Serving Norwood, Bedford Park, Fordham and University Heights
Vol. 25, No. 1 ■ PUBLISHED BY MOSHOLU PRESERVATION CORPORATION ■ January 12–25, 2012
A DEVOTION IN FULL BLOOM Bronx Councilman
Planning More Rallies Against
City’s ‘Anti-Religious’ Policies
By ALEX KRATZ
Bronx Councilman Fernando Cabrera and six other demonstrators
were arrested last week in Manhattan during a peaceful protest designed
to highlight what they say is the city’s increasingly discriminatory poli-
cies against religious groups that rent public spaces for worship.
While the protest appears to have staved off eviction for churches
using public facilities at city housing complexes, Cabrera and other
clergy are continuing to fight a government policy that bans religious
groups from using public school buildings for worship services. Anoth-
er protest, at Morris High School in the Bronx, is planned to coincide
Photo by Adi Talwar with the mayor’s “State of the City” address on Thursday at noon.
The Church of St. Ann’s in Norwood holds a processional in honor of the Feast of Our Lady of Last week’s “prayer protest,” held in front of the building at 100
Guadalupe in December. Roses are a big part of the ceremony, which is popular among the Church St. that houses the city’s law department, was organized by Pas-
area’s increasing Mexican population. tor Dimas Salaberrios after the New York City Housing Authority told
him that his church, Infinity New York, might not be able to continue to
rent space at the Bronx River Houses, a city-run housing complex where
Bronx Science Students, Alumni the church has worshipped for the past five years. (Salaberrios said the
church has had a presence there for the past seven years.)
On Dec. 17, Salaberrios said NYCHA officials told him they would no
Protest Against Principal longer be able to accept rent from Infinity after Jan. 1 because of a
recent court ruling that upheld a city policy preventing religious groups
from worshiping inside public schools.
By JEANMARIE EVELLY wrote us letters of recommendation.” Salaberrios and Pastor Joe Fletcher of Bronx Bible Church, who was
In September, an article in the New York (continued on p. 2 )
A group of current and former students from Times reported that eight of the school’s 20
the Bronx High School of Science, organizing
under the name “Take Back Bronx Science,” ral-
lied across the street from the prestigious public
social studies teachers had opted not to return
this year. The story cited interviews with teach-
ers who claimed to being publicly berated by
Teen Arrested in
school last Thursday, protesting administrative
policies they say are harming the school’s repu-
tation and causing a number of teachers there to
administrators, and who said that Reidy was
overly-critical and unfairly discriminated
against teachers who didn’t subscribe to her pre-
resign or retire prematurely.
The students, a few dozen in number, stood
on the edge of Harris Field across the street
ferred style of instruction.
(continued on p. 4 ) 11-Year-Old Boy
from the school, holdings signs that read By ALEX KRATZ
”Where Have the Teachers Gone?” and “We
Have a Voice.” Police arrested a teenager last week and charged him with the
Organizing members of the group said the attempted murder of an 11-year-old boy who was shot when bullets were
dissention stemmed from reports that a number fired through the door of his apartment on Creston Avenue. Investiga-
of teachers have left the school in recent years tors say they are still seeking another suspect who was caught on sur-
over conflicts with administrative staff, namely veillance video at the time of the shooting.
the school’s principal, Valerie Reidy. Late last Thursday night, inside 2735 Creston Ave., police say two sus-
“Me and other alumni, and also current stu- pects, including Kijana Jenkins, 17, walked up to the apartment of 11-
dents, saw wonderful teachers who were very year-old Ryan Aguari and rang the doorbell. As Ryan approached the
intelligent, very effective, leaving because door, four shots were fired through the door, one of which hit Ryan in
they’ve had enough of the harmful, hostile work- Photo by Jeanmarie Evelly the hip. The bullet remains lodged in Ryan’s hip at Jacobi Hospital
ing environment,” said Jonathan Aris, a gradu- A GROUP OF ALUMNI protesting the current where he is listed in serious condition.
ate from the class of 2010. “Some of these teach- administration at Bronx High School of Science Police released video footage of the two suspects and sought help in
ers helped us get into college,” he said. “They last week. (continued on p. 4 )
■ New Year’s Fitness Tips, p. 4 ■ VIP Café Open for Biz, p. 6 ■ Free Youth Journalism Program, p. 8
2 ■ January 12–25, 2012 ■ Norwood News
In The Public Interest By JEANMARIE EVELLY
Vol. 25, No. 1 Bronx Councilman FIRST NYC BABY OF 2012 ARRIVED IN THE BRONX
Norwood News is published
bi-weekly on Thursdays by
Mosholu Preservation Corporation
3400 Reservoir Oval East ‘Prayer Protest’
Bronx, New York 10467 (continued from p. 1 )
told his congregation could no longer wor-
Phone: 718 324 4998 ship at the Justice Sonia Sotomayor Houses
Fax: 718 324 2917
in Soundview, called NYCHA and asked
Web: www.norwoodnews.org them to reconsider their stance. Salaber-
rios said they were told they could stay
while NYCHA reviewed its rental agree-
ments with input from the law department.
That’s when Salaberrios, who is on a
Publisher CEO, Mosholu
Mosholu Preservation Preservation hunger strike and says his church is help-
Corporation Corporation ing keep the peace at the traditionally-vio-
Roberto S. Garcia lent Bronx River Houses, decided to take
the fight to the law department offices.
“I went to tell them, ‘If we can’t have
Staff Writer church in our building, we’re going to
Jeanmarie Evelly Photo courtesy Montefiore Medical Center
bring church down to them,’” Salaberrios NEW YORK CITY’S first baby of the year was born in the Bronx this New Year’s Eve,
Classified Advertising said in an interview after the arrests. just as the clock struck midnight. Rania Ali was born at Montefiore Medical Center’s
Dawn McEvoy The law department and NYCHA said North Division, weighing in at 7 lbs. 3.8 oz. and measuring 18 1/2 inches. Her par-
the Department of Education policy that ents, Alia and Imdad, live in Throgs Neck with 3 1/2-year-old big brother Ryan.
Dawn McEvoy bans religious groups from worshiping in
public school buildings is completely sep-
arate from NYCHA’s policies. NYCHA time in jail for criminal acts. But as a pas- Household of Faith, a church in Universi-
says it is doesn’t have a policy against tor, Salaberrios said he has dedicated his ty Heights, which upheld the DOE’s policy
Production worshiping in its facilities, but that it is ministry to curbing violence. banning worship in public school build-
Neil deMause reviewing all of its permit agreements There hasn’t been a murder in the ings. (The law department says it is simply
Regular Contributors with every group that uses its space for Bronx River Houses for six years and Sal- separating church from state and protect-
David Greene, Adi Talwar activities. Although Infinity pays $350 per aberrios credits the efforts of his church ing itself from being seen as promoting or
Interns week to rent space, NYCHA spokesperson for breaking up gang violence there. In favoring certain religious practices.)
Ronald Chavez, Emily Piccone Sheila Stainback says the agency doesn’t addition to volunteering at the Bronx Bronx Household and 60 other city
have typical tenant-landlord agreements River Community Center, Salaberrios churches have until Feb. 12 before they
For display advertising, call with groups. said his church donated $30,000 to lose the right to worship in schools. Cabr-
Stainback said the groups will be upgrade the facilities, helps residents era is pushing for legislation on the state
allowed to use the facilities until at least with legal problems and gives college level that would abolish the DOE’s policy.
