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.

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One Response to “Morning Matters — 3/20/12”

  1. Jack March 20, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    Re: The Espada story linked

    Maria Cruz, the former employee at Soundview. She is deserving of some praise. Espada has survived in the past because employees and other supporters have had an almost cult-like devotion to him and have been willing to fall on their swords for him. Some may be critical because she waited so long and only came forward when she was in danger of being charged. I think that may be a legitimate point. But I want to focus on the positive — she is doing the right thing now and it is making a difference. I can’t help but think of other people connected to Espada like Steve Pigeon and Haile Rivera — where are they? Have they gone to authorities to tell what they know? Haile Rivera, for example, must have relevant information on how Espada violated campaign finance laws. He worked on the Espada campaign — yet there are no filings from Espada listing payments for campaign staff. Rivera (who appears to harbor political ambitions of his own) should come forward and tell what he knows.

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