Author Archives | mmv2122

Inside the Only Islamic School in the Bronx

By Mustafa Mehdi Vural

Mubina Maricar instructs her students at the Islamic Leadership School. The school has 18 students, from pre-K to ninth grade. Photo By Mustafa Mehdi Vural

Mubina Maricar instructs her students at the Islamic Leadership School. The school has 18 students, from pre-K to ninth grade. Photo By Mustafa Mehdi Vural

On a typical December morning in the Bronx’s only Islamic private school,  Mubina Maricar, a 62-year-old science teacher,  strained to be heard above the students’ voices reciting in unison from the adjacent classroom. Her eight students in grades six through nine were learning about speed, velocity and acceleration. Five boys in the front rows and three veiled girls in the back seats were busily taking notes and answering the teachers’ questions, unfazed by the Qur’an verses emanating through the thin walls. “Qul'A'udhu bi-rabbin-nas” (I seek refuge in the Lord of mankind). “Melikin-Nas, Ilahin-Nas” (The king of mankind, the true God of mankind). Suddenly, the recitation halted. Al-Aqib Coulibaly, the only 2nd grader in the Parkchester school, raised the light blue curtain covering the door between the classes, and walked into Maricar’s room.
Al-Aqib Coulibaly, the only 2nd grader, attends the Islamic Leadership School with his four brothers. He and his students wore their winter coats because the school's portable heaters were insufficient. Photo By Mustafa Mehdi Vura

Al-Aqib Coulibaly, the only 2nd grader, attends the Islamic Leadership School with his four brothers. Students wore their winter coats because the portable heaters were not enough to heat the classrooms. Photo By Mustafa Mehdi Vural

The 7-year-old looked at the numbers and formulas on the small green board for a moment, then, walked between the boys and girls to grab an extra Qur’an from the shelf. Al-Aqib then sauntered back to his classroom where three other students, including his older brother Ismail, were waiting. Al-Aqib was not having his best day. He had forgotten to memorize his Qur’an verses. He couldn’t find his Arabic homework. He neglected to say, “As-salamu aleykum” (peace be upon you), when he entered the room.  Rules were not his favorite thing. Al-Aqib tightened his black scarf around his head and arranged his black winter coat, as he took his seat in his classroom. Students in both classrooms were wearing their winter coats on Dec. 10 because the small portable heaters were insufficient to heat the classrooms. Al-Aqib and his brothers are students of the Islamic Leadership School, an private school at 2008 Westchester Ave., founded on September 11, 2001 with 13 students. The school has grown to 18 students over the last eight years, to include children from pre-kindergarten to 9th grade. The school is a part of an umbrella organization Islamic Cultural Center of North America (ICCNA), a Bronx-based organization that operates both the school and the mosque Masjid Al-Iman. “My wife and I have one prenuptial agreement,” said Moussa Drammeh, 47, the school’s founder and operations manager. “It was, if Allah blesses us to have children, they will never go to public school,” said Drammeh, who was born in Gambia, raised in Senegal, and immigrated to the United States in 1986. He is the executive director of ICCNA and the imam of Masjid Al-Iman. The Drammehs wanted to shield their children from what they believe is the immoral and corrupt behavior of public school children. “In the public schools in the Bronx, children can walk around with their pants hanging down. Thirteen-year-old girls are having sex; they exchange dirty emails,” said Drammeh, who has lived in the Bronx since 1986.
Shireena Drammeh, the school's principal, goes over the course material with Qur'an teacher M. D. Amin ul-Islam. The school's curriculum includes math, biology and the Qur'an. Photo By Mustafa Mehdi Vural

Shireena Drammeh, the school's principal, goes over the course material with Qur'an teacher M. D. Amin ul-Islam. Photo By Mustafa Mehdi Vural

