Monday, December 8, 2014

Bronx Political Icon Badillo Laid to Rest

Bronx Political Icon Badillo Laid to Rest

By David Greene

BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 8- Often called a trailblazer for becoming the first Puerto Rican  to hold the office of Bronx Borough President, as well as becoming the nation’s first Latino elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, Herman Badillo has died at the age of 85.

According to his longtime friend and spokesman George Arzt, Badillo died on December 3, from complications related to congestive heart failure at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Hospital in Manhattan.

Badillo was a young lawyer who had served as New York Commissioner of Housing Preservation and Development before entering politics when he was elected Borough President in 1966.

Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1970, Badillo served four terms representing New York's 21st District in the South Bronx.

In 1977, Badillo stepped down from Congress to become deputy mayor of New York City under then Mayor Ed Koch from 1978 - 1979.

Badillo ran five unsuccessful campaigns for mayor of New York City- in his last attempt he was defeated by Michael Bloomberg in 2001. Badillo would later assist in Bloomberg's reelection campaign in 2005.

In recent years, Badillo was a senior counsel for the personal injury law firm Parker Waichman Alonso.

In a prepared statement announcing Badillo's death, George Arzt stated, "He lost many elections but gained respect as a real fighter and as the nation’s highest-ranking Puerto Rican office holder."

Governor Andrew Cuomo said of Badillo, "From his tenure as Bronx Borough President to his work leading the CUNY Board of Trustees, he was a shining example of how a dedication to civil service can make a difference in the world around us."

Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., said of Badillo,"I am deeply saddened by the passing of a man whom I looked up to as a role model and who represented Latinos, Bronxites and all New Yorkers as an exemplary public servant."

Badillo was laid to rest after a private service held on December 7 at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home in Manhattan. He is survived by his wife Gail and son David from a previous marriage.    

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Bronx News ( Which Pols are the Biggest Elected Turkeys?

Bronx News ( Which Pols are the Biggest Elected Turkeys?: Which Pols are the Biggest Elected Turkeys? 100 PERCENT By Robert Press 1st Annual Turkey Awards BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 4- Just like m...

Which Pols are the Biggest Elected Turkeys?

Which Pols are the Biggest Elected Turkeys?

By Robert Press

1st Annual Turkey Awards

BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 4- Just like many elected officials gave out turkeys last week, I am going to give my 1st Annual Turkey Awards to some elected officials. 

My first Turkey Award goes to all those Republican elected and party officials who did not believe in their candidate for governor Rob Astorino. Each and everyone of you deserve to get a Turkey Award. It reminds me of those turkeys on the other side of the isle who wrote off Bill Thompson in the 2009 Mayor's race. Both races were much closer then thought, and with a little more help from their own party who knows? However ,when he first came to the Bronx I asked candidate Astorino if he was running just to help get a Republican State Senate. Well Astorino lost and the Republicans won the state senate outright. Makes you kind of wonder if I was right.

The next and last Turkey Award goes to that big Turkey who runs New Jersey. What kind of deal did he make with Andrew Cuomo? Was it the Sargent Schultz attitude Cuomo took of 'I Know Nothing, I See Nothing, I Hear Nothing' when it came to Bridge-gate that got him Republican N.J. Governor Chris Christe's support? Or should I say lack of support for Cuomo's Republican opponent Rob Astorino.

It seems that Mayor Bill de Blasio turns to his Deputy Mayors when something happens for advice. Deputy Mayors are also at press conferences with commissioners and the mayor. Al Sharpton was with the mayor and police commissioner at a press conference, and Mayor De Blasio has defended Al Sharpton in his matters with the IRS and his wife's Chief of Staff woes. De Blasio even has said that he asks Sharpton for advice at times, so just when is Mayor Bill de Blasio going to name Al Sharpton a Deputy Mayor?
Back in the Bronx – It is party time no matter which party you belong to. On Sunday December 7th, The Bronx Conservative Party is hosting their Annual Holiday Party. The location is Spoto's Restaurant 4005 East Tremont Ave (in the Throggs Neck section of the Bronx), and it will take place from 2 – 7 p.m. Bronx Conservative Party Chairman William Newmark always has a very interesting event including the delicious food. There is a $25 admission fee per person here, but one never knows just who may drop in.

On Wednesday, December 17th, The Bronx Democratic County Committee, Chairman Assemblyman Carl E. Heastie, and the Bronx Young Democrats are hosting their 2014 Holiday Celebration at the UFT Bronx Headquarters located at 2500 Halsey Avenue from 6 – 9 p.m. This event is free and open to all Bronx residents. You can call (347) 281-9757 for more information.

This past Sunday Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj celebrated the 102 years of Albanian Independence. This is very special to the first Albanian elected official in New York State. Hundreds of Albanians and others were on hand at Maestro's to celebrate their allegiance. America their new home, and to Albania the land they or their forefathers immigrated from. It was great to hear both National anthems, and see the dedication of tho Albanian-Americans to both countries.

Some others on hand were Senator Jeff Klein who spoke of how Assemblyman Gjonaj has improved the standard of living in the Pelham Parkway area of the 80th A.D. since being elected. I kidded Senator Klein that it was his old assembly district, and Senator Klein said that was a long time ago. 

Assemblyman Mike Benedetto also had only praise for Assemblyman Gjonaj, and the Albanian community. 32BJ, the service workers union comprised of 145,000 members of which 20,000 are Albanians received a citation from Assemblyman Gjonaj for their work in the Albanian communities of the Bronx and Staten Island. The Bronx Jewish Community Council received a citation also from Assemblyman Gjonaj for its food pantry that services over 400 area residents including over 100 Albanians, and that shocked Gjonaj. 

