

SHE’S TAKING A BITE out of crime. Inspector Nilda Hofmann, commanding officer of the 52nd Precinct, helped bring the crime rate down slightly in 2014.
Photo by Adi Talwar


By BOB KAPPSTATTER
 

The year 2014 was one of pluses and minuses for the 52nd Precinct. But its commanding officer isn’t complaining–or relaxing. Read more

Standoff in Throggs Neck Ends With Arrest, Elderly Woman Found Dead

January 2, 2015

NEW YEARS HORROR. A tense standoff in Throggs Neck ends with this man, Alex Perez of Jamaica, Queens, arrested. An 87-year-old woman was found dead in the home he stayed. Photo by David Greene

NEW YEARS HORROR. A tense standoff in Throggs Neck ends with this man, Erik Perez of Jamaica, Queens, arrested. An 87-year-old woman was found dead in the home he stayed.
Photo by David Greene

by David Greene

New Year’s morning saw the second homicide in the borough happening the quietest of places.  Read more

Inquiring Photographer

January 1, 2015

By DAVID GREENE 

This week we asked readers their thoughts on the recent protests for NYPD reforms and what they think demonstrators are trying to achieve.

Inq_Photo-1I think it’s horrible. These [police officers] are innocent people. If you want to do it, do non-violent protests. I’m from India and the father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi, got independence from non-violent protests. Like Martin Luther King, he followed the steps of Gandhi. The Justice Department is investigating and they will analyze what happened to Eric Garner and Michael Brown and will take whatever steps need to be taken.–Mohammad Ziauddin

 

 

Inq_Photo-2I support the protests as long as they’re peaceful and as long as it’s to further their goal, not to take the law into their own hands, but to express their feelings as long as they do it in a peaceful manner. The way things are going now, I believe this campaign has been hijacked by a couple of guys who don’t want them [the protesters] to get to where they really want to go.–Kahalid Khan

 

 

 

Inq_Photo-3I believe that you have a right to do what you need to do when you see injustice, but that doesn’t reflect the vastness of good men and women in law enforcement who get up every day and wear the uniform and shield and protect and serve our community.–Kenny Agosto

 

 

 

Inq_Photo-4I hope the protesters can achieve what they want, what we all want–an end to violence against black men and all police brutality in general. They need to stop arguing with the cops and try and get the message across without the arguing. And stop calling these cops names. Understand this, every cop is not guilty for what happened to Eric Garner and Mike Brown.
–Jonathan Cain

 

 

Inq_Photo-5I’m hoping the protesters will bring awareness of what’s happening across the nation and that will bring people, especially our elected officials, to start a conversation on how to fix this broken system because it’s not working the way it is. The mayor has only sat down with one organization so far, and he needs to sit down with everyone.–Quase Beasley

Mosholu Preservation Corporation – A Norwood Staple Celebrates a Year of Accomplishments

December 30, 2014

PORING OVER THE Norwood News are staffers for the Mosholu Preservation Corporation (MPC) team (l-r)--David Cruz, editor-in-chief of the Norwood News; Roberto S. Garcia, executive director of MPC; and Marcia M. Cameron, deputy director of MPC. The nonprofit is the publisher of the Norwood News.  Photo by Adi Talwar

PORING OVER THE Norwood News are staffers for the Mosholu Preservation Corporation (MPC) team (l-r)–David Cruz, editor-in-chief of the Norwood News; Roberto S. Garcia, executive director of MPC; and Marcia M. Cameron, deputy director of MPC. The nonprofit is the publisher of the Norwood News.
Photo by Adi Talwar


By DAVID CRUZ

Behind the holiday lights strung throughout four commercial strips, a blueprint for bolstering economic fervor along a major thoroughfare, and a revamped Norwood News, the Mosholu Preservation Corporation (MPC) has overseen it all. And that’s just in 2014. Read more

Norwood News’ 2014 Year In Review

December 26, 2014

Norwood News Year In Review


By HAYLEY CAMACHO

The northwest Bronx has seen quite a batch of news stories that have gripped, intrigued and caused quite a stir during 2014. The Norwood News tracked many of these stories this year, and in some cases, broken them. As part of a yearly tradition, we look back at some of the top stories of 2014.  Read more

After Shooting of Brooklyn Officers, the Bronx Presses the Need for Unity

December 22, 2014

RABBI AVI WEISS (second from right) leads a prayer vigil for the Brooklyn officers killed over the weekend. He stands alongside (l-r) State Sen. Jeff Klein, Congressman Jose Serrano, and Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz.  Photo courtesy Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz

RABBI AVI WEISS (second from right) leads a prayer vigil for the Brooklyn officers killed over the weekend. He stands alongside (l-r) State Sen. Jeff Klein, Congressman Jose Serrano, and Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz.
Photo courtesy Office of Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz


by David Cruz 

A push for calm in the aftermath of two cops fatally shot in Brooklyn has reverberated in the Bronx, with legislators siding with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s stance for unity following weeks of tensions and strained relations.