He and his wife began looking for an Islamic school in the Bronx when their first daughter Ameena turned three years old. They found none in the Bronx, said Shireena Drammeh, 38, who was born in Guyana into a Muslim family of Indian descent immigrated to the United States in 1986. They checked out Islamic schools in Yonkers, Queens, New Jersey and Brooklyn. “We went to Long Island, and found a school there. But unfortunately, the taxes there were horrendous,” said Shireena. “Then, we came back and we decided to start our own school." Few families resort to creating their own school like the Drammehs, but a growing number of parents are turning to existing private Islamic schools so that their children learn Islamic principles while acquiring basic state-required education. “Parents are just awakening to the identity issue, and Islamic schools really are very important to establish Muslim identity for kids,” said Karen Keyworth, 52, co-founder of the Islamic Schools League of America, the only non-profit national organization that keeps track of and network full-time Islamic private schools across the U.S. There were just 50 schools in 1987, said Keyworth referring to the first small-scale research ever done about this subject. Until the founding of the League, there had been no organization keeping track of Islamic schools in the country and doing research about them. According to the League's research, the school numbers have not changed since the late 1990s. There are 240 full-time Islamic schools in the country with 32,000 students approximately according to the 2006 data. New York and New Jersey combined have 17 percent of the Islamic school population in the United States, said Keyworth, who is married with four children and lives in Michigan where she manages the League. Keyworth converted to Islam 32 years ago. The Islamic Leadership School was scheduled to open on what turned out to be a tragic day--September 11, 2001. Drammeh called an emergency meeting the moment he learned that the World Trade Center towers had been attacked by Al-Qaeda extremists. “Some parents worried about retaliation, saying we should postpone opening,” said Drammeh. But, he refused. “Let the world know the difference between the criminals and peace-loving Muslims,” said Drammeh.  And the school has been open ever since.
Tuition for The Islamic Leadership School, located at 2008 Westchester Avenue in the Bronx, is $3,500 a year. Photo By Mustafa Mehdi Vural

Tuition for The Islamic Leadership School, located at 2008 Westchester Avenue in the Bronx, is $3,500 a year. Photo By Mustafa Mehdi Vural

The school takes up small part of the first floor of two-story 25,000 square-foot building on Westchester Avenue in the Bronx. The building used to be car repair shop, with a warehouse on the first floor and a parking lot on the second floor. Inside the entrance is a large hall, with two administrative offices on the left that include two computers for students and a big mat spread over the floor where boys learn martial arts. At the end of the hall, two doors open out to a larger room for the mosque, Masjid Al-Imam, a vast space covered with plastic carpets for Muslims in the school and the community to pray. Drammeh has plans to renovate the building and expand the school through high school and college. For now, expansion plans are on hold as the school struggles to pay its rent, and finish renovations, which is in its third year. Parents pay up to $3,500 a year for the school. “The tuition fees can just pay two teachers full salaries,” said Drammeh. The school relies completely on tuition and fundraising dollars, neither of which is substantial. For the last four months, the school has not been able to pay its monthly $10,000 rent to the landlord, who is a Muslim immigrant from the Balkans. “If he kills us, he goes to jail,” said Drammeh smiling. “If he exercises patience, Allah rewards him,” he added. “He chose the reward.” “All the private schools by and large are in financial trouble,” said Keyworth. Islamic schools are not exceptions. Tuition and donations from the local community provide the school’s sole source of income, which barely cover operating costs. “Our weakest ring is fundraising,” said Drammeh. The donations are almost non-existent. But Drammeh would rather not talk business. The school for him is not a place of business. Pointing out his heart, he said he began the school with his heart, not with his brain. The struggling school often admits students whose parents cannot afford to pay the $3500 tuition. Sometimes Drammeh strikes a bargain with the parents. Al-Aqib’s mother, Berill Barna, 34, works as a cleaning woman and kindergarten aide at the school in exchange for the tuition for her five sons. "There are 475 kids in our registry that we are in contact with, but could not offer education because of lack of space," said Drammeh. The majority of the school’s students come from Africa or Middle Eastern countries, which reflect the demographic changes in the Bronx Muslim population, which has been growing steadily with immigrants from Mali, Ghana, Gambia, and other West African and Middle Eastern countries. “We are a big family here and it is a protected environment for our kids,” said Barna, who is a Polish immigrant and converted to Islam 11 years ago. Barna is married to a Muslim man from the Ivory Coast. “We are family,” said Amani Ahmed, a 14-year-old of Yemeni origins, and the school’s only 9th grader, tucking her hair under a black headscarf. “We see everyone almost every day and everywhere.” This could not be truer for Drammeh’s children, Ameena, a 12-year-old 8th grader; Mohammed, a 10-year-old 6th grader, and Mariam - Drammeh's 9-year-old epileptic dauther in the 1st grade. They have become used to seeing their father Moussa and mother Shireena Drammeh almost every hour of every day, not just at home but at school since the first day she started the kindergarten. Uniforms are a casual requirement: navy blue pants and white shirts for boys, and navy blue skirts and white, blue or black headscarves for girls.
Ameena Drammeh wants to be a doctor. Her parents checked out other Islamic schools in Yonkers, Queens, New Jersey and Brooklyn before settling at The Islamic Leadership School. Photo By Mustafa Mehdi Vural

