Wednesday, September 4, 2013

City Island News BX: Summer’s Over But Bullets Still Flying

City Island News BX: Summer’s Over But Bullets Still Flying: Residents on Edge as Bloody Mayhem Continues By David Greene BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 4- The NYPD's own statistics show ...

Summer’s Over But Bullets Still Flying

Residents on Edge as Bloody Mayhem Continues
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 4- The NYPD's own statistics show that the city is on pace to have the lowest murder rate in the last 50 years, but that offers little comfort to family members of those killed or wounded by the almost daily, random street violence.
Detectives are still hunting the gunman who shot and killed Raymond Hernandez, 22, who was shot in the hallway of 2860 Grand Concourse on July 15.
On August 3, officers from the 46th Precinct reported a person shot and killed at 2377 Creston Avenue. Police were looking for two black males seen fleeing the scene.
Kahleed Adams had returned to the ruff and tumble streets of Fordham Heights where he was shot in the buttocks a week earlier. At 12:30 a.m. on August 19, he was approached by a group of men at E. 184 Street and Morris Avenue, when someone opened fire, striking Adams in the head.
Despite being in full view of an NYPD surveillance camera, installed after Adams was shot the first time, detectives continue to hunt for the young man's killer.
But the most blood-spilling, effecting the most people are the random acts of violence that often go unreported. Information can now be found on social media websites as the community seems to be trying to keep itself informed, but rumors continue to be almost as big a problem as the violence itself.
Officers from the 52nd Precinct responded to calls of a person stabbed at 12:10 a.m. on August 3. The victim was reportedly stabbed at the intersection of Morris Avenue and E. Kingsbridge Road. Police were looking for a black male wearing a white and gray shirt and dark jeans. 
At 7 p.m. on August 4, a livery taxi driver was stabbed in the chest an neck as he sat behind the wheel at Bainbridge Avenue and E. Fordham Road. An unidentified resident of the block reportedly tossed a large rock at the car, causing the suspect to flee the stolen car.
Police reportedly discovered Luis Ferrierra, 22, hiding in a backyard. He has since been charged with felony assault and robbery--his eighth arrest for 2013.
When asked about the member of the community tossing the rock, one resident responded, "This area is flooded with crack and crime and I think the residents are fed up with it already." 
Residents near PS 8 at Mosholu Parkway South and Bainbridge Avenue reported hearing shots during the night of Friday, August 9.. Residents awoke the following morning to discover a bloody park bench. So far the incident remains a mystery.
At just before 11 p.m. on Sunday, August 11, a person was reported shot at E. Gun Hill Road and Decatur Avenue. However, this incident could not be confirmed.
Police say it was a drug dealer who shot a potential customer on August 13, outside of 2685 Valentine Avenue in Bedford Park. The 31-year old victim was shot in the left hand and right thigh and was treated and released from Jacobi Hospital.
That gunman was described as a male wearing a white shirt and blue hat.
On August 15, Yonkers police were apparently in pursuit of a vehicle that crashed as it exited the Major Deegan near the Van Cortlandt Park Golf Course, the armed suspect reportedly fired at least one shot at pursuing officers before making an escape into the woods.
On August 16 three people were shot over the period of two-hours. At 12:15 a.m. a victim was discovered inside of a building at 2725 Webb Avenue. The 19-year old victim had been shot in the hand and leg and was expected to survive.
Residents of the Fordham Manor block that intersects with W. Kingsbridge Road don't even flinch when they hear gunshots anymore. The block has had two other recent shooting's. A 51-year old man was shot in the arm back in April and two men were shot outside of a bodega on July 28.
Police were still looking for the gunman in the July 28 case, described as wearing all red and carrying a black plastic bag.
Forty-five minutes later officer's from the 46th Precinct in Fordham were called to another 24-hour deli at 375 E. 188 Street. The victim in that shooting was transported by a civilian vehicle to Jacobi Hospital and was also recovering.
At just before 2 a.m., a man was wounded outside of 2258 Grand Avenue in University Heights. The 25-year old victim suffered a gunshot to the right leg and was taken to St. Barnabas Hospital where he was treated and released.
EMS reported the transport of a stabbing victim from the intersection of the Grand Concourse and E. 197 Street at just before 10 p.m. on August 17.
At some time after 4 a.m. on Sunday, August 18, a man was shot in the leg outside of 275 E. Gun Hill Road. The unidentified victim was transported to a nearby hospital in stable condition. Police were reportedly looking for two male Hispanics who fled the scene.
Recently police did announce an arrest in the May 29 shooting of Alex Rodriguez, who was shot in the head at the intersection of E. 184 Street and Tiebout Avenue in Fordham Heights. Rodriguez died after being taken off life support.
Jamie DeJesus has been charged with manslaughter in the case.
Outspoken Bedford Park resident Ron James Sorenson who was shot as a young man as he drove a livery taxi in the South Bronx back in the late 1960's, recently stated about the judge's recent decision to re-evaluate the NYPD's stop-and-frisk, offering, "None of these people who are against stop-and-frisk have ever been shot. I have and I think the practice saves lives."
Despite the recent surge in killing, NYPD statistics show murder is down over the same time period as last year. So far this year there were 42 homicides in the Bronx, compared with 68 last year.
Community Board # 7 is still in a transition as it's new District Manager Socrates Caba and Chairperson Adaline Walker-Santiago are in the process of taking over the day to day operations of the board. But a blind man can see they have their work cut out for them.
Anyone with any information on any violent crime are asked to call CrimeStoppers at 1 (800) 577-TIPS. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

