Wednesday, November 26, 2014

City Island News BX: What do you know about Thanksgiving?

City Island News BX: What do you know about Thanksgiving?: What do you know about Thanksgiving? Community Board News N’ Views By Father Richard F. Gorman Chairman Community Bo...

What do you know about Thanksgiving?

What do you know about Thanksgiving?
Community Board
News N’ Views
Father Richard F. Gorman
Community Board #12 (The Bronx)
BRONX, NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 26- Thanksgiving is truly an American holiday. It originated in the New World. Even before it became a national holiday established by law, generations of Americans celebrated a day of thanksgiving for blessings received. Americans, despite diversity in faith traditions, racial and ethnic background, economic status, gender, age, or physical and mental condition uniformly anticipate and celebrate Thanksgiving Day.
One could suppose, then, that Americans know all that is fact about Thanksgiving. Do they? How about you, neighbors and friends? For example, do you know any or all of the following …
  • The first Thanksgiving Day was held in the Autumn of 1621, included 50 Pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag Indians, and lasted three days. Many historians believe that only five women were present at that first Thanksgiving, as many women settlers didn't survive that difficult first year in the New World. 
  • Thanksgiving didn't become a national holiday until over 200 years later. Sarah Josepha Hale, the woman who actually wrote the classic song “Mary Had a Little Lamb” convinced President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 to make Thanksgiving a national holiday, after writing letters for 17 years campaigning for this to happen.
  • Historians say that no turkey was served at the first Thanksgiving. What was on the menu? Deer or venison, ducks, geese, oysters, lobster, eel and fish were. They probably ate pumpkins, but no pumpkin pies. They also did not eat mashed potatoes or cranberry relish, but they probably ate cranberries. There were no “Turduckens”  --  i.e., a turkey stuffed with a duck that is stuffed with a chicken. These were nowhere to be found during that first Thanksgiving.
  • The first Thanksgiving was eaten with spoons and knives, but no forks! Forks were not even introduced to the Pilgrims until 10 years later and were not a popular utensil until the eighteenth century. The Pilgrims, prior to utilizing forks, did use their fingers, however.
  • Thanksgiving is the reason for T.V. dinners. In 1953, Swanson had so much extra turkey  --  260 tons  --  that a salesman told them they should package it onto aluminum trays with other sides like sweet potatoes. Ergo, the first T.V. dinner was born!
  • Thanksgiving was almost a fast and not a feast! The early settlers gave thanks by praying and abstaining from food, which is what they planned on doing to celebrate their first harvest, that is, until the Wampanoag Indians joined them and  --  lucky for us!   --  turned their fast into a three-day feast!
  • Each year, the President of the United States pardons a turkey and spares it from being eaten for Thanksgiving dinner. The first turkey pardon ceremony started with President Harry S. Truman in1947.
  • Why is Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November? President Abraham Lincoln said Thanksgiving would be the fourth Thursday in November, but, in 1939, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt moved it up a week hoping it would help improve the Christmas shopping season and spur the economy during the Depression era. It never caught on and it was changed back two years later.
  • The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade began in 1924 with 400 employees marching from Convent Ave to 145TH  Street in New York City.  No large balloons were at this parade, as it featured only live animals from Central Park Zoo.
  • Turkey is not responsible for drowsiness or the dreaded "food coma." Scientists say that extra glass of wine, the high-calorie meal or relaxing after a busy work schedule is what makes one drowsy!
  • How did the tradition of watching football on Thanksgiving start? The National Football League started the Thanksgiving Classic Games in 1920 and, since then, the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys have hosted games on Turkey Day. In 2006, a third game was added with different teams hosting.
  • Wild turkeys can run 20 miles per hour when they are scared, but domesticated turkeys are bred are heavier and cannot run quite that fast.
  • Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird of the United States instead of the eagle.
  • Americans eat 46,000,000 turkeys each Thanksgiving.
  • Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's first meal in space after walking on the moon was foil packets with roasted turkey.
  • The heaviest turkey on record, according to the Guinness Book of Records, weighed 86 pounds.
  • Californians consume the most turkey in the United States on Thanksgiving Day!
  • Female turkeys, called “hens,” do not gobble. Only male turkeys gobble.
  • The average turkey for Thanksgiving weighs 15 pounds.
  • Campbell's soup created green bean casserole for an annual cookbook 50 years ago. It now sells $20 million worth of cream of mushroom soup.
So how many of these pearls of wisdom did you know?  Regardless of your expertise in Thanksgiving Day trivia, there is one most important thing that all of us know-- viz., that the need for and the origin of Thanksgiving Day both spring from a common yearning to acknowledge God’s loving goodness and His munificent generosity to us. Join me, then, fulfilling this need rooted in the very core of our being by praying these words, taken from the Preface of the Roman Catholic Mass for Thanksgiving Day:
Father, all-powerful and ever-living God,
we do well always and everywhere to give You thanks.
We acknowledge You as the Lord of all Nations,
the Creator of land, and sea, and sky,
the Source of the wonders of nature and salvation.
Through Your Word You called all things into being,
that You might bestow on us Your love
reflected in the vastness of the universe
and the bounty of this earth.
You placed creation in our care,
yet You alone sustain all life with the gentle dew of Your Word
and the life-giving breath of Your Spirit.
Your gifts of nature have not exhausted Your goodness,
for the fullness of Your love is revealed by the imparting
of the manifold gifts of Your Grace.
Our hearts are moved to thankful praise,
and so we join the choirs of angels and saints
in proclaiming Your glory.
Happy Thanksgiving! See you after the feast!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

