Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Class of 2014 Inducted into Fordham Athletic Hall of Fame

(Photos by Ken Carozza)

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 15- Successful athletic teams and athletic heroes are important to every college and university. They serve as a unifying factor among the student body; are an encouragement for increased donations from alumni; are sources of pride to current students and alumni and can be inducements for prospective students to enroll.

Many colleges and universities have created athletic halls of fame to recognize past student-athletes who have excelled in their sports and added respect and interest to the institutions they have attended. 

The Fordham Athletic Hall of Fame has been in existence for more than 40 years. The first induction took place during the 1970-71 academic year and included honorees such as Frankie “Fordham Flash” Frisch and Vince Lombardi. 

This year’s induction was held at the McGinley Center Ballroom on Fordham’s Bronx campus on January 11, in the late afternoon between the men’s and women’s basketball contests of Fordham and Richmond. Eleven former Rams were honored. One track star, Jack Faith (’68), was previously inducted 34 years ago. 

The other 10 former Rams added to the HOF represent a total of six sports programs. Jim Groark (67), Brian Hernon (67) and Don May (68) were teammates of Faith on the remarkable 1967 Two-Mile Relay Team. The foursome broke both the Fordham and Penn Relay marks for their specialty. It was later pointed out that May made the furthest journey, from Alaska, to receive his award.

The baseball and basketball teams each had two representatives on the Class of 2014. Both Tom Davis (08) and Cory Riordan (12) were pitchers. Davis was selected as Pitcher of the Year by the Atlantic-10 in his senior year. He graduated with the Fordham record for starts (50) and innings (339). 

Riordan was voted as the Rookie of the Year by the Atlantic-10 in his freshman year when he compiled a 10-4 mark. He completed his career at Fordham with a 21-11 record and 200 strikeouts in 246 innings. 

The award for Bryant Dunstan (08), currently playing basketball professionally in Greece, was accepted by his dad. Dunstan compiled stats among the best in the school’s basketball history. He is second in points with 1,832, 54 less than the legendary Ed Conlin, fourth in rebounds with 993 and first in blocks, 246.  

Mobolaji Akiode (04) received Fordham’s most prestigious honor for female athletes, the 2003 Claire Hobbs Award as female athlete of the year. She represented her native land, Nigeria, in the Olympic Games. Of even greater importance is her founding Hope 4 Girls, a charity that is dedicated to raising opportunities for African female youths in education and sports.
Ben Dato (08) was the kicker on the football team in his years at Fordham. In his senior year he received the Vincent T. Lombardi Award as male athlete of the year. He amassed the most yards punting at Fordham.

Allison Twarowski (08) was an outstanding batter in her four seasons on a successful softball team. She graduated holding several school batting marks, hits (251), runs (181), doubles (44) and runs batted in (45).

Robert Valdes-Rodriguez (86) three times set school marks for the 100 butterfly and qualified for the NCAA tournament several times. He is currently chairman of the NYAC swim team.

Valdes-Rodriguez articulately gave the response of the Class of 2014. He gave thanks to “the Jesuit university, the coaches and the professors who helped us balance our faith, academics and athletics.” 

Athletic Director David Roach began the event by saying to the honorees, “Your achievements and your total lives are a shining example to the current student-athletes.”

The television voice of the New York Yankees, Michael Kay (82), ably served, as he does every year, as the emcee of the ceremony. Kay, on the day of the announcement of the suspension of Alex Rodriguez, joked about Rodriguez having enough time on his hand to enroll at Fordham and perhaps be considered for this HOF next year.

Father Joseph McShane, the Fordham president, officially closed the ceremony with a tribute to the new members of the Fordham Athletic Hall of Fame, “Wise men and women of Fordham, we honor you for your wisdom, and your generosity to Fordham. We hold you up as models for our students, role models and sources of inspiration.” 

Bronx News ( Fordham Women Defeat Richmond, 70-59

Bronx News ( Fordham Women Defeat Richmond, 70-59: By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 15-  Saturday was a day in which the Fordham Rams and the Richmond Spiders played twice. T...

Fordham Women Defeat Richmond, 70-59

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 15-  Saturday was a day in which the Fordham Rams and the Richmond Spiders played twice. The women competed in an afternoon contest while the men played in the evening. 

After losing their most recent game, 65-61, to Duquesne, for their first home loss of the season on January 8, the Fordham Rams (14-3, 3-1) responded with their 13th win in the last 14,  a 70-59 victory over the Richmond Spiders (7-10, 1-3) on Saturday afternoon at the Rose Hill Gym.

The game was a see-saw battle during the first 10 minutes. The score was knotted twice and the lead changed hands four times during those early minutes. A basket from beyond the perimeter from Abigail Corning, Fordham’s newest 1,000 point career scorer, began a run of 14 unanswered points by the Rams, who took a 29-16 advantage at 7:11.