The third and last citation from Assemblyman Gjonaj was to Mr. Zeqir Kukaj. Mr. Kukaj was one of the first people who immigrated to the Bronx from Albania. He helped set up what is now the Bronx Albanian community. Assemblyman Gjonaj said to Zeqir, “Without you this could not have been possible.” You can go to my blog at to read more about the 102nd Celebration of Albanian Independence Mark Gjonaj style. There are some real good stories that I did not have room for in this column about the upcoming political year and beyond you may want to read. By the way, the food at Maestro's was delicious as usual.

If you have any political news that you would like to share, have any comments about this column, or have an event that you would like to have 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, December 3, 2014

Bronx News ( Biblical Beatdown

Bronx News ( Biblical Beatdown: Biblical Beatdown Man Beats Friend to Death After Coming from Church By David Greene BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 3- Police are looking for ...

Biblical Beatdown

Biblical Beatdown
Man Beats Friend to Death After Coming from Church

By David Greene

BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 3- Police are looking for a dapper gunman with one drooping-eyelid and his two cohorts, who calmly waited for the gunman to take a haircut— before they robbed the joint and ran away with the shop’s cash register.

Cops were called to the Alante Barber Shop on Westchester Avenue in the Longwood section at just before 10 p.m. on November 29.

Police say that after getting his haircut the man produced a gun and the suspects preceded to rob the other customers, before fleeing down the street with the shops cash register.

Police say no shots were fired and no injuries were reported.

Detectives quickly pulled surveillance camera video that they would release to the media.

As quickly as police obtained the video, police identified the gunman as Ramael Pierson, 24, and would release a police mug shot of him from a 2008 arrest.

In the photo Pierson's left eye is nearly shut, possibly a medical condition as no swelling is evident.

Police could not immediately say if a witness identified Pierson or from facial recognition software now used daily by the NYPD.

Attempts to reach the shop owner were unsuccessful.

Police have asked anyone who has any information on the trio to call CRIMESTOPPERS at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls remain confidential.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Bronx News ( Fordham wins playoff game at home

Bronx News ( Fordham wins playoff game at home: Fordham wins playoff game at home (Photos by Gary Quintal) By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 1- On Saturday afternoon, for the sec...

Fordham wins playoff game at home

Fordham wins playoff game at home
(Photos by Gary Quintal)

By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 1- On Saturday afternoon, for the second straight year, the Fordham Rams (11-2), the Patriot League title-ists, hosted the Sacred Heart Pioneers (9-3), the North East Conference champions, at Jack Coffey Field on the Fordham University campus in the Bronx in a first round contest in the FCS championship playoff.
Last year’s 37-27 victory by Fordham was the first football meeting between the two schools. It was also the first time the Pioneers qualified for the FCS Division I championship, and the first FCS playoff game hosted by Fordham. 

The weather on Saturday was not a factor in the outcome of the important contest as skies were filled with clouds; winds were blowing for less than 10 miles per hour and the temperatures were in the 30’s. 

The Thanksgiving weekend festivities held the crowd at the crucial playoff contest to a disappointing 2,442.

The Rams jumped off to an early lead, 14-0, after Mike Nebrich, the 2014 Offensive Player of the Patriot League, threw two touchdown passes in less than two minutes. At 12:11, Tebucky Jones, Jr. grabbed a one-yard touchdown toss, and at 10:43, Brian Wetzel scored after a 50 yard run after catching the second touchdown throw by Nebrich in the first quarter. The scores came on the second and third Fordham possessions of the game.

The Pioneers closed the quarter by cutting the Fordham advantage to 14-9.

Michael Marando began the second quarter by kicking the first of his three field goals in the contest. The 25, 23 and 38-yard kicks raised his career total to 45, a new Patriot League mark. 

Jones and Wetzel, two seniors who were selected First Team All-Patriot League, each caught eight of Nebrich’s passes and each scored a second touchdown in the game. With nine seconds remaining in the first half, Wetzel caught a 14 yard touchdown pass. The first score of the second half was a 97 yard reception by Jones. Nebrich commented on his fourth touchdown pass, “It felt like it was a good time to call it.”

Jones bested 1,000 receiving yards for the second consecutive season and Wetzel for the third straight year.

The final touchdown of the game was a 26-yard rush by Fordham freshman Chase Edmunds, the Patriot League Rookie of the Year. The Rams scored 10 points in the final quarter while holding the Pioneers scoreless. 

That result was a stark contrast to the regular season showing of the Pioneers in the final quarter. In their 11 regular season games, the Pioneers outscored opponents 80-22 in the fourth quarter.
Sacred Heart coach Mark Nofri honestly assessed his team’s performance after the conclusion of the game, “We didn’t play our best. They [the Rams] capitalized on it. Three or four times, we should have had touchdowns and we didn’t.”

Fordham’s head coach Joe Moorhead complimented Fordham’s opponent, “That was a quality opponent for the first round. We had to fight for every inch.” He then praised his own team’s performance, “This [game] was a point of reference of how we have to prepare for the next game. It was good enough to beat a quality opponent.”

The 44-22 final score was completely in sync with Fordham’s per game average this year. Fordham averaged 42.2 points and averaged giving up 21.6 points per game.

The victor, Fordham, will advance to the second round and travel to Durham, New Hampshire, to face the #1 seed of the FCS, the University of New Hampshire, on the afternoon of December 6.