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5.28.14 — Bronx News that Matters

28 May

Harry Bubbins, head of the Friends of Brook Park, lays out his position on why the city’s financial support of FreshDirect taking over a chunk of the south Bronx’s waterfront has gotta go.. He calls on Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. to get back to his previous positions and on Mayor de Blasio to follow his current ones.

Beginning last night, Bronx Times broke a story that Montefiore is merging with Yeshiva University’s Einstein College of Medicine. Montefiore announced it today, the paper just reported.

Do you want the Citi Bike program up and running — uh, biking — in the Bronx?

Think the Bronx is, or was ever, in tough shape? It certainly was, especially in the 70s and 80s, but that seems like nothing compared to what Detroit is going through now. What do you think?

Anyone with kids in city schools knows how limited or completely absent sports and phys ed are in public schools. Jim Dwyer focuses on this issue in the Bronx.

Norwood News reports on the 52nd Precinct cracking down on barbecuing in local parks. Community orgs are doing the same.

Arthur Avenue, the Bronx’s (better) Little Italy, is now home to a new Latin fusion joint, reports Bronx News 12.

5.22.14 — Bronx News that Matters

22 May

Former Council member Oliver Koppell, a veteran Riverdale-based politician who occupied several other key political positions, may have an uphill climb to defeat incumbent Jeffrey Klein, a Democrat who has formed a separate committee to partner closely with Republicans. Some key former Koppell allies are backing Klein, but
Koppell is gathering support and enthusiastically taking it on. City Limits files a detailed report.

Former assemblyman Eric A. Stevenson is headed behind bars for three years for taking bribes from a company wanting legislation to temporarily ban additional adult day care centers. In February, I reported in City Limits that Governor Cuomo was publicly struggling with a decision of whether to have the election to refill District 79 soon or wait until the regular primary on Sept. 9. The latter date won out and there won’t be an assemblyman in that district for another six months following the general election. The same is true for District 77, an office former-assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson left when she became a member of the City Council.

The city celebrated its Shop Healthy Program in the Bronx. Through advertising, the project highlights healthier foods which the Department of Health says works by drawing more customers to food that’s better for them.

Congressman Charles Rangel, who now represents part of the northwest Bronx, leads challenger Adriano Espaillat, now a state senator, 41 to 32 percent in a poll conducted by the New York Times, NY1, and Siena College. (Data chart included.)

And according to the Daily News, Rangel and another candidate in his district have a lotta dough. And Espaillat? Not so much.

The ninth murder this year in the northeast Bronx’s 47th Precinct took place on East 229th Street yesterday. That’s eight more murders than there were last year at this time. The New York Times covered this problem May 18 as well.

(To find out more about crime in your precinct or neighborhood, click here and here for city data from NYPD and DoITT. Tell Bronx Matters if you think this data is helpful or how it can be more helpful.)

Speaking of food, a historic pizza joint, Patsy’s Pizzeria, is opening a Morris Park location next month, the Daily News reports. According to the story, the 81-year-old Patsy’s is considered to be the first pizzeria that sold pizza by the slice.

The Ghetto Film School, based in Mott Haven, is partnering with 20th Century Fox to open a partner school in Los Angeles, the Daily News reports.

If you’d like to get e-mail updates on Bronx Matters blog posts, see bottom of page at left. Thanks! -Jordan

 

Afternoon Matters — 4/17/12

17 Apr

Good afternoon. Thanks for reading Bronx Matters.

Here are some links we think are important and/or interesting …

Evictions are way up in the city, particularly in the Bronx. Sally Dunford of West Bronx Housing and Neighborhood Resource Center, tells WNYC: “I don’t even advertise our services because I’m too afraid of what would happen if we actually started advertising.”

Some delectable photos of dishes served up at the Khmer New Years Festival on Marion Avenue recently.

A roving foreclosure blockade came to Bronx Supreme Court yesterday, resulting in 14 arrests. It was Organizing for the Occupation’s seventh blockade. They’re headed to Brooklyn on Thursday. An important fact from Daniel Beekman’s coverage of the same action: The Bronx endures fewer foreclosures than Brooklyn and Queens. But no urban county in the state suffers more foreclosures per mortgage than the Boogie Down, said Justin Haines, foreclosure prevention director at Legal Services NYC – Bronx.

