Friday, November 7, 2014

Enough of the A-Rod Circus

Enough of the A-Rod Circus
By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 7- Sooner than expected the Alex Rodriguez circus returned to town. The A-Rod drama was not expected until February in Tampa Florida when the New York Yankees assemble for spring training, but we should not be shocked that he admitted the truth, under oath to a DEA investigator about using PED’s.
It is typical Alex Rodriguez territory to be in this position. And it has spread to the New York airwaves as two popular talk show hosts got involved in who was credible when asking A-Rod ro tell the truth last November. Rodriguez on one show said he never took PED’s and we didn’t believe the fraud then.
That is why it came as no shock Wednesday when a Miami Herald report said that A-Rod told the truth. After all this has always been the Alex Rodriguez saga of not telling the truth. And if he did not have the appropriate millions to have proper representation he may have had to tell the truth.
Should we forgive Alex Rodriguez? Some will say yes because his year-long suspension from Major League Baseball was served. The Yankees await the A-Rod arrival and continued circus in February and the drama will continue. It does not have to continue if the Yankees decide to eat up a remaining three-years and $61 million that remains on a contract that should have never been granted.
That was then. The Yankees upper brass, those who were dragged into the A-Rod legal battle and the circus, will have a way with dealing with this latest report. They wish it would all go away, however their fraud of a player is around for the duration. All they can do is hope that Rodriguez is healthy and will offer some type of offense to a lineup that could not score runs this past season.
They hope their fraud will be able to handle a plan at third or first base, or play a regular role in the lineup as the designated hitter, and to that there is no certainty. The Yankees are not getting younger with a damaged A-Rod in their everyday lineup but they may have no other choice to put him on the field as much as possible.
Getting back to the Alex Rodriguez image of being damaged is another issue. The Yankees as an organization have to play two sides with the damage control and continue dealing with the circus. Opposing players, at least those who did not experiment with Ped’s, will go with the flow and not make A-Rod a public issue.
Then there are the fans, many who will continue to boo when A-Rod takes the field again. Rodriguez to them will be a hero if he becomes a legitimate hitter again without the use of a steroid support system. Rodriguez may never be the same hitter he was without that support system and also take into account he has had limited playing time the past two years.
So where do we go from here? The gut feeling is, and a general consensus: Enough is enough of this A-Rod circus. Yes he served the penalty and was off the field as his Yankees teammates failed to make the postseason a second straight year. The steroid era, according to what has been determined, is over in the game of baseball. But as long as Alex Rodriguez is around the discussion may never end.
Because Alex Rodriguez, who many consider to be a fraud, is around the game again. Each time he resurfaces the talk about steroids and Ped’s will not go away. Even if the master of deception admitted his guilt to the authorities, he will never be considered that legitimate and talented ballplayer that had a quest to be the first to hit 800 career home runs.
Alex Rodriguez never played the game on an even level playing field. The circus is back in town and now that we are aware of his admission there is more reason not to grant him a chance for respect.
Comment Rich Mancuso: Mancuso

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hunts Point News: Comic Con

Hunts Point News: Comic Con: Bronxites get their Geek on at Comic Con  (Photos by Robert Press & Seitu Oronde) By Robert Press BRONX, NEW YORK, OCTOB...

Comic Con

Bronxites get their Geek on at Comic Con 
(Photos by Robert Press & Seitu Oronde)
By Robert Press
BRONX, NEW YORK, OCTOBER 16- As you can see by some of the photos there were many different attractions for the attendees.
The amount of people who attended surpassed last year, but in speaking to many people the impression was that Comic Con 2013 was a little bigger, and a little better. Since Comic Con is a mixture of comic and real action stories there will always be the many comic book sellers, as was seen at this year's event. There were celebrities in attendance, and of course the fees for autographs or photos that come with them. There seemed to be plenty of free autographs and merchandise that was also available at many of the booths. The big publishers with several spots had their artists signing free samples of various comics. Many of those in single spots were part-time artists and publishers who printed much less copies, and only had a few different items on display.
I met a Bronx based small part-time artist/publisher who said he has a full time job to support his family. His company was called Section Eight Comics which immediately drew my attention. We spoke for about a half hour as to how the name came about, and where he was located in the Bronx. I then remembered that I had seen him at Comic Con 2013, and he still had some of his work from then. I wished him well and moved on to the next booth.
I met the lovely Amanda Rivera who was poised at one booth. Amanda said that she is from the Wakefield section of the Bronx. When I told her that I was from the Bronx News she replied that she reads the paper, and can not wait to see herself in the paper. Enough said so I'll end it here so there will be room for more photos of Comic Con 2014.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hunts Point News: Group Home is House of Horrors?

Hunts Point News: Group Home is House of Horrors?: Group Home is House of Horrors?  Staff Removed from Group Home After Claims of Abuse (Still smiling despite a recent black eye, Zora...

Group Home is House of Horrors?