City Island News BX: ‘Blood’ in the Streets Over Ferguson

City Island News BX: ‘Blood’ in the Streets Over Ferguson: ‘Blood’ in the Streets Over Ferguson (Photojournalist Ken Murray is soaked in red paint aimed for Police Commissioner Bill Bratton--Pho...

‘Blood’ in the Streets Over Ferguson

‘Blood’ in the Streets Over Ferguson
(Photojournalist Ken Murray is soaked in red paint aimed for Police Commissioner Bill Bratton--Photo by James Keinom, NY Daily News via Facebook)

Photojournalist Recalls Paint Toss Aimed for Bratton

By David Greene

BRONX, NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 25- An angry crowd estimated between 300 - 500 took to the streets of Times Square to demonstrate the grand jury's decision to not indict police officer Darren Wilson in the August 9 shooting death of Michael Brown, 18, in Ferguson, MO.
Brooklyn-born photojournalist Ken Murray recalled getting the brunt of the red paint tossed at Police Commissioner Bill Bratton on Monday, November 24.
The violence in Ferguson and in Times Square broke out as President Barack Obama was asking the nation for calm and restraint regarding the decision.
Murray recalled, "He (Commissioner Bratton) was being chanted at and told to go home and some other things and then we got down the block a little bit and I got hit with the fake blood behind me, but I got the most of it."
A small army of photographers captured Murray covered in the red paint, mostly missing the intended target Commissioner Bratton.
"I didn't even flinch," Murray added, "I just kept taking my pictures."
Murray then moved with the crowd of police who quickly apprehended the former Occupy Wall Street protester, identified by police as Diego Ibanez, 26.
Ibanez was charged with assault and obstruction of government administration, disorderly conduct, harassment and criminal mischief.
As the crowd broke off into smaller groups, one group estimated at 250 walked and reportedly laid down briefly in the roadbed along the Tri-boro Bridge.
It's not immediately known if any additional arrests had been made.   

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

City Island News BX: Subway Push Suspect Arrested

City Island News BX: Subway Push Suspect Arrested: Subway Push Suspect Arrested Expected to be Charged with Murder By David Greene BRONX, NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 19 - Police arreste...

Subway Push Suspect Arrested

Subway Push Suspect Arrested
Expected to be Charged with Murder
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 19- Police arrested a man in connection with the subway push murder of a Chinese immigrant.
Kevin Darden, 34, is expected to be charged with second degree murder charges at the Bronx Criminal courthouse today.
Officials say Wai Kuen Kwok, 61, was standing near the platform’s edge when he was shoved in front of the moving train at just before 9 a.m., on November 16 at the East 167 Street Station.
Kwok, an immigrant from Hong Kong, died instantly as three train cars passed over his body, before the motorman was able to bring the train to a screeching halt.
Investigators used area surveillance video to track the 'person of interest,' turned suspect as be boarded a Bx-35 bus into Highbridge where the surveillance video lost the man.
Shortly after the release of the surveillance video police questioned and later arrested Darden.
A second person was reported struck by a train at the St. Lawrence Avenue Station at 6:45 a.m. on Friday, November 14. Although no criminality was suspected, the condition of that victim was not immediately known.
Officials from the Metropolitan Transit Authority say that Kwok was the 50th person to die in a subway mishap this year, but the first to die at the hands of another individual.
Anyone with information on the individual or his whereabouts is asked to call CRIMESTOPPERS at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls are confidential.

