Here are the stories in this week's issue (September 20 -26) of the Riverdale Review and Bronx Press.
* Educrats at PS 24 defend 50 percent cut in music program > Officials at PS 24 continue to defend their controversial decision to downsize the school's cherished music program. Despite widespread outcry from local parents, elected officials and community members, PS 24 interim acting assistant principal Emanuele 'Manny' Verdi last week said he stood by a move to excess the school's vocal music teacher.
* Skating rink details: Recycled shipping containers; loss of parking > Around six parking spaces along Broadway could be temporarily lost during the winter months every year so that a designated drop-off zone can be established at the Van Cortlandt Park ice-skating rink. Concessionaire officials announced plans to submit an application for a street activity permit during last Wednesday's Community Board 8 parks committee meeting.
* Manhattan College hosts education session on Islam on 9/11 anniversary > September 11 this year at Manhattan College's Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center was marked by a panel discussion on the need for Americans to reach an understanding of Islam.
* Projects in some local parks still lag, as others near completion > Local residents are finally beginning to catch a break with local parks projects. After years of enduring repeated delays, construction woes and issues with private contractors, parks in the Riverdale/Kingsbridge area are getting spruced up. We look at a list of current parks projects, including Ruth MacLaughlin Playground; Conrad Grauer Field; Sid Augarten Field; Van Cortlandt Park; Ewen Park, and their status.
* SAR calls for traffic calming measures > Officials at Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy are urging that speed bumps be installed on streets surrounding the school in order to increase student safety. In a letter sent to Community Board 8 and obtained by the Riverdale Review , SAR High School principal Rabbi Tully Harcsztark said traffic calming measures were desperately needed along West 259th Street.
* Mace and Taser used in Kingsbridge melee > A fun-filled night came to an abrupt end when security guards allegedly Tasered patrons and sprayed mace inside a popular upscale Kingsbridge restaurant. Police said a brawl involving at least six people broke out at Silhouette Restaurant & Lounge, located at 5668 Broadway, around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, September 9.
* New roof to be constructed at PS 24 > Students at PS 24 will lose a small section of their playground while construction crews perform much-needed repairs to the school's roofs and parapets. Workers have begun replacing two roofs--a 12-year-old roof and a 48-year-old roof--on the main school building as part of the $5.2 million capital improvement project.
* Man dies in crash on Deegan > A 35-year-old man was killed in an early-morning car crash on the Major Deegan Expressway in North Riverdale last Thursday. Police said Brian Mills was driving his black 2004 Hona Accord northbound on the Major Deegan when he slammed into the back of a construction truck near Exit 12 just after 6 a.m. on September 13. Exit 12 is the intersection where the expressway meets an extension of Mosholu Parkway.
* Scandal-scarred assemblywoman crushed in adjoining district > The residents of Tracey Towers propelled Bronx real estate agent and property manager Mark Gjonaj to a historic victory during last week's four-way Democratic primary. According to unofficial results released by the New York City Board of Elections last Thursday, Gjonaj trounced scandal-plagued Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera by 513 votes.
Also, in the Bronx Press:
* Plan for commuter rail through Morris Park gets thumbs up > A plan to expand Metro-North service into four neighborhoods in the East Bronx could slash travel times to midtown Manhattan in half, according to officials. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority unveiled details of the long-awaited proposal during the first of four information sessions at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Morris Park on Monday, September 10.