Group Home is House of Horrors? 
Staff Removed from Group Home After Claims of Abuse
(Still smiling despite a recent black eye, Zoraida has now made at least 10 visits to local emergency rooms since October.--Photo by David Greene)
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, OCTOBER 9- At least 16 employees, including managers and supervisors at a South Bronx home for mentally disabled adults have been told to stay home after allegations of widespread abuse have prompted an investigation.
Family members of the "consumers" of the Union IRA group home located at 570 Union Avenue at East 150 Street, had been complaining that relatives were being assaulted and deprived of food as well as other issues at the home.
During a meeting with family members on September 20, Sheryl Minter-Brooks, the State Operations Director for Region 5, who oversees such homes across the city, revealed that seven caregivers had been removed since the spring-- but a full-fledged investigation had not begun until an anonymous letter was received a week earlier.
At least five family members received a 2-page, typed letter dated August 20, detailing systematic beatings, food deprivation and a briefly mentioned allegation of sex abuse by a female employee and named all of the workers who either took part in the abuse or looked the other way.
The still-unknown author of the letter stated they would come forward and claimed to have photographs of staff members beating, kicking and pulling the hair of the people they were hired to protect and care for.
The letter claimed that one state employee who was accused of assaulting a first-floor resident, a young man who suffered a broken eardrum, was regularly allowed to visit and wander freely at the home. Family members say that the named individual has even visited the home since the big shake-up and even after the September 20 meeting.
The whistleblower wrote, "I reported every incident and was told not to listen to what I was taught in training class, because it would label me as a snitch and that I should keep my mouth shut."
A second hand-written letter was sent to each family with more details on the particular patient and the abuse he or she suffered.
One family also alleges food deprivation and charged that staff members refused to stock the bathroom with toilet paper, responding that the clients would stop up the drains.
With little information provided by the home or the state, family members are only left to wonder about one recent death reported at the home.
Even though she did not yet have guardianship, Barbara Melendez, 44, had been complaining about her sister Zoraida's swollen legs for years, but says she was brushed off by staff members because the courts had not yet granted her guardianship.
Melendez explained that without guardianship she was in a precarious position and felt intimidated by some staff members as to not cause trouble at the home. Melendez recalled, "They had all the power and I still needed my guardianship."
The anonymous letter claimed that one employee had been kicking Zoraida in the legs, causing the severe swelling.
But after Zoraida, 47, needed 7 stitches to close a busted lip she suffered on October 19, reported by staff as an accidental fall, followed by emergency room visits in October and December, 2013, did Melendez begin to suspect abuse.
"When I began to question it they would tell me, 'Oh she's accident prone,'" Melendez recalled, "So what could I say? They knew how to cover themselves."
Zoraida would be taken to local emergency rooms six more times between January and August, for injuries including a giant bruise on her arm, a gash to her foot that needed six stitches to close and a black eye reported August 15.
Despite the delay in reporting, Melendez is grateful to the letter writer who shed light on the going-on's at the home, as Melendez explained, "The employees made it seem like it was our imagination or we were being over-protective family members."
During the meeting at the State of New York Office of Mental Retardation And Developmental Disabilities on Zerega Avenue, Brooks told the upset and angry crowd, "We are as sickened by this as everyone else is and we're working to get to the bottom of it."
Brooks continued, "We have reason to suspect that something happened. It does not mean that it did happen," adding that the 16 employees would remain sidelined at home while still collecting their regular weekly salaries, as the investigation is conducted by the little-known Office of Internal Investigative Affairs (OIIA.)
Family members hope the investigation will lead to arrests and were insistent that the 16 employees not return to the home, even if they are cleared of all allegations, fearing reprisals. However, Brooks replied, "I can't guarantee that," citing the employees civil service contract.
One family member recalled an incident involving her brother, she told the group, "We had an independent investigation that took many months and it's finally completed, but were not allowed to get copies of the reports or know the results."
Melendez concluded, "The system failed us. The supervisors, the workers, even the school failed us. I pursued several different avenues for help and there was none." Claiming that the safeguards that were supposed to protect them are flawed, Melendez adds, "If they are found guilty they should never work with the disabled again."
"It's a little too late to be sorry," Melendez said of Brooks' apologies to family members. Meanwhile, Melendez and the other family members now rest their hopes on the recently created Justice Center who handles such complaints and the investigators who are currently looking into the allegations.
On Thursday, October 2, Zoraida was discovered with bruises in the area of her pelvis and her breast and was taken to Montefiore Hospital, where the NYPD was called. Officers took a report for an "unknown assault," but hospital officials told Melendez that there was a time-lapse in reporting, so a rape-kit was not performed.
After an overnight stay at the hospital's emergency room, Zoraida was eventually taken back to the home, but for a still-unexplained reason, Melendez claims that after getting back to the home a social worker from the hospital ordered officials at the home to return Zoraida to the hospital.
Having spent the better part of the second overnight inside Montefiore's ER, Zoraida was eventually allowed to go home, but only after Melendez, who now has guardianship over Zoraida-- had demanded it."
At the submission of this article, sources say a 17th employee, the on-site nurse at the Union IRA home has now been removed. The sources maintain that the new nurse is just returning to work after being cleared of any wrongdoing in an unrelated case.