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September 18-24, 2015

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Your Neighborhood — Your News®



The Sweetest Honor Artuso Pastry’s Natalia Corridori and Anthony Artuso, Sr. hold one of the many cookies they made in honor of Pope Francis’ visit next week. See story and more photos on page 24. Photo by Silvio Pacifico


The long arm of the law has fi nally caught up with four men allegedly involved in a series of armed robberies across the borough. According to police, four men were arrested in connection with the Thursday, August 27 armed robbery of a Rite Aid located at 1710 Crosby Avenue which saw $2,703 worth of property stolen. A NYPD spokeswoman said the suspects, Cameron Green, 21 and Anthony Green, 18 of 949 E. 214th Street and Anil Mangar, 23, of 645 E. 231st Street, all three residing in the Bronx; and Lennox Josephs, 22, of 338 4th Avenue, Mt. Vernon were arrested recently and

charged with robbery in the 2nd degree. According to a United States Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York spokesman, the defendants Green, Josephs and Green acknowledged the robberies before the Honorable Gabriel Gorenstein, United States Magistrate Judge Southern District of New York. On August 31, police officers arrested Mangar, a coconspirator, for using a stolen credit card. He informed law enforcement that he had participated in ten robberies with a crew consisting of Green, Josephs and Green over a six week period, according to USAOSDNY.

The spokesman confi rmed that police stopped and searched a vehicle driven by Mangar on Friday, September 4 at 1250 Waters Place, in which agents seized two backpacks, each containing pellet guns closely resembling handguns, gloves and a facemask and a third backpack containing gloves and a bandanna. Police also learned that the crew was planning to rob a Pelham Bay 7-11 convenience store. The USAOSDNY spokesman added the defendants are facing several charges for their alleged involvement in a series of robberies which occurred between Wednes-

Continued on Page 70

BX ‘15 REVISED Hit and run kills waitress NEW AND

ST TS An Almanac Of The Bronx


BY STEVEN GOODSTEIN A deadly accident on City Island involving a car and a biker tragically resulted in a death this past weekend. On Friday, September 11, 27-year old Gabriela AguilarVallinos was killed in a hit and run incident after she was struck by a car while biking home from work shortly before midnight on Friday night. Aguilar-Vallinos, who worked as a waitress at Sammy’s Shrimp Box, 64 City Island Avenue, was leaving City Island, travelling on her bike towards home following

her shift, when a two-door, white 2015 Hyundai Genesis slammed into her on the northwest corner of the City Island Bridge and City Island Road as she was heading westbound at about 11:45 p.m. on Friday evening. According to a video provided by the 45th Precinct, the driver of the Hyundai, who left the scene immediately following the incident, was seen leaving Seafood City, 459 City Island Avenue, minutes before the incident occurred. Shortly following a lefthanded turn from Bowne

A CNG Publication • Vol. 35 No. 38

Street onto City Island Avenue, the driver collided with Aguilar-Vallinos, who was biking back to her home in Soundview. When police responded to the report of the bike collision, Aguilar-Vallinos was found unconscious and unresponsive with severe head trauma. She was taking by the Emergency Medical Services to Jacobi Hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival. The 45th Precinct could

Continued on Page 70


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Street renaming honors CB12’s Carmen Rosa BY ROBERT WIRSING The beloved Community Board 12 district manager who passed away earlier this year was honored by the community she advocated for over 20 years. This past Saturday, September 12, Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., Councilman Andy King, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Congressman Eliot Engel, Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson, New York City Department of Transportation Borough Commissioner Constance Moran, Community Board 12 members as well as the late Rosa’s friends and family members gathered at the corner of East 229th Street and White Plains Road to co-name this intersection ‘Carmen Rosa Way’ to honor the district manager who passed away on March 20, 2015. Councilman King officiated the prestigious ceremony and presented a City Council Proclamation to Rosa’s family in recognition of her service. “Carmen Rosa was a proud Bronxite and a tremendous

advocate for the people of her community and the entire Bronx,” said Borough President Diaz, Jr. “Though we are sad at her passing, we can hold up her example as one that should be followed by future generations of borough leaders. This street renaming will keep her memory in our hearts and minds for years to come,” he added. Rosa, a first generation New Yorker and longtime Bronxite who was originally from 161st Street before moving into Coop City, provided more than 20 years of excellent service and contributions to CB 12. After serving seven years as the board’s Assistant District Manager, Rosa was named district manager in 1995 and since then she had applied an unparalleled level of expertise, dedication and leadership skills to improve the quality of life for CB 12 and Bronx residents alike. During her tenure as district manager, Rosa played an instrumental role in getting the Federal and State Department of Environmental Protection to clean up the toxic site known as Hexagon Labs

