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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.

Inquiring Photographer–Gauging The Gun Registry Proposal

September 5, 2014

This week we asked readers their thoughts on a proposed gun offender registry that works the same way as a sex offender registry. Those convicted of using an illegal firearm would be required to register as a gun offender for four years, after completing their sentence.

Inq_Photo-1Yes I do agree. Just as if it was a sex offender, they [gun offenders] should register as well. If you find a gun and return it to the precinct, you get a reward. I think that’s a scam because how did they just find a gun? Selena Valentin, Concourse

 

 

 

Inq_Photo-2I think it would be a good thing for the community. It would give people a bit more insight on the dangers in the neighborhood and also dangerous people. Dee Cee Smith, Norwood

 

 

 

 

Inq_Photo-3I think it would be a good idea, but think it would be hard to pull off. I think it would be fine if they actually enforced it. You don’t want just anyone carrying a gun and acting crazy with them. Shaquill Houston, University Heights

 

 

 

 

Inq_Photo-4I think that’s a good thing that would get a lot of good feedback. I would like to know if you get arrested with a gun or caught doing any type of crime. I don’t want people like that around my grandkids that I love. It’s better to know. Diana Gomez, Norwood

 

 

 

Inq_Photo-5I’d support it, yeah, why not? I don’t think it’s really going to help, but it may help. But what about the people who don’t get caught? And I know a lot of people don’t get caught. It’s always good to try something new. Anthony Williams, Kingsbridge

 

Digital Edition of the Norwood News Is Out!

September 4, 2014

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by David Cruz 

The second edition of the new Norwood News is out with a roundup of news impacting you and your neighborhood. Our top story certainly is timely, with the de Blasio Administration rolling out another wave of so called speed cameras, which snaps a photo of pedal happy motorist. Find out why the northwest Bronx stands to gain most by this measure.

Also, check out the Norwood News’ Back to School Guide just in time for parents to bring their students to school. Check out the best and worst schools in District 10, one of the most overcrowded schools in the Bronx. Also, Montefiore Medical Center offers tips on how to mentally prep your children for school.

A last picture show for the summer, a revitalized Fordham project and a profile of a worthy neighborhood center are just some of the interesting stories the digital edition of the Norwood News has in store for you. So check it out and spread the news about the Norwood News. Also, the Norwood News also runs the Bronx Youth Heard program where we are currently accepting applications so be sure to check that out!

Residents: Enough is Enough to Gun Violence in Williamsbridge

August 28, 2014

JOE THOMPSON, president of the nearby 49th Precinct Council, speaks to a crowd during an anti-violence demonstration in Williamsbridge.  Photo by David Greene

JOE THOMPSON, president of the nearby 49th Precinct Council, speaks to a crowd during an anti-violence demonstration in Williamsbridge.
Photo by David Greene


by David Greene

They’re standing up to violence.

Residents of Williamsbridge and Wakefield joined in solidarity with representatives of several local officials from across the borough for Stand Up to Violence (SUV), an anti-crime demonstration at the site of a recent shooting where a bullet grazed a child. Read more

Accepting Applications For Bronx Youth Heard Fall 2014 Semester

August 22, 2014

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.

It’s Here! A New and Improved Look For The Norwood News

August 21, 2014

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by David Cruz 

 

The Norwood News has been anticipating this moment for quite some time, waiting for the perfect moment to re-introduce the newspaper to the readers, and it’s finally here…the new Norwood News. Same news spirit. Fresh new look. In it you’ll find an entire color page full of news stories impacting the community, and familiar features the Norwood News has ran for years, including Inquiring Photographer with David Greene, Business Beat, Be Healthy (fascinating piece on the 10-year separation procedure of conjoined twins), and Judy Noy’s Out & About. They’re complemented with a new feature dubbed Norwood News Online, a collection of news stories you’ll only find on www.norwoodnews.org.

Making the news this edition is the eviction for 13 homeless families housed in a cluster site on Mosholu Parkway. Check out Imani Hall’s piece on what tenants, both homeless and renters, have to say about the changes. Also, read all about a trio of thieves on the loose in the northwest section of the Bronx, robbing the elderly.

