Monday, January 28, 2013

Westchester Square News: Flu Shots

Westchester Square News: Flu Shots: --> BRONX, NEW YORK, January 28- Council Member James Vacca and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York offered free flu shots for ...

Flu Shots

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BRONX, NEW YORK, January 28- Council Member James Vacca and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York offered free flu shots for Bronx residents at Vacca’s office, located at 3040 East Tremont Avenue. Vacca was pleased to join the first two constituents who came for their free shots, (Left to Right) Emilio Abbamonte and Florence Smith, who received their shots from VNSNY’s Ann Royston.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Westchester Square News: Monte Takes Over Westchester Sq. Hospital

Westchester Square News: Monte Takes Over Westchester Sq. Hospital: --> BRONX, NEW YORK, January 25- The Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approved Montefiore Medical Center’s b...

Monte Takes Over Westchester Sq. Hospital

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BRONX, NEW YORK, January 25- The Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approved Montefiore Medical Center’s bid to acquire the facilities of New York Westchester Square Medical Center (NYWSMC), a Bronx, N.Y., neighborhood hospital that has operated under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for nearly seven years.
“Montefiore has a longstanding commitment to its community. We want to provide vital healthcare services that are forward-thinking, coordinated and patient-centered, and in so doing, safeguard jobs and support local businesses,” said Steven M. Safyer, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Montefiore. “Our model is based on the belief that comprehensive and well-managed care improves patients’ overall well-being.”
The new facility will be renamed Montefiore Westchester Square. The plan is to have a full-service emergency department, an ambulatory surgery center and, over time, comprehensive primary and specialty care services.   
Montefiore is committed to preserving as many jobs as possible and will begin working closely with NYWSMC’s labor unions to identify qualified staff eligible for hire by Montefiore. “The physicians and staff at NYWSMC have maintained the highest level of professionalism at a time when the medical center was under financial stress and its future uncertain,” Dr. Safyer said. “They have sustained the warm and caring environment that has characterized this institution for many years.”
NYWSMC was founded in 1929. Approximately half of NYWSMC’s physicians currently have privileges at Montefiore; others have the option of applying for privileges.
The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is supported by $20 million in funding available under the state’s Health Efficiency and Affordability Law. Closing is expected to take place in March.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Westchester Square News: Maritime Snaps Losing Streak 

Westchester Square News: Maritime Snaps Losing Streak : --> BRONX, NEW YORK, January 23- The Maritime basketball team snapped a four-game losing streak in dominating fashion on Tuesday ...

Maritime Snaps Losing Streak 

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BRONX, NEW YORK, January 23- The Maritime basketball team snapped a four-game losing streak in dominating fashion on Tuesday night at the Riesenberg Hall Gymnasium, claiming its second victory of the season, 79-57, over Skyline opponent Mount St. Vincent. The Privateers improve to 2-11 (1-7 Skyline) with the victory, while the Dolphins fall to 4-12 (2-7 Skyline).
“I am so proud of our team tonight,” said head coach Jake Scott. “Everything we have been working on to this point came together. They deserve to be excited after that win. We will continue to work and improve every day. It was a great team effort.”
Sophomore T-Vaughn Gibson (Freeport, Bahamas/Sunland Baptist) led all players with a career-high 28 points; 17 of them coming in the second half. Classmate Sean Corley (Harlem, N.Y./Thurgood Marshall) drained 19 points, while also grabbing six rebounds and dishing out six assists. Senior Ron Bethea (Harlem, N.Y./Humanities Prep.) was limited in the second half due to an apparent leg injury, but still scored 13 points and had a game-high seven rebounds in just 27 minutes.
The Privateers charged out to a 21-point lead, 28-7, at 7:48 of the first half, but Mount St. Vincent fought back with nine straight points in just three minutes, all but two were off of Maritime turnovers. The Red and Blue were able to correct their mistakes and held a 12-point, 35-23, lead at halftime.
The Dolphins picked up their game early in the second half and the lead was cut down to just eight points, 45-37, at 14:03. However, a long stretch from 10:22 to 4:24 of the second saw the Privateers expand their lead to a game-high 23 points after a 20-7 run made the score 71-48. It was capped off by Gibson nailing two free throws.
Mount had three players score in double-figures, led by junior James Zuccaro, who had 18 points. Sophomore D’Andre McPhatter added 13 points and a team-high seven rebounds and junior Gerard Fraser scored 11.
The Privateers shot a season-high 51.0-percent from the floor (26-for-51) compared to the Dolphins’ 32.8-percent (22-for-67).
Maritime is back in action on Thursday, when the squad will travel to Brooklyn to take on NYU-Poly. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Jays’ Jacobs Gymnasium.


Westchester Square News: St. Raymond High School Basketball Past Meets Bask...

Westchester Square News: St. Raymond High School Basketball Past Meets Bask...: --> BRONX, NEW YORK, January 23- Excitement filled the air at the St. Raymond High School for Boys gym on January 20 as alumni,...

St. Raymond High School Basketball Past Meets Basketball Present

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BRONX, NEW YORK, January 23- Excitement filled the air at the St. Raymond High School for Boys gym on January 20 as alumni, family and friends of the school celebrated the past and present of the basketball program.  
Gary DeCesare ’81 coached the St. Raymond Varsity basketball team for 16 seasons until 2003. After coaching stints with DePaul University and Richmond College, DeCesare now helms the St. Rita High School varsity team in Chicago who visited to take on St. Raymond.  
St. Raymond entered the game with a record of 10-5, and a number six ranking in New York City according to MSG Varsity. More than 75 alumni from the school attended to watch DeCesare take on first year coach Jorge Lopez and the St. Raymond team. The game was exciting throughout, with St. Raymond emerging victorious by a score of 56-52. Leading the Ravens were Tory Ferguson with 15 points, Shawn Jones with 13 points, six rebounds and three assists and Luis Santos with 11 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks.
After the game, all players and fans remained in the gym as Coach DeCesare recognized the 20th anniversary of St. Raymond’s first state championship in 1993. Many of the players, managers and coaches of this team returned to celebrate the past and present of St. Raymond basketball. “It is great that so many guys were able to come back today,” said Alex Perez ’95, one of the team’s student managers.  
Each player was presented with a St. Raymond windbreaker, championship t-shirt, framed photo of the team and news clippings from their historic season. “That really was a true team,” coach DeCesare said. “You had 12 guys that battled every day in practice.”  
Charlton Clarke ’95 approached the podium next to provide plaques to coach DeCesare and assistant coach Greg Scott ’72 on behalf of the 1993 championship team.  Coach DeCesare led St. Raymond to New York City Championships in 1991, 1993, 2000 and 2001, and state championships in 1993 and 2001.  
The St. Raymond varsity team rode the momentum of the St. Rita victory into wins in their next two road contests: January 21 at Moore Catholic and January 22 at Mount St. Michael.  The defending city champion Ravens are now 13-5 as they enter the final stretch of their schedule before the playoffs.    
St. Raymond has been welcoming back alumni throughout the basketball season, acknowledging the 40th anniversary of the first Varsity B team and the 35th anniversary of the first freshman city championship team at the annual homecoming event in December. 

Westchester Square News: Bronx Seeing Major Drop in Crime

Westchester Square News: Bronx Seeing Major Drop in Crime: --> BRONX, NEW YORK, January 23- Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. released statistics highlighting the decrease in murders in th...

Bronx Seeing Major Drop in Crime

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BRONX, NEW YORK, January 23- Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. released statistics highlighting the decrease in murders in the Bronx in 2012. Last year, the Bronx had a total of 112 murders, down from 148 in 2011 and an all time low in the borough since the early 1960s.
“We are fed up with the negative stereotypes and the erroneous images about who we are as a Borough. The Bronx is a different place from when I was a teenager in the 80s and 90s, and hopefully we can make 2013 safer. This is a good first step, but we have much more work ahead of us,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
“I would especially like to thank the hard work of the NYPD, our elected officials, community organizations and everyone who continues to help make our borough a safer place to live.”
With roughly 1.4 million residents in the Bronx, statistics show that in 2012 the Bronx had a murder rate of 8.0 per 100,000 residents. For example, in 2012 Philadelphia’s murder rate stood at 21.4 per 100,000 residents, while Boston had a murder rate of 9.1 per 100,000 and Newark had 33.1 per 100,000 in 2012.
Other cities with significantly higher murder rates than the Bronx included New Orleans, Detroit, Atlantic City, Cleveland, Buffalo, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Dallas and Houston. Los Angeles, with a murder rate of 7.7 per 100,000 residents, barely edged out the Bronx in 2012.
“The Bronx is outpacing the nation in a wide variety of areas, including crime reduction. These statistics show that our borough, which continues to suffer from an inaccurate image as a dangerous place, is indeed outpacing some of the nation’s biggest cities when it comes to violent crime reduction. Given these numbers, it’s time for people across the nation and the world to reconsider how they think about the Bronx,” said Borough President Diaz.
Since the NYPD began tracking crime statistics through CompStat 19 years ago, the Bronx has seen a 70.4 percent total drop in crime, including a 78.1 percent drop in murders. This year’s drop is the lowest number of total murders since 1963. In 2012, the borough saw a drop in shooting victims of 7.7 percent and in shooting incidents of 6.7 percent from the previous year. In the past 19 years, the Bronx has seen shooting victims drop 65.1 percent, and shooting incidents drop 68.5 percent.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Westchester Square News: Beware Phony Workers

Westchester Square News: Beware Phony Workers: --> Scam Artists Target Morris Park Seniors By Dan Gesslein BRONX, NEW YORK, January 21- Police are warning seniors to b...

Beware Phony Workers

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Scam Artists Target Morris Park Seniors
By Dan Gesslein
BRONX, NEW YORK, January 21- Police are warning seniors to be on the lookout for a pair of phony repairmen who scam their way into the elderly’s home just to steal their valuables.
Investigators released a sketch of the man they say has been targeting seniors in Morris Park. Cops have linked the scammer to three robberies in one week. In each case the man in the sketch poses as a repairman or government worker checking on a phony report of a leak or other problem in the victim’s home. Once the victim is distracted the scammer’s accomplice sneaks into the victim’s bedroom and steals jewelry and cash.
The first incident took place at around 3:45 p.m. on January 9. In that case, the suspect rang the doorbell of a 71-year-old Morris Park home owner. The scammer said he was fixing a neighbor’s adjoining fence and needed access to the senior’s yard. Once distracted the accomplice snuck into the house and began looking for items to loot. However, the home owner came back into the house and spotted the thief. The 71-year-old went after the red-handed scammer, who then fled the home along with the phony repairman. They fled in a grey pick up truck. 
The thieves were more successful the following day striking twice. At around 3:15 p.m. the scammer posed as a water company worker. He knocked on the door of an 89-year-old woman claiming he needed to check her basement for leaks. Once distracted, the accomplice removed jewelry from the woman’s bedroom dresser.
A short time later the scammers struck again. This time posing as DEP workers they approached an elderly married couple. The phony worker told the husband and wife, both 73 years old, that he needed to investigate a fictitious complaint. As the husband and wife tested the water in their kitchen the two men took cash from the couple’s bedroom dresser. 
Cops say that in none of the cases did the crooks display phony badges or wore uniforms indicating that they worked in an official capacity.
The suspects are described as a white male and a Hispanic male. They are both between the ages of 25 and 25, 5 foot 10 and 170 pounds. 
Anyone with information should call CRIMESTOPPERS at (800) 577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
All calls are strictly confidential.
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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Westchester Square News: It's Off to Albany Now

Westchester Square News: It's Off to Albany Now: --> 100 PERCENT By Robert Press BRONX, NEW YORK, Januaru 17- Our headline refers to back to back inaugurations of the two new...

It's Off to Albany Now

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100 PERCENT
By Robert Press
BRONX, NEW YORK, Januaru 17- Our headline refers to back to back inaugurations of the two newest members of the state assembly. 
Luis Sepulveda was sworn in as the new assemblyman from the 87th A.D. on January 12th, and on the very next day Mark Gjonaj was sworn in as the new assemblyman from the 80th A.D. Both new assembly members had their day to remember, and if the events are a sign of what the two new legislatures can do the Bronx is in good hands.
Assemblyman Sepulveda held his event at St. Raymond’s Church in Parkchester. This site was uniquely located that U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer rode his bicycle to the event. There was Schumer sitting in the front row in his bike attire holding his helmet on his lap. Schumer was joined by Congressman Jose Serrano, Bronx BP Ruben Diaz Jr., State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr., and many other Bronx elected officials from the city council and state legislature. Also on hand were several candidates for office this year including two candidates for mayor. Though the elected officials were on hand as were over 600 people, this was a day for Luis Sepulveda and his family to remember, it was their day. Years of hard work finally paid off in Sepulveda's election to the state assembly. You can go to my blog at www.100percentbronx.blogspot.com to see photos of the Assemblyman Sepulveda swearing in ceremony, his lovely wife Elizabeth, 2 year old son Luis Jr., some of the elected officials on hand, the swearing in by Judge Fernando Tapia, and of course Assemblyman Sepulveda thanking all of those who helped him get elected.
Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj held his event at Columbus High School, and this swearing in however was very different from Assemblyman Sepulveda's the day before. Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj was to be the first Albanian American to be sworn in to the New York State legislature This was history in the making. While U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer was in attendance he did not ride his bike here, and was joined by Congressman Eliot Engel, Bronx BP Ruben Diaz Jr., State Senator Jeff Klein, City Comptroller John Liu, and many other Bronx elected officials from the city council and state legislature. Like the day before there were several candidates for office this year including three candidates for mayor. and over 1,000 people in attendance at this event. This however was a day for Mark Gjonaj, the Gjonaj family, the people of the 80th A.D., and of Albanian American decent to remember.
Senator Klein was the first up of the elected officials to speak, and you had to wonder what was on his mind when he said “it was 18 years ago that Judge McKeon administered the oath of office to me when I became the new assemblyman from the 80th A.D.” One by one many of the elected officials who were sitting on stage got up when they were called to speak, and this time around had only words of praise for Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj. Some were the same elected officials who supported Assemblyman Gjonaj's opponent and said that he could never get elected to the assembly. Today however all were brought together as BP Diaz said it best when he said “Mark Gjonaj has exhibited the work ethic to help improve his district, and the Bronx in a way to bring people together”. 
City Comptroller John Liu congratulated Assemblyman Gjonaj as one whose family had also immigrated to the United States, but added that he (Liu) was made in Taiwan and not Albania. Liu added that he knows firsthand the struggles that the Gjonaj family had to endure. It was strange though that while City Council Speaker Christine Quinn was sitting on stage and listed as a speaker that she left early in the program. 
Another candidate for mayor in 2013 who was sitting in the audience was former Bronx BP Adolfo Carrion Jr. I got to ask Carrion now that it looks like it will be a lot tougher than he thought to get the Republican nod for mayor if he was going to run for Public Advocate or Comptroller as he announced in his aborted 2009 run for citywide office. Carrion told me “It's City Hall all the way”, but we shall see. Check my blog for more on this event, and the many photos.
Over the weekend I saw many of the people who have opened up campaign committees or have been named or rumored to be running for the 15th City Council seat. Current 15th council seat holder Joel Rivera would not comment on who he might be supporting, and while speaking to Albert Alverez his current Chief of Staff (who has announced his intentions to run for the 15th seat) Albert said that he was running even if another Rivera entered the picture. Current 80th A.D. Male District leader Kenny Agosto said that he is running for the 15th council seat, and knows that he will have lots of company. I won't mention a few others as they said that they had not fully made a decision on if they were running or not, and all predicted a crowded field in the race. One interesting note was that when I asked who each candidate who was the front runner in the 15th council race all but one said Radame Perez, the owner of the C-Town supermarket on Crescent Street in the Belmont section of the 15th council district. I attended the Annual coat drive that Mr. Perez partners with Health Plus to give out to those who need in the neighborhood a warm coat, to talk to him about the 15th council race. When I entered the recently renovated C-Town on Crescent Street it looked like I was in a beautiful gourmet store somewhere else that could not be here in the Bronx. I found Mr. Perez who told me the C-Town renovation has taken up most of his time, and that the store will have its official grand re-opening in early February. He added that he wants to run for the council seat, but will not make a decision until after the C-Town reopens in February.
Don't forget to check my blog at www.100percentbronx.blogspot.com for photos of the two inaugurations mentioned in this column, other items that did not make it into this column, or items that may have come in after the deadline. If you have any comments about this column or would like to have an event listed or covered in this column or on my blog you can e-mail us at 100percentbronxnews@gmail.com or call 718-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press.
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Westchester Square News: Investigation Continues into Fatal New Year's Blaz...

Westchester Square News: Investigation Continues into Fatal New Year's Blaz...: --> (Photo by David Greene) By David Greene BRONX, NEW YORK, January 17- Investigators from the fire marshal's office a...

Investigation Continues into Fatal New Year's Blaze

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(Photo by David Greene)
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, January 17- Investigators from the fire marshal's office at the FDNY have still not ruled on the cause of the fast-moving blaze that broke out in the early morning hours of December 31, on Beach Avenue in Soundiview.
The fire killed John Debro, 73, sister-in-law Annetta Isaac, 71, and grandson Jahvonte Smith, 12, who all died inside their burning home at 735 Beach Avenue. At least three residents and two firefighters were also injured.
Chief William Oehm of Battalion 18, who stated, "I think we were here in three minutes," discounting reports from residents that fire trucks passed the street, and once at the fire they were delayed as much as 20-minutes.
Chief Oehm admitted that one dead fire hydrant on the block, "might have delayed us slightly," but added, "It was just such a high volume of fire."
Witness Haley Terrell fumed, "You had the entire block out here
screaming at them to help... they could have save those people."
The Red Cross was providing shelter for the two-dozen or so residents who were displaced by the fire.
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Westchester Square News: St. Michael Can’t Mount Comeback

Westchester Square News: St. Michael Can’t Mount Comeback: --> (Photo by Gary Quintal) BRONX, NEW YORK, January 17- Mount Saint Michael lost to Cardinal Hayes 70-60 evening in Boys Baske...

St. Michael Can’t Mount Comeback

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(Photo by Gary Quintal) BRONX, NEW YORK, January 17- Mount Saint Michael lost to Cardinal Hayes 70-60 evening in Boys Basketball.  The Mountainers played catch up throughout the game falling behind by 20 midway through the second quarter 33-12. A 20-3 run by Mount Saint Michael pulled the game to with-in 6 points at the half, but Mount could not take the lead and falls to 7-8 as Hayes Improves to 11-4.  
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