Support Your Feb. 26 while NYCHA continues its scholarships to local kids. “Now we’re starting to see a mush-
Community Newspaper! review of all of its permit agreements. Salaberrios and Cabrera can’t under- room event,” Cabrera said, calling Mayor
The Norwood News is a not-for-profit Cabrera, a deeply religious council- stand why, with government making cuts Michael Bloomberg “anti-religious.”
publication and relies upon the support of man who heads New Life International to social services across the board, the He added that his first-ever arrest was
its advertisers and readers to produce a
Outreach Church on Morris Avenue, just city would want to evict churches who “worthwhile” and that he would do it
quality community newspaper. To support
north of Kingsbridge Road, went to sup- contribute to their communities. again if necessary. “Like Martin Luther
your paper, become a member and
receive a subscription for one year. port Salaberrios and about 20 other cler- In early December, the Supreme Court King, Jr. said, ‘It is unjust not to stand up
gy and church members who had gath- declined to review a ruling against Bronx against an unjust law,’” Cabrera said.
Simply mail check or money order for ered in front of the law department’s
$40 to: Norwood News, 3400 Reservoir office building.
Oval East, Bronx, NY 10467. He arrived at about 8:40 a.m. and joined Public and Community Meetings
six others, including Salaberrios, in kneel- • The 52nd PrecincT communiTy council will meet Thursday, Jan. 26 from
Norwood News is not responsible for ing in front of the entrance to the building 7 to 9 p.m. at the Jewish home life care center, 100 W. Kingsbridge rd. For
typographical errors. Opinions expressed
while police, who organizers told of their more information, call (718) 220-5824.
in signed letters and bylined columns rep-
plans, looked on. Following a prayer and
resent the sole opinion of the author and • communiTy Board 7 will host a public hearing to discuss traffic and conges-
are not necessarily those of Mosholu the singing of a religious song (“Our God
is an Awesome God,” Cabrera recalled), tion along east Gun hill road, on monday, Jan. 30 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the
Preservation Corporations or Montefiore
police arrested the seven protesters and mosholu montefiore community center auditorium, 3450 deKalb ave. For more
Medical Center. Editorials represent the
views of the editor and/or publisher only. charged them with trespassing. information, call (718) 882-4000.
The newspaper reserves the right to limit While Cabrera and Salaberrios said • communiTy Board 7 will host a public hearing to discuss safety and quality
or refuse advertising it deems objection- they were given little warning before being of life issues on Friday, Jan. 27 at monroe college’s King hall gym, 2501 Jerome
able. Advertisements appearing in this arrested, a spokesman for the Police ave., from 6 to 9 p.m.
paper cannot be used without the written
Department said they were given several
permission of Norwood News. Letters to • communiTy Board 7’s committee meetings will be held at the community
warnings and were only arrested after they
the editor are subject to condensation and Board office, 229a e. 204th Street, at 6: 30 p.m. on the following dates: Thurs-
editing. Writers should include their refused to move away from the entrance.
By 9 a.m., Cabrera and the others were day, Jan. 19—Traffic & Transportation and health & hospitals; Wednesday, Jan.
affiliation or special interest if any.
handcuffed and carted off in a van to the 18—Senior Services; Thursday, Jan. 19—community relations/long-term Plan-
Anonymous letters are not published but
your name can be withheld if requested. 1st Precinct. ning; Thursday, Jan. 26—land use/Zoning.
For Cabrera, it was a new experience • communiTy Board 7’s general board meeting will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 17
and one that he wasn’t expecting when he from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at St. Phillip neri School located at 3031 Grand concourse.
Mosholu Preservation Corporation is a went down to the protest. “I’ve never been For more information about cB7 meetings and events, call (718) 933-5650.
not-profit support corporation of
arrested for anything in my life,” he said,
Montefiore Medical Center.
adding that his family found out about it
from news reports.
Salaberrios, on the other hand, said he
Follow the Norwood News
had a pretty good idea the protest would
end in their arrest and didn’t fault police,
on Facebook and
saying they were just doing their job. @norwoodnews on Twitter
As a youth, Salaberrios, now 38, spent
January 12–25, 2012 ■ Norwood News ■ 3
POTS Unveils New Facility, Returns to Business
By ALEX KRATZ remove the stigma attached to reaching
out for help. For example, in the smaller,
After all the politicians, reporters and former building, POTS handed out bags
board members had left the grand open- of groceries from its food pantry. Now,
ing of its sparkling new building on Web- clients can come in and “self-select” what
ster Avenue, Part of the Solution, known they need from a large, well-lit pantry
as POTS, quickly got back down to busi- area that looks like a supermarket. Bean
ness. said this simple change will help empow-
For POTS, a nonprofit organization er their clients.
that started 30 years ago as a soup kitchen The organization’s evolution still isn’t
and has since blossomed into a multi-ser- complete. In the near future, POTS plans
vice center offering everything from hair to open a free medical clinic in its base-
cuts to legal advice, that means putting ment. And they’re still trying to figure
food on the table and serving those in out how to utilize the old building next
need. It was almost noon. Lunch was door.
about to begin. Back out in front of the building,
Bright-eyed high schoolers shuffled in Tammy Macy and Walter Velez, an unem-
to volunteer and friendly staffers, some of ployed married couple who had trekked
them former clients and volunteers, put to POTS from Crotona, about a 30-minute
them to work. walk, were among those standing in line
Though food wouldn’t be served for Photo by Alex Kratz for lunch.
another half hour, a line 30-deep had THE “MAYOR” OF POTS Wally Johns (right) is congratulated after cutting the ribbon They had only recently discovered
already formed outside of POTS’ new for POTS’ new multi-service center on Webster Avenue by (right to left) Council POTS and were happily returning after
building near the corner of East 197th Majority Leader Joel Rivera, Council Speaker Christine Quinn and State Senator enjoying a hot meal of pork chops the pre-
Street. As it does almost every day, POTS Gustavo Rivera. vious day.
would go on to feed around 400 people. “I love this place,” Macy said, smiling.
Less than an hour earlier, Speaker fill its vacant executive director position new building became a reality. “All these programs, food, free showers,
Christine Quinn helped Wally Johns, a with former finance director Chris Bean, Bean said putting together the haircuts, a mail room.”
former POTS client who volunteers and who had left POTS for about two months finances for the facility was like playing The couple said they were about to get
hangs around the place so much he was before returning in his new role. They a game of Jenga, every little piece — evicted from their apartment and were
dubbed the “mayor” of POTS, cut the rib- announced his hiring at the ribbon cut- from board member contributions to eager to speak with one of POTS’
bon on the organization’s new $8 million, ting. foundation funding to corporate money lawyers.
15,000-square-foot building. Sister Mary Alice Hannan, who to government tax breaks — played a key Despite their situation, they sounded
The facility has been operational since stepped down as executive director last role. optimistic and excited about the future.
the fall, but POTS waited until its 30th June, said she felt like a proud parent Their goal in creating the new build- “It’s a stepping stone,” Velez said
anniversary, Jan. 6, to officially open its handing the organization over to Bean, ing, Bean said, echoing Quinn and others about POTS, “a way to get our hopes up
doors. The delay also allowed the group to who she credited with making sure the who spoke, was not only to expand, but and a step in the right direction.”
4 ■ January 12–25, 2012 ■ Norwood News
Be Healthy! 5.5%
Bucking national trends, the overall obesity rates
among NYC kindergartners through eighth graders
decreased 5.5 percent over the last five years,
according to the city’s Health Department.