Also, we want as much feedback as possible so we urge you to email David Cruz, the editor-in-chief of the Norwood News, at dcruz@norwoodnews.org. So check out the digital edition of the Norwood NewsWe want your thoughts so please send them on our. Welcome to the new Norwood News.

 

Tenants Set To Recoup Losses By Pinnacle Group

August 11, 2014

by David Cruz 

In a case that’s stretches back to 2006, thousands of Bronx tenants will begin settling their legal matters with a shady landlord who attempted to drive them out of their rent-regulated apartments in order to raise rents.

An informational meeting is slated for August 14 in Harlem for locals affected by the Pinnacle Group, the owner of nearly five-dozen buildings in the Bronx. Tenants impacted by the group between 2004 and 2010 will gather Aug. 14 at 6:30 p.m. at I.S. 172 in Harlem to understand the terms of the settlement ad how to file a claim.

Despite notices sent out to thousands of tenants, Kim Powell of Buyers & Renters United to Save Harlem, a tenants rights group, said she doesn’t trust Pinnacle to have done so.

The Pinnacle Group agreed to a settlement last year, with tenants able to file claims to recoup monetary losses that ranged from time spent taking on Pinnacle to making repairs to their home to avoid eviction. Roughly $2 million has also been earmarked for attorney fees. The Legal Aid Society has agreed to aid tenants understand any legal challenges.

The case stretches back to 2006 after an investigative series by the Norwood News revealed the Pinnacle Group used questionable tactic against neighbors living in Pinnacle’s collection of properties in the northwest Bronx and parts of Harlem. Powell claims amenities such as heat and hot water were turned off as a way to force tenants out, while also withholding the processing of on-time rent checks.

Powell’s group later filed the class action suit that alleged Pinnacle committed conspiratorial acts to oust tenants. Pinnacle’s reach was wide in the northwest Bronx, with the property group in charge of five-dozen properties in Melrose to Fieldston.

At 52nd Precinct National Night Out, Theories Offered On Better Community Policing

August 7, 2014

Police officers decked in superhero outfits join kids at National Night Out Against Crime. Photo by David Greene

Police officers decked in superhero outfits join kids at National Night Out Against Crime.
Photo by David Greene


By David Cruz

National Night Out Against Crime serves as a promotional outreach event humanizing police, while forging a better bond between community and police.

At the 52nd Precinct, as in most precincts throughout the city for the past 31 years, National Night Out Against Crime drew officers out of their regular patrol and to Williamsbridge Oval Park. There they gathered with community members who took advantage of giveaways, music, and free food and backpacks all while mingling with officers. Read more

Graffiti Eliminated, And Logged To Database

August 6, 2014

Members of the 52nd Precinct take to the streets to clean up graffiti crime. Photo courtesy 52nd Precinct

Members of the 52nd Precinct take to the streets to clean up graffiti crime.
Photo courtesy 52nd Precinct


by David Greene

The northwest Bronx has a lot less graffiti, and at no expense to the taxpayer! Read more

Burglars Washed-up After Laundromat Heist; Suspects Eyed in 33 Similar Break-in’s

August 1, 2014

Police outside of the Spin City Laundromat on East 204 Street, where police arrested three men who broke into the store's ATM machine.--Photo by David Greene

Police outside of the Spin City Laundromat on East 204 Street, where police arrested three men who broke into the store’s ATM machine.–Photo by David Greene


by David Greene 

Three men are in custody after an early morning break-in at a Norwood laundromat–and cops say the trio is suspected in 33 similar jobs from Manhattan to Westchester.

Residents say a small army of police on the ground and a helicopter overhead, converged on the Spin City Laundromat at 345 East 204 Street at just before 3 a.m. on Thursday, July 30.

One police source told the Norwood News, “We responded to a burglary here last night. It was apart of a pattern-crime (and) who were responsible for 33 similar break-in’s from Yonkers to Manhattan.”

The officer smiled before adding, “And we arrested them last night.”

The thieves apparently only targeted the store’s Automated Teller Machine, which they cleaned out all of it’s $10 bills. The burglars also removed the surveillance camera tapes from inside Spin City.

The owner of Spin City, who purchased the popular business three months ago and who declined to be identified, recalled, “I came to open the store this morning and found police here waiting for me.”

The owner said the perpetrators created a 2-foot hole in the back of the store, where he claimed the previous owner had cheaply boarded up a window.

