Bronx Notes: Financial Literacy with 1990s Entertainers

July 31, 2012

Two entertainers who made it big in the 1990s, Play from the hip hop duo Kid n’ Play and Meli’sa Morgan, are coming to the Bronx Library Center (E. Kingsbridge Road, just north of Fordham Road), to talk about financial literacy and share their personal financial struggles. “Fame and (Mis)Fortune” starts tonight at 6 p.m. at the Library Center. It is co-hosted by New York Public Library and event/content producer Souleo. The Daily News wrote about this event yesterday. And just for fun, here’s Kid n’ Play’s classic “Ain’t Gonna Hurt Nobody” video:

Ed. note: Every weekday, we highlight Bronx programs, announcements, services, opportunities, public meetings/hearings or community events. Find a full listing on our Neighborhood Notes page. Send your neighborhood notes to us at norwoodnews@norwoodnews.org.

Bronx News Roundup, July 31

July 31, 2012

By Sarah Ramirez

Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Bronx News Roundup. Here are the stories we’re following today, starting with the weather: Mostly cloudy, high of 83.

A small group of fathers held a rally on Monday at the Bronx County Courthouse and marched on Grand Concourse to condemn the recent gun violence, while urging dads to take a greater interest in the children, the Daily News reports.

Despite earlier reports, according to the Daily News no link has been found between last week’s shooting death of 14-year-old Kemar Brooks and a non-fatal shooting two blocks from Haffen Park earlier that evening.

The first of three teenagers suspected to have been involved in the gun fight that left toddler Lloyd Morgan dead was indicted Monday. The Daily News reports that 17-year-old Rondell Pinkerton faces murder, weapons and assault charges.

The City Council is hoping to curb rising gun violence by funding anti-gun violence programs in New York’s most violent neighborhoods, DNAinfo reports. The 40th Precinct in the South Bronx will use the funding to hire former gang members as “violence interrupters” in the same vein as the Save Our Streets program in Crown Heights.

A drug ring that operated between the Bronx and eastern Long Island and made weekly deliveries of cocaine has been busted, according to authorities. [NY Post]

Out-of-towners from Puerto Rico to Florida are flooding New York City homeless shelters like never before, including those in the Bronx, putting a strain on the city’s resources. The Bloomberg administration is cutting costs by paying for families to return home. [Daily News]

The West Bronx Rec Center and Parks Department hosted a daylong “Summer Sports Olympics” on Friday to celebrate the start of the Games in London. Over 200 kids attended the Olympic-themed event, according to the Daily News.

Bronx native John Orozco had some poorly timed miscues in yesterday’s team gymnastics competition. The U.S. men’s team finished fifth, a disappointing result after the gold medal contenders placed first in the qualifying round. Orozco still has a shot at a medal in tomorrow’s individual all-around event. [NY Post]

Enjoy the day. Send links and news tips to norwoodnews@norwoodnews.org. (Editor’s note: our e-mail was down from Sunday afternoon to Monday evening. If you sent something during that time, please send it again.)

NW Bronx Fall Primary Preview

July 31, 2012

By Alex Kratz

The northwest Bronx saw an early, and extremely competitive, primary in June for the 13th Congressional District. In September, there will be a handful of Democratic primaries for state races in northwest Bronx districts. Some will be competitive. Others, probably not so much.

Perhaps the most intriguing race will pit incumbent Naomi Rivera against challenger Mark Gjonaj in the 80th Assembly District, which stretches from Norwood through Morris Park.

Unseating an incumbent in the Bronx is never easy, especially one backed by the Bronx Democratic County Committee and the Rivera clan (Naomi is the daughter of Assemblyman Jose Rivera and brother of Council majority leader Joel Rivera). But Gjonaj is bringing serious resources to the table. According to his latest campaign finance disclosure report, Gjonaj has raised $167,818 from 369 donors. Meanwhile, Rivera has raised $101,647 from 109 donors.

Gjonaj recently opened a campaign office on Bainbridge Avenue in Norwood (and also has one in Morris Park), while Rivera is hosting a series of family-friendly outdoor movies on Mosholu Parkway.

Naomi’s father Jose Rivera is facing a considerably less-well-funded challenger in Ricardo “Ricky” Martinez, a longtime community presence in Bedford Park who is fighting cancer along with one of the Bronx’s most wily political veterans in the elder Rivera.

Read more

Three Wounded in Briggs Avenue Shooting

July 30, 2012

By David Greene

A police investigator takes notes after a shooting left three wounded on Briggs Avenue on July 21. (Photo by David Greene)
Police were getting little or no help from the three victims shot on a Briggs Avenue street corner, or the 100 or so residents who were outside enjoying the warm evening, even after the gunfire.

Police and paramedics were called to Briggs Avenue at East 199th Street in Bedford Park, and discovered three victims shot outside of a bodega at 2885 Briggs Ave., just after 8:30 p.m., on Saturday, July 21.

“The three victims were friends and standing on the corner when an unknown male approached them and fired several shots in their direction,” said a police source close to the investigation who wasn’t authorized to speak to reporters.

“They are stable,” the source said, adding that one victim was shot in the abdomen, another in his calf, and the third in the shoulder.” The source said the three victims had been “uncooperative” with the investigation.

The source described one victim as a male Hispanic, about 20 years old, another was a black male, also age 20. No information was available on the third victim or the assailant.

Ed. Note:
A version of this article was originally published in the July 26-Aug. 23 print edition of the Norwood News. Anyone with information in regard to any of these crimes should call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS (8477) or submit their tips by logging on to the Crime Stoppers Website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Bronx Notes: Training for Nonprofit Pros

July 30, 2012

The Bronx Fellowship is recruiting Bronx mid- to senior-level non-profit professionals for a free nine-month training and networking program to strengthen their professional skills and help them build partnerships and expand their networks. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, July 31. For more information, contact Ariel Ennis at ennisa@jcrcny.org or call (212) 983-4800 ext. 157.

Ed. note: Every weekday, we highlight Bronx programs, announcements, services, opportunities, public meetings/hearings or community events. Find a full listing on our Neighborhood Notes page. Send your neighborhood notes to us at norwoodnews@norwoodnews.org.

Bronx News Roundup, July 30 (Olympics Update Edition)

July 30, 2012

Welcome back to another edition — the Bronx Olympic update edition — of the Bronx News Roundup. Hope everyone had a lovely weekend. Here are the stories we’re following today, starting with the weather: Mostly sunny, high of 84, rain possible this evening.

John Orozco, in a photo from ryanseacrest.com.

We’ll start with some Olympic action involving Bronxites.

John Orozco, the young gymnast who’s receiving a lot of media attention for his made-for-TV, rags-to-riches rise from a poor home in the south Bronx to the top ranks of world gymnastics, came out strong during team qualifying on Saturday. In leading the United States to the top team qualifying score, Orozco posted the fourth highest all-around overall score, finishing just a little more than half a point behind US teammate Daniel Leyva. Orozco and the US team are back in action today, starting at 11:30 a.m., for the team final. (The NY Times will be live-blogging from the event.) The individual final starts tomorrow and individual events are scheduled for later in the week. (Couldn’t find a way to embed any highlights from Saturday, but here’s a link to NBC’s montage from the men’s competition.)

The other Bronx Olympian you may have heard of, swimmer Cullen Jones (who now lives in Jersey), contributed to the US team’s silver medal finish yesterday in the 4 X 100 freestyle relay. [Times] In Beijing four years ago, the US team, with Jones competing, barely edged out a trash-talking French squad by the narrowest of margins in one of most thrilling moments of those games. This time around, France returned the favor, beating Jones and Co. (including stars Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte) to the finish by an arm’s length. Jones is off today, but will back in the pool tomorrow for the 100 meter freestyle and will compete in the 50 meter freestyle later in the week.

Two fencers from the Bronx — 34-year-old Riverdalian Timothy Morehouse (a 2008 silver medalist) and Daryl Homer, a 22-year-old St. John’s student from St. Thomas — both made it to the quarterfinals of the Individual Sabre competition and lost. Both will be competing in the team finals later this week.

