Friday, February 27, 2015
What Happened to $10M Savings?
Residents Forced to Pony Up More as No One Questions Where Millions Went
By Michael Horowitz
BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 27- What ever happened to the $10 million in annual savings the Riverbay Corporation was supposed to realize by refinancing the community’s mortgage through Wells Fargo Bank and HUD in 2012?
That’s what Riverbay board member Daryl Johnson and a leading supporter of Co-op City’s privatization were asking this week.
Johnson noted, “It’s clear to me that the answer is that Co-op City will continue to waste whatever money it saves as long as the Riverbay Corporation’s wasteful corporate culture isn’t changed. As long as we continue to approve major extra expenses on contracts after they are agreed to, we’re going to keep spending whatever money that we might save.”
Johnson stressed, “The real losers in all this are the shareholders, who are now being asked to pay another increase in carrying charges, after repeated increases in carrying charges during the time when Marion Scott ran Co-op City’s management.”
Richard Friedman, a real estate professional who continues to strongly support Co-op City’s privatization, stressed, “I have no use for what Riverbay president Cleve Taylor has to say, just as I had no use for what Herbert Freedman and the people with Marion Scott had to say. Mr. Taylor is falling back on the shareholders for more money, when he should, instead, be looking for new ways to increase income, such as through privatization and the development of commercial properties, and looking to cut expenses.”
Friedman stressed, “Raising carrying charges is the easy way out for any management. It’s easier to require that the shareholders pay more than to come up with other ways to maximize income and decrease expenses.”
Friedman concluded, “I watched Cleve Taylor, on TV, as he held court during recent town hall meeting on the proposed 4.5 percent increase in carrying charges. The whole thing literally turned my stomach, because, once again, the shareholders were being hoodwinked into believing that there was no way around the proposed increased increase in carrying charges.”
#RealEstate #CoopCity #Bronxnews
Thursday, February 26, 2015
Wakefield News: RESIDENTS’ SHOCKING VIEWS ON ISIS:: RESIDENTS’ SHOCKING VIEWS ON ISIS: Terrorists Not Monsters Just Confused Young Men Who Need More Education There’s Nothing Obama Can ...
RESIDENTS’ SHOCKING VIEWS ON ISIS:
Terrorists Not Monsters
Just Confused Young Men Who Need More Education
There’s Nothing Obama Can Do
By Koi Germany
BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 26- Co-op City shareholders, speaking out on ISIS and its threat to Western Civilization, reacted in a variety of ways when they were recently interviewed.
Some of those questioned called the ISIS terrorists “monsters,” while others focused on the need to reeducate young Muslims.
As shareholder Peggy Sarvis stated, it starts with “young, confused people.”
And with the terrorists continuing to resort to brazen displays of violence, shareholders were asked about how they believed the President is handling the situation.
“He can only do so much,” shareholder Charles Aponte stressed. “Muslim countries need to unite and chip in; the United States can only do so much.”
Terry Richardson, a longt-ime shareholder agreed, stating, “The President’s hands are tied. He can’t change the attitudes of those in the Middle East.”
The issue of homegrown terrorism was also broached as shareholders took a firm stand on the matter.
“It is something we should be concerned about as well,” opined Marcus Minott.
With the issue becoming more pressing, there is a call for action on the part of the people, to do something to halt ISIS’s reign of terror.
“I just think they need to be terminated,” Phyllis HairstonTalley conveyed. “President Obama has
a nation to think about.”
Koi Germany is a sophomore at Hunter College and a longtime resident of Co-op City.
#ISIS #Terrorists #Obama #Bronxnews
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Cat Lovers Give City the Bird
Said Officials Would Kill Rather Care for Strays
Photo by Andre Rivera
BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 25- The future of curbside animal shelters like this one, recently spotted near the Grand Concourse in Norwood, remain uncertain as the City Council will soon vote on a bill that would bring an intake center for stray animals to each borough.
Despite all the snow and cold temps, animal lovers across the city have been refusing to call the Center for Animal Care and Control for fear that if the cats are not quickly adopted, they would be put to sleep. Residents say an unnamed animal lover began taking care of these stray cats in the area more than three years ago and the kitty motel sits on an abandon lot.
The City Council's Health Committee was expected to discuss the bill on February 25, that if the bill passed, would establish a full-service animal shelter in every borough.
#Cats #Shelter #NYC #Bronxnews
Eagle Flies High in Tourney
By Gary Quintal
BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 25- Number 10 seed Eagle Academy for Young Men hosted the opening round of the 2015 PSAL Boys Basketball AA division Tournament on February 24th playing #23 Beach Channel.
Underdog Beach Channel responded to the challenge holding close and eventually tying Eagle Academy twice in the second quarter before taking a 24-21 lead on a three pointer with 3:51 remaining in the second.
Eagle would later tie the score a third time before two Beach Channel field goals in the final 45 seconds of the half gave Beach Channel its largest lead of the night 31-27.