Want to learn more about the country’s foreclosure crisis? Read this special report on Pro Publica (a nonprofit investigative news site).

Steve Ritz of the Green Bronx Machine continues to spread the gospel of urban farming and good food to students and the adults in their lives. (Video)

10 very brief Life Lessons of many in the archives of Esquire.

Beyond our borough: Why San Diego is not hopping on the teacher evaluation bandwagon.

Morning Matters — 4/10/12

10 Apr

The New York World reports: “The state Office of Court Administration will reverse the controversial 2004 merger of the Bronx Criminal and Supreme courts, which attorneys have blamed for lengthy delays that infringe on the rights of criminal defendants.” Read more.

Vince Morgan, a former staffer for Congressman Charlie Rangel who challenged his former boss in the 2010 Democratic primary and planned to do so again, has ended his bid  and endorsed Adriano Espaillat.

Community Board 1 residents voted unanimously late last month to condemn the process that led to the approval of the deal that paved the way for Fresh Direct to create its new factory in the Harlem River Yards. The board’s district manager, Cedric Loftin, disagrees.

“Mama’s Boys of the Bronx,” the new TLC reality show that follows a bunch of 35-year-old Italian men who still live at home with their mamas and apparently aren’t shy about reporting and discussion their sexual exploits under the same roof, premiered last night. (Video)

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was a critic of stop-and-frisk when Giuliani was mayor, Michael Powell reports.

Woodlawn Cemetery now has a tour of gravesites foodies will love.

A sculpture installed in West Farms, called “For Closure” is “meant to represent the fragility of the housing market.” (Video)

Morning Matters 3/30/12

30 Mar

OK, we’re back with Morning Matters. Sorry to miss the last couple of days.

This photo by Ana Brigida is part of her exhibit on public housing conditions, opening tonight, at the Bronx Documentary Center in Melrose.

The Bronx Documentary Center, also in Melrose, has an opening tonight for an important exhibit called, “How the Other Half (Still) Lives: Bloomberg’s Legacy?” by Ana Brigida about conditions in public housing.

Speaking of Melrose, Legal Services is developing a building on a vacant lot near the subway station in the neighborhood’s southern end on Brook Avenue and East 149th Street.

Have you read the incredibly intelligent conversation taking place on Gregory Lobo Jost’s post on the Times declaring gentrification taking root in south Bronx? I’ve been meaning to mention that this isn’t the first time the Times has weighed in on south Bronx gentrification. This piece by the same reporter, Joseph Berger, focused on the artists and professionals heading to the Clocktower and other buildings in Mott Haven. The appearance of arugula in supermarkets and cafes is also a harbinger of a new scene in that piece. Hey, does arugula mean Kingsbridge is gentrifying? The revamped Foodtown on Broadway and 231st has it as well as a section of specialty beers. Speaking of food and drink, the recent Berger article quotes a resident who found a fantastic Mexican restaurant in the neighborhood, Xochimilco. But that restaurant, which I happened to be at a few days before that article appeared, is in the heart of Melrose, a whole other neighborhood (which has its own incredible story of rebound that I plan to talk more about here) at least a mile and a half away from the Concourse and 160s. (Incidentally, I had the best chicken mole I think I ever had in my lifethere.)

Though teen violence is way up at Riker’s Island, the Bronx DA’s office rarely prosecutes, according to an article in The New York World. The DA’s office says it’s hard to prosecute when victims don’t cooperate but critics say that wouldn’t be case in the world outside of prison.

A popular middle school teacher, Justin Bravo, was killed while riding on his motorcyle in the tunnel on Mosholu Parkway underneath Jerome Avenue and the 4-train. This tragic accident was virtually steps away from where a pedestrian died in December. Norwood News posted the funeral arrangements.

Hunts Point Express documents local efforts to battle the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy, including murals to educate youth on their rights at Rocking the Boat.

Morning Matters — 3/20/12

20 Mar

Good morning, everyone.

