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     Click here for Inner City Press' weekday news reports, from the United Nations and elsewhere.  Click here for a recent BBC piece on Inner City Press' reporting from the United Nations  Search This Site    Click for March 1, 2011 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption by Inner City Press.     Click here for Inner City Press front page

  ICP has published a (double) book about a variety of Bronx-relevant topics -- a review in Commonweal magazine of Dec. 5, 2003, opines  that "Predatory Bender... is as vivid an account of life in the Bronx as you are likely to read" -- click here for sample chapters, here for an interactive maphere for fast ordering and delivery, and here for other ordering information.  See also, "City Lit: Roman a Klepto [Review of ‘Predatory Bender’]," by Matt Pacenza, City Limits, Sept.-Oct. 2004. CBS MarketWatch of April 23, 2004, says the the novel has "some very funny moments," and that the non-fiction mixes "global statistics and first-person accounts." The Washington Post of March 15, 2004, calls Predatory Bender: America in the Aughts "the first novel about predatory lending;" the London Times of April 15, 2004, "A Novel Approach," said it "has a cast of colorful characters."   The Pittsburgh City Paper of Dec. 11, 2003, wrote that it "may, in fact, be the first great American lending malfeasance novel" including "low-level loan sharks, class-action lawyers, corporate bigwigs, hired muscle, corrupt politicians, Iraq War veterans, Wall Street analysts, reporters and one watchdog with a Web site."  And all in The Bronx!   Click here for that review; for more information, contact us.
2014: MRL on Beacon Reader

May 30, 2016

Ugh: for 221 East 138th Street, Anthony Gurino, of Tahoe Development, has decided to make the project in Mott Haven entirely market-rate. Can you say, gentrification?

May 23, 2016

This, we like  Something Happened On The Way To West Africa!
Seyi Adebanjo - Director/Producer/Editor
Yoruba Richen - Executive Producer

The Girls of Daraja
Film 1: Girls of Daraja
Film 3: Daraja Girls: Powerful Beyond Measure
Barbara Rick - Director/Producer
Deborah Santana - Executive Producer

Friday, May 27th, 2016

at The Bronx Music Heritage Center
1303 Louis Nine Blvd

May 16, 2016

 Here is unqualified, un self conscious praise of gentrification:

May 9, 2016

Rent Guidelines Board, be there: Bronx Public Hearing: Thursday, June 16, 5 - 8 PM: Bronx Museum of Art, Lower Gallery (1040 Grand Concourse Bronx, NY 10456)

May 2, 2016

Et tu, Amazon? the Bronx is the only borough with no same-day delivery coverage from Amazon...
April 18, 2016

Coming (back) to the Bronx:

Ban Ki-moon Has ICP's Files Thrown Onto 1st Av, Bribery Audit Names His Gallach

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 16 -- Contrary to what the UN says about freedom of the press, and despite a petition signed by 1300 people and opposition from the Government Accountability Project and several Permanent Representatives at the UN and members of Congress in DC, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on April 16 threw five boxes of Inner City Press' journalistic files out onto First Avenue. Photo herevideo here.

  This followed eight of Ban's guards, at the direction of his "Public Information" chief Cristina Gallach, physically throwing Inner City Press onto First Avenue, and its laptop on the sidewalk, on February 19. Audio here.

  In the case of Gallach and ultimately Ban Ki-moon, this is retaliation for Inner City Press' critical coverage of the UN including each's involvement in the bribery scandal which so far was resulted in four guilty pleas.

  As the UN bribery scandal gathered force Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for an audit by the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services of the Global Sustainability Foundation (GSF), David Ng Lap Seng's Sun Kian Ip Group and its affiliates including the "World Harmony Foundation" and South South News, among others.

  The audit, completed early this year but first put online by Inner City Press, directly criticizes Cristina Gallach, the Under Secretary General for Communications and Public Information, for example in Paragraphs 20(b) and 37-40. She should have recused herself.

  Instead Gallach has ordered the search and eviction of Inner City Press' files, on April 16. She has misrepresented it to UN Ambassadors of major countries including South Africa and to Nobel Prize winner Jose Ramos Horta.

She and / or Ban Ki-moon above her are so intent on permanently restriction Inner City Press' ability to cover corruption at the UN that they had there functionary head of MALU write to Inner City Press at 1:30 AM on the morning of the eviction, limiting the Press' ability to document the seizure of its files:

From: Tal Mekel at
Date: Sat, Apr 16, 2016 at 1:30 AM
Subject: Saturday access

Dear Matthew,

Access on Saturday is 'exceptional' in nature (as Green Ps do not have access to UNHQ on weekends save for an official event being convened e/g. emergency SC meeting) and is solely for the purpose of over sighting the removal of your belongings.

You may bring with you one (1) individual, again on a  exceptional basis.

Best, Tal

Tal Mekel
Acting Chief
Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit
United Nations - S-250
New York, NY 10017

   Earlier on April 15, Mekel had told Inner City Press that a two-person film crew was approved. This was revoked at 1:30 am, precluding the crew. And yet...

 This inordinate focus on ousting Inner City Press, while UN Correspondents Association board members have private offices and many write no articles, is all the more contrary to freedom of the press as Inner City Press on April 15 exclusively published documents of UN and Morocco fraud in Western Sahara, credited by 360, here.

Gallach, the highest UN official of Spain, has by her no due process orders BANned Inner City Press from covering even UNSC meetings on Western Sahara. This is retaliation and censorship.

On the afternoon of April 15 Inner City Press was told that it will be UN staff going through the files but that then they will be given to, and impounded for some time by, a third party or parties whom the UN won't even name to Inner City Press.

As one wag put it, maybe they'll just keep passing them along.

  Gallach's Team heard on April 15 from Capitol Hill to maintain the status quo. Did they even tell Ban Ki-moon, his chief of staff or deputy? Is this what allows Ban Ki-moon to (try to) say, "That is not my decision"? We'll have more on this.

April 11, 2016

 So at the Apollo Theater on April 11, Bernie Sanders said, we don't need to see 1 in 4 kids in the South Bronx have asthma... No, we don't.

April 4, 2016

  20,000 people in St. Mary's Park? Meanwhile, insiders doing nothing on this: ICP from UN to the Bronx?
March 28, 2016

Troubling: "Among those deals was Treetop Development’s $6M pickup of a development site at 121-129 East 144th St that’s zoned for up to 91k BSF if affordable housing is included in the plans. Vic was on the team that repped the seller on that deal. "

March 21, 2016

After Ousting Press, Ban Tells Bronxites To Rise Up For Rights, Hypocrisy

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 17 -- With the UN embroiled in a corruption scandal, a guilty plea entered in the Southern District of New York on March 16 for bribery in the UN, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon spoke at Lehman College in The Bronx on March 17.

  Many of the claims Ban made were false or incomplete. He repeatedly claimed credit for unprecedented hiring and high placement of women. But only the day before in the UN Press Briefing Room his spokesman Stephane Dujarric threw Inner City Press out of, Ban was criticized for his male envoys on Syria, Libya and Yemen.

  The UN used to have a female chief of staff and a female Deputy Secretary General; both position are now held by men.

  Ban told those at Lehman they should demand sustainable products. But in Ban's UN, the same day Dujarric threw Inner City Press out of the Press Briefing Room, Inner City Press showed Ban's climate adviser that the recycling on the UN's press floor is false.

  Though the top of the garbage can says Cans, Paper and Waste, it all goes into the same bag, right in front of the UN Correspondents Association Ban partners with.

  Ban made a few ham-handed references to The Bronx, the cliches about the Yankees and about "new restaurants" on Arthur Avenue. He did not, it goes without saying, address his Under Secretary General for Public Information having throw out Inner City Press, Banned it from its long time office and cut its accreditation and access.

  Inner City Press expected that Ban would take questions, as he did in a recent appearance in London, for example. But an inquiry with Media Relations at Lehman College yielded that there will be no press opportunities. Then a few canned and pre-screened questions were "asked."

  When Inner City Press asked on Twitter, Why not, one of the anti-Press troll accounts set up since Ban's UN ousted Inner City Press on February 19 came to Ban's defense, that it's lecture, no reason for Q&A. Really? Is The Bronx less worthy than London? Is there not more interest in Ban, given Frank Lorenzo's guilty plea on March 16?

   Ban not know it (yet), but the person he gave the UN's top Communications job to has so blatantly engaged in censorship and retaliation that the chickens, as they say, are ever closer to coming home to roost. Watch this site.
March 14, 2016

So HPD Commish Vicki Bee will speak in the South Bronx, 555 Bergen Ave, on Wednesday, March 16, 2016. We'll see...

March 7, 2016

This we like: South Bronx Love Letter will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on March 12 at 1303 Louis Niñé Blvd

February 29, 2016

Street names we like: "Recognizing the Bronx block that houses 1520 Sedgwick Avenue as 'Hip Hop Boulevard' demonstrates reverence and hometown pride for the artistic and cultural phenomenon that DJ Kool Herc, Cindy Campbell, the building and surrounding neighborhood helped create."

February 22, 2016

What does it say when a tacqueria is forced to close due to high rents in the South Bronx, only to reopen in Brooklyn?

"Denisse Lina Chavez, Pueblan champion of central-Mexican cooking at El Atoradero (708 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn), is definitely not in the South Bronx anymore. Having been forced to close Carnitas El Atoradero last summer following a rent spike, the intrepid chef reopened her flagship along Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights in December."

February 15, 2016

You wanna know what large and wanna be larger bank has no branches in the South Bronx? It's initials are NYCB...
February 8, 2016

It's sad when you see it: the Chase branch on Arthur Avenue, on a recent visit after Inner City Press received complains, now has three teller windows covered over and no more desk in the lobby, a line of more than a dozen customers waiting for a single teller on a Saturday. Are they moving to close this branch? A staffer said no, they needed the space for ATMs. But there is more than enough space...

February 1, 2016

  So Bill de Blasio will be giving his State of the City speech at Lehman College on Thursday, with press in the upper deck...

January 25, 2016

This we like, at Longwood at Hostos, Feb 3, 5:00 - 9:00 pm: The BRONX:AFRICA exhibit featuring Seyi Adebanjo, Laylah Amatullah Barrayn, Howard Cash, Elvira Clayton, Dennis RedMoon Darkeem, Lisa DuBois, Nicky Enright, Janet Goldner, Ijeoma Iheanacho, Imo Imeh, Hakim Inniss, Natasha Johnson, Ahmed Tijay Mohammed, Nontsikelelo Mutiti, Ibou Ndoye, Eric Orr, Eto Otitigbe, Thurston Randall, Ibrahima Thiam, Osaretin Ugiagbe, Misra Walker and Tammy Wofsey; and online Olaniyi Akindiya, Kenneth Anderson and Ray Felix.

January 18, 2016

Like so many things, from Long Island City to The Bronx: "Silvercup North Studios says it has converted a 115,000-square-foot complex at 295 Locust Ave. in Port Morris for film and television productions. It will open in June." Good or bad?

January 11, 2016

  No room at the Inn? The South Bronx, at least Gerard and Exterior Streets, set to become like Long Island City with hotels: a Hamptons Inn, a Holiday Inn Express. But what's the future for the residents of the South Bronx?

January 4, 2016

In 2016, among many other things, we will be looking for The Get Down, Baz Luhrman's musical drama set in the S BX in the 70s starring Herizen Guardiola...

December 28, 2015

Et tu, Zaro's? The bakery is closing its Parkchester retail location, even as it pitches its "cretzel" in Grand Central...

December 21, 2015

Whose Streets? NYPD Officer Paid by Deutsche Bank To Empty Atrium Early

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 15 -- In the 60 Wall Street atrium, where Occupy Wall Street used to meet, uniformed New York City police officers order people to leave at 9:30 pm, despite a sign on the glass windows saying “Open to the Public” until 10 pm.

 Inner City Press, using the atrium on December 14 as before as a newsroom -- this time covering a glitzy and historically corruption UN Correspondents Association event at Cipriani across the Street -- was told by an NYPD officer to leave, at 9:30 pm on the dot.

  When Inner City Press pointed to the Open to the Public until 10 pm, the NYPD officer insisted; a group of other guards assembled. They said to calls the number of the sign (212-250-2000, DBAB LCC) but insisted it be done from outside. All other having been using the atrium just minutes before had left, some on the sidewalk of Wall Street outside.

  After several threats by the NYPD officer, and needing to continue to file stories and photos about the UN Corruption Association event, Inner City Press went out onto the sidewalk. Some of those who'd left said this happens every night.

  Inner City Press asked the NYPD officer for her name and badge number, but she rushed away. Another guard said “the precinct knows about it,” also adding that the officer “makes extra money.”

   So NYPD officers, or at least this one, are paid extra by Deutsche Bank to throw people out of a public atrium they are required, due to zoning variances, to have? We'll have more on this.

 Across Wall Street: With the UN embroiled in scandals including the indictments of the former President of the General Assembly John Ashe and Macau businessman Ng Lap Seng and the founder of South South News, on December 14 the UN Correspondents Association sold seats with Ban Ki-moon at Cipriani at 55 Wall Street for $6000.