In Kingsbridge Heights, legislators and residents stood outside the 50th Precinct, pushing for a more tempered city two days after Police Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were gunned down by Ismaaiyl Brinsley,  a mentally ill Baltimore man bent on killing police officers. Brinsley would later kill himself while on the platform of a subway station. Read more

Hector Aponte, Bronx Parks Commissioner, to Retire

December 19, 2014

by David Cruz 

Hector Aponte, the long serving Bronx Commissioner for the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, is slated to retire. The agency confirmed to the Norwood News of Mr. Aponte leaving office after spending ten years as Bronx parks chief. It’s unclear when Mr. Aponte’s retire date is effective.

Mr. Aponte, who grew up in the Bronx, was appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to serve as the Bronx Parks Commissioner. His first year in the Bronx came amid the early construction phase of the Croton Water Filtration Plan in Van Cortlandt Village, a massive water project tied to a $200 million spending pot for Bronx parks. But under Mr. Aponte’s leadership, a fraction of the money was spent.

Mr. Aponte began working for the Parks Department in 1995, holding various positions that included Parks Manager for Manhattan from 1995 to 2003. He had a brief tenure as Chief of Operations in Staten Island before returning to his home borough.

It’s unclear who will succeed Mr. Aponte. The Bronx is home to the most parkland than the rest of the city.

Bronx News Roundup: Lawsuits, protests and pop-up cafe

December 18, 2014

By David Cruz 

Thursday brings you another installment of Bronx News Roundup, where we take you around the Bronx to see what our fellow roving reporters are gathering for you. From what we’ve see there’s plenty to write about:

Several outlets are reporting that the Archdiocese of New York is considering the closure of more parishes next year. Preliminary lists show St. Simon Stock Church at 2195 Valentine Avenue may merge with St. Joseph’s Church at 1949 Bathgate Avenue.

The New York Times explores the current state of New York State-operated nursing homes following the aftermath death of Frank Mercado at a nursing home in University Heights.

Major plans are underway to the recently sold Bronx General Post Office in Mott Haven, the Daily News reports.

A new pop-up coffee shop debuts in Mott Haven, aimed at stirring the conversation on race relations, DNAInfo reports.

One day after Mayor Bill de Blasio visits Rikers Island, the U.S. Attorney’s office plans to sue the city over conditions at the notorious prison, The New York Times reports.

Meantime,the city intends to present findings of a traffic study on the leafy Hutchinson River Parkway that’s now abutting so many development projects in the Bronx, so says The Bronx Times Reporter.

In Riverdale, it’s the battle of two former legislators over their view on specially designated natural space in Fieldston, reports The Riverdale Press. 

And Welcome2TheBronx is reporting that protestors are gearing up to crash a secret groundbreaking of FreshDirect’s new headquarters in Port Morris. It’s using the hashtag #WeCan’tBreathe–a play on the slogan used during the Eric Garner grand jury verdict protests–to spread word on the protest.

That rounds up this latest write-up of Bronx News Roundup. Be sure to check the next edition on Christmas Thursday! Happy holidays to all our readers!

Death at University Nursing Home

December 15, 2014

by Anton K. Nilsson

A 77-year old resident of the University Nursing Home in University Heights died last Monday after sustaining injury to the lower rear torso. One aide has been arrested, suspected of criminal negligent homicide and felony assault.

Police say the deceased, Frank Mercado, a patient for UNH, was involved in a “physical altercation” inside the nursing home, at 2505 Grand Avenue. The incident occurred at around 11.30 on the morning of Monday, Dec. 8. He was rushed by private ambulance to the Montefiore Medical Center where he passed away. The Medical Examiner rules the incident a homicide.

Cherrylee Young, a 41-year old employee at University Nursing Home, was arrested and charged with criminal negligent homicide, felony assault, and endangering the welfare of an adult.

UNH extended its “deepest sympathies” to Mercado’s family, according spokesman Thomas McCartin. He would not comment beyond that, citing an active NYPD investigation.

 

Digital Edition of the Norwood News Is Out!