In other news:

Following the deaths of 4-year-old Lloyd Morgan and 14-year-old Kemar Brooks, both victims of gun violence in the Bronx last week, there was an “outpouring” of support by local churches and elected officials, the Times reports. One Bronx Assembly candidate, Mark Gjonaj (80th AD, facing Naomi Rivera), gave Lloyd Morgan’s family $6,000 to help with funeral costs. A third suspect was charged in the shooting that killed Lloyd, DNAinfo reports.

Although five or six shell casings from fired bullets were found on the basketball court in Haffen Park, near where Kemar was playing tennis the night he was killed, police believe the 14-year-old high school freshman may have been hit by a stray bullet fired from two blocks away — several hours after the first shots were fired near the basketball court, the NY Post reports.

To show how easy it is to bring illegal guns into the Bronx (and other parts of NYC), Brooklyn Assemblyman Eric Adams purchased an assault rifle equipped with a high-apacity magazine and drove it to the Bronx border (Yonkers) and held a press conference with, among others, Bronx DA Robert Johnson, the NY Post reports. Assault weapons with high-capacity magazines are outlawed in the city, but not other parts of New York state.

Continuing with our gun violence theme, sadly, the son of Good Dine (a West Indian restaurant on East 223rd Street) owner Kenneth Clarke, Gary Clarke, was found murdered, with a gun shot wound to his chest, near East 228th Street and White Plains Road on Saturday morning, the NY Post reports.

Jeffrey Smalls, one of the founders of the Bronx Design and Construction Academy on the Alfred E. Smith campus, has big plans for his students, the NY Post reports. All of his students, he says, will be ready to enter the workforce in the construction trades or go to college. The school is in its second year.

On Saturday morning, the Daily News reports, the intersection of Mosholu Parkway North and Webster Avenue was dedicated as “Police Officer Eric Hernandez Memorial Corner” in honor of Hernandez, a police officer with the 52nd Precinct who was killed by fellow cops during a fight at a local White Castle restaurant. (More on coverage on this later.)

Two entertainers, including Play from the hip hop duo Kid n’ Play, are coming to the Bronx Library Center (E. Kingsbridge Road, just north of Fordham Road), to talk about financial literacy, the Daily News reports. “Fame and (Mis)Fortune” starts tomorrow at 6 p.m. at the Library Center.

An SUV crashed into a Parkchester bus shelter on Sunday morning, injuring a woman who was waiting there.

A fire broke out at Hunts Point warehouse this morning, NBC news reports.

And finally and least importantly, Katie Holmes and daughter Suri hit the Bronx Zoo over the weekend.

Enjoy the day. Send links and news tips to norwoodnews@norwoodnews.org.

‘Paradise’ Boosts Bronx Arts Scene

July 30, 2012

By Sarah Ramirez

For this installation for the “This Side of Paradise” exhibit at the Andrew Freedman Home, Bronx artist Linda Cunningham collaged drywall from the home with window frames, historic photos of the Bronx, and more. (Photo by Sarah Ramirez)

The success of this spring’s “This Side of Paradise” exhibit, which took place at the Andrew Freedman Home on the Grand Concourse, has people talking about the emerging art scene in the Bronx like never before.

Curated by the nomadic non-profit arts organization No Longer Empty, “This Side of Paradise” brought over 9,000 people, over the course of two months, to the historic 1920s building that once served as a retirement home to the formerly wealthy.

The featured galleries and projects, created by over 30 artists, many based in the Bronx, weaved together themes such as history and socioeconomics.

“The positive energy generated by bringing artists together to create art works that reflect some aspect of the Bronx and Bronx history was a terrific idea,” said Linda Cunningham, one of the artists featured in the exhibit.

Read more

Summer Fun Coming Sunday on E. 204th Street

July 28, 2012

On the next two Sundays in Norwood, the street will be blocked off on East 204th Street, between Bainbridge and Decatur avenues, for a city-sanctioned block party, complete with outdoor shopping, street games, face painting, food and live performances. It’s part of the Department of Transportation’s Summer Streets program, presented by the East 204th Street and Bainbridge Avenue Merchants Association. Next Sunday, Aug. 5, the street festival will include live performances by several Bronx musicians. See the full lineup below:

Bronx News Roundup, July 27

July 27, 2012

By Alex Kratz

Welcome to the Friday edition of the Bronx News Roundup. Here are the stories we’re following today, starting with the weather forecast for the weekend: Muggy and hot with a chance for thunderstorms this afternoon and tonight. Cooler this weekend, overcast with rain possible on Saturday, then mostly sunny on Sunday.

Ruben Diaz, Jr. for Public Advocate in 2013? In his column for the Bronx Times, editor Bob Kappstatter says it’s a very real possibility for the current Bronx borough president and spokesman John DeSio confirmed that Diaz is indeed exploring a run. Also: notes from Bronx Democratic County dinner (good turnout, no brawls), and more conjecture on 75-year-old Assemblyman Jose Rivera’s future (switching seats with Councilman son Joel?).

Kappy files this report on the fallout from the conviction of Bronx Councilman Larry Seabrook. It says a special non-partisan special election will probably called to coincide with the Nov. 6 general election and includes some possible replacement candidates, including 1199 SEIU’s Andy King, Seabrook’s daughter Latisha and Marricka Scott, a former chief of staff to Bronx Dem boss Carl Heastie.

Seabrook, whose seat was vacated upon the conviction, told reporters he’ll continue to keep the faith. “My reaction is that I continue to have faith in God, faith in the system, faith in my attorneys,” he said, according to the NY Times, adding that he would “now prepare myself for whatever is next.” Seabrook is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 8.

Yes! Finally the extensive profile on ubiquitous local blogger/irritant/free press advocate/mayor torturer Rafael Martinez Alequin that we’ve all been waiting for (meaning to write ourselves), courtesy of Riverdale Press associate editor Adam Wisnieski. Lots of good stuff here, but here’s just one tidbit that pretty much sums up Alequin: “I’ve got the trifecta. I’m despised by the mayor. I’m despised by the speaker. I’m despised by the press,” he said. (We don’t despise you Rafael! Keep up the good work.)

Adriano Espaillat may have dropped his lawsuit alleging disenfranchisement during the 13th Congressional District primary, but the group Latino Justice continues to push the Department of Justice to further look into violations of the Voting Rights Act, saying it has more evidence that proper bilingual assistance wasn’t provided on election day, the Riverdale Press reports.

Capital New York takes a look at the Bronx Museum’s two new exhibits, which opened last week.

The website SeedStock.com has a story on teacher Steve Ritz (formerly at Discovery High School) and the Bronx Green Machine, the sustainable agriculture program he created that is now growing crops on a Harlem rooftop.

Former DeWitt Clinton High School shortstop Melvin Mercedes (who has an awesome baseball name, always an important attribute for a big leaguer) is starting his professional career with Oakland A’s, the Riverdale Press reports.

14-year-old Bronxite Kemar Brooks was found dead early this morning by his father in Haffen Park with a tennis racket in his hand, reports the Daily News. Kemar’s dad said his son was a standout student and had “bright future.” Police said he suffered head trauma and may have been shot.

Two people were arrested after allegedly causing a ruckus and then assaulting police officers during a late night showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” at the Concourse Plaza Multiplex.

Former Mariners superstar Ichiro Suzuki makes his Bronx debut for the Yankees against the Red Sox tonight. The Times’ Tyler Kepner, in a front page piece, says Ichiro has an opportunity to shine on the biggest stage of his career. (So many thoughts on this development from your humble narrator, a lifelong and long-suffering Mariners fan, which I hope to share in a post next week. But for now, I’ll just say, Good Luck, Ichiro, thanks for the memories.)

And finally, on the day the Olympics gets officially underway, a story from CNN on Olympian John Orozco. The Bronxite has a legitimate shot at getting a medal in London, but he’ll have to beat this guy to win gold. Below, Orozco talks about growing up in the Bronx.

That’s all for today, we’ll be back next week. Enjoy the Olympics and the rest of the weekend. Send links and news tips to us at norwoodnews@norwoodnews.org.

