Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hunts Point News: Firefighters Gagged

Hunts Point News: Firefighters Gagged: Firefighters Gagged FDNY: ‘Never Speak Against the Family’ (Photo by David Greene) By David Greene BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUA...

Firefighters Gagged

Firefighters Gagged
FDNY: ‘Never Speak Against the Family’
(Photo by David Greene)
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 30- The fire lines at an emergency are no longer the only barriers that separate New York's Bravest from the general public as a new policy regarding social media is now preventing journalists from photographing firefighters in their off-hours.
For ages it has been the New York City Police Department that has been accused of holding the media at bay, but the new fire department policy is now preventing journalist from coming into the firehouse and photographing members participating in the most basic human tasks-- like standing around a Christmas tree.
After photographing members of Squad 61 purchasing a Christmas tree along E. Tremont Avenue, this journalist sent a request to the FDNY's public information office on December 17 asking for permission to photograph members around their decorated tree.
A follow-up call prompted no response from the department.
Having visited firehouses for over a decade and having been welcomed into houses and have watched firefighters treat members of the media and public almost like family, it was a surprise walking into the squad.
Your first greeted into Squad 61 by a sign in bold block letters that reads, "Never speak against the family in public."
A captain at the company blamed the lack of hospitality on the FDNY's new policy regarding social-media, adding, "They’re looking for someone to make an example of."
One firefighter stated he didn't mind the policy while a second fireman offered, "That's what you get when you get a newbie half-naked in bunker pants," referring to a New York Post article on a probationary firefighter reprimanded for a racy photo posted on the Internet, while partially in uniform. 
A source with the Uniformed Firefighters Association who declined to be identified, stated, "It's not a new policy, it's a policy that has been in place for decades... you've always needed permission from the department to get in."
The source then asked when the request was made, before offering, "I don't know I don't work down there."
The source then added, "I don't understand this story and why this story, I think it was in the Post, was news because this has been the policy that goes back at least into the last decade and related to your individual request, unfortunately, I don't have an answer for you."   

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hunts Point News: Chipolte, Cheesecake Factory could be coming to Ba...

Hunts Point News: Chipolte, Cheesecake Factory could be coming to Ba...: Chipolte, Cheesecake Factory could be coming to Bay Plaza? By Michael Horowitz BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 29- A spokesman for th...

Chipolte, Cheesecake Factory could be coming to Bay Plaza?

Chipolte, Cheesecake Factory could be coming to Bay Plaza?
By Michael Horowitz
BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 29- A spokesman for the developer of the Bay Plaza shopping center said, this week, that plans for the new mall that is reportedly coming to Co-op City by mid-August, call for a food court with up to 10 small eateries and two full-scale restaurants to be among the 80 to 90 stores at the new mall.
Michael Stone, a vice president of Prestige Properties, said that the food court that is planned would be an upscale version of the food courts that are found in other parts of the Bronx.
Current eateries in the Bay Plaza shopping center include outlets of Red Lobster and Panera Bread, two of the best restaurants in the Co-op City area.
Sit-down eateries that the developers of Bay Plaza have approached for leases have included the Cheesecake Factory, Maggiano's Little Italy, Brio Tuscan Grille, and Texas de Brazil, the New York Times has reported.
Fast-food restaurants that have considered leasing space at the Bay Plaza food court that is envisioned include Bobby's Burger Place and the Chipotle Mexican Grill.
Macy 's and JC Penney will be the anchors of the combined Bay Plaza mall, which will span more than two million square feet and be totally enclosed when it is completed. JC Penney is the anchor store of the current Bay Plaza shopping center.
The plans for the new mall call for JC Penney to be at its northern end and Macy's to be at its southern end.
Developer says new mall will be something very special
By Michael Horowitz
BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 29- A spokesman for the Bay Plaza shopping center said, this week, that he expected the long-awaited new wing of the sprawling shopping area to open by the middle of August.
Michael Stone, a vice president of Prestige Properties LLC, said, this week, that the 780,000-square-foot extension of Bay Plaza is “about two-thirds completed.”
Stone added, “The new Macy's, which will be an anchor store for Bay Plaza's new, enclosed mall and comprise 160,000 square feet on its own, is under construction as we now speak.”
The 780,000-square foot extension of Bay Plaza will mean that the shopping center, which is on the outskirts of Co-op City, will
comprise close to two million square feet.
The price tag for the extension of the Bay Plaza mall is expected to approach $300 million. The enclosed portion of the mall will be home to 80 to 90 stores, Stone said.
The new mall is expected to create 1,700 permanent jobs. And to have parking for up 2,300 cars.
The extension of Bay Plaza's new wing will be connected to the
existing JC Penney store at Bay Plaza.
In recent months, those living in Co-op City and those driving by the community have seen the new wing of the shopping center rising on its southern end of the Bay Plaza shopping center.
The shopping center's developers and elected officials have stressed that the impending of Bay Plaza's new wing is an exciting development for the Bronx and Westchester.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., among others, have touted the development of Bay Plaza's new wing as a sign of progress in the Bronx and in the city as a whole.
Bay Plaza, which first opened in the mid-1980s and spans 1,300 square feet, is already the largest mall in the Bronx.
When the new mall is completed, it will be attached to the current shopping center. The entire mall will be enclosed, making it the first mall of this kind in the Bronx.
“We are talking to all the major chains about coming to Bay Plaza,” Sam Shalem, CEO of Prestige Properties has stressed. “This is just the kind of suburban mall this area needs.”
Shalem said that he is confident that the enlarged mall will have
major appeal to the more than four million people who live in close proximity to Co-op City.
Shalem added that he expected the new shopping center to attract those living in Westchester and southern Connecticut, as well as those living in neighborhoods through the Bronx.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Hunts Point News: Fans Slap Happy that Hockey Comes to Yankee Stadiu...