December 11, 2014

Norwood News Edition 12-11-14
by David Cruz 

Thursday ushers in the latest edition of the Norwood Newsavailable at nearly 300 locations throughout the northwest Bronx. This week we delve into a five-year cluster site in Norwood that’s apparently worn out its welcome, according to rent paying tenants. The Norwood News spoke to both sides, who largely feel misunderstood.

We also look at the Stagg Group as it edges closer to opening its three-building complex along Webster Avenue. By and large the buildings are deemed the linchpin to the building boom happening along the northwest Bronx corridor. Hear what residents have to say about the market rate rents.

We also have your neighborhood staples–Out & About, Inquiring Photographer and Business Beat, which features a two-page story profiling the season of shopping along the Jerome-Gun Hill Business Improvement District.

That about sums up this latest digital edition. Be sure to check www.norwoodnews.org for more community news updates.

State of Heroin In The Bronx: Stopping The Spread of Disease, One Needle at a Time

December 1, 2014

TERRELL JONES (center) of New York Harm Reduction Educators at a City Hall rally calling on the public to understand the syringe exchange program.  Photo courtesy New York Harm Reduction Educators

TERRELL JONES (center) of New York Harm Reduction Educators at a City Hall rally calling on the public to understand the syringe exchange program.
Photo courtesy New York Harm Reduction Educators

By David Cruz

Staying helplessly fixated on heroin often comes with an urge to ignore the drug’s risks that transcend addiction. Using with impunity can often make one

look the other way, disregarding that tinge of an STD lingering on the tip of a commune needle.

Jerome Sanchez sees the risks, and has stepped in to help, though he prefers not to call it that. Call him a guide.

“They keep themselves alive for another day,” said Sanchez. “That’s a success.”  Read more

Inquiring Photographer – Will Council Bills Impede NYPD?

November 30, 2014

By DAVID GREENE

This week we asked readers if proposed legislation changing NYPD policies (i.e. police requesting those stopped if they can be searched, no arrests for people carrying 25g or less of marijuana, and limiting chokeholds) will help or hurt their fight on crime and violence or police and community relations.

Inq_Photo-1I believe that the police have many options, and if you stop one action, they have many more. I don’t think it will stop the cops from inventing something different. They’ll have options where they can come up to you, search you and throw something in your pocket.
Mortee Shannon Garrett
Kingsbridge

Read more

State of Heroin In The Bronx: A Special Report

November 17, 2014

THOUSANDS WALK INTO the doors of VIP Services in Tremont, many of them heroin addicts in the Bronx.  Photo by Anton K. Nilsson

THOUSANDS WALK INTO the doors of VIP Services in Tremont, many of them heroin addicts in the Bronx.
Photo by Anton K. Nilsson

 

By David Cruz

Nearly fifty people streamed inside a cafeteria at a church basement in the South Bronx for a meeting. Handshakes followed by hugs and kisses opened the gathering that would last ninety minutes. Read more

Neighborhood Notes

November 17, 2014

Best Libraries Nominations
Nominations by the public for the second annual NYC Neighborhood Library Awards run until Dec. 12. The five best libraries win $20,000 each. Nominations can be submitted at www.nyclibraryawards.org.

Domestic Violence Legal Outreach
Legal services for domestic violence victims is available on Monday, Nov. 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the office of Councilman Andy King, 940 E. Gun Hill Rd. Attorneys with the Urban Justice Center will advise victims about family law, child support, custody, visitation rights and orders of protection. Reservations are required. For more information, call (718) 684-5509.

Veterans Food Drive
Non-perishable foods to benefit food pantries for military veterans are being accepted until Nov. 20 at the office of Councilman Andrew Cohen. Items can be dropped off at 277 W. 231st St. For more information, call (718) 549-7300.

Community Grants
Citizens Committee awards micro-grants of up to $3,000 to resident-led groups to work on community and school improvement projects. Groups in low-income neighborhoods and Title I public schools are priority. For more information, contact Tehmina Brohi at tbrohi@citizensnyc.org or (212) 822-9563.

Public & Community Meetings

November 16, 2014

COMMUNITY BOARD 7 will meet Nov. 18 at the Bedford Park Senior Center, 243 E. 204th St at 6:30 p.m. CB7 committees are held on the following dates at the board office, 229A E. 204th St., at 6:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted: Traffic & Transportation meets on Nov. 13; Environment & Sanitation on Nov. 17; Health & Hospitals on Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m.; Housing/Land Use & Zoning on Nov. 19; Education/Libraries & Youth Services on Nov. 20; Parks & Recreation on Nov. 24; and Senior Services on Nov. 24 at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call (718) 933-5650.

THE 52ND PRECINCT COMMUNITY COUNCIL meets Nov. 20 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Scott Towers, 3400 Paul Ave. For more information, call (718) 220-5824.