UN corruption, never reformed, rises from the Ashes, courtesy of UNCA, now the UN Corruption Association.

  And yet, from inside Cipriani Wall Street, one of the musicians paid to play has an open mind, and when shown reporting on UN corruption asks, Should I make a scene? Tweet here.

 Just ask, who here paid $6000 as solicited by UNCA to sit with Ban Ki-moon. And why pay it? With Ng Lap Seng, it's clear.

December 14, 2015

We are following the Queens-based Sunrise Coop and its proposal relocation to 1080 Leggett Avenue in Hunts Point, the Bronx...

December 7, 2015

Anything for a hotel: "The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has determined that the cleanup requirements to address contamination related to the 2477 Third Avenue Property site (“site”) located at 2477 Third Avenue, Bronx, NY under New York State's Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) have been or will be met."

November 30, 2015

NYT: "According to the Census Bureau, more than 16 African languages are spoken in the Bronx, a number that is quite likely far lower than what is actually spoken in homes in the borough, linguists say. In West Africa alone there are more than 800 languages. But no matter whether Wolof, Diula, Efik or Gur are spoken here, the impact is clear."

Inner City Press asks again: why doesn't the United Nations, headquartered in NYC, do more in The Bronx?

November 23, 2015

This, we like: "The Committee for Hispanic Children and Families partners with PS/MS 279 the Captain Manuel Rivera School, and together are hosting a Community Soup Kitchen to provide the community with a very special Thanksgiving Dinner. City Councilmember Fernando Cabrera is confirmed to attend: Tuesday, November 24, 2015 from 5 – 7pm, PS/MS 279, 2100 Walton Ave.'

November 16, 2015

Improvement, but for whom? Local news gushed about the bike path to Randall's Island - as, for example, Calientito restaurant nearly on Lincoln Avenue was evicted. Gentrification...

November 9, 2015

From rip off to rip off - at the gentrification fest just before Halloween was one Adrien Brody who "attended Lucien Smith's controversial art installation/Halloween party in the South Bronx, hosted by art dealer Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn of Salon 94." We note he was in a hype movie which purported he lived in a building on Third Avenue around 160th Street. Use that Bronx, why doncha...

November 2, 2015

 Back on September 14, below, Inner City Press reported that "There will be a gentrifiers ball on the coast of the South Bronx on Halloween, people who own real estate, spending $2 million." Now it has happened: "It was just after 11 p.m. when a freight train rumbled by Keith Rubenstein’s South Bronx development site, momentarily drowning out the sweet hum of a grand piano outside the low-slung warehouse. Kendall Jenner, Carmelo Anthony and their A-list pals barely noticed. Hosted by Rubenstein, head of Somerset Partners, and Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, founder of the art gallery Salon 94, the Thursday night affair was designed to generate buzz for the Mott Haven neighborhood that has become a veritable hotbed for real estate players. It’s where Rubenstein and co-developer Joseph Chetrit are planning a sprawling residential complex they say will herald in the new Soho, in SoBro."


October 26, 2015

Storytellers take note: Bronx Museum, Friday, October 30, 7:00pm to 10:00pm The Moth StorySlam "Join us for a Bronx StorySLAM hosted by The Moth. Arrive by 7pm for the opportunity to put your name in The Moth “hat.” Later, names are picked, and one by one, storytellers take the stage. Of the ten featured storytellers, one winner is chosen.  The theme of the evening will be A FINE MESS. Prepare a five-minute story about the rubble resulting from entangled affairs. Crossed wires, over-ambitious projects" - be there.

October 19, 2015

We too are encouraging cyclists from all over the region to register for the 21st Annual Tour de Bronx, on October 25 -- do it.

October 12, 2015

While new MetroNorth stations in Co-op City, Morris Park, Parkchester/Van Nest and Hunts Point is a good thing, the implicit racism of MetroNorth from Connecticut refusing to pick up passengers at Fordham Road must be addressed.

October 5, 2015

Very Bronxy: "El Maestro Inc., as October's Place of the Month.

At age 17, Laspina was recruited into an area-based fighting gang known as the Savage Skulls. After being convicted of stealing money from a local jewelry store, he and several others spent a year on Riker's Island, and another year in the Elmira Correctional Facility upstate. Upon returning from Elmira to the South Bronx, Ponce first founded Caribe Village Latin Dialogue Program, a support organization for the friends he left behind in Elmira, and later created The Patriotas, a non-profit softball team that continues to engaged at-risk teens in athletics and volunteerism, and a still-extant athletic club, the Roberto Clemente Softball League, named for the humanitarian baseball player. The main mission of these programs has been to keep young people out of gangs, and better connect them with their community.

In 2003, he opened El Maestro boxing gym in Morrisania toward the same goals. Now located in a former commercial building at 1300 Southern Boulevard near the Freeman Street subway station, its regulation boxing ring has been with Laspina for 14 years, and many of the coaches have been with him for longer. All are volunteers, and although morale is high, money is tight. "Sometimes we do fundraisers on the weekends," Ponce says, " like raffles, or we hold a dance or concert, any type of event where we can raise funds. Most of the donations are in-kind, and my family does the cooking."

The majority of El Maestro's boxers are neighborhood residents. Many come seeking guidance beyond the ring, as Ponce notes, "they know about the things I went through, that I had to fight in school, for myself or for other kids, and. They know that I was still fighting in jail, but for the T.V. when we wanted a bilingual program, and when we needed a bilingual teacher. I tell them about the things that I went through so they don't make the same mistakes. I'm very straight with them about that. I don't hide my past. I don't hide that I was in gangs or in jail. I explain and give them an alternative." A Bronx civil court judge also sends juvenile defendants to El Maestro. "It's a high recommendation," Laspina says.

El Maestro, Inc. is named in honor of Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos, a Ponce native and leading figure in the development of Puerto Rican identity and consciousness. "

September 28, 2015

Must say: this NYT "South Bronx Beckons" article was and is despicable...

September 21, 2015

UNacceptable: New data released by the U.S. Census Bureau indicates that The Bronx has a poverty rate of 32 percent and a child poverty rate of 43 percent.

September 14, 2015

There will be a gentrifiers ball on the coast of the South Bronx on Halloween, people who own real estate, spending $2 million. Watch this space.

September 7, 2015

With legionella re-appearing at the Melrose Houses in The Bronx, we ask again: how can the United Nations, with its cooling towers and fountain, say it is entirely exempt from New York laws? The UN's spokesman told Inner City Press, “As you all know, we do not fall under the jurisdiction of the New York City Department of Buildings or the municipal jurisdiction, and we’re not required to register our cooling towers.” We'll have more on this.

August 31, 2015

Check it out on Sept 10 - or, we hope it will be Periscoped -- at 1040 Grand Concourse: “In the early morning hours of July 14th 1970, the Young Lords occupied Lincoln Hospital’s major administrative building in response to the city’s indifference to the health needs of Puerto Ricans and African Americans in the South Bronx and the deplorable conditions of health care delivery at Lincoln Hospital.This panel will consider the prominence of health issues in the activism of the Young Lords, and the relevance of these historical struggles to contemporary health care debates. In conjunction with the exhibition ¡Presente! The Young Lords in New York. Featuring panelists Walter Bosque, Felipe Luciano, Daniel Meyers, Carlito Rovira, and Cleo Silver, and hosted by Johanna Fernández.”

August 24, 2015

From the video released last week, we link to this

the Bronx Brewery... August 17, 2015

That a federal judge, Katherine Polk Failla, opined that New York City's Responsible Banking Act was preempted by the US and NYS Community Reinvestment Act is not surprising. But will the De Blasio administration appeal?

Amid Legionnaire's Disease, UN Says It Is Exempt From NY Laws, Drains Fountain

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 13 -- Amid the spread of  Legionnaire's Disease in New York, beginning from the South Bronx, Inner City Press on August 12 asked seven questions on how the United Nations, which refused to accept responsibility or to reform after bringing cholera to Haiti, is responding.

  On August 13, Pressed, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric asserted that the UN is "exempt" from all local rules concerning cooling towers and legionella. Transcript below. It is reminiscent of the UN bringing cholera into Haiti.

  Inner City Press, which has covered the UN's role in cholera in Haiti, impunity and South Bronx, had the following questions for the UN on August 12 - but UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric did not allow them to be asked at the August 12 briefing, cutting the questions off and promises a "responsive" statement, see below. First, here are the questions Inner City Press submitted in writing to the UN:

1.  Has the Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, directed that his staff be accountable for monitoring & testing UN facilities for the bacteria that causes legionnaires disease?

2.  Does the UN have cooling towers in any of its NYC facilities (to include rented properties outside the HQ complex)?

3.  In the past month, has any testing been done of UN cooling towers, and if so, on what dates, by whom?

4.  Has any host government authority asked the UN if it can enter UNHQ to test the UN's cooling towers for legionella?

5.  Does the UN consider itself exempt (or immune) from the new joint NY State/NYC regulations?

6.  If requested, would the UN allow host government authorities to enter the UNHQ to test for legionella?

7.  If the UN has tested its facilities for legionella bacteria, will it (yes or no) make test reports public by posting them online?

  Here is the full text of the UN's (first) response, from its spokesman:

"Matthew,  As per your question

Cooling Towers.

The cooling towers have biocide chemical supplies. We circulate the water twice weekly to keep it moving and to let the water draw more biocides as necessary from the system. We have HVAC technicians on staff who are certified on these systems and with these chemicals.

Main Fountain and Staff Memorial Pool

Normally we drain and clean these monthly. But we have increased the frequency because of the legionnaires outbreak. Last weekend we drained and refilled the main fountain. It will be drained again this coming weekend to allow CMP to perform work which is scheduled to take a week. That work will include the installation of UV lights that will treat the water. We will maintain increased frequency of draining cleaning and replacing during this period of heightened concern.

Slavery Memorial

The water feature in this is out of service since the faulty installation failed and leaked some months back causing damage to office space below. It is still drained and not in service.

We have no other standing water features or systems."

  But is the UN claiming immunity from local health regulations?

On August 13 Inner City Press asked Dujarric again:

Inner City Press: I wanted to ask you about Legionnaire’s disease, which is obviously becoming, at least in New York City treating it quite seriously, and they’ve required all buildings with cooling towers to register and to be tested.  Now, I got your response yesterday, but I wrote back to you to ask, is — one, is the UN registering with the city pursuant to this order?  Two, have the towers… you said something about bio something.  How…

Spokesman:  Let me…

Question:  Please.

Spokesman:  Let me tell you and, I think, those, after all, we’re all residents of New York City, so I think everybody has an interest in this.  The cooling towers that the UN has have biocide chemical supplies, which is a chemical substance which can deter, render harmless, or exert a controlling effect on any harmful organism by chemical or biological means.  We circulate the water twice a week to keep it moving and let the water draw more biocides as necessary from the system.  We have technicians on staff.  We’re certified for these systems and with these chemicals.  So that’s one way we keep the cooling towers safe.  I am aware that there are regulations, I think, in front of the New York City Council requiring registration and inspection.  As you all know, we do not fall under the jurisdiction of the New York City Department of Buildings or the municipal jurisdiction, and we’re not required to register our cooling towers.  However, we do have an arrangement in place with both the Department of Buildings and the FDNY, and we invite them… we invite them into the building, as well as other inspectors, as appropriate.  They give us opinions and make recommendations, but we’re not subject to their jurisdiction.  I think the important thing is that we do reach out to them.  We make every effort to abide by the high standards to keep the staff safe, the delegates safe, even the press safe, and all the visitors that come through the building.

Question:  Right.  But I guess… I understand that.  This commissioner’s order, whether you view yourself as subject to it or not, it requires… it requires all buildings in New York to be, to be consistent with industry standards and it lists the American Society of—

Spokesman:  What I’m—


Spokesman:  What I’m saying to you is that the technicians we have on staff are certified to the highest standards.  Obviously, we want to keep everybody safe, and we will invite the Department of Buildings and the FDNY as the FDNY sometimes come into our building at our invitation to make sure everybody is safe.

Question:  But are they going to comply with the standards…

Spokesman:  I think — I’ve used a lot of words.  We are… We will go to the highest possible standards, and we will work at our invitation with the Department of Buildings and the FDNY.  And I will continue to take deep breath and breathe the air in this building.

 So, by the end of August 13, among the UNanswered questions:

Has the UN tested for legionella already? (seems not)

Will they test by August 20th?

If they do finally test, will they release the results, to NYC and to the public?

 We'll see.

