|Contractors were spotted putting the finishing touches on|
the district headquarters and comfort station at VCP. The
building has been under renovation since late 2009.
* New technology allows commuters to track subway arrival times > Local straphangers can track the arrival times of all trains on the No. 1 subway line, thanks to a new smartphone application released by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. MTA officials unveiled the much-anticipated MTA Subway Time app during a press conference last Friday. Under the free app, riders can access the real-time subway arrival times at 156 stations on seven of the city's 24 routes--the No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, as well as the 42nd Street shuttle.
* Commander of 50th Precinct receives promotion > If history is any indication, Kevin Burke's days as a commanding officer at the 50th Precinct may be numbered and he could soon be transferred to another post. Burke, a 15-year veteran with the NYPD, was promoted from captain to deputy inspector during a ceremony at police headquarters on December 21. Deputy Inspector Burke said he was pleasantly surprised when he received news of the promotion. He has been at the helm of the 50th Precinct since June 1, 2011.
* Hoffnung lands bigger role in comptroller's office > Riverdale resident Ari Hoffnung is set to play a larger role in the city's financial affairs following his promotion to deputy comptroller for budget. City Comptroller John C. Liu announced that Hoffnung, 39, would assume oversight of the comptroller's Bureau of Fiscal and Budget Studies as of January 1. Hoffnung replaces Simcha Fedler, the Brooklyn Democratic state senator-elect who ruffled feathers last month after he decided to caucus with the Republican conference. Under his enhanced role, Hoffnung will oversee the publication of a wide range of fiscal reports on the city's economy and budgetary outlook. He will continue to serve as the deputy comptroller of public affairs--a role he was promoted to in December 2009. Hoffnung was quick to stress that the promotion would not influence his decision over whether to jump into the hotly anticipated City Council District 11 race.
* Man charged over cold case murder > A 60-year-old Westchester man has been indicted for the 1993 murder of a prostitute whose body was found in North Riverdale. Lucius Crawford of Mount Vernon was indicted by a Bronx grand jury on a second degree murder charge on December 18. According to the indictment, Crawford acted with intent and caused the death of Nella West, 38, by "blunt force trauma and sharp injuries to the head, face and abdomen." According to police, West's body was discovered by a cab driver near 5815 Liebig Avenue in Riverdale just after 3 a.m. on October 20, 1993.
* Local resdient Irving Ladimer produces patriotic play > Community Board 8 member Irving Ladimer, a lifelong expert on the interface of law and iboethics and a relentless activist for seniors, has decided to break into show business. Ladimer, pushing 97, thought it would be a good idea to celebrate the 225th birthday of the U.S. Constitution. So he wrote a brief comedic play named "We the People."
* Corlear Avenue gets more signage > City officials will install additional alternate-side parking signs on Corlear Avenue after several residents lodged complaints about insufficient signage in the area. The east side of Corlear Avenue between West 230th and 231st streets is cleaned every Wednesday between 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., but just one sign located on the south end of the block details the alternate-side parking regulations for the entire block. Department of Transportation officials have agreed to install additional signs in the area. Authorities have committed to completing the installation by the end of next month.
* Schervier launches 'Come Mend With Your Friend' > Caring for Fluffy and Fido may help in the healing process, research has found. Starting this month, Schervier Nursing Care Center will harness the power of pets with its Come Mend with Your Friend program, offering on-site room and board for pets whose companion humans are undergoing short-term rehabilitation at the facility. Schervier has been given a $58,400 two-year grant from the Amie's Place Foundation to create a pet-friendly temporary home on its Independence Avenue campus. The animals will be cared for by a veterinary technician, who will ensure that the beloved beasts are themselves in good health and are properly vaccinated before they take up residence.
* City extends deadline on sulfur limit on heating oil > The New York City Department of Environmental Protection has extended a temporary waiver of the .15 percent sulfur limit set for No. 4 heating oil, giving New Yorkers until January 18 to make the switch to cleaner oil. DEP reported that the destruction caused by superstorm Sandy has left fuel oil producers and distributors in a bind as they struggle to meet the new city requirements.
Also, in the Bronx Press:
* Bronx resident charged over Newtown shooting fundraising scam > A Bronx woman has been formally charged with lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigations after she allegedly swindled donors by posing as the aunt of a child killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Federal authorities accuse Nouel Alba, 37, from Soundview, of seeking donations on Facebook just hours after shots were fired in the suburban elementary school.