Friday, November 7, 2014

City Island News BX: Enough of the A-Rod Circus

City Island News BX: Enough of the A-Rod Circus: Enough of the A-Rod Circus By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 7- Sooner than expected the Alex Rodriguez circus returned...

Enough of the A-Rod Circus

Enough of the A-Rod Circus
By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 7- Sooner than expected the Alex Rodriguez circus returned to town. The A-Rod drama was not expected until February in Tampa Florida when the New York Yankees assemble for spring training, but we should not be shocked that he admitted the truth, under oath to a DEA investigator about using PED’s.
It is typical Alex Rodriguez territory to be in this position. And it has spread to the New York airwaves as two popular talk show hosts got involved in who was credible when asking A-Rod ro tell the truth last November. Rodriguez on one show said he never took PED’s and we didn’t believe the fraud then.
That is why it came as no shock Wednesday when a Miami Herald report said that A-Rod told the truth. After all this has always been the Alex Rodriguez saga of not telling the truth. And if he did not have the appropriate millions to have proper representation he may have had to tell the truth.
Should we forgive Alex Rodriguez? Some will say yes because his year-long suspension from Major League Baseball was served. The Yankees await the A-Rod arrival and continued circus in February and the drama will continue. It does not have to continue if the Yankees decide to eat up a remaining three-years and $61 million that remains on a contract that should have never been granted.
That was then. The Yankees upper brass, those who were dragged into the A-Rod legal battle and the circus, will have a way with dealing with this latest report. They wish it would all go away, however their fraud of a player is around for the duration. All they can do is hope that Rodriguez is healthy and will offer some type of offense to a lineup that could not score runs this past season.
They hope their fraud will be able to handle a plan at third or first base, or play a regular role in the lineup as the designated hitter, and to that there is no certainty. The Yankees are not getting younger with a damaged A-Rod in their everyday lineup but they may have no other choice to put him on the field as much as possible.
Getting back to the Alex Rodriguez image of being damaged is another issue. The Yankees as an organization have to play two sides with the damage control and continue dealing with the circus. Opposing players, at least those who did not experiment with Ped’s, will go with the flow and not make A-Rod a public issue.
Then there are the fans, many who will continue to boo when A-Rod takes the field again. Rodriguez to them will be a hero if he becomes a legitimate hitter again without the use of a steroid support system. Rodriguez may never be the same hitter he was without that support system and also take into account he has had limited playing time the past two years.
So where do we go from here? The gut feeling is, and a general consensus: Enough is enough of this A-Rod circus. Yes he served the penalty and was off the field as his Yankees teammates failed to make the postseason a second straight year. The steroid era, according to what has been determined, is over in the game of baseball. But as long as Alex Rodriguez is around the discussion may never end.
Because Alex Rodriguez, who many consider to be a fraud, is around the game again. Each time he resurfaces the talk about steroids and Ped’s will not go away. Even if the master of deception admitted his guilt to the authorities, he will never be considered that legitimate and talented ballplayer that had a quest to be the first to hit 800 career home runs.
Alex Rodriguez never played the game on an even level playing field. The circus is back in town and now that we are aware of his admission there is more reason not to grant him a chance for respect.
Comment Rich Mancuso: Mancuso

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

City Island News BX: Is your church closing?

City Island News BX: Is your church closing?: UnderSouled Local Church Closings Riverdale Report By Robert Press The Archdiocese of New York has announced that as of Augu...

City Island News BX: Is your church closing?

City Island News BX: Is your church closing?: UnderSouled Local Church Closings Riverdale Report By Robert Press The Archdiocese of New York has announced that as of Augu...

Is your church closing?