Family, community leaders and elected officials attended Saturday’s renaming ceremony for Carmen Rosa Photo by Silvio Pacifico Way. and ensuring the contaminates contained there would no longer endanger residents. Rosa had two children, Linda and Alfredo Angueira and was an adjunct professor at Monroe College teaching writing and business classes for over 30 years. Rosa retired from her position with CB 12 earlier this year, about a month before passing away from cancer at

age 62. Ursula Greene, CB 12 community associate, worked with Rosa for over 20 years and shared her many memories of her late colleague’s hardwork and dedication:. “There was no such thing as ‘nine to five’ for Carmen,” said Greene. “She would come in here from eight in the morning and stay until 11 at night working to help others. We had times when

the problem wasn’t in this district, but whenever someone came into this office to ask for help, Carmen would do everything possible to help them.” She added that Rosa was responsible for having the Bronx District Attorney establish a crime victims unit on the 3rd floor of CB 12’s office, and getting a SNAP program to meet two days a week at their office.

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around Your Neighborhood — Your News

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by Patrick Rocchio BY PATRICK ROCCHIO The Bronx Times Reporter will publish your announcements. Send announcements along with photo, to: Bronx Times Reporter, 3604 E. Tremont Avenue, Bronx, N.Y. 10465 or e-mail [email protected] Please include a phone number or a way to contact you in case of questions. Birthdays Monica Gaffney shares the following: We would like to say a belated happy birthday to our friend Adriana Rojas, who celebrated her birthday on Sunday, August 23. She is a student at Lehman College. From your friends Maria and John. In Memory Jaqueline Josephine Tojeira, October 26, 2000 – September 11, 2015: Our hearts go out to the family of Jaqueline Josephine Tojeira. JJ lost her battle with leukemia after being diagnosed in June 2015. She was a always a happy 14-year-old with so much to offer, she would light up every room she walked into and start conversations with ev-

eryone, even if she didn’t know you, be sure she’d touched your heart. We are the blessed ones to have been graced by Jackie’s big heart and her inviting personality. Now, so many hearts are broken and so many memories are left behind. We pray that the Love of God enfolds her parents during their journey through grief. Peace, Prayers and Blessings from your family and friends. Rest in peace, and sleep with the Angels JJ, we will always love you. We will never forget you! Evelyn Torres reports the

Jaqueline Josephine Tojeira


Saturday, October 3rd at 1pm School tours & cocktail reception to follow. Event is free but a $10 per person donation is suggested. Visit the Alumni Events tab at to register For information, contact the Scanlan Alumni Office at (718) 430-0100 x13 or via e-mail at [email protected]

We look forward to seeing you! BRONX TIMES REPORTER, SEPTEMBER 18-24, 2015

Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Clementson to 3 p.m. The event coincides with the 424th birthday of Anne Marbury Hutchinson, who the river is named after. For information, contact Eleanor Rae, Hutchinson River Restoration Project president at [email protected] or Liederman at (718) 885-3423.

Jeanne Jugan donations

An Invitation to all St. Helena & Msgr. Scanlan Business & Commercial HS Alumni, Faculty & Staff


passing of her father, Reverend Alcides Torres Sr. She reports that Mr. Torres was born on April 6, 1936 and he passed away on Tuesday, September 1. Bronx Native Serves In Arabian Gulf Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Clementson is a boatswain’s mate on the Bahrianbased U.S. Navy Patrol Ship USS Whirlwind, based in Bahrain on the Arabian Gulf. A boatswain’s mate is responsible for all seagoing operations like handling, small boat launching, and maintenance. Clementson is a 2010 Evander Child High School graduate. Sanctuary Cleanup Toby Liederman wishes to inform the public about the Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary’s 6th Annual Cleanup on the Hutchinson River on Sunday, September 20 from 9 a.m.


