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Apr 3, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: Parents urge de Blasio to fix race inequity at top schools


A wave of politicians, advocates and parents pushed Mayor de Blasio on Tuesday to act on the equity crisis engulfing the city’s specialized high schools after a Daily News analysis showed just a trickle of their students come from the city’s poorest neighborhoods.


A News investigation published Tuesday showed kids from Manhattan’s West Side are 26 times more likely to get into elite specialized high schools than those from the west Bronx. A similar shutout exists in poverty-stricken central Brooklyn.


Upon hearing the dismal stats, the Bronx and Brooklyn borough presidents ripped de Blasio on the issue and called for action.


“Our system is not doing enough to ensure that black and Latino students have equity,” fumed Bronx BP Ruben Diaz Jr. “The status quo is no longer acceptable.”

Kids from poorest neighborhoods left out of city’s elite schools


Brooklyn BP Eric Adams vowed to raise the issue when he meets with new schools Chancellor Richard Carranza later this week.


“I hope diversity and integration are at the top of Chancellor Carranza’s agenda,” Adams said. “I certainly am putting these issues at the top of mine.”


De Blasio campaigned for mayor on a pledge to broaden admission to the city’s specialized high schools, but so far his administration has failed to effect significant change in enrollment patterns.


Still, de Blasio paid tribute to the concept of equity while introducing Carranza at an unrelated event Tuesday at Stuyvesant High School.

Cellphones gaining more acceptance in schools across U.S.: survey


“We believe this school system’s future is based on creating equity,” de Blasio said.


Stuyvesant admitted only 10 black students in 2018.


“It’s actually criminal how the city is destroying the futures of those kids,” said NYC Parents Union president Mona Davids.


City Education Department spokesman Douglas Cohen said the city has a number of programs underway to boost diversity in the specialized schools.

New School building evacuated after transformer fire in basement


“We’ll continue our targeted outreach to families in Brooklyn and the Bronx,” Cohen said.

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bill de blasio
new york public schools

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Apr 3, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: Kids from poorest neighborhoods left out of city’s elite schools


Kids from the city’s poorest neighborhoods in the Bronx and central Brooklyn also had the poorest chances of getting into specialized high schools, a Daily News investigation shows.


An analysis of city Education Department data revealed just 17 of roughly 32,550 students from Bronx District 9 landed seats in those elite public schools in 2018.


That’s just 0.05% of students in the district covering the Grand Concourse, Morrisania and Tremont sections of the Bronx — and the smallest percentage of any of the city’s 32 school districts.


It’s disturbing, but not unusual.


In fact, of the 10 districts with the fewest kids who were offered seats in the city’s eight specialized high schools, six were in the Bronx and four were in Brooklyn — all of them communities with high poverty rates and resource-starved public schools.


Bronx mother and activist Tracy Woodall said the data show that many of the schools in those areas — institutions charged with lifting kids out of poverty through education — are failing to deliver on their promise.


“It’s a shame,” Woodhall said. “These are the things we have to fight every day, and it’s not fair. We constantly have to be in fighting mode to get a better education.”


Mona Davids, a mom and president of the NYC Parents Union, agreed.


“Those districts, with high concentrations of poor black and Latino kids, are not preparing students for the specialized high schools,” she said. “It’s actually criminal how the city is destroying the futures of those kids.”


Eight of the city’s largest and most prestigious high schools — including Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech — rely on a single specialized exam to admit students.


Mayor de Blasio campaigned on a pledge to broaden access to the schools but has so far failed to effect measurable change.

(From left to right): Jamar DeCosta, 9, Zidane Noble, 10, Shannon Dixon, 10, and Shemar DeCosta, 9, walk home from school with their grandpa on Castle Hill Ave. on Nov. 4, 2009.

(From left to right): Jamar DeCosta, 9, Zidane Noble, 10, Shannon Dixon, 10, and Shemar DeCosta, 9, walk home from school with their grandpa on Castle Hill Ave. on Nov. 4, 2009.

(Alvarez, Enid, New York Daily News/Alvarez, Enid, New York Daily News)


Across the city, black and Hispanic kids continue to account for about 10% of offers.


Admissions data for the 2018-19 school year shows Brooklyn’s District 32 — which represents Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant — had the smallest number of kids admitted to the elite schools, with just 10 of roughly 19,000 students offered seats.


