311 Worked — Bronx Step Street Light Replaced

14 Feb

Yes, only a little improvement to a lousy step street (which needs to be replaced!), connecting Heath and Bailey avenues in Kingsbridge Heights, but an important fix nonetheless. The bottom step street light on Bailey Avenue has been out for a good bit, so it’s dangerously dark before you start heading up the steps. I called 311, they contacted the Department of Transportation (DOT) and gave me a code, and a few days later I checked in on it via 311’s website. It indicated that the light had been replaced and the case was closed. Wasn’t closed for me until I saw the light on tonight. Lesson? If you see a broken bench in a park; a dangerous, deteriorated sidewalk ; a street light out, etc., hear too much noise, etc., etc., call 311! They give you a code so you can keep track of the status. It also helps to let your community board know about the problem and give them the code you received. They’re usually in regular contact with city agencies and can echo your complaint. Here’s a photo of the step street (which, again, needs to be replaced! — more on this later) with the repaired light at the bottom of the stairs …

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Bronx step street entrance on Bailey Avenue headed up to Heath Avenue and Summit Place. DOT replaced light after complaint via 311. Photo by Jordan Moss

 

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A Look Back at Jeff Klein from Grade School to Now

6 Feb

City & State profiles Bronx State Senator Jeff Klein, technically a Democrat, but more of a powerful partner with Senate Republicans. Definitely worth a read. 

How So-Called Bronx Democrat Jeff Klein and Colleagues Have Handed Over the State Senate to Republicans

30 Jan

The IDC (Independent Democratic Conference) is a group of 8 “Democratic” state senators who have fled their former party colleagues in Albany to work with Republicans and give them full power of the legislative body, thereby blocking critical progressive legislation. It especially gives Bronxite State Senator Jeff Klein, the IDC’s founder and leader, the power to join his pal, Senate Republican and “majority leader” John Flanagan, in disabling Democrats from passing critical bills. (Simcha Felder of Brooklyn isn’t part of IDC, but is essentially a Democrat who works closely with Republicans nonetheless, so he, too, is a GOP pal.)

This critical political reality has been in city and state newspapers and websites a little bit lately, but hasn’t yet sufficiently spread among New Yorkers statewide, like say, how Trump’s attacks on Obamacare or DACA have done all over the planet. Time to change that. A couple of months ago, Zephyr Teachout, a law professor and Democratic activist who ran for governor against Cuomo in the 2014 Democratic primary (snatching a significant 36% of the vote) posted this excellent brief video explaining just what’s going on and what we need to do to change it. Check it out below. (And check out the sites of two Democratic candidates challenging Klein in the 34th Senate District: https://www.biaggi4ny.com and https://www.lewiskny.com.)

Criminal Justice Focus at Bronx Documentary Center Screening and Panel Discussion

9 Jan

The Bronx Documentary Center in Melrose will host “Visualizing Criminal Justice,” a screening and panel discussion, with the Marshall Project. on Thurs., Jan. 11 at 7  p.m. “Jenny Carchman’s We Are Witnesses takes a deeper look at the faces behind the complex and highly-flawed criminal justice system.” More info here.

Traffic Lights are Up and Running On at Kingsbridge Heights Intersection!

5 Sep
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Traffic lights installed at corner of Kingsbridge Terrace and Heath Avenue. Photo by Jordan Moss

9.5.17 – After more than a year and a half of attending Community Board 8 committee meetings, gathering petition signatures, meeting with neighbors, and ultimately collaborating with Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, the dangerous Y-shaped intersection of Fort Independence Street and Heath Avenue in Kingsbridge Heights now has traffic lights and walk/don’t walk signs.

And guess what? It’s much, much safer.

It was a complicated busy intersection with zero crosswalks. I found it dangerous. I stressed about my daughter and her pals crossing it. Heck, I worried about anyone crossing it.

Ultimately, after Ann DiLucca, Nova Calise and I gathered petition signatures, as members of the Fort Independence Park Neighborhood Association (with the help of the wonderful staff of the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center), Assemblyman Dinowitz organized a press conference right at the intersection with other elected officials (Councilman Andrew Cohen, Congressman Adriano Espaillat, State Senator Jeffrey Klein, and State Senator Gustavo Rivera), KHCC executive director Margaret Della and 50th Precinct’s deputy inspector Terence O’Toole. Not long after that the DOT (Department of Transportation) reviewed the intersection and made a relatively quick decision. Dinowitz and his staff played a key role in encouraging the agency to do the right thing.

In our petition, we expressed particular concern about the intersection of Fort Independence Street, Giles Place and Kingsbridge Terrace. That’s particularly where kids, families and staff have to cross to get to PS 360 or KHCC. As I reported in September 2015, parents were very concerned about the lack of a crosswalk there. That still doesn’t exist, but Dinowitz said DOT is open to revisiting this related issue. The good news is that the traffic lights have slowed down vehicles heading in both directions. So it seems like crossing there will be a tad safer. But we should know more after school begins. (Please share any thoughts or concerns you might have by commenting on this post or emailing me at bronxmatters@gmail.com.) On another important, though less critical, note, the crosswalks where the traffic lights are still need to be painted and Dinowitz’s office said they’re staying on top of the DOT to make sure it happens ASAP.

That said, we are excited and relieved and hope to have as much success in many other community-improvement pursuits.

-Jordan Moss

Bronx Artist Needed to Facilitate Workshops

22 Aug

Just got an email about this. Passing it along …
Nesting the Arts Project (NAP): Virtual Residency
Due September 3rd, 2017.
Description of Project: NAP is a unique initiative created by BxArts Factory to nurture the use of art at home. We’ve seen the impact of the Arts, its influence on creativity, empowerment, development of confidence and unification between generations. It's also known to improve communication and emotional connection among family members. Through a series of workshops we will bring parents and children together to create art. Our hope for the program is to spark parent’s desire to nest the arts as part of their parenting legacy.
Call for Artists: We are looking for a Bronx artist to plan and facilitate four workshops this Fall. The applicant must have experience teaching workshops to an adult audience. The dates for the workshops are Fridays Oct. 6th, Oct. 27th, Nov. 17th & Dec. 1st. Workshops will be 2 hours each and materials will be provided by BxArts Factory. The selected artist will receive a stipend of $450.
The workshops will be presented to groups of parents participating on Parenting Workshops with Wonderfully Made Family Services, a local Bronx organization. The activities must be created and presented in a format that allows parents to easily replicate the art process and activity with their children at home. Activities must be appropriate for all ages. In an effort to showcase how these activities can be done in a comfortable and familiar space, we will be hosting these workshops in the homes of some of the parents attending. We hope that having the workshops in their homes help parents to feel comfortable and less anxious about the experience. Childcare will be available for participating parents as needed. The groups will be small as this experience is intended to be personable and non-threatening (10 to 15 adults).
Who can apply: Bronx artists, 21 years old or older that work on a variety of mediums or different artistic genres. Applicants must be available to work on the specified dates.

Due date: September 3rd, 2017 at midnight.
The selected candidate will be notified by September 23rd, 2017
APPLICATION FORM HERE!
Important: The selected artist will be asked to sign a commitment letter prior to beginning the project and an evaluation/reflection form as requirements for full payment.

Beauty in the Bronx (As Usual) – Van Cortlandt Park

10 Jun

NYCHA Danger in Kingsbridge Heights

7 Mar

Photo by Jordan Moss


This photo is not a mess of the month. For many months, NYCHA has left an ugly, ample mess of mattressses; old, broken-up furniture and cabinetry spread on the ground of this Fort Independence Houses lot on Heath Avenue. This scandalous scatter does get picked up at some point, but in the meantime it’s a dastardly dump. Yes, it may signify that there’s critical rehab work being done inside (let us pray!) but that doesn’t make this OK. It’s time for NYCHA to clear this miserable mess and keep it that way on a regular basis. Also, they need to simply close, if not lock, the gate. I easily wandered in to take this pic, but I don’t want it accessible to kids who might wander the lot and grab a nail or something. NYCHA may be significantly short of dough but keeping this area clean and safe isn’t gonna cost them much, if anything. 

Do it, NYCHA. Now!