Fordham’s excellent shooting from the floor, 58.6 percent in the half, kept the lead at double figures as the half concluded with Fordham ahead by a score of 38-25. The #2 scorer in the Atlantic-10, Erin Rooney, paced the Rams with 11 points and 7 assists.

A seven-point run by the Spiders cut their deficit to single digits, 43-34, at 16:54 of the second half. The Rams followed with nine unanswered points to take the largest lead of the contest, 52-36, with 11:50 remaining in the game. 

Fordham’s double digit lead remained in effect until 90 seconds were left on the clock as a basket by Genevieve Okoro cut the lead to eight, 65-57. The Rams netted five of the final seven points of the contest to ensure their victory, 70-59.

The home basket was very attractive to the Rams during the contest as they achieved a season-high shooting percentage of 61.2 percent (30 of 49). Their usual superior defense kept the Spiders to 38.7 percent (24 of 62). The Rams also moved the ball well as 24 of their 30 baskets followed assists.

Rooney led the scoring with 14. The total was below her usual 20+ because she concentrated on dishing the basketball, reaching 11 assists, for her sixth double-double of the season. 

Three other Rams also reached double figures in scoring, Corning with 12, Samantha Clark with 11 and freshman Danielle Burns who achieved a season and career high of 11 points in only 19 minutes on the court. 

The Rams now hit the road for two games before returning home to the Rose Hill Gym on the afternoon of Saturday, January 25 to host UMass. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Bronx News ( King For a Day

Bronx News ( King For a Day: 100 PERCENT By Robert Press BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 13- The headline refers to last Sunday's Inaugural celebration of ...

Bronx News ( King For a Day

Bronx News ( King For a Day: 100 PERCENT By Robert Press BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 13- The headline refers to last Sunday's Inaugural celebration of ...

King For a Day

By Robert Press

BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 13- The headline refers to last Sunday's Inaugural celebration of Councilman Andy King. The event had to be rescheduled from the Friday of the big snowstorm that closed almost everything. This time everything was a go, with the many elected officials, union leaders, and friends of Councilman King on hand. The Evander Childs High School auditorium was filled with those who wanted to help Andy celebrate this moment. Speeches by the elected officials were mixed in with different performances that ended with the swearing in of Councilman Andy King by Judge Armando Montano. Andy's family was on stage to share in his enjoyment, and Andy had two surprises after the judge was finished.

The first surprise by Councilman King was that he displayed the new flag of the 12th Council District. The second surprise was that the day was also his fathers 77th birthday, and that Andy Jr. was proud to have his father Andy Sr. and his mother Beatrice be able to share in the celebration. You can go to my blog at for more on the Andy King inauguration, and the many photos of the event.

And the new City Council Speaker is Bronx/Manhattan Councilwoman Melissa Merk-Viverito.

Then again I told you that weeks ago, but it took up to the last hour before the council vote for those who supported Councilman Dan Garodnick for speaker to realize they were not able to get the needed number of votes. Both Speaker Mark-Viverito and Councilman Garodnick attended Councilman Andy Kings Inauguration Sunday.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. had his Inauguration last Thursday night, and combined it with the Bronx Centennial celebration. The Bronx County building rotunda was standing room only, and Mayor Bill de Blasio was on hand to help celebrate.

It could be that the Democrats in the State Senate may pick up at least one of the two soon-to-become vacant Republican seats on Long Island. There may also be a couple more upstate Republicans who may decide to retire. That could give Democrats full control of the State Senate again, but look at what happened last time in 2010 when Democrats were in control of the state senate.

Then there is word again that Donald “The Hair” Trump wants to run for Governor of New York against Andrew Cuomo. Trump met with state Republican leaders, and wants to run if he is not challenged with a primary. “Hold On” said New York Republican Chair Ed Cox. If Donald Trump wants to run for governor on the Republican line he will have to go through the election process, Cox said.

I suspect that Trump was auditioning for the role of candidate just like he did when he said he wanted to run for president. Trump needs some more advise on what a candidate needs to do, perhaps he should sit down with what seems to be another former presidential candidate. That being possibly soon to be former New Jersey Governor Chris “I Know Nothing” Criste.

I would not be myself if I did not comment on the Alex Rodriguez saga using some words that are said during the first night of Passover. Why is it that Alex Rodriguez is any different from any other baseball player? Why is it that Alex Rodriguez is given a 162-game suspension, when all other baseball players are given 50 days for a first offense? Why is it that Alex Rodriguez will not get into baseball's Hall of Fame, like other baseball players who drank illegal substances during Prohibition? And finally if Frank Thomas can make it to Cooperstown, why can't better players like Alex Rodriguez make it in?

Don't forget to check my blog at for more on what you may find in this column, updates, items that may come in after my deadline, and the many photos of the events. 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.

Bronx News ( Just Go Away A-Rod

Bronx News ( Just Go Away A-Rod: Alex Rodriguez 162-game ban hopefully ends latest chapter of baseball steroid era and leaves room for Yankees By Rich Mancuso BRON...

