January 12_ 2012 - Norwood News

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January 12_ 2012 - Norwood News Powered By Docstoc
					                     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
                                                                                                                   Arrested During
                                                                                                                   ‘Prayer Protest’
                                                                                                               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-
                                                                                                                         Shooting of
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
                                                    Arrested During
    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:                      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.
Alex Kratz
                                                      “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.
Accounts Receivable
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-
Judy Noy
                                                   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-
(718) 324-4998.
                                                      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
                                                                                                                                         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)
   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.
                                                                                                                                       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
                                                 do lightly.”
                                                     “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
ity.                                             citywide.
                                                                                                 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.
                                                                                                                     mario medina

             FOR SALE

                         3520 TRYON AVENUE
       Perfectly located co-op. Walk to Montefiore and Subway.
                          “Handyman Special”
                             1 BR $97,000
                            Maint: $548.45

                          4380 VIREO AVENUE
                         2 BR-JR $169,000.00
                            Maint: $543.69
                   Studios for rent @ $900, No Fee

        Sherry and Sons, Inc.
               (914) 793-1793 ext.16
6   ■   January 12–25, 2012   ■   Norwood News

Business Beat
                       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.

                                                                                                                              Neighborhood Notes
                                                                                                                              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

                                                                                                                              Literacy Connection
                                                                                                                                 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
                                                                                                                     and click on “Neighbor-
                                                                                                                              hood Notes” in the right-hand column.
                                                                                                                                  January 12–25, 2012   ■   Norwood News   ■   7

                                                             Professional Directory
  Beautician Services                                    Real Estate                           Pediatric Services                   Non-Denominational
     come to madame P’s Beauty                   2-Family house for Sale – Fully                      Tiga Pediatrics                    Services
                     World                       renovated. Includes 3 BR over 3               3510 Bainbridge Ave., Suite 5,
                                                BR & master bedroom. Wood floors                     Bronx, NY 10467                  Good news christian church
   The last old-fashioned hairdresser                                                                                                      3061 Bainbridge Ave.
                 in the Bronx.                  and tile. Full 1-bedroom basement.                  Ages 0 to 21 years
                                                This property has 7 bedrooms and             General Practice, Obesity, Asthma,       (basement of the Church of the
    We specialize in haircutting, hair                                                                                                         Holy Nativity)
     care, and provide consultations            4 full baths. Parking and back yard.                       ADHD
                                                  New kitchen. Wheelchair ramp.              Same-Day Appointment Every Day!                 Bronx, NY 10467
   on hair care and weaving to stim-                                                                                                          (347) 329-0023
     ulate hair growth. We do tinting             Great investment, it will pay for                   (718) 319-8999
                                                      itself. You will live for free!                                                Pastors James and Andrea Miller
    and use all manners of relaxers,                                                                                                     Sunday service at 2 p.m.
          including Mizani, Affirm,                Location: Wakefield - Barnes,
                                                 between 228th and 229th streets.                                                    Home fellowship bible studies on
     Fiberguard, and Vitale. We use                                                                                                       Wednesdays at 7 p.m.
    Wave Nouveau Coiffure. We are                  Minutes away from Montefiore                        Lawyers                          Friday night prayer service
       still doing carefree curls and                           Hospital.
                                                Please call owner: (917) 622-5810                 James m. Visser, esq.                          at 7 p.m.
        press and curl. 20% off for
    seniors Tuesdays, Wednesdays,                     – PRICE: $455,000 (neg.)                  General Practice; Accidents,
                                                                                               Commmercial; Wills & Estates;                  Visit us at
               and Thursdays.                                                                                             
                                                co-op for Sale: Large bright one-              Offices Bronx and Manhattan
    617 E. Fordham Road (between                  bedroom co-op for sale. Newly                       (646) 260-6326
    Arthur and Hughes), Bronx, NY               remodeled. Steps to the park and
      10458. (Fordham University                close to all transportation. Asking
      Section). Call today for your              $135,000, price negotiable. Low
     appointment: (347) 284-3834.               maintenance. Call (917) 972-5268.

  POSITION WANTED                    ESL certified, former NY Times          RELIGIOUS SERVICES
                                     cartographer/staff editor. (718) 644-                                      Classifieds: $9 for the first 20 words and 25 cents
Nurse’s Aide with 25 years’ expe-    1083.                                   Glad Tidings Assembly of God: 2    for each additional word. Professional Directory:
rience in hospitals, nursing homes                                           Van Cortlandt Ave. E. and Jerome   $144 for six months; $260 for one year. Business
and private residences seeks                                                 Avenue. (718) 367-4040. Prayer     Cards: $360 for six months (12 issues); $625 for
employment. Will live in or out.     Yoga: Stretching, meditation,           Wednesdays at 11 a.m. and 7:30
Call (718) 364-7771.                                                         p.m., Sunday Service at 11 a.m.
                                                                                                                one year (25 issues). Deadlines: Deadlines for classi-
                                     drumming or dancing on Fridays
                                                                                                                fied ads are one week prior to publication. To place an
                                     and Sundays. $10 per session.                                              ad, call the Norwood News at (718) 324-4998 between
SERVICES AVAILABLE                                                              MISCELLANEOUS
                                     RSVP (718) 644-1083 or email                                               the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday thru Friday.
Tutor: K-9 teacher NYS certified,                          THANK YOU ST. JUDE.
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
                                                          newspaper that gets printed in the Norwood News.
                                                 We are looking for students of all academic abilities, but they should
                                                  be highly motivated, love to write, be naturally inquisitive, and care
                                                 about what’s going on in their communities. For more information or
                                                 to request an application form, please call Jeanmarie or Alex at (718)
                                                          324-4998, or e-mail

                                                               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
                                                                                                                                                            of minutes.
                                                                                                                                                               “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-  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:                   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
                  Kiki Olafimihan
                                                          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
                    Alex Kratz
                                                          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.
                                                          needed.”                                                     LEILA
          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
Presidential Election?
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
                                                                                                                Housing Throughout
                                                     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
political issues.
                                                        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
                                                                                                                                 Apartments Available
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 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
                                                                                        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
                                                                                                              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,; tickets: 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.

                                           1/31/12                                                                                                                 1/31/12
                                                                                                                              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-, 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

■ 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.,        
Greenwich, CT. For more information,
                                              ■ The Mosholu Library, at 285 E.
call (203) 622-7947.
                                              205th St., offers Knitting Circle,

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