August 10, 2015

And the City's August 7 update: "Individuals with Legionnaires’ deceased: 10
-All deceased individuals were adults with underlying medical conditions.
-These patients are connected to the current cluster.
-Reported individuals with Legionnaires’: 101
-Individuals with Legionnaires’ hospitalized: 94"

August 3, 2015

Here from the City is the Bronx Legionnaires’ Disease Cluster Updated Fact-Sheet 8/1/15

--22 buildings visited in the cluster area and 17 were identified to have cooling towers
-All 17 have been tested and all results have returned
-5 buildings have tested positive
-A Verizon office building is the 4th location to test positively for legionella
-Streamline Plastic Co. is the 5th location to test positively for legionella
-Remediation is complete at 4 of the 5 locations, and has begun at the 5th location
         - Lincoln Hospital remediation is completed
         -Concourse Plaza remediation is completed
-Opera House Hotel remediation is completed
-Verizon remediation is completed
-Streamline Plastic Co. began remediation and is expected to complete remediation this afternoon
-All sites will submit long-term plans as to how they will maintain the cooling towers to protect against any future growth of legionella -

But who can see the plans?

July 27, 2015

  Best part about "Women of the Young Lords" with Iris Morales, Denise Oliver, Olguie Robles, Gloria Rodriguez, and Minerva Solla on July 23? It was on Periscope. @InnerCityPress is on that, too....

July 20, 2015

 This, we like: "The $10 million dollar investment that we are making in free, high-speed Internet access in NYCHA developments across the city is part of that commitment, is part of building out a city where there is truly broadband access for all. That’s going to be here, at Mott Haven Houses, where 2,500 residents will be connected to Internet at no cost – for free..  So, Internet access for free – not only here, at Mott Haven Houses –at Queensbridge Houses, the largest public housing development in North America; at Red Hook Houses. This is going to be a game changer – I know you like that."

July 13, 2015

That the Bronx is multi-cultural will be on display on July 18 on Allerton Avenue from Boston Road - go especially when it's free, noon to 1 pm...

July 6, 2015

As UN Food Workers Face Layoff, IDNYC Pop-Up Not For Them?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 30 -- When the UN hosted a new “pop-up” enrollment site for the New York City ID card, launching it with Mayor Bill de Blasio and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon getting an ID card, Inner City Press went because it wanted to ask if this site was for regular New Yorkers, or only for UN staff and diplomats, who have immunity.

  But no questions were taken. Inner City Press had in mind, for example, those who work in food service inside the UN, who have approached it saying they face lay offs due in part to NYC's refusal to close down a lane of the FDR Drive off-ramp, deemed a threat to the cafeteria and closing it.

  So later on June 30 Inner City Press put both questions to UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq, video here:

Inner City Press: Two maybe inter-related questions.  One, on this idNYC pop-up shop, is it exclusively limited to diplomats and UN staff, or are other New Yorkers who are in the building able to use it?

Deputy Spokesman Haq:  I believe the City of New York has a press release on this that we can share with you that's got the various details.

Inner City Press: And I wanted to ask you, also, the people that work for, I guess, Culinary in both the Delegates' Dining Room and the cafeteria…

Deputy Spokesman Haq:  Culinart?

Inner City Press:  Culinart.  Basically, they say many of them are going to be out of a job beginning 13 July.  They say the Delegates' Dining Room will be closing for at least the rest of the summer, and the large cafeteria will be moved to other locations, and they're not sure if there will be as many jobs.  Can you… what is the impact on actual… the people that work in the building of these two moves? 

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, we… I don't speak for Culinart.  Ultimately, they're the ones who make the decision on who is deployed where.  We have a contract with them to provide services.  I do know that there have been other summers, such as last summer under the previous holder of the contract, where, during the slow period in August, there's a shutdown in some of the facilities.  We hope that whatever decisions Culinart takes it will be short-lived and they'll make appropriate decisions so that staff are treated responsibly.

Inner City Press:  They basically won't have health insurance for the summer.  I wonder, although they're your contractor, is there any practice you're holding them to in this regard?

Deputy Spokesman:  We have contracts that we negotiate with contractors.  And if they don't meet the terms of the contract, then that's a problem for them.  But, ultimately, you know, for things like labour conditions, you're going to have to talk to Culinart.
  Does the UN take the same approach to contractors as far away companies whose clothes are made in Dhaka, for example? And what of the FDR exit ramp in all this?

  Why a pop-up IDNYC site for diplomats, who not only rarely face issues with the police (Inner City Press covered one exception with St Vincent and the Grenadines) but have immunity such that accused war criminals like Sri Lanka's Shavendra Silva and Palitha Kohona, to whom the current president of the UN Correspondents Association rented an expensive Manhattan apartment, and not for more common people who really need the ID cards?

The new Free UN Coalition for Access, as well as Inner City Press, will have more on all this.

June 29, 2015

ICP's UN Bed Bugs Scoop Pilfered by amNewYork, Haq Spin, Vox & HuffPo Credit

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive series

UNITED NATIONS, June 25 -- It's a small story uncovered by Inner City Press, bed bugs on the UN's 34th floor -- but how the UN Spokesperson's Office and scribes dealt with it is telling.

  On June 23 Inner City Press exclusively reported on the bed bugs, based on being contacted by whistleblowing UN staff angry that the UN had said nothing.

  After publishing, Inner City Press at the June 23 noon briefing asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujurric, who said he hadn't heard of it. Inner City Press obtained, again from whistleblowing staff, a subsequently blast email confirming the bed bugs.

  Dujarric's deputy Farhan Haq provided not only this email, but then updates, to media which had not asked at the briefing about it, but NOT to Inner City Press. Inner City Press asked again at the June 23 noon briefing - and then again at the June 24 briefing, transcript here:

Inner City Press: it’s more mundane or at least smaller and it’s about bed bugs.  On Tuesday, I’d asked you about what I understand the fumigation had happened over the weekend, and there was an answer later in the day.  But I’ve since seen that like, whatever, other answers have been provided to other media that wasn’t provided, including one that says, Huffington Post says they were given the e-mail and they were told that everyone will be back on Thursday.  So since I haven’t seen that in writing, I wanted to ask you, is that the case?  And can you provide an update?  I also understand that there’s going to be a re-inspection two weeks from the first infestation.  Is that true?  And when are you calculating that from?  Last weekend or Tuesday or Thursday or when?

Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq:  There is meant to be re-inspection.  That’s the standard process by which fumigation processes occur.  It’s up to the experts to determine when that will happen.  But, yes, except for a small number of people near the affected cubicles, staff were returning to the 34th floor to their offices yesterday, which is to say Wednesday, and then the ones in the affected area are to return today, Thursday.  And, of course, as for different answers, you know, different reporters come in at different times and ask different questions.

Inner City Press:  I’d like to make it ongoing, since, having asked about it, I would like to know until…

Deputy Spokesman Haq:  Matthew, no one gets to reserve a whole set of answers in perpetuity.  I mean, you come and ask questions.  You get answers.  That’s the way the system works.

Inner City Press:  Okay.  Then don’t be surprised; I’m going to ask again.

Deputy Spokesman Haq:  Okay.

  The background: Gothamist and Vox published pieces, both citing Inner City Press. But the Huffington Post published a piece saying the the UN's Haq had sent them the email -- no credit, or explanation of why Haq would have sent them this email.  ICP noted it, and this:

  It is claimed that the Huffington Post has a correspondent at the UN - but that person asked no questions, rather repeatedly claiming the first question at press conferences in the name of the UN Correspondents Association.

  Inner City Press quit UNCA, after some of its board members tried to censor it for reporting on Sri Lanka and DPKO's Ladsous, or get it expelled from the UN. But before quitting UNCA (and co-founding the Free UN Coalition for Access, FUNCA) Inner City Press urged UNCA's board to vote on best practices in crediting other media's exclusives. They refused - including the former media of the now HuffPo contributor. This is the UN's Censorship Alliance - most recently become little more than an Italian book club.

  After this was raised, HuffPost to its credit added a hat-tip to Inner City Press, as have others. But amNewYork, we note, tries to rely only on Haq, with Caroline Linton (mis?) quoting Haq: "The bedbugs were found in two cubicles manned by one person on the 34th floor of the U.N. headquarters on Tuesday, Farhan said."

  But the UN was already fumigating over the weekend before. Is amNewYork mis-reporting, the UN mis-speaking, or both?

June 22, 2015

Talk about phoning it in. The Fed on June 15 wrote or ruled, on an application where Inner City Press / Fair Finance Watch was the commenter:

The Board received two comments from a single commenter who objected to the proposal principally on the basis of Sterling Bank’s record of extending home mortgage credit to minority individuals in the New York-Wayne-White Plains, New York-New Jersey Metropolitan Division (“New York City MSA”) and the NassauSuffolk Metropolitan Division (“Nassau-Suffolk MD”), as reflected in data reported under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (“HMDA”)17 for 2013. The commenter expressed concerns that, based on 2013 HMDA data, Sterling Bank was not meeting th credit needs of minority individuals in the communities served by the bank.18 The commenter also contended that Sterling Bank’s HMDA data are “irregular.” The commenter noted that the bank reported three withdrawn and three incomplete applications for refinance loans to African Americans in the New York City MSA and no denials, suggesting that the bank is prescreening minority borrowers.

Fn 18: Sterling represented that Hudson Valley Bank is primarily a commercial lender and does not have a material mortgage program. Mortgage loans represented approximately 14 percent of the bank’s overall lending portfolio as of December 31, 2014.”

FN 19: Sterling asserted that three loan applications were withdrawn at the prospective borrowers’ request because they did not wish to continue the transaction and that the three other applications were deemed incomplete because the prospective borrowers did not provide the requested property, asset, or income documentation needed by the bank to make a lending decision.”

So the Fed accepts 14% as “not material”? And that all people of color “requested” to withdraw their applications is acceptable? This vague commitment does not make up for it:

Sterling Bank has determined to increase its marketing and outreach efforts to better serve the needs of its communities and has adopted its revised CRA Plan. Although the bank intends to remain primarily a commercial lender, it expects to increase its outreach efforts for residential mortgages. Sterling Bank also stated that it will continue pursuing the other community development and CRA-related initiatives set forth in its revised CRA Plan. Sterling plans to reassess the goals and objectives in its CRA Plan to determine if any adjustments are necessary to reflect the acquisition of Hudson Valley.”

We'll have more on this. And this - on another application ICP has commented on, this was reported:

In a statement today, Hal Wentworth, Community's senior vice president for retail banking, said that Inner City Press is not a local group and pointed out that letter was the only one filed on the Oneida deal. 'This activist does not do business with either Oneida or Community Bank, but nonetheless made vague allegations regarding Community,' Wentworth said. 'These allegations were entirely without merit and will be fully addressed by Community Bank and Oneida Savings in the application process.'”

If it would be illegal for CBSI to so disclose information, for its own purposes, about those who have accounts with it, how is this not illegal too? And from a human rights perspective, what a pathetic and telling response. We'll have more on this.

June 15, 2015:

We note and support the protest against the homeless shelter(s) of Aguila Inc., like 976 Tinton Avenue...

June 6, 2015:

River talk:  "Community Visioning Session 3 of 4 for the development of the Port Morris - Harlem River Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA).  The report for what can be done has been released - now the community will have a voice in how the waterfront will be shaped and assist in determining what will occupy 1.4 miles of Bronx shoreline.  Community Visioning Session 3
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Betances Community Center
547 East 146th Street
Bronx, New York 10455

June 1, 2015

So Monday June 15 will be “Bronx Day in Albany,” at The Egg...

May 25, 2015

At a press conference in Staten Island, Bill de Blasio said he hate the Cross BRONX Expressway. Some laugh; we're waiting for clarification.

May 18, 2015

  When New York Fed president William Dudley read a prepared speech to the Bronx Bankers earlier this month, he had a lot of canned advice on how to help the borough. He didn't say what he would do to actually enforce the Community Reinvestment Act and resist regulatory capture by Citi, Chase and Goldman Sachs...

May 11, 2015

When President Obama got to Lehman College from Harris Field for My Brother's Keeper, the White House pool named these pols in the crowd: "Cong. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Cong. Jose Serrano (D-NY), Lehman graduate; Cong. Yvette Clarke (D-NY); Cong. Eliot Engel (D-NY), a graduate of Lehman College." Surely there were more...

May 4, 2015

Local to global: on May 3, Tish James was scheduled at the “Cinco de Mayo” celebration, in front of C-Town on 668 Crescent Ave - then Monday, Obama at Lehman College (before DNC fundraisers).

April 27, 2015

 So May 3 at the Bronx General Post Office, the kick off of Bronx Week, with DJ etcetera... It's sponsored by YoungWoo. Who? They are (re) developing the Post Office. We'll have more on this.

April 20, 2015

Annals of gentrification from "The Real Deal" -- "What’s more, the menus of a burgeoning restaurant scene along Bruckner Boulevard provide hints to the changing nature of the neighborhood. At the Mott Haven Bar & Grill, specialties include quinoa black bean burgers and Israeli salads; a restaurant called Ceetay offers Asian fusion food; and a soon-to-open coffee shop nearby will double as a tapas bar.
“I think Mott Haven has all the makings of the next Williamsburg,” said Marlene Cintron, president of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp. 'There are new developments, restaurants, rehabbed buildings and an easy commute to Manhattan.'" We'll have more on this.

April 13, 2015

In terms on the digital divide in The Bronx, let's see what the new Broadband Taskforce and Maya Wiley come up with...