Cuomo Calls to End Fingerprinting for Food Stamps
By JEANMARIE EVELLY criticized the requirement as unneces- but it’s effective. Americans consume 20
sary and time-consuming. percent of their calories from beverage Visit Be Healthy! On the
Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered his “Mountains of evidence prove that the drinks. Switching from juice and soda to
annual State of the State address early practice keeps nutrition benefits away water helps reduce the number of calo-
For more health news and informa-
this month, and one item on his agenda from eligible families, costs the state mil- ries you consume, keeps your metabolism
tion, be sure to visit www.norwood-
has food and hunger advocates cheering. lions of dollars and, even when working moving at a maximum rate and combats
news.org every Wednesday afternoon
While addressing his plans to eliminate properly, finds only duplication that can hunger cravings.
for a new, weekly web-exclusive install-
child hunger in New York, the governor be detected through less costly, less intru- • Increase your exercise regimen just
ment of Be Healthy!
called to end the controversial practice of sive methods,” said Joel Berg, of the New a little bit each day. Aim for at least 15 to
fingerprinting food stamp applicants in York City Coalition Against Hunger. 20 minutes of cardio exercise, with an
New York City. intensity that will make you sweat. Ask Be Healthy!
“I’m saying stop fingerprinting for • Eat breakfast. Studies show that peo-
families with children for food. Stop it all
Fitness Tips for the New ple who skip breakfast are more likely to
Send Us Your Health
across the state, and let’s stop it this Year snack throughout the day and consume Questions
year,” Cuomo said, echoing the concerns After a December filled with cocktail more calories. Got a pressing health, fitness, or
of hunger advocates who say the require- parties and high-calorie meals, you • Avoid eating at night or before bed. nutrition question on your mind? Send
ment further stigmatizes the food stamp might be looking to start 2012 off on a The earlier in the day food is eaten, the them our way! We’re ready to tackle
program and discourages New Yorkers in healthy note, and maybe shed a few more likely it is to be burned off. When your queries about food, sex, illness,
need from accessing the benefits. pounds that were packed on during the you eat late at night, this food is more health insurance, prescription medica-
New York City is one of only two decadent holiday season. Todd Belin, a likely to be stored as fat. Our digestive tions — any health-related topics that
places in the country — the other is Ari- personal trainer with Belin Sport and system slows down when we sleep, and puzzle or interest you. We’ll answer
zona — that requires food stamp recipi- Fitness, runs a number of “boot camp” any food we consume before bedtime gets your question, and if we don’t know,
ents to get fingerprinted before receiving style fitness and weight loss classes in stored into fat and possibly converted we’ll ask the experts. You can sign
benefits. Mayor Bloomberg has defended the Norwood area. He shared these tips into toxins. your name or send it anonymously.
the practice as a necessary protection with Be Healthy! for getting back into Ed. Note: For more information about Send your queries to: norwood-
against fraud. shape after the holidays: Todd Belin’s boot camp classes, call (646) email@example.com.
But advocates and local officials have • Drink lots of water. It sounds boring, 801-3153.
Teen Arrested in Shooting of 11-Year-Old Boy
(continued from p. 1 ) Kijana pleaded not guilty at his arraign- door, telling detectives that he had had a released a statement condemning both
tracking them down. ment on Saturday, said a spokesman for the dispute with someone in the apartment, shootings and saying he was “deeply sad-
The next day, police arrested Kijana Bronx District Attorney’s office. He is that someone had stolen his jacket and dened” by the violence.
and charged him with attempted murder, being held on $500,000 bail and is sched- that he had returned to get the jacket back. “My heart goes out to Ryan Aguari
assault and criminal possession of a uled to appear in court again on Jan. 12. Last week’s shooting marked the sec- and his family,” Diaz said. “I will keep
weapon. As of press time on Tuesday, the According to court records, police said ond time a child has been shot in the past them in my prayers as we hope for Ryan’s
other suspect remained at large. Kijana admitted to firing bullets into the two months in 52nd Precinct. Both inci- quick recovery.”
dents reportedly involved disputes over Editor’s Note: Anyone with informa-
jackets. In November, 4-year-old Cincer tion regarding this incident is asked to call
Protest Against Bronx Bathazar was shot during a botched rob-
bery attempt about a mile away on Grand
Avenue and Evelyn Place. In that case, a
Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).
The public can also submit their tips by
logging on to the Crime Stoppers website at
Science Principal group of young men allegedly tried to rob
Cincer’s father for his designer jacket.
Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.
www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting
their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter
(continued from p. 1 ) teacher performance, and that is an ardu-
“When I read that article, I was like, ous process. It’s not something I take or
something has to be done,” said Cather-
ine Jung, a graduate of the class of 2008
“We have very high standards for our New Year’s Murder on Webster Ave.
who is now studying at Cornell Universi- teachers, just like we have very high stan-
In the predawn hours of New Year’s fied as Shaneek “Boom” Young, a life-
ty. She found out about the protest dards for our kids,” she said.
Day, one teen was shot dead and two oth- long resident of the Pelham Parkway
through an alumni group on Facebook. Reidy dismissed accusations that she
ers were wounded when a Webster Houses who was described as a leader
“It’s about so much more than the forced any one particular teaching
Avenue house party turned violent. and keeper of the peace at the complex.
prestige factor,” she said. “It breaks my method in classrooms. The high staff
Officers from the 48th Precinct were Hours after the killing, Young’s
heart to hear that there’s this intimida- turnover, she said, was “not an exodus at
called to the four-story building, at 2366 grief-stricken friends gathered outside
tion and fear.” all,” but due to the fact that she inherited
Webster Ave., just after 2 a.m. on Satur- his home and set up a makeshift
Conflicts at Bronx Science are nothing “a very senior staff.”
day to discover the wounded victims memorial.
new. Tensions between teachers and Students remain skeptical.
had been shot inside the building’s “He was always cracking jokes, I
administrative staff have been simmer- “There is this big disparate between
lobby. never heard anything bad about him,”
ing on and off for most of the decade that what she says and her actions,” Jung
The most seriously injured was a 19- said one neighbor, who said her own son
Reidy’s been in charge. In a phone inter- said. “How can she explain and justify
year-old male, shot three times in the was a friend of Young’s.
view Thursday, the principal said that teachers leaving in droves?”
torso and one time in the head. He was “That’s why I tell my son, I don’t like
while she understands the students’ feel- According to the Times, the teacher
pronounced dead at the scene. Another house parties,” she said. “It’s too much
ings of loyalty to their teachers, the issue turnover rate at Bronx Science last year
28-year-old man was shot in the back for a parent to bear. Kids are supposed
is a bigger one of instructor accountabil- was 19 percent, compared with 14 percent
and listed in stable condition at Jacobi to be burying us, but we’re burying our
Hospital. The third victim, an 18-year- kids now.”
“There have been teachers who have “We have high standards here,” Reidy
old male, was shot in the leg and trans- Police continue to investigate the
been rated poorly because they did their said. “We hope you can meet those stan-
ported to St. Barnabas Hospital, and killing, but no arrests have been made.
job poorly,” she said. “A kid will say, ‘I dards. We will help you meet those stan-
was also reported as stable. Police have not yet released a descrip-
like that teacher.’ Perhaps that teacher dards. But if you can’t, then perhaps it is
The murder victim was later identi- tion of the shooter. —DAVID GREENE
related to you. But my job is to assess best if you move on.”