Just Go Away A-Rod

Alex Rodriguez 162-game ban hopefully ends latest chapter of baseball steroid era and leaves room for Yankees

By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 13- There are so many questions that remain unanswered after an arbitrator ruled Alex Rodriguez has been suspended for the 2014 season of 162 games and the post season. Will a federal court take on an appeal process and with $25 million off the books will the New York Yankees spend and go off their $189 million salary threshold?
One thing is certain, this is the harshest suspension leveled at a player during the steroid era. And with this, baseball can move on and hopefully close the last chapter to cheaters and performing enhancing drugs. 
Rodriquez will not go down without a fight. He loves the game and we could have seen the last of him in Yankee pinstripes and maybe the last time as an active player. At 40 years of age, after the suspension is served, A-Rod could still be a designated hitter if someone wants to take the risk.
Or, he could just fade away, but the ego and love of the game, let alone A-Rod trying to preserve whatever legacy he has, will not keep him away from the playing field.
Major League Baseball gets a victory here with the suspension, but did they? They are also culprits of the steroid saga. And through all of this, with A-Rod being implicated with obstruction of their investigation, baseball implemented drug testing with players when performance enhancing drugs was out of hand.
Added to the fact, in one defense for Alex Rodriguez, he was never administered a drug test because of the Biogenesis situation. This may have been a word vs. word situation with A-Rod, the other players implicated and the name of Anthony Bosch who headed the Biogenesis clinic.
But one thing is certain. This was a message that was sent to  the players and Major League Baseball scored a major victory even though the game has been damaged. Just take a look at the recent vote for enshrinement into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The supposed all-time home run leader, record holders and more have been denied their place up in Cooperstown because of their alleged involvement with steroids.
The following is a Alex Rodriguez Statement on the Decision of a 162-game ban and it explains something in his defense to continue his legacy: “The number of games sadly comes as no surprise, as the deck has been stacked against me from day one. This is one man’s decision, that was not put before a fair and impartial jury, does not involve me having failed a single drug test, is at odds with the facts and is inconsistent with the terms of the Joint Drug Agreement and the Basic Agreement, and relies on testimony and documents that would never have been allowed in any court in the United States because they are false and wholly unreliable. This injustice is MLB’s first step toward abolishing guaranteed contracts in the 2016 bargaining round, instituting lifetime bans for single violations of drug policy, and further insulating its corrupt investigative program from any variety defense by accused players, or any variety of objective review.

I have been clear that I did not use performance enhancing substances as alleged in the notice of discipline, or violate the Basic Agreement or the Joint Drug Agreement in any manner, and in order to prove it I will take this fight to federal court. I am confident that when a Federal Judge reviews the entirety of the record, the hearsay testimony of a criminal whose own records demonstrate that he dealt drugs to minors, and the lack of credible evidence put forth by MLB, that the judge will find that the panel blatantly disregarded the law and facts, and will overturn the suspension. No player should have to go through what I have been dealing with, and I am exhausting all options to ensure not only that I get justice, but that players’ contracts and rights are protected through the next round of bargaining, and that the MLB investigation and arbitration process cannot be used against others in the future the way it is currently being used to unjustly punish me.

I will continue to work hard to get back on the field and help the Yankees achieve the ultimate goal of winning another championship. I want to sincerely thank my family, all of my friends, and of course the fans and many of my fellow MLB players for the incredible support I received throughout this entire ordeal."
This is a historic suspension. The Yankees have been in the middle of this throughout the entire process of the hearing. A-Rod, notice at the conclusion of his statement, makes reference to returning on the field and helping the Yankees win another championship.
The Yankees have washed their hands with the situation and released a brief statement: “The New York Yankees respect Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, the arbitration process, as well as the decision released today by the arbitration panel.”
But, surely the Yankees are looking at this from another perspective. And, perhaps baseball is as well. A-Rod has put himself in jeopardy many times with his admission of using PED’s in the past. Then, he says he did not do what has hopefully closed the chapter with a suspension that was rendered Saturday.
The Yankees, without having to pay $25 million of an A-Rod contract, have more money to spend in their quest to get back to the World Series as they pursue the highly touted right-handed pitcher from Japan, Masahiro Tanaka. Baseball, now that a decision has been made, hopefully will move on. The game for now is clean from further PED issues even though the players association does not agree with the severity of the 162-game suspension. 
Players have been sent a message about the risk and ramifications, and they can thank Alex Rodriguez for that because this was a historic suspension and a legacy has been tarnished.
It leaves to more questions about the legacy of Alex Rodriguez and where he goes from here.
COMMENT: Rich Mancuso Mancuso

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Slap Happy Crooks Sought by Cops

By Dan Gesslein

BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 9- A slap happy crook, who terrorized at least 11 stores, is being sought by cops. Investigators released surveillance photos and video of the male and female crooks in the hope that someone will recognize the pair. 

Cops say the couple has made off with over $7,000 from the robberies of 11 stores throughout the Bronx. Investigators say the woman canvasses the store prior to the robbery. Then the male gunman will enter the location, threaten the clerk with a gun and demand cash. In the surveillance video, the suspect is seen smacking a clerk upside his head. 