But on the other end of the scale, Manhattan’s District 3 — which covers the West Side — saw 287 kids gain admission.


De Blasio declined to comment on those findings through a spokesperson. His rep also declined to comment, referring a request to the city Education Department.


Chancellor Richard Carranza, who started on the job Monday, also declined to comment, instead referring the matter to spokesman Douglas Cohen, who said the city has provided targeted outreach to specific districts.


“We know there is more work to do and remain dedicated to increasing the diversity of our specialized high schools,” Cohen said.

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daily news exclusives

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Apr 2, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: News’ immigration expert reflects on his 25 years of service


This month marks my 25th year writing this column for the New York Daily News. It has been a privilege and an honor to have answered thousands of your questions, and from time-to-time, commenting on the ongoing debate over immigration law and policy.


Here are just a few of the issues I’ve covered in the past 25 years:


In 1994, just starting as a columnist, I debated California Governor Pete Wilson in the paper’s Op-Ed page about his anti-immigrant Proposition 187. The voters supported the law, but the courts found it unconstitutional. The struggle over Prop. 187 propelled California’s immigrant community toward broad social action, such that they now dominate California politics.


In 1996, I analyzed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act signed by President Clinton. It was the most restrictive immigration law since the notorious Walter- McCarran Act of 1952. Particularly harmful was the “unlawful presence” bar to permanent residence. Prior to IIRAIRA, if you were unlawfully here but had a relative or employer willing to sponsor you, you had a clear path to legal status. Now, for many, getting legal status is impossible.

Dad petitioned for siblings but died before visas came


In 2006-2007, and again in 2013, I was explaining proposed immigration reform legislation with a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. It was not to be.


While I relish commenting on the immigration politics of the day (I got particular pleasure when a News headline-writer titled my 2007 immigration reform Op-Ed “Take to the Streets”), my work centers on helping readers make sense of our complex immigration laws.


Not surprisingly, one of the most popular topics is how to get U.S. citizenship. Despite the dark claims of restrictionists, most immigrants want to become U.S. citizens and they are doing so now in record numbers. Of course to naturalize you must first get a green card. So, I get many letters and emails with questions about family immigration – that’s the way most people get green cards.


With readers gravitating to the Internet for information, I now get questions from around the country and around the world. Fortunately, U.S. immigration law is the same everywhere, so my answers apply whether a question comes from Manhattan, Michigan or Mumbai.

Give back by working with new citizenship applicants


I’m an optimist by nature, but these are trying times for immigrants. The Trump administration is carrying out a brutal and inhumane arrest, detention and deportation policy. Each day we learn of new efforts to deny immigrants and rights guaranteed them by statute and our constitution.


The processing times for getting U.S. citizenship and permanent residence are increasing daily – they are already longer than we’ve seen in more than a decade. Routine applications for green cards, certificates of citizenship and employment-based visas, that were once easily and quickly approved, more often now result in the dreaded “RFE” (Request for Evidence), delaying an ultimately favorable outcome.


It’s going to get worse before it gets better. Unable to fund his Mexican border wall, Trump is using his executive power to do administratively what he can’t do legislatively. He is trying to end DACA, that provides temporary legal status for undocumented you. He is proposing to expand the “public charge” green card exclusion, designed to prevent immigrants from going on welfare, to bar those who qualify for Pell Grants for college and the Head Start program. He is systematically ending the Temporary Protected Status program for Haitians, Nicaraguans, Salvadorans and others.


Still, every day, people get green cards, U.S. citizenship, and temporary visas. If you qualify for an immigration benefit, apply. Most people who got benefits under Obama will qualify under Trump. The law is the law, and the federal courts are already pushing back on Trump’s efforts to deny immigrants their rights under U.S. statutes and the Constitution. Yes it’s bad and it will get worse, but better times are ahead. Meanwhile, send me your questions, comments and concerns. Immigration laws can still work for you. Apply while you can.


Allan Wernick is an attorney and director of the City University of New York’s Citizenship Now! project. Send questions and comments to Allan Wernick, New York Daily News, 7th Fl., 4 New York Plaza, New York, N.Y., 10004 or email to questions@allanwernick.com. Follow him on Twitter @awernick.

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Apr 2, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: 53-year-old woman dies during ride on No. 1 train

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Apr 1, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: CARIBBEAT: Census query is a big shock


She’s seen the U.S. Census up-close and personal, and CaribID 2010 initiative founder Felicia Persaud thinks the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census is a bad idea that more Caribbean-American elected officials should be outraged about.