Bronx Notes: Street Dedication for Late Five-Two Officer

July 27, 2012

The 52nd Precinct invites the public to its street renaming dedication in tribute to Police Officer Eric Hernandez, who was killed in 2006 by fellow officers during a fight at a White Castle restaurant. The street sign, which will read “The P.O. Eric Hernandez Memorial Corner,” will be placed on Webster Avenue and Mosholu Parkway North, on Saturday, July 28 at 11 a.m. across the street from the precinct which is located at 3016 Webster Ave. Lunch follows the ceremony. For more information, call (718) 220-5811.

Ed. note: Every weekday, we highlight Bronx programs, announcements, services, opportunities, public meetings/hearings or community events. Find a full listing on our Neighborhood Notes page. Send your neighborhood notes to us at norwoodnews@norwoodnews.org.

Rangel Emerges Victorious, Part of Bronx Family

July 27, 2012

By Alex Kratz

With a general election victory in November considered a formality, Congressman Charlie Rangel will represent the Bronx for the first time in his lengthy career starting in 2013.

Initially, Charlie Rangel wanted nothing to do with the Bronx.

The 82-year-old legislative icon, a symbol of black political power and one-time student at DeWitt Clinton High School on Mosholu Parkway, was comfortable with upper Manhattan as his district and Harlem as his base. The Bronx seemed like foreign territory, not, as it has become, an extension of the district he had loved and fostered as a Congressman for the last 42 years.

“I had a fierce identification with Harlem,” he said in a recent interview, just weeks after edging out a primary victory in the 13th Congressional District, which now includes the northwest Bronx. “As a kid, I always thought if anybody didn’t live in Manhattan, they didn’t live in the City.”

He fought the idea that the Bronx would become part of his district. But after a judge drew new Congressional lines earlier this year (after the state legislature failed to agree on lines) based on the 2010 Census, it didn’t matter. The Bronx would come to him.

Once he started reaching out to Bronx politicians, however, the unease started to melt away.

“I am very pleased to say all of my apprehensions about leaving Harlem,” he said, “were shattered because I went up there and my name was so well known, there were groups waiting to welcome me to the Bronx.”

Read more

NW Bronx Resource Center Ready to Help With Finances

July 26, 2012

By Sarah Ramirez

Photo by Sarah Ramirez UNHP staffers, partner groups and supporters hold up a check in front of the group’s new resource center. (Photo by Sarah Ramirez)

After nearly 30 years, the University Neighborhood Housing Program (UNHP) celebrated a new milestone with the opening of the Northwest Bronx Resource Center last week.

The Center is a joint effort with six established non-profits (led by UNHP) to provide Bronxites with free tax preparation, financial coaching, foreclosure prevention assistance and small business help at one Bronx location, the Refuge House at 2715 Bainbridge Ave., near East 196th Street.

“Community work is a team effort,” said Jim Buckley, UNHP’s executive director.

Originally founded by Fordham University in 1983, UNHP works to preserve and create affordable housing in the community.

It is an uphill battle as the number of neighborhoods where the city’s working class can afford to live continues to dwindle. Despite rents in the Bronx being among the lowest in the city, about half of Bronxites spend half of their incomes on rent.

“The Bronx is underserved and continues to be underserved,” said Jumelia Abrahamson of UNHP.

In the past UNHP has hosted neighborhood resource fairs with representatives from non-profit partners, including the Financial Clinic, Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners, Ariva, Fordham Bedford Community Service and Project Enterprise, to provide residents with assistance with their finances. Still, the need for a central, constant presence was felt.

Read more

Bronx Councilman Seabrook Found Guilty of Corruption

July 26, 2012

By Alex Kratz

Bronx Councilman Larry Seabrook

This news came out a little after we posted our Bronx News Roundup, so here it is. East Bronx Councilman Larry Seabrook — who famously was said to have doctored a receipt for a bagel sandwich and a Snapple from $7 to $177 — was found guilty today in federal court on nine counts of fraud, money laundering and bribery, the AP reports. 

Seabrook will be sentenced on Jan. 8. In the meantime, we could be looking at a special election to replace him.

Also, Con Ed workers were expected to return to work after being locked out.

Bronx News Roundup, July 26

July 26, 2012

Welcome to today’s edition of the Bronx News Roundup. Starting Monday, we’ll begin posting roundups in the morning all week long, so you can start your day with a full cup of Bronx news. Weather today: Severe thunderstorm are expected this afternoon and tonight.

One of the suspects in the killing of 4-year-old Bronx boy Lloyd Morgan has been identified as 17-year-old Rondell Pinkerton. According to NYPD boss Ray Kelly, Pinkerton admitted to being at the scene and firing shots (in self defense) during an altercation at basketball tournament Sunday. Kelly said three or four people fired shots that day, but it’s unclear who fired the shot that hit young Lloyd Morgan. Neighbors had nothing good to say about Pinkerton, the Post reports.

Community Connections for Youth, a South Bronx nonprofit group, is working to support formerly incarcerated youth as they transition back into society, the Daily News reports.

A Bronx super is facing felony charges for allegedly running a dog fighting ring, the Wall Street Journal reports.

A Riverdale playwright takes a look at the lives of princesses after the Fairy Tale ends, the Daily News reports.

No eighth graders in the Bronx District 7 — Melros/Mott Haven/Councourse Village — notched the highest score, a 4, on the state English exam, the Daily News reports.

The Times takes a look at an enormous new residential development project in West Farms — 10 buildings, 1,325 units — that is being led by the firm founded by former City Council Speaker Gifford Miller. The project is receiving money from the Bronx BP’s office and Council majority leader Joel Rivera.

The Bronx’s unemployment rate was up to 14 percent in June, up from 12.1 percent a year ago at this time, WSJ reports.

That’s all for today. Send your links and news tips to us at norwoodnews@norwoodnews.org.

Bronx Notes: Twitter Chat on Weight-Loss Surgery at 2 p.m.

July 26, 2012

Montefiore Medical Center (@MontefioreNews) and the Weight Loss Surgery Channel (@wlschannel) will be co-hosting a twitter chat on Bariatric Surgery. The chat will cover a range of topics including who is a candidate for bariatric surgery, the varying types of bariatric surgeries, and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

When: Thursday, July 26, 2 p.m.

Where: Follow the chat on Twitter at #WLSchat (We encourage you to leave questions in advance of the chat)

Ed. note: Every weekday, we highlight Bronx programs, announcements, services, opportunities, public meetings/hearings or community events. Find a full listing on our Neighborhood Notes page. Send your neighborhood notes to us at norwoodnews@norwoodnews.org.

Morris Heights Farmers Market Adds to Growing List (List of NW Bronx Farmers Markets Included)

July 25, 2012

By Chloe Rickert

Robert Moore and Feliciano Gonzalez pose at Gonzalez’s Fresh Radish Farm stand at Heights Community Farmers Market. (Photo by Chloe Rickert)

The BronxWorks-sponsored Heights Community Farmers Market at University Avenue and 181st Street is the newest addition to an increasing number of local farmers’ markets. Open every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. until Nov. 15, the market not only offers fresh produce for purchase with cash, credit, or benefit payment systems, but thanks to BronxWorks, customers can also get help applying for food stamps.

The idea for the market came from a small local farm stand run out of a BronxWorks office in the fall.

“We wanted to expand to a farmers market because the farm stand was doing well,” said market manager Robert Moore. Moore connected with GrowNYC to recruit farmers who wanted the business structure of a market to sell their produce. The market’s stands are filled with food from Gudelio Garcia of El Poblano Farm in Staten Island, Feliciano Gonzalez of Fresh Radish Farm in Goshen, and one urban grower in the community.

Garcia said he was interested in the market because he was looking for Spanish customers. He cheerfully pointed out each of his crops including four different kinds of lettuce, three types of onions, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, and more. Besides the produce stands and BronxWorks’ food stamps table, the market also provides cooking demonstrations provided by the non-profit organization Just Food.

Here’s a list of northwest Bronx farmers markets, all open until Nov. 15 (if there are farmers markets you want added to this list, leave details in the comments section):

Read more

Bronx News Roundup, July 24

July 24, 2012

By Chloe Rickert

Welcome to today’s Bronx News Roundup. It’s mostly sunny, partly cloudy with temperatures in the 80s. Showers and thunderstorms are expected in the early evening but should clear up tonight.