Eagle Academy poured it on the the second half, using consecutive three pointers to cap a 13-2 run taking a 40-33 lead that that they never relinquished.
Eagle Academy cruised past Beach Channel 73-59.
PSAL playoffs are slated to run through March 14th with the Second round to begin February 26th and 27th.
#PSAL #Basketball #Sports
Monday, February 23, 2015
Gunman gets 50 yrs for christening shooting that left 10-yr-old girl dead
#Gunman #NYPD #DA #Bronxnews
BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 23- District Attorney Robert Johnson announced that 32-year-old Edgar “Puebla” Morales has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for the August 18, 2002 shooting at a christening party that took the life of 10-year-old, Melany Mendez, and paralyzed a bystander, Javier Tochimani.
After a six-week-long re-trial in October, 2014 before Justice Peter Benitez, Morales was convicted of: attempted murder in the second degree (Class B Felony), manslaughter in the first degree (Class B Felony), gang assault in the first degree (Class B Felony), criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree (Class C Felony), conspiracy in the fourth degree (Class E Felony).
Morales was originally tried and convicted in late 2007 in the first-ever use of the New York State Anti-Terrorism Statute against an organized gang, the St. James Boys (SJB), which sought to dominate the neighborhood around St. James Park in the Parkchester section of the Bronx. That conviction was overturned by the New York State Court of Appeals in late 2012, which ruled that (in spite of language in the statute describing terrorism as acts “intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population”) that law did not apply to the illegal acts of gang members committed in order to coerce or intimidate adversaries.
The crimes took place when gunfire erupted outside the St. Paul's Lutheran Church Hall at 1891 McGraw Avenue.
Innocent bystander Mendez was shot once in the head by a stray bullet during an altercation that began when Morales and other SJG members invaded a baptism party being held there. Confronting a man whom they believed to be a rival gang member, words were exchanged and the target and his friend, Tochimani, attempted to leave. Morales and several other SJG members followed them outside, where they assaulted the two men and opened fire, killing the little girl and leaving the second victim permanently paralyzed.
Prior to sentencing, emotional victim impact statements were presented by Mendez’ best friend, and by Tochimani, speaking from the wheelchair to which he is permanently confined [his written statement in Spanish delivered by a Court interpreter and paraphrased here] – “He [Morales] has deprived me of my freedom…for the last 12 years my children have grown up without a father who can simply be with them…my wife is abandoned without my support. My beloved mother, every day since this horrible tragedy wakes up hoping that her son may one day walk. My family has been completely destroyed by these bad people.”
Tochimani is not only confined to the wheelchair, but has also lived in an institution since the day he was shot.
Says District Attorney Johnson, “The state's highest court may have found that these acts cannot be prosecuted using the state terrorism statute, but the terror perpetrated by organized gangs will not be tolerated, and we will bring members of these gangs to justice using the full force of the law.”
After Morales finishes his sentence he will have five years post-release supervision and will be subject.
Coats for Needy
Council Member Andy King Spreads Warmth with Coat Giveaway
#Coats #AndyKing #Bronxnews
BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 23- Council Member Andy King is helping Bronx residents fight the bitter cold – one coat at the time.
Council Member King held a winter coat giveaway, distributing hundreds of winter coats, t-shirts and jackets to those in need.
Residents started lining up hours before the noon coat giveaway on Sunday. Luis Riquelme, 81, of Wakefield was the first to arrive at Council Member King’s district office on East Gun Hill Rd., Bronx.
“This is a fine coat,” said Riquelme. “It’s better than the one I have on now, which is old -- this is new.”
“There are far too many people – children and seniors included – who have been suffering through these bitter cold days without a coat. It is our hope to bring warmth and comfort to as many needy residents as possible,” said Council Member King who accepted the coats from the Bronx Clergy Taskforce and New York Cares.
“Three weeks ago I lost everything in a fire,” said Mary Edwards of Wakefield, who found a green coat at the giveaway. “This is fantastic, I really appreciate it. God sends us good people who do good things.”
This is the first year Council Member King hosted a coat giveaway. Based on the response, the Councilman said he plans to hold one every year.
Friday, February 20, 2015
Metro Center to Expand
Jobs, New Ballfields to be Created
#MetroCenter #Simone #RealEstate #Bronxnews
BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 20- Simone Development Companies has submitted the winning bid to acquire and develop a 33-acre site at 1500 Waters Place in the Bronx, adjacent to their existing 42-acre Hutchinson Metro Center office park. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Joseph Simone, president of Simone Development Companies, made the announcement.
The site comprises the northeastern portion of the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) Bronx Psychiatric Center campus, including three primary buildings comprising an aggregate total of 900,000 square feet, as well as four smaller buildings and a steam generating powerhouse.