Jeanne Jugan Home for the Aged, located at 2999 Schurz Avenue, is always in need of brand new or near-new items that can be sold in its gift shop and annual Christmas Sale. These items include jewelry, gift sets, electronic items, toys, specialty items, new

tagged clothing, accessories, collectibles. If you have any questions regarding a donation, contact Joanne at the home at (347) 329 1800. If at all possible, drop off donations during the weekdays.









Eagle Scout project rejuvenates garden BY ROBERT WIRSING A local boy scout and his troop live by their motto in helping others at all times. Jason Lukowich, a 18-year old Country Club resident, served as the Senior Patrol Leader of Troop 182 and lead a community service project with his troop to revitalize the Sisters, Servants of Mary’s overgrown garden as part of his Eagle Scout service project. After completing this extensive service project, Lukowich is hoping he can prove he has what it takes to be considered an Eagle Scout. According to Marlon Guerrero, committee chairman for Troop 182, Lukowich is currently a candidate for the conveted Eagle Scout and completed this service project as part of the rank’s requirement and will go before a board of review Wednesday, September 23 at St. Helena Church to explain how he qualifies. Lukowich pitched the idea of aiding the Sisters, Servants of Mary as his Eagle Scout service project before the troop’s scoutmaster, commit-

tee chairman, council representatives and beneficaries of the project after learning they needed help maintaining their garden. “I went there and saw that a lot needed to be done, and I felt it was extremely necessary for us to help them,” said Lukowich. All parties involved agreed and the troop began work this past July 7 and completed the project on Thursday, September 3. Lukowich explained that he and his team removed dense bamboo and poison ivy from the garden located alonside the 3305 Country Club Road convent’s driveway which he described as being difficult, yet rewarding work. “Throughout this whole project I learned how to become more patient and learned how to effectively organize everyone,” he said. After clearing the garden, Lukowich and his team sprayed weedkiller before covering the dirt with a tarp. Lukowich and his team proceeded to build four wooden garden boxes which took about

two and a half hours and fi lled them with soil and mums. Throughout the entire project, the Sisters, Servants of Mary expressed their gratitude for Lukowich and his team’s work by providing them with sandwhiches, pizza and refreshments. Guerrero explained that in addition to providing service and fulfi lling part of the Scout Oath “to help other people at all times,” one of the primary purposes of this project is for participants to learn leadership skills or improve and demostrate leadership skills thses young men already possess. He added that important lessons in project management and taking responsibilty for a significant accomplishment are applied to this service project. Guerrero said the Boy Scouts of America has conferred the Eagle Scout ranking to 50 Troop 182 scouts throughout the years. “Troop 182’s mission is to work towards the leadership development of its scouts helping them grow into respon-


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Jason Lukowich (r) coordinated an Eagle Scout project with his fellow Troop 182 members to help revitalize the Sisters, Servants of Mary’s garPhoto courtesy of Jason Lukowich den. sible and successful members of our society and I’m very impressed with Jason’s project,” said Guerrero. “I was also very pleased to see how the troop rallied together with Jason to help accomplish it and he’s learned to become more independent and grow as a leader.” “They did a great job removing all of the bamboo from our garden and we are very grateful for all of their hard-

work,” said Sister Germana Contreras, mother superior. “This was actually a project we wanted to do for a long time and we were so happy that Jason and his troop came to help us.” According to Guerrero and Sister Contreras, Alex Morales, a senior patrol leader of the troop and Eagle Scout candidate, plans to help build a gazebo for the Sisters next year.

f f Oadway Broeek W 21– Sept Oct 4

The Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Einstein/Weiler Hospital will be part of Montefiore. Degrees will still be granted by Yeshiva University. Community News Group / Patrick Rocchio