The gunman is described as a black male who is around 25 years of age. He is described as 5 foot 10 and 175 pounds. The female accomplice is in her 20s and is 5 foot 5 and 190 pounds. 

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 or by texting their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577.

All calls are confidential.

Bronx News ( Elevators Can’t Take the Cold?

Bronx News ( Elevators Can’t Take the Cold?: 20 elevators out of service within 4 days $160K per month Contractor Blames Cold Weather for Outages By Michael Horowitz BRO...

Elevators Can’t Take the Cold?

20 elevators out of service within 4 days
$160K per month Contractor Blames Cold Weather for Outages

By Michael Horowitz

BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 9- Twenty elevators were out of service between last Friday and Monday, leaving Co-op City shareholders in Buildings 12 without any elevator service for several hours on Sunday and leaving shareholders in Building 12 without any elevator service for several hours on Monday, informed sources told  the News this week.

Garages 1, 4, 5, and 8 reportedly had no elevators for several hours on Monday, said the sources, who wished to remain unidentified.

On Monday alone, 14 elevators were out of service for several hours at a time, the sources noted.

There were no reports, as of early this week, of shareholders being trapped in elevators for extended periods of time or of shareholders not being able to receive emergency medical care because of the elevator outages. 

Management officials are reportedly blaming the elevator outages on extreme temperature changes on last week’s snowfall, but critics of management are convinced that the outages resulted from a lack of proper maintenance.

The Ver-tech Elevator Co., Inc. has had a contract to maintain Co-op City’s recently rebuilt elevators since October 1999, but it was unclear, this week, if the elevator company or Co-op City’s management was responsible for the outages. 

Ver-tech is reportedly paid $160,000 per month, or close to $2 million per year, to maintain Co-op City's elevators, which were all reportedly upgraded in recent years. 

Co-op City has 192 elevators, so 20 elevators represent more than 10 percent of the elevators in the local community.

Commenting this week, civic activist Frank Belcher described the extensive elevator outages in the community as “totally unacceptable,” saying, “This is really no surprise to me. I have known, for quite some time, that the people who run Co-op City, who are ultimately responsible, are inept and incompetent. In this case, their incompetence endangered the health, welfare, and safety of the community’s shareholders and exposed the Riverbay Corporation to lawsuits relating to this lack of basic service.”

Belcher added, “You tell me that Co-op City pays an elevator contractor $160,000 per month to maintain our elevators, so we have a right to expect that our elevators will be properly maintained in all kinds of weather. It’s unacceptable for management to blame the elevator outages on the weather.” 

Belcher stressed, “It has been clear to me for years that this place is not properly maintained, so why would we think that the elevators are any different from the rest of Co-op City’s infrastructure?”

The elevator outages that were reported here last Friday were in Building 17, with one car out of service due to a broken hoist rope, and in Building 35, with one car out of service because of an issue with a sheave.

On Sunday, all four elevators were out of service in Building 35 for several hours due to a pipe break in the building’s basement.

On Monday, the following elevator outages were reported: Building 22B, two cars out of service due to a pipe break in the building’s basement; Building 12, all four cars out of  service for several hours due to a pipe break in the basement, and Garages 1, 4, 5, and 8, all eight cars out of service due to electrical boxes shorting out because of moisture.

Bronx News ( Councilman Andrew Cohen

Bronx News ( Councilman Andrew Cohen: (Photo by Robert Press) Riverdale Review By Robert Press BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 9- Before I get to my headline the swearing in of new...

Councilman Andrew Cohen

(Photo by Robert Press)

Riverdale Review
By Robert Press

BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 9- Before I get to my headline the swearing in of new Councilman Andrew Cohen on Sunday January 5th, the day before a small airplane landed on the Major Deegan Highway northbound before the East 233rd Street exit. 

This was a Piper PA 28 plane with a pilot and two passengers on board. The three were returning to Danbury Airport after circling the Statue of Liberty. The landing on the Deegan was just north of the Mosholu Parkway extension overpass bridge that is to be replaced starting later this year. There were some DOT workers that had closed one lane of the Deegan northbound to fill potholes for the pre construction of removing the Deegan medium so construction work on replacing the overpass bridge can be done. That will maintain three traffic lanes in each direction during the construction. The workers saw that the plane was in trouble and halted all traffic northbound so the plane could make a landing on the northbound lanes.

The three passengers were taken to Saint Barnabas Hospital with minor injuries and later released. The plane was registered to Mr. Michael Schwartz of South Salem in Westchester County. Just so you know where the exact location is, had the plane veered to the east about 100 feet it could have crashed into the Croton Water Filtration Plant being built in Van Cortlandt Park. You can go to my blog at to read more and see a photo of the plane on the Major Deegan Highway. It was removed in less that four hours and the Deegan northbound was reopened.