Hunts Point News: Fans Slap Happy that Hockey Comes to Yankee Stadiu...: Fans Slap Happy that Hockey Comes to Yankee Stadium By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 24- Preparations are currently unde...

Fans Slap Happy that Hockey Comes to Yankee Stadium

Fans Slap Happy that Hockey Comes to Yankee Stadium

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 24- Preparations are currently underway for the construction of a hockey rink on the field of Yankee Stadium that will serve as the “playing field” for all three local NHL franchises, New York Rangers, New York islanders and New Jersey Devils. 
Each of the three rivals will have an opportunity to play an outdoor NHL game at the legendary baseball stadium. A Saturday matinee beginning at 12:30 pm on January 26 will feature the Rangers and Devils in a regular season contest. Three days later at 7:30 p.m., the Rangers will return to the ice to face the Islanders. Both games will be hard fought contests as they will count in the regular season standings, and thus, have a direct effect of the teams qualifying for the playoffs.

The intricate and time consuming work of setting up a hockey rink on the Yankee stadium grass is being supervised by Michael Craig, the NHL’s senior manager of facilities, who remarked with awe of his surroundings, “Yankee Stadium is a bit of a fairy tale. I’m from a small town in Western Canada, so to be standing here in New York at Yankee Stadium is pretty special.”

Craig was not the only NHL employee thrilled to be at Yankee Stadium. Matt Moulson of the Islanders, who was at the August 8 Yankee Stadium press conference during which the games were publicly announced, expressed his excitement, “I grew up in Toronto but I go to a lot of games at Yankee Stadium. When the Yankees aren’t playing the [Toronto] Blue Jays, I cheer for the Yankees. Every time you come here it’s exciting. We’ll be a little part of the history of Yankee Stadium.”

A veteran of the Devils since the 2006-7 season, Travis Sajac, spoke of his joy in making his first visit to Yankee Stadium, “I’ve been with the Devils for eight years and never been to Yankee Stadium. I’m kind of excited about that. You hear all about it and I love following the Yankees, but I’ve never been to a game.”

There will probably be several thousand hockey fans attending the games that have never been inside the showplace on 161st Street before and will also feel the thrill of bring inside the world renowned sports venue. 

To add to the excitement of the debut of NHL hockey at Yankee Stadium, the 161st Business Improvement District (BID) has scheduled Winterfest, an exciting day of related activities, from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., on 161st Street. Placards posted in the neighborhood announce an ice statute of Yankee hero Mariano Rivera, free autographs, games and food. 

The statue was commissioned by the BID, in the words of its executive director, Dr. Cary Goodman, “to honor the pitcher, celebrate the renaming of River Ave. in his name and enhance the beauty of the district.” 
The other fun and interactive events were scheduled because, according to Goodman, “We want the neighborhood to be part of this historic event.”

Those attendees who never viewed hockey in person previously will be seeing it played at a very high level and outdoors, the manner in which youngsters in Canada first experience learning the game. 

The Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, in the Bronx, televised nationally one week before the starts of the Winter Olympic Games, will also enhance the interest of people in the borough and the entire country in the sport that will be played in February in Sochi.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hunts Point News: You Call This Freezing?

Hunts Point News: You Call This Freezing?: You Call This Freezing?   Photo by: Julie Larsen Maher © Wildlife Conservation Society BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 23- Brown Bears...

You Call This Freezing?

You Call This Freezing?
Photo by: Julie Larsen Maher © Wildlife Conservation Society
BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 23- Brown Bears at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo “bear-ly” notice the 8-degree temperatures and feel right at home in 11 inches of fresh snow.
To plan your trip, visit or call 718-367-1010.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hunts Point News: Snow Days

Hunts Point News: Snow Days: Snow Days The Do's and Don'ts in Snow Removal COMMUNITY BOARD NEWS N’ VIEWS by Father Richard F. Gorman Chai...

Snow Days

Snow Days

The Do's and Don'ts in Snow Removal

Father Richard F. Gorman
Community Board #12 (The Bronx)
“I will follow a set of deep tracks;
other people all stay hidden
as the cars rest under snow drifts.”
BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 22- MATT POND PA is a New York-based band formed in Philadelphia by singer-songwriter Matt Pond. They have released a goodly number of
songs, some of which became “hits” and several of which have been used
in both films and television commercials, since 1998. Pond has been
the only consistent member of the group, although Chris Hansen is
considered to be the core member of the group. In the studio, they
often collaborate with other musicians, including former members, in
order to achieve their diverse instrumentation and expansive sound. In
recent years, Pond and Hansen have produced their recordings from a
cabin in Bearsville, New York. In November of 2010, their song quoted
above entitled "SNOW DAY" was featured in a commercial for STARBUCKS
for the java giant’s "BUY ONE HOLIDAY DRINK, GET ONE FREE" promotion
and seasonal beverage advertisements.
Although we have kept company with “Ole Man Winter” for approximately
a month’s time, we no doubt have severely felt his lash on a number of
occasions with some real Arctic-type weather conditions that he has
foisted upon us. In my last column, I addressed the bitterly cold
temperatures and offered some suggestions as to how we can remain safe
when the thermometer plummets. This time around, I should like to
remind all about some “do’s” and “don’ts” with regard to snow safety
and snow removal.
The most important “do” or responsibility when it comes to snow
removal is the obligation of a person in charge of any building or lot
--  be that individual the owner, occupant, or tenant  --  to clear
the sidewalk of snow and/or ice. Please note that there are specific
times designated for the fulfillment of this legal obligation. One
must clean the sidewalk no later than four hours after the snow has
stopped falling or by eleven o’clock in the morning if the snow/ice
was still coming down after nine o’clock (9:00 P.M.) the prior
Of course, one might legitimately and sensibly inquire if the
aforesaid duty remains in effect even if the snow or ice becomes so
frozen that it is literally impossible to remove.  The answer is that,
in such an instance, the responsible individual may spread sand, salt,
sawdust, cat litter that is clean and unused, or any other suitable
substance on sidewalk instead. However, it must be noted that the
aforementioned time limits still apply and remain in effect. It must
be further borne in mind that, as soon as the weather and other
conditions reasonably permit, the responsible party MUST have the
sidewalk thoroughly cleaned.
These prerequisites of law would appear, prima facie, to be both fair
and prudent.  Indeed, they are. They merely remind a conscientious
citizen of his/her obligations as a good neighbor. However, might it
be the case that one seeking to live up to this mandate might not be
able to justifiably undertake and realistically accomplish it?
Obviously, the response is YES! Does this excuse one, though, from
performance of one’s snow removal duty? The reply in this case is
conversely: “CERTAINLY NOT!” If one is ill, infirm, incapacitated or
elderly, the responsibility to clear the sidewalk remains in effect.
Such a person must then engage someone else to take care of matters
for him/her. Is this expectation perhaps too harsh or out of all
proportion? Such does not have to be the case. I shall return to this
point a tad further on.
Other stipulations relative to snow removal come under the “don’t”
category. These, to my mind, are a matter of simple self-interest and
basic prudence even more so than a matter of law. Regrettably, far too
many of our area residents  --  and I am particularly embarrassed to
report that there were many of my very own neighbors in Community