Montefiore assumes responsibility for AECOM BY PATRICK ROCCHIO Montefiore and Yeshiva University have concluded an agreement that will affect the operation of Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The final details of the deal emerged in an announcement on Wednesday, September 9, and had been expected since a tentative one was reached in February. Under the agreement, Montefiore will assume operational responsibility for AECOM/Weiler Hospital in Morris Park. Eventually AECOM will become a degree-granting institution, but for now, Yeshiva University, which founded the college six decades ago, will continue in this role, stated a Montefiore spokeswoman. The Montefiore spokeswoman also stated that the agreement would allow AECOM to secure a stronger and more sustainable future for the medical school, and that the deal strengthens decades-long synergies. “Montefiore now has the authority to invest its resources and expertise in Einstein to help advance the pace at which discoveries can become new therapies for citizens of the Bronx and beyond,” stated the spokeswoman. She adding that “Einstein students will continue to attend a highly competitive medical school that offers tremendous benefits for all its students— medical, M.D./Ph.D. and graduate—many of whom train at Montefiore.” The agreement has been approved by state and federal regulatory authorities, and Montefiore will lend its resources to achieve operational efficiencies. The Einstein C Community Advisory Board will

continue to function as it has, the spokeswoman said. It is for the best that the CAB continue, said Al D’Angelo, Einstein CAB member. Former Senator Guy Velella put the CAB into play more than a decade ago, said D’Angelo, who added that he believes the hospital will benefit from Montefiore’s involvement. “I think the hospital will benefit from it; however, I don’t know if the college will benefit from the deal,” he said. “It is a ‘wait and see’ situation.” D’Angelo said he would advise Montefiore to make the hospital the best facility that it can be and not expand too rapidly and spread its resources so thin that patient care and services start to suffer. “I want the best hospital available in our community,” he said. “We have a great trauma center at Jacobi and a good hospital at Montefiore.” Fellow Einstein CAB member Silvio Mazzella said that he hopes that the teaching, scientific research and education at AECOM is administrated differently from how Montefiore operates its hospitals, because they are two separate types of activities and businesses. “I hope that Einstein will be able to maintain its own identity,” he said. An AECOM official who spoke on background because he was not authorized to speak to the media said that without Montefiore’s intervention, much of the scientific research at the institution would have been “gutted” because of lack of resources. The agreement with Montefiore was a long time coming, and if it had failed, AECOM would have been stripped down to a basic medical hospital, the source said.

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QSpex opens first service center in Bx BY STEVEN GOODSTEIN A new eyeglass manufacturer has opened its first location in the Bronx. QSpex, an eyeglass developer that offers high-speed manufacturing services for its customers, recently held the official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of their new optical service center, 26 Bruckner Boulevard, the first QSpex location to open in the New York City. QSpex, which has developed a proprietary process that manufactures and finishes lenses locally, allows for personalized, same-day delivery to the consumer’s eyeglass provider or location of choice, including a home or work address anywhere in the five boroughs and parts of Long Island and Westchester County. The process begins with QSpex obtaining a customer’s prescription from their eye doctor. Following that step, QSpex processes the customer’s glasses based on the doctor’s prescription, including the molding, coating and bonding of lenses.


Within an hour and a half, QSpex has developed a new pair of prescription fi lled glasses for their customer. If orders for glasses are placed by 2 p.m., QSpex confirmed that customers are able to receive their glasses by the end of the work day, either by pick-up or delivery. “People in today’s market want everything now because we have become used to automatic services - why can’t this be true with glasses?” said Adam Decker, commercial development manager. “This is a great opportunity for people in the Bronx and NYC who want their product quickly and can’t afford to wait two weeks for new glasses.” “The same-day services that we offer provides customers with a fun, direct way to purchase their glasses and without any compromises on quality,” said Jessica Levy, commercial development manager, who will venture through different parts of the city in the fall with an eye-catching purple chair to giveaway and promote QSpex’s products. “Any other eyeglass manu-


(l-r) Adam Decker, commercial development manager, Ledessate Infante, optical service center manager, and Jessica Levy, commercial development manager, pose in front of the QSpex logo. Community News Group / Steven Goodstein

facturing process that doesn’t offer this service has become obsolete.” “This is a brand new technology in the Bronx that offers a very high-speed and unique service to our customers who now have that same-day op-


tion to receive their glasses,” said Ledessatte Infante, optical service center manager. “This developer services individuals by quickly providing them with the proper eyewear that they need in a timely fashion,” said John Bonizio,

owner of Metro Optics. “This previously unseen, enhanced customer service model is ahead of its time, and I extend this improved customer service to my patients.” QSpex, which also offers specific anti-reflective and blue light-blocking lenses as well as sunglasses (with no adaptation period), plans to open four other locations in NYC in the near future, including two locations each in Brooklyn and Queens. The first, and to this point, the only other QSpex center is located in Alpharetta, Georgia, which has been live for a year. The center also offers an Eye-Care Professional Locater for their customers, which finds the closest eye doctor to a customer’s location. “The opening of this QSpex location marks a turning point in how New Yorkers purchase and receive eyewear,” said Brett Craig, president and CEO of QSpex. “New Yorkers can now receive their finished eyewear in a matter of hours without interruption to their schedules.”

