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Council Majority Leader Joel Rivera remembers heroic 9/11 efforts of Bronx residents

In response to the death of Osama bin Laden, Council Majority Leader Joel Rivera (district 15) issued a statement, praising President Obama for his leadership.

“We must thank President Obama for showing great leadership in authorizing the take down of Osama Bin Laden in a targeted and focused attack that sparred the lives of civilians. It is without question that we must wholeheartedly thank all those serving in the armed forces and intelligence community, who have continued to sacrifice in this pursuit of defending liberty and justice.”

The Bronx Council Majority Leader also shared his thoughts on the heroic 9/11 efforts of key borough community members.

“We will never forget the over three thousand innocent lives that were lost, including the eight brothers from Recuse Company 3 and the countless others who have passed in battle like Lance Corporal Alberto Francesconi, which we recently honored. As the face of terror has been silenced, let us remind the world that the voice of our people has not, because We will never forget!”, stated Rivera.

The 15th district includes the communities of Bathgate, Belmont, Crotona, Fordham, East Tremont, Van Nest and West Farms.

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Council Member James Vacca shares heartfelt words for Bronx 9/11 victims

Council Member James Vacca’s office (13th district) just issued a statement on the death of bin Laden. Born and raised in Pelham Bay, Vacca expressed solemn words for the families of Bronx 9/11 victims.

“Just as the Bronx shared in the pain and the loss that followed the 9/11 attacks, the Bronx shares in the solemn celebration that comes with today’s news. Our borough lost 142 sons and daughters on September 11. Knowing that the man responsible for such unthinkable violence has met his demise doesn’t end the longing that loved ones have suffered since. But it does bring consolation that as we approach the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we’re that much closer to attaining justice.”

The 13th District includes the communities of Throggs Neck, Country Club, City Island, Pelham Bay, Morris Park, and Pelham Parkway.

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Bronx Muslim Center’s founder weighs in on Bin Laden’s death

Mohammed Solaiman Ali, founder and general secretary of the Bronx Muslim Center commented in a phone interview on the death of Bin Laden and how many Bronx Muslims in the community are reacting.

“We are very proud of America. We were also afraid you know? We did not want another attack here or in another country. As a Muslim, I feel very proud. Obama is a good president…and today we will pray for our country. Bin Laden is an enemy of Islam we are against what he did. Today we are happy, this is great news. There is nothing in the Quran (or the Holy Book) that says to kill. Islam does not tolerate terrorists. I am very happy to hear this news.”

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A Maundy Thursday Passover

A Maundy Thursday Passover

On the eve of crucifixion, Jesus was said to have a Seder meal. To commemorate the Last Supper, over 60 parishioners at St.Peter’s Episcopal Church, took part in their first Passover meal.


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In observance of Maundy Thursday or the Lord's Supper, a Seder service is held at St. Peter's Episcopal Church. (Photo Credit: Semhar Woldeyesus)

Posted in Culture, Slideshows, The Bronx Beat0 Comments

bronx precinct map

[VIDEO] Crime in the Bronx: do the numbers reflect the TV image?

By: Ethan Frogget, Umar Muhammad, and Semhar Woldeysus

When “American Idol” featured a dismal portrait of the Bronx in a segment about one of its contestants earlier this year, the borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. wasn’t exactly thrilled.

The Bronx where contestant Travis Orlando grew up was portrayed as a borough full of crime. “They disrespected us in the Bronx,” Diaz said. “They erased two and a half decades of hard work by elected officials, by community leaders, and community organizations. We are so tired of being depicted in a negative light.”

The recent fatal shooting of two young men at West Fordham Road and University Avenue  prompted the Bronx Ink team to take a closer look at the available crime data to see who’s right, the Bronx BP or AI.  The team looked at CompStat gathered by the New York City Police Department.

The results were startling.

Diaz was dead-on when he said that the Bronx had improved in the past two decades. The fact is the crime rate in the Bronx has decreased by 75 percent since 1990. But in three precincts (43, 44, and 52) where crime has also dropped, the share of overall violent crimes remains the same.

These precincts fall within the neighborhoods of Soundview, Norwood, and Morris Heights. Last week’s shooting of two young men (a suspect, Yenfri Ramirez, 16, has been charged with murder and attempted murder)  happened  in the 52nd precinct.

In 1990, 27 percent of murders and 34 percent of rapes reported in the Bronx occurred in these neighborhoods. Even after two decades the proportion of overall remain at 31 and 33 percent, respectively.

What does that mean?

Of the 643 murders reported in the Bronx in 1990, 177 took place within the above-mentioned neighborhoods. Of the 644 rapes reported that same year, 225 were within the same three neighborhoods.

Today, the percentage of the borough’s overall crime remains the same in these neighborhoods. Of the 127 murders reported in 2010, 39 were within the 43rd, 44th, and 52nd precinct. And of the 293 rapes reported, 96 took place within these neighborhoods.

According to a crime report from, you are twice as likely to be a victim of crime in the Bronx than anywhere else in the country. The crime rate indexes, gathered by various groups on and confirm the statistics.

Some say the picture if actually worse. Crime statistics in New York City have come under fire by some who say they do not present an accurate portrait.   The department  has been accused of downgrading offenses to make crime rates appear lower. In January, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly announced that a committee of lawyers and former federal prosecutors would review the crime reporting system. However, the  department claimed that in in more than 500,000 crime reports reviewed annually, its Quality Assurance Division  identified an annual misclassification rate of approximately 1.5%.

“By empanelling experienced, independent, objective experts to review our crime reporting system and the quality control mechanisms we have in place,” Kelly said in a statement to accompany the announcement. “I hope to establish the overall reliability of our statistics and identify any areas in need of improvement.”

Posted in Bronx Neighborhoods, Former Featured, Video2 Comments

DIGITAL BRONX:  Bronx Bloggers Unite

DIGITAL BRONX: Bronx Bloggers Unite

Clairsel Gonzalez (Photo Credit: Semhar Woldeyesus)

Meet Clairisel Gonzalez, social media enthusiast and founder of the Bronx Blogging Network (also known as the Bronx Entrepreneurs Network) From Melrose to Morris Park, the group of bloggers has the Bronx covered. In our video Q&A, Gonzalez explains how blogging can help local entrepreneurs cash in, and contribute to the borough’s digital landscape.

To find out more about the Bronx Blogging Network, check out their Facebook page:

Click here for more stories on the digital Bronx.

Posted in Bronx Neighborhoods, Video0 Comments

Geraldine Ferraro, political trailblazer dies at age 75

Geraldine Ferraro, the first female vice presidential candidate (on a major party ticket) died Saturday at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Born and raised in the South Bronx, Ferraro paved the way for female political leadership. For the last decade Ferraro battled myeloma, a blood cancer. She is survived by her husband and three children.

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Delayed and Derailed

Delayed and Derailed

When the economic collapse of 2008 shattered Wall Street, employment in the Bronx grew by eight percent. The newly released US Census data for New York confirms that a population shift has emerged in the Bronx, with more people choosing to live and work inside its borders. For residents like O’neil Downer, more people and more jobs has translated into a much longer commute. But the MTA has yet to catch up.

Posted in Bronx Life, Bronx Neighborhoods, Former Featured, Multimedia, Slideshows, Video0 Comments

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