A 17-year-old male has been arrested after admitting to shooting rounds at the basketball court in Forest Houses where 4-year-old Lloyd Morgan was shot and killed, police say. Two men were also injured in the shooting that may have involved three or four gunmen. Investigators are still trying to determine who was responsible for Morgan’s death. [Daily News]

The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct is recommending that Bronx surrogate judge since 1988 Lee L. Holzman be removed from office due to misconduct case. [NY Times]

Three new exhibitions opened at the Bronx Museum last week: the Cuban themed collection of contemporary art “revolution not televised,” “The Rituals of Chaos” which showcases the work of Mexican photojournalist Enrique Metinides and other urban photographers and the first installment of “Bronx Lab” focusing on the Bronx’s graffiti culture, “Style Wars.” [Daily News]

Students, staffers, and other sources told the NY Post that the Bronx Health Sciences HS fakes its high graduation rates by forcing under-performing students to transfer to other schools and pressuring parents to sign forms to make it appear legitimate.

The Patients’ Choice annual Compassionate Doctor recognition program honored Montefiore Medical Center’s Dr. James Goodrich as one of the nation’s most compassionate doctors based on patient reviews.

Actor David Arquette stopped by the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corp. in Mount Eden yesterday to help ecomom.com hand out their donations of organic baby food to Bronx mothers. [Daily News]

The families of victims of the Bronx River Parkway accident in April that killed seven people filed claims against the city and state of New York yesterday. And investigation has revealed a history of similar accidents due to unsafe road conditions in the area where Maria Gonzalez’s SUV struck a curb causing it to be launched off the bridge resulting in the death of Gonzalez along with six members of her family. [MarketWatch]

That’s all for today. Send links and news tips to us at norwoodnews@norwoodnews.org.

Bronx Notes: Ramadan Celebration

July 24, 2012

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. invites Bronx residents to join the Borough’s Muslim Community and Break Fast to celebrate Ramadan, the Islamic holiday. The event will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Bronx County Courthouse on 851 Grand Concourse on July 26. For more information and to RSVP for this event call (718) 590-3522 or email them at Lroldan@bronxbp.nyc.gov.

Ed. note: Every weekday, we highlight Bronx programs, announcements, services, opportunities, public meetings/hearings or community events. Find a full listing on our Neighborhood Notes page. Send your neighborhood notes to us at norwoodnews@norwoodnews.org.

Bronx News Roundup, July 23

July 23, 2012

By Alex Kratz

Welcome to another edition of the Bronx News Roundup. Here are today’s top stories, starting with the weather: Hot, humid and overcast. Thunderstorms are expected this evening and there’s a chance we could see some hail. 

As if the tragic shooting in Colorado wasn’t enough, a 4-year-old Bronx boy, identified as Lloyd Morgan, was shot in the head by a stray bullet and killed during a shootout in Morrisania on Sunday night. Police say an argument erupted during a basketball tournament at Forest Houses and two people began firing at each other. Two other people were expected to survive after being shot during the melee. [Daily News]

European soccer teams Chelsea (England) and Paris Saint-Germain (France) played to a 1-1 tie at Yankee Stadium yesterday. [Daily News]

The Daily News reports that the NYPD is putting more cops in Bronx (and Queens) subway stations overnight in an attempt to fight rising transit crime, especially the theft of electronic devices like iPhones.

The NY Post says it caught two Bronx public high schools cheating students and the system during summer school.

Jose Linares, a Bronx car wash worker, told the Daily News he’s earning less than minimum wage while working at a car wash on Webster Avenue and 174th Street and is now planning to join a Tuesday rally in support of fellow low-wage workers.

More on Bronx Olympian gymnast John Orozco.

The Times takes a look at the Trinity Danish Young People’s Society, a beachfront club on City Island that was once a popular gathering spot for young Dane’s in New York City, but is now open to others.

Alumni of the soon to be phased out John F. Kennedy High School in Marble Hill are organizing a multi-year reunion this summer to celebrate the school’s 40-year anniversary. [Daily News]

Bronx parents met with representatives from the DOE and NYPD to talk about the high rate of arrests in Bronx schools of black and Latino students. [Village Voice]

That’s all we have time for today, folks. Send links and news tips to us at norwoodnews@norwoodnews.org.

 

 

 

Bronx Notes: Training for Nonprofit Pros

July 23, 2012

The Bronx Fellowship is recruiting Bronx mid- to senior-level non-profit professionals for a free nine-month training and networking program to strengthen their professional skills and help them build partnerships and expand their networks. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, July 31. For more information, contact Ariel Ennis at ennisa@jcrcny.org or call (212) 983-4800 ext. 157.

Ed. note: Every weekday, we highlight Bronx programs, announcements, services, opportunities, public meetings/hearings or community events. Find a full listing on our Neighborhood Notes page. Send your neighborhood notes to us at norwoodnews@norwoodnews.org.

UNHP Opens Northwest Bronx Resource Center

July 23, 2012

By Sarah Ramirez

The ribbon cutting was attended by clients, partner groups and Center supporters. (Photo by Sarah Ramirez)

After nearly 30 years of service, the University Neighborhood Housing Program (UNHP) celebrated a new milestone with the opening of the Northwest Bronx Resource Center on Thursday morning.

The Center is a joint effort with six established non-profits (led by UNHP) to provide Bronxites with free tax preparation, financial coaching, foreclosure prevention assistance and small business help all at one Bronx location, the Refuge House at 2715 Bainbridge Ave., near East 196th Street.

“Community work is a team effort,” said Jim Buckley, UNHP’s executive director.

At the ribbon cutting ceremony, locals who have previously used UNHP’s free tax prep and other services praised the programs.

“There are no words to express what the Center has done in terms of helping empowering myself and educating myself,” said Aneudy Encarnicion. “This is another success for our community. On behalf of the community, thank you for having our backs.”

Editor’s note: UNHP is hosting their next free Neighborhood Resource Fair on Wednesday, July 25 at 6 p.m. around the corner from the Center at Our Lady of Refuge Parish Center, 290 East 196th St. between Bainbridge and Briggs Avenues. Free direct services from UNHP are available at the Center by appointment only. Call (718) 933-2539 or visit www.unhp.org for more information.

In the Bronx, City Officials Introduce Two Health Initiatives

July 20, 2012

By Jaleesa Baulkman

City officials hosted a press conference this week at a Bronx supermarket to introduce two health initiatives that they said would help New Yorkers shop, eat and be more healthy.

Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda Gibbs, Health Commissioner Tom Farley and Human Resources Administration Commissioner Robert Doar introduced the Shop Healthy NYC  pilot program and the Cut the Junk campaign to shoppers at a Belmont-area C-Town supermarket in an effort to combat the obesity epidemic in the city. The Bronx, in particular, is suffering from extremely high obesity rates.

“In the Bronx, nearly 70 percent of residents are obese or overweight and at higher risks for certain cancers, diabetes and heart disease,” said Farley. “Communities need a healthy food environment.”

Shop Healthy NYC is a Health Department’s pilot program that asks bodegas, delis and supermarkets to limit or minimize the availability of junk food and maximize the display of healthy food options and produce in their stores. It is funded by the New York City Center for Economic opportunity.

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Bronx Notes: Fordham Road Sidewalk Sale

July 20, 2012

The Fordham Road Business Improvement District (BID) is hosting a summer-time sidewalk sale on the Bronx’s bustling Fordham Road. Businesses will display their merchandise and sales items on the sidewalks outside of their stores for the public to browse and shop. This sale will provide an outlet for businesses to display seasonal items and give shoppers and residents the opportunity for savings in their local neighborhood. The sidewalk sale started Thursday and runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 21. Go to the Fordham Road BID’s website for more information.

Bronx News Roundup, July 20

July 20, 2012

By Alex Kratz

Happy Friday, lovely readers, we’re back with another edition of the Bronx News Roundup. Here are the stories we’re following today, starting with the weather forecast: Cool, rainy, high of about 70. Weekend should be very nice, with lots of sunshine and temperatures in the low 80s. Enjoy.