April 6, 2015

Priorities: “The new Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point Park in the Bronx, which opened this week, used nearly $230 million in public funds, making it the most expensive municipal golf course in the nation.”

March 30, 2015

Number of the week: State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. held press conference about more than $244 million in unclaimed funds owed to Bronx residents...

March 23, 2015

This is gentrification: Joseph Chetrit’s Chetrit Group and Keith Rubenstein’s Somerset Partners reportedly paid $58 million for two South Bronx sites, 2401 Third Avenue and 101 Lincoln Avenue...

March 16, 2015

What will happen with the proposed re-zoning along Jerome Avenue? Would it be like Greenpoint or Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn? Why did City Planning start nosing around, some say, before any public announcement? We'll have more on this.

March 9, 2015

Now that NYC Parks and Recreation Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver has heard all these ideas for the parks in The Bronx, what will he and the Department do? We'll be following this.

March 2, 2015

Duly noted: "Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has issued a letter to the United States Congress proposing that the United States Post Office’s Morrisania branch, located at 442 East 167th Street, Bronx, NY, 10456, be renamed in honor of former U.S. Congressman and Bronx Borough President Herman Badillo, who passed away last year."

February 23, 2015

City's climate plan says it includes "over $15 million in natural infrastructure resiliency projects funded by the Department of Interior in Jamaica Bay, the Bronx River, and elsewhere [and]
Hunts Point Lifelines—food distribution center investments in coastal protection, waterfront access, and energy resiliency." We'll see...

February 16, 2015

So why is the City “respectfully” opposing Intro 495, the "waste equity" bill to cut waste shipped and stored in north Brooklyn, southeast Queens and the South Bronx by 18 percent and distribute it more evenly throughout the city?

February 9, 2015

This, we like: on Feb 5 BP Diaz “hosted the first meeting of his office’s African Advisory Council of 2015. The agenda included a dialogue with African community groups and their respective leaders sharing their priorities for the upcoming year, while also discussing possible collaboration opportunities on a variety of issues. 'This council was created to serve the needs of the growing African community in The Bronx, and it plays a very important function in addressing the issues and concerns of this growing population. It makes me proud to know that this council is able to both handle business here at home in The Bronx while also helping to develop a larger agenda for the entire city.'” It's a big world.

February 2, 2015

This, we like: the transfer of the Fulton Correctional Facility fronting on Crotona Park to the Osborne Association, to help re-integrate former prisoners into society...

January 26, 2015

In the Obama / First Lady box last week: “Anthony Mendez (Bronx, NY) Student, “Reach Higher” Initiative Growing up in the South Bronx with his mother and three siblings, Anthony Mendez names two experiences from his formative high school years. In ninth grade, his best friend was murdered in his neighborhood, and the next year his family was evicted from their home and moved into a homeless shelter. Living two hours away from school, for six months Anthony had to wake up at 4:30AM to continue his education.” See Inner City Press coverage here.

VOCs in the Bronx: “The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has determined that the cleanup requirements to address contamination related to the Former Nessen Lamps (aka PS 51X) site (“site”) located at 3200 Jerome Avenue in the Bronx under New York State's Brownfield Cleanup Program have been or will be met. The cleanup activities were performed by The Rinzler Family Limited Partnership ("Volunteer") with oversight provided by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). NYSDEC has approved a Final Engineering Report and issued a Certificate of Completion for the site.... Injection of chemical oxidant into the groundwater table to treat volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in groundwater (known as in-situ chemical oxidation); Construction and maintenance of a cover system consisting of the existing building slab and the restored building slab in all excavated areas...

January 19, 2015

This, we had to announce: distribution of backpacks with “a secure place for displaced citizens to hold their belongings, and feature a spacious main compartment for a large amount of items, a hide-away poncho designed to keep both the bag and its wearer dry, a ballistic nylon outer shell strong enough to combat the elements, a synch-top closure for extra waterproofing and anti-theft measures” in these Bronx locations:

Wednesday, February 11 10am - 2pm Distribution at The Relief Bus servicing Bronx-Courtland Outreach (152nd Street and Courtlandt Ave. Bronx, NY 10455)

Saturday, February 14 10am-2pm – Distribution at The Relief Bus servicing Brook Ave Outreach (148th Street and Brook Ave. Bronx, NY 10455)

Wednesday, February 18 10am - 2pm Distribution at The Relief Bus servicing Bronx-Courtland Outreach (152nd Street and Courtlandt Ave. Bronx, NY 10455)

Saturday, February 21 10am-2pm – Distribution at The Relief Bus servicing Brook Ave Outreach (148th Street and Brook Ave. Bronx, NY 10455)

January 12, 2015

Much needed: the second annual Bronx Gentrification Conference, set for January 17...

January 5, 2015

Community Reinvestment Act enforcement in New York is undermined by the NYS Department of Financial Services having a non-functioning email contact on its website for comment – and despite a Press complain, it has yet to be fixed...

December 29, 2014

After Killings of Police in NYC & Calls to Curb Protests, "Complex Politics"

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 22 -- After NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were killed in Brooklyn on December 20, organizations active in protesting the non-indictments in the cases of Michael Brown and Eric Garner expressed both sorry and caution.

   After Mayor Bill de Blasio's comment on December 22 that protests should cease until after the funeral, alongside similar comments by Police Commission William Bratton, Ferguson Action and a dozen other non-governmental organizations issued a statement that asked de Blasio to condemn Bratton (which seems unlikely) --

"Commissioner Bratton must also immediately end his shameful attempts to use the deaths of these officers to attack democracy by advancing unfounded claims to connect this tragedy to protests. A troubled young man who began his day by attempting to kill his ex-partner, shot two officers and then killed himself has nothing to do with a broad non-violent movement for change. The NYPD is conveniently ignoring the facts surrounding this tragedy in order to score cheap political points.... Mayor DeBlasio and other elected officials should condemn these opportunistic distractions that attempt to avoid meaningful reform."

  But what about what de Blasio said? Ah, there goes the press, trying to stir things up.

   On December 21, US President Barack Obama called NYPD Commissioner William Bratton.

 At the UN on December 22, Inner City Press asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric if Ban, who belatedly commented on the cases of both Michael Brown and Eric Garner, had any comment.

  Dujarric said Ban would "not get into the complex politics of New York City," only to express condolences to the families, colleagues and the people of the City of New York.

  Meanwhile Dujarric was asked, not without irony, about a person "brought in by a member of the UN press" on December 19 told to remove a Black Lives Matter patch from her coat.

Among the ironies is that the questioner has effectively censored his own anti-Press complaint to Dujarric from Google's Search, here, by a dubious filing under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, calling his "for the record" complaint a private email (even, book) never meant for publication, here.

Dujarric said it was almost the first time he'd heard of it and said he would look into it. Inner City Press days ago asked Dujarric about the UN secretariat for the Climate Change Summit in Lima, Peru telling non-governmental organization what their signs could and could not say. Inner City Press on December 22 asked Dujarric again about this, and about the UN's supposed self-investigation for shooting at unarmed protesters in Haiti - he had information on neither. Ironies.

  Color of Change, for example, said its community was "saddened to learn about the killing of two NYPD officers in Brooklyn and the attempted killing of the shooter’s ex-girlfriend... We condemn any and all forms of violence, including violence perpetrated by and against police officers." It added, "“We urge the media to push back against claims not rooted in facts."

  Ferguson Action spelled this out: "It is irresponsible to draw connections between this movement and the actions of a troubled man who took the lives of these officers and attempted to take the life of his ex-partner, before ultimately taking his own. Today's events are a tragedy in their own right. To conflate them with the brave activism of millions of people across the country is nothing short of cheap political punditry."

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under Law added, "While some may suggest a causal link between these killings and the recent protests and activism focused on the serious issue of police violence against unarmed African Americans, we caution against escalating an already tense national state through rumor and conjecture. Whatever motivation lay in the apparently troubled mind of the now deceased shooter of these officers, there is no connection between the peaceful protests of thousands of people of all races all over the country and, indeed, around the world, and this hideous act of violence."

  Likewise, #BlackLivesMatter said, "our hearts grieve with New York, a community already reeling from the losses of Eric Garner, Ramarley Graham, Kimani Gray, Akai Gurley, Islan Nettles and many more. An eye for an eye is not our vision of justice."

  Inner City Press, which repeatedly asked United Nations officials about the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases (and Trayvon Martin and others before), was struck not only by the silence so far of the UN system itself, but also by the silence of countries' representatives to the UN, who routinely tweet photos of the NYC skyline, farmer's markets and museum. This is a major event in New York, the kind requiring diplomacy or at least articulate analysis. Where are the diplomats? Afraid of making gaffes, some say. Would they be faster to speak in other diplomatic postings?

  And what of the UN's chief himself, Ban Ki-moon? He spoke, at least through his spokesman, on the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases. On December 22 it is announced that Ban will take questions. But will this be addressed? Can it be? As Inner City Press and the Free UN Coalition for Access asked and reported on last week, it appears Ban requests and gets his questions in advance, click here for that.

   We'll stay on this.

  On December 13 a march for justice for Eric Garner, and Mike Brown, and Trayvon Martin, and others, set out north from Washington Square Park. Inner City Press Vine here, photos here, here and here.

December 22, 2014

Brownfield: “The site is located at 500 Exterior Street, Bronx, NY on the northwest corner of the intersection of East 146th Street and Gerard Avenue . The site (Lot B) is bounded by the street above, Exterior Street and East 149th Street. The site is approximately 0.37 acres in size. Site Features: The main site features on Lot B include a small wooden shack and staged construction materials. Current Zoning and Land Use: The site (Lot B) is currently vacant with a stalled hotel project adjacent to it (Lot A). The site is zoned M1-4/R8A as a special mixed-use district meant to enhance the vitality of existing neighborhoods with mixed residential and industrial uses. The future use of the site is planned as a mixed-use building consisting of housing and commercia retail with a 25% affordable housing component.” We'll see...

December 15, 2014

After Eric Garner & Mike Brown, Marching in the Streets, UN on the Margin

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 13 -- Nine days after Missouri police officer was not indicted for killing African American teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, in New York City on December 3 a Staten Island grand jury declined to return any indictment for the killing of Eric Garner, which was caught on video, here.

  On December 13 a march for justice for Eric Garner, and Mike Brown, and Trayvon Martin, and others, set out north from Washington Square Park. Inner City Press Vine here, photos here, here and here.

  At UN on December 10, Inner City Press asked two members of the UN's Working Group on People of African Descent about the cases or non-indictments, and if they make it more likely the Working Group will return to the US to conduct a mission. Video here, and embedded below.

  Working Group member Verene Shepherd said that the Working Group has the right to return for up to five years, to follow up. Video here (after this video, she also mentioned Trayvon Martin).

 The chair of the working group Mireille Fanon-Mendes-France spoke of systematic marginalization of people of color, by banks and social services. Inner City Press asked her about the Working Group's report on Sweden, which found "segregated neighborhoods and reports that health clinics, banks and other essential services are being pulled out of some ethnic neighborhoods.” She said this is a worldwide phenomenon.

December 8, 2014

After Eric Garner Non-Indictment, ICP Asks, UN on Accountability, Holder

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 4 -- Nine days after Missouri police officer was not indicted for killing Michael Brown in Ferguson, in New York City on December 3 a Staten Island grand jury declined to return any indictment for the killing of Eric Garner, which was caught on video, here.

  On December 4, Inner City Press asked the UN Spokesman for comment:

Inner City Press: first I wanted to ask you about what's big news here in New York City, and I was wondering if the Secretary-General has any comment on the refusal to indict the police officer who killed Eric Garner on video, not resisting and unarmed and the protests that are taking place.

Spokesman Dujarric:  Sure.  We're obviously aware of what's going on here in our own backyard.  I think the Secretary-General's thoughts are obviously with the family of Mr. Garner following that decision and the people of New York.  I think the case is again focusing attention on the issue of accountability of law enforcement officials, and the Secretary-General urges all competent authorities in the United States to do everything possible to respond to the demands for greater accountability.  And he also welcomes the announcement, I think by the US Justice Department, of an opening of a civil rights investigation in the case.  And I think I would just add that we've seen a lot of demonstrations here in New York.  He would urge the demonstrators to demonstrate peacefully and for the authorities to respect the right of those demonstrators to do so peacefully.

Inner City Press: recently, the UN-Women offered some kind of a partnership with the City, it seems to be like technical assistance, maybe going both ways but certainly UN helping.  Is there anything that the UN system has, given what now seems as kind of a trend of killing of unarmed African-Americans and failure to bring accountability?  Is there anything that the UN system is offering to the United States?

Spokesman:  Not in terms of technical assistance that I'm aware of.  Obviously, there would have to be a request from the US authorities.  The UN system writ large, as you saw, there was a report on the UN Committee on Torture, if I'm not mistaken, that was released some time ago.  So, that's where it stands.

 Back on the evening of December 3 in midtown Manhattan, the chant was "Justice for Eric Garner" and "I can't breathe," which he'd said as he was choked. Marchers headed from Times Square east to Sixth Avenue but were blocked from heading north to Rockefeller Plaza and the tree lighting ceremony. Short Inner City Press YouTube video here.