City Island News BX: Ruben Diaz Sr. Still Amazes Us

City Island News BX: Ruben Diaz Sr. Still Amazes Us: 100 PERCENT By Robert Press BRONX, NEW YORK, April 18- Before I get into our headline, Saturday night rocked and socked as ther...

Ruben Diaz Sr. Still Amazes Us

By Robert Press
BRONX, NEW YORK, April 18- Before I get into our headline, Saturday night rocked and socked as there was standing room only at the ECPW Wresting event at St. Francis Xavier. The wrestlers battled it out in seven grueling matches, signed autographs, and mingled with the audience. I have many great photos of the wrestlers and matches on my blog at so if you can see what you missed.
As for State Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz Sr., Saturday afternoon The New York Hispanic Clergy Organization inc. held its 25th Anniversary Banquet. The ballroom was packed with over 600 people including two of the top four Democratic, and the two top Republican candidates for mayor. Democrats New York City Comptroller John Liu, & former NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson, Republicans former MTA head John Lhota & supermarket magnate John Catsimatidis. U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, Bronx Assemblymen Marcos Crespo & Luis Sepulveda, and other minor candidates for mayor such as former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion and Rev. Erick Salgado.
One could see the pandering to the audience with the use of a few words of Spanish said by several of the candidates, and how each tried to tie their roots to the Bronx. Missing was the leading candidate for mayor City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, but while she was invited no one expected Quinn to come with in a mile of the banquet let alone the Bronx. You can go to my blog to see just which politician came to try and sway the powerful Hispanic Clergy swing vote. Also is a photo of Senator Diaz standing in the middle of the two Republican candidates for mayor with his arms firmly around both candidates.
Speaking of mayoral candidates, City Council Speaker Quinn was on Fordham Road last Sunday with State Senator Gustavo Rivera to get his endorsement. So far Senator Rivera is the only Bronx elected official that I know of who has openly endorsed Quinn for mayor, and I have to wonder why so many Bronx council members have said that they are refusing to endorse their speaker Christine Quinn for mayor.
Mayoral candidate Christine Quinn avoided a mayoral candidates forum that was held at Monroe College last week held by the City Action Coalition. City Councilman Pastor Fernando Cabrera opened the mayoral forum by introducing Monroe College President Steven Jerome who gave a wonderful description of the college and its offerings. Topics of discussion after opening statements included allowing faith based organizations use of school buildings during non school hours, sex education, who would be schools chancellor and police commissioner, and the stop and frisk policy. I asked several people if they had any opinion on Speaker Quinn's absence the answers ranged from “WHO?” to “that's how much she cares about the Bronx”.
87th A.D. Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda had the grand opening of his new (and the former Assemblyman Peter Rivera's old) office which is located at 1973 Westchester Avenue near the Hugh Grant Circle at Metropolitan Avenue. The phone number for Assemblyman Sepulveda's office is 718-931-2620. You can see photos of Assemblyman Sepulveda's office on my blog.
Zaro's Bread Basket a long time fixture at the corner of Westchester and Metropolitan Avenues was closed on April 9th by the New York City Health Department. There was a pending grade notice pending dated March 23rd.
Finally the Bronx Chamber of Commerce held their Women of Distinction luncheon last week with Ms. Juliet Papa of 1010 WINS fame as the Mistress of Ceremony. Ms. Brittany Mitchell (of Preston High School) sang the national anthem, and Sister Seline Mary Flores (of Providence Rest Nursing Home) gave the invocation. BCC President Lenny Caro gave the opening remarks as NYC Department of Corrections Commissioner Dora B. Schribo gave the Keynote Speech. The honorees were NYPD Deputy Inspector Nilda Hoffmann and Dean of Studies at Preston High School Linda Youngren. There were five one thousand dollar scholarship awards given to Zoraya Almonte, Faith Daniels, Selene Munoz, Rosalias Read, and Yaritza Rendon. You can go to my blog to see the honorees and recipients of the scholarship awards and other upcoming events being held by the Bronx Chamber of Commerce or go to their website at
If you have any comments about this column or would like to have an event listed or covered in this column or on my blog you can e-mail us at or call 718-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press.
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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