Here’s some video documenting this year’s annual painting of the giant shamrock on the 231st Street near Broadway for St. Patrick’s Day.

Tenants and advocates will really outside Bronx Housing Court today in support of a bill, sponsored by Council Member Fernando Cabrera, that will require landlords to post a tenants’ bill of rights in their buildings. The legislation has been stalled for a year.

All that redistricting politics was like a big dose of castor oil for most New Yorkers, but now it’s a hard reality, at least in terms of the Congressional lines. Want to see what district you have landed in? Just plug in your home address here.

Congressman Jose E. Serrano tweeted this morning that it was 20 years ago today that he won a special election for his Congressional seat.

Speaking of anniversaries,  not Bronx related (though I heard he once appeared in a folk festival at Hunter College, now Lehman, in the 60s): Bob Dylan celebrates 50 years since he first recorded with Columbia Records.

The opposition to Fresh Direct is ramping up with the group South Bronx Unite launching a boycott against the grocer which is planning on building a factory in the Harlem River Yards. For more on the fledgling South Bronx Unite and a recent gathering in Melrose with veteran foes of the Atlantic Yards development, check out this Bronx Matters exclusive story.

For Bronxophiles this is kind of a must-read. Artists have converged on the stately but empty rooms of the Andrew Freedman home on the Grand Concourse to create installations related to the building and what was left in the areas that the Mid-Bronx Senior Citizens Council does not occupy. The creations won’t be permanent tenants but organizers hope to draw attention to the property and the possibilities of it being a business incubator. There are already plans, the Times reports, to fills some of the empty space with a bed-and-breakfast.

The Center for Public Integrity gave New York a grade of D for its predilection for corruption. Believe it or not, New Jersey got the best grade.

Speaking of corruption, alleged we should say, Pedro Espada’s defense attorney infuriated the judge yesterday.

Morning Mattters, 3/19/12

19 Mar

Spring may be a few days away but with a high of 72 today that doesn’t seem to matter. Here are some news items Bronx Matters finds interesting/important today.

Lead paint violations are still a big problem in the Bronx.

Residents at 1055 Grand Concourse have been without heat and hot water for two weeks.

The new lines for the 29th Senate District, which replaces the 28th and is currently represented by Jose M. Serrano, takes quite the circuitous journey through the Bronx and the east and west sides of Manhattan. (Print version of this article seems to have mistakenly included the photo of Serrano’s dad, Congressman Jose Serrano.)

A Bronx high school near Yankee Stadium isn’t going to get to take any swings this season at the baseball fields that replaced the old stadium.

Tired of waiting for good food and fresh produce to come to the neighborhood, the Mary Mitchell Family and Youth Center on Mapes Avenue in Crotona has started its own fresh food delivery service.

Developers have just a few more days to submit a Request for Proposals for the redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory, and the borough president isn’t that happy with what he’s seen so far. [link includes RFP]

State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. is standing up for his aide who allegedly embezzled $75,000 from a nonprofit Diaz helped to found and assailing Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Food Matters: Sodesh in Norwood

13 Mar

Chicken, spinach and rice at Sodesh in Norwood. (Photo: J. Moss)

Next to an empty lot on Bainbridge Avenue in Norwood is a new restaurant, Sodesh, taking root in a former Chinese takeout joint. It serves Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani food and what I’ve tried there so far on two occasions is worth far more than the super-fair prices on the menu. Yesterday I had chicken bahari (yogurty, spicy, smooth) with vegetable samosas (crispy, light, perfect) and a creamy spinach dish I could’ve eaten another bowl of.

Last I checked there were about 1,000 Bangladeshis living in Norwood. Sodesh probably won’t make it on their patronage alone, as I’ve eaten some similarly awesome South Asian fare in people’s homes there. So, I hope Norwoodians and other Bronxites check it out. They’re at 3111 Bainbridge Ave. and the number for free delivery is 718-231-5370.

(If you like a Bronx restaurant, let us know in the comments section or by emailing bronxmatters-at-gmail.com and we’ll consider mentioning them in a future Food Matters post. Photos are great, too.)

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