Digital Edition of the Norwood News Is Out!

November 12, 2014

Norwood News
by David Cruz 

Have two weeks flown by already? They must have since the latest edition of the Norwood News is out filled with plenty of news you can share with your community.

This edition we look at the implications behind the impending closure of Shrine of Saint Ann’s Church in Norwood, one of six churches slated for closure in the Bronx. Michaela Ross picks up the story and what parishioners think on the closure. The feature In The Public Interest focuses on ways the city Education Department intends to fix the overcrowding issue in school districts, a step in the right direction for parents in the ballooning School District 10.

We then feature a new CPR training school breathing new life in Wakefield, Montefiore Medical Center’s latest opening and familiar staples–Out & About and Neighborhood Notes.

Spread the word, tell your friends, and stop by one of the 300-plus locations that carry the Norwood News. Or just read it from the convenience of your computer and ‘like’ us on Facebook!

Calls For More Security At Forefront of CB7 Public Safety Meeting

November 7, 2014

By Catharina Thuemling

At the latest Community Board 7 Public Safety Committee meeting on Nov. 6, the newly appointed executive officer of the 52nd Precinct, Captain Jonathan Korabel updated worrisome board members and neighbors about the recent shootings in Norwood and Bedford Park.

The shootings prompted a large response by officers, who’ve now stepped up patrols near the board offices by 204th Street and Valentine. Three weeks ago, shots rang outside the office, startling Board members. The incident within the neighborhood was certainly rare, spurring talk of safety in the community. An NYPD light tower has been set up there.

Still, Capt. Korabel noted that the 52nd Precinct saw crime drop 11 percent in the past month. Further arrests in violent crimes and gun arrests increased compared to the same time a year ago, according to figures.

“We hit it in the right direction,” said Korabel. “And the police officers are working hard to get those guns off the street.”

But despite an overall crime rate that often rises and falls on given weeks, plenty voiced worries the neighborhood, for the time being, is unsafe.

“Everybody here is very concerned about how the crime rate is going up,” said Adaline Walker-Santiago, Chairperson of Community Board 7.

Lt. Korabel, speaking on behalf of Inspector Nilda Hoffman who was unavailable for the meeting, announced the latest developments in terms of recent shootings.

Police have made headway in a recent shooting outside a Fordham nightclub on Valentine Avenue and Fordham Road, apprehending two suspects involved in that crime. A shooting at 3083 Decatur Avenue and the other near the Board office are still under investigation.

The safety protocols have been welcomed by the community, though many fear crime will further rise should the extra police and light tower be removed from the neighborhood.

Korabal said that those measures are intended to “to give the community a sense of safety.” He added the police have no plans on removing the tower or the patrols as long if no improvement shows in the neighborhood.

“So hopefully that will help move the elements that causing problems out of the area,” said Korabel.

With Mild Weather, No Excuse Not To Vote

November 4, 2014

ELECTION DAY 2014 is in full swing, with voters heading in and out of polls around the Bronx. This voter walks out of P.S. 94 in Norwood. Photo by Kasia Romanowska

ELECTION DAY 2014 is in full swing, with voters heading in and out of polls around the Bronx. This voter walks out of P.S. 94 in Norwood.
Photo by Kasia Romanowska

by David Cruz 

The forecast this Election Day is calling for mild weather for early November. It’s a perfect time to vote! Polls at schools, community centers and senior centers are open until 9 p.m. in a General Election that’s already perceived as having a very low voter turnout despite a New York gubernatorial contest that needs to be decided.

The top races in the Bronx have already been decided during the September Democratic primary, considered more important given the overwhelming number of registered Democrats in the Bronx. The Bronx Democratic County Committee helped garner wins for its incumbents, though their influence wasn’t enough in the 79th Assembly District when political newcomer Michael Blake edged out party favorite Marsha Michael.

The Norwood News will keep an eye out for any surprises, twists and turns. For now, here’s a full list of candidates running in the General Election.

 

Digital Edition of the Norwood News Is Out

October 30, 2014

Norwood News Front Page

The Norwood News, your bi-weekly community newspaper you know and love to read is out once again, both on the digital format and over 200 locations in the northwest Bronx. In this edition we take an in-depth look at the super high-tech ShotSpotter system slated to arrive within the 52nd Precinct. Hear from Inspector Nilda Hofmann who can’t wait to see the system up and running in the station house that covers Norwood, Bedford Park, Fordham and Kingsbridge.

