Tag Archive | "South Bronx"

Occupy Wall Street protester takes on the South Bronx, NY Daily News

Single Occupy Wall Street became Occupy 161st St. Tuesday, with protester from the downtown movement canvassing a welfare line in the South Bronx, the New York Daily News reports.

Protesters came from Zuccotti Park to the Melrose Job Center to protest New York’s welfare system and rally support for the cause.

Every weekday morning, hundreds of single mothers and out-of-work fathers queue up outside the Melrose welfare center, forming a despondent line that stretches three full blocks, from Morris Ave. to the Grand Concourse.

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Aspiring rapper slain near Soundview

Police said they have no suspect in the slaying of Taiwon “Ty” Turner who was remembered by friends and relatives as “The King of Cypress Avenue.” (TED REGENCIA/The Bronx Ink)

Taiwon “Ty” Turner was an aspiring rapper who listened to Dr. Dre and Jay-Z, his favorite artists.

“He was very kind, very quiet, he was just a wonderful kid,” Sonia Taylor said of her nephew, who was gunned down on the grounds of the Sotomayor public housing complex near Soundview on Sunday evening, Oct. 9. “It’s a waste, it’s a waste.”

A cousin remembered his smile, and his partying spirit. “He treated me like a sister,” said Crystal Willis, 16, a cousin from Harlem, who gathered with other relatives near the scene of the shooting at 1060 Ave.

Police said they received a 911 call saying a male was shot around 8:18 p.m. on Sunday. Two residents of the nearby apartment building said they heard three gunshots shortly before police arrived.

Turner received gunshot wounds to his chest, police said. He was transported to the Jacobi Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Not including this pre-Columbus Day murder, the 43rd precinct has reported 11 homicides so far this year through Oct. 2. To date, that is up 37.5 percent from last year’s eight murders. On Sept. 25, 22-year-old Anna Ramlochan was killed one block away from where Turner was gunned down.

Earlier in the afternoon at the Mott Haven neighborhood where Turner lived in South Bronx, a separate makeshift memorial was set up outside his apartment building at the corner of East 141st Street and Cypress Avenue. A shirt in his favorite color, red, bore messages written in black: “I love you Baby Boy with all my heart – Buffy,” one mourner wrote. “R.I.P. PlayBoy,” read another.

As a group of mostly middle-aged and elderly women sat nervously nearby, an unidentified man shouted angrily, promising revenge for the victim. The brief commotion attracted dozens of onlookers. Shortly after, two police officers in a squad car showed up and the crowd dispersed.

Among those in the crowd was Jesse George, 27, who had known Turner for six years. George said Turner was “kind of a loner” who “played no games.” He urged the police to find and arrest Turner’s unidentified killer.

At the time of the incident, Turner was supposed to watch a football game with his uncle and neighbor Mel Mosely, said the latter’s wife Sonia Taylor. He never showed up. Taylor also wondered why Turner had not played his favorite rap music Sunday night. The morning after, Taylor heard the news of her nephew’s death.

“I just stopped crying a little while ago,” said Taylor, adding that Turner’s passing reminded her of her own son’s slaying in 1991.

“I’ve been doing some mourning in a little while,” Taylor said of Turner. “His beats is always gonna be on my mind,” she said, adding that at the time of his death, Turner was writing his own rap lyrics and composing some music.

Turner is survived by his parents. According to Taylor, the victim also left a son and a pregnant wife.

“It’s very hard,” Taylor said. “It’s a mess.”

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‘Ghetto Film School’ honors local student filmmakers tonight, NY Daily News

The Ghetto Film School, a program that has been running in the South Bronx for over a decade, is expected to honor ten local student filmmakers tonight by showcasing their work at the Walter Reade Theatre in Manhattan, reports the New York Daily News.

The event will present ten six-minute films created by the students, who have completed either the school’s 15-month or eight-week programs in cinematic storytelling.

Three of the filmmakers will receive $1000 scholarships from Google, awarded by a panel of judges that includes Oscar-winning actress Melissa Leo.

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107-year-old Bronx woman remembers hard life, Daily News reports

It’s hard to imagine, but 107-year-old Bronx resident Louise (Big Momma) Mitchell can remember going to pick cotton in Georgia when she was 5, with “not a penny to show for it.” The New York Daily News honored her latest birthday.

Mitchell now lives in Morris Heights with house-call medical care. Instead of completing school past the third grade, Mitchell went to work. After the cotton fields, it was washing clothes for a wealthy landowner, the Daily News reports.

Eventually, she relocated to New Jersey to work as a housekeeper, and then did the same wealthy Jewish households in Manhattan, but lived in Harlem and in the South Bronx.

She said young people “should pray to God their life isn’t hard like mine.”

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The possible closing of post offices in the Bronx feels like government abandonment to some

17 post offices in the Bronx, reports WNYC News, are slated to be closed. Many Bronx residents rely on the post office to pay bills, rent, and keep in contact with family in other countries. The removal of post offices would disrupt the daily workings of the neighborhood, simply making life harder for some. The USPS encourages users to conduct business online, but internet access is a luxury  for many Bronx residents. “It sends the wrong message to this community and others like it,” said Miquela Craytor, Executive Director of Sustainable South Bronx, ‘It says that you don’t matter, that you are not valued.”