City Island News BX: Buying City Hall

City Island News BX: Buying City Hall: Bx. GOP chair among those charged in attempt to buy mayoral race By Robert Press BRONX, NEW YORK, April 3- In a six count ind...

Buying City Hall

Bx. GOP chair among those charged in attempt to buy mayoral race
By Robert Press
BRONX, NEW YORK, April 3- In a six count indictment released by the United States Attorney, State Senator Malcolm Smith, Queens Councilman Dan Halloran, Bronx County Republican Leader Joseph Savino, and Queens county Republican Vice-Chair Vincent Tabone were arrested for attempting to fix the Republican candidate choice in the upcoming mayors race in New York City by defrauding the public. Also as part of the indictment the mayor and deputy mayor of Spring Valley were arrested for their alleged part in a scheme with Senator Smith to defraud New York State on a contract Smith was to have approved with the officials for a Spring Valley road.
Starting from about November 2012 the complaint states that Smith, Hallogan, Savino, and Tabone (together with others known and unknown) willfully and knowingly did combine, conspire, confederate, and agree together with each other to commit offenses against the United States, to wit, wire fraud and bribery in violation of Title 18, United States
code, sections 1343, 1346, and 1952.
Undercover FBI agent (Thomas Holmes) posing as a wealthy real estate developer and an unidentified cooperating witness met with Smith to bribe leaders of the Republican Party County Committee to obtain certificates of authorization called Wilson Pakula certificates
allowing Smith to run as a Republican candidate for mayor of New York City even though Smith was a registered Democrat. It is then alleged that Queens Councilman Dan Halloran met with the pair to negotiate the amount of bribes to Savino and Tabone for the Wilson Pakula certificates, and Halloran was given $20,500 for his services.
According to the indictment, Smith agreed to use his official position to obtain New York State funds for the Spring Valley Project. Savino met the undercover agent in a Manhattan restaurant and allegedly accepted $15,000 in cash in the undercover agent’s car. Tabone met the UC in a Manhattan restaurant and allegedly accepted $25,000 in cash in the undercover agent’s car. Also in February Smith suggested that the undercover agent and the state senator representing the Spring Valley area meet concerning the funding for the Spring Valley project.
In March, telephone and text messages continued between the undercover agent, a witness, Smith, and Halloran as to the status of the Wilson Pakulas. Smith is quoted as saying, “Before any committee leader receives a nickel more (he'd) have to stand on the Empire State Building and drop every person (he) endorsed, and hold Malcolm up and
say he's the best thing since sliced bread”. “Matter of fact, he's better than sliced bread”.
FBI New York Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos made the following comments on the arrests of New York State Senator Malcolm Smith, New York City Council Member Daniel Halloran, and others: “Elected officials are called public servants because they are supposed to serve the people. Public service is not supposed to be a shortcut to self-enrichment. People in New York, in Spring Valley—in any city or town in this country—rightly expect their elected or appointed representatives to hold themselves to a higher standard. At the very least, public officials should obey the law. As alleged, these defendants did not obey the law; they broke the law and the public trust. There is a price to pay for that kind of betrayal.”

Friday, February 1, 2013

City Island News BX: Bronx Hails Koch

City Island News BX: Bronx Hails Koch: -->   Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. issued the following statement on the passing of Mayor Ed Koch: BRONX, NEW YORK...