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Monday, January 24, 2011

Response to American Idol's Bronx Slander

The below Statement is from the Bronx Borough President about comments made on American Idol about the Bronx on January 19, 2011

“I am thoroughly disgusted with the treatment of the Bronx on American Idol. Rather than focus on the amazing revitalization the Bronx has seen over the past three decades, the producers of the show chose instead to highlight the negative stereotypes that have plagued our borough for years. The Bronx is the proud home of 1.4 million people, and over the past 30 years we have seen a dramatic drop in crime, incredible new business activity and the development of amazing new infrastructure. The portrayal of the Bronx by the producers of American Idol in such an extremely negative light is not only shameful, it does not accurately represent how far the Bronx has come.
For those who want to learn the truth about the vibrant neighborhoods, world-class cuisine, burgeoning economy and amazing amenities the Bronx has to offer, I invite them to visit the official website of the Bronx Tourism Council,” 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Community Advisory Board Convenes in the New Year

By T.K. Singleton, Community Initiatives Coordinator

Accessibility to the community is the key principle for us at Bronx Community Solutions. As Bronx Community Solutions expands, one of our main concerns has been – “Do we meet the needs of the community?”  

The challenge for us is community engagement in a Borough with upwards of 1.5 millions residents and twelve precincts. How can we respond to the community needs when each neighborhood is diverse and unique? One of the many tools for us to reach “the community” is our Community Advisory Board(C.A.B.). Bronx Community Solutions’ Community Advisory Board meets quarterly and has members  from an array of places in the Bronx including municipal government representatives, precinct council presidents, Judges, social service organizations, and non-profit organizations.  

After five years, Bronx Community Solutions' C.A.B. members are still very  vocal and continue to partner with us to create meaningful sentencing options and community service projects. What is also amazing, is that C.A.B. members are assisting each other in creating projects. “I would like a Bronx Community Solutions C.A.B. directory” said Seann Riley from the Bronx Defenders.

Through the many resources and talents that each person and organization brings we are able  to make real change, in a “otherwise slowly turn wheel”-Wayne Clark from Narco Freedom

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Chicago Prostitution Court Aims To Get Women Out Of The Trade

Cook County court officials hope a new pilot program will help some longtime prostitutes get the help they need to get off the streets and stay off, says the Chicago Tribune. Women will be offered treatment and counseling as part of an intensive months-long effort, much as courts have done for drug addicts, the mentally ill, and military veterans who have committed crimes. The once-a-week courtroom opens Friday to 25 women who have a long history of arrests and are currently charged with felony prostitution.

"She has to want to change her life," Associate Judge Rosemary Grant Higgins, who will be heading the court, said of the women. Those who opt to take part will plead guilty to the felony charge, be sentenced to 2 years of probation, and sign a contract promising to complete whatever treatment and social services experts believe are needed to end their ties to prostitution. The women will be jailed for at least 90 days while they are evaluated for drug, alcohol or other problems and given a chance to stabilize from substance abuse or emotional trauma. Depending on the extent of the problems, the women might go to inpatient facilities outside of jail for more intensive treatment or be placed in subsidized housing "to get away from the trade," Higgins said. The women can also receive assistance with education, job counseling, health care needs, child custody, and other issues.
Chicago Tribune

Monday, January 03, 2011

New Year Resolutions from the Bronx

Whether it's saving for a new car or going to the gym more often, now that we're toe-deep into 2011, it's time for Bronxites to start thinking about their wishes and resolutions for the new year.
Herewith, a sampling from some prominent and regular Bronxites:
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Resolution: "To fight with every fiber of my being to have a living-wage bill in front of City Council in the new year."
Wish: "I would like to have a new four- or five-star hotel in the
City Councilman James Vacca (D-East Bronx)
Resolution: "To spend more time with my family. With my
BlackBerry and Facebook, people can reach me 2-4/7. And NOT to be tweeting in the years ahead!"
Wish: "To get to the bottom of why the city was not prepared for the Dec. 26 blizzard - and make sure it never happens again."
Marlene Cintron, president of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp.
Resolution: "I'm gonna hit Arthur Ave. more for my bread and cheese, Fordham Road for my daughter's Ugg boots and 149th St. for my flowers."
Wish: "At minimum, 3% lower unemployment and a quality four-star conference center hotel."
Chief Carlos Gomez, NYPD Borough Commander
Resolution: "Other than working hard to make this a safer borough, to meet even more of the good, caring people of the borough."
Wish: "That all the people of the Bronx - and the hard working cops out there - have a safe and productive new year."Read more: