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Monday, December 31, 2012

Dead son's mother hopes tragedy will curb guns

 
By Michael Horowitz


BRONX, NEW YORK, December 31- Civic activist Marlene Smith, whose son, Rohan Simpson, was gunned down in street violence in 1986, hopes that the tragedy of last Friday's murders of 20 innocent children in Connecticut will lead to enactment of laws that restrict the use of weapons of mass destruction on the nation's streets.

“We've had street violence in the nation's inner cities for years, and little has been done to stop the sale of weapons of mass destruction that have been used to kill young people in our neighborhoods,” Smith stressed.

“It is a tragedy when people, especially young people, are innocent victims of murders that cut their lives short before their time,” Smith added.

The civic activist asked, “How many more innocent people have to die before our country passes laws that limit the spread of weapons of destruction in our neighborhoods? How many more tragedies will we have to endure before we, as a country, are brought to our senses, as far as the premature deaths of our young people are concerned?”

Echoing Smith sentiments, Rev. Robert Smith Jr., the long-time pastor of the Church of the Savior, stressed, “We need to limit the Second Amendment, which is the rationale for people to own guns. We are no longer the frontier society that we were when our nation was founded.”

Rev. Smith (no relation to Marlene) added, “We're no longer a burgeoning country; we're a technological society. We need to do something to honor the memories of the children and the school professionals who lost their lives in Newtown, Connecticut.”

The minister stressed, “My heart is broken from what happened in Connecticut. We, as a nation, are shedding tears for the angels who were taken from us. Their parents had dreams for them that will never be realized.”

Rev. Smith noted, “In the midst of the tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, our hearts were lifted by the heroism of the six adults who sacrificed their lives at the school to save the lives of children who were under their care.”
The minister added, “The crazy young man who committed these insane murders seemed to suffer from a pathology that mass murderers have shared in recent decades. We need to find ways to keep high-powered weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of people like Adam Lanza.”


 








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An unfettered look

Wakefield Area News


By Mary V. Lauro

BRONX, NEW YORK, December 31- This year the League will celebrate its one-hundredth year of serving the Wakefield community. In 1913 it was larger than it is today. It extended on the South all the way to Gun Hill Road. We know little of its past except that it was born in a bar. Bars in those days were like town halls, where issues of interest were discussed.

The primary goal of the founders of the League was to preserve Wakefield's integrity. That integrity included a quasi-suburban atmosphere of mainly one, two and three-family homes, interspersed only now and then by an apartment building; largely a family oriented community surrounded by flowering gardens in the summer and children sleighing or, building snowmen in the winter. Crime was practically unknown. It remained that way to mid-century.

Through the years, Wakefield's integrity has been the only goal of the League. Politics was never an issue. We worked along with whomever represented us in the official world. But we did expect our elected officials to work for us. We have never appreciated being ignored.

There is always something special about the past; even its sadness is looked upon with yearning. Most of us in Wakefield were a lot poorer then.

It is true we had little for people to steal, but it is also true that we did not lock our front doors at night. Some of them were French doors (glass paned).

What did happen? How did it happen that we not only locked our doors, we put iron bars on our windows, so that today, though still lovely, Wakefield is a mess of fancy iron works. Children who live in these houses would be astonished to learn that children, less than a half a century ago, thought burglary only happened in the movies. They were "cat" burglars, intent on stealing from the rich who lived in high-rise luxury apartments.

When did it happen that gold stars or crosses were no longer safe around one's neck? In what year did a boy's leather jacket become reason to mug him? The master criminal mentors (the Mafia) killed their own, not children or someone's great grandmother. Those were the days when banks were robbed, not bodegas.

Indeed, from being the second lowest in crime in the City during the 60s, twenty-five years later, the 47th Precinct rise to 23rd highest. Why? The question still haunts us. Indeed the question spawned a number of community organizations that grew in size and influence, but, alas, alas, eventually died.

It cannot be denied that Wakefield's complexion changed from white to shades of brown. But that did not happen everywhere in the City. Yet it is everywhere in the City that crime rose and it is everywhere that our unease is keenly felt.