On to the public inauguration of Councilman Andrew Cohen. It was a cold dreary misty day with ice forming on the streets and sidewalks outside, but inside the Lehman College Lovinger Theater there was a public swearing in of the new 11th District Councilman Andrew Cohen. The program was delayed as many of the crowd arrived late due to the bad weather. However once the program started it went smoothly and professionally.

Mr. Bruce Feld the District Leader from the 81st A.D. welcomed those in attendance and opened the program. The Celia Cruz High School Chorus sang the Pledge of Allegiance, and later came back up to sing “It's Freedom” during a break in the speeches by the elected officials. The National Anthem was done by the Bronx Opera Company, who also came back between speeches. Rabbi Avi Weiss gave the Invocation. Then the speeches by elected officials came. Some said goodby to former Councilman Oliver Koppell, some said hello to new Councilman Andrew Cohen, and some said other things. New City Comptroller Scott Stringer was the first to say goodby to Oliver Koppell, and reminded Councilman Cohen that his mother lives in the 11th Council District. Stringer said that he has Councilman Cohen's cell phone number. Next up was new Public Advocate Letitia James, who likewise is also embarking on a new position in government.

Not to be outdone Congressman Engel told Councilman Cohen that he also has his cell phone number. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said that he is looking forward to working with Councilman Cohen in the Bronx which Diaz calls God’s Country. Diaz then said if you do not believe me look at the miracle yesterday on the Major Deegan Highway. U. S. Senator Chuck Schumer went back in time saying that when Andy Cohen was in high school that he (Schumer) was the congressman for the area in Rockaway where Andrew Cohen the lived. Schumer finished by saying that nobody gave the council seat to Andrew Cohen, but that he earned it the old fashioned way with hard work.

One of my favorite quotes from the inauguration has to be when Bronx Democratic County Leader Assemblyman Carl Heastie said, “County Leaders are thought of as dictators of foreign countries”. 

State Senator Jeff Klein mentioned that it was 18 years ago that he was sworn in as an assemblyman in the very same place at Lehman College. On the other hand, Congressman Charles Rangel said it was good to be back at Dewitt Clinton (his high school). State Senator Gustavo Rivera tried to be funny by saying that he walked over from his nearby apartment, but had to put condoms on his shoes. The reference was to rubbers. Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj warned Councilman Cohen now that you have been elected “be careful of what you have wished for”.

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz said that this is his 20th year in the state assembly, & mentioned that Councilman Andrew Cohen once worked in his office. Dinowitz then called up Councilman Cohen and State Supreme Court Judge Edgar Walker for the swearing in. Sara Cohen stood at her fathers side as Judge Walker administered the oath of office. Both Cohens raised their hands and repeated the oath of office, and the era of new Councilman Andrew Cohen was official.

Councilman Cohen usually short on words thanked all the elected officials that were in attendance, and then thanked each and every elected official and union who helped on his campaign for the council seat. Cohen said that he was a product of the public schools and that there are many problems that will be coming up in the new city council that he will be attending to. Public schools, parks, homelessness, non-profits, and other areas that will present old and new problems, and that he knows that he has big shoes to fill in replacing Oliver Koppell in the city council. Father Richard Gormen ended the program when he said the benediction. There was a reception at the Lehman College Art Gallery after the inauguration.

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.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Bronx News ( Baby, it’s COLD outside!

Bronx News ( Baby, it’s COLD outside!: Community Board News N’ Views By Father Richard F. Gorman Chairman Community Board #12 (The Bronx) “So very nice  I’ll hold your hands;...

Baby, it’s COLD outside!

Community Board
News N’ Views

By Father Richard F. Gorman
Community Board #12 (The Bronx)

“So very nice
 I’ll hold your hands; they’re just like ice.
Baby, it’s cold outside!”

BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 8- Whether sung by Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Vanessa Williams, or Lady Antebellum, these lyrics from the song “BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE!” ring all so true as I pen this initial column for the New Year of Our Lord 2014. The weather has been extreme, to say the least, more characteristic of a polar ice cap region at either the top or the bottom of the Earth rather than the City of New York. Hopefully, the current climatic conditions are merely the appetizer, and not the main course, of what Old Man Winter is serving up for us this season!

Frigid temperatures, snow and ice storms, and slippery streets aside, there are many “warm” circumstances that have bestowed more temperate moments upon us in the first two weeks of our New Year. We have a new Municipal Administration in place at City Hall headed by the City of New York’s 109TH Mayor, The Honorable Bill de Blasio, the first Democrat to hold this office in two decades. He is accompanied at the helm of Municipal Government by our new Comptroller, The Honorable Scott M. Stringer, whose roots are in our very own Borough of The Bronx, and by the first African-American woman ever to be elected to citywide office, Public Advocate for the City of New York Letitia A. “Tish” James. While one of our City Council representatives, The Honorable Andy Cohen, was able to have his public inauguration at Lehman College on Sunday afternoon, 5 January 2014, our other Council Member, The Honorable Andy L. King, had to give way to our opening snow blast of 2014 and postpone his formal taking of the oath of office until Sunday, 12 January 2014. We shall be keeping our fingers crossed that only welcome guests, and not Old Man Winter or Mister Snowman, show up for Council Member King’s happy occasion. By the time that you read this column, the swearing-in of The Honorable Ruben Diaz, Jr. as the Borough President of The Bronx will take place as scheduled and, please God, in slightly warmer environs on Thursday, 9 January 2014.

