Thursday, July 19, 2012

This week's Riverdale Review and Bronx Press

Here are the stories in this week's issue (July 19 - July 25) of the Riverdale Review and Bronx Press.

* State test scores a mixed bag for local schools > Local elementary and middle school students posted mixed results on this year's standardized tests. Data form the state's English and math exams, released by the New York State Education Department on Tuesday, shows while proficiency levels rose at PS 24 and MS/HS 141, fewer students at PS 81 were performing at grade level in English. PS 24 emerged as the clear winner in the battle of the two local elementary schools, with nearly 84 percent deemed proficient in math, up from 81 percent last year. In English, 75 percent met or exceeded the state's bar for proficiency, compared to 71 percent in 2011.
The massage parlor suspected
of serving as a prostitution front
* Second massage parlor could be out of business > Law enforcement officials are seeking to shutter Riverdale's only remaining massage parlor after an employee was busted for soliciting sexual services yet again. In March, undercover NYPD officers swooped on Riverdale Skin & Body Care, a massage parlor located at 3733 Riverdale Avenue, but news of the bust emerged only this week. Commanding officer of the 50th Precinct Captain Kevin Burke said Kisook Kim, 35 from Queens, was arrested and charged with prostitution during the covert operation on March 2. Authorities allege she agreed to perform sexual intercourse with a client for $140. The second undercover sting was carried out shortly after two employees were first nabbed for prostitution in February.
* Espaillat will run for Manhattan seat > After narrowly losing to Rep. Charles Rangel. Adriano Espaillat has hit the ground running in a bid to seek re-election to the New York State Senate. The elected official began campaigning outside subway stations on the Upper West Side on Tuesday, just days after his campaign staff submitted 4,238 petitions to secure his place on the ballot. Under newly drawn political boundaries, the 31st Senate District will no longer include parts of Riverdale and Spuyten Duyvil.
* Retired priests eye expansion of residence > Riverdale is set to become a whole lot holier. The Archdiocese of New York has unveiled preliminary plans for a major expansion of the John Cardinal O'Connor Clergy Residence for retired priests on 5655 Arlington Avenue. Under the proposal, which is subject to approval from the City Planning Commission, a new two-story 27,000 square-foot residence will be built to accommodate up to 25 additional retired priests.
Local war veterans Herb Barret and Don Tannen led efforts
to restore the Memorial Grove in Van Cortlandt Park
* Censorship candidate falls short on fundraising > City Council candidate Cliff Stanton raised less than $33,000 in the first half of 2012, according to the latest campaign disclosure report. Document filed with the Campaign Finance Board on Monday reveal Stanton collected $32,829.89 from January 26 through July 10, thanks in part to contributions from food service companies.
* Memorial Grove is finally opened in Van Cortlandt Park > After a six-year battle, the Memorial Grove in Van Cortlandt Park is officially reopened to the public. The once-beleaguered grove, which sits on the northwestern corner of Van Cortlandt Park, was unveiled by a slew of city officials during a ribbon-cutting ceremony last Friday.
* Riverdale Y hosts youth theater awards > Talented young actors from far and wide will gather in Riverdale this month for the seventh annual National Youth Arts Award ceremony. The Riverdale Y will host this year's Eastern region event on Sunday, July 29, and many award winners won't have far t travel--the Y's own theater troupes, the Riverdale Rising Stars and the Rising Stars Jr., garnered no fewer than eight awards, and the ensembles merited an additional 25 nominiations.
* Local Marine supports stop and frisk > A former Marine from Van Cortlandt Park South has come out with a new video, headed for YouTube, where he defends the NYPD's rights on the stop and frisk issue. He points to two incidents in his life, first being shot in the South Bronx while driving a livery taxi, and more recently, when young punks threw garbage at him in a subway near his home.

Also, in the Bronx Press:
* Candidate claims dirty politics in Parkchester campaign > The longtime chief of staff to Assemblyman Peter Rivera is charging that his opponent may be using dirty politics in a fight for the seat recently vacated by Rivera. Danny Figueroa came out swinging after a Bangladeshi newspaper incorrectly reported that bronx Democratic County Committee Chairman Assemblyman Carl Heastie had stated that Congressman Joseph Crowley was supporting Figueroa's rival, Luis Supulveda, in the contest.
* Summer madness on Bronx roads > At least six serious crashes in the past week have resulted in the death of several individuals, and others were injured due to speeding, alcohol and reckless or careless driving.

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