Big news for northwest Bronx bus commuters. The MTA restored service to the BX34, which links Fordham to Woodlawn. They’ve also decided to extend service of BX13 in Concourse Village to the Gateway Mall and provide entirely new service to western Hunts Point. A fare hike planned for January was also pushed back until March. [Daily News]

Bloomberg was in the Bronx Wednesday morning hyping a new health initiative aimed at getting grocery stores and other food shops to more prominently display healthful foods, like fruits and vegetables, and keep the junk food tucked away. According to the NY Times, the mayor says the city has commitments from 150 food establishments to make these display changes. (We’ll have more on this later.)

At the Museum of the City of New York, Bronx housing activists talked about the Burning days and how the term “South Bronx” became a catch-all for urban decay and disinvestment. Here’s Joe Muriana, a former organizer with the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition and now a vice president for urban affairs at Fordham University: “The fact is ‘the South Bronx’ really came to mean a destructive dynamic that was a cycle of disinvestment, arson, abandonment, and then total destruction,” he said, according to Capital New York. Although things aren’t as bad — some neighborhoods lost 75% of their population during the 1970s — another activist, Banana Kelly founder Harry Di Rienzo, said he doesn’t think there’s as much support in a still very poor area: “Today, I think that a lot of the supports, social and public, are mostly gone.”

The Times takes a look at Mexicocina, a restaurant in Mott Haven that sells 17 different kinds of tacos and also offers huitlacoche, “a fungus that grows on corn, displacing the sunny kernels with ashy, bulbous distensions. It is at once disgusting and divine. Here, stuffed into a quesadilla ($7), it is oddly affectless, with not a whiff of funk.” Disgusting and divine, exactly how I like my meals.

13th Congressional District challenger Adriano Espaillat may not have beaten incumbent Charlie Rangel, but the Riverdale Press points out that at least he won the Bronx — 46% to 42%.

Bronx teens are having a tough time finding jobs this summer, the Press reports. One of our youth reporters, Brittney Williams, tackled this issue earlier this month.

A suspect charged with robbing Bronx women at knife point was denied ball this week.[Post]

People magazine has a feature on John Orozco, the Bronxite and gymnast who is shooting for gold at the London Olympics. Predictably, the article plays up his “rough surroundings” and desire to move his family “out of the Bronx.”

John Norquist, the president of the Center for New Urbanism and former mayor of Milwaukee says “tear down” the Sheridan Expressway in an opinion piece for the Daily News.

After four people were shot — one fatally — within a six-hour period last weekend in the 43rd Precinct (southeast Bronx), some are calling for a curfew and at least some reinforcements. [Daily News]

The family of Jose Ramos, the ex-cop who is being charged with aiding drug dealers (the investigation eventually led to the Bronx ticket-fixing fiasco), say he is unfairly being held in solitary confinement on Riker’s Island. Prosecutors say Ramos attempted to plot the murder of a witness in the case during a phone conversation. [NY1]

And finally, here’s Kappy’s politics column in the Bronx Times, which touches on Jose Rivera’s possible petition problems after placing 78th Assembly challenger Ricky Martinez’s name on his own ticket as alternate Judicial Delegate. (Ricky called us the other day to talk about this issue. He has a hearing with the Board of Elections on July 30 and is hoping to have Rivera’s petitions invalidated.)

That’s all for today, folks. Enjoy your weekend. We’ll be back next week. Send us links we may have missed and/or news tips to norwoodnews@norwoodnews.org.

4 Injured in Marion Ave. Apartment Fire

July 19, 2012

By Jaleesa Baulkman

A fire late Tuesday afternoon at a multi-family row house in Bedford Park left four people injured, one very seriously.

More than 60 fire fighters responded to a call about a fire at 2779 Marion Ave. shortly after 5:10 p.m. on Tuesday. According to the FDNY press office, the fire began in a second-floor apartment of the building and left one person with serious injuries and three people with minor injuries. They were transported to Jacobi Hospital.

The case is currently under investigation by FDNY fire marshals.

Today, a restoration crew was already starting to rebuild some of building, which was completely evacuated. It’s unclear what happened to the residents of the building.

According to BlockShopper.com, Avelino Yunen Jr. and Artetty Yunen are the owners of the building.

It is not clear whether they were injured during the fire or are residents of the building.

Bronx Notes: ‘Harry Potter’ Showing Tonight on Mosholu Parkway

July 19, 2012

In what has become an annual summer tradition, Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera is hosting a free outdoor screening of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2″ tonight at 8 p.m. on Mosholu Parkway, between Van Cortlandt and Bainbridge avenues. Organizers are encouraging people to come as their favorite Harry Potter character. There will be a prize given to best costume. Rain is expected, but not until later in the evening. If it does get rained out, the movie night will be rescheduled. For more information, call (718) 409-0109.

Ed. note: Every weekday, we highlight Bronx programs, announcements, services, opportunities, public meetings/hearings or community events. Find a full listing on our Neighborhood Notes page. Send your neighborhood notes to us at norwoodnews@norwoodnews.org.

Bronx News Roundup, July 19

July 19, 2012

By Alex Kratz

After a brief hiatus, the Breaking Bronx blog is back with a new edition of the Bronx News Roundup. Let’s get down to business, starting with the weather forecast: Oh, SWEET RELIEF! High of only around 85 today with a chance of showers early this afternoon (it’s raining in Norwood as we publish this) and overnight. Should be even cooler tomorrow.

We have to start with the huge fire that tore into a Bronx apartment building near Yankee Stadium yesterday. The fire began at the 185-unit Walton Avenue building just after midnight and wasn’t brought under control until 4:30 a.m. In total, 27 (or 28, reports differ) firefighters and three residents were injured, but nobody seriously. As many as a third of the residents will become homeless as their apartments were completely destroyed.

Daily News has some intense photos from the fire yesterday. (Plus a shot of the infamous “Bronx is burning” fire that broke out near the stadium during the 1977 World Series. Ah, the good old days.)

Now, onto some better news: The Times’ architecture critic Michael Kimmelman tours the Bronx River and documents the river’s renaissance, noting the many new parks and various clean-up efforts that have increased access to what was once a heavily-polluted dumping ground. Here’s the video that accompanies the piece.

JHS 80, the Norwood middle school forced to close this summer and re-open this fall under a new name, new principal and many new faculty members under the federal “turnaround” program, saw a huge jump in its scores and the state math exam. A year ago, only 14% of students passed the test. This year, the Daily News reports, half of the school’s students passed.

Big front page article in yesterday’s Times on Monsignor Gerald Ryan, the 92-year-old priest at St. Luke’s parish in Mott Haven. He’s the oldest working priest in the city and the face of a graying priesthood in the United States.

Daily News Bronx Bureau Chief Patrice O’Shaughnessy writes about a couple of Bronxites, Wayne Gurman and James McSherry, who are filming their own comedic reality show called “Bronx Dayz.”

The Department of Environmental Conservation is setting up check-points in Hunts Point to ensure that freight trucks and other vehicles are complying with environmental standards. WNYC reports that it’s part of a statewide program targeting low-income areas with high pollution.

DNAinfo writes about Kevin Lee, the 23-year-old Bronxite who died in an apparent drunk-driving incident near Woodlawn Cemetery on Monday night.

Montefiore Medical Center, the Bronx’s largest hospital, is leading the fight against the borough’s diabetes crisis, reports the Daily News. 12% of Montefiore’s patients over the age of the 21 have diabetes.

Former Bronx pol Pedro Espada, already facing prison time after being convicted of stealing from the nonprofit healthcare network he founded, says he’s too broke to afford a lawyer for another trial on charges of tax evasion and submitting false statements to government agencies. [Riverdale Press]

The Bronx driver who killed a Bronx father during a reckless rampage in 2009 was sentenced to 10-15 in prison. [Post]

Daily News points out that Bronx Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo has paid her husband $15,000 in campaign consulting fees over the past six months. The DN says it’s illegal to hire relatives using public matching dollars, but not if the money is from private donations. Arroyo’s nephew, you might recall, was convicted of embezzling more than $200,000 from South Bronx Community Corp., a nonprofit Arroyo helped fund and which employed her relatives. She has not been charged with any wrongdoing in connection with that case.