A second police source stated that the trio arrested had been under surveillance and police pinged the suspects phone at the time of their arrest, while the most recent crime was being committed.

Police charged Miguel Rodriguez, 34, of Beekman Avenue in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.; Juan Perez-Porter, 41, of nearby University Avenue and Porsirio Sanchez-Javier, no address give– so far all three have only been charged with burglary and criminal mischief in the latest crime.

Officially, the NYPD could not yet comment on any additional charges or pending cases against the three suspects.

Customers at Spin City were turned away for much of the day, while one angry customer argued with police about not being able to get his clothes.

“You’re not getting your clothes, it’s a crime-scene,” one detective told the agitated customer, who abruptly walked off.

A longtime worker at Spin City said as she watched police inside the store, “I don’t want people to be scared to come here, I want the people to come back.”

The day was a double-win for local cops as members of the 52nd Community Affairs, the 52 Precinct Auxiliary and members of it’s Crime Prevention Unit were on hand removing graffiti along Jerome Avenue.

 

Oval To Host 31st Annual National Night Out Against Crime

July 31, 2014

By Brittney Williams

Hundreds of residents from the Bedford Park, Fordham, Kingsbridge, Norwood and University Heights will converge at the Williamsbridge Oval in its yearly call against criminals.

The annual National Night Out Against Crime takes place on Tuesday, August 5 at the Williamsbridge Oval Park from 5 to 8 p.m. The night offers a varied mix of activities for children and families such as face painting and bouncing houses. Backpacks and other school supplies are also given out to children to help prepare them for the upcoming school year.

The event was founded in the early 1980s, serving as a way to bring the community together and open up communication about safety issues in the neighborhood. Every year, police officers talk with community members and offer advice on how to stay safe. Information from local community groups is also given out to keep the public aware of matters affecting Bronxites.

Adaline Walker-Santiago, the Chairperson of Bronx Community Board 7 will be setting up a table to inform people about how important the police are in the community.

“I think it’s important to see the police as community-friendly. It shows the police are here for the community and they are supported,” said Walker-Santiago.

This year, the 52nd Precinct has something to celebrate—lower crime than last year. CrimeStats show major crime dropped .8 percent this year, with murder taking a dip the most. This year there were three murders, compared to five at the same time last year. But hurting the Five-Two’s numbers was an increase in rape and burglary, which went up 11 percent and 9 percent respectively.

Digital Download of the Norwood News Is Available

July 24, 2014

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by David Cruz 

Well, here it is–the latest edition of the Norwood News is out with pages of intriguing news coverage and a special announcement for readers. First up, the Norwood News continues its coverage of the Kingsbridge Armory and some bad luck for merchants who face a massive rent hike come August. We explore just what transpired at an emergency meeting hosted by Community Board 7.

Our next story is pretty endearing for us, and will receive plenty of promotion in the coming four weeks as we enter the annual Norwood News hiatus. In August we’ll unveil a brand new look to the Norwood News that will serve as a new chapter in this great community newspaper’s history. More announcements on this change will come.

We also take a look at what’s happening on the jobs front, the business front with our Business Beat column and the health front with Be Healthy. So if you have several minutes stop by at one of our over 200 locations in the northwest Bronx, and please feel free to call the paper at 718-324-4998 to share some thoughts. Until next month!

July 12, 2014

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Serial Groper Still on the Run

Police in the 47th Precinct are still on the hunt for a serial groper wanted in nine separate attacks on females between the ages of 12 and 21 in Wakefield, Edenwald, Williamsbridge and Eastchester. His crimes stretch back to the beginning of the year. Read more

Digital Edition of the Norwood News Is Out!

July 10, 2014

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by David Cruz 

The latest of the Norwood News is out, found at nearly 200 locations throughout the northwest Bronx. Here we highlight several stories worth reading:

First up, the fate of the Shrine of St. Ann’s Church on Bainbridge Avenue is up in the air following a financial review by the Archdiocese. Our own Pamela Segura followed that story.

We also take you to Fordham and a lobby newsstand allegedly forced to withdraw from its coffee sales after a Starbucks opens in the same building. Check out what the coffee giant had to say about the move.