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43rd PCT. Saturday, Sept. 12, 1:52 a.m. -- Police officers responded to 1190 Commerce Avenue. Upon arrival, the officers discovered that a motorcyclist travelling southbound on Commerce Avenue had lost control eventually striking a fence at the location. The 30-year-old male operator of the motorcycle and the 27-year-old female passenger were both transported to Jacobi Hospital where the female was pronounced dead.


46th PCT.

44rd PCT. Monday, Sept. 14 --Police responded to call at 40 Marcy Avenue. Upon arrival officers discovered a 73 year-old male unconscious and unresponsive in Apt 3E. EMS also responded and pronounced the male deceased at the scene. The Medical Examiner will determine the exact cause of death. The investigation is ongoing.


lice responded to a report of a bicycle collision at City Island Bridge and City Island Avenue. Upon arrival, officers discovered a 27 year-old female unconscious and unresponsive with severe head trauma. EMS removed the female to Jacobi Hospital where she was pronounced deceased. An investigation revealed that the female was riding a bicycle heading west bound over the City Island Bridge when she was struck by a white Hyundai sedan which then fled the scene.

45th PCT. Friday, Sept. 11, 10:46 p.m. -- Po-

Monday, Sept. 7, 12:20 a.m. -- A man entered a restaurant at 2376 Ryer Avenue, where he was involved in a dispute and was asked to leave. As he was escorted out, the suspect became agitated and stabbed a 24 year-old male in the shoulder before fleeing the location. The victim was removed to St. Barnabas where he was treated and released. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male who was last seen wearing a white tank top.

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Deny rent increase (The following letter was sent to the deputy commissioner of Office of Rent Administration, Division of Housing and Community Renewal). Dear Mr. Pascal: This letter is in regard to a serious problem facing my constituents who reside at 930 Grand Concourse in Bronx County, who are appealing the pending Major Capital Improvement rent increase of $18.73 per room per month. The building is in violation of city, state and federal guidelines related to the handling of lead paint during the buildingwide electrical upgrade that caused the rent increase. It has come to my attention that the contractor who was hired by the landlord for this sensitive project was not leadpaint certified. Apparently, as a result of their renovation, they disturbed surfaces that contained lead paint, exposing the tenants at 930 Grand Concourse to lead paint dust, along with their apartments and common areas. This behavior is negligent, and any landlord who knowingly violates the law by exposing tenants to lead paint toxins should not be granted an MCI increase. Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz

more to help our local businesses survive. Don’t forget your cook and server at your favorite local neighborhood restaurant. We try to tip 20 percent against the total bill including taxes. If it is an odd amount, we round up to the next dollar. If we can afford to eat out, we can afford an extra dollar tip. When ordering take out, we always leave a dollar or two for the waiter or cook. It is appreciated. Remember these people are our neighbors. Our local entrepreneurs have continued to create new employment opportunities without the assistance of federally-funded taxpayers’ stimulus dollars. They work long hours, pay taxes and provide local employment. If we don’t patronize our local restaurants, they don’t eat either. Larry Penner

Sex offender among us Dear editor, The residents of our building, the Woodmansten Apartments, located at 1541-1551 Williamsbridge Road, were shocked to read about the violent sex offender who had been residing among us for at least a month until his removal by authorities on August 21. More shocking was the fact that we learned of this situation two weeks later in the Bronx Times Reporter. There had been no communication from Senator Jeff Klein’s office to our tenants association regarding the matter, even though the senator was on the front line, has my personal contact information, and has received official reports from us regarding many serious is-