Ameena Drammeh wants to be a doctor. Her parents checked out other Islamic schools in Yonkers, Queens, New Jersey and Brooklyn before founding The Islamic Leadership School. Photo By Mustafa Mehdi Vural

“Actually boys wear uniform,” corrected Ameena and Amani. “The girl’s uniform is just to cover yourself,” added Amani. “No matter what you wear, the important thing is to cover yourself.” The school starts at 8 a.m. and last until 4 p.m. except Fridays when it ends after “Salaat-ul-Jummah,” Friday prayer. On other weekdays, the students have to pray “dhuhr,” the noon prayer, and “asr,” afternoon prayer with their teachers in the masjid. They are not allowed to leave the building during breaks, including lunch breaks, except on Fridays when they are allowed to go out with their teachers and even to eat some junk food. Along with Arabic, Qur’an and Islamic Studies, a school day at the Islamic Leadership School is filled with standard academic subjects like English, Sciences, History, Math, and Geography. The school has seven teachers, all Muslim and women, except for the 28-year-old Qur’an teacher, M. D. Amin ul-Islam from Bangladesh. Last year, 15 students took the Regents exams and "four of them did 100 percent out of 100 percent of the test, excellent," said Drammeh while the rest passed the test with Level 4, the second highest score, added his wife Shireena Drammeh. "When I walked in here, I saw that they needed help," said Maricar, who had taught in Britain, Saudi Arabia and the U.S.  before she came to the Islamic Leadership School at the beginning of this academic year. She is not highly paid, "not like other schools or like public schools," said Maricar. "But, I do not want to teach in public schools." Maricar teaches math, science and biology, which includes evolution. “I tell the students that this is what scientists are telling us,” said Maricar, about the theory of evolution."We do not want to be narrow minded," added Maricar, who was born in Kenya and raised in Great Britain, graduated from the University of Sheffield in England. “But, this is not what Qur’an is saying.” There is no music course at the Islamic Leadership School. “I do not oppose music in principle,” said Drammeh, “as long as there is no dancing, no slang and curse in lyrics and no profanity.” The music of  prominent convert Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, is an example of the kind he approves of. Nor does the school provide physical activities for its students. “We teach martial arts to the boys,” said Drammeh. But, there was nothing for girls.
The school has been part of an interfaith program with the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan, a Jewish school. School founder Moussa Drammeh explains the project as "two holy states in the Holy Land". Photo By Mustafa Mehdi Vural

The school has been part of an interfaith program with the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan, a Jewish school. School founder Moussa Drammeh explains another project called "two holy states in the Holy Land" for the peace in the Middle East. Photo By Mustafa Mehdi Vural

There will be a play named “Healthy Islamic Relationships,” that the students will be performing later in the academic year. And, there is a character for a female student to play. The play authored by Moussa Drammeh is about Islamic gender roles and relationships between the sexes. The character called the “Groom” explains to the “Bride” how a healthy relationship works in Islam. Under his protection, the groom expects his wife to take care of the house and to aspire to be a professional, such as a doctor, lawyer, artist or banker.  The bride aggressively bombards the groom with questions, but in the end, happily agrees with him. For the last five years, the Islamic Leadership School has been part of an interfaith program with the Jewish school, Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan. “I actually got to learn more about Judaism and their beliefs and studies and we also got to meet lots of friends,” said Amani. “I taught the Jewish children about Islam. I think they know more about Islam than they did before.” By noon on December 10th, students prepared for lunch by first performing “wuduu,” the Islamic cleansing ritual for “dhuhr,” the noon prayer.
Adel Mohammed recites the call for prayer. He returned to the school three years after he lived in Yemen. Photo By Mustafa Mehdi Vural

Adel Mohammed recites the call for prayer. He returned to the school three years after he lived in Yemen. Photo By Mustafa Mehdi Vural

The seventh grader, Adel Mohammed, 13, knew that day it was his turn to recite “adhan,” the Muslim call to prayer, for “dhuhr.” He put the palms of his hands over his ears, and started to recite.  Students and teachers flocked to the dark blue plastic carpet of the masjid; men and boys lined up in the front carpet while women and girls lined up at the back. Al-Aqib straggled in late to the prayer.