That’s all we have time for today, folks. Send us links and news tips at norwoodnews@norwoodnews.org.

Be Healthy: Exercise Tips for Aging ‘Weekend Warriors’

July 18, 2012

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, Breaking Bronx features a health-related story, event or tidbit as part of an online expansion of our Be Healthy! column.

Baby boomers may be getting older, but many are still dedicated exercisers who want to stay that way. That’s an admirable goal, but it’s important to do it smartly. In the United States, these gym or sports injuries have become the number two reason for people visiting the doctor’s office just behind the common cold, according to a 2003 report by the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey.

With that in mind, here are some tips from Seth Meisel, a physical therapist who oversees patients enrolled in the Orthopedic Intensive Home Rehabilitation Program from The Visiting Nurse Service of New York, on how so-called weekend warriors can stay active well into retirement and beyond.

Warm Up Properly
When you are young, your muscles react differently than when you are older. “The number one mistake made by weekend warriors is that they do not warm up before they exercise,” said Meisel. “If they do warm up, they do it incorrectly. Everyone knows they should stretch, but stretching a cold muscle can cause more harm than good and result in increased pain post-activity.  So warm up first – do some light jogging or biking to warm up the muscles, then start your activity.”

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Bronx Notes: Water-on-the-Go App

July 18, 2012

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Department of Health launched the 2012 Water-on-the-Go season, an initiative that will make NYC water at portable drinking fountains, which would be an alternative to bottled water and sugar-sweetened beverages, easily available at more than 20 alternating outdoor locations throughout the five boroughs this summer. The DEP has also developed a free iPhone/iPad mobile app available for download at the iTunes store, to help New Yorkers access the daily Water-on-the-Go schedule. For more information, call 3-1-1 or Chris Gilbride at (718) 595-6600.

Ed. note: Every weekday, we highlight Bronx programs, announcements, services, opportunities, public meetings/hearings or community events. Find a full listing on our Neighborhood Notes page. Send your neighborhood notes to us at norwoodnews@norwoodnews.org.

Exploring Our Parks: Through New Visitors Center, Poe Park Expands Programs

July 18, 2012

By Chloe Rickert

Poe Park, bolstered by a renovated Poe Cottage and a new vistors center, is sunny and filled with kids and teens hanging out after school on a weekday afternoon.

Ed. Note: This is the first in a series of stories exploring what’s going on in our local parks.

After months of construction, renovations, waiting and uncertainty, the transformation at Edgar Allan Poe Park is now complete. The result is a Kingsbridge Heights-area space transformed into a bustling, kid-friendly destination spot with a busy playground, a refurbished historical landmark and an open visitors center.

Run by two paid staff members, a community associate and a playground associate, the visitors center is a recent addition, but the small yet enthusiastic team is not wasting any time.

The “Raven”-themed building already holds Tuesday morning story time at 10 a.m. and daycare at 11 a.m. It will soon have yoga for beginners on Thursday and Friday mornings. Community Associate Lucy Aponte said they are still planning for more programming at the center, but already had many exciting events arranged for the summer, including a women’s empowerment workshop and a puppet show and puppet-making workshop.

Lucia Aponte, a community associate at the new Poe Park Visitors Center, says the center is offering lots of new programming this summer. (Photo by Chloe Rickert)

Read more

Robbery Suspect Poses As Police Officer, Steals Phones in Bronx Parks

July 17, 2012

By Sarah Ramirez

Local police are asking for help from the community in identifying a suspect who is wanted in connection with five recent robberies, all in and around northwest Bronx parks.

A sketch provided by the NYPD of a cellphone robbery suspect in the Bronx.

According to the NYPD, the suspect, who has been posing as a police officer, asks victims for their cell phones, ostensibly to check if the phones are stolen. He tells the individual to wait for him to return with the phone, but never does.

The robberies date back to May, when the suspect robbed a young teen girl at outside of Williamsbridge Oval Park in Norwood, at the corner Wayne and Reservoir avenues. About a month later, he stole from another teen girl in the vicinity of Devoe Park, on  University Avenue and Fordham Road. A teen boy had his cellphone stolen near St. James Park, on  Creston Avenue and East 192nd Street on June 11. That same week another teen was robbed on Bainbridge Avenue and Reservoir Oval East, again, just outside of Williamsbridge Oval Park. Earlier this month, an 18-year-old was robbed at 2549 Jerome Ave., also in Norwood and just a few blocks from Oval Park.

All the victims have been Hispanic, and all the crimes have taken place in the 52nd Precinct, which covers the northwest Bronx.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his mid- to late twenties, about 5-foot-9-inches tall and heavy set. He also has a mole on his left cheek and tattoos on both forearms.

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  You can also send a tip by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Bronx Notes: NY Philharmonic, Fireworks in Van Cortlandt Park

July 17, 2012

After a brief hiatus, the New York Philharmonic is back this summer playing free outdoor concerts in the five boroughs. Tonight, they are playing in the Bronx at Van Cortlandt Park. The performance begins at 8 p.m. Enter the park from Broadway, near West 251st Street. Concert site is north of the baseball fields. Like all of the Concerts in the Parks, the show tonight will be followed by fireworks by Bay Fireworks.

Here’s the lineup (click here to listen to samples of the music):
–Wagner: “Prelude to Act I of Die Meistersinger Von Nürnberg”
–Tchaikovsky: “Violin Concerto”
–Brahms: “Symphony No. 1″

Ed. note: Every weekday, we highlight Bronx programs, announcements, services, opportunities, public meetings/hearings or community events. Find a full listing on our Neighborhood Notes page. Send your neighborhood notes to us at norwoodnews@norwoodnews.org.

U-Heights Church Wins Latest Legal Battle With DOE

July 17, 2012

By Alex Kratz

Members of Bronx Household of Faith have held worship services inside PS 15 in University Heights for the past 10 years. (Photo by Alex Kratz)

This time, the Bronx Household of Faith prevailed.

In the latest round of a drawn-out legal fight between the University Heights-based church and the city’s Department of Education, a judge ruled that Bronx Household of Faith — and some 60 other churches and religious groups citywide — can continue worshiping inside public school buildings during off hours.

The Alliance Defense Fund, which has represented Bronx Household in its fight with the DOE since 1995, hailed the ruling as a victory for churches and the communities they serve.

“Churches that have been helping communities for years can continue to offer the hope that empty buildings can’t,” said Jordan Lorence, the ADF lawyer who argued the case, after the ruling.

City lawyers representing the DOE said it would appeal the ruling and that it was a blow to the city’s efforts to avoid the appearance of endorsing a certain religion.

“The Department of Education intends to appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals immediately given the Department’s legitimate concerns about appearing to endorse religion by permitting religious worship in school buildings,” said Jonathan Pines, the deputy chief of the city law department’s litigation division, in a statement.

Read more

Bronx Notes: Veterans Information Resource Fair, July 17

July 16, 2012

There will be a Veterans Information Resource Fair, Tuesday, July 17, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Bronx’s James J. Peters VA Medical Center, Room 3D-22, 130 W. Kingsbridge Road. For more info contact Johnnie Williams (718) 653-1341.

Ed. note: Every weekday, we highlight Bronx programs, announcements, services, opportunities, public meetings/hearings or community events. Find a full listing on our Neighborhood Notes page. Send your neighborhood notes to us at norwoodnews@norwoodnews.org.

Teen Bicyclist Killed After Hit-and-Run on Webster Avenue

July 16, 2012

By Alex Kratz

On an ominous Friday the 13th evening, Bronx teenager David Ellis was riding his bike north up Webster Avenue when he was struck from behind by Nissan Maxima near East Gun Hill Road, according to police. After being hit,  Ellis, 18, was thrown into the southbound lane on Webster and hit again, this time by an oncoming Ford Explorer. While the Maxima fled, police said the driver of the Explorer stopped and waited while emergency workers made their way to the scene. Ellis was taken to Montefiore Medical Center, but was pronounced dead on arrival. No arrests have been made, but police are continuing to investigate the incident. Ellis lived on Marion Avenue just north of Fordham Road.