We’ve also bridged the divide between newspaper and digital news with Norwood News Online, a feature showcasing some web exclusives that can only be found on www.norwoodnews.org. Read all about a campaign to curb teen pregnancies, a spelling bee
B-O-N-A-N-Z-A at P.S. 94, an outraged Fordham Business Improvement District that’s dealing with a CAR-tastrophe and a bitter debate about police accountability.

So stop by the many diners, clinics, banks and stores for your copy of the Norwood News, or read all about it from the convenience of your computer. Until next time!

ATM Bandits Strike Again in Bedford Park, Raising Burglary Count To 54

October 28, 2014

BUSINESS IS BACK to normal at these three stores following a brazen burglary on Oct. 22.  Photo by David Greene

BUSINESS IS BACK to normal at these three stores following a brazen burglary on Oct. 22.
Photo by David Greene


by David Greene

A group of experienced thieves, eluding police since early this year, have struck again in Bedford Park.  Read more

Debates For Police Accountability Rage at Five-Two Mtg.

October 23, 2014

EPHRAIM CRUZ STANDS as he confronts members of the 52nd Precinct Community Council over police tactics.  Photo by David Cruz

EPHRAIM CRUZ STANDS as he confronts members of the 52nd Precinct Community Council over police tactics.
Photo by David Cruz


By David Cruz

One day after celebrating her 24th year at the NYPD, Inspector Nilda Hofmann faced a tense standoff with two police skeptics calling for more accountability within the Police Department. Their weapons: debate and rebuttals that seared with hostility.

Read more

S. Bronx Group Home Under Fire After Abuse Claims

October 23, 2014

 

S. Bronx Group Home Under Fire After Abuse Claims (Picture)

SEVENTEEN WORKERS FROM the Union IRA home in the South Bronx (pictured) have been ordered to stay home with pay, pending the outcome of widespread abuse allegations. Photo by David Greene


By DAVID GREENE

A 17th staffer at a South Bronx home for special needs adults has been told to stay home amid a state investigation of alleged chronic abuse by employees.  Read more

Getting a Say: More Participatory Budgeting Sessions Set

October 19, 2014

By DAVID CRUZ

If you had the chance to fill the role of New York City Councilmember, where would you earmark $1 million in capital funds? It’s a question Councilman Andy Cohen will continue posing in his latest round of Participatory Budget sessions, a yearlong process where locals as young as 14-years-old in his 11th Council District can offer input on how to spend taxpayer monies to better their communities.

Six workshops are slated for this month:

  • Monday, Oct. 20 – Schervier Nursing Home, 2975 Independence Ave. at 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 22 – Rambling House, 4292 Katonah Ave. at 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 23 – Mosholu Montefiore Community Center, 3450 DeKalb Ave. at 7 p.m.
  • Monday, Oct. 27 – Riverdale YM/YWHA, 5625 Arlington Ave. at 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 29 – Lehman College Lovinger Theatre, 250 Bedford Pk. Blvd. at 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 30 – Vladeck Hall, 74 Van Cortlandt Pk. So. at 7 p.m.

“Participatory Budgeting is the true definition of bringing government to the people,” said Cohen, in a statement. “Through this process we will engage residents, increase civic participation and give the public more confidence in government.”

There are caveats– proposals must be a construction or renovation project, cost a minimum of $35,000, and proven be a boon to the public for more than five years. The winning bid must be submitted by the middle of 2015.

For more information on the process, residents are asked to call Councilman Cohen’s office at (718) 549-7300.

52nd Precinct & Liquor Authority Look To Shut Down Xtreme Lounge

October 17, 2014

POLICE HAVE IDENTIFIED this white car linked to a grisly shooting near a nightclub.

POLICE HAVE IDENTIFIED this white car linked to a grisly shooting near a nightclub.

By Catharina Thuemling

The Five-Two’s taking some extreme measures to shut down a Fordham nightclub.  Read more

ShotSpotter Arriving To Five-Two

October 17, 2014

SHOTSPOTTER technology is arriving to the 52nd Precinct as a way to deter gun violence. Here a promotional video demonstrates how the program works.  Video image still courtesy ShotSpotter

SHOTSPOTTER technology is arriving to the 52nd Precinct as a way to deter gun violence. Here a promotional video demonstrates how the program works.
Video image still courtesy ShotSpotter

By David Cruz

High-tech software pinpointing the exact origin of gunfire is coming to the 52nd Precinct amid a spate of shootings in recent weeks.  Read more

Inquiring Photographer: Dangerous Clubs

October 17, 2014

by David Greene 

After a wild murderous melee outside a local night club, we asked readers their thoughts on the club scene and how guests can stay safe.