January 12–25, 2012 ■ Norwood News ■ 5
Inquiring Photographer By DAVID GREENE
This week we asked readers what they thought our local elected
officials should be working on in the coming year.
I think they should raise Getting all the jobs for They really need to cre- I think the politicians They need to work on
the minimum wage to at the people that need ate more jobs for people should be focusing on new energy sources.
least $10 an hour, to try them more than any- because they have been child care and school They definitely need to
and find jobs for the body else, and try and laying off people reform. It has to start work on manufacturing
unemployed and to help help people become because of the reces- with the children and more American goods
people living in the successful in what they sion. And the United that should be the focus. and selling it and mar-
street, like young kids. want to do in their life- States needs to stop I think they’ve done an keting it in America,
Find the homeless a time. It also bothers me involving the Chinese. adequate job, but I think instead of outside the
home and find them that some of the laws Everything that’s sold in there’s a lot of programs country. And they defi-
jobs. we have are unjust. the United States is that have been cut and nitely need to investi-
emad yehiya marco rodriguez made in China. Nothing a lot of things that are gate possible treason
is really made in the negatively impacting our that may have been
United States anymore. youth. committed by the previ-
John “ya-ya” Jackson Jamal harris ous administration.
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4380 VIREO AVENUE
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Studios for rent @ $900, No Fee
TO VIEW AND FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL:
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(914) 793-1793 ext.16
6 ■ January 12–25, 2012 ■ Norwood News
VIP Cafe Reopens After Fire
By EMILY PICCONE ical Center, is finally open again and sport- Sandwiches are also creative, such as
ing a fresh facade and a leaner menu. the Ultrasound, which comes with grilled
The VIP Café, on the corner of Rocham- The large solarium (glass room) that chicken, avocado, tomatoes, sautéed
beau Avenue and East Gun Hill Road, faces the street brightens the restaurant onions, jalapeño peppers and melted
recently reopened after a fire in early July and creates a cozy ambiance for a cheddar cheese, on your choice of a wrap,
left its doors closed for four months. lunchtime meal, while the attentive wait bread or hot panini.
Steve Larous, the restaurant’s owner staff and friendly owner who can usually VIP also has a popular catering ser-
since 1997, said that they had cleaned up be found in-house add to VIP’s simple vice, and by the looks of the quality of
the water damage from putting out the charm. their food and its presentation, it makes
fire, but it was a complicated permitting VIP’s has diner favorites like chicken sense why. Their healthy alternatives and
process that kept their doors closed until wings, nachos, burgers and bottomless good flavors make for a deserved stop
Dec. 5. cups of coffee to be enjoyed in a booth, as amid the bodegas and pizza joints on Gun
“For safety reasons we had to be well as very generous salads that don’t Hill Road. Photo by Adi Talwar
issued all new permits,” he said. skimp on the toppings. Several options Ed. Note: VIP is located at 131 E. Gun VIP OWNER Steve Larous is happy to be
Whatever the reason, VIP, located feature all organic ingredients and are Hill Rd. For more information, call (718) open after a July fire kept him closed
directly across from the Montefiore Med- noted on the menu. 655-8500. until December.
Get Ready Tax Event
Come learn about the tax credits you can qualify for
and your options for receiving a refund without any
charges! Also meet with credit union and local banks to
ensure you are prepared for making the most of your
refund. There will be financial representatives on site to
help you open a free or affordable bank account, so if
you do not have one yet or are looking to change
accounts/financial institutions, please join us on
Thursday, Jan. 12, 6 to 8 p.m. at Concourse House, 2751
Grand Concourse, corner of East 196th Street. RSVP by
calling UNHP at (718) 933-2539.
Music Program Registering Now
Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center welcomes begin-
ner, intermediate, and advanced students to try free sam-
ple classes, audition for special program/scholarships,
and register now through Jan. 28. Instruction by profes-
sional artists/instructors includes private or group
classes for ages 3 to adult in all types of dance and music.
Registration is Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 6:30
p.m., and Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 260 E.
207th St. between Bainbridge and Perry avenues next to
St. Brendan School. Registration for dance classes closes
Jan. 31. For more information, call (718) 652-6256 or visit
the website at www.mind-builders.org.
Improve your reading, writing and math skills and
work toward you GED with the Literacy Connection, a
free education and employment program for young
adults ages 16 to 24. The program is offered at the Mott
Haven, West Farms, and Bronx Library Center branch-
es of the NYPL. Call (718) 401-7453 for an appointment.
Free Computer and GED Classes
The State University of New York’s North Bronx
Career Counseling and Outreach Center, located at 2901
White Plains Rd., is accepting applications for its com-
puter literacy and GED classes, which begin Feb. 6. Call
(718) 547-1001 for more information.
MS 80 Town Hall Meeting
The Parents Association at Middle School 80 is host-
ing a town hall meeting for parents and neighbors of the
school’s community to discuss safety issues on Thurs-
day, Jan. 26 at 5:30 p.m. in the student auditorium, 149 E.
Mosholu Pkwy. N. For more information, call Parent
Coordinator Mrs. Alejandro at (718) 405-6300.
For more Neighborhood Notes online, go to
www.norwoodnews.org and click on “Neighbor-
hood Notes” in the right-hand column.
January 12–25, 2012 ■ Norwood News ■ 7
Beautician Services Real Estate Pediatric Services Non-Denominational
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8 ■ January 12–25, 2012 ■ Norwood News
Bronx High School Students Wanted
for Free Youth Journalism Program
The Bronx Youth Journalism Initiative, a free high school journalism
after-school program run by the Norwood News, is now accepting
applications for the spring 2012 semester!
Learn the ins and outs of reporting, writing and photojournalism, and
have your work published in the Bronx Youth Heard, our youth
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We are looking for students of all academic abilities, but they should
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The deadline for applying is February 15.
January 12–25, 2012 ■ Norwood News ■ 9
10 ■ JANuARY 2012 | bronx youTh heard
VOL. 4, NO. 2 ■ A PUBLICATION OF THE BRONX YOUTH JOURNALISM INITIATIVE ■ T2011/12
WINTER remonT Tribune | JuNE 2011 ■ 10
Officials Step Up Efforts Against Cyberbullying
SAFE, a non-profit foundation dedicated to harassment, nor were there any statistics and direction to prevent any more teens from “cry-
educating the youth on internet safety. In addi- evidence to effectively pass a law, he decided to ing and dying.”
tion, more than 50 percent have admitted to do something about it. Some teens, however, think the issue has
saying these insulting words to another person In New York City, the Department of been blown out of proportion. Teenager
online. Education recognized the severity of cyberbul- Zoey Soto says that while she does not cyber-
Traditional schoolyard bullying has moved lying and now considers it “dangerous or vio- bully or support it, she doesn’t think author-
from campus grounds to the computers and lent behavior.” The DOE classifies cyberbully- ity figures should be getting involved. Those
cell phones of many teenagers. After a rash of ing as a misdemeanor in its Discipline Code.
bullying-related deaths last year, the public’s According to the handbook, cyberbullying is
awareness of cyberbullying has grown, and described as “engaging in intimidating and
school administrators and government officials bullying behavior through electronic commu-
are taking more serious actions to prevent it. nication, such as texting, e-mail, instant mes-
This September, Bronx/Westchester State saging, etc.”