In an effort to reduce its facilities footprint, OMH is consolidating its current operations and will maintain a smaller, 43-acre campus of newly constructed buildings adjacent to the site. It is anticipated that the entire 33-acres will be available for development by mid 2015, after being vacated by OMH.
The New York State Urban Development Corporation, d/b/a Empire State Development (ESD), issued a Request for Proposals for the purchase and redevelopment of the 33-acre parcel in the Morris Park section of the Bronx in November 2013. The site is surrounded by commercial, retail and institutional uses with a recent history of significant development by Simone, including the immediately adjacent Metro Center Atrium, a 360,000 squarefoot complex including office, medical, hotel and retail space.
ESD President and CEO Designate Howard Zemsky said, “This announcement is wonderful news for the entire Morris Park community, which will benefit greatly from the construction of this new mixed use development. From medical and retail services to education and community space, this center will serve a variety of important functions for Bronx residents and provide important jobs for local business owners and workers. I look forward to breaking ground on this project and thank our team at ESD, OMH, and DASNY for their continued collaboration and efforts.”
Simone Development’s Hutchinson Metro Center, which borders the development parcel, is one of the most successful commercial projects in the history of the Bronx, totaling over 1.4 million square feet of office, medical and retail space that is nearly completely occupied by some of the leading medical, educational and government tenants in New York City, including Montefiore Hospital, Affinity Health Systems, Mercy College, the NYC Housing Authority, the IRS and the NYC Administration of Children’s Services among dozens of tenants employing over 6,000 individuals. The campus is also home to a new Marriott, the borough’s only major flag hotel, LA Fitness, Applebee’s and other major retailers.
“We are extremely gratified to have been selected to develop this parcel and add to the borough’s only Class A office park,” said Mr. Simone. “What started as a dream 20 years ago to transform this underutilized site has become a reality, and this new addition will allow Simone Development Companies to expand our vision for the New Bronx and attract even more employers to the area.”
Simone Development’s proposal for the site includes two construction phases totaling nearly 1.9 million square feet of new and renovated commercial space consistent with the aesthetic of the existing Hutch Metro Center, providing a cohesiveness that tie the projects together both physically and visually.
In Phase I, the existing Betty Parker Building at the site will be reconfigured to include infill at both ends, creating two open air courtyards. Upon completion, the revitalized building will total 500,000 square feet for business or medical offices, targeting such uses as a healthcare training institute, educational space and an incubator for biotech research.
The existing John W. Thompson Building will also be redesigned to include a business hotel with meeting facilities and a community college, both totaling 100,000 square feet. A 60,000 square foot parcel in back of the building will be converted into a twolevel parking garage.
Phase I will also include construction of two new one-story retail buildings of 20,000 square feet each featuring service, retail and restaurant tenants. Simone will also build new athletic facilities including a baseball diamond and turf football/soccer/lacrosse field. Both fields will include related amenities and lighting for evening events.
Phase II of the project will include four new 10-story buildings of 250,000 square feet each for business and medical offices, as well as an adjacent parking garage. All of the buildings in both phases will be clad in aluminum composite panels to blend harmoniously with Simone’s existing buildings at the Hutch Metro Center and target LEED certification and Energy Star rating. The existing Parker and Thompson buildings will be upgraded with LED light fixtures, high Solar Reflective Index and low flow plumbing fixtures to reduce energy use and conserve water. The parking lots will include electric vehicle charging stations.
The project is part of OMH’s continued efforts to enhance the efficiency of its real estate footprint and convert its large 76-acre campus of older facilities into a smaller 43-acre campus of new buildings at the Bronx Psychiatric Center. OMH’s ongoing efforts, which are expected to be completed by mid2015, will enable the agency to facilitate new private development while maintaining and improving both its facilities and services in the area.
OMH Commissioner Ann Marie T. Sullivan, M.D. said, “The redesigned Bronx Psychiatric Center will be a state-of-the-art campus providing highquality, safe, and comprehensive mental health care to New York residents. Through innovative architecture, this new facility is designed to enable recovery and aid in the community reintegration of individuals with mental illness.”
Representative Joe Crowley said, “The construction of this new multipurpose facility in Morris Park is an exciting development for the Bronx. I thank Empire State Development for their commitment in making the most of this incredible opportunity to create good-paying jobs, spur our local economy and give back to the surrounding communities. Not only will this project have a revitalizing effect in the area but its impact will be felt for many years to come.”
Senator Jeff Klein said, “The new mixed-use space announced today by Empire State Development marks a significant and profound investment in the Bronx. It's projects like this that are bringing good-paying jobs to the community, creating opportunities for business to thrive and paving the way for future growth and economic success.”
Assemblyman Michael Benedetto said, “This is a great example of government and private business working together to achieve a stronger economy, by producing more quality jobs while at the same time helping business and quality of life in a community. I applaud ESD on this fine use of government/private company partnership.”
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said, “This development is a major new addition to our growing, diverse economy. This transformative project will create thousands of new jobs, and I am excited to bring this new professional and medical space to our borough.”