Bronx Youth Heard: Kingsbridge Armory Rink Iced by Teens

July 13, 2012

By Brandon Alleyne

With the city set to pick a developer for the Kingsbridge Armory, teens say one of the options, an enormous center for ice sports, would not fit the neighborhood. (File photo by Adi Talwar)

Editor’s note: Written by a high school student from the Bronx Youth Journalism Initiative, this article was published inside the July 12-25 print edition of the Norwood News as part of Bronx Youth Heard, a publication of the initiative. The Bronx Youth Journalism Initiative is a program of the Norwood News and Mosholu Preservation Corporation.

Basketball courts. A shopping center. A gym.

While there have been many proposals over the past 20 years for ways to make use of the vacant Kingsbridge Armory, the one concept that seems to be sticking is also the one that is most foreign to Bronx residents: a hockey rink.

Ex-Ranger Mark Messier and Olympic skater Sarah Hughes are the big names attached to a well-funded effort to open an ice skating and competitive hockey complex in the Bronx, to be called the Kingsbridge National Ice Center. But local teens say it is not a good idea.

“I think the rink idea is dumb,” said Stephanie Melendez, 19, a Washington Heights resident. “The only people who would use it live in Manhattan.”

There is currently no ice rink in the Bronx, though there are plans to open one in Van Cortlandt Park.

The hockey complex has backers in high places and would require minimal public funds – two elements that make it an attractive option for the Economic Development Corporation, the city agency that will make the final decision.

The hockey rink undoubtedly brings something new to the Bronx, but opponents and residents are concerned a rink wouldn’t service the local community.

“They should put something that people from the Bronx would use,” said Luis Carpio, 16, who lives in Riverdale.

Read more

Bronx Notes: Tuition Free Services and Training

July 13, 2012

SUNY North Bronx Career Counseling and Outreach Center offers daily tuition free services including career counseling, college, financial aid and resume and cover letter assistance, as well as job readiness training at 2901 White Plains Rd. Computer literacy and GED programs are available during the day and evening. Seats are limited. For more information, call (718) 547-1001.

Ed. note: Every weekday, we highlight Bronx programs, announcements, services, opportunities, public meetings/hearings or community events. Find a full listing on our Neighborhood Notes page. Send your neighborhood notes to us at norwoodnews@norwoodnews.org.

Bronx Youth Heard: Youth Feel the Effects of Teen Violence

July 13, 2012

By Tatyana Turner

Editor’s note: Written by a high school student from the Bronx Youth Journalism Initiative, this article was published inside the July 12-25 print edition of the Norwood News as part of Bronx Youth Heard, a publication of the initiative. The Bronx Youth Journalism Initiative is a program of the Norwood News and Mosholu Preservation Corporation.

The night before Halloween in 2005, Joseph Padro was preparing for a party at his grandmother’s house in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx. He knew something was wrong when his grandmother sat him down on the couch and told him the news: his father had been fatally shot.

Joseph is one of the many teens who have lost a loved one in the Bronx due to gun violence. Even though the city heralds a historic decline in crime since the late 1990s and the early 2000s, the Bronx still remains the most violent borough when it comes to murders, according to New York Police Department statistics.
Many teens like Joseph are living with the consequences.

“I met five of my best friends in high school and all of them have lost their fathers [to violence],” he said.

In the Bronx, violent crime has become the norm, especially for teenagers, he said.

Read more

Bronx Youth Heard: When it Comes to Religion and Youth, Room for Debate

July 12, 2012

By Terrance Washington

Editor’s note: Written by a high school student from the Bronx Youth Journalism Initiative, this article was published inside the July 12-25 print edition of the Norwood News as part of Bronx Youth Heard, a publication of the initiative. The Bronx Youth Journalism Initiative is a program of the Norwood News and Mosholu Preservation Corporation.

With her head down and eyes closed during the temple prayers, Sally Dhanai looks like the model Hindu. But, really, what the 17-year-old Norwood resident is thinking during the evening service is: “This is long and boring.”

“Honestly, I’m not as religious as my parents,” said Sally, a senior at Bronx Leadership Academy. “When they tell me to do things related to my religion, I just do it.”

Like many teens, Sally differs from her parents when it comes to the religion she was raised in. While some teens decide to follow the beliefs of their families, for others, it can be a source of conflict.

Bronx high school student Ian Pechecko says being forced to go to church often ends in a fight.

“It’s just like arguments about, ‘You have to go, blah blah blah,’” said Ian, regarding the debates between him and his parents. “When the priest comes out and asks for money, you feel pressured to give,” he said. “You feel pressured to do anything.”

Read more

Bronx Notes: Free Health Training for Teens

July 12, 2012

The Youth Advisory Board of the Bronx District Public Health Office, 1826 Arthur Ave., is offering free public health training for teens on Fridays in July and August from noon to 4 p.m., including sexual health, physical activity, and nutrition. For more information, contact Candida A. Bido at cbido@health.nyc.gov or call (718) 299-7376.

Ed. note: Every weekday, we highlight Bronx programs, announcements, services, opportunities, public meetings/hearings or community events. Find a full listing on our Neighborhood Notes page. Send your neighborhood notes to us at norwoodnews@norwoodnews.org.

Bronx Youth Heard: City Teens Struggle to Find Summer Jobs

July 11, 2012

By Brittney Williams

Editor’s note: Written by a high school student from the Bronx Youth Journalism Initiative, this article was published inside the July 12-25 print edition of the Norwood News as part of Bronx Youth Heard, a publication of the initiative. The Bronx Youth Journalism Initiative is a program of the Norwood News and Mosholu Preservation Corporation.

Ivette Guirachocha, a 16-year-old at DeWitt Clinton High School, has been working for the past few months at a store selling uniforms for private and Catholic schools. She is the youngest in her family and along with her five siblings, she works to help her mom pay the bills. Despite being a teenager in high school, Ivette likes working because it gives her a chance to be independent.

Many teenagers in high school like Ivette are interested in working during summer vacation or the school year to gain a sense of independence, and to feel more experienced when they go off to college. Others want to get out of the house and make money to buy the things that their parents won’t. But teenagers are finding it challenging to find a good job, and many say they end up doing things that they don’t enjoy just for the money.

“It’s honestly unfair because parents want kids out of the house and trying to take responsibility for what’s theirs, but jobs just don’t even call back,” said high school student John Ferrante.

Like most high school students, John didn’t have many connections. After hopelessly looking for a job, he gave up, and refuses to look for a job until after high school, when he thinks his chances of getting hired will be better since he thinks employers want someone with a high school degree.

Read more

Bronx Notes: Sarcoma Walk on Saturday

July 11, 2012

The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore and the Liddy Shriver Foundation will host their annual Sarcoma Walk, Saturday, July 14, at Van Corlandt Park, at the 240th Street entrance at Broadway near the fox statue. Registration starts at 10 a.m., the walk begins at 10:30 a.m., followed by lunch at 11:30 a.m. Please bring a folding chair or blanket. Sarcoma is a type of cancer, and proceeds will fund Sarcoma research. In the event of rain, the walk will be held at the hospital at 3415 Bainbridge Ave. (near Gun Hill Road). For more information or to RSVP or donate, call May Thompson at (718) 741-2342.

Ed. note: Every weekday, we highlight Bronx programs, announcements, services, opportunities, public meetings/hearings or community events. Find a full listing on our Neighborhood Notes page. Send your neighborhood notes to us at norwoodnews@norwoodnews.org.

Be Healthy: Bronx Pols Pass Smoking Ban

July 11, 2012

By Sarah Ramirez

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, Breaking Bronx features a health-related story, event or tidbit as part of an online expansion of our Be Healthy! column.

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and State Senator Gustavo Rivera, both local Bronx legislators, passed legislation banning smoking within 100 feet of school entrances and exits, the latest government effort to combat secondhand smoke.

New York State has already banned smoking in the majority of indoor spaces, while a New York City ban on smoking in public parks and beaches went into effect last May. This spring, Mayor Michael Bloomberg introduced legislation to the City Council that would require residential buildings to develop written rules addressing whether smoking is allowed in both indoor and outdoor locations.