PHOTO BY GISELLE LAM Senator Jeffrey Klein proposed a bill that Like Kenneth, another high school student
A recent study found that 60 percent of kids would criminalize cyberbullying. The legisla- who wished to remain anonymous, said she
have experienced cyberbullying. tion expands the definition of third-degree deals with online harassment on a regular
stalking, a class-A misdemeanor, to include basis. She often finds anonymous messages on on the other side of the screen can “still find
BY GISELLE LAM online bullying, of anyone under the age of 21. her Tumblr micro-blog calling her “a hypocrite a way around it” by doing things like creating
The bill also calls for second-degree and a ho.” She tries to laugh it off but said she fake online identity. She advises victims to
Last month, 17-year-old Kenneth Wong manslaughter charges for those deemed is still hurt by what she reads. shrug it off.
was tidying up his bedroom when his responsible for another’s suicide due to cyber- “I feel I’m being attacked,” she said, adding “[You] won’t be cyber bullied unless you let
Blackberry vibrated on his desk. He was bullying, an offense punishable by up to 15 that she thinks Klein’s bill is a step in the right them,” she said.
expecting to read a text from a friend, but years in prison.
instead found words that beat him up inside.
The anonymous text accused him of being a
bad friend who would “die alone from smok-
A Klein spokesperson said he hopes the leg-
islation will publicize the problem and create
“a chilling effect” on internet taunting.
A Trip Through Metal
ing” and need a “brain transplant for being a
Sixty percent of kids have experienced
mean and hurtful things said to them either
The bill began with the death of Jamey
Rodemeyer, a 14-year-old from Buffalo who
committed suicide after being tormented
online and over the phone. When Klein found
Detector Means Late for
online or through their phones, according to i- out there were no laws relating to this type of
Bronx Residents Make BY ADAMA DIALLO
At 9:05 a.m. on a recent cloudy and windy
“Sometimes lines are ridiculously long,
some students miss their whole first period
‘Occupy’ Their Own Monday morning, a large crowd of students
are eager to get inside the Morris High School
Campus in the Bronx. They are already five
and some even leave,” said Samantha Velez, 19,
an organizer at Sistas and Brothas United, a
youth group that advocates against harsh
BY BRANDON DIOP and power,” said Sean Petty, a registered nurse minutes late for their first period and the policing practices in city schools.
at Jacobi Medical Center. “That money and process of going through the school’s metal Some students get to school early to make
While Occupy Wall Street has been raging power should belong with the 99 percent.” detectors will make them even later.
in downtown Manhattan since September, Organizers use the website occupythe- “Metal detectors made me late a lot of
New York City’s outer boroughs have com- bronx.org to post a calendar of planned rallies times,” said Jimmy Marichal. “It makes my
attendance drop and it wastes my time by ADAMA
menced their own protests that focus more on and videos of past events. The website has
problems in that particular community. become an archive chronicling the importance making me take my stuff, such as belts and DIALLO
Each Saturday, a group of residents and of the movement, as well as the various prob- watch, off every morning.”
local activists have held Occupy the Bronx lems going on in the Bronx community. There are two metal detectors at the Morris
events at various locations: Fordham Plaza, Like the Occupy movement in Manhattan, High School campus, which contains four
“The Hub” at 149th Street and 3rd Avenue, the protestors say they are involved for a number public schools and more than 3,000 students. sure they are not late for their first class.
No. 6 train station at Hunts Point, and along of reasons. Signs at a recent rally read: “Un- The process to go through the detectors “I come to school earlier than usual,” said
Occupy the Bronx from the NYPD,” “Cuts involves removing belts, necklaces, earrings Aisha Diabate, 18.
Hurt,” and “Somos el 99 Percent.” and swiping ID cards, which can take a couple But some students say they don’t mind the
“The rules are stacked against us,” said delay, because the metal detectors mean the
Sergio Cuevas, treasurer of the Northwest building is more secure.
BRANDON Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, “I feel like metal detectors are useful,
DIOP who said he holds corporate banks responsi- because that way students don’t get to bring
ble for much of the borough’s foreclosed stuff that can be harmful, and it makes me feel
property. safe,” said 16-year-old Raymond Victorio. “We
Desiree Pilgrim Hunter, the group’s presi- never know what will happen.”
Gun Hill Road. dent, says that she would like to see the bank- Velez, however, thinks the metal detectors do
While it started out small, the movement ing industry better regulated instead of feeding more harm than good. “They are sending a mes-
has grown. Well-known local advocacy group off the Bronx’s low-income residents. sage that students are not trustworthy. It shows
the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy According to the United States Census that they are kind of incarcerated,” she said.
Coalition joined the protests in October, and Bureau, the median household income in the PHOTO BY ADAMA DIALLO Most security guards that work schools
an average group of 75 people have been Bronx in 2009 was $32,888. There are only two metal detectors on the with metal detectors agree that they don’t cre-
attending the weekly events. “We are used to doing more with less,” said Morris High School Campus, to scan over 3,000 ate a great environment, but say they are nec-
“The one percent have too much money organizer Lisa Ortega. students. (continued on p. 13 )
bronx youTh heard | JANuARY 2012 ■ 11
Packed Classrooms Cramp Learning
BY LEILA NOMBRE
Vol. 4, No. 2
c/o 3400 Reservoir Oval East At Jonathan Levin School for Media and
Bronx, NY 10467 Communication in the Bronx, there are as
Phone: (718) 324-4998 many as 37 students in a classroom, and
E-mail: email@example.com learning has become a struggle.
“I barely learn anything,” said Ashlee
Bronx Youth Heard is a publication of the Sandino, a junior. “I don’t get equal atten-
Bronx Youth Journalism Initiative, published tion. It’s a waste of time. Class is disruptive.”
twice a year in the Norwood News. Students say the overcrowded classes make
them feel left out of classroom discussions.
Reporters “I hate it,” said Tanairie Mastarreno, a
Natalie L. Azucena senior. “It’s too much, and the teacher cannot
Anthony Caldwell focus on students, and less learning is done.”
Adama Diallo As for teachers, this kind of environment PHOTO BY LEILA NOMBRE
Brandon Diop has also been a struggle. Osvaldo Mancebo, a Some classes at Jonathan Levin High School in the Bronx have as many as 37 students.
Elfrida Johnson math teacher at Levin, described his large
class as “extremely challenging.” mayor in 2001, he vowed to reduce class- not able to teach them effectively,” Raj said.
Giselle Lam room sizes and acknowledged their detri- Class size may have larger implications on
Dondre Lemon “There’s a negative impact, a burden on
teachers, and there is no opportunity for ment on learning. overall school performance at Levin. Last
Leila Nombre Teachers at Levin don’t agree with year, the school received a “D” for student
interactions among students and teachers,”
he said. Bloomberg’s large classroom policy. performance on its city progress report.
Michaela Ritz “More can be accomplished with a small According to the Department of
Barbara Powell, a health teacher, agreed. “I
have to take away from class time to deal with class than a big class,” said film and broadcast Education, the maximum number of stu-
Program Director dents in each class should not be over 34. The
discipline,” she said. “There’s not enough
time for teaching. [I have] lost students, very DOE would not provide any detailed infor-
lost students, that cannot get the attention mation on repercussions for schools that
Program Coordinators exceed the limit.
Jeanmarie Evelly, Katina Paron A research project conducted in the state
Her ideal class size would be 20 to 22 stu- NOMBRE
dents based on the group of kids in the of Tennessee called Project STAR (Student-
The Bronx Youth Journalism Initiative is a Teacher Achievement Ratio) assessed the
free journalism program for Bronx high school.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, on the other effects of classroom size on learning, and
school students, run by the Norwood News found evidence that students in smaller class-
with support from the North Star Fund, the
hand, said in a speech recently that large
classes are fine by him. The mayor said that if teacher Don Ceronne. “Packing a lot of kids es outperformed students in larger classes.