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Hope for Pope to Visit Here
Invitation for Pope Francis to Visit Yankee Stadium
#PopeFrancis #Vatican #YankeeStadium #Bronxnews
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 19- Once the Vatican announced the upcoming United States visit of Pope Francis would include New York City, many Bronx residents and public officials hoped the current Pope would follow in the footsteps of three of his predecessors by celebrating Mass at Yankee Stadium.
As Pope Francis is scheduled to visit New York City in September and 2015 is the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s Mass at Yankee Stadium, Dr. Cary Goodman, the Executive Director of the 161st Street Business Improvement District (161 BID), recognized how appropriate it would be for Pope Francis to celebrate Mass at Yankee Stadium and tried to garner support of public figures to approve an invitation to the new pope, elected less than two years ago.
The highly knowledgeable and pro-active Goodman explained, “I knew there was a rich history of popes coming to Yankee Stadium. Thus, I wrote a letter to Cardinal Dolan making that suggestion. I checked with the Yankees who were favorable.” Goodman next emailed elected officials who have an ex-officio relationship with the 161 BID, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and City Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson, whose district includes Yankee Stadium.
The above elected officials signed a newspaper ad, sponsored by the 161 BID, which includes the following words that certainly reflect the opinion of Goodman toward the iconic ballpark in his district, “A Mass at Yankee Stadium will help lift the spirits of our citizens and offer a vision of hope. Yankee Stadium is the Bronx’s great cathedral and the largest stadium in our city, a global icon befitting your ministry.”
Another reason that Pope Francis would be so appropriate a fit coming to Yankee Stadium is that he is the first pope born in the Americas, Buenos Aires in Argentina, and the majority of the Bronx’s residents are Latino. It should also be noted Pope Francis is 78 years of age and there is no guarantee that he will again travel to New York City.
U.S. Congressman Jose Serrano was the elected official and a signatory to the invitation that best understands the importance of a visit by Pope Francis to the Bronx. Serrano is a Latino who was born in Puerto Rico, a Roman Catholic, a true baseball and Yankees fan who does not attend Yankee Stadium for photo ops at ceremonies but to watch ballgames, and an experienced Congressman representing the people of the South Bronx since 1990.
The veteran Rep. commented, “We would be honored to host Pope Francis in the Bronx, the only borough in New York City with a majority Latino population that represents the diversity of our City and our nation. I hope his Holiness accepts our invitation to grace us with his presence and inspire us with his words. As the first Latin American Pope, his visit would be a historic and momentous occasion that would remain with us for generations to come.
Hopefully, with the support of the mayor and the approval of the Vatican, there will be another special day at Yankee Stadium in September.
The history of religious figures appearing and religious events taking place at Yankee Stadium are not limited to the recent past or to the Catholic faith.
In May of 1927, four years after the Yankees played their first game at Yankee Stadium, there was a function of the Holy Name Society at which Cardinal Hayes addressed the gathering. Interestingly, a Catholic high school named for Hayes is now located only a few blocks from Yankee Stadium.
One year after Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, a United Jewish Appeal benefit that was headlined by notable performers George Burns & Gracie Allen and Jack Benny was held to benefit the oppressed German Jews.
In 1957, the Rev. Billy Graham, then in his 30’s, preached at Yankee Stadium during the era when he was becoming a very popular evangelist.
Less than two months after Graham’s appearance, Cardinal Spellman celebrated Mass at the ballpark.
The following year, 1958, the largest crowd in the history of the Stadium, 123,707, attended a convention of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Days after the close of the 1965 baseball season, Pope Paul VI, the first pope to visit the United States, celebrated Mass at Yankee Stadium although he was only in New York one day.
During America’s Bicentennial year, 1976, the Rev. Myung Moon sponsored a “God Bless America Festival” in the renovated ballpark.
On October 2, 1979, Pope John Paul II celebrated a Mass for World Justice and Peace.
In response to the horrific terrorist attacks upon the United States, a non-denominational “Prayer for America” was held 12 days after the September 11 attacks.
The most recent Pope, Benedict XVI, to visit Yankee Stadium offered a Solemn Pontifical Mass marking the Bicentennial of the Archdiocese of New York on April 20, 2008, the final year of the original Yankee Stadium.
One year later, almost to the day, the first non-baseball event in the newly constructed Yankee Stadium was held. The extremely popular Joel and Victoria Osteen drew a crowd of nearly 35,000 for a “Night of Hope.”
Five years later, the couple returned to Yankee Stadium for a sold-out and uplifting evening gathering.
Fordham Salutes 40th Anniversary of Holiday Festival Champs
#Fordham #Rams #40thAnniversary #Basketball #Bronxnews
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 19- Sunday afternoon’s Alumni Day at Fordham University was a special celebration of a great accomplishment of Fordham’s men’s basketball team. The Rams captured the title of the ECAC Holiday Festival Tournament of December 1974. The annual tourney played at Madison Square Garden during the final days of each calendar year usually featured several local colleges as well as ranked teams from throughout the nation.
