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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: and


D.C. Columnist’s Great Idea Makes Me Think of Trump’s Bronx Golf Course

15 Dec

Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell has a good idea — apply the controversial, but very legal, policy of eminent domain to Donald Trump, who loves it to death, at Trump Tower in Manhattan, where a clogged security site is already sucking millions of police protection cash from the city. Through eminent domain, the city would have to pay Trump for the building before they dismiss him from the site. But, in her column, Rampell explains how it’s well worth it.

Made me think of the Bronx golf course Trump currently runs. He doesn’t own the property, so eminent domain isn’t applicable. But the city could end its contract with him, as sought last year in a petition effort after Trump said that Mexico is: “sending people that have lots of problems, and they are bringing those problems to us. They’re bringing drugs, and bringing crime, and their rapists.”

That’s when Trump even lost the support of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., who decided to boycott the site. “When he speaks out against Muslims, when he speaks out against Mexicans and Latinos, that to me is anti-Bronx,” Diaz said, as reported in “That’s the reason why I boycotted the golf course.”




Photos at Bronx Documentary Center Holiday Sale

12 Dec

Here are some photos up for grabs through 12/18 at Bronx Documentary Center’s holiday sale, as I mentioned in my prior post.

Who, and What, You’re Voting For in Bronx and Beyond

2 Nov has a great site listing who and what you’re going to be voting for this coming Tuesday, Nov. 8.

The city itself has its own detailed site.

Pass this along. The more who know about these links the merrier.

Arts and (Photo)Graphs: My Opening at An Beal Bocht

28 Jun

Hey Bronx (and Beyond) Pals: My art and photo exhibit –  at An Beal Bocht (cool, artsy Irish pub/cafe in Riverdale/Bronx) opens on July 6, next Wednesday, beginning at 6 p.m. It’s at 445 W. 238th St. in Riverdale, a short (if somewhat steep) walk from the 238th St. 1-train station. An Beal Bocht will provide some food. They’d just like you to shell out a little dough to buy some booze or whatever else (water, juice, soda, whatever) you’d like to take a swig of. Don’t worry if you come later – even a lot later – than that. I’m figuring it will go on until at least 10 p.m., or probably beyond that when the last one of us heads out the door. Here are a couple of photos of what I’ll be showing.

One of my abstract paintings, collage, whatever you wanna call it:


One of my photos … (Guess where and when? 😉


OK, hope you can make it, but if you can’t the exhibit will continue through the month of July. Thanks! If you have any questions, just email me at

City Limits Highlights 40 Years of Critical Reporting

3 Feb

City Limits is 40 years old this year. For most of its life thus far it was a hand-held magazine, but for a couple of years now it’s been a website with the same critical coverage of urban policies that affect all New Yorkers and their neighborhoods.

Celebrating its impressive anniversary (how many nonprofit publications are around for four decades?) City Limits highlights a story from each of those 40 years (including my piece -part of a series produced by Tom Robbins and his excellent students at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism – about a boy’s death following a fire in a disastrous Bronx building long-ignored by its landlord.)

What City Limits also has up and running are essays by many of its former editors including Robbins, Alyssa Katz and Doug Turetsky. (Bronx and Norwood neighborhood resident Jarrett Murphy is the current editor who made this whole lookback happen.)

Take a read and pass it on. It’s good for everyone to know more about where we were and focus on what policies still need focus and change.


Spread the Word on Bronx Youth Heard!

13 Jan

A bunch of years ago at the Norwood News (and the now-defunct Bronx News Network)  I, and James Fergusson, launched Bronx Youth Heard, a free after-school journalism program for Bronx teens that takes place at Hostos Community College. I’m thrilled that David Cruz & Co. at the Norwood News are still making it happen. Bronx Youth Heard is an actual newspaper that’s published along with the Norwood News.

The application for the next session is due on Jan. 22. Click here for all the info. And spread the word to all the Bronx teens, teachers, and parents you know. There’s no other program and newspaper like this in the entire Bronx — and probably the entire city!