We have known that human kind is flawed. Myth has it that Satan was once an angel. But that occurrence, like so many on our earth was a rarity. But it seems, yes, it seems that something has been broken in the moral compass of our people. Everywhere one turns, there is new evidence of some malfeasance. We read of dishonest politicians or those who think they are above the law. We read of business practices, which belong in hell, and of workers who could easily join them. We read and learn of a justice system that has difficulty defining right and wrong, fueling the attitude of the young and newcomers that the smart thing to do is game the system. This last is most disheartening. It is, unfortunately, a plague in Wakefield.








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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Bronx News (Bxnews.net): Blitzed in the Bronx

Bronx News (Bxnews.net): Blitzed in the Bronx: Syracuse Plows Over West Virginia in Snow Bound Bowl (Photos by Gary Quintal) By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, December 30- The last wee...

Blitzed in the Bronx


Syracuse Plows Over West Virginia in Snow Bound Bowl
(Photos by Gary Quintal)

By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, December 30- The last week of December and the first week of January are the culmination of the college football season. Those are the weeks in which the final bowl games are played and the final rankings of teams are determined. Since December of 2010, Yankee Stadium in the Bronx has become a bowl venue.
On December 30, 2010, Bronx native Doug Marrone led the Syracuse Orange to a 36-34 victory over Kansas State in the first football contest at Yankee Stadium and the first bowl game at Yankee Stadium since 1962. Last year, Rutgers defeated Iowa State.
This year’s session featured Syracuse, in its last year as a member of the Big East, and West Virginia, in its first season in the Big 12. Both colleges played in Yankee Stadium in 1923, the first year of collegiate football in the original Yankee Stadium. Syracuse defeated Pittsburgh, 3-0, in the first game on the gridiron at the stadium on October 20, 1923. One week later, the Mountaineers took part in the second contest in the first year of the stadium on 161st Street. They battled Penn State to a 13-13 tie.
In addition to both teams place in the history of Yankee Stadium, each also has a strong connection to the other. Their rivalry began in 1945. The football squads have competed on the gridiron in every season since 1955. Defenseman Will Clarke of West Virginia told reporters last Wednesday that neither team expected any surprises as “Both teams are familiar with each other.”
Each team entered the Pinstripe Bowl with a mark of 7-5. Syracuse won five of its last six contests. The Mountaineers did not fare as well in the highly competitive Big 12 as the Orange did in the less dangerous Big East. West Virginia won four of nine in its first Big 12 conference season. Four of its opponents were top 25 ranked at the time they faced the Mountaineers. It ended the regular season with five losses, two by one point, in its last seven contests.
Syracuse, with light snow falling, took an early advantage. The first and only score of the first quarter was a 25-yard field goal kicked by Ross Krautman of Syracuse. The Orange scored the first nine points in the second quarter on a safety by Cameron Smith and a 33 yard touchdown run by Prince Tyson-Gulley.
The first points recorded for West Virginia came at 3:38 of the second quarter on a 32 yard touchdown pass by Geno Smith to Stedman Bailey.
Syracuse continued the offensive onslaught in the second half, outscoring West Virginia 26-7. Tyson-Gulley scored two additional touchdowns, a 67 yard run and a 10 yard reception of a pass by Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib. Tyson-Gulley gained 208 yards on the ground and another 56 yards on five receptions. He earned the game’s MVP award for his outstanding performance. Marrone praised the MVP. “Prince has been a player that really worked hard, played with injury, has really come a long way in our program and I couldn’t be prouder of him…He’s a well-deserved MVP.”
The Orange defense was also major factor. It, along with the weather, stopped arguably the best senior quarterback in college, Geno Smith and also severely limited the West Virginia ground game.
Middle linebacker Siriki Diabate, who moved to the Bronx at the age of 13, spoke for the defense three days before the game, “we want to play against the best. We love that challenge. I think we’re ready for them [Mountaineers].” Diabate made a fine contribution with five tackles.
Diabate’s opinion was reinforced by the words of defensive coordinator Scott Schafer after the game, “I think that our kids were anxious to play this team again. They met the challenge. It’s not easy to win three in a row.” Syracuse has been victorious in the past three games of the lengthy rivalry after losing the previous eight.
West Virginia, seventh in the nation, with 518.6 yards gained per game was held to 285 while the Orange gained 511. Coach Dana Holgorsen of West Virginia admitted, “Anytime you get out-rushed by 330 yards (369-88), you’re going to have some problems.”
Marrone, a Bronx native, whose grandfather was an usher at the original Yankee Stadium, was victorious in both games he coached at the new ballpark. He joked, “I should play more games in the borough of the Bronx.”







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Friday, December 28, 2012

Bronx News (Bxnews.net): Bronxite to Play Football in Yankee Stadium

Bronx News (Bxnews.net): Bronxite to Play Football in Yankee Stadium: By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, December 28- On Saturday, Siriki Diabate will be one of more than 100 student-athletes who will be on th...

Bronxite to Play Football in Yankee Stadium



By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, December 28- On Saturday, Siriki Diabate will be one of more than 100 student-athletes who will be on the gridiron of Yankee Stadium to participate in the 2012 New Era Pinstripe Bowl. The significance to the 21 year-old may be more than to any other athlete on the field that day.
In 1991, Diabate was born in the Ivory Coast in Africa. Siriki came to the United States when he was 13 along with his mother and sister to join his father who had arrived years earlier. The family settled at 176th Street and Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx.
The 13 year-old had difficulty in initially adjusting to his new home, “It was really tough. I didn’t speak English.” Another difference between the teenager and his peers in the Bronx was that Siriki played soccer rather than the popular American sports, baseball, basketball and football.
The youngster first learned the fundamentals of football at Roberto Clemente State Park. He joined a youth group coached by the recreation director of the park, Bobby Morris. His skills improved and he further improved as a member of the football squad at Herbert Lehman High School. The defensive lineman showed great versatility in his senior season by making 71 tackles, carrying the ball 47 times, recording two receptions and returning kicks twice. He was team captain that year.
He had great success on the gridiron at Nassau Community College. The team captain led his team to an 11-0 mark during the regular season, fourth place nationally in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) in 2010. His exploits earned him Co-Defensive Player of the year in the Northeast Football Conference.
In January 2011, Diabate transferred to Syracuse University. A visit to the upstate university convinced Diabate that he was in the right place even though he was recruited by several other colleges. Diabate and Syracuse coach Doug Marrone had a lot in common as both were products of the Bronx and both were graduates of Lehman and now both were at Syracuse. On Wednesday, Diabate told reporters, “We joke about that all the time. Coach tells me how much better a player he was at Lehman.”
In his first season at Syracuse, 2011, the lineman recorded 24 tackles. This year, Diabate’s numbers climbed. He had 91 total tackles during the regular season. Five wins in the last six contests earned the Orange a bowl bid at the historic venue on 161st Street.
Diabate expressed his emotional feelings regarding playing his final college game at Yankee Stadium. ”I can’t put into words what it means to me. It’s a blessing. It’s so special.” Diabate never played a football game at Yankee Stadium. When Syracuse competed in the 2010 Pinstripe Bowl, Diabate remembered, “I watched as a fan.” Diabate does have childhood memories of the ballpark, “I watched the Yankees religiously on television. When I came to a game, it was very exciting. I used to take the #4 train.”
Having many friends and family attend the game will increase its meaning to the young man, “Everybody who watched me get to this point will be there. I tried to get as many tickets as possible. I got 14, but close to 50 or 60 will come to see me.”
Weather forecasts are now calling for several inches of snow on Saturday, the day of the game. Diabate dismissed the weather as a factor, “Snow, sleight, rain, bring it on!” He then regaled reporters by telling them of the first time he saw snow as a public school student in the Bronx, “I got in trouble as I ran out of the classroom to look out of the window when I saw the snow.”






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Bronx News (Bxnews.net): Help Cops Grab Groper

Bronx News (Bxnews.net): Help Cops Grab Groper: BRONX, NEW YORK, December 28- Police are asking for the public’s in trying to catch a man who robbed and sexually assaulted a woman in For...

Help Cops Grab Groper



BRONX, NEW YORK, December 28- Police are asking for the public’s in trying to catch a man who robbed and sexually assaulted a woman in Fordham.

At around 6:15 p.m. on November 26, a 19-year-old woman was attacked by a man near the Paradise Theater at East 184th Street. Cops say the man ripped the woman’s cell phone from her hand and then proceeded to grope her before fleeing on foot.

Cops released a sketch of the suspect in an effort to try and catch him. He is described as a 55-year-old Hispanic male. He is 5 foot 5 and 160 pounds. He was last seen wearing a long green jacket, resembling an Army jacket. He was wearing blue jeans and a hat with “NYC” on the front.

Anyone with information is urged to call CRIMESTOPPERS at (800) 577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto Crime Stoppers' website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577.

All calls are strictly confidential.








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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Bronx News (Bxnews.net): Parkchester Standoff

Bronx News (Bxnews.net): Parkchester Standoff: (Photos by David Greene) BRONX, NEW YORK, December 27- Members of the Bronx Warrants Squad , based out of the 50th Precinct , were execut...

Parkchester Standoff


(Photos by David Greene)


BRONX, NEW YORK, December 27- Members of the Bronx Warrants Squad, based out of the 50th Precinct, were executing a search warrant for a suspect, who briefly barricaded himself inside an apartment at 40 Metropolitan Oval

The incident unfolded at about 10:30 a.m., on December 18. The NYPD's Emergency Service Unit quickly took the combative prisoner into custody without any injuries. The NYPD has not responded for a request for information on the suspect, but a police source stated he was wanted for unspecified crimes committed within the confines of the 43rd Precinct, which covers the Parkchester community. 







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Bronx News (Bxnews.net): Construction Begins on Bronx River Deathtrap

Bronx News (Bxnews.net): Construction Begins on Bronx River Deathtrap: By David Greene BRONX, NEW YORK, December 26- Engineers and construction crews with the New York State Department of Transportation (NYS...

Construction Begins on Bronx River Deathtrap




By David Greene

BRONX, NEW YORK, December 26- Engineers and construction crews with the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) have begun the permanent repairs along a deadly stretch of the Bronx River Parkway--that has so far killed 12 since 2005.

Workers were first spotted along the parkway, between the Bronx Zoo and E. 177 Street exits on December 14, where they will replace an outer barrier that will prevent vehicles from driving off the elevated sections of the roadway.

According to Adam Levin, a spokesman with the NYSDOT, workers are busy installing, "A more permanent barrier on the outside area of three bridges."

Levin added that work crews are, "taking the shorter barrier out," and installing a taller, medium barrier in order to, "restore the roadway to what it was."

Levin could not say how tall the original barrier was or how tall the new barrier would be. Levin also vowed to respond the following day with the cost of the project, but failed to do so.

On July 9, 2006, six people were killed and eight were injured when a car jumped the two-foot high center median at E. 177 Street and crashed head-on into oncoming traffic.

Killed in the crash were Derrick Gardner, 40, Asia, 6, Jamel, 16, Keywann, 23, and relative Brandon Daye, 18. The crash also killed family friend Jeremy Blackwell, 23.

Nearly three miles away on May 15, 2010, off-duty police officers Edwin Paulino, 25, and Hoyoung Kim, 32, were killed when the vehicle they were traveling in drove off the highway just before the E. 233 Street exit.

On June 4, 2011, Michael Robles, the Bronx Democratic male district leader and a passenger drove of the E. 180 Street overpass and plunged 30-feet into the parking lot of a transit police headquarters. Miraculously both survived with minor injuries.

In the latest fatal crash, seven members of one family were killed when their SUV jumped the outer divider of the southbound lane and plunged sixty-feet into an unused portion of the Bronx Zoo, this past April 29.
Killed in that crash was Ana Julia, 80, Jacob Nunez, 84, Maria Gonzalez, 45, Maria Rosario, 39, Jazlyn Gonzalez, 9, Naily Rosario, 7, and Marlyn Rosario, 3.

On December 18, two vehicles plunged into the Bronx River in Yonkers. Westchester police say the two vehicles collided in the northbound lane of the Bronx River Parkway, near exit 8 and both vehicles ended up in the river.

Both drivers survived and the cause of that crash is still under investigation.

After the April 29 crash, Monte Dean, also a spokesman with the NYSDOT stated, "The length of the barrier is about 3,000 feet in each direction. I don't have a cost yet either. No idea."

Dexter Gardner an outspoken family member who has long urged the repairs, stated on December 24, "Somebody called me and let me know, I'll have to check it out. I heard about it a couple days ago... It's great, I'm just happy that their doing it so another family won't have to go through this again." 






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Bronx News (Bxnews.net): WHERE TO CELEBRATE NEW YEAR’S EVE!

Bronx News (Bxnews.net): WHERE TO CELEBRATE NEW YEAR’S EVE!: CULINARY ROAD  By Morris Gut BRONX, NEW YORK, December 27- Ready or not, here it comes! 2013 is upon us, so whether you’ve been naughty o...

WHERE TO CELEBRATE NEW YEAR’S EVE!


CULINARY ROAD 

By Morris Gut

BRONX, NEW YORK, December 27- Ready or not, here it comes! 2013 is upon us, so whether you’ve been naughty or nice its time to make plans with friends and family. If you are planning to go out, here are some dining suggestions for every palate, each offering a good dose of New Year’s cheer…

MULINO’S HOLIDAY CELEBRATION!
It is over-the-top during the holidays and it begins with the bright lights and smell of chestnuts roasting at the entranceway. Take home a bag of them. The annual Christmas Holiday Fest at Mulino’s, White Plains, lasts right thru the season and it’s a sight to behold! The fountain garden is beautiful as is the lavish dining room and bar/ lounge. General Manager Gimmy Cavagna and his staff are keeping the premises spiffy as ever: gesticulating Christmas decorations galore, holiday carolers, life size toy soldiers, the bursting colorful floral displays, the sparkling grappa and glassware collection, the handsome multilevel seating area. The Cold Seafood Platter is a wonder and fine to share as is their decadent version of Linguine Carbonara; plump tender Rack of Lamb served on the long bone; delicate Dover Sole finished off in the dining room; and perhaps for dessert have the wait staff whip up warm Zabaglione with fresh ripe berries tableside. And, oh that smooth Italian cheesecake. Open 7 days thru the Holiday Fest. Bring the whole family. The place sparkles! Valet parking. Reservations advised. Mulino’s of Westchester, 99 Court Street, White Plains 914-761-1818  www.mulinosny.com

DINE WITH PANORAMIC VIEWS OF THE SOUND!
Lou and Rose Promuto have re-opened The Marina Grille Waterfront Restaurant & Bar located at Wright Island Marina in New Rochelle surrounded by boat clubs and L.I. Sound. It had formerly been The Sea Breeze. The Promutos also own Valentino’s Cucina Italiana and Sunset Grille both in Norwalk, CT. Chef is seasoned Sergio Dechiara, a graduate of the New York Restaurant School, who is not bound by culinary borders. His menu offers such comforting dishes as: New England Clam Chowder; Artichoke Crab Dip; Coconut Shrimp; a massive Paella Valenciana, served with mixed seafood with chorizo-chicken rice; Buttermilk Fried Chicken served with broccoli, mashed potatoes and brown gravy; Porterhouse for two; and an occasional tender hunk of Short Rib on the bone with all its delicious juices. Complete Dinners served Monday thru Thursday: $18.95. Daily happy hours in the bar/lounge. Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday thru Sunday. Ample free parking. The Marina Grille, 290 Drake Ave., New Rochelle. 914-365-1860.

DINE AMONGST VINTAGE PHOTOS OF ITALY!
Proprietor Michael Vivolo and his wife Margaret of La Riserva, 2382 Boston Post Road, Larchmont (914-834-5584), have been serving ‘the Italian classics’ here for 34 years and the refreshing atmosphere and friendly ambiance keep it a treat. Be seated in the lovely refurbished dining room, now part vintage photo gallery, and let veteran manager Ellie Cucino suggest such specialties as: flavorful Polenta al Gorgonzola with shrimp; Angel Hair Abissi Marini, thin egg noodles in a light cream sauce with shrimp and mushrooms; Veal Chop alla Griglia, with mushrooms and roasted potatoes; or the Branzino Mediterraneo. Michael’s son Dean operates Trattoria Vivolo in Harrison. Private party facilities. Open 7 days for lunch and dinner. Free parking. www.lariservarestaurant.com

TITILLATING PASTA AND CANNOLI!
Chef Anna Catalano of Agostino’s, 336 Pelham Road, New Rochelle (914-235-6019), prepares everything in her regional Italian kitchen from scratch: her sauces, the pastas, right down to the fresh cannoli shells and desserts. Be seated and let Anna, her husband Antonio and brother Gasperino Di Fabio serve you such home style favorites as: Portobello e Polenta alla Griglia con Gorgonzola; Spaghetti alla Chitarra alla Pescarese con Frutti di Mare,  seafood in a light marinara sauce; homemade Ravioli di Aragosta in Salsa Rosa, with lobster in a light cream sauce with touch of tomato; classic Zuppa di Pesce all Mamma Lucia, with clams, mussels, shrimp, calamari, scallops, octopus and fish of the day with linguini; Pollo alla Scarpariello prepared here on the bone sautéed with garlic in a white wine sauce; or Involtini di Anna alla Fantasia, stuffed with provolone and shitake mushrooms. And, oh those wonderful cannolis! Fresh pasta for take home by advanced order. Cozy bar/cocktails. Open 7 days a week. Free parking. Valet evenings. www.agostinositalianristorante.org

THE QUARRY’S COMFORTING FARE!
Owner Dominic Cesarini of The Quarry, 106 Main Street, Tuckahoe (914-337-0311), has settled into new larger quarters in downtown Tuckahoe, a handsomely renovated bi-level 70-seat dining room and bustling bar/lounge that is always engaged in spirited networking. There are artsy exposed pipes and vents on the ceiling. A lovely area rug and acoustics temper the noise level. Handsome brown wood and clay tone walls, warm lighting fixtures and modern sturdy dark brown butcher block type chairs and tables highlight the floor with large picture windows with seating spilling out onto Main. The staff here is most friendly, efficient and eager to please. Cesarini, a ‘local grill man’ himself whose family owned and operated several cafes and grills in the Bronx-Tuckahoe-Eastchester area, has kicked it up a notch with a good mix of reasonably priced American tavern comfort fare with a good dose of broccoli rabe to go around. Good salads, burgers, Prime Rib and Short Ribs on weekends. Open 7 days. www.thequarryrestaurantandlounge.com

CELEBRATE BIG AT CHIANTI!
Here’s a big guy who likes to cook big! Chef/proprietor Paul Caputo of Chianti, 174 Marbledale Road, Tuckahoe (914-346-8844), opened a bustling ode to Italian-American cuisine served in generous style. He previously operated Gina Marie’s Bella Vita in Mt. Vernon and the former Bella Vita in Mahopac. Over the years he has worked for a storied cast of kitchens from Rigoletto’s and Amici’s on Arthur Ave. in the Bronx to the original Valentino’s in Yonkers to the former Gregory’s in White Plains. Over on one wall in the dining room is inscribed: “chi mangia bene, viva bene” (if you eat well, you live well), and that’s the overriding philosophy here. Chef Caputo has a history of serving big portions of fresh made-to-order food; ‘family style’ some call it. Check out such specialties as: Spiedini ala Romana; his amazing Garlic Bread Paoliccimo with chopped broccoli rabe; Zuppa Di Pesce over Capellini; Steak Compagniola; or giant Veal Chop De Benedictis. Don’t worry; there are always plenty of doggie bags on hand for take home. Complete lunch and dinners available daily. On and off-premise catering.

(Morris Gut, restaurant consultant and former restaurant trade magazine editor, has been tracking and writing about the food and dining scene in the Bronx and Westchester area for over 25 years. He may be reached at: 914-235-6591.





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