Tag Archive | "The Bronx"

Latinos in the Bronx piece together their own history, NY Daily News

As part of a year-long effort to collect the Bronx’s Latino history, the Bronx County Historical Society has installed a new exhibit featuring vintage photos, vinyl records of Latino music and old newspapers, the NY Daily News reports.

“We want to open up a dialogue about this,” Angel Hernandez told the newspaper. “We want to give people the opportunity to speak up and become a part of Bronx history.”

Today, Hispanics make up 53.5% of the borough’s population, up from 48.3% a decade ago, according to the latest government census.

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New details of tampering in standardized tests out, NYTimes

A report published in NYTimes revealed there have been 1,250 accusations of test tampering or grade changing across city schools since Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg took control of the public schools system.

Of that number, 14 cases had been substantiated including one against a teacher at Middle School 219 in the Bronx. The teacher received a 90-day suspension without pay after investigators claimed he had written answers on the back of paper rulers for the eighth-grade math examinees. The teacher has denied the allegations.

In another case a Bronx assistant principal at the High School for Contemporary Arts was found of tampering with student answers on the June 2008 algebra Regents exam. The assistant principal had been dismissed.

 

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Feds seek to solve impasse over Bronx bridge, NY Daily News

A Bronx bridge project, which has languished for years due to a legal fight between Amtrak and New York State’s Department of Transportation, could finally become a reality,  thanks to the intervention of the federal government.

According to the NY Daily News, the bridge over an Amtrak rail line will eventually connect two new waterfront parks located in Hunts Point and West Farms Square. It will serve pedestrians and cyclists in the area.

Rep. Jose Serrano (D-South Bronx) asked the the U.S. Department of the Interior to broker a meeting between the state transportation office and Amtrak, which has reportedly refused to cooperate with the project, now costing taxpayers $150 million.

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Former math teacher gets things done in Bronx schools, NY Times

With his 40 years of experience in education – starting as a math teacher in 1971 — Bob Cohen, 59, of the New York Department of Education is transforming some of the most troubled schools in the Bronx, according to NY Times.

Cohen has risen to the most important job of his life, as leader of Cluster One, Network 104, which consists of 31 schools in the Bronx – one of the city’s 60 school networks. In 2008, when he first assumed his post as an advocate for principals in New York’s education bureaucracy, Cohen had two schools on the list of persistently failing schools and thus in danger of being closed. Today, P.S. 230 went to an A from an F, and I.S. 313 to an A from a D.

Eric Nadelstern, a former deputy chancellor of the Education Department, said that what makes Cohen good is that he knows the system and is “humble enough to realize his job is supporting the work of principals and teachers in classrooms.”

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Advocates to Obama: Keep your promise

Around 400 concerned Bronx residents, politicians, and clergy marched down 159th Street and the Grand Concourse on Sunday imploring President Barack Obama to finally sign an executive order reforming America’s immigration laws.

It was an election promise the president failed to keep, the activists said. “Before he became President he promised us he will fix the problem with our immigration system in one year,” said Joel Bauza, pastor at Calvary Church in the Bronx and one of the organizers. “Three years later, we’re still waiting for him.”

Protesters said they became alarmed last week when the federal court in Alabama upheld a strict law requiring police and public school officials to verify the immigration status of detainees and students.

“The idea that just because you are brown skinned, you will be asked to show immigration papers is ridiculous and wrong,” said Bauza, from his perch in the back of an old pickup truck, where he was leading the marchers in chants. “They’re punishing all immigrants for the wrongdoing of a few.”

New York has approximately 625,000 undocumented immigrants, the fourth largest population in the nation, according to the Pew Hispanic center, a nonpartisan research organization. Half of the city’s undocumented residents live in the Bronx.

New York State Sen. Ruben Diaz, Sr., who called the March for Dignity of Immigrants, walked in front of the demonstrators arms linked with elected officials and ministers from the Hispanic clergy organization. The protesters chanted, “Yes we can, no more deportation, Obama, keep your promise, and no more separating families.”

The rally showed a growing disillusionment from the president’s key supporters in the last election. In 2008, an overwhelming 89 percent of Bronx voters cast their ballot for Obama. Sen. Diaz, Sr. warned that could change in 2012.

Others were more blunt. If the president doesn’t sign an immigration reform bill, he’s going to have to leave in 2012 said Dr. Hector Chiesa, a senior pastor at the Church of God on Third Avenue.

A contentious debate over immigration rages on the campaign trail among Republican contenders. Activists in the Bronx said their concern is bigger than who wins the next election.

“The government that is for the people will remain, it doesn’t matter the party line,” said Bauza. “Everybody is trying to make immigration into a Republican, Democratic, liberal or conservative movement, what happened to the people?”

Since Obama took office in January 2009, more than one million immigrants have been deported from the United States. That has raised many eyebrows around the country. During a roundtable discussion with Latino media last month, Obama sought to explain the staggering number of deportation saying the statistics is deceptive.

“With the stronger border enforcement, we’ve been apprehending folks at the borders and sending them back,” said Obama. “That is counted as a deportation even though they may have only been held for a day, or 48 hours.”

Activists insist separating loved ones is not a way to promote family values. “Deportation had left broken homes, children without fathers and mothers, families without hope,” said Diaz, Sr.. “The President can’t simply blame the Republicans or members of Congress for inaction. He can put this issue to rest if he wants to.”

The protesters welcomed the recent weeklong nationwide sweep that resulted in the arrest of 2901 convicted illegal immigrants, but cautioned that each case should be considered separately.

“Did they get arrested for criminal activities or simply because they were jaywalking?” asked Bauza.

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Marble Hill’s Bronx vs. Manhattan status, City Hall

Marble Hill is a complicated place. By land mass, it sits in the Bronx. But by legislation, it’s actually part of Manhattan. City Hall news provides a history lesson about why the anomaly exists.

In 1895, city engineers wanted to connect the Hudson and East rivers to aid shipping efficacy, so they dug a canal beneath Marble Hill.In 1912 when Bronx County was created, and Marble Hill was part of it, reports City Hall.

But in 1984, a Marble Hill resident called in for jury duty in Manhattan tried to get out of it by claiming she was a Bronx County resident. The case never went anywhere, but the judge made the decision that Marble Hill was part of the Bronx. Afterward, then-assemblyman John Brian Murtagh sponsored a resolution making Marble Hill part of Manhattan, City Hall writes.

So, Marble Hill is part of Manhattan and New York County, but is physically part of the Bronx. It has a Bronx area code, zip code and services like sanitation, but elects its officials from Manhattan.

 

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Cop kills 22-year old in the Bronx while driving under the influence

Early Wednesday morning off duty cop, Luis Arnao, hit pedestrian Tyre Chisholm while speeding down White Plains Road in Wakefield. Chisolm was just 22-years old. “He didn’t deserve this,” said the victim’s aunt, Karen Chisholm, “He wanted to get a job and prosper.” The Daily News reported Arnao was charged with vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

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Stress from “ticket-fixing” trial may have been cause in cop’s suicide attempt

Wednesday morning 62-year old police officer Robert McGee touched the third rail of an elevated train track in the Bronx in a suicide attempt. Officer McGee is one of the more than a dozen Bronx cops charged with helping their friends and family avoid paying traffic tickets. The New York Times quotes the president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, Patrick J. Lynch, saying that it was “no surprise that New York City police officers have reached a breaking point,” as the investigation had dragged on for months.

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