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Dear editor, Why not participate in National Cheeseburger Day, Friday September 18? Ignore all Health Food police rants about how unhealthy hamburgers are. Treat yourself and go to your favorite fast food, dinner, restaurant or steak house and order a cheeseburger. Pile on the toppings including cheese, sauteed onions, tomato’s, pickles and whatever else suites your fancy. Don’t forget your side order of french fries. Hamburgers and fries are an authentic American tradition that should continue to be celebrated all year around. In these difficult economic times, it is especially important to patronize your local fast food, dinner, restaurant or steak house. My wife and I don’t mind occasionally paying a little BRONX TIMES REPORTER, SEPTEMBER 18-24, 2015

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sues at the building - including poor security and criminal activity. Someone needs to be held accountable for endangering our children and the female residents of our community. Who placed this individual in the building without a background check? If he was living with another tenant, what action (if any) is being taken against the one that harbored him? Are you more willing to insist on a meeting with the owner now, senator? You have been at our tenant meetings on at least three separate occasions with promises of assistance that produced only minimal results. This incident is the tip of the iceberg. The time to move from tough talk to tough action is long past due. Paulette Sorg Williamsbridge Tenants Association Head




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Merchants, 45th host alcohol use meeting BY STEVEN GOODSTEIN The Throggs Neck Merchants Merchants Association recently held a meeting to instruct its members on alcohol awareness. On Wednesday, September 16, the TNMA, along with Community Board 10, the 45th Precinct, Senator Jeff Klein’s office, the State Liquor Authority and the Department of Environmental Protection, held an Alcohol Awareness Breakfast & Workshop at Villa Barone Manor for licensed vendors in the east Bronx who sell alcohol to the community. The idea for the breakfast workshop stemmed from an incident that took place on May 30th along East Tremont Avenue, when upwards of at least 1,000 patrons from Nicky’s Beer Garden BBQ, located at 3392 E. Tremont Avenue, which is currently closed for renovations, emptied out onto the street, creating chaos and disruption for the Throggs Neck Merchants Fair, which was taking place at the same time. Earlier that day, John Cerini, treasurer and past president of the TNMA, and special operations lieutenant Paul Trapani of the 45th Precinct had discussed planning a a workshop that could increase awareness among businesses that dispense alcohol to improve their relationships with their

neighbors regarding the behavior of their clients and noise issues, among other instances. After witnessing the comotion outside of Nick’s Beer Garden BBQ, Cerini and Trapani knew a workshop was needed for neighborhood vendors and businesses. At the breakfast, TNMA discussed the benefits of being part of the association and how they can assist in making the liquor-license process easier and more efficient for license holders. In addition, lieutenant Trapani discussed the necessity of businesses cooperating with the community in which these establishments conduct business, including the illegal sale of alcohol to minors. He also discussed compliance checks, which deters licensed vendors to sell alcohol, as well as the proper utilization of camera and video systems to protect businesses from potential crimes, proving that this workshop was held for the safety of the businesses and the community. “The businesses and vendors in this community have done a good job abiding and complying to the laws and regulations, and for the most part, there have not been a lot of summons issued,” said Trapani, who has been with the 45th precinct since 2011. “This

workshop is not just focused on enforcing and making sure that businesses stay in line by not providing alcohol to minors or after hours, but more to provide education to these businesses, giving them options on how to handle potentially dangerous and unsafe situations.” Along with the TNMA and the 45th Precinct, the workshop also included information from the State Liquor Authority, which explained the finer points of the license process, expectations and violations, the DEP, who gave a presentation on noise control and sound checks, Fran Maturo from the Throggs Neck Community Action Partnership, who discussed their upcoming workshops, and Dana Carotenuto, executive director of district operations for Senator Klein’s office, talked about the benefit of having of ID scanners. Martin Prince also spoke on behalf of CB 10. “This workshop was held to discuss the expectations and objectives of licensed vendors as well as to help improve the relationships between them and their neighborhoods,” said Cerini “CB10 is grateful to the TNMA for continuing the effort on the part of the community board and elected officials in sensitizing the restaurant and bar owning establishments to the needs of creating an environment that benefits

Trapani (l) and Cerini, who came to the conclusion of holding a breakfast for local vendors after May 30th’s incident at the Throggs Neck Merchants Fair. Community News Group / Steven Goodstein

the entire community,” said CB10 district manager Ken Kearns. The breakfast was sponsored by Citi Bank, Capital Shield Agency, Phillips Gourmet Deli and All Time Detection.