Johnson Family Foundation Fund, and City into a room does not necessarily lead to a An administrator at Levin, who asked not
he had the power to cut down teachers and
Councilman Fernando Cabrera, and in col- more productive education.” to be named for fear of DOE retribution,
double classroom size, he would do so, on the
laboration with CUNY’s College Now pro- Lee Raj, a Living Environment teacher at blamed the crowded classrooms on budget
basis of raising teaching standards and weed-
gram at Hostos Community College. Levin, said that in bigger classes, certain stu- cuts the school has endured. To get the best
ing out those who the city finds ineffective.
However, when Bloomberg was running for dents can slip through the cracks. “Some stu- out of the situation, he said students and
dents are in high need, and I’m afraid that I’m teachers have to work together.
Bronx Teens: What
BY NATALIE L. AZUCENA attention.
“What you’re seeing right now is a bunch of
Teenagers in the Bronx aren’t concerned folks trying to cater to you, trying to pander to
about the upcoming presidential election next the worst elements of this country,” he said, of
fall. The Republican candidates running for the the ongoing Republican race.
party’s nomination aren’t even on their radar. “Herman Cain said ‘If you’re not rich, if you
“I know that one of the guys running for don’t have a job, don’t blame Wall Street,
president got caught in a 13-year affair,” said blame yourself,’” Rivera said. “That is exactly
Kiana Montero, a junior at Women’s Academy what some of the Republicans believe about
of Excellence in the Bronx, referring to former
candidate Herman Cain. That’s all she knows
us…about the families and the people that live
in my district,” he said.
We’re Proud to Provide
He also believes that public opinion of
Barack Obama has changed since the president
was elected in 2008, but he continues to sup-
Safe and Affordable
NATALIE L. port him fully.
AZUCENA Young people say their opinion of Obama
has also changed. “He might be trying, but he’s
not giving people what they need,” Kiana said.
about the race. “I am not interested in politics,”
“I think Obama is a very good leader con-
sidering what he has done, coming into office
The Northwest Bronx.
she added. in a messed up situation,” said Ashley Brea, a
Though they don’t know follow politics, 16-year-old junior at Women’s Academy of
local kids are concerned with a number of
Carina Rodriguez, another 16-year-old Studios and 1 Bedroom
“Pollution, global warming and the stock
market,” is what Bronx resident Jocelin
junior, is indifferent. “I don’t really have an
opinion of him,” she said. “I don’t know what
Camilo, 17, said she was interested in. he has done for me.”
Through movements like Occupy Wall Though few Bronx youths have been fol-
Street and, closer to home, Occupy the Bronx,
teens and young adults are finding avenues to
lowing the race, some say that as it gets closer
to the election season, they’re realizing they
Pick up application at:
voice their unease. However, few show any should. Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation
interest in who the next president will be. This “I’m going to start following the race,” said
concerns some Bronx leaders. 17-year-old Bronx resident Jeanettza Serrano. 2751 Grand Concourse, The Bronx
New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera, a
Democrat who represents the Bronx’s 33rd
She’ll be 18 and eligible to vote by November
and says she’ll be casting her ballot for 718-367-3200
senate district, said teens should pay more Obama.
12 ■ JANuARY 2012 | bronx youTh heard
For Some Students, Students Want Healthier
Negative Statistics Are Snack Choices
Motivation city: 12 percent of residents have been diagnosed
with the disease. Citywide, one in six public high
school students are overweight, according to the
BY ANTHONY CALDWELL and ranks fourth in his class. He said Department of Health.
hearing negative things can drive students While the Department of Education has banned
This year, Mayor Michael Bloomberg to perform better out of a sense of com- foods like soda and candy in their vending
invested $127 million into a new Young petitiveness. “A person is always looked at machines for the past several years, private and
Men’s Initiative to address the city’s racial how they perform in closing situations,” Catholic schools like Mount Saint Michael don’t
achievement gap. Black and Latino male he said. have the same rules.
students in New York City are three times Educators say that many of the teens “We eat too much fatty foods,” said Lamar Love,
more likely to be in special education who have a difficult time achieving acad- a freshman.
emically are dealing with issues within the Most of the snacks in the new, healthy machines
family, such as a lack of support or finan- PHOTO BY DONDRE LEMON) are sold for $2 to $3.50 each, compared to the $1
cial instability. Some Bronx students say they’d like to see healthi- price tag items in the old machines.
Bronx State Sen. Gustavo Rivera, who er options in their school vending machines. Some are undecided if their school should have
CALDWELL has taught as an adjunct professor at Pace healthy vending machines .
University and Hunter College, said he BY DONDRE LEMON “Yes, too many teens are gaining weight,” said
made an extra effort to work with high-
needs students or those who struggled in Two years ago, New York City installed healthy
classrooms than their white counterparts, his class. “It was my job to give them a way vending machines in 14 public schools throughout
and are less likely to graduate from high to catch up because I knew they did not the city, with three of them in the Bronx. DONDRE
school, according to a report from the have the experience,” Rivera said. These new vending machines, at Bronx Science, LEMON
program. But not all students can rely on their DeWitt Clinton and Herbert H. Lehman high
On television, on the radio and in the teachers, and must make the extra effort schools, are stocked with water, low-calorie drinks
news, young people often hear that themselves. with no artificial flavors, fruits and vegetables.
Hispanic and African-American teens “To succeed in college, students have Some students at other schools say they would Ayanna Punter, 14, from St. Barnabas High School
don’t do as well in school, or in life. But to be more independent,” said Sadie enjoy having these healthy vending machines in in the Bronx. “But [sometimes] you need junk
for many Bronx youth, this data only Mahoney, director of Teen Center at the their own cafeterias. food.”
motivates them. Kingsbridge Heights Community “I would like if the school had healthy vending The solution, some say, is to have more choices.
“Us black people should try not to be Center. machines because of obesity and diabetes,” said “I would rather have a mixture of both vending
another statistic,” said Richard Bennett, a Melissa Morales, a college advisor at David Nelson, 14, a student at Mount Saint Michael machines,” said Justin Henry, a 14-year-old fresh-
senior at Urban Assembly for Careers in Urban Assembly, said it’s important that Academy. man at Cardinal Spellman.
Sports, who says he often sees these statis- students hear positive encouragement. “My school vending machines have a lot of Jaylin Washington, a freshman at Scanlon High
tics play out in his neighborhood. “They don’t need to hear negative stereo- healthy snacks like Fiber One Bars and water,” said School in Co-Op City, agreed. “We can have one
Willy Reyes, another Urban Assembly types,” she said. “They need to be empow- Alicia Cameron, a freshman at Mount Vernon healthy vending machines and the rest can be junk,”
senior, is one of the school’s higher per- ered and supported throughout their High. she said. “Some people may want to stay healthy,
forming students — he holds a 91 average educational endeavors.” The Bronx has the highest rate of diabetes in the and others would still eat junk.”
Local Groups Campaign Against Cigarette Ads in Bodegas
BY MICHAELA RITZ regulate where ads are placed in stores so that said Nusrat Ahmed, a 16-year-old student who and point of sale, ads and products near the
teens and kids are not targeted. The effect of lives in Parkchester. Nusrat says she’s never cash register. A study conducted by the
Bold colors, a large font, highlighted words such a law would be large in the Bronx, advo- smoked before and that she has a built-in prej- American Academy of Pediatrics found that
and smiling people. Producers of cigarette ads udice against it because her uncle smokes and “point of sale is the dominant channel for
use these design elements to lure customers. her father chews tobacco. advertising cigarettes, and adolescents are rou-
Health advocates say these ads prey on low- “Cigarettes make you feel good for a short tinely exposed to these messages.”
income communities of color, particularly in MICHAELA while, but they bring you closer to your death,” According to a report from the Centers for
the Bronx. RITZ she said. “Cigarette companies try to promote Disease Control, Marlboro cigarettes target
“The tobacco industry saturates poor com- the short-term experience.” whites and Asians. The survey found that 60
munities like ours, where there are high stress Nic Arenas, a 16-year-old smoker who lives percent of black middle school students and 79
levels and unemployment,” said Juan Ramon on Allerton Avenue, says he thinks graphic percent of black high school students smoke
Rios, of the High Bridge Community Life cates say, as there are more than 1,600 bodegas anti-smoking ads — such as those launched by Newport brand cigarettes. The American
Center, which runs the Partnership for a and small groceries here. the Health Department — are more noticeable Academy of Pediatrics also conducted a study
Smoke-Free Bronx. The group has been push- Many teens, however, say they aren’t influ- than those that advertise the sale of cigarettes. which found that Camel ads in magazines were
ing for legislation that would limit the number enced by the advertisements. “Smoking ads are very simple and anti- popular with teenage girls.
of cigarette ads displayed in city bodegas, and “I have never seen a cigarette ad before,” smoking ads are disgusting, so I think Truth Most bodegas are paid to promote the ciga-
ads are more persuasive because of the images rette company’s product, but Richard Ricardo,
they present,” he said. a 42-year-old store manager at Harb Discount
But experts say the ads are more subtle in and Stationery Store on Bedford Park
their appeal to youth. Bolded words such as Boulevard, said the amount is not much.
“pleasure,” “menthol,” “cooling effect,” and “There’s really no money in it,” he said. “We
“smooth,” are one way the ads create pleasant bring the cigarettes for the customers.”
associations with cigarettes, according to the
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
“The warning signs are small and ambigu-
ous in comparison to the rest of the ad,” said
Elizabeth Zaslavskaya, a 15-year-old Pelham
Parkway resident. She noted that many ads are
located in the windows of drugstores, while the
signs warning about the negative health effects
of cigarettes are usually very small or obscured.
“Ads are placed in the store and storefront
windows. As soon as you go to the counter
…the first thing you will see is colorful tobac-
co,” said Rios. This observation touches on two
strategies used by tobacco companies, he said, PHOTO BY MICHAELA RITZ
which are saturation, a larger number of ads, Cigarette ads on display at a Bronx deli.
bronx youTh heard | JANuARY 2012 ■ 13
International Students Miffed by Mandarin-Only Classes
BY KIKI OLAFIMIHAN Leadership offered both Spanish and
Mandarin classes — students were required to
Despite its multicultural name, take Mandarin in grades 9 and 10, then transi-
International Leadership Charter High School tioned to Spanish during grade 11. The
offers its students only one language class school’s administration got rid of the Spanish
choice for all four years of their high school classes this year, which upset many students
attendance: Mandarin, a dialect of Chinese who regarded Spanish as an easier option for
most commonly spoken in northern and the state’s Regents language exam.
Other students, however, say they enjoy
Mandarin, especially freshman who are excit-
ed to take their first new language class. But
KIKI many juniors and seniors say it gets exasper-
OLAFIMIHAN ating when it’s the only language option for
all four years, and one of the most difficult to
Ms. Huang, the Mandarin teacher for
southwestern China. juniors at International Leadership, said she
Some students dislike this arrangement and does think it’s unusual that the school offers
wish it could be different. only Mandarin, especially when there are very
“I don’t only want to learn one language,” few Asian students at the school, which is made
said Mariamah Bah, a junior at the school. “I up of mostly Hispanic and African-American
don’t like [Mandarin]. It’s hard, and I wish we teens.
had other subjects to learn, like French.” “This is a non-Asian heritage, so it’s inter-
According to the Department of Education, esting,” Huang said.
public and charter schools are only required to Still, she said she thinks learning the lan- PHOTO BY KIKI OLAFIMIHAN
offer one language other than English to stu- guage is a great opportunity for students. While most high schools offer language classes like Spanish and Italian, students at International
dents. Last school year, International “Mandarin is a rich topic,” she said. Leadership Charter School in Marble Hill can only take Mandarin.
School Cell Phone Bans Don’t Apply to Teachers
BY ELFRIDA JOHNSON wasted when teachers use their cell phones in The parent coordinator, Celsa Lopez, agrees “I need my phone for protection; nobody
class. with the school policy. She said teachers need knows what might happen outside school,”
At Jonathan Levin High School for Media According to Principal Nasib Hoxha, the to bring their phones because they have said Katheryn.
and Communications on Morris Avenue, official school policy bans teachers from using responsibilities, like a second job or children to “It’s not safe for students to come to school
some students leave their cell phones at home. their phones in class. He said students who see check up on. without a cell phone,” said Stephen Mensah.
Some try to sneak them in. Others pay a dollar their teachers using cell phones should give Still, students say they should have the same “There could be an emergency and the student
to keep it at the bodega next door. Their teach- him a written report. rights as teachers. needs to call home.”
ers, on the other hand, don’t have this problem. The bigger issue for students is that they
While students are forbidden from having think it’s unfair that they cannot have their
cell phones in school, some say their teachers phones.
use them in class. They find the double-stan- “I think students should have the right to
dard distracting and unfair. bring their phones to school,” said Katheryn
“The rule says phone prohibited - not
phone prohibited except for teachers,” said
Alexis Watson, a student at Levin.
The Department of Education banned cell ELFRIDA
phones at public schools for students in 2006, JOHNSON
but there is no official policy for teachers and
administrators. Teachers at Levin said they are
told not to use their cell phones in class, but
some still do. Espinal, a senior. She said students should have
“Their ring tones distract me and make me their cell phones with them in case of an emer-
lose focus on what I’m supposed to be doing,” gency outside school. She also believes that just
senior Patrick Johnson said. because certain students use their phone for
“I think teachers who use their phones in unnecessary stuff doesn’t mean every student
class should be fired,” said Don Cerrone, a does it.
broadcast journalism teacher. “If the teacher But Raul Acevedo, the guidance counselor,
asks permission from the principal about an said teachers have more reasons for needing a
emergency, then it’s ok, but if it’s just a regular phone on them than students do. “You cannot
conversation, then he or she can’t just disrupt compare the two,” he said. “Adults have more
everything.” He said students’ class time is responsibilities than students do.”
A Trip Through Detector
Means Late for Class
(continued from p. 10 ) advocacy groups like Sistas and Brothas United
essary for security reasons. say the Department of Education should look
“We are here to make sure that students for other ways to make campuses safe, ways
don’t get inside of the school with a gun or that don’t negatively affect students’ learning.
other harmful stuff,” said Victoria Sanchez, a “There are a lot of other security measures
security guard at the Morris Campus. “This schools can take, such as peer mediation,” said
isn’t a prison. We are just trying our best to Shaun Lin, 28, an organizer for the group.
protect the environment that we live in and we “The presence of police creates a tense envi-
want everyone to feel safe and comfortable.” ronment in the school,” he continued. “It
Though schools have been resistant to the makes students feel intimidated and watched,
idea of removing metal detectors, student because it seems like the space is not theirs.”