Persaud said some communities — and politicians themselves — could suffer greatly from an undercount in the 2020 Census caused by people avoiding the citizenship query. But, according to the Census Bureau, the Constitution states that the Census counts every resident in the United States.


Not since 1950 has the U.S. Census collected citizenship data from the whole population, rather than just a population sample, says the Congressional Research Service.


Decisions for business and the allocation of federal funds are greatly impacted by Census results.


“Immigrants have long been fearful of taking the decennial Census and this decision will only serve to drive them further underground, despite their immigration status, while leaving many Caribbean-American elected officials vulnerable to having entire districts banished from electoral maps and their jobs becoming history,” said Persaud, who as CaribID 2010 founder, worked to get Caribbean nationals accurately counted by the U.S. government in the last Census.


Persaud, who also publisher of the News Americas Now website, started CaribID movement and helped secure two bills in the U.S. Congress to calling for a separate category for Caribbean nationals in the U.S. The initiative effectively lobbied for a write-in portion for the 2020 Census, under the African American race category, for Caribbean immigrants to write in their country of origin or ancestry.


‘RED CARPET’ MOTHER’S DAY


With mothers in mind, “Shero Couture: A Mother’s Day Red Carpet Event” will be held May 13 in Brooklyn, presented by Silent Partner and Soiree Entertainment.


The affair — featuring a fashion show by Mel Simon of the Brooklyn Clothing Lab — will take place at the Marine Park Golf Course, 2880 Flatbush Ave.


Doors open at 6 p.m., the show begins at 7:30 p.m. and an afterparty follows the event.


There are 2 additional Dj’s for “Shero”— Dj Spice and Ishamail “The Demolishion Man,” from Trinidad radio stations 96.1 WEFM and 107.7 Music For Life.


A percentage of the event’s proceeds will be donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, known for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other devastating childhood diseases.


For tickets and information, call Mel Simon at (347) 433-4040, Donna Bridgeman at (347) 495-0434, Selvon Smith at (718) 724-9113, or Tuff Designs at (347) 489-7487.


JERSEY CARNIVAL RETURNS


Across the Hudson River, next Sunday’s Founder’s Day Gala is the start of carnival season for the Jersey City Caribbean Carnival Association.


The grand marshals will be announced at the affair at the Liberty House Restaurant, 76 Audrey Zapp Drive, in Jersey City, from 6 to 8 p.m.


For tickets and information, text or call (201) 757-9043, or send email to info@jccarnival.com.


The association will hold its “Kick Off Gala Fund-raiser” on April 29.


CARIBBEAN WEEK AND ‘WELLNESS’


The Caribbean Tourism Organization is returning to New York with a sense of wellness at its 2018 Caribbean Week New York, according to organization officials.


The seven-day event — set for June 2-8 at various area venues — will incorporate the “reenergizing and rejuvenating power of Caribbean wellness” into its activities for tourism officials, travel professionals and the general public.


Caribbean Week New York is the largest regional tourism activity in the New York area is a mixture of private and public events — including the Caribbean Tourism Industry Awards Dinner, the annual Rum & Rhythm Benefit, the Celebrity Chefs Program and exhibitions, a new “Getting up Close & Personal with Top Journalists” session and the Caribbean Diaspora Forum, the Trade Show and Educational Forum for Travel Agents and the Caribbean Students Colloquium.


For more information on Caribbean Week events, call the CTO in New York at (212) 635-9530. Get registration details for all events at www.onecaribbean.org/events-calendar/cwny-2018.


For more information on the CTO, visit www.OneCaribbean.org


THE BATTLE AGAINST BLACKLISTNG


Officials of the Caribbean Association of Banks expressed deep concern about the recent inclusion of Caribbean territories on the European Union Commission’s (EU) Black List of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.


The CAB is urging regional governments to “carefully assess the deficiencies identified by the EU and take the necessary actions to ensure compliance with Global Standards in order to avoid further reputational risk/damage to the region.”


Blacklisted nations — the EU says to have not addressed deficiencies in tax laws — include The Bahamas, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago.


Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman, Curacao, Dominica , Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia and


St. Vincent and the Grenadines are on an EU “Grey List” of countries improving their standards.


The association disputes the blacklisting designations and notