Monday, June 25, 2012

Croton Water Filtration Plant Update

Riverdale Report

By Robert Press

BRONX, NEW YORK, June 25– The Croton Water Filtration Plant that is being constructed in Van Cortlandt Park is slowly coming to a finish. Now budgeted at over $3,000,000,000.00 (that is right over THREE BILLION DOLLARS) it should be on line early in 2013. This federal mandated project to filter the Croton Water originally was budgeted for $600,000.00 in the early 1990s under then Mayor David Dinkins. The proposed site was the Jerome Park Reservoir, and through the land use process was defeated by the local communities that banded together. So how did this wind up in Van Cortlandt Park two mayors later?
The federal Government under its mandate said that the city would be fined $25,000.00 per day each day that the Croton Water System was not being filtered. By the way filtration of the Croton System is needed was said, as the Croton water was not meeting new federal standards for clean drinking water. You should also know that the Croton Water System is used mainly in times of droughts, and less than 10 percent of the NYC water supply comes from the Croton Water System that has been off line for the past two years. This was not a matter of importance until Mike Bloomberg was elected mayor. Bloomberg decided that it is better to build a filtration plant than get fined every day, but where could this be built?
After coming up with a figure of $200,000,000.00 as part of the water filtration plant price that was offered to the Bronx state legislatures for improvements to borough wide Bronx Parks for their approval of the project the deal was done. Learning from the previous mayor's mistake of involving the community Mayor Bloomberg (as we have seen in several other city projects) wanted no opposition to this project, and had as small a monitoring committee as he could. One representative from each of the three community boards (the chair or their representative) that border VCP, one each from the borough president and local councilman, a parks department and a DEP representative and that was it. The chairmanship of this committee would shift every year so that each of the three community board chairs would chair the committee. We are not going to get into the community board chairs and how they are supposedly running the meetings, but we do miss Father Richard Gorman of CB 12 as the chair of the committee that was rotated recently.
The big issues now are a pedestrian bridge over the Deegan Highway that seems to have been part of the deal to build in VCP, and the $45,000,000.00 estimate of the restoration of the golf clubhouse on which the plant sits. Also the DEP wants to go to meetings every three months rather than monthly meetings as they say the plant is almost finished. The next meeting is scheduled for September and both Councilman G. Oliver Koppell and the representative from the borough Presidents office have said that they agree with the three community board chairs that there should be monthly meetings, and will speak to the commissioner of DEP on it.
On another note the six-month old Kingsbridge Road Merchants Association held its first “Unity in the Community Festival” event this past Saturday. This was a good was to see and meet the exhibitors that were there, and take in the entertainment that was provided. We hope to see the 2nd Annual “Unity in the Community Festival” next year. You can go to my blog at to read more and see photos of the event.
If you have any comments about this column or would like to have an event listed or covered in this column or on my blog you can e-mail us at or call 718-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press.

Hope Army will Camp Out at Muller ARC

Wakefield Area News
By Mary V. Lauro

BRONX, NEW YORK, June 25– With rags on their backs, no shoes, starving, my friends, in freezing weather, even so, George Washington kept his men together. Valley Forge was hell on ice. Who would have thought that from that tattered band would arise the strongest army in the 21st century? And that today, we remember all that suffering with hot dogs and barbecues and fireworks?
Well, that army has contacted our Borough President in regard to the Muller Army Reserve Center at 555 Nereid Avenue, which our Mayor would like to turn into a homeless shelter for 200 single men. We've written enough about it and readers may recall that we recently sent a letter to the Mayor correcting his false assertion that he originally wanted the ARC to house the National Guard stationed in a decrepit annex of the Kingsbridge Armory, but that we somehow dropped the ball so that he had no alternative but to turn it into a homeless shelter. (Incredible how politics destroys truth and honor).
Well, it ain't over yet. The fat lady has not sung. It seems that the Department of the Army (DOA) must investigate the impact environmental issues might have on the end use of the facility.
Those following the issue will recall that in the two studies commissioned by the city the best end use was identified as a “similar use.” What could be a more similar use than turning the facility over to the National Guard? Nonetheless, the last report sponsored by the Mayor does not even mention the National Guard as a possibility. Now, the Army has reversed that. It is definitely considering moving the National Guard into the facility.
We must, however make a case for the National Guard by pointing out the environmental issues that would impact on using it as a homeless shelter. The Army itself recognizes that leakage from the tanks at the Hess Station on the corner opposite the Muller ARC has polluted a stream of the underground water which it calls a "plume." The plume carries in it varying amounts of carcinogenic and teratogenic material. Other environmental possible pollutants given the age of the structure include asbestos, lead paint, radioactive residues and the poly chloride by-phenyls (PCBs) in some plastics.
A response to the Army must be made by July 3 which the League will do. However, the Mayor is not taking this lying down.
His Honor is so intent on a Homeless Shelter that his Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is reviewing/negotiating the terms of agreement between the City and The Doe Fund for the provision of homeless services at the ARC. This means that the city might very well recommend to the Army that the ARC be turned into a homeless shelter. If this should happen, we expect our Borough president to take the City to court as he promised.
While we are pleased that there is still hope, we cannot refrain from complaining. We received the Army's letter on our FAX on Wednesday, June 20, from an anonymous sender who said it was top secret. We called the BP's office for an update on Thursday, June 21 and were sent the Army's letter and accompanying important information. We know CB 12 had all this information for some time. The information was received at the BP's office on June 4! We did more than two weeks elapse before The League and Woodlawn, the two communities that would be most impacted by the fate of the Muller ARC, were notified?

Bronx News ( Plucked

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Yankees were no “chickens” as they dominate Mets in Subway Series

(Photo by Gary Quintal)
By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK, June 25– A chicken became a story line Friday night at Citi Field before the New York Mets took the field for the first of three against the cross-town Yankees. Sunday evening, after the Yankees took the finale of their six-game inter league series, they Yankees were not the chickens.
Instead, Robinson Cano hit the go ahead home run for the Yankees in the eighth inning at Citi Field. The Yankees won their fifth straight individual series against the Mets. 6-5, and a chicken joke about the team, initiated by Mets reliever Frank Francisco, became a novelty.
Because the Yankees once again proved they are the better baseball team in New York, a chicken joke to them meant nothing. They took five of six games from the Mets, the first time they have done that since 2009.
“They hit balls out of the ballpark like there’s nothing to it,” said Mets manager Terry Collins who admitted it may have been a mistake not bringing in lefty Tim Brydak to face Cano.
Miguel Batista (1-2) gave up the home run ball, the 16th by Cano leading off the eighth with two strikes. It was hit straight to center, the 15th home run hit by the Yankees against the Mets in the six games. Seven of those long balls were hit at Citi Field the past three games, which accounted for 24 of the Yankees 32 runs.
The Yankees were not chickens in this latest installment of the Subway Series that had some more interest the past few weeks. The Mets have been a better team this season and that also accounted for another sellout at Citi Field, 42,364 the largest crowd for the ballpark that opened in 2009.
And Francisco was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a strained muscle on his left side. So the chicken initiator, who saved the Mets win Friday night, had no bearing on the outcome of the finale. 
It was supposed to be an anticipated pitcher’s duel. R.A. Dickey of the Mets, without allowing an earned run in 44.2 innings and dominant with an 11-1 record and 2.00 ERA ,who will most likely get the start for the NL all-stars in a few weeks at the midsummer classic.
He surrendered a run in the third inning on a sacrifice fly. He threw a wild pitch in the fifth inning and allowed five runs earned. The streak is over for now.
“I didn’t have a great knuckleball,” commented Dickey. “It was just coming out wobbly a little bit. I kept searching for it,” he said.
The 37-year old helped the Mets overcome a four-run deficit. He got a single off CC Sabathia the Yankees starter in the fifth inning. Sabathia did his part, 9 hits in 5/2-3 innings. But he gave up five runs, one earned.
“My focus was on tonight,” said Dickey who made a point that it was like a playoff atmosphere pitching against the Yankees in a crowded ballpark. “It was nice,” he said about the scoreless streak. “I’m hoping to start another one.”
Ruben Tejada in his first game back from the disabled list went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs, and a single off Cory Wade tied the game in the sixth.  Andres Torres also had two hits and drove in two runs, including a two-out hit that went past Mark Teixeira at first in the same inning.
“Tomorrow is another game,” said Torres who experienced his first stint of games against the Yankees.
And with the chicken quickly disappearing from the scene, there is a realization that the six games, which have been a part of this home and home series, will be a thing of the past.
Next year, with the schedule going more towards more inter league games, the Mets and Yankees cross-town series will be reduced to three games which was the original format when inter league play started in 1997.
“We don’t get caught up taking two of three here,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi.
He also won’t complain about the series going back to three games next season. Girardi is an advocate for that more balanced schedule and winning games against teams in your division.
The Yankees have won 14 of their last 18 road games, with or without the balanced schedule. Collins won’t mind not seeing the Yankees again, unless of course they should meet in October.
“Not bad for a bunch of chickens,” added the Yankees Nick Swisher who got hold of a Dickey knuckleball and hit his 11th home run to right-center in the Yankees four-run third inning.
e-mail Rich Mancuso:

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bronx News ( Cluck You!

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Cluck You!

Yanks fry up some Amazin’ Chickens
(Photos by Gary Quintal)

By Howard Goldin
QUEENS, NEW YORK, June 24- For the second consecutive evening, home runs accounted for all the runs scored by the Yankees. Unlike the previous night, the four runs were sufficient to the give the Yankees the win. The Yankee win ended the team’s longest losing streak of the year, three games.
The home runs and excellent relief work by the bullpen contingent of the Yanks combined to earn the Yanks the win over the Mets.
Although Yankee starter Ivan Nova only pitched 5.2 innings and was not involved in the decision, he managed to raise his undefeated road streak to 16 starts. His record during the streak is 12-0.
The first hit Nova surrendered was a lead-off home run to Kirk Nieuwenhuis in the third.
An error by Alex Rodriguez on Scott Hairston, the first batter in the following inning allowed him to reach first. Hairston crossed the plate on a double to center by Omar Quintanilla.
The final Mets run off Nova came on an RBI single by his counterpart, Chris young, with two out in the sixth. Nova left the game after the hit. He gave up five hits and three walks while fanning seven in his stint.
The Yankee relievers continued their outstanding work for the final 3.1 innings of the contest. The five hurlers, Clay Rapada, Cody Eppley, Boone Logan, David Robertson and Rafael Soriano, combined to keep the Mets scoreless while giving up only two hits and two walks. Eight of the ten outs were recorded by strikeout. The save for Soriano was his 14th in 15 save opportunities.
The Yankees bullpen staff entered the game second in the American League in ERA and first in allowing the lowest percentage of inherited runners to score. They improved their numbers in each categpry during the game.
Both managers were impressed by the performances of the Yankees relievers. Mets skipper terry Collins said, “They threw the ball good; they made good pitches.”
Mets starter Chris Young kept the Yanks scoreless and yielded only two singles in the first six frames. The visitors scored all four runs in the seventh and all by the long ball.
Mark Teixeira led-off by drawing a base on balls. Nick Swisher’s 1,000th hit in the majors was a double to right that Lucas Duda dived for but could not grab. The next batter, Raul IbaƱez, tied the game at three with his 11th home run of the year.
After the homer, Jon Rauch entered to relieve Young. Eric Chavez was sent by Yankees manager Joe Girardi to pinch hit. On an 0-2 count, the 34 year-old veteran hit his 237th big league homer, but first as a pinch hitter to left field. The blast decided the outcome in favor of the Yankees.
Girardi spoke highly of the two veterans whose homers gave the team the victory, “They’re experienced guys. They’re not going to get caught up in the moment. They know how to get the ball out.”
The Yankees lead the majors in homers with 11o. The four bagger has been their decisive weapon this year. The Yankees have a compiled a 41-15 mark in games during which they homer while finishing 1-13 in games in which they don’t drive the baseball in the seats.
The rubber game of the second Subway Series of 2012 will feature a potential pitching duel as CC Sabathia (9-3) hooks up with R.A. Dickey (11-1) on Sunday night.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Bronx News ( What’s it All About Andy?

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