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Top Stories of the Day

New lawyer set to try Bronx prosecutor, Jennifer Troiano’s DWI Case

Bronx prosecutor, Jennifer Troiano, fired her lawyer in her DWI hearing scheduled to begin later this year. Her now former lawyer, Howard Weiswasser, was preparing to put his own daughter, and close friend of Troiano, on the stand. The Daily News reports that Troiano’s new lawyer, Steven Epstein, is known for winning the acquittal of former Bronx prosecutor Stephen Lopresti, also on a DWI charge.

Surprise appearance at yesterday’s Ferragosto festival

The Bronx hosted its annual Ferragosto festival in Little Italy yesterday. The festival celebrates all things Italian, and yesterday according to The Daily News, that included baseball legend Babe Ruth. His granddaughter paid a surprise visit. “I wish he could be here now,” Linda Ruth Tosetti said of her late grandfather.

Education is the path out of poverty in the Bronx

The South Bronx has a new program for youth. Hunts Point Alliance for Children is poised to begin an early literacy program next month. Maryann Hedaa, Executive Director of the center, talks to the New York Post about their new project.

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Flashback: Bush at Yankee Stadium after 9/11

On October 30, 2001, the Yankees played the Diamondbacks in Game 3 of the World Series. The Boston Herald recaps how, as President George W. Bush threw out the first pitch, everyone was considered a potential terrorist – even George Steinbrenner and Joe Torre.

Bronx has 4 of NYC’s most ‘dangerous’ schools

The New York State Education Department posted a list “persistently dangerous” schools on its website last week. The New York Post reports that of the nine New York City schools on the list for 2011-12, four are in the Bronx – Aspire, Soundview Academy for Culture and Scholarship, PS 11 Highbridge, and IS 190. The Post says that Aspire Prep’s 554 students tallied 88 “violent and disruptive” incidents in 2009-10. These included sex crimes, robbery and assaults.

Bronxites help farm devastated by Irene

Two busloads of Bronx families traveled to Schoharie in upstate New York on Saturday with emergency supplies for a farm devastated by the remnants of Hurricane Irene, says an Associated Press report in the Wall Street Journal. These families from the South Bronx were just a few among the 1,000 and more that Richard Ball’s farm has been feeding since 2009.

 

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Emotional pleas aside, panel votes to close Bronx Academy

When Angel Sosa transferred to Bronx Academy High School in the South Bronx almost a year and a half ago as a sophomore, he only had 10 credits out of the roughly 44 needed to graduate. “I woke up this morning with three acceptance letters to college,” the 18-year-old senior told  the city’s Panel for Educational Policy, which on Thursday night voted to close the school.

In March, the Department of Education proposed the phase out of Bronx Academy because of its poor performance and its inability to turn its failing record around quickly. The school received two F’s and a C in its last three report cards.

Students and teachers presented data to demonstrate the changes the school has implemented in the past eight months under the leadership of new Principal Gary Eisinger. According to a 43-page document distributed to the panel, the school saw a 25 percent increase in the number of students who passed the Regents exams, and attendance is up to 73 percent from 67 percent.

Senior Snanice Kittel, 16, told the panel members that  her teachers genuinely cared about students and were helping them to succeed. “They will call in the morning to make sure you go to class. And they will even visit your house and talk to your parents if you haven’t come,” she said, explaining that these practices were put in place under the new administration.

Their case was not persuasive enough to convince the panel to vote to save the school.

“We are proud of the work Gary has done in the school,” said Deputy Chancellor Marc Sternberg. “Even if there has been improvement, it’s well below what we expect to see,” he said, adding that the numbers presented by the school staff was inaccurate and that its own assessment revealed a different story.

Frederick R. Coscia, a statistician and economics teacher at Bronx Academy, insisted the Department of Education was basing its decision to close the school on two-year-old data. “We deserve our own report this year,” he said.

Monica Major, the Bronx representative to the panel, requested a postponement of the vote to phase out of the school. The motion was denied.

“We asked for a miracle, we got it and now we will not see the end of it,” said Major as the audience yelled at the panel to “look at the data.” She reminded her colleagues on the panel that Bronx Academy High School is a transfer school that takes students who  have already failed in other schools. Opened in 2003, this “transfer school” serves an alternative for overage students who have trouble graduating from a regular high school.

Despite acknowledging the work done by transfer schools and what they represent, the newly appointed Chancellor Dennis Walcott said Bronx Academy “has not done the job.” “We base our decisions on facts and not solely on emotions,” he said, citing the school’s poor performance and its inclusion in the New York State’s “persistent lower achieving” schools list.

“We cannot allow more students to go to a school that is not performing at the standards,” Walcott said.

After four and half hours of testimony and amid chorus of “lies, lies” and “shame on you,” the panel approved the phase-out of Bronx Academy by nine votes to five. Only the five borough representatives opposed the closure. Starting in September, the school will not accept new students and will have until June 2013 to graduate those who are currently enrolled. It will be replaced by Bronx Arena High School, a transfer school that will open its door for the 2011-2012 school year.

English teacher Robert MacVicar expressed his disappointment with the chancellor and the panel for not giving the school a one-year reprieve. “I am saddened by Mr. Walcott’s and Mayor Bloomberg’s failure to take reasonable and compassionate account of our students’ deep and abiding goodness, despite their sometimes soul-trying circumstances at home and on the mean streets of South Bronx,” he said.

Visibly upset, Angel Sosa asked why the panel did not take his testimony and others who spoke into consideration. “I had come with hope,” he said.

As students and supporters of the school left, Principal Eisinger said he appreciated the support he received.

“I put a lot of heart into the school,’’ he said, “and it shows.”

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