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NY1 Report: Bronx DA Candidate at Center of Controversial Rikers Case

23 Oct

The Bronx Democratic candidate Darcel Clark faces new controversy beyond the fact that she is essentially an appointed successor to retired district attorney Robert Johnson in a borough led only by Democratic elected officials. As a former judge she presided over the case of Kalief Browder, “a Bronx youth who committed suicide earlier this year after he had been held at Rikers Island for three years without trial,” NY1 reports.

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More on Bronx DA Race, and Lack Thereof

6 Oct

As explained in previous post, Darcel Clark replacing District Attorney Robert Johnson is a virtual certainty thanks to Johnson’s post-primary resignation and Bronx Democrats dropping Clark in his place. A Republican lawyer, Robert D. Siano, has entered the race, but with no other elected Republican in the entire Bronx of 1.4 million residents, his chances are, uh, a tad limited.

In the Daily News today, Errol Louis writes about wrongful convictions during Johnson’s 28-year tenure,  and says, “voters deserve to hear much more about the decade [Clark] spent in Johnson’s office and how she intends to correct the scourge of wrongful convictions.”

Great Links to Bronx Artists and Growing Art Scene

3 Jun

There are so many Bronx artists and an emerging art scene. BX 200 has done a great job on its website promoting and linking to both. Check out this list of artists and this list of art scenes (organizations, galleries, etc.).

Still Waiting for Citywide Coverage of Staten Island Courthouse’s Disastrous Delay

2 Jun

There is still no certainty regarding when an architecturally impressive, yet incomplete, courthouse will open for business on Staten Island, after more than a decade of delay and more than $100 million over budget.

And there still hasn’t been any citywide coverage!

As I mentioned in Bronx Matters’ last post on this, this is an ongoing fiscal travesty following a similar construction, and civic, disaster in the Bronx. There has been zero citywide coverage in Big Apple newspapers as far as I can tell, even as the crisis continues. What’s up with that?!

Here are links to a more recent article and editorial from January on the Staten Island Advance’s silive.com website.

The Advance says Mayor de Blasio can’t predict the move-in date,  but Gov. Cuomo should be interviewed too, as it’s the state’s Dormitory Authority that is responsible for the construction. Heck, at this point, every city and state elected official should be called on it too as no one seems to be making any noise.

Bronx Matters’ ears are wide open.

New Bronx Community Board 8 District Manager

22 May

Community Board 8 has a brand new district manager, Patricia Manning. Yet she’s a 30-year veteran of the office. (I remember working with her briefly in the early 1990s, when I was working for the borough president and the Department of Sanitation in Community Boards 11 and 8 on education and helping communities adhere to the brand new recycling law. I also remember her daughter worked (works?) at the Botanical Garden in the Bronx. More news on her new gig in The Riverdale Press.

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.

5.27.14 Bronx News that Matters

27 May

Though the Daily News reported on Sunday that State Senator Adriano Espaillat, a challenger to longtime Congressman Charles Rangel, won’t appear on a BronxTalk debate “due to Albany’s legislative session,” host Gary Axelbank told Bronx Matters today that Espaillat has decided to take part. Meanwhile, Rangel’s office asked Axelbank for a conference call “for rules and other debate procedures” along with staffers of the other candidates. Axelbank responded by setting that up for 2 p.m. today. Stay tuned on Bronx Matters for debate status update.

Councilman Fernando Cabrera announced to tenants of NYCHA’s Ft. Independence Houses in Kingsbridge that its community center won’t be closed, according to The Riverdale Press. Cabrera said NYCHA confirmed that but the Riverdale Press said that “in in recent e-mails, NYCHA’s press office said a determination was yet to be made about the authority’s 106 community centers.” It’s a citywide issue: “The way Mr. Bloomberg left the centers last year, the city would end funding for 57 centers operated by NYCHA itself this June. Nonprofit agencies support the other 49 sites,” the Press reported.

Speaking of NYCHA housing, the Bronx Times reported on the agency’s new commissioner, Shola Olatoye, meeting with residents and local politicians at Pelham Parkway Houses and getting an earful of complaints about long delays making critical repairs — a chronic, unresolved problem during the Bloomberg administration.

State Senator Jeffrey Klein and Assemblyman Marcus Crespo (both Bronx reps) are partnering on legislation to keep alcohol out of the hands (and mouths) of underage drinkers by allowing retailers to swipe bad IDs among other efforts. The Daily News reports that 400 minors were admitted to two city hospitals — North Central Bronx and Jacobi — just over Memorial Day weekend in 2012 and 2013.

Parishioners are battling the proposed closure of Visitation Church in Kingsbridge. St. Gabriel’s Church in Riverdale would also have to cut down its weekday masses. (I’ve also heard that Visitation will merge with St. John’s Church on Kingsbridge Avenue near 231st Street.)

Hunts Point Express files a detailed report on the possibilities for the rebirth of waterfront land where a decrepit Marine Transfer Station in Hunts Point is expected to be torn down.

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