Hal Wissel was in his fourth season as head coach of the Rams. In 1971, Wissel, after four seasons as head coach of Lafayette, replaced Richard “Digger” Phelps as coach of the Rams after the latter left Fordham for the coaching spot at Notre Dame. Phelps had led Fordham to a 26-3 mark and a place in the NCAA Tournament in his only year at the university. The Rams were 18-9 and were invited to the NIT in Wissel’s first season at the helm.
Although the 1974-5 Rams finished the season with a record below .500 (12-13), they did not travel an easy road nor was the season without highlights. The Rams played six opponents ranked in the top 16 nationally, four within the top 10. Their 1-5 record against these difficult opponents skewed what otherwise would have been a winning season. Speaking about the season’s schedule, Wissel explained, “[Freshman coach] P. J. [who also attended the reunion] was responsible for making the schedule.”
The day after Christmas of that season began a happy week for the Rams at the “Mecca of Basketball” in Manhattan. The first contest of the ECAC Holiday Festival was also the annual “Battle of the Bronx” against heavily favored Manhattan College. Fordham defeated the Jaspers, 82-70. Two days later, the Rams moved on to face the St. Joseph’s Hawks, their current opponent in an Atlantic-10 contest on Sunday of this ceremony. Similar to the 2015 game, Fordham crushed the Hawks, 93-66, on December 28, 1974. Wissel recalled one newspaper headline after that Fordham victory, “Rams Win Leads Them to Slaughter.”
Southern California, #5 ranked in the nation, crossed the country to take part in the 24th year of what at that time was one of the most prestigious tournaments in college hoops. Wissel remembered that tough opponent, “They had several seven footers and six on the roster went to the NBA.”
To the surprise of most observers the Rams easily defeated the visitors from California by 17 points, 83-66. Brown, named the MVP of the tourney, scored 25 and grabbed 14 rebounds in the tournament finale against California. Kevin Fallon, a 1976 graduate, was also named to the All-Tournament Team.
At Sunday’s post-game reception, Brown reminisced about that special day, “Forty years ago, we did something that was a team effort. That’s the Fordham way.”
During this year’s Holiday Festival, two months ago, Brown was presented with an ECAC Special Achievement Award. Brown, the 17th leading scorer with 1,233 points and 7th leading rebounder with 807 was inducted into the Fordham Athletic Hall of Fame in 1987. Brown is still happily connected to Fordham as a member of its Board of Trustees.
Wissel left Fordham after the 1975-76 season because his teams had records beneath .500. Wissel recognizes that attending a college or university is to prepare the student to successfully travel through the remainder of his/her lifetime. He explained on Sunday, “We did it the right way. We graduated our student-athletes. There were no under the table payments.”
Tom Pecora, Fordham’s current men’s basketball coach, follows the same ethical principles as his predecessor when he tells recruits to Fordham, “It’s not for four years it’s for forty.”
In addition to his many years of success as a college coach where his teams amassed more than 300 wins, Wissel worked in the NBA for 18 years. He held position as assistant coach, scout and an administrator for the New Jersey Nets, Memphis Grizzlies, Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks and Dallas Mavericks.
Also present on Sunday was Bob Wolff, the legendary broadcaster of that well remembered tournament. Wolff, 94, has been broadcasting for 75 years, the longest career in history. Wolff achieved the mark for longevity because of his outstanding ability. He is one of only two broadcasters, along with Curt Gowdy, who has been enshrined in the Basketball and Baseball Halls of Fame.
The salute to the Fordham alumni included a special half-time program and a post-game reception. Both, as many other special athletic ceremonies were classily arranged by Associate Athletic Director Julio Diaz. The hard-working and humble administrator when complimented for his work in arranging this reunion tried to reflect the credit to Coach Wissel.
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Wakefield News: Repeat Felon has Crack Heads See the Light: Repeat Felon has Crack Heads See the Light Vicious stabbing leads to life changing event #NYPD #DA #Crackheads #Bronxnews BRONX,...
Repeat Felon has Crack Heads See the Light
Vicious stabbing leads to life changing event
#NYPD #DA #Crackheads #Bronxnews
BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 12- District Attorney Robert Johnson announced the sentencing of a repeat violent felon, Octavio Rivera, to 17 years behind bars, following a conviction that arose from a dispute over drugs and money.
Walter Romaine wanted to smoke some crack, but he did not want to smoke it alone. So he asked his friend Flossey Samuels to come along to his apartment on Creston Avenue the morning of August 2, 2012. But they were followed by Rivera – who proceeded to demand Walter’s cash and phone – and when he got it, struck out with a knife.
Flossey, terrified but in control, managed to call 911 for the critically injured Walter Romaine, who, slashed in the face and ear, and stabbed in the chest, would require surgery to repair a punctured lung and torn aorta.