  And so to Fifth Avenue -- again process north was blocked, this time with orange kettling netting -- and down to 42nd Street. Police closed the doors to Grand Central, no more dying-in. The march passed Cipriani in the old bank space, venue of the UN Censorship Alliance Ball. And they passed Pfizer, with the UN on the horizon, see below.

 Earlier on December 3, New York Congresspeople spoke out, with Bronx Rep. Jose Serrano say that Garner's death "was not an accident, it was homicide," for all to see.

    Brooklyn Representative Nydia Velazquez linked the Garner non-indictment to 12-year old Tamir Rice being killed in Cleveland. Representative Hakeem Jeffries recalled peaceful protests after the killing, in The Bronx, of Amadou Diallo.

  Later Mayor Bill De Blasio spoke but unlike the Congresspeople took no questions, as his Commissioner for International Affairs Penny Abeywardena recently came to the UN without openly taking questions, either, here.

 The UN in Geneva for days refused to release to US-based media without paid correspondents in Switzerland the UN Committee on Torture's concluding remarks on the US.

  When they went online on November 28, on police brutality they discussed Chicago but not Ferguson, Missouri, from which the family and supporters of Michael Brown, killed by police officer Darren Wilson, even traveled to Geneva. The report was belatedly put online here.

December 1, 2014

Wi-fi over payphones? Here's what the BP says: “The Bronx has 636 payphones and the Wi-Fi range of Respondent’s kiosks will be 150 feet. Consequently, certain payphones will be consolidated to reduce redundancy and new sites for kiosks will be identified. DoITT has communicated to this office it will decommission some of the existing 636 and create 100 additional sites. What are the metrics and factors DoITT will use to decide which payphones will be disconnected and where the new sites will be located, and how will they be weighed? How did DoITT come up with the number of 100? Why not 150? Is it an arbitrary number? This issue merits greater transparency.”

November 24, 2014

Ebola talk in the Bronx, November 23: The NYC Department of Health, Councilman Andy King and New Covenant Christian Church co-host a forum to address issues regarding the spread of Ebola in African nations, New Covenant Christian Church, 3601 Baychester Avenue, Bronx.

The spread is now into Mali:

November 17, 2014

Feels like starting over: Now the Bronx BP is seeking applications for press secretary and deputy press secretary, by December 12:

November 10, 2014

Brownfield: 1899 West Farms Road portion of the site operated as a dry-cleaning facility from 1977-1996 and a towing/collision company from 1999-2001. The 1903-1905 West Farms Road portion operated as an auto repair garage from 1924-1986 and as a steel door manufacturing facility from 1989-2005. Most recently, the building was leased by a construction company for construction supply storage and a janitorial supply company for soap and paper product storage. The undeveloped section of the property was recently used as an outdoor storage area for dumpsters and waste drums...In the portion of the site that once housed a drycleaner, perchloroethylene (PCE) was detected at 20 parts per billion.”

November 3, 2014

It begins: November 5 at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, “a free coquito tasting. As part of the 12th Annual Coquito Masters competition, contestants bring in their version of coquito, a traditional Puerto Rican holiday drink reminiscent of eggnog, and you become the judge to see who goes on to the New York finals! Presented by the Bronx Museum’s Community Advisory Council and International Coquito Tasting Federation. The event will also feature live painting demonstrations by artists Nikolai Kahn and Lexi Bela.”

October 27, 2014:

Last week Rep. Engel said, "Barnes & Noble is the last brick and mortar bookstore in The Bronx." Is that true?

October 20, 2014:

So on Monday, Oct 20, BP Diaz will be at Casita Maria’s 80th Anniversary gala at the Plaza Hotel - 768 5th Avenue, Manhattan. Who knew? Elouise. Meanwhile, since Casita Maria is taking it to Manhattan, we like this, on the Lower East Side: Councilwoman Rosie Mendez at a street co-naming ceremony in honor of former Councilwoman Miriam Friedlander, southeast corner of East 6th Street and 2nd Avenue. Right one.

October 13, 2014

It's time to stop Stericycle from amending or renewing its DEC waste transfer station permit for 910 East 138th Street and Locust Avenue to allow for the transfer of hazardous wastes like fixer and developer solutions that come from X-ray processing.

October 6, 2014

Lawsuit: More than 25 tenants of 1460 Washington Avenue in the Morris Houses went on September 29 to Bronx Housing Court for their first appearance in a lawsuit against NYCHA. The Group HP lawsuit aims to force the public housing authority to make necessary repairs to the building’s uninhabitable conditions including water leaks, severe mold, broken doors and windows, and peeling paint on the walls. The residents have also struggled with inadequate and inconsistent heat and hot water for the past two decades. Morris Houses is home to over 3,000 residents who live under these conditions...

September 29, 2014

This, we want to hear more about: “State Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson and New York City Councilman Andy King and others hold a press conference to advocate for open, early and automatic delivery of evidence through the repeal of criminal procedure law 240, Bronx Civil Court, 851 Grand Concourse, Bronx.”

We note this, Brownfields application for “Webster Avenue Residences, site ID #C203075. This site is located in the Borough of Bronx, within the County of Bronx, and is located at 1960-1982 Webster Ave. and 4269 Park Ave.”

September 22, 2014

Constance Malcolm – the mother of Ramarley – said last week: “We are encouraged that the Department of Justice has opened a full investigation into the killing of our son Ramarley. We believe clear and sufficient evidence of civil rights violations exists for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to bring charges against the NYPD officers responsible. Police officers cannot bust into a house without a warrant and shoot an unarmed civilian in front of their grandmother and 6-year-old brother, as NYPD officers did to Ramarley, without legal repercussions."

September 15, 2014

On the one-year anniversary vigil for Bradley Ballard “who passed away on September 11th, 2013 after staff at Rikers Island refused to provide medical care when he was found unresponsive in his jail cell after spending seven days isolated there. Residents will call on Bronx County District Attorney Robert Johnson to prosecute the staff responsible for Mr. Ballard’s death. No one has been held accountable for his death although it was ruled a homicide by a medical examiner. On Wednesday, Mr.Ballard’s family filed a lawsuit in federal district court against the city, correction officials, and a medical services contractor.”

September 8, 2014

Two Bronxites were awarded Shawn Carter/Gilman International Scholarships, the US State Department announced last week:

Jazmin Gonzalez, a first-generation college student from the Bronx, New York, studying history and Arabic languages and literature at Bard College, studied in Rabat, Morocco, this summer.

Clinton Langston Jr., a first-generation college student from the Bronx, New York, who is an arts student at City University of New York, Hostos Community College, studied in Paris, France, this summer.

September 1, 2014

We recommend: The Bronx Documentary Center family and RISC (Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues) are devastated by the loss of James Foley, who was killed this week in Syria by his captors. James had attended the RISC course at the BDC...

On Sept. 6th at 8:15pm, the BDC will host a fundraiser to honor his memory. Rachel Beth Anderson and Tim Grucza, RISC colleagues of James, will show their film First to Fall. All proceeds will go to honoring James Foley’s memory as his family finds appropriate.

An intimate story of friendship, sacrifice and the madness of war. It bears witness to the irreversible transformation of two friends, Tarek and Hamid, and the price they pay for their conviction. Q&A with director Rachel Beth Anderson and co-director Tim Grucza. Moderated by Lydia Polgreen of the NYT. 614 Courtlandt Avenue (@ 151st St.) Bronx

Inner City Press has covered the aftermath of Foley's murder here and here.

August 25, 2014

Appearing in the Bronx for the NY Botanical Society Photographic Society on September 6 is Essdras Suarez of the Rocky Mountain News and currently the Boston Globe. He’s covered news in over 30 countries including the Iraq War, Haiti, and the Japanese Tsunami. Domestic assignments included covering the Columbine shooting and the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster. Check it out...

August 18, 2014

NYC Protest of Missouri Police Abuse Closes 42nd Street, "Don't Shoot"

By Matthew Russell Lee

MANHATTAN, August 14, updated -- In the Manhattan version of National Moment of Silence for the killing of Michael Brown and police crackdown in Ferguson, Missouri, 42nd Street between 8th and 9th Avenue was cordoned off by NYPD and protesters told to leave or be arrested.

   Inner City Press was on the scene, repeatedly told to back away by the police, brandishing handcuffs. Protesters had hands raised, saying "Don't shoot." It being near Times Square, tourists on the way asked, "Where is St. Louis?" Where indeed.

Update: And hours later, though the protest was a block from the headquarters of the New York Times, nothing on its webpage or Twitter feed. The revolution will not be....

 At the UN on August 13 Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric about the killing and crackdown. Video here.

  Dujarric began by saying that Ban and the UN have "no particular comment," then added that "as in all cases, the right to demonstrate peacefully needs to be respected, and investigations need to be conducted." Okay, then.

  On August 14, Inner City Press asked again:

Inner City Press: I wanted to ask you again about these incidents in Ferguson, Missouri.  And the reason being that they’ve become, even they’ve basically been covered by all international media now.  Journalists have been arrested.  Tear gas was used on camera on unarmed protesters.  So, I’m just wondering, beyond the general statements of yesterday, does anyone in the UN system intend to contact either local authorities — do you think…?

Spokesman:  At this point, I have nothing to add to what I said yesterday.  

   Well. There have been reports mentioned the financial institutions in the area, including nationwide lenders Bank of America, US Bank and Fifth Third.

  Inner City Press and Fair Finance Watch reviewed the demographics of mortgage lending by these three in the area in the most recent year for which data is publicly available, 2012.

   In the St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area in 2012, Bank of America denied the conventional home purchase mortgage applications of African Americans 1.81 times more frequently then those of whites.
  Fair Finance Watch has previously objected to US Bank's stealth branch closings, including in Chicago, here and here. The US Community Reinvestment Act requires banks to lend fairly in all of their communities, but is not sufficiently enforced, FFW has shown.

For US Bank, the disparities was 1.6 to 1; for Fifth Third Mortgage, that company's lender, it was a whopping 4.95 to 1: African American applicants were denied 4.95 times more frequently than whites, worse that the aggregate (all lenders).

  Troublingly, for all lenders Latinos were denied 3.1 times more frequently than than whites. So where is the US headed? And why has the UN had nothing to say so far? Watch this site.

Follow @innercitypress Follow @FUNCA_info

August 11, 2014

Nice day: August 9 in Crotona Park, the fifth annual Ghana Parade and Festival.

August 4, 2014

There are now protests for Bradley Ballard who died “on September 11th, 2013 after staff at Rikers Island refused to provide medical care when he was found unresponsive in his jail cell after spending seven days isolated there.”

July 28, 2014

NYS Department of Labor statistics show “unemployment in New York City boroughs Queens and the Bronx show higher-than-average unemployment... highest in the Bronx, with a rate of 10 percent.”

Meanwhile, DoT promoted “The Boogie Down Booth, a temporary resting spot underneath the Freeman Street subway station” -- nice touch, but it's the people evicted, for example on Home Street and Hoe Avenue, that should be remembered...

July 21, 2014

The killing by police choke-hold of Eric Garner on Staten Island, beginning to be acted on because filmed, here, echoes the killing in the Bronx by Anthony Baez while he was throwing a football back and forth with his brothers. What will be done?

July 14, 2014

So property owners are being urged to sign up for NYC's “graffiti removal program, Graffiti Free NYC (GFNYC). GFNYC is the City’s first ever, full-time, street-by-street graffiti removal program and is a service provided by NYC Economic Development Corporation.”

Question: how would this have applied to, say Five Pointz in Queens or many landmarks in The Bronx? Is there no carve-out?

July 7, 2014

When Mayor De Blasio announced new funding for arts in the schools at the Bronx Museum of the Arts on July 1, he thanked the chair of the City Council Cultural Affairs Committee, Jimmy Van Bramer and cited “Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music” as “one of the nation’s premier music high schools.” Oye! Now how about something in New York City and The Bronx in honor of Ismael Rivera? Ya es tiempo.

June 30, 2014

How can it be that MetroNorth can get away with having suburban Connecticut trains stop at Fordham Road in The Bronx and REFUSES to pick up ticket-holding Bronxites? The conductors say, “discharge only,” and falsely claim, “There's a Harlem Line train right behind.” They know it's as much as 20 minutes behind. This is redlining, literally.

Some think that Community Reinvestment Act officers are progressive. But here in New York City, where new Mayor Bill De Blasio appointed the CRA Officer of M&T Bank -- apparently without knowing much about him or M&T -- to the Rent Guidelines Board, the banker blocked a rent freeze that his appointer De Blasio favored. Afterward De Blasio said, “From everything I’ve heard of him, he’s a person of integrity.” Heard?

June 23, 2014

The new bill that passed the NY State Senate Wednesday would direct the New York State Department of Health to study and prepare a plan for dealing with the high incidents of asthma in the Bronx. It now moves to the State Assembly for a vote...

For rent increase freeze: Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Council members Margaret Chin (D-1st), Corey Johnson (D-3rd), Mark Levine (D-7th), Ydanis Rodriguez (D-10th), and Helen Rosenthal (D-6th) - taking note.

  And this: the push for a fence in Starlight Park after the drowning there of 13-year-old Erickson Villa on June 20...

June 16, 2014

In NYC, Foreclosure Wave by Mega-Banks, Redlining Valley National

By Matthew R. Lee

NEW YORK, June 9 -- Lower income communities of color have the most mortgage foreclosures, and the fewest bank branches, new studies of New York City demonstrate. There are 29,729 pre-foreclosures in New York City according to May 5, 2014 data purchased from

  Citywide, 80% of these foreclosures are in communities of color. In The Bronx and Queens the percentage or targeting rises to 93%.

  The lenders with the most pre-foreclosures in New York City are Wells Fargo with 1,273; US Bank with 1,116; JP Morgan Chase with 1,043; Deutsche Bank with 760; and HSBC with 741. Where is the Federal Reserve in all this: asleep at the switch again?

  Meanwhile while these big banks move to close branches -- the most recent example is US Bank closing 13 branches of 93 acquired from Royal Bank of Scotland, on which Inner City Press reported here -- midsized institutions simply bypass lower income communities of color.

  Inner City Press and Fair Finance Watch, along with other NCRC members, is looking into Valley National Bank's proposed acquisition of 1st United in Florida. Fair Finance Watch has filed two comments to date with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, first with this lending pattern:

  In 2012 in the New York City MSA for refinance loans, Valley National made 2152 such loans to whites and only 38 to African Americans -- entirely of keeping with the demographics and demographics of home ownership in the New York City MSA. Valley National denied 67% of such applications from African Americans, versus only 34.5% of such application from white.

  For home purchase loans in the NYC MSA in 2012, Valley National made 69 such loans to whites, only one to an African American and only two to Latinos, for which it had a denial rate of 62.5% versus only 36.6% for whites.

  For home improvement loans in the NYC MSA, Valley National made 26 such loans to whites, only one to an African American and only two to Latinos, for which it had a denial rate of 50% versus only 21.9% for whites.

  On June 8, Fair Finance Watch filed a second comment, including that:

Valley National has branches only below 88th Street in Manhattan (in which, intriguingly, a "Yellowbrick Real Estate Capital" breaks into the top five in pre-foreclosures).

  Valley National has no branches in Harlem, Washington Heights or The Bronx, predominantly African American and Latinos, low and moderate income areas.

  In Queens, it's Middle Village and Kew Gardens. In Brooklyn, Valley National's branches are along Ocean Parkway and in Bay Ridge. What about East New York, Brownsville, Bushwick and Bedford Stuyvesant?

  Meanwhile we are sorry to say, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, rather than provide the documents Inner City Press requested under the Freedom of Information Act, tried to cancel the entire FOIA request by claiming to mis-understand one part of it, as stated in a June 5 telephone call with the OCC's Rosalye Settles.

 Inner City Press has not yet received a single one of the requested documents, all of which should be provided during the comment period (set to expire on June 20).

On June 11, Inner City Press went to a Valley National Bank in Manhattan to seek its CRA Assessment Area / Statement. At the VNB branch at 350 Park Avenue, Branch Service Manager Daniel Solomon when asked about the CAR Assessment Area at first tried to give Inner City Press a CD-ROM of the bank's 2013 Annual Report. Then after much back and forth he emerged with a binder that did not include the assessment area, directing the public elsewhere -- with the wrong address -- for that.

This is indicative of Valley National Bank's approach and attitude to CRA. There should be public hearings and on the current record, Valley National Bank's application should be denied.

June 9, 2014

Last week say the delivery of “petitions with more than 600 signatures demanding that Senate co-Majority Leader Sen. Jeff Klein, candidates and other elected officials pass the NY State DREAM Act. Earlier in the year, Sen. Jeff Klein's majority coalition with Senate Republicans failed in an attempt to pass the legislation, leading to calls for Klein to rejoin the Democratic caucus to improve prospects for passage.”

June 2, 2014

Is there such a thing as hotel gentrification? Or gentrification triggering new hotels, as in Long Island City, Queens? In Melrose, the Umbrella Hotel at 681 Elton Avenue between E 153rd and 154th Streets will have rates from $129 – $159 per night, according to Manny Chadha of AMG Elton LLC. “There’s a lot going on in Melrose, with green construction and developments like Via Verde,” he says. Yeah.

May 26, 2014

  Belmont in the news: An Italo-Swiss tourist punched and killed on Washington Avenue, a teenager pushed through the window of the Hookah Spot on Arthur Avenue -- by a police officer....

Opening May 30 at 305 East 140th Street is “Terroir.... a group exhibition that endeavors to investigate and rekindle our relationship with the land. War, hunger and inequality are all social conflicts that have historically influenced the issues of rights and ownership of land in order to benefit the few.” Can you say, homesteading?

May 19, 2014

  This we like, May 22, 2014:

Bobby Sanabria
- Diana Gitesha Hernández
- H+ | The Hip-Hop Dance Conservatory
- Not4Prophet
 As the City Lore Gallery. 56 E 1st St

May 12, 2014

This we like: Bronx World Film Cycle, on June 1 at “La Nacional” in Manhattan, holds its first summer screening event including a “3-d Graffiti” exhibit and a World Music concert, and

Patricia Chica “Chicatronica” - a Salvadoran/Canadian master of the psychological thriller.

DJ Neva Wartell, New York media personality, ethnomusicologist and activist spins World Music!

Z.S. Rosenfeld. A short, poetic film tribute to Europe’s abandoned synagogues by filmmaker/photographer Rosenfeld. Set to an evocative score by Elie Massias. (World Premier).

Lara Bello. The multi-talented World Music recording artist, dancer, writer and designer from Granada, Spain...

Elie Massias, expert in the music of Andalucía in the Middle Ages

James Lovell and Lucy Blanco. Garífuna composers, singers, Cultural Ambassadors and Masters of Caribbean Maroon music

Óscar Berrío. Avant garde filmmaker, photographer, writer and faithful collaborator shares his latest puzzle-like videopoems

We like videopoems...

May 5, 2014

Bronx Week runs May 8-18, preliminary schedule here

April 28, 2014

With Bronx day in Albany hyping up "Don Coqui," presumably the one on City Island, we have to ask: what is its relation to one in Astoria?

April 21, 2014

Here is disparate impact: the US Postal Service, to open a Post Office box, requires an application to have either a "current lease, mortgage or dead of trust" or a "voter or vehicle registration card" or a "home or vehicle insurance policy."

So you have to either own a car or a home or be the one listed on a rental lease. Inner City Press looked into it and asked, So a homeless person cannot get a post office box?

No, was the answer. Disparate impact #1.

But even people who live in a rented apartment often are not on the lease. So if that case, you HAVE to register to vote? Inner City Press asked, what about an anarchist? What happened to land of the free, home of the brave? How is this legal? We'll have more on this.

April 14, 2014

This we like, with a Bronx connection:

STYLE WARS is regarded as the indispensable document of NY street culture and subway graffiti art of the early '80s, the filmic record of a golden age of youthful creativity that exploded into the world from a city in crisis. It won the Grand Prize for Documentaries at the 1983 Sundance Film Festival and continues to gain a following. 30 years later, Veli and Amos, two Style Wars fans from Europe, travel through today's graffiti and street art scene. The journey takes them from Europe to New York and ends in the Middle East. Style Wars 2 features encounters with graffiti artists and explores the idea of "doing the wrong thing." Thursday, April 17th at 7pm to watch a double feature screening of Style Wars I & II, and participate in conversation with Producer, Henry Chalfant, and a graffiti writer featured in the film.

When: Thursday, April 17th, doors at 6:30pm, Screening at 7:00pm
Where: The City Lore Gallery, 56 E 1st St. New York, NY 10003

April 7, 2014

Here's a question: what are the environmental justice implications of moving the auto shops from Queens to Hunts Point in the South Bronx? The City says, "the relocation of the Sunrise Co-op to their new facility is an as-of-right transaction between two private parties." But what about EJ? Watch this site.

March 31, 2014

Rights Applied to NY City Council, Haiti Cholera Test, Bronx Scores Low

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 25, updated -- If it's true that all politics are local, then why not from the New York-based UN, embroiled in such questions as war crimes in Sri Lanka and France leaving Muslims at risk of attack in the Central African Republic, consider the records of New York City Councilmembers?

  The Urban Justice Center today releases a report card on the Council, assigning grade from A+ down to a C and C- in Staten Island to members of the NYC City Council.

  The report "revisits two recent land-use projects -- Willets Point in Queens and Seward Park Extension Urban Park Renewal Area in Manhattan, which impact New Yorkers' housing, workers' and government accountability rights. It also discusses the human rights implications of waterfront redevelopment projects in Mill Basin, Brooklyn and St. George, Staten Island in post Hurricane Sandy New York City."

  The UN famously failed during Super Storm Sandy, neglecting to inform Ambassadors when it would be closed and when their cars, with diplomatic plates, could be removed from the UN's underground garages, as Inner City Press reported.

  In Haiti, the UN thumbs its nose at principles of accountability, refusing to even acknowledge service of process of legal papers in court cases from bringing cholera to the Island.

   But former Mayor Bloomberg is now a UN official, on climate change; Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was going to meet with Mayor Bill De Blasio until it got canceled on the day of the East Harlem gas explosion.

  The Free UN Coalition for Access asked why it was not on Ban's public schedule, but UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said since it got canceled, this did not have to be answered. Isn't the right to information also a human right?

  The Bronx scored low.

  The top eight in the rankings are all from Manhattan or Brooklyn; the top Bronxite after that represent Riverdale. Have any Councilmembers joined the call on the US Mission to the UN, or State Department in DC, to hold the UN accountable for cholera in Haiti? If all politics are local, they should.

Updated: the above was published at the March 24-25 midnight embargo time. But on the afternoon of March 25, Inner City Press asked UJC's Research and Policy Coordinator Nicole Bramsted if the reports considered Council members' work on such issues as holding the UN accountable for cholera in Haiti -- or, one might add, extending a human rights monitoring mandate to the UN mission in Western Sahara. Inner City Press also ask for any comment on there being no Bronx (or Queens) Council members in the top eight ranked members.

  Bramsted and her colleague replied that such work is included in the narrative portion of the surveys, for example resolutions for the Senate to ratify CEDAW; low scoring geographies, it was said, could be held up in the spotlight. Watch this site.

March 24, 2014

Saddest thing from the March 21 day book:

12 p.m. – State, city and community officials hold a press conference in remembrance of the victims of the Happy Land Social Club Fire, Happy Land Memorial Monument, East Tremont Avenue and Southern Boulevard, Bronx.

March 17, 2014

Too late to see (March 16) but too important not to note: screening of "Yuri Kochiyama: Passion For Justice" by Pat Saunders and Rea Tajiri, (1994) and panel including Cleo Silvers is a former member of both the Young Lords Party and the New York State Chapter of the Black Panther Party who worked with their medical cadre as a Community Mental Health Worker at Lincoln Hospital and served as co-chairperson of the Health Revolutionary Unity Movement (HRUM). She helped organize two militant takeovers of Lincoln Hospital which led to the formation of the Lincoln Detox Center. Those were some days...

March 10, 2014

The NYT's March 7 piece about the South Bronx waterfront quotes a restaurant owner who acts as if he didn't consider the location before signing at 20 year lease. It's not believable.

March 3, 2014

Sushi shootout: Police say a gun-wielding man was shot by police outside of an affordable Japanese restaurant on East 187th Street on March 1. Officers inside the Sake II restaurant heard a commotion outside just after 7:30 p.m. They say they found 22-year-old Jayson Ramos outside holding up a gun and threatening to shoot three people. The officers ordered Ramos to drop the gun. Instead, he fled on foot down Beaumont Avenue, prompting the officers to give chase. As they were chasing Ramos down the street, he allegedly turned around and pointed a 9mm pistol at them. One officer took action and shot him in the leg. Ramos was taken into custody and taken to Saint Barnabas Hospital. He now faces charges including criminal possession of a weapon with intent to use and reckless endangerment. Bento box...

February 24, 2014

From BP Diaz' February 20 "State of the Borough" speech: "If a politician in Paris decides to use our hometown to make a cheap political point, or a tour operator twists facts to make a quick buck, we will set the record straight." We too.

February 17, 2014

On Feb 13, Mayor Bill de Blasio visited the Department of Sanitation garage at 800 E. 176th St to give an update on the winter storm...

February 10, 2014

On Feb. 6 it was a tale of two Bronxes: at 11:30 a rally to protect Girls Prep Bronx Charter School, Girls Prep Bronx Charter School on Kelly Street; at 2 pm, de Blasio speaking at the Osborne Association...

February 3, 2014

So Melissa Mark-Viverito holds her inauguration ceremony at Hostos Community College; 187th Street saw a fundraiser for Victor Pichardo at "Arthur Avenue Floral's Amazing Space," and BP Diaz' "State of the Boro" will be on Feb. 20. Click here for Inner City Press on the State of the Union:

January 27, 2014

FOX's show "the following" will be gumming up the streets of Belmont this week, on January 28 on Hughes and Crescent and Arthur Avenues. The flier they put up says they are working with "the individual towns and villages" -- nice...