The bills sponsored by Dinowitz and Rivera, however, aim to protect children and adolescents from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.

“Smoking is particularly dangerous to children,” said Dinowitz. “This bill will help to protect them from the scourge of secondhand smoke.”

“The Bronx has the lowest youth smoking rate of New York City. However, in order to keep our youth safe from smoking-related disease, we have to also work toward limiting children’s exposure to secondhand smoke,” said Rivera.

The legislation developed from discussions with healthcare providers and community members during the 2011 Bronx CAN Health Initiative.

Editor’s note: A version of this story appears in the June 28-July 11 print edition of the Norwood News.

Ask Be Healthly! Send Us Your Health Questions.

Got a pressing health, fitness, or nutrition question on your mind? Send them our way! We’re ready to tackle your queries about food, sex, illness, health insurance, prescription medications–any health-related topics that puzzle or interest you.

We’ll answer your question in a Q&A feature appearing in the Norwood News‘ Be Healthy! column. If we don’t know, we’ll ask the experts. You can sign your name or send it anonymously.

Send your queries to: norwoodnews@norwoodnews.org.

Here’s a link to the first installment of Ask Be Healthy!

Be Healthy: In 2nd Year of Health Push, Bronx Senator Says Yes, We C.A.N.

July 11, 2012

By Jaleesa Baulkman

At St. James Park, State Senator Gustavo Rivera weighed in almost 30 pounds less than last year. (Photo courtesy Gustavo Rivera’s office)

In a loose white T-shirt and sweat pants, flanked by 10 elementary school-aged children and middle-aged, State Senator Gustavo Rivera danced across St. James Park. Rivera’s personal fitness quest will once again play a major role as his attitude-adjusting health initiative heads into year two.

During a health fair that was put together with the help of Montefiore Medical Center and other community health partners, Rivera and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. announced that they want to expand the Bronx Change Attitude Now (CAN) initiative they started in the northwest Bronx last summer. The Bronx CAN initiative tackles issues of obesity and malnutrition.

The initiative attempts to bring together doctors, health providers and members of the community to promote the types of behaviors that lead to healthy lifestyles. The purpose of the initiative and health fair was to let people know there are things they can do to be healthier, Rivera said.

“The most important part is awareness,” Rivera said. “If we’re healthier as individuals, we can be healthier as a community. That’s the ultimate goal.”

Read more

Espaillat Drops Lawsuit, Board Certifies Rangel’s Primary Victory

July 10, 2012

By Alex Kratz

Yesterday, Adriano Espaillat dropped his lawsuit challenging the election results in the 13th Congressional District primary, which made way for the Board of Elections to certify incumbent Charlie Rangel’s slim primary victory today. With little Republican opposition expected, Rangel will almost certainly be re-elected in the newly configured district, which now includes a chunk of the northwest Bronx. (The latest Norwood News print edition, which comes out tomorrow, went to press before these latest developments.)

Rangel sent out a statement today:

“I am very pleased that the Board of Elections has certified the votes and made my victory official. I hope to immediately start the healing process in the community so we can work together to improve the lives of the people in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx.
It has been my greatest honor to work in the U.S. House of Representatives for the past four decades to make sure my constituents’ voices are heard in Washington, and to champion causes for America’s working families. I was proud to work with President Barack Obama to pass the historic healthcare bill and am looking forward to fighting for his reelection and to help advance his agenda. At a time when too many Americans are still suffering from joblessness, and struggling to afford their health insurance, homes, and education, we cannot let Republicans roll back the progress we have made.
I sincerely thank the voters of New York’s 13th Congressional District for allowing me to return to Congress next year to represent their interests and to fight to move America forward. I am grateful to my friends and supporters for their tremendous help. I couldn’t have won without their support.
It is a true honor and privilege to serve my community and country that I love so much.”

 

Bronx Notes: Adopt-a-Shop Workshops

July 10, 2012

The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is hosting Adopt a Shop workshops at the Bronx Library Center, room C-21, 310 E. Kingsbridge Rd., July 13, 27, and Aug. 3, from 10 a.m. to noon., that would give New Yorkers the tools to successfully demand healthier food options at their food store. For more information or to RSVP (required), call (347) 396-4245 or e-mail shophealthy@health.nyc.gov.

Ed. note: Every weekday, we highlight Bronx programs, announcements, services, opportunities, public meetings/hearings or community events. Find a full listing on our Neighborhood Notes page. Send your neighborhood notes to us at norwoodnews@norwoodnews.org.

Centenarians Celebrate at St. Patrick’s Home

July 10, 2012

By Sarah Ramirez

(All the centenarians receive gift bags and government citations honoring their achievements. (Photo by Sarah Ramirez)

Family, friends and residents packed St. Joseph Hall at the St. Patrick’s Home for the Aged and Infirm for its 9th annual centenarian celebration. The event honored 10 centenarians, including Rose Paladino, who at 105 years young is St. Patrick’s oldest resident.

“We honor all of our residents who are a hundred and older, and it gets bigger and bigger every year,” said Janet Kibassa, director of recreation therapy at the home. “We do this for the residents.”

The celebration, which had a 4th of July theme, featured live music, poetry and other readings. Birthday greetings from the President and city mayor were also read aloud. The centenarians received personalized government citations honoring them for their achievements, along with gift bags. Refreshments were also served to all the guests.

Bloomberg Addresses HS of American Studies Graduates

July 9, 2012

By Chloe Rickert

High School of American Studies students toss their caps into the air following the school’s graduation ceremony at Lehman College on Tuesday, June 26. (Photo by Chloe Rickert)

The High School of American Studies at Lehman College’s Class of 2012 graduated on Tuesday, June 26, with Mayor Michael Bloomberg giving the keynote speech.

The students sat quietly and politely during the ceremony in Lovinger Theatre, periodically laughing at private jokes made by speakers and cheering for their friends.

Once the 87 graduates made their way onto the floor, and the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem were out of the way, the speeches began. Salutatorian Melissa Dhanraj, Valedictorian Corey Sherman, Principal Alessandro Weiss, and, finally, Bloomberg, each blew the audience away with their comedic and touching words.

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Bronx Notes: Open Fire Hydrants Safety Alert

July 9, 2012

The Department of Environmental Protection reminds New Yorkers that opening fire hydrants without spray caps is illegal, wasteful and dangerous. Illegally opened hydrants can lower water pressure and put lives at risk if there is a fire. Children can also be at serious risk, because the powerful force of an open hydrant without a spray cap can knock a child down, causing serious injury. Opening a hydrant illegally can result in fines of up to $1,000, imprisonment for up to 30 days, or both. New Yorkers should call 311 to report open fire hydrants.

Ed. note: Every weekday, we highlight Bronx programs, announcements, services, opportunities, public meetings/hearings or community events. Find a full listing on our Neighborhood Notes page. Send your neighborhood notes to us at norwoodnews@norwoodnews.org.

Mayor Celebrates HS Grad Rates; Bronx Rates Drop

July 9, 2012

By Chloe Rickert

These are rates of students who graduated on time in four years at local northwest Bronx high schools. It also includes the total rate of students who graduated (following summer classes) by August 2011. (Source: NYC DOE)

This June, the Department of Education and the mayor proudly announced that New York City’s high school graduation rates have broken records and increased for the tenth year in a row to 65.5 percent. The Bronx separately trails behind each of the other four boroughs with a rate of 57.5 percent.

However, these numbers refer to the percentage of students who graduated by August 2011, after three months of summer school. If only June graduations are counted, as with the state’s rates, the citywide rate actually went down slightly from 61 percent to 60.9 percent, the first time in years that it has not significantly increased.

Bloomberg, who took over control of the school system in 2002, put a positive spin on it, suggesting that the number of students graduating is impressive considering the higher standards of the Department of Education under his administration.

“Overall, the trend continues to be positive,” he said in a statement. “More and more students are graduating, even as the standards we’re asking them to meet get tougher and tougher.”

With only June graduations counted, the Bronx’s numbers have dropped as well, but more substantially, from 54.7 percent to 52.7 percent.

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