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2015 Weekend Service Changes

Major Service Changes on the 25 Lines Significant weekend work continues on the 25 lines in the Bronx, including signal and electrical upgrades, track installation and maintenance, and station and tunnel entrance painting.

r Free shuttle buses provide alternate service While not expected, dates are subject to change. Between Early Saturday and Late Sunday

The majority of this work is scheduled over weekends when ridership is lower and our employees and contractors have continuous, train-free access to the track bed. We are aware of the inconvenience these and other disruptions cause, and we appreciate your patience. When completed, these projects will bring a modern, state-of-the-art signal system, as well as resilient and reliable infrastructure upgrades to the 2 and 5 lines.


Service Change

Sep 19 – 20 Sep 26 – 27

No trains between E 180 St and Dyre Av

Oct 3 – 4 Reminder: No thru-5 service overnight.

Stay Informed While not expected, dates are subject to change. for The Weekender, to sign up for free email and text alerts, view planned service change information, or to use TripPlanner+ to learn more about these weekend changes, as well as other changes to 25 service.                         service provider or the free 711 service relay to reach 511. If you cannot be connected for any reason, you can ask the representative to connect you to 511 via the following    877-690-5116.

© 2015 Metropolitan Transportation Authority




Wrongfully convicted man seeks justice BY STEVEN GOODSTEIN A former Bronx resident who was wrongfully imprisoned for over two decades is poised to not let a wrongful conviction get the best of him while he seeks justice. Alan Newton, a former Bronx resident is motivated to make the most of the remainder of his life after spending 22 years in prison for crimes that he did not commit. Alan’s story begins on the morning of June 28, 1984, when Newton, who was a Morrisania resident at the time, was in Queens with his fi ance and her family. At about 3 a.m. that morning, a woman was raped, robbed, assaulted and kidnapped in Crotona Park. Shortly after the incident, the NYPD arrested Newton, charging him with the incident. In court, Newton was eventually convicted of rape, robbery and assault, even after DNA and other evidence didn’t match the characteristics of the perpetrator and the crimes didn’t connect. Newton’s fi ance even passed a lie detector test, stating that he was in Queens at the time of the incident and that there was no possible way that he could have committed the alleged acts. “The evidence didn’t match - it

never did, Newton said.” “I always stayed consistent with my innocence,” Newton said. “I never admitted to anything I didn’t do, simply because I didn’t do anything.” As a result of the case, however, Newton would spend a good portion of his life in prison, from 1984 to 2006. During his tenure, he spent time in Elmira, Green Haven and Attica correctional facilities, among other institutions. Newton’s life of freedom looked to be over for good, when, in 2005, a sergeant from the NYPD Property Clerk Division randomly found his trial papers and a retest and reinvestigation of DNA results and other evidence was conducted. Again, no crime evidence was matched or traced to Newton, but this time, his conviction was overturned. “This is a prime example of why the public has a difficult time trusting police and authority,” said Newton. “It doesn’t matter whether there are 1 or 100 bad cops, there is still corruption that takes place in the justice system, and there have been dozens of wrongful convictions that have taken place in previous decades - something that mayor (Rudolph) Gulliani, (Mike) Bloomberg and

(Bill) De Blasio’s administrations have not dealt with or thought about a solution towards.” After his release, Newton went back to school, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from CUNY Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn in 2008. He has intentions of going to law school and eventually helping those in similar situations to the type he went through. Since 2006, he has fi led two lawsuits against the city and state, from which he has not received any compensation. He also fi led a motion with the US Federal Supreme Court (Legislation S5875/A8157) to prevent future instances of wrongful convictions with the help of the Innocence Project. “More than half of New York’s DNA-based exonerations involve misidentification,” said Rebecca Brown, Innocence Project’s director of policy. “Implementing evidencebased eyewitness identification procedures, including the use of a blind administrator and obtaining a statement of confidence from the eyewitness could have very likely prevented Alan’s wrongful conviction.” “I have great trust in our judicial system - however, when it goes wrong, it’s a terrible tragedy that re-

Newton spent 22 years in prisons including Elmira, Green Haven and Attica from 1984 to Photo courtesy of Alan Newton 2006. sults in mis-justice,” said Assemblyman Michael Benedetto. “Too often today, especially with media coverage, people sensationalize stories and they want those responsible to be brought to justice quickly so that the public’s fears are alleviated,” he concluded.