Board #12 (The Bronx) who are guilty in this regard  --  who
apparently are gravely lacking in knowledge, courtesy, compassion,
self-respect, respect for others, or a proper sense of civic pride and
duty because they DID  --  either in ignorance of information or
ignorance that indicates indifference and callousness  --  these
“DON’T’S,”  --  viz.”: covered and/or left snow-bound nearby fire
hydrants; threw snow back onto streets cleaned by our “STRONGEST,” the
men and the women of our New York City Department of Sanitation
(N.Y.C.D.O.S.); parked motor vehicles at an angle so as to encroach on
the roadway and consequently impede the safe flow of traffic.
To these folks, I merely inquire if they have ever considered the real
possibility of what happens in case of an emergency, such as a fire or
the need of a neighbor for emergency medical assistance. Will fire
fighters be able to connect fire hoses to a hydrant without expending
precious time and wasted efforts? Will an emergency vehicle be able to
get down a street obstructed by an improperly  --  and I might add
illegally  --  parked motor vehicle? Will I endanger others, including
drivers, pedestrians, and next-door neighbors, and/or their personal
property  --  e.g., motor vehicles, fences, homes, and front yards  --
by causing streets already cleared by N.Y.C.D.O.S. to be encumbered
once again by mounds of snow or to be imperiled by snow that has
melted and subsequently frozen?  Seriously, what is the major mental
malfunction in this regard?
Let’s not waste any more space or energy commiserating the
carelessness hard-headedness and hard-heartedness of the few. Permit
me to speak proactively and constructively to the many by respectfully
suggesting the following: check on elderly, homebound, or handicapped
neighbors in the event of a snow storm in order to insure that they
have adequate heat, food, water, and other necessary supplies;
(picking up from where I left off above with respect to those who
cannot clean their own sidewalks of snow and/or ice) lend a helping
hand to those who cannot clear their sidewalks on their own accord;
throw shoveled snow and/or ice along the edge of the sidewalk or in
one’s front yard and NEVER into a plowed street; be a good neighbor
and a smart person by clearing nearby fire hydrants and sewer openings
of any obstructions; if in doubt or in question, call your Community
Board, dial “3-1-1,” or consult the municipal website,
For those who do not willingly step up to the plate and unfortunately
only react to punitive incentives, please know that failure to perform
one’s snow removal responsibilities sufficiently and satisfactorily is
punishable by law with fines ranging from $100 to $350. Throwing snow
into the street is AGAINST THE LAW and will cost money to the
Sanitation Department (who must waste our precious tax dollars
repeating a task already done once) and also to the sinner, who, if
discovered, is subject to the abovementioned fines. Parking a motor
vehicle in a manner that jeopardizes traffic safety may lead to the
issuance of a traffic summons.  Impeding the work of our first
responders  --  N.Y.P.D., F.D.N.Y., and E.M.T.’s  --  can result in
both criminal penalties along with possible civil liability.
In closing, I address this final word to our young people. You are
good. You are thoughtful and considerate. You care about others. You
recognize injustice. You dream of a world that can and should be
kinder, gentler, and better. You have the capacity and the
determination to undertake this quest and to get it underway. We, your
elders, have failed you in many ways. We do not always give you good
example. We do not always practice what we preach. We have not always
counseled you wisely and imparted wholesome and virtuous values. We
have not made our schools the best that they can and should be for
you. We have not provided you with needed jobs, opportunities for
recreation and socialization, and productive outlets for your energies
and magnificent to God-given gifts.
Nevertheless, this does not mean that you, young friends, have nothing
to offer both to yourself and to others. You are not off--the-hook.
You have no right to waste your time.  You have no justification for
bad behavior. You have no excuse to break the law. You have every
obligation to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” You
have the capacity to so love and to be so mature. Ergo, I make of you
this simple request: will you be a good neighbor as God has asked all
of us to be? Will you be your neighbor’s keeper? Will you be that Good
Samaritan who comes to the rescue of those in need on the road of
life? Would you kindly consider doing some snow and ice removal in the
event of more inclement weather? Will you do it for your own family?
Better still, will you do it for an elderly, sick, or incapacitated
next-door neighbor? Will you make a grocery run for the homebound?
Will you start to be the good person and productive citizen that we
all know you can be? Please, just think about it.
In the meantime, I urge all to practice the sagacious advice of our
new Mayor, The Honorable Bill de Blasio, for his fellow
Stay warm and dry!