January 20, 2014

Fire sale: now the US Postal Service says it wants to just sell off the Bronx General Post Office at 149th Street and Grand Concourse. To the highest bidder?

"Outgoing Metro-North President Howard Permut says the December derailment in the Bronx will affect him for the rest of his life" - is that why under his watch, trains in from the suburbs in Connecticut stop to unload passengers at Fordham Road but refuse to take any passengers on, even those who've already paid?

January 13, 2014

Maybe malls aren't the way to go, at least in The Bronx: the Concourse Plaza is half empty, and "The Crossings" slated for Southern Boulevard and 163rd Street won't in fact have any housing, just a big Red Lobster. Just what's needed in Hunt's Point...

January 6, 2014

As we reported in advance last week, at the De Blasio inauguration, Bronxite Lissette Ortiz introduced Bill Clinton, who introduced "Big Bill." The next day his chancellor of eduction Farina visited M.S. 223, The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology, at 360 E. 145 St in the Bronx. Back on December 30, Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito had been sworn in at the Millbrook Houses not far away on St. Ann’s Avenue. How will they all do? Watch this site.

December 30, 2013

So for the De Blasio inauguration on January 1, the first introduction will be by a Bronxite, Lissette Ortiz, a senior at Medgar Evers College originally from the DR. Vamos!

Meanwhile, 753 Melrose Avenue: "The site was historically operated as a dry cleaner in the 1950's, and had solvent tanks in the rear of the property. Soil vapor and groundwater at the site are contaminated with chlorinated solvents, primarily tetrachloroethene (PCE) and its breakdown products. Due to the concentrations of PCE detected in groundwater and soil vapor, in conjunction with the proximity of occupied buildings to the site, further investigation to evaluate the nature and extent of contamination and the potential for exposures to contamination from the site is warranted."

December 23, 2013

Strange to be seeing outgoing Mayor Bloomberg taking credit for hot sheet motels in the Bronx. Last week he bragged of The Bronx "six new hotels have opened since 2002 – with another three under development."

December 16, 2013

So the Abu Dhabi sheiks including Sheik Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan and First Gulf Bank behind Manchester City football club now want NYC bonds to move a business from the Bronx and build a 28,000 soccer stadium?

For a "28,000-seat stadium in The Bronx just south of Yankee Stadium... the New York City Football Club — majority owned by the Manchester City Football Club of the Premier League in the UK — is “very, very close” to inking a deal with GAL Manufacturing, an elevator parts company, sources close to the deal said.

The deal with the soccer club, which is 20 percent owned by the Yankees, will also include the not-for-profit Bronx Parking Development Company.

The $400 million stadium will be located on what now is an empty lot between the Major Deegan and East 153rd Street, a source following the situation said.

Mayor Bloomberg has blessed the pact.

However, the team will not move forward without mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s blessing, and he has not yet reviewed the deal"

Watch this site.

December 9, 2013

Against the machine: Vincent Marchiselli, Bronx Assemblyman in the 80s standing up to Stanley Friedman, Stanley Simon et al, has died. He was a storefront politician, leaning right but recto as they say. RIP.

December 2, 2013

We're all for promoting the Bronx. But to blithely celebrate "Bronx Brewery Featured in a Chase Bank Commercial, CONGRATULATIONS DAMIAN BROWN & CHRISTOPHER GALLANT" seems to ignore the recent worldwide flame-out of #AskJPM...

November 25, 2013

Look at -- in the South Bronx, there's Don Delillo (NOT by the pastry shop), Martin Scorsese, Herman Wouk and Theodore Dreiser. OK - but what about SINCE then?

November 18, 2013

Friday at Family Dollar: "Police are looking for a man they say shot two people in the Bronx. The shooting happened shortly after 5 p.m. Police say the man chased two people across East 149th Street in Mott Haven and shot them in front of a Family Dollar Store. There are three different schools within two blocks of where the incident took place."

November 11, 2013

This, we're looking forward to:

Daily News: Tell me about your new venture, a museum of hip hop culture you’re launching with Afrika Bambaataa and Grand Wizard Theodore.

Melle Mel: Us, as the fathers, the pioneers of hip hop, we have a responsibility to the art form. The “Windows of Hip Hop,” it’s a campus for hip hop.

Caz: There’s a lot of empty land in the Bronx, and any institution dedicated to hip hop has to be in the Bronx. We’re trying to make that a reality. This is a big year for the culture, 40 years strong. Look how far we’ve come.

Melle Mel: We’re going to see this become a reality. It’s a celebration of what we did in the past, as well as the present and what we can do in the future. It’ll help tourism in the Bronx expeditiously. It’ll be another feather in the cap of the most underrated borough.

November 4, 2013

So Goldman Sachs' bank has been given an "Outstanding" CRA rating, trumpeted in the Wall Street Journal. GS is given CRA credit for lending to the CitiBank program. But since the bike racks are all below 60th Street in Manhattan and in gentrified or gentrifying parts of Brooklyn -- a veritable redlining map, nothing in The Bronx -- why does this get CRA credit? It's a scam...

How can this be?

Citizens Union 2013 General Election Candidate Endorsements

Bronx Endorsements

No races evaluated


October 21, 2013

This week we travel one borough away, on a topic much associated with The Bronx: excellent grafitti art. In Long Island City, Queens, the 5Pointz at 45-46 Davis Street which one sees when the 7 train comes overground is threatened with demolition to build, what else, another condominium building. The neighborhood there is being overrun, first with hotels and now luxury housing. Citigroup can be thanked for the gentrification. But this one is too much. A lawsuit has been filed, asserting violations of the Visual Artists Rights Act (“VARA”) and copyright law, and asking the Eastern District to issue an injunction to prevent the destruction of 5Pointz pending the outcome of the lawsuit. It is Cohen, et al. v. G & M Realty L.P., et al. (Index No. CV13-5612) and we're rooting for it.

October 14, 2013

It's the 30th anniversary of "Wild Style," and there is a photographic Then and Now comparison we recommend, here:

October 7, 2013

The gunning down in Washington of a seemingly emotionally disturbed person made us think back, in The Bronx, to Eleanor Bumpers, killed by police in her apartment. There has to be a better way.

September 30, 2013

This, we suppport: November 21: "Every year, as Thanksgiving rolls around, the media suddenly remembers that people are homeless and hungry in New York City. Picture the Homeless knows that homeless folks are hungry all year round. For food, and for justice. And for a good party!"

September 23, 2013

As if in honor of General Debate week at the UN, on Thursday September 26 in the Bronx Boro Hall Rotunda they are feting Ecuador - be there!

September 16, 2013

How can it be that two days after last Tuesday's election, "the New York City Board of Elections still had not counted any votes in 48 election precincts, most of them in the South Bronx"?

Then again in Buffalo, population 261,000, only14,000 people voted in the primaries....

September 9, 2013

On Syria, UN Censors Try to Cut Off Questions, Ask Who the Questioner Works For

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 4 -- On Syria during Wednesday's UN noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's associate spokesperson Farhan Haq to respond to Syria's August 31 statement that the US, France and UK lobbied for the UN to NOT look into WHO used chemical weapons at Khan al Asal.

  Haq repeated Ban's statement from the day before in his two-question press conference: that Ban made the decision.

  Inner City Press asked if Ban agrees with his predecessor Kofi Annan, speaking for The Elders, that member states should await the UN report before reaching conclusions and deciding on action, as is taking place in the US Congress.
   Haq said Ban would have no comment, citing sovereignty.

  Another journalist, accredited with a Pacifica radio station and a member of the Free UN Coalition for Access, asked about depleted uranium and about the story by the former AP string based on interviews, that the chemical weapons in Ghouta came through Saudi sources.

  Before Haq could answer, another journalist in the front row who often speaks for the UN Correspondents Association tried to cut the question off. She was (and is) at the left hand of UNCA's 2013 president Pamela Falk of CBS. FUNCA says this is not how it is supposed to work, establishment scribes silencing or purporting to answer the questions of others.

Worse, as soon as the briefing was over this UNCA spokesperson immediately went to UN spokesperson Haq demanding to know, "Who does she work for?"

  This is how it works with the UN's Censorship Alliance, which held a faux "UN briefing" with Saudi backed Syria rebel boss Jarba which the UN is still not answering Press questions about. Beyond trying to get the investigative Press thrown out of the UN, they try to cut off others' questioning.

  The Pacifica reporter, referring to a history with this Reuters "retiree," inquired with Haq but got no satisfaction. He or the Department of Public Information through which Ban "partners" with this UN Censorship Alliance should at a minimum remind these insiders that all journalists have a right to ask their questions, and get answers from the UN spokesperson, not insider scribes. Watch this site.

Follow @innercitypress Follow @FUNCA_info

It sure looks innovative:

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced proposed Slumlord Prevention Guidelines (SPG). The guidelines include new Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations from the Department of Financial Services (DFS)and Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services that incentivize banks -- but how, without meaningful comment periods and processing on mergers?

This NY Dep't of Financial Services, so far, is LESS open to CRA comments that its predecessor. Watch this site.

September 2, 2013

Now begins the hype: the "60-room Opera House Hotel, run by the Empire Hotel Group, opened in the South Bronx... For rates that start as low as $100 a night, guests get a fairly spacious guest room, complimentary continental breakfast, free WiFi, and (as of April 2014) complimentary access to a Crunch Gym next door. Before you gripe about the location, consider this: the 3rd Avenue subway station is next door and gets you to Midtown in about 20 minutes on the 2 and 5 Trains. If we were visiting NYC, we'd be tempted to stay in the Bronx for rates like that." Gripe.

August 26, 2013

Last week tenants of 888 Grand Concourse filed a contempt case in Bronx Housing Court against the building’s landlord, Louis Bombart, ranked #4 worst landlord in the city according to the Public Advocate’s “Worst Landlords Watchlist.” The lawsuit responds to Bombart’s refusal to comply with court orders to repair more than 342 violations....

August 19, 2013

Amazing - now MetroNorth simply shuts down the Tremont Station, already under-served, for an infrequent shuttle bus to Fordham. For Melrose? They advise going to Yankee Stadium 153 Street on the other line...

August 12, 2013

"I am more than outraged," said Constance Malcolm, the mother of Ramarley Graham. “Richard Haste broke into our home and killed my son in cold blood. The criminal justice system has failed us... This past May, Judge Steven Barrett dismissed the indictment due to an error made by Assistant District Attorney Nancy Borko when instructing jurors... "In the immediate we are demanding a federal investigation into this case,” said Loyda Colon, Co-Director of the Justice Committee. “In the long-term, if District Attorneys cannot do their jobs correctly, we need another solution. Too often, DAs handle the investigations and prosecutions of police officers who have killed New Yorkers poorly. The failure to indict Haste and other officers who have taken lives proves that we need a special prosecutor for cases of police killings.”

August 5, 2013

So a publicist hyped to Inner City Press that "Chuck Hughes, the celebrity chef from Cooking Channels' Chuck's Eat The Street" will be on Arthur Avenue on August 8 and 9. But the pitch for this season of "Eat the Street" -- it's Wall Street that eats you -- barely mentions The Bronx, saying "Other cities include Washington, D.C.; Charleston, S.C.; The Bronx, N.Y.; and Detroit, Mich. This season also takes Chuck on a journey to explore some of the best streets beyond the country, as he visits St. John's, Newfoundlandand San Juan, Puerto Rico." Well there's that.

July 29, 2013

And so it was said: Del Blasio would on July 28 "Walk in the Bronx Dominican Parade with Chirlane McCray and Dante de Blasio." SOBRO bragged that its "South Bronx Leadership Forum Summer 2013" speaker, all the way on August 12, would be Christine Quinn. Whither Weiner?

July 22, 2013

Gentrification, yes - but have to admit, looking forward to Bronx Brewery at on E 136 between the Cypress Avenue 6 train stop and the East River - and the promised fancy barrels, including tequila...

July 15, 2013

This week for whatever reason we went back and watched the old Bill Moyers report on the South Bronx, “The Fire Next Door.” It had a lot of human detail, but missed the issue of redlining. Too bad...

July 8, 2013

Locust Ave and 140th Street: “prior uses that appear to have led to site contamination include a manufactured gas plant, a gas holder, industrial storage, petroleum/diesel stations, and automotive service stations.” More here.

July 1, 2013

Next bill we're watching: Intro. 1036, which would give parents and staff prompt notice of any environmental assessment of a public school or prospective school site; provide the public with easily accessible information about environmental risks and remedial plans; and empower parents and staff to evaluate and monitor City efforts to protect children....

June 24, 2013

We're watching two bills - the End NYPD Discriminatory Profiling Bill (Intro 1080) and the NYPD Oversight Act (Intro 1079) - and who's not supporting them...

June 17, 2013

We're looking at "Bronx Day in Albany," set for Tuesday, June 18, at The Egg, Empire State Plaza, in Albany. They say, "corporate sponsorships are available for the luncheon and reception." Watch this site.

