Thursday, July 26, 2012

This week's Riverdale Review and Bronx Press

Here are the stories in this week's issue (July 26 - August 1) of the Riverdale Review and Bronx Press

 Bronx residents flocked to Van Cortlandt Park for New York
Philharmonic's 2012 Concerts in the Park series on July 17.
* Parents demand restoration of PS 24 music program > Parents at PS 24 have stepped up their efforts to restore the school's cherished music program and are preparing to take their fight to the Tweed Courthouse. A group of more than 70 concerned parents and residents last week sent a letter to Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott pleading with him to save the school's music department.
* Eleanor McGrath, former school board member, passes away > Eleanor McGrath passed away surrounded by her loving family on the afternoon of Sunday, July 22 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was a lifelong Bronx resident and settled in Riverdale in 1954 after marrying Philip McGrath.
* Local activists protest anti-Israel billboard in Metro-North station > A provocative anti-Israel billboard greets locals as they start and end their daily commutes at the Spuyten Duyvil and Riverdale Metro-North train stations. Described by Isaac Geld as "a real poke in the eye," the ad uses a series of four color-coded maps to illustrate a progressive "Palestinian loss of land" from 1946 through 2010 and to support the statement, "4.7 million Palestinians are classified by the U.N. a refugees."
The controversial anti-Israel billboard
* PS 24 ratings fizzle while PS 81 soars > Satisfaction ratings at PS 24 have plummeted, Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy has lifted its game and PS 81 has retained its title as the local school darling among its parents and teachers. Results from the fourth NYC School Survey, released by the Department of Education this week, reveals Riverdale's three schools recorded mixed results. PS 24 was the only school to record a drop in all four assessed categories--academic expectations, communication, engagement, and safety and respect.
* Few local kids excel on state tests > Just 1 percent of Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy students exceeded the state's proficiency level on this year's standardized English test. A special analysis of data from the state's English and math exams found results varied across Riverdale's three public schools when the number of students scoring at Level 4 was taken into account.
* Famous local figure hooks up with the Glee gang > Archie Andrew, one of Riverdale's most famous residents, will be introduced to the cast of Glee in an eagerly awaited collaboration announced by the comic book's publishers. Archie, along with Betty, Veronica, Dilton and Jughead, are slated to meet their match in the crew from McKinley High in an upcoming storyline to hit bookstore shelves next year.
* Koppell reports progress > Department of Transportation crews are currently repaving a section of the Henry Hudson Parkway service road, following a request from Councilman G. Oliver Koppell. Koppell lobbied for the measure after constituents complained about the poor conditions along the busy road, particularly between West 227th and West 232nd streets.

And, in the Bronx Press:
* Bloomberg forces new homeless shelter in Wakefield > City officials are forging ahead with plans to transform the Muller Army Reserve Center into a 200-bed homeless shelter and have negotiated a $91 million contract with a social advocacy group. The Mayor's Office of Contract Services blindisded Bronx residents and held a public hearing on Thursday, July 19, to discuss a proposal to award The Doe Fund, a $91.27 million contract. According to the negotiated contract, the social advocacy group would be charged with developing and operating a "stand-alone transitional residence for homeless adults." The proposed agreement would be retroactively dated and run from July 1, 2012, to December 31, 2033, authorities said.
* MTA caves to politicos and community to restore transit service > Relief is finally on the way for thousands of Bronx bus and Metro-North commuters. As part of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's sweeping $29.5 million package, weekend bus service on the Bx34 will be restored, while service on the Bx13 will be extended from East 161st Street to the Gateway Mall. Officials will also establish a brand-new bus route that connects the booming neighborhood of the South Bronx to the commercial areas of Hunts Point.
* Cabrera fights mayor on proposed super-sized ban > Bronx merchants fear their businesses will be driven to the ground if the city approves plans to ban the sale of super-sized sugary drinks. Merchants raised their concerns about shrinking profit margins to Councilman Fernando Cabrera during an impromptu neighborhood walking tour around University Heights last Thursday. Cabrera said many owners pleaded with him to fight the health policy. Although many acknowledged it was proposed with good intentions, they said the plan would adversely affect their bottom line.
* City unveils latest healthy eating plan in The Bronx > Fresh produce will be shifted to grocery entrance areas and water will be displayed at eye level in hundreds of coolers as part of the city's latest healthy eating plan to debut in The Bronx. Authorities unveiled the Shop Healthy NYC Initiative during a news conference outside the C-Town supermarket on Crescent Avenue in Fordham last Wednesday. Under the voluntary pilot program, bodega and supermarket operators will be asked to display a range of healthy foods including fresh fruits and vegetables in prime areas like entrances and checkout aisles, to relegate junk food to the back of their store and to post signs identifying nutritious choices.

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