Inq_Photo-1I think that economically they actually help the community with their taxes, but there’s a lot of danger because it’s not really positive or energetic because most people want to get loose and go wild. And that can lead to negativity. So violence-wise it’s a bad thing, but economically it’s a good thing.
Joshua Cabrera, Kingsbridge  Read more

KNIC Officially Inks Lease To Bring Ice Center To Armory

October 16, 2014

Judge - KNIC Project Can Proceed (Picture) (640x313)

The dream of an ice center is now closer to reality. Photo rendition courtesy KNIC

by David Cruz 

The i’s have been dotted. The t’s crossed. The lawsuits cleared.

Now the Kingsbridge National Ice Center is officially set to bring the world’s largest skating center to the long vacant Kingsbridge Armory after a bumpy start. Kevin Parker, the lead developer of the complex, officially signed a 99-year lease with the city Economic Development Corporation this week, two weeks after a judge ruled he is the sole developer of the $350 million project.

“Reaching this juncture caps a monumental effort from community partners, elected officials and local residents who joined us in dreaming big – in supporting our vision,” said Parker in a statement. “We look forward to advancing what promises to be one of the most exciting development projects in New York City history.”

Kyle Kimball, running the city EDC, said called the news an “important step towards the realization of this project, and the significant economic benefits it will generate for the Bronx.” That includes living wage judges, community space and local hiring, as per terms laid out in a Community Benefits Agreement. An after school ice hockey component will also be included, with Olympic gold medalist Sarah Hughes and KNIC CEO Mark Messier lobbying foundations for support grants.

But the lease did come with some terms, namely that Parker assure the EDC he has the capital to get the project off the ground. At a recent Community Board 7 committee, members revealed that Parker has one year to reveal he has funding.

The latest development comes after a Bronx judge ruled that Kevin Parker is the sole developer of the Armory project and not Jonathan Richter, Jeff Spiritos, Marcos Wignell, the trio that led talks with the community as the project was being vetted.

In July, the three plaintiffs had asked a judge to bar Parker from speaking with the city Economic Development Corporation, the real estate arm of the city, over lease negotiations on the Armory. The latest development allows Parker to continue his talks with the city over when a lease will be sign, clearing KNIC to repurpose the Armory into an ice skating center complete with nine sheets of ice and a 5,000 arena for $350 million.

The trio’s lead attorney , Ernest Badway, refused to comment on the ruling.

Parker’s attorney, Bill Brewer, emphasized that the three plaintiffs “had no right to interfere with this project or impede its progress.”

But the summer-long lawsuits have likely pushed back construction of the massive ice center, originally slated to wrap up construction by 2017. The project is now a year delayed. Once the site is built it will activate the Community Benefits Agreement, a legally binding document hammered out by the community stakeholders and KNIC. The agreement tacks on stipulations that include local hiring, a one percent revenue sharing plan, and an allocation of 50,000 square feet of community space at the Armory’s lower levels.

And even as KNIC plowed through the judicial channels, it was able to secure financing from various groups, namely The Kresge Foundation. Driven by its need for “social investment” the philanthropic organization agreed to serve as the lead investor in a $30 million equity raise for KNIC.

Public & Community Meetings

October 16, 2014

COMMUNITY BOARD 7 will hold its general board meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 21 at Serviam Gardens, 321 E. 198th St., at 6:30 p.m. Committee meetings are held on the following dates at the board office, 229A E. 204th St., at 6:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted: Education/Libraries & Youth Services committee meets Wednesday, Oct. 22; Parks & Recreation and Senior Services committees meet Wednesday, Oct. 29 (Note: Senior Services Committee meets at 7:30 p.m.) For more information call (718) 933-5650.

THE 52ND PRECINCT COMMUNITY COUNCIL meets Thursday, Oct. 16 at the Fordham Hill Oval Corporation, 2455 Sedgwick Ave. from 7 to 9 p.m. For more information, call (718) 220-5824.

Digital Edition of the Norwood News Is Out!

October 16, 2014

Norwood News 10.2.14 Front Cover

by David Cruz 

Take participatory budgeting, a Tour de Bronx, the rebirth of the NCBH maternity ward and the list of Norwood’s worst landlords and you have the latest edition of the Norwood News, hitting newsstands at over 200 locations in the northwest Bronx. This week we explore key events happening in the community for you to share with friends and family.

Check out roving reporter Hayley Camacho’s article on shady landlords whose buildings have made life hell for tenants in Norwood and Bedford Park. The responses she gathered are quite interesting.

