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Cuomo: State Will Reignite Massive Skating Facility Plan for Bronx’s Kingsbridge Armory

9 Jan
Kingsbridge Armory 2016

The Kingsbridge Armory. Photo by Jordan Moss

The massive ice skating facility planned for the Kingsbridge Armory was brought back to life today.

As the Norwood News reports, Gov. Cuomo announced that the state will provide funding close to the tally required to reignite a plan to transform the armory into a massive home to nine ice-skating rinks, the largest such entity in the universe.

It ain’t over ’til it’s over, but Cuomo’s announcement appears to bring the complicated project close to a resolution after 23 years of a long, devoted community campaign led from the beginning by the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition.

For Norwood News armory coverage from 1999 on, go here and here.

 

 

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 welcome2thebronx.com 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 dnainfo.com. “That’s the reason why I boycotted the golf course.”

 

 

 

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

2 Nov

Wnyc.org 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.

Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment’s Financial Uncertainty

19 Feb
Kingsbridge Armory 2016

The Kingsbridge Armory on Kingsbridge Road. Photo by Jordan Moss

Politico New York reports on the uncertain financial status of the mega ice-skating palace planned for the  Kingsbridge Armory’s redevelopment.

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.

 

Bronxites Welcome Refugees (well, not ALL Bronxites)

12 Jan
refugee pic

Poster on our front door in Kingsbridge Heights

A few weeks ago I ordered 10 copies of the poster above for the front door of our house in Kingsbridge Heights and for some friends and neighbors sharing our feeling. It’s a bit of a wish as the U.S. has barely opened the nation’s doors yet, with only 2,290 allowed in since 2011. Canada, a much smaller nation population-wise, has opened its doors for more than 9,000 people.

No one has said anything much to us. Our neighbors either share the same views, or respect our right to make them known. We’ll leave it up until the U.S. speeds up and expands its policy.

But in the Norwood neighborhood, where we lived for many years, our pals Jarrett Murphy and Eileen Markey did get a written response taped to their door. Little did that person know it was a letter to an editor.

Jarrett didn’t hesitate to share his feeling with quite a larger audience on the City Limits website. Well-written and humor-providing. Check it out.

Oh, by the way, I have like 4 posters left, so if you want one for your front door, just e-mail me at bronxmatters@gmail.com and we’ll make it happen! They’re $18 each.

A Reminder of Corrupt Bronx Politicians

24 Nov

Bronx Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo will resign from office at the end of the year, according to press reports. She cites “pressing family needs,” which could very well be the case. But the mere possibility of more corruption accusations headed toward a Bronx elected official (a few issues were raised during Arroyo’s last campaign, as I reported in City Limits) made me think of how depressingly common this is in our beautiful borough and beyond. Following is a list of 10 convicted Bronx elected officials I know of. Each name is linked to an article on their particular situation. (Some are articles from the Norwood News which I was editor of between 1994 and 2011.) If there are any I’m forgetting — and, unfortunately, that wouldn’t surprise me — please add your comments or email me at bronxmatters@gmail.com and I’ll include them in a future post.

Assemblyman Eric Stevenson

Assemblyman Nelson Castro

State Senator Guy Velella

State Senator (who later became Councilman) Israel Ruiz

State Senator Efrain Gonzalez

State Senator Pedro Espada

 Councilman Larry Seabrook

Councilman Pedro G. Espada (son of Sate Senator)

Borough President Stanley Simon

Congressman Mario Biaggi

Bronx State Senator Gustavo Rivera’s Other Public Passion: Performance

20 Nov

Bronx State Senator Gustavo Rivera (D, WF, 33rd District) did more than raise some drinks and hug his pals at his 40th birthday/fundraiser last night at Escape Restaurant and Lounge on Jerome Avenue in Norwood. He sang — a lot, with like 12 musicians! And, regardless of whether you might vote for him or someone else potentially challenging him next year (so far no one is on that route), it’s hard to expect you won’t be impressed with, and surprised by, his performance in the following video (mine).