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Small Business Forum confronts rent issues BY PATRICK ROCCHIO A town hall forum is planned to discuss small business solutions to unfair practices by certain landlords. Take Back NYC, an organization advocating for legislation it feels would halt exorbitant rent increases and unfair lease terms for businesses, is coordinating the community forum. It is scheduled for Wednesday, September 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Hellenic Orthodox Community Church at 3573 Bruckner Boulevard. Among the sponsors are the Bronx Times, as well as the New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Townsquared New York City, Jetro Cash & Carry, Take Back NYC and the Bronx Merchants Coalition. Subjects to be discussed include the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, as well as other legislation pending before the city council, said Bob Bieder of Bronx Merchants Coalition. Councilwoman Annabel Palma will be presenting opening remarks, he confirmed. She is a sponsor of the

Small Business Jobs Survival Act, said Bieder, legislation that two dozen council members support, which has been proposed in one form or another over the last three decades, but has never passed. “There are several proposals in the city council to help small businesses,” said Bieder. “The forum is there to discuss those different items, and make the public aware of what is out there, because a lot of it is being supported and pushed by the Real Estate Board (of New York), not by the merchants.” Bieder is an advocate for the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, saying that many of the other proposals that include loans for small businesses and help with fines don’t touch on the most pressing needs of small businesses with shops. “The Small Business Jobs Survival Act is the only legislation that provides binding arbitration in the lease renewal process,” said Bieder, adding that the legislation only affects lease renewals of established businesses and

On Wednesday, September 30, Greek American Institute, located at 3573 Bruckner Boulevard, will host a forum for local businesses. Community News Group / Patrick Rocchio

not new leases. In some of the most egregious cases, Bieder said, established businesses are being forced to fork over under-thetable payments to unscrupulous landlords to simply negotiate terms of a lease. In other cases, Bieder said that businesses are being forced to sign short term, or month-to-month leases that do

not allow them to plan for the future. Concerns about working with landlords as lease renewals approach is a major concern, said John Cerini, board member and past president of the Throggs Neck Merchants Association. “Most small businesses that have leases coming up for renewal are always concerned

about what the renewal conditions will entail,” said Cerini. “We need some type of regulations set up for businesses the same way they have it set up for residential tenancy.” Many business owners do not know what to expect when it comes to lease renewals, he said, and it creates concern because after establishing a business in a certain location for years, it might become necessary to move. Landlords can raise the rents significantly, or decide not to negotiate a renewal, he explained. Small businesses employ over half of the city’s workforce, said Cerini, but many small business owners feel that no one is advocating for them. “The New York City Council should appoint a business advocate,” said Cerini, adding that this could be modeled on the Internal Revenue Service’s Taxpayer Advocate and would give small businesses some say inside city government when it comes to regulations.


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Artworks displayed at City Island show Friday, September 11 marked the Artist’s Choice opening reception at the Focal Point Gallery located at 321 City Island Avenue. During this exhibition, local artists displayed their many breathtaking works, some of which depicted famous Bronx locations including the iconic City Island Bridge. (1) Event host Ron Terner (3rd from right) with all of the artists who participated in last Photo by Laura Stone Friday’s show. (2) Artisit Don Nester stands near his long-exposure panoramas.

Photo by Laura Stone

(3) Artist Anthony Belizeire displayed his masterpiece, ‘Big Blue’, a mixed media and acrylic Photo by Laura Stone work. (4) Artist Don Gilligan poses alongside his oil paintings of the ‘old’ City Island Bridge. Photo by Laura Stone

(5) Artist Adam Hamdy displayed an oil pastel work at Friday’s art show. Photo by Laura Stone

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(6) Artist Joe Moscato displayed his digital prints during the show. BTR

Photo by Laura Stone

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September 18-24, 2015 75 cents Your Neighborhood — Your News® SERVING THROGGS NECK, PELHAM BAY, COUNTRY CLUB, CITY ISLAND, WESTCHESTER SQUARE, MORR...

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