Opinion: Building Strong Schools Through Community Engagement

With over 50 years of experience as an educator, I know that it truly takes a village to deliver for students. In each school community, that village is made up of teachers, administrators, support staff, outside partners and of course, families. While I often say it all comes down to what happens in the classroom, when it comes to building strong school communities, families are critical partners. That’s why, as Chancellor, I’ve made family engagement a priority for all of our schools, and there has been an unprecedented investment in families. Whether we’re bringing parents into the classroom to teach


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New Chapter: Norwood Welcomes Children’s Librarians

With vacancies for two children’s librarians at the Mosholu Library finally filled, parents formally met the new staffers who have been at the helm for the last month. Nicole Figueroa and Katie Loucks were brought on to the branch at 285 E. 205th St. off Perry Avenue in January. Figueroa, who previously worked in Riverdale, said one of the most rewarding parts of her job was having children come in with a love of literacy and the desire to read. She described Norwood warmly. “I really like the community. It’s really diverse and everyone is very vibrant,” Figueroa said. Loucks,


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Cohen: Charging Station Needed in Norwood

Councilman Andrew Cohen has requested that the future come to Norwood through a proposed electric vehicle (EV) charging hub. Cohen drafted a proposal for Mayor Bill de Blasio on Jan. 10 having had his constituents in the 11th Council District express interest to be part of de Blasio’s plan to develop 100 new EV fast charging stations across the city in 2018. Cohen believes the northwest Bronx has ample locations conducive to charging hub installation. “I believe a number of locations, both public and private, would be feasible for EV charging. They include the parking lot for the Van Cortlandt


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DHS Moves Forward With Jerome Avenue Shelter

The New York City Department of Homeless Services announced it plans to contract with a nonprofit to open a homeless shelter at a property on the outskirts of Norwood. The news will likely be welcoming to parents who worried a shelter would be housed diagonally across PS/MS 20 on Webster Avenue. In a joint Op-Ed submitted to the Norwood News, DHS Commissioner Steven Banks revealed that the new shelter will be placed at 3600 Jerome Ave., a 29,275-square-foot property near East 213th Street. A consensus was reached between DHS and community stakeholders after months of brainstorming over alternative sites, a


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Op-Ed: Working Together to Welcome Neighbors

Homelessness is one of the hardest issues we have to confront as public servants and partners in government. But working together to do so is more important than ever because homelessness impacts literally every community across the five boroughs, including our own constituents right here in Bronx Community District 7—often due to rising rents and stagnant incomes, not through any fault of their own. If we’re going to succeed in this fight, it’s because we find ways to tackle these challenges together, collaboratively along with our communities, putting people and neighborhoods first in all that we do. We must make


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Special Election Date Set for 80th Assembly Seat

Governor Andrew Cuomo has marked April 24 as the day a special election will be held for the vacant 80th Assembly District seat that covers Norwood. The seat was held by Mark Gjonaj, a Democrat, who relinquished his seat after he was voted Councilman for the East Bronx’s 13th Council District in November. Some possible names floated to fill his seat include Gjonaj’s former chief of staff, Nathalia Fernandez and Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez, a veteran political operative whose résumé includes serving as the former secretary of state for New York. Cuomo has also called a special election for the vacant senate seat


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Police: Bronx Thief Targeted Bedford Park Homes

A serial burglar has robbed up to $10,000 worth of jewelry and other items from two homes in and around Bedford Park over the last month. Police have identified a person of interest in the case. He was spotted on surveillance camera entering a home from an “unsecured entry” near East 201st Street and Perry Avenue around 7 a.m. on Jan. and took items before leaving. A day later, a victim came forward reporting that $5500 worth of jewelry had been taken. That same person of interest matching the description from the first incident broke into a home two blocks


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Financial Focus: Where’s My Check? Welcome to Tax Season

Well folks, this is week one of income tax season, and I again ask myself the same question: why? I can honestly say that tax advisory services does bring in 40 percent of our revenue. Of course, that’s a good thing. The Bad: Monday call: “I want to know how much you charge? My taxes are simple but I have a big problem.” Wednesday call (After free 30-minute phone conversation): “…are you sure you know what your talking about? My grandmother never did it this way.” Friday call: “Where’s my check?” Welcome to my world: 16 weeks of wonderful madness called income tax


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At Montefiore, a Healthier Heart Starts With a Step

Heart disease kills more people in the Norwood, Kingsbridge Heights and Bedford Park sections of the Bronx than cancer, says the city Health Department. At Montefiore Medical Center, nearly four dozen staffers strolled around so-called “Montefiore Mile” to set an example and make a point: walking can dramatically reduce one’s chance of developing heart disease. Four trips around the indoor path found at the hospital’s Moses Campus in Norwood equate to a mile. “You’re maintaining and building heart muscles,” said Dr. Mario Garcia, co-director of the Montefiore-Einstein Center for Heart & Vascular Care and professor and chief division of cardiology at


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