In August of last year Rivera was convicted by a jury of assault in the first degree, a Class B violent felony, as well as criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, a misdemeanor.
Before Justice Dominic R. Massaro, he was sentenced to 17 years in prison with five years post-release supervision, after being adjudged a predicate violent felon, a provision of the New York State Criminal Law by which defendants who have been convicted of previous qualifying violent felonies are given tougher sentences than they would normally have gotten.
This was Rivera’s second violent felony in a prolific life of crime. At age 38, Rivera has spent more time in prison than out during his adult life for a laundry list of crimes, more than two dozen cases adjudicated in the Bronx alone, most involving the criminal possession and sale of drugs, but also including a half-dozen felonies including grand larceny, robbery, harassment, assault and criminal trespass.
But the story does not end there. Although Rivera will be spending the nearly two decades behind bars, Flossey Samuels and Walter Romaine’s stories involve recovery and success.
Flossey, now age 44, admits she was a lifelong drug addict who at times turned to prostitution to feed her habit. After this horrific 2012 incident and drug arrests in 2012 and 2013, she accepted plea agreements that saw her enter TASC, an alternative treatment program for drug offenders. And it worked. Clean of drugs for a year and a half now, she has made a remarkable comeback, making progress on getting her younger children back, working toward her GED, and newly engaged to be married.
Walter Romaine, although still coping with lingering injuries from the horrific attack, also entered drug treatment with equal success. The 39-year-old continues his drug-free progress and is working with a food services company.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Wakefield News: Drivers Boiling Mad After Blaz Tells Them to Move ...: Drivers Boiling Mad After Blaz Tells Them to Move It #Snow #Drivers #deBlasio By David Greene BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 11-...
Drivers Boiling Mad After Blaz Tells Them to Move It
#Snow #Drivers #deBlasio
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 11- For at least the last two weeks the city has suspended the alternate side parking rules, so the plowed snow has turned into blocks of ice that have encased vehicles across the borough and many Bronxites believe the city's decision to lift the suspension was just plain wrong.
The suspension was lifted on Tuesday, February 10, and many area drivers were furious with the decision.
One young woman who declined to give her name, had been busy breaking the ice for three-hours outside Herbert H. Lehman College in Bedford Park.
The woman blurted out, "It sucks man, because now I have to take the car and then I won’t find parking when I comeback because of all this ice."
"It's very difficult," the woman continued, "It took me three hours to get out of this spot. There's no way an elderly person can do this."
Asked if officials made an error in the decision, she replied, "Absolutely."
Carmen Ortiz was slightly older and a little more angry as she was breaking and shoveling the blocks of ice near Villa Avenue when she said, "It's stupid and ridiculous. I don't even think I can do it myself."
Ortiz eventually won her battle with the elements and as her reward, she was able to pull her truck out before being slapped with a $65 summons-- and traffic agents were on patrol.
Before leaving, Ortiz replied, "It's too cold and there's too much ice. I think the mayor made a mistake."
Another driver, iced in near Paul Avenue summed it up best, stating, "I think it's a mistake. I think they could have waited a couple of days when they have forecastered rain, that will wash it all away."
Another driver, Herman Vela, stuck on Jerome Avenue, also sounded off, "Even without the snow it's tough to find parking sometimes. I at least hope they take all the snow away, so we can park properly."
Vela added, "I think they made a good choice, because it's time now to move" the vehicles.
But when asked about his elderly neighbors, Vela replied, "Oh that's different man. I guess they have to find somebody to help them."
Wiley Norvell, a spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio was asked about the decision, when he stated, "The DOT (Department of Transportation) is the agency with jurisdiction over that, but obviously we all coordinate.
Norwell said the decision was decided by the DOT, Department of Sanitation and the mayor's office.
Norwell continued, "Anytime decisions are made about alternate side parking, whether to suspend it or reinstate, it's made in full coordination across multiple agencies."
Norwell then added, "Obviously, this has a lot to do with the Department of Sanitation and their ability to sweep the curb and that kind of stuff."
Norweel then ended the interview, asking for an e-mail request for any additional comment.
A written request was then sent to the mayor's office asking if they were planning on plowing the ice before the street sweeper moves in.
The DOT could not immediately say if it was 14 days or 18 days since the alternate side parking suspension went into effect-- during the suspension the city has issued $0 in summonses for alternate side parking.
A response from both the mayor's office and the Department of Transportation were not returned before the deadline for this article.
Monday, February 9, 2015
Wakefield News: Fordham Wins First Conference Game of the Season: Fordham Wins First Conference Game of the Season #Fordham #Rams #Basketball #Bronxnews By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUAR...