14 ■ January 12–25, 2012 ■ Norwood News
Onstage suggested. with leading singers and musical
groups, Jan. 28 at 8 p.m.; and Blast!,
Tormela, Jan. 21 at 2 p.m. featuring
highlights of opera, operetta, Broadway
■ The Lehman Center for the Performing featuring music and theatre, Jan. 29 at and popular classics. Special requests
■ The Albert Einstein Symphony
Arts, 250 Bedford Pk. Blvd. W., presents 6 p.m. (tickets $25 to $40; $10/ages 12 welcomed. For more information, call
Orchestra will perform classical music
musical legends, The O’Jays, Jan. 14 at and under). For more information, call (718) 882-8239.
in Robbins Auditorium, Forchheimer
8 p.m. (tickets are $55 to $65); Ralph (718) 960-8833.
Building, of the Albert Einstein College of
Levitt y la Selecta and Spanish
Medicine, 1300 Morris Pk. Ave., on Jan.
15 at 2 p.m. For more information, visit
Harlem Orchestra, featuring salsa from ■ The Bronx Opera presents The Events
Puerto Rico to el barrio, Jan. 21 at 8 Poisoned Kiss, a romance between a
einsteinorch.tripod.com. Contributions ■ JASA Van Cortlandt Senior Center,
p.m. (tickets are $45 to $55); Doo Wop prince and a vengeful magician’s daugh-
3880 Sedgwick Ave., presents a Sing
ter whose kiss can kill, at Lehman
College’s Lovinger Theatre, 250 Bedford Along, Jan. 12 at 1 p.m.; music enter-
EDITOR’S PICK Pk. Blvd. W., Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m. and tainment, Jan. 17 at 11:30 a.m. fol-
Jan. 15 at 2 p.m. (tickets are $15 to lowed by lunch at 12:15 p.m. and lively
dance music ($2/lunch; $2/entertain-
Extend the Holidays... $30). For more information, visit
www.brownpapertickets.com/event/184 ment; call by Jan. 13 to reserve); Trip to
320. Empire City Casino, Jan. 25 (call
The entire family can extend the holiday season to Jan. 16 by visiting the New
Maritza Silva to reserve); and Art
York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show, featuring replicas of NYC land-
■ The Bronx Library Center, at 310 E. History Talk, about Columbian sculptor
marks made of natural materials such as bark, twigs, fruits and seeds, and
Kingsbridge Rd. off Fordham Road, pre- Botero, Jan. 27 at 1 p.m. For more infor-
large-scale model trains running along nearly a quarter mile of track featuring
sents Silk and Sword, by the Red Silk mation, call (718) 549-4700.
bridges, tunnels and waterfalls. Included will be a glimpse at the making of the
Dancers, Jan. 14 at 2:30 p.m.; and
exhibition at the Artist’s Studio. Children can enjoy Gingerbread Adventures, ■ The Bronx Council on the Arts pre-
Charlie Porter Jazz Quartet, Jan. 21 at
Holiday Film Festival, The Little Engine That Could Puppet Show, and All
2:30 p.m. For more information, call sents free workshop, Greeting Cards,
Aboard With Thomas & Friends. The Bronx Community Pride Center invites
(718) 579-4244/46/57 or visit as part of its third Saturday of the
the public to a special evening viewing of the train show on Jan. 13 from 6 to 8
www.nypl.org. month series, at the Huntington Free
p.m. ($20/person) with drink specials and cash bar available (show details at
Library, 9 Westchester Square, Jan. 21,
nybg.org/hts; tickets: nybg.org/pridetickets). For more information, tickets, and
■ The Mosholu Library, at 285 E. 205th from 12:30 to 3 p.m. For more informa-
details of holiday events and rates, call (718) 817-8700.
St., presents Opera With Anne tion, call (718) 829-7770.
January 12–25, 2012 ■ Norwood News ■ 15
■ Bronx Parks & Recreation presents
its second annual Winterfest
Library Events Thursdays at 3 p.m.; and Wii
Program, Tuesdays at 3 p.m., each for
information, call (718) 882-8239.
Celebration, featuring sports and fit- seniors and adults; Afternoon Movie ■ The Jerome Park Library, at 118 Eames
■ The Bronx Library Center, at 310 E.
ness, arts and crafts, storytelling, enter- Time (for teens and young adults), Place, offers Toddler Story Time, Jan. 18
Kingsbridge Rd. off Fordham Road, pre-
tainment, raffles, light refreshments, Jan. 19 at 3 p.m.; and Gate of at 11 a.m.; and Film, Jan. 23 at 4 p.m. For
sents programs for kids including
and more, on Jan. 21 at Hunts Point Equality (ages 5 to 12), one-man show more information, call (718) 549-5200.
Preschool Story Time, Jan. 12, 19 and
Recreation Center, 765 Manida St. at about Martin Luther King, Jr., Jan. 24
26 at 11 a.m.; Toddler Story Time, Jan.
Lafayette Avenue, from 11 a.m. to 4 at 4 p.m. Speakers of other languages NOTE: Items for consideration may be
21 at 11 a.m.; Family Time, Jan. 14 at
p.m. For more information, call (718) (ages 16+) may register for free mailed to our office or sent to norwood-
11 a.m.; Film Day, Jan. 18 and 25 at 4
860-5544. English Conversation Program (inter- firstname.lastname@example.org, and should
p.m.; Tales for the Teeny Tiny (ages 3
mediate level), Jan. 17 at 6:30 p.m. be received by Jan. 16 for the next pub-
to 5), Jan. 14 and 21 at 11 a.m.; Spin,
(groups meet Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8 lication date of Jan. 26. Find more
Exhibits Pop, Boom Show (ages 3 to 12), Jan.
14 at 2 p.m.; Mad Science Workshops
p.m.; call (212) 340-0918). For more events at www.bronxnewsnetwork.org.
■ The Pregones Theatre, 571-575 at 4 p.m. (ages 3 to 12; registration
Walton Ave. (149th Street) presents
Breathing History, through Feb. 4. For
more information and a schedule, call
required): on Life In the Sea, Jan. 17,
and All About Animals, Jan. 24; Global
Partners, Jr. (ages 5 to 12), students
(718) 585-1202. connect worldwide via the Internet, Jan.
18 and 25 at 4 p.m.; Ship Book
■ The Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Making, Jan. 19 at 4 p.m.; and Stories
Grand Concourse at 165th St., presents and Songs of Latin America, (ages 3
Muntadas: Information, Space, to 12), Jan. 21 at 2 p.m. Adults can
Control, through Jan. 16. Admission is attend Single Stop/Government
free on Fridays. For more information, Benefits, Jan. 12, 17, 19, 24 and 26 at
call (718) 681-6000. 9 a.m.; IRS Collection and Tax
Payment Options for Financially
■ Norwood artist Barbara Korman will Distressed Small Businesses (online
have her work featured as part of the registration required), Jan. 14 at 10:30
Rock, Paper, Scissors Exhibit a.m.; and Planning for Retirement,
through Jan. 25 at the Flinn Gallery on Jan. 17 at 10 a.m. For more information,
the second floor of the Greenwich call (718) 579-4244/46/57 or visit
Library, 101 W. Putnam Ave., www.nypl.org.
Greenwich, CT. For more information,
■ The Mosholu Library, at 285 E.
call (203) 622-7947.
205th St., offers Knitting Circle,