Afternoon Matters 3/2/12

2 Mar

Good afternoon all! Thanks to everyone who “liked” Bronx Matters on Facebook on our first day of operation yesterday. Already up to 78 likes at the time of this posting. That’s awesome. Hope to get to 100 today. The more people involved, the livelier the conversation. Keeps me on my toes, too. So, thanks again. Here are some Bronx things that matter this afternoon.

fish men from Hunts Point on Vimeo.

The Hunts Point Express posted this terrific short documentary video by two filmmakers from the Netherlands exploring two very different approaches to the fish business at The Point CDC, and at the new mechanized Fulton Fish Market.

Juan Gonzalez  in today’s Daily News writes about overcrowding at PS 119 in Soundview. This interested me because I don’t think there’s been much focus lately on Bronx school overcrowding.  I remember writing about the space crunch at PS 8 in Bedford Park (not 0nline — no Web then) in my first issue as Norwood News editor in 1994. Kids were being bused off to another school at 7 a.m. to make room — later there were split sessions. District 10 was the second most crowded district in the city then and maybe still is, even with several new schools in the mix. We kept up the reporting for many years and the Bronx News Network regularly covered efforts to get schools placed where the National Guard buildings are behind the Kingsbridge Armory. Gonzalez writes about the “temporary” — and overcrowded — portable classroom trailers at PS 119 that have been in place for 15 years. Those same “temporary” trailers are a staple of most schoolyards in District 10 outside of Riverdale, and in other areas of the borough. The resulting lack of playground space can’t help but be a factor in the borough’s obesity epidemic. If you’re a teacher or parent who can report on the state of overcrowding at your school, at its impact, please comment on this post.

No more Monkey House at the Bronx Zoo. A good piece in the Times explains why. Did you know that a Congolese pygmy was on exhibit there in 1906, wrestling with an orangutan? Incredible.

Reading Dan Beekman’s story in the Daily News today makes you think how important it is for students — and everyone — to put their lives in perspective, to know that no matter how tough things are, that around the world there are so many places where people have it so much tougher. Fifteen students from the Eagle Academy for Young Men went to Malawi in Africa to build a school for local villagers.

“I was surprised,” one Mount Eden student said. “The mothers and the grandmothers had kids on their backs and they would start working anyway. It made me realize how lazy we are. It made me want to do more.”

Read it all.

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