June 10, 2013

On February 2, 2012, NYPD Officer Richard Haste followed 18-year old Ramarley Graham home, broke down the front door and shot and killed him in the bathroom. Haste claims he believed Graham had a gun, yet no gun was found at the scene. A Bronx grand jury indicted Haste on two counts of manslaughter; the first indictment of an NYPD officer for killing a civilian since 2007.

On May 15, Judge Steven Barrett, the judge presiding over the Haste case, dismissed the indictment due to what Haste’s attorney referred to as “sloppy wording” in the instructions given to jurors by Assistant District Attorney Nancy Borko. Now what?

June 3, 2013

Carpet bagger? A Bronx man has been arrested in connection with what the New York Police Department thinks may be more than 30 cases of rug theft from JPMorgan Chase ATM locations around the city.

May 27, 2013

Another event we recommend, on Friday, May 31, 6:30pm to 9:00pm at the Bronx Museum of the Arts at 1040 Grand Concourse: Puerto Rican History, honoring the Young Lords with free music, poetry, food and spirits. Be there!

May 20, 2013

Ah, the arrogance: North Forker returns, per SNL Financial: "BankUnited Inc. Chairman, President and CEO John Kanas said he believes the bank's new expansion will yield an annual organic growth rate of $2 billion after a year of operation." Let's see...

May 13, 2013

From White House pool report: "Among those singled out by President Obama was Detective Ivan Marcano, who was off duty when he saw two muggers attacking a cab driver in the Bronx. Marcano got out of his girlfriend's car to stop them, when he was shot in the chest. As his girlfriend drove Marcano to the hospital, they randomly ran into the getaway car — at which point Marcano, holding his chest, ran after the suspects and caught them, Obama said. 'This was date night!' the president exclaimed to laughter, asking the woman in the audience to stand and be recognized."

What does it mean, that "they randomly ran into the getaway car"? But hats off...

May 6, 2013

Sometimes, we're happy to promote: like, the 3rd Annual Bronx Week Film Festival featuring films made in the Bronx or by Bronx film makers. Free screenings will begin on Saturday with a ribbon-cutting and will culminate with a wrap party on May 13th. See schedule at

April 29, 2013

After a man from Bangladesh was beaten by Applebee's in The Bronx, Bangladeshis gathered at Holy Nativity Episcopal Church on Bainbridge Avenue in support of war crimes tribunal in their country. Other Bangladeshis have protests against the court, down by the UN.

New York City has the highest Bangladeshi population in the UN: over 57,000. Per the latest American Community Survey conducted by the Census Bureau, Parkchester has the higest Bangladeshi population in the Bronx, with an estimated 2,642 people. The only neighborhoods more populated with Bengalis are Kensington in Brooklyn (2,671) and Jamaica Hills, Queens (4,104). What about Astoria?

April 22, 2013

Bill de Blasio blows horn in The Bronx: on April 20, trumpets endorsement of State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson; April 21, Parkchester with Assemblymember Luis Sepulveda. Where's Liu and the others?

April 15, 2013

So in The Bronx in 2012, Citigroup denied the mortgage applications of African American 2.4 times more frequently then whites. In Manhattan, Citi's disparity at 2.63. And to the two groups, Citigroup made TEN TIMES as many loans in Manhattan as in The Bronx...

April 8, 2013

And now the US Postal Service, despite opposition, moves to sell the main Bronx post office at 588 Grand Concourse. For shame.

April 1, 2013

This coming Friday April 5 we recommend, at the Bronx Museum of the Arts at 6 pm, the film “Havana, Havana!” blurbed as follows: “Cuban musician Raul Paz brings together fellow musical stars Descemer Bueno, Kelvis Ochoa and David Torrens for a concert in Havana. All of them left Cuba years ago, and their decision to return has injected a new spirit into Cuban music. Mirroring Cuba’s growing relationship with the world, Havana, Havana! highlights how the country’s musical expression is evolving in the 21st century.” Baila!

March 25, 2013

Who knew that the chairman of the FDIC was a Bronxite, who for a time worked for then Congressman Bingham and spent a week a month up in the Northwest Bronx? He knows all the NWBCCC big wigs; he tells a touching story.

But when asked, in writing, what he and FDIC think of the proposal to seize deposits in Cyprus as part of a bailout, no answer's been received. Maybe if the question about about Cypress Avenue in the Bronx? Watch this site.

March 18, 2013

Oh, Operation Clean Halls: Jay Victorino was outside of his mother's apartment when NYPD nearly arrested him for trespassing, if his mother hadn't rescued him...

Rare UN Link to NYC, Police Shooting Raised by ICP, LA Mayor Responds 

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 14 – At the UN in Manhattan the morning after protests in Brooklyn of the police shooting of 16 year old Kimani Gray, the mayors of cities like Beirut, Bogota and even Los Angeles met as part of UN-Habitat's Global Network on Safer Cities.

  Inner City Press asked the panel about police brutality, and about the death of Kimani Gray. It was LA Mayor Villaraigosa who answered, speaking in favor of civilian review and control of the police, and noting that the preamble of the Network's “outcome document” refers to civil and human rights.

The panel was asked about the use of drones, which witnesses in East Flatbush say the New York Police Department deployed Wednesday night, along with spotlighted helicopters.

  Generally, though, it was a typical UN rah-rah session, with hat tips to gender violence, tolerance and urban planning. Habitat director Joan Clos cited Jane Jacobs; the mayor of Bogota spoke of harm reduction, even the de-criminalization of drugs. The UN's Narcotics Control Board's position is rigidly against this, opposing the program in for example Vancouver.

  The initiative was extra-UN in another way as well: typical in that the participants want money in a trust fund, untypical in that the disbursement, not yet agreed, would avoid national governments and go directly to cities.

  An official from Cote d'Ivoire was asked how a divided city like Abidjan can be kept together. He answered by referring to mayors in the West of the country, reportedly still under-served as a retaliation against those who supported former president Laurent Gbagbo, who is now waiting trial on war crimes charges in The Hague. Now that's a city.... Watch this site.

 Footnote: Inner City Press thanked the mayors for the briefing, but didn't spell out: for the Free UN Coalition for Access. That's because there was no mention of UNCA, the UN's Censorship Alliance.

There is no need to brand these briefing. But when it's done, FUNCA will respond, to resist favoritism for UNCA, an organization which tried and tries to get the investigative Press thrown out of the UN. Just like cities and police departments, the UN too needs rules.

March 11, 2013

This week, we go arty - and angry. Downtown at the The New Museum there's a collection of art works produced in New York in the year 1993. Most are from Manhattan - the only mention of The Bronx is Pepon Osorio’s “The Scene of the Crime” -- alife-size diorama of an apartment complete with a woman’s body under a bloody cloth. Spanish radio plays ads for detergent and the chairs are draped in Puerto Rican flags. Talk about a cliche...

March 4, 2013

The Hunger Action Network NYS says “the South Bronx Congressional District represented by Congressmember Serrano continued to have the highest rate of food insecurity in the Country.” That can't be good..

February 25, 2013

Just what The Bronx needs: more clowns. “Twelve clowns on a two week international tour of the U.S. and Malaysia will stop at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore to entertain children with juggling, acrobatics and magic to cheer them up and brighten their hospital stay.” Nice...

February 18, 2013

The two toughest neighborhoods in New York City to be a kid are both in the South Bronx. “Hunts Point was ranked the toughest place for the city’s kids, with a 49 % child poverty rate and just 28% of elementary and middle school students meeting state reading standards in 2011. Mott Haven was ranked second toughest, with 99 cases of reported child abuse or neglect per 1,000 kids in 2010.”

February 11, 2013

Here's a show we support, and so to which we devote this week's update: “SEIS DEL SURDispatches from home by six Boricua photographers – at the Bronx Documentary Center” - go check it out.

February 4, 2013

From the serious to the culinary loss: Saturday saw a vigil for the one year anniversary of the shooting death of Ramarley Graham by police officer Richard Haste...

On Arthur Avenue, Umberto's Clam House is no more. No explanation given; spin from Mike's Deli. In Manhattan, Umberto's remains open. Why not in The Bronx?

January 28, 2013

Now it's been decided: slated for closure in June are • Holy Spirit School, 1940 University Ave., The Bronx;

Our Lady of Angels School, 2865 Claflin Ave., The Bronx;

Our Lady of Mercy School, 2512 Marion Ave., The Bronx;

Blessed Sacrament School, 1160 Beach Ave, The Bronx;

St. Anthony School, 1776 Mansion St., The Bronx;

St. Mary Star of the Sea School, 580 Minneford Ave., The Bronx;

St. Jerome School, 222 Alexander Ave., The Bronx.

This is an outrage - watch this site.

January 21, 2013

After the MTA's hype about Select Bus service, for example along Fordham Road in The Bronx, recently Inner City Press was told when a bus without the signature blinking blue lights rushed by the regular bus stop and to the select, that "a lawsuit means we can't use the lights anymore."

So riders can't see which bus is which, and don't have time to get the paper ticket required on the Select. Good job, MTA...

January 14, 2013

Bronxites -- and Inner City Press -- are asking Timothy Cardinal Dolan to keep the doors open at St. Jerome School, at 222 Alexander Avenue in Mott Haven. The threat is to close it in 2013; one theory is to sell off the land. Give them a chance!

January 7, 2013

Is it clean? "The Site is an irregularly-shaped parcel approximately 0.36 acre in size and is bounded on the west by Prospect Avenue and on the east by Reverend James A. Polite Boulevard. Historically, the site was utilized for automotive repair/oil change and was a former gasoline filling station. These uses resulted in contamination to soil, groundwater and soil vapor. The primary contaminants of concern were petroleum-related volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The Site is currently undergoing redevelopment activities associated with the construction of a new rental apartment building." But is it really clean?

December 31, 2012

$150 million for a 150 foot high bridge to City Island? Too high. We're against it.

December 24, 2012

Let's compare to the low number of banks: in The Bronx, McDonald’s has 44 stores, Dunkin Donuts leads with 68. Subway, up two, is now at 55...

December 17, 2012

"FreshDirect is scaling back its footprint in the South Bronx, where it plans to relocate in several years, and where it is being sued by a community group that opposes its development plan. The Long Island City-based grocer filed court papers on Thursday indicating that it would give up about three acres of land by the Harlem River that would have served as a parking facility for its fleet of delivery trucks. 'We are now going to incorporate our trucking operations into the parcel of land that will house our main facility," the company said in a statement. "This will have the benefit of addressing a number of concerns expressed by residents arising from the proximity of our trucks.'"

Not enough...

December 10, 2012

A 38-year-old construction worker from the Philippines, Michael Tristan Mananghaya was killed when a 40-foot-long industrial cooling unit fell from a crane and crushed him to death in The Bronx last week. Mananghaya was guiding the crane operator who was hoisting the air-conditioning unit at a construction site at the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital, when a chain that linked the massive air-conditioning unit to the crane allegedly snapped, dropping several feet, clipped the edge of a trailer and flipped onto its side on the sidewalk, pinning Mananghaya. Mananghaya’s employer C&L Towing in New Jersey, as well as Agrekko -- the air conditioning company -- are not commenting so far...

December 3, 2012

Bagel nosh: OSHA fined Bronx-based Zaro's $118,000 for whizzing machine parts weren’t covered, and a lack of locks to prevent machines from starting while workers were cleaning them, and exit doors locked or blocked -- sounds like Happy Land, but the union's being quiet...

Hurricane Sandy's impact: the New York Department of Finance Services went weeks without issuing a Weekly Bulletin of merger applications. So the Apple - Emigrant comment period must still be open, right? Especially since the Department only now acknowleged receipt of Inner City Press' Freedom of Information Law request for a copy of the application, and STILL hasn't provided it...

November 26, 2012

So when MetroNorth has "third rail" trouble, who pays the price? If you bought a vaunted "City-Pass," you got no refund in any meaningful way. From Fordham Road, they told you, you could ride north to Wakefield and then south again. But the next train north was an hour off, and no new trains were scheduled or stopped.

And still, the red "Connecticut" MetroNorth trains stops at Fordham Road, but refuse to pick up fare paying riders. Does this fall along racial lines a la disparate impact? It does. Watch this site.

November 19, 2012

On Fordham Road, "Candy's" is closed: a glimpse into its open door found a garbage strewn hall. What gives?

Ruling: New York City violated State environmental law when it built a Bronx school complex on contaminated land without making public a detailed long-term monitoring plan before construction, the state’s Court of Appeals has ruled, against the City’s Education Department and School Construction Authority. If the city wants to build a school on a polluted site, state law requires it to present in-depth remediation and monitoring plans to the public during the initial environmental review process....

November 12, 2012

  Who knew that the Bruckner Bar & Grill had 23 employees? Until Super Storm Sandy hit, that is... See also, At UN as Ban Takes States' Questions on Sandy Email Failures, Press Ordered Out

November 5, 2012

So Tony's Pier is no more. What a view, from the parking lot. What smelts. Johnny's Reef remains... See, <