Fordham Wins First Conference Game of the Season
#Fordham #Rams #Basketball #Bronxnews
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 9- A one-sided 83-65 win by the Fordham Rams (6-15, 1-9) over the Saint Louis Billikens (10-13, 2-8) on Saturday afternoon at Rose Hill ended the nine-game winless streak of the Rams in Atlantic-10 Conference games this season. The campus gym was filled with Fordham enthusiasts, many of whom attended the annual Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony and luncheon earlier in the afternoon.
The Fordham fans were cheering wildly as the Rams scored the first 12 points of the game. The visitors cut the deficit to two points by the mid-point of the first half after going on a 15-5 scoring run. Interestingly, the first points scored by a Saint Louis player were a three pointer by the only Bronx native on the court, Ash Yocoubou.
The 6-4 junior is playing his first season with the Billikens after transferring from Villanova. The much travelled young man began his high school basketball years at the American Christian School on Pennsylvania before moving to Long Island Lutheran, where he was the Gatorade New York State Player of the Year in his senior season, 2011.
The Rams never lost the lead throughout the first half. The half ended with Fordham ahead by a score of 33-29.
Saint Louis scored the first four points of the second stanza to tie the score for the first and last time of the game at 19:06. Thirty-two seconds later, a free throw by Mandell Thomas gave Fordham the advantage again, which they never relinquished. A Fordham lead of 45-41 at 14:35 was followed by 11 unanswered points by Fordham that raised the advantage to 15 (56-41) with 11:16 left to play.
The Rams’ advantage was cut to six, 58-52, at 8:54 after an 11-2 scoring run by the visitors. Fordham’s domination during the final nine minutes, 25-13, gave the Rams an easy win.
After the contest concluded, Fordham’s head coach Tom Pecora spoke of the reasons for his team’s victory, “We were the more aggressive team. They [Rams] went to the free throw line 39 times.” The 30 free throws and 39 attempts were both season highs for the Rams. The visitors only went to the charity stripe 16 times and sunk 12 shots. “We took care of the basketball, 11 turnovers. They really played under control.”
The Rams only turned the basketball over four times in the second half. The Rams scored 50 in the second half on 66.7 percent from the floor. The Rams also controlled the boards, 33 rebounds to 24 for Saint Louis.
Fordham freshmen Eric Paschall and Chris Sengfelder led the scoring with 22 each. They are the only Division I freshman teammates who have averaged in double figures of points and more than five rebounds each per game. Pecora lauded them, “They’re not freshmen anymore; they’ve played so many minutes.” Sophomore Jon Severe (12) and Mandell Thomas (10) also scored in double digits for Fordham.
A freshman, Davell Roby, led the four double digit scorers on the Billikens with 16. The Bronx’s Yocoubou scored 10 to keep his season average to double figures (10.0 ppg.).
Fordham travels to the University of Richmond for its next game on February 11. Saint Louis returns home to host Dayton on February 10.
Wakefield News: Fordham Welcomes Athletic HOF Class of 2015: Fordham Welcomes Athletic HOF Class of 2015 #Fordham #HallofFame #Bronxnews By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 9- On Feb...
Fordham Welcomes Athletic HOF Class of 2015
#Fordham #HallofFame #Bronxnews
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 9- On February 7, the newest contingent of former student-athletic standouts were inducted into the Fordham University Athletic Hall of Fame. The first class was inducted during the 1970-71 year and included Frank Frisch “the Fordham Flash” and Vince Lombardi. The seven newest inductees were all students at Fordham during the 21st century with the exception of one, Kevin Sullivan, who graduated in 1974.
Sullivan was the only one of the seven who participated in water sports. The Bronx native qualified for the Eastern Championships in each of his four years at Fordham as both a swimmer and member of the water polo team. In 1973, he was selected to the All-East Water polo team.
One track and one field athlete of the first decade of the 21st century was also inducted. Matt DiBuono (’04), the five-time Atlantic-10 titlist, was a specialist in the hammer, 35 lb. weight throws and the shot put. Tom Dewey, the current Track & Field coach accepted the award for DiBuono.
Mark Porcaro (’09), in the 400, was the first Fordham runner to win an Atlantic-10 event. The team MVP in all four years at Fordham holds the Fordham indoor mark at 48.11. The Bronx native won the Terence J. O’Donnell Award in 2004.
Erin Brooks (’04) was a true student-athlete in her years at Fordham. In addition to contributing to the softball team’s first 30 win season in 2003, Brooks was an Academic All-America in 2003 and 2004. She was the university’s winner of the Hobbs Family Award, which is given to the school’s best female athlete. She has not wandered far from her college sport as she serves as head softball coach at Haverford College.
Dominique Ligouri Damian (’09) joined her mother, Bette-Ann Speliotis Ligouri as the only mother-daughter duo in the Fordham HOF. The tennis great, like her mom, was a four-time team MVP. She was a First Team All-Atlantic-10 in 2007 and 2009.