Next, we give you an update to a murderous melee that took place in Fordham Road, followed by a nagging quality of life issue at the Pickwick Arms, a historic building at the northern tip of the Grand Concourse.

All that and more (as usual) as we bring you the latest digital edition of the Norwood News! So read up!

Norwood’s Worst Landlords Exposed

October 15, 2014

Norwood's Baddest Landlords (Picture)_mini (640x427)

VICTOR ROSARIO, A tenant at 3450 Decatur Ave., shows off a series of letters blasting management. The Norwood residence is managed by one of the city’s worst landlords. Clothes and a black trash bag work as insulation against a window that won’t close. Photo by Adi Talwar

By Hayley Camacho 

On his dining room table, Victor Rosario has six letters from the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s Code Enforcement Division certifying the numerous violations in his apartment at 3540 Decatur Ave. Rosario has been fighting an uphill battle for the last several years to get the landlord, Bob-Al Management Corp, to make the necessary repairs.  Read more

One Killed, Five Injured in Fordham Shooting

October 6, 2014

POLICE SHUT DOWN several streets as they investigate a brawl that continued along East Fordham Road. Photo by David Greene

POLICE SHUT DOWN several streets as they investigate a brawl that continued along East Fordham Road.
Photo by David Greene


By Anton K. Nilsson

Police are still investigating what sparked a Sunday morning melee outside a Fordham nightclub that stretched several blocks, resulting in one person fatally shot, with another five sent to the hospital. Read more

In The Public Interest – Pinnacle Tenants Still Owed Money

October 4, 2014

By DAVID CRUZ

For tenants who lived or currently reside in Bronx buildings owned and managed by the Pinnacle Group, a payout awaits. But many have yet to claim it. It’s a reason why Senator Gustavo Rivera is making the rounds in his district, reminding locals they may be entitled to a part of a class action settlement. Since Sept. 29, Rivera has visited hundreds of tenants reminding them of the settlement between the management firm and residents.

Lawyers for Pinnacle settled their class action suit filed by tenants who alleged tricky evictions tactics as a way to hike up rents. The case stretches back to 2006.

Despite notices distributed since the suit settled during the summer, lawyers representing the Bronx victims say only one percent of tenants have responded to the settlement, a reason why Rivera’s been visiting Pinnacle-owned residences in his 33rd Senate District since Sept. 29. Nearly half of the 62 Pinnacle-owned buildings are located in his district. Rivera is expected to show up at the following Bronx sites:

Sunday, Oct. 5, 4 to 8 p.m.

–  2185 Valentine Ave.
–  2028-32 Valentine Ave.
–  2340 Valentine Ave.

Thursday, Oct. 9, 5:30 to 7 p.m.
-  2800 Heath Ave.

Rivera will also visit two other buildings in mid-October. To find out more, call (718) 933-2034.

Crime File – Home Invader and Landlord Con Artist On The Run

October 2, 2014

Image (7) (392x640)

SKETCHY SURVEILLANCE VIDEO shows this man walking inside 2955 Grand Concourse in Bedford Park. The man is suspected of barging into an elderly woman’s apartment and robbing her. Video Image Still courtesy NYPD

Police Asking Public’s Help In Finding Bedford Pk. Home Invader

By Catharina Thuemling

In Bedford Park the police are still investigating a push-in robbery that happened in the afternoon hours on Saturday, September 20. Read more

Parkside Houses to Get Enchanced $3 Mil Security System

September 29, 2014

Shola Olatoye, Chair and CEO of the New York City Housing Authority, speaks outside Parkside Houses alongside Councilman Ritchie Torres, who allocated $3 million for improved security.  Photo by Anton K. Nilsson

Shola Olatoye, Chair and CEO of the New York City Housing Authority, speaks outside Parkside Houses alongside Councilman Ritchie Torres, who allocated $3 million for improved security.
Photo by Anton K. Nilsson


By Anton K. Nilsson

A new $3 million investment is hoped to improve security at the Parkside Housing Development on White Plains Road near the borough’s New York Botanical Garden. Residents have made repeated complaints about the lack of security in the complex. Read more

At Kingsbridge Building, Crusader On Her Own

September 24, 2014

A SLEW OF issues plague this apartment building in Kingsbridge Heights, including this illegal laundry room (inset), yet only one resident remains vocal over the problems.

A SLEW OF issues plague this apartment building in Kingsbridge Heights, including this illegal laundry room (inset), yet only one resident remains vocal over the problems.

By DAVID CRUZ

In the 43 years that Suzanne has lived at 95 W. 195th St. in Kingsbridge Heights, her standard of living has progressively gone from bad to worse. Read more

Digital Edition of the Norwood News Is Out!