And finally, we offer readers one of our photo spreads highlighting some key moments during the first annual Family Fitness Fun event that happened at the Williamsbridge Oval.

So sit back, grab that cup of coffee and read up on what’s happening in the northwest Bronx with the latest digital edition of the Norwood News

 

Sunday Shooting Leaves Man Dead in Kingsbridge Terrace

June 30, 2014

A bicycle rider stops to watch a police crime-scene at University Avenue and West 197 Street.--Photo by David Greene

A BICYCLE RIDER stops to watch a police crime-scene at University Avenue and West 197 Street.–Photo by David Greene


by David Greene 

The Bronx could not escape a series of shootings that happened throughout the city, with the borough’s only weekend shooting happening in Kingsbridge.  Read more

June 30, 2014

????????????????? The Norwood News is once again proud to present the latest edition of Bronx Youth Heard, a special publication reported, researched and written solely by Bronx high school students. The students were part of a 12-week program that exposed them to the basics of journalism, the mechanics of writing and the empowerment of civic mindedness. Our instructor, Katina Paron, worked closely to harness their talents, which are here for Norwood News readers to see. Before we close, we want to thank several folks: Councilman Fernando Cabrera and former Councilman Joel Rivera for allocating the funds needed to keep the program running, Hostos Community College for offering us the space free of charge, the Mosholu Preservation Corporation for allowing the Norwood News to produce the publication, and lastly the students for producing fine content. So take a look at what some of our student journalists have written and post your thoughts!

Shanna Kay GriffithConfessions of Teenage Shopaholics: Reporter Shanna-Kay Griffiths explores teens use of money, and the compulsions all teens face when confronted with the latest sneakers or the flashiest hair styles. Read all about it here

MLiz Guevaraemorial Tees Sweep Bronx SchoolsHow do you memorialize a love one? In this story by reporter Liz Guevara, teens have shown love and support in creative ways, namely so-called memorial T-shirts that pay tribute to those who’ve passed. Read Liz’s story, and who she spoke to here.

Jacqueline OrtizHunts Point In The Spotlight: With crime a major problem in the Hunts Point neighborhood of the Bronx, some building owners have decided to shine light on the issue by hoisting several floodlights atop their buildings. Reporter Jacqueline Ortiz explores speaks to neighbors who weigh in on the move. Read all about it here.

And that’s the latest edition of Bronx Youth Heard. Be sure to check back in a few months for the next edition produced by some young fine writers in the Bronx. If you have a candidate you feel works for the program, email David Cruz at dcruz@norwoodnews.org or call 718-324-4998.

Hot Off The Digital Press! Latest Edition of the Norwood News Hits Streets

June 26, 2014

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by David Cruz 

The Norwood News is out with its latest digital edition. It’s also hit the nearly 200 locations Bronxites can go to read up on what’s happening in the northwest Bronx. As usual, we have our own teaser for you to enjoy: First up, the big news in the Bronx political sphere is Congressman Charles Rangel securing a 23rd term as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Find out what his chief rival, State Senator Adriano Espaillat, has to say about the vote count. Coverage was largely due in part to our reporters Imani Hall and Brittney Williams.

Next, check out a moving jazz tribute to the late Ibrahim Gonzalez.

And finally, as has been the case for the past seven years, the Norwood News is proud to announce the latest edition of Bronx Youth Heard, authored by Bronx high school students over the winter and spring. Very intriguing pieces from the eyes of our youth.

So tell your friends, acquaintances and new friends about the latest edition of the Norwood News and send thoughts to editor-in-chief David Cruz at dcruz@norwoodnews.org.

Digital Edition of the Norwood News Out!

June 12, 2014

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Major projects are in focus in the latest digital edition of the Norwood News. First up, trouble at the Kingsbridge Armory, slated to become a mega-ice skating rink. Infighting has caused delays for the landmark castle. We hear from both sides.

Several blocks away, legislators look to grant public access to Jerome Reservoir Park, long closed following construction of the Croton Water Filtration Plant. We find out how lawmakers intend to open the park for recreation.

The latest edition also explores the nature of limited liability corporations and loopholes exploited when managing a building. And finally, meet the candidates in the closely watched 13th Congressional District race!

So check out the latest edition of the Norwood News, also distributed at nearly 200 locations in the northwest Bronx.

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