Local Church Closings

Riverdale Report
By Robert Press
The Archdiocese of New York has announced that as of August 1, 2015, 115 of its churches will close and/or be merged into other local churches. This move is being done citywide and in lower and upper Westchester County. 
As for the Bronx 20 church's are effected. 10 will close or be merged in to 10 other nearby parishes.
The following parishes will merge. The designated parish church is identified with an asterisk (*) in the column on the left. As of August 1, 2015, although remaining a church which may be used on special occasions, Masses and the sacraments will no longer be celebrated on a regular weekly basis at the church on the right.
Bronx County
1. *Saint John                                     Visitation
 3021 Kingsbridge Avenue            160 Van Cortlandt Park South
 Bronx, New York 10463                Bronx, New York 10467
2. *Saint Brendan                             Saint Ann
 333 East 206 Street                       3519 Bainbridge Avenue
 Bronx, New York 10467              Bronx, New York 10467
3. *Saint Anselm                               Saint Roch
 685 Tinton Avenue                         525 Wales Avenue
 Bronx, New York 10455              Bronx, New York 10455 
4. *Saint Rita of Cascia                     Saint Pius V
 448 College Avenue                        420 East 145 Street
 Bronx, New York 10451                Bronx, New York 10454
5. *Holy Family                                 Saint John Vianney
 2158 Watson Avenue                      715 Castle Hill Avenue
 Bronx, New York 10472                Bronx, New York 10473
6. *Holy Rosary                                Nativity of the Blessed Lady
 1510 Adee Avenue                          1531 East 233 Street
 Bronx, New York 10469                Bronx, New York 10466
Bronx merging church's * denotes home church only.
Parish Church
1. *Saint Margaret of Cortona            Saint Gabriel
 6000 Riverdale Avenue                     3250 Arlington Avenue
 Bronx, New York 10471                    Bronx, New York 10463
2. *Saint Jerome                                     Saint Luke
 230 Alexander Avenue                       623 138th Street
 Bronx, New York 10454                     Bronx, New York 10454
3. *Holy Family                                       Blessed Sacrament
 2158 Watson Avenue                           1170 Beach Avenue
Bronx, New York 10472                      Bronx, New York 10472
4. *Our Lady of the Assumption           Saint Mary Star of the Sea
 1634 Mahan Avenue                                595 Minneford Avenue
 Bronx, New York 10461                         Bronx, New York 10464
Locally St. Gabriel's Church located at 3250 Arlington Avenue will be merged into St. Margret's Church located at 6000 Riverdale Avenue. Visitation Church located at 160 Van Cortlandt Park South will be merged into St. Johns Church located at 3021 Kingsbridge Avenue. St. Ann's Church located at 3519 Bainbridge Avenue will be merged into St. Brendan Church located at 333 East 206th Street.
On Sunday November 9th there will be a Veteran's Day Ceremony at 12 p.m. in the Veteran's Memorial Grove of Van Cortlandt Park. The National Anthem 'The Star Spangled Banner' will be sung in remembrance of those who fought and gave their lives so we could celebrate this Veteran's Day 2014. This Memorial Day ceremony is made possible by the Memorial Grove Restoration Group.
The latest chapter of the Croton Filtration Monitoring Committee took place last week. While some of the faces may have changed this year the answer is the same. The committee made up of Community Board 7, 8, and 12 board chairs and the local councilman and Bronx Borough President's representative keep asking why local Bronx residents can not have access to view the beautiful water in the Jerome Park Reservoir. There are two high iron metal gates that surround the reservoir with a wide interior path for DEP cars and trucks to use. The DEP says that it is due to the security of the water supply that the two high fences are needed to keep out possible saboteurs. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz said it best when he told DEP Associate Commissioner Eric Landau that a bad guy can just throw what the DEP wants to keep out over the two fences easily. The DEP's answer is that the inner fence will be only 4 feet high so that the community can see the water better, but the outer higher fence must remain.
While Associate Commissioner Landau was attentive to the community he admitted that he has been with DEP for only 4 months, coming from a job in Prospect Park Brooklyn. By the way the community was sure that Associate Commissioner Landau understood that any water in the Jerome Park Reservoir is unfiltered raw water that will go to the water filtration plant. As for overruns and delays, this water filtration plant was suppose to be on line by the end of 2013. That was 3 DEP commissioners ago, and the delays continue.
This past Monday night’s Community Board 8 Land Use meeting had an update on the proposed Montefiore Medical building that was scaled down from 11 stories to 6 stories, with less medical space and a higher parking ratio. No matter what a group of local residents still say the proposal is to large for the site, and want no medical center at all. Since the meeting went on after our deadline, I will have the recap for you in next weeks column. The next full Community Board 8 meeting will be held at the Riverdale Temple located at Independence Avenue and West 246th Street, and begins at 7:30 PM. If you would like to address the board members in the gallery session on a specific topic, you can call the boards office at 718-884-3959 to place your name on the speakers list.
Lastly the 2nd Annual North Riverdale Merchants Association Street Festival on Riverdale Avenue between West 256th and West 259th Streets went off this past Sunday. I stopped by during the setup, and saw that the weather was exactly as I had said in last weeks column, sunny and 50 degrees. The only thing I forgot to mention was that there might be a little wind that day. Congrats to all who participated in the event, and I can't wait for next years North Riverdale Street Festival.
If you have any comments about this column, have an event that you would like to have covered or listed in this column or on my blog, e-mail us at, , or call 718-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press.