Marcus Stout (’08) was a starter in all four years on the basketball team. He remains in career scoring with 1,709 points and second in threes with 259. Stout was selected to the Atlantic-10 All-Rookie Team. Stout played basketball professionally in Europe for three years. Stout’s coach at Fordham, Derek Wittenburg returned for the ceremony honoring his former player.
Marcus Taylor (’07) was recognized nationally as a defense standout on the gridiron during his years at Fordham. He was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year in 2006. He ranked high nationally in tackles in 2005 and 2006. Taylor brought his two, young daughters to the podium to accept his award with him.
Porcara gave the response from the honorees. He talked of the meaning of the awards, “This is home to us. Thank you for welcoming us home for this special occasion. Our families have always been our greatest fans. So much credit goes to our coaches and our teammates.”
Father McShane spoke of the humility of giving the credit to others, “They turn the focus away from themselves to those who were the sources of their strength and their inspirations. Today they are induced into our Pantheon.”
New York Yankee broadcaster, a Fordham graduate, served, as he does nearly every year, as the emcee of the award ceremony, and as usual, did an excellent job. Fordham President McShane referred to him as “the great ambassador for Fordham.”
Friday, February 6, 2015
Wakefield News: Retired Jeter Kicks Off Baseball (Card) Season: Retired Jeter Kicks Off Baseball (Card) Season Final Derek Jeter Baseball Card in 2015 Set by Topps #Jeter #Yankees #Topps #Bronxn...
Retired Jeter Kicks Off Baseball (Card) Season
Final Derek Jeter Baseball Card in 2015 Set by Topps
#Jeter #Yankees #Topps #Bronxnews
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 6- Two signs of the nearness of the 2015 MLB season will take place this month. Pitchers and catchers will report to Spring Training in two weeks. The other pre-season activity, which took place this week, was the announcement of series 1 of the 2015 Topps set of next season’s baseball cards going on sale.
Trading cards have been of interest to children and adults in this country since the 19th century. Sports personalities have been the major subject of these collectibles. They were produced for adults in the 1800’s. Many were connected to tobacco products. The very rare T206 Honus Wagner card has been sold for several million dollars.
Topps reflected a change of focus toward youngsters as its consumers in the middle of the 20th century by producing wax packs, each of which contained a stick of gum and several cardboard cards. The company began in 1938 as a producer of chewing gum and candy. More than ¾ of a century has passed since the company began, but Topps is still producing Bazooka gum and other confectionary products.
During the decades of the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s, children were the primary purchasers of packs of baseball cards, with Topps the major brand. Its main competitor, Bowman, was purchased by Topps, which still puts out cards under that brand.
Since those years, card collecting has become an investment opportunity for many purchasers. Rather than buying individual packs and rushing to open them as was done in the past, complete sets are bought and the box is never open before being re-sold for a large profit. In the 1990’s, gum was no longer put in the wax packs as they could damage a valuable card located next to the stick of gum. In more recent years, a very rare T206 Honus Wagner card was sold for several million dollars.
It would be wrong to write an article on baseball cards or Topps without mentioning the name of Sy Berger. He worked for Topps for more than a half-century. He co-designed in 1952 the Topps set that proved to be the prototype of the modern baseball card. Yearly and lifetime statistics on the reverse, the facsimile autograph and action photos are among his innovations that are still being used. The “father of the baseball card” passed away in December 2014 at the age of 91.
Members of the media were invited to an unveiling of the 2015 set at Topps’ offices in New York at One Whitehall Street in lower Manhattan. Clay Luraschi, vice president of product development at Topps explained what to expect in this year’ set, “This year’s series 1 set…has something for everyone, from the casual fan to the passionate collector with many surprises as well. It is a reflection of what we have seen in recent years, fans wanting a good mix of the present and the past with a little pop culture sprinkled in.”
Very appropriately to many fans, card #1 of the 350 card base set is Derek Jeter’s final regular season card that includes his lifetime statistics. Luraschi spoke on this choice of beginning next season’s card set with a player who retired after the 2014 season, “Usually card #1 is designated for somebody very special. Being a New York company and being that Derek was the captain of the New York Yankees, we felt that card # 1 should be Derek Jeter this year.”
Fans of the New York Mets should be pleased to know that the first Topps card of Jacob deGrom, listed as a Future Star, is also in this set.
There are also several subsets that have interest beyond the 2015 season and beyond the sport of baseball. There are 10 cards each dedicated to the important life and career of a baseball immortal, Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson. “Highlights”, which begins with the first day of Lou Gehrig’s consecutive game streak. “Archetypes”, whose cards include baseball greats such as Hank Aaron. “First Pitch”, including cards with such non-baseball as Jeff Bridges, 50 Cent, Eddie Vedder and 105 year old Agnes McKee throwing out a first pitch in 2014.
There are autographs and game used memorabilia in addition to the great variety of cards included in a small number of packs.
Looking back at my childhood of collecting cards, I believe they were a tool for improving reading, bettering my facility in math through the statistics listed and an encouragement to learning the history of people and events before my birth.