Posted in Bronx Neighborhoods, Education3 Comments

The Riveras are One in a Million

By Mustafa Mehdi Vural and Jose Leyva

rivera3

The Riveras share their 18th floor apartment with three chihuahuas, birds and a small aquarium. Photo By Mustafa Mehdi Vural

The elevators break down at least twice a month in the Murphy Houses, a 20-story, low-income complex at 1805 Crotona Ave. in the Bronx. Disrupted service is an inconvenience for all its 714 residents. But a broken elevator poses an extra burden for Francisco Rivera, 31, from Puerto Rico, who lives on the 18th floor with his wife and two children. Francisco Rivera’s right leg was amputated 13 years ago when doctors found a cancerous tumor on his knee in Puerto Rico. At that time, Rivera was an 18-year-old boxer in high school, and also a husband and father of one daughter. Doctors at Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx found and removed another tumor in his brain last May, bringing his total number of tumors to 18. After numerous operations, he has lost half of his right lung and part of his groin. "There are no hospitals in Puerto Rico like in the U.S., there is no such technology," said Rivera's 29-year-old wife, Elizabeth, in Spanish. She was 13 when she met Francisco and 15 when she first gave birth to their daughter, Franshely. “Doctors told me that I had a year to live,” said Rivera recounting their ordeal in Puerto Rico. His cane leaned against the couch. And the walls in the living room were covered with the Puerto Rican flag. The Rivera family immigrated to the United States in 2000 in search of better medical treatment.
Photo By Mustafa Mehdi Vural

"I am a fighter, I have always been fighting for my life and for my family's well being," said Francisco Rivera. Photo By Mustafa Mehdi Vural

“The doctors say I am a miracle,” said Rivera. “I tell my husband you're a living miracle, because I've seen cases like yours and they just don't make it," said Elizabeth. Francisco survived brain surgery in May, but it has left his vision impaired in his left eye, and visible scars in his skull, which was reconstructed with metal implants. “I have small memory problems. Right now I'm taking pills to prevent epilepsy,” said Rivera. On a Monday afternoon in late October, the elevator was out of service again in the Murphy Houses. So the Rivera family had to make it down the stairs to go to Old Navy department store in Co-op City, in the Bronx. They were not going shopping. They were going to collect a $1,000 gift, along with new clothes as part of Old Navy's nation-wide project called "One in a Million." “It is inspiring to know that such a huge fashion store is interested in helping people like us,” said Rivera. “I think they are recognizing my own efforts to overcome the cancer.” This project is meant for each store manager to invest $1,000 in his or her community. The company reserved $1 million in total for this nationwide project that hopes to reach out to 1,000 families in need. “Anything that they can get is a help during this tough economy,” said Jenira Lopez, the store manager of Old Navy in Coop City. Early in October, Lopez reached out to Ivine Galarza, the District Manager of the Community Board 6, to identify a needy family in East Tremont. She had many residents to choose from. More than 40,000 people receive public assistance in East Tremont, which comes to over 50 percent of the population. In the Bronx, overall, 41 percent of the population is on welfare, 10 points more than the citywide average, according to 2008 district profile data. "Anyone of these families would have been candidate for this award that Francisco Rivera got," said Galarza. "I immediately thought of him," said Galarza. "I know of him and of his family and of his conditions for years. The situation that they are going through is terrible." Galarza noted that the city does not do enough to take care of the poor in her district. “This is unrealistic--$4 a day for a person to have lunch,” said Galarza, pointing to the figure in the official city document called “Guide to Cash Assistance Budgeting.” "At least in this holiday season, we are making one family happy out of 175,000 families that live in the confines of the Community Board 6." The Rivera family’s yearly income is approximately $20,400 a year, $1,000 below the poverty line for a family of four. The average household income in the Bronx is $34,031 compared to $53,448 citywide.
Photo By Mustafa Mehdi Vural

The Riveras have been married for 16 years and have spent 13 of those in hospitals. Photo By Mustafa Mehdi Vural

Francisco’s wife is the family’s main income provider. She works 30 hours a week as home health care attendant for Gotham Per Diem. "I take care of patients with cancer,” said Elizabeth. She earns $9 per hour, providing 60 percent of the family's income - almost $1,000 a month. The rest comes from the Supplemental Security Income, a federal welfare program for disabled people. "I just can't work. It wasn't a decision I made," said Rivera. He spends half of his time at home and the other half in the hospital. “I cook, clean the house and take care of our kids.” It is not easy for Francisco Rivera to execute his daily routine tasks without taking a morphine derivative to fight pain. Nor is it easy to make ends meet. The Riveras pay $510 a month for a two-bedroom apartment, which means that each of the family members live on approximately $10 a day. Elizabeth and Francisco know how to be economical and can now pay their bills without problem. But they realize their family’s expenses will increase as the kids grow up. Franshely Rivera, 14, is a 9th grader in Wings Academy in the Bronx. She is also taking ballet classes. Miguel Rivera, 10, is a 5th grader in CS 92 and he plays Little League baseball in “Caribe Little League,” the biggest league for the kids in the Bronx. But difficulties over the years have not kept the Riveras away from making long-term plans for the future. “The only thing I want, I dream of, is that my children finish undergraduate school and raise a family if they want,” said Rivera. College tuition will be difficult to manage. “We are going to save for the kids’ education," said Rivera about the $1,000 gift from Old Navy. Miguel, however, would prefer a plasma TV and Nintendo Wii, the latest model video game. “My children are respectful, obedient and studious,” said Rivera. He loves to spend time with his kids, who takes Miguel to baseball practice and to school. He even taught his son how to ride a bike with his amputated leg. “In the next three years I would like to take my family to Puerto Rico, I want my children to know their country and to meet our family,” said Rivera. Though Francisco has spent his entire adult life in hospitals, it is not a cause for disappointment for him. He said he sees hope in operation rooms, consultations, and the pills that he takes. “I am still alive, thank God. He has given me the strength to go forward and fight for my family which I adore,” said Rivera. “I haven’t surrendered.”

Posted in Bronx Life, Bronx Neighborhoods, Money1 Comment

More Homeless in the City since the Great Depression

by Alex Berg and Mustafa Mehdi Vural

Stephanie Francisco, a 19-year-old mother of one, returns to the shelter after she takes her 3-year-old Kiara to ticker treat. Photo by Mustafa Mehdi Vural

Stephanie Francisco, a 19-year-old mother, returns to the shelter after she takes her 3-year-old daughter trick-or-treating on Halloween. Photo by Mustafa Mehdi Vural

Karen Suazo left Honduras to come to the United States in 2002, hoping to find work in a hair salon, and to improve her life. Instead, five years after stepping onto U.S. soil, she moved into a homeless shelter, alone, unemployed and pregnant with her first son. “I never think that I am going to be in the shelter. Never. So bad,” said Suazo, 25, holding her 3-month-old son in her arms. For the last two years, Suazo has lived with her two children in East Tremont’s Cross Bronx Residence, a shelter for victims of domestic violence. “Different people coming in every day, too much people coming in,” Suazo said, describing the near-constant flow of those seeking refuge. Suazo is one of 39,000 people seeking shelter each night in the city’s homeless system, a record number that has grown by 45 percent since Mayor Michael Bloomberg took office eight years ago. According to a recently released report from the Coalition for the Homeless, a non-profit advocacy organization, more people are seeking shelter in 2009 in New York City than they did during the Great Depression of the 1930s—this despite Bloomberg’s 2004 initiative aimed at reducing the homeless population in the city by two-thirds in five years. Bloomberg’s 2004 Housing Stability Plus program (HSP) aimed to provide a city-wide rental assistance program for homeless families, chronically homeless single adults in shelter and parents awaiting housing in order to reunify with their children in foster care. The plan offered five-year housing subsidies to homeless families that decreased in value by 20 percent each year. This plan replaced the former system that gave priority to homeless individuals and families for public housing and federal Section 8 vouchers. Many in the Cross Bronx shelter said it is more difficult than ever to find affordable housing, as a result. “People tell me that it was so easy before,” said Suazo. “You stay in shelter for six months and they take you to an apartment. Now, it is so hard. My friend has been living in the shelter for three years.” Shandell Jackson, a 28-year old mother of one daughter at the Cross Bronx Residence, waited for two years for a voucher. Jackson, who works for the Department of Parks and Recreation, entered the shelter system because she was a victim of domestic violence. She had been to six shelters over the past three years before coming to the Cross Bronx Residence.
Cross Bronx Residence is located at 505 East 175th Street in East Tremont, Bronx. Photo By Mustafa Mehdi Vural

Cross Bronx Residence is located at 505 East 175th Street in East Tremont, Bronx. Photo By Mustafa Mehdi Vural

"We don't get nothing.  Nothing ever gets done.  They try to get you put out of the shelter," Jackson said. The more than 50 families in the shelter are supposed to receive basic supplies such as pillows and blankets. Jackson complained that the supplies either don’t arrive or are stolen. "It's an argument if I go and ask for some tissue," Jackson said.  "We don't get roach spray--we're supposed to get roach spray. You've got people in here that are not U.S. citizens and they don't have anything." Despite everything, Karen Suazo, a Honduran immigrant, remains optimistic about eventually leaving the shelter with her children. “I want to work hard,” Suazo said, “to give them a better life.”

Posted in Bronx Neighborhoods, Politics1 Comment

Vanishing Post Offices

by Mustafa Mehdi Vural

Janice Houston finds Crotona Park Post Office convenient and fast. Photo By Mustafa Mehdi Vural

Janice Houston finds Crotona Park Post Office convenient and fast. Photo By Mustafa Mehdi Vural

Almost every week in good weather, Barbara Harris leaves her Bronx apartment to walk one block to her local post office on Boston Road in Crotona Park East in the Bronx to send presents to one of her 21 grand children living in Texas and Florida. The trip may soon become impossible for the 59-year-old grandmother. The Crotona Park Station Post Office is on the list of U.S. Post Offices slated for closure. Earlier this year, the U.S. Postal Service announced it would be forced to shutter 677 local post offices around the country, including 53 in the city, due to last year´s record $7 billion loss in revenue. A recent revised list slated 371 to close, including 16 in the city. Seven in the Bronx are included on both lists, including the station in Crotona. "It is going to be tragic for me," said Harris, clutching her shopping cart handle for support. "I cannot go to another one. I cannot get around easily." "A lot of people do not drive and they need this place where it is. It is not fair," said Daman Brown, a 41-year-old traffic agent at the New York Police Department, placing his mail in a mail box before rushing away. One customer has used this post office for nearly 50 years. "I got here in 1960 and the post office was where it is today," said Taylor Carton, a 71-year-old retired resident, waiting in line to send his mail. Crotona Park Post Office is located at a busy hub where Boston Road and Southern Boulevard intersect East 174th Street. Others wondered how local businesses might be affected if the post office closed its doors. "Possibly some people will lose their jobs," said Patrick Onapie, a 47-year-old broker and notary, rushing from the post office to his office across the street. "The post office is the life blood of businessmen around this area." The closure of the Crotona Park Post Office would leave the vast Boston Road north-south corridor from East 167th Street to Bronx Park South without a postal outlet. "I think that since it is still open, I have not heard any complaints," said John Dudley, District Manager of Bronx Community Board Three. That will likely change once it is locked. Elected officials of the Bronx, including Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Congressmen Joseph Crowley and Eliot Engel asked the U.S. Postal Service by letter to reconsider closing all seven, which amounts to 17 percent of all the postal stations in the Bronx. Along with Crotona Park, the other branches on the list are Botanical, Clason Point, Hillside, Melcourt, Oak Point, and Van Nest post offices. Six of the proposed locations are one mile and a half or more away from the nearest station. Closing post offices is not the only solution to the loss of mail volume caused by the recession and changes in consumer on-line use. John Potter, the 72nd Postmaster General of the 234-year-old US Postal Service, already cut $6 billion in expenses and reduced the postal service workforce by 40,000 positions. But he still predicts $5 billion per year for the foreseeable future. "There are critics of the post office who contend that we should simply shut it down," said Richard R. John, a professor at the Graduate School of Journalism in Columbia University. "I think there is a vital role for the post office and I do not believe that law makers are going to permit the post office to lose the privileges that keep this hybrid government institution."

Posted in Bronx Blog, Bronx Life, Bronx Neighborhoods0 Comments