September 18, 2014

Norwood News Page

The 18th edition of the Norwood News is out with plenty of news to consume. First, we check in what’s happening along Webster Avenue, and plans by a family-owned developer to build two eight-story buildings along the relatively barren corridor. On Decatur Avenue in Norwood, families will get a helping hand from a local councilman and community board as they rebuild after a devastating fire in September 10.

The Norwood News also takes a look at building conditions along Kingsbridge and Fordham, where some tenants have banned together and another tenant is on her own.

We also have your Norwood News fixtures–Inquiring Photographer, Business Beat, and of course the Out & About section. So check out the digital edition of the newspaper. We’re also available at over 200 locations throughout the northwest Bronx so don’t miss it.

Jerome-Gun Hill BID Gears Up For Fall Festival

September 10, 2014

JGHB 2014 Flyer-web Flyer

 

A musical lineup, an array of food and the showcasing of a commercial corridor’s top amenities is in store for the 13th annual Jerome-Gun Hill Business Improvement District’s Fall Festival. Organizers hope the free venue will attract thousands of people who could frequent part of the BID’s borders that lie on Jerome Avenue between East Gun Hill Road and Mosholu Parkway. The event takes place September 20, running from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Families are encouraged to stop by the kid-friendly event that also includes giveaways, raffles and children’s rides. Those still interested in sponsoring are encouraged to call Tanya Hurtado at 347-840-8764.

Accepting Applications For Bronx Youth Heard Fall 2014 Session

September 9, 2014

Bronx Youth Heard Logo

Bronx Youth Heard (Fall application deadline September 18.)

The Norwood News runs the Bronx Youth Heard (formerly known as the Bronx Youth Journalism Initiative), a free after-school journalism program for Bronx high school students. There are two sessions each school year: one in the fall and another in the spring.

We are currently accepting applications for our fall 2014 semester, which is scheduled to start on Thursday, September 25.  Classes are held at Hostos Community College, 450 Grand Concourse, on Thursday afternoons from 4 to 6:00p.m., and run for 12 weeks.

[ATTENTION: Fall applications are DUE THURSDAY, September 18. Download your application now!]

Students learn the fundamentals of writing, reporting, and photojournalism through classroom instruction and hands-on reporting in their own neighborhoods. We take them on field trips – including the newsroom of a daily newspaper. They learn about community activism and civic responsibility, how their neighborhoods work (or don’t), who has power, who doesn’t and why. Guest speakers include public figures in the Bronx and professional journalists. Student work is published in a special youth supplement called Bronx Youth Heard, which appears in the Norwood News, giving youth a powerful voice in their own communities. Students who complete the course will receive a recommendation letter from our program coordinator. Depending on the school’s policy, there’s also the possibility of students earning class credit. We are looking for students of all academic abilities, but they should be highly motivated, love to write, be naturally inquisitive, and care about what’s going on in their communities.

To apply,click here and download the application form or fill it out online here. On a separate piece of paper, please also tell us about yourself, your academic and extra-curricular interests, and why you are applying to this program. Your essay should be at least 400 words long and must be typed. Mail your completed application form and essay to Bronx Youth Heard, c/o Norwood News, 3400 Reservoir Oval East, Bronx, NY 10467. Or fax to (718) 324-2917. The application deadline is Wednesday, January 29.

The program was founded in 2008. To read about an earlier semester, and students’ experiences, here’s an article that appeared in City Limits. And here’s an article that appeared in DNAinfo. The program is currently being funded through the city’s Department of Youth and Community Development thanks to the support of local Councilman Fernando Cabrera and former Councilman Joel Rivera. Bronx Youth Heard is also supported by Hostos Community College’s College Now program. For more information, please call David Cruz at (718) 324-4998, or e-mail bronxyouthheard@gmail.com.

Fordham Neighbors Denounce Spate of Gun Violence

September 9, 2014

Neighbors sick of the gunfire hold a rally to take a stance against gun violence.  Photo by David Greene

Neighbors sick of the gunfire hold a rally to take a stance against gun violence.
Photo by David Greene

by David Greene 

For the second time in as many weeks, a community has turned out for a demonstration denouncing gun violence. More than two dozen residents of Bedford Park and Fordham Manor turned out for the rally held at Decatur Avenue and East 195 Street on September 8.

The site was the scene of 6 shootings in the last five months, the most recent just last week when a 31-year-old man was killed by gunfire. Police suspect the shooting was drug-related, with the assailant gunning for drug turf space.

The rally comes exactly two weeks after residents of Williamsbridge held a similar rally along White Plains Road.

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