The sort of extreme weather that has been thrust upon us always
presents challenges, not the least of which is to be faithful to God’s commandment that we be our neighbor’s keeper. There are any number of safety steps that a responsible neighbor should keep in mind and practice, not only in self-interest, but in that of those with whom we share this planet and that portion of it that we know and love so well --  i.e., the Borough of The Bronx. Among them are the following:

GUARD AGAINST FROSTBITE: With wind chills thrusting us into sub-zero degree air temperatures, exposed skin can get frostbitten in minutes and hypothermia is a major threat. Wear mittens instead of gloves, particularly those made of leather; dress in layers of warm clothing; and anyone who becomes wet should retreat indoors immediately. Unless absolutely essential, stay home and, for those venturing into the frigid outdoors, be certain that all body parts are well covered and protected.

CHECK THE CAR BATTERY: Batteries three years of age or older may not be able to get one’s motor vehicle started or to be “jumped” after being exposed to temperatures below zero degrees Fahrenheit (0ºF) for an extended period of time.

TURN DOWN THE THERMOSTAT: Keeping one’s residential thermostat relatively low at sixty-eight degrees Fahrenheit (68ºF) saves money on one’s heating bills as well as helps to prevent a power shortage and/or blackout.

BE CAUTIOUS IN UTILIZING SUPPLEMENTAL HEATING DEVICES: Space heaters, stoves, ovens, and kerosene or propane heaters that should only be employed outdoors are an all-too-common cause of carbon monoxide poising or even death and are the origin of approximately 50,000 residential fires and some 150 fatalities per annum.

PROTECT WATER PIPES: Freezing water that expands in pipes causes the pipes to burst so pay heed to any pipes that are exposed to low temperatures (such as those in basements, attics, garages, or crawl spaces) and lines for outdoor sprinklers and swimming pools.

CHECK ON ELDERLY, INFIRM, AND CHALLENGED NEIGHBORS: Do not neglect to make certain that these most dependent of God’s Children are warm, safe, nourished, and in adequate supply of food and water.

Space and the attention span of you, dear readers and friends, prevent me from sharing some thoughts about handling snowfall and the regrettable and somewhat selfish habits and practices of too many of our neighborhood residents with respect thereto. So that they are not lost, especially on those guilty of making use of them, I shall turn attention to them the next time we meet. Suffice it to say in the meanwhile, though, that my good Friend, Commissioner of Sanitation John J. Doherty, and his team did their usual bang-up job of getting our streets salted and cleared of snow last week. Commissioner Doherty has been asked to remain for the time being at the helm of the New York City Department of Sanitation (N.Y.C.D.O.S.) and, if he is willing and Mayor De Blasio so determines, it would be a blessing to see this life-long public servant in N.Y.C.D.O.S. remain behind his desk at 125 Worth Street in Manhattan.

May God bless us all with a Healthy and Peaceful 2014!

Until next time, that is it for this time!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Bronx News ( Manhattan Jaspers Win 8th Straight

Bronx News ( Manhattan Jaspers Win 8th Straight: (Photos by Gary Quintal) By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 6- Although the Manhattan Jaspers (11-2, 4-0) are undefeated in all e...

Manhattan Jaspers Win 8th Straight

(Photos by Gary Quintal)

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 6- Although the Manhattan Jaspers (11-2, 4-0) are undefeated in all eight games they have played away from their home arena, Draddy Gymnasium, they easily defeated the Fairfield Stags (3-11, 0-4), 83-57, at home on Saturday evening.

A layup by Manhattan’s star scorer George Beamon at 15:28 gave the Jaspers an early 11-2 advantage. A three by Rich Williams raised the lead of the Jaspers to double figures for the first time in the game, 21-11, at 11:53. The visitors cut the lead to six, 24-18, at 9:01, but the Jaspers kept a double digit advantage during the final four minutes of the first period. They led 43-28 at the half.

Manhattan shot at a hefty 54.5 precent while holding the Stags to only 30.6 precent during the half. Beamon led all scorers with 15 points. The three Manhattan seniors, Beamon, Rhamel Brown and Michael Alvarado, accounted for 29 of their team’s 43 points.

The teams played evenly during the first seven minutes of the second half with the score 53-39 in Manhattan’s favor. At that point, the Jaspers scored 12 unanswered points to raise their lead to 65-39 with 9:16 on the clock. The lead held to the end as Manhattan was victorious by a score of 83-57.

Manhattan players shot a healthy 50 precent from the floor (23 for 46) and from beyond the arc (8 for 16) during the one-sided encounter. Fairfield’s advantage in offensive rebounding, 14-5, allowed them 15 more shots than the jaspers, but the differential in shooting percentage between the teams nullified the advantage of the visitors. 

Another Manhattan benefit was being able to visit the charity stripe for 29 shots while the Stags only took 12 free throws.  Beamon led in scoring with 19 points, raising his career total as a Jasper to 1,531, 7th place in team career points. Beamon is one of only seven NCAA players this season who averages 20 points and 7 rebounds per game.

The other two Manhattan seniors are nearing the 1,000 point total at the college. Brown’s 12 points gave him 960 and Alvarado’s 8 brought him to 940. Both should reach the milestone of 1,000 this season. Rich Williams netted 14 in only 18 minutes of action.

The Jaspers have won all eight games they played since dropping a 79-75 game to their Bronx rivals, the Fordham Rams, on November 26. 

Even more importantly, they have won all four of the conference games in the MAAC, putting them at the top of the standings. 

After a road contest, the Jaspers will return to Draddy on January 12 to face Marist, another conference foe.

Bronx News ( Baseball Legend and American Hero Jerry Coleman Pa...

Bronx News ( Baseball Legend and American Hero Jerry Coleman Pa...: (Photo by Gary Quintal) By Howard Goldin  BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 6- Jerry Coleman, a baseball lifer for nearly 70 years, and ...

Baseball Legend and American Hero Jerry Coleman Passes Away

(Photo by Gary Quintal)

By Howard Goldin 

BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 6- Jerry Coleman, a baseball lifer for nearly 70 years, and an American military hero during World War II and the Korean War, passed away on Sunday at the age of 89. Coleman died from head injuries suffered in a fall last month and the effects of pneumonia. 

Coleman was an especially beloved figure in the Bronx and in San Diego. The octogenarian was an All-Star player and popular broadcaster with the New York Yankees and Hall of Fame recognized broadcaster for more than 40 years with the San Diego Padres.

The place of a man nearly 90 currently working in baseball and the respect he has earned elicited the following tribute from MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, “Jerry Coleman was a hero and role model to myself [sic] and countless others in the game of baseball. He had a memorable multifaceted career in the National Pastime- as an All-Star during the great Yankees dynasty from 1949-1963, a manager and for more than a half-century, a beloved broadcaster, including as an exemplary ambassador for the San Diego Padres. But above all, Jerry’s decorated service to our country in both World War II and Korea made him an integral part of the Greatest Generation. He was a true friend whose counsel valued greatly.”

In the 1940’s, the California native was in the minors and served in active combat during World War II. He was brought up to the Yankees in 1949. Two years ago, during an interview at Yankee Stadium, Coleman humorously recalled his first game as a Yankee, “The first play of the game was a ground ball that went right between my legs. The next play was a one-hopper that came to me and resulted in a double play. After that, I said, ‘I’m saved.’”

Coleman’s playing career was far better than he liked to joke. The second sacker’s first season was so good that the Associated Press selected him as American League Rookie of the Year. In his sophomore season, he earned the Babe Ruth Award as the World Series MVP.

Coleman’s baseball career was twice interrupted for military service. He was the only major leaguer engaged in active combat during World War II and Korea. He flew 120 missions in combat. Coleman valued the wartime service to his country far more than his many years in baseball.

The articulate and good humored athlete spent seven years as a broadcaster with the Yankees after his playing career concluded. In this position, he again joined with his double-play partner Phil Rizzuto.

After relocating to California, Coleman broadcast for the California Angels and then for four decades broadcast for the Padres. In 1980, he managed the Padres, but returned to the broadcast booth after only one season. 

His excellence as a broadcaster earned him the Ford C. Frick Award in 2005 and enshrinement in the broadcast wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Anyone who had the opportunity to converse with Coleman was enlightened, entertained and uplifted as I was when I spoke at length with him during the 2012 Old Timers’ Day.

Anyone can learn more about Coleman’s interesting and worthy life by reading his 2008 autobiography “American Journey: My Life on the Field, in the Air and on the Air.”

Rest in peace-Gerald Francis Coleman.

Bronx News ( Raptors’ Strong Second Half Leads To 75-66 Road Lo...

Bronx News ( Raptors’ Strong Second Half Leads To 75-66 Road Lo...: BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 6- The Maritime men’s basketball team lost to Bard College, 75-66, on the road on Saturday afternoon at the Rapto...

Raptors’ Strong Second Half Leads To 75-66 Road Loss For Privateers

BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 6- The Maritime men’s basketball team lost to Bard College, 75-66, on the road on Saturday afternoon at the Raptors’ Stevenson Athletic Center. The defeat drops the Privateers to 2-7 overall on the season, while Bard improves to 5-4.

Four players scored in double-figures for Maritime, led by junior Sean Corley (Harlem, N.Y./Thurgood Marshall), who registered a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. It was his second double-double of the year. Freshmen Bobby Parlow (Bay Head, N.J./Point Pleasant Beach), Brandon Halligan (Durham, N.Y./Cairo-Durham) and Kevin Heine (Frederick, Md./Oakdale) all scored 11 points apiece.

The Privateers opened the game strong, building up a 12-5 advantage early after a jumper by Corley at 15:22 of the first. The lead moved to nine points, 16-7 (the biggest lead of the first half for Maritime), on another good jumper by Corley at 14:22. The Raptors fought back to within one points at 8:10 of the first after an 11-2 run was capped off by a layup by senior Lamar Powell. The Privateers responded with a 9-2 run to take 28-20 lead at 6:00.

With a four-point lead (32-28) with 2:31 to play in the first, Bard went on a 7-2 run to take its first lead of the day, 35-34, on a three-pointer by freshman Harry Johnson with exactly a minute to play in the half. After each team failed to score on their next possession, the Privateers got the ball back with eight seconds left and Corley dished it to Halligan, who drained a three-pointer as the buzzer sounded to put Maritime back ahead 37-35 into the halftime break.

Corley scored a team-high 11 points in the first half, while Halligan had eight. The Privateers shot 50.0-percent from the field (12-for-24) and held the Raptors to a 44.4-percent clip (12-for-27). Powell led all players with 11 points for Bard in the opening 20 minutes.

In the second half, it was Bard that got off to a hot start, outscoring Maritime 18-1 over the first seven minutes of action to take a 53-38 lead. The Raptors took advantage of a drop off in Privateers’ shooting and some turnovers. The Raptors’ lead climbed to as high as 18 points, 65-47, at 8:07. However, the Privateers fought back to bring the deficit to just seven points, 66-59, after Halligan knocked down a three with 5:28 to play.

The Raptors’ lead reached double-digits once again when a three by Powell with 2:46 to play made the score 71-61. The Privateers got the game back within seven points two more times, but Bard nailed 4-of-6 free throws late and Maritime could not cash in on their late possessions, resulting in the nine-point loss.

The Privateers shot just 34.8-percent in the second half to finish the game with a 42.6-percent clip (20-for-47). Bard finished with 44.0-precent shooting on the day. Powell led all players with 26 points, while sophomore Brandon Cunningham tallied 10 points.

Bronx News ( Traffic’s Plane Crazy

Bronx News ( Traffic’s Plane Crazy: Pilot makes miracle landing on highway Photo by David Greene By David Greene BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 6- The stars must have...

Traffic’s Plane Crazy

Pilot makes miracle landing on highway

Photo by David Greene

By David Greene

BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 6- The stars must have been aligned perfectly as a single-engine fixed-winged plane, with three passengers onboard, made an emergency landing-- on the northbound Major Deegan Expressway.

The unusual incident was reported at 3:26 p.m., on January 4, when a member of the NYPD's Emergency Service Unit confirmed the incident, frantically telling his dispatcher, "Small plane down in the right two lanes."

The difficult landing on the three-lane highway was made more difficult as the two outside lanes had less room than normal due to the recent snowfall.

Less than two minutes later the officer told his dispatcher, "We are at the job, it looks like the airplane is in an upright position... were not confirming any injuries or not, but it looks to be a pretty good hard-landing at this location."

Partial credit for the averted tragedy goes to the quick-thinking road crew with the Department of Transportation, who were already blocking two lanes, filling potholes when they spotted the troubled plane and quickly used their vehicles to block the third lane, so the pilot could land.

First responders removed the 50-year-old male pilot and two female passengers, ages 43 and 20 who were transported to St. Barnabas Hospital with minor bumps and bruises. One of the passengers suffered a nasty bump on her head, but was expected to recover.

The Piper Cherokee PA-28 was built in 1966, took of From Danburry, CT. for a sightseeing trip around the Statue of Liberty and was returning to Connecticut when engine failure forced the aircraft down.

One Woodlawn resident, who declined to give his name, explained a friend had seen a ticker across the television screen, adding, "We live a couple blocks away and we came over."

Asked if he was surprised by the site, he replied, "Everything happens over here, you never know."

The miracle landing was reminiscent of former American Airlines pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who set a jumbo jet down on the Hudson River back on January 15, 2009.

The incident was the first breaking-news story of Mayor de Blassio's administration, prompting his remark to members of the media, "I thought I'd seen everything in my life," and calling it, "a bit of a miracle."   

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bronx News ( Baby New Year

Bronx News ( Baby New Year: BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 2- The first Montefiore baby of 2014 was born January 1 at 12.15 am. Kairi Evany Cid Bravo was born at Montefiore’s...

Baby New Year

BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 2- The first Montefiore baby of 2014 was born January 1 at 12.15 am. Kairi Evany Cid Bravo was born at Montefiore’s Weiler Hospital on the Einstein Campus, weighing in at 7 lbs, 13 oz and measuring 19 ½ inches. Pictured below is proud first-time Mom Kaori Bravo from the South Bronx with Nurse Christine Palazzo at the Mother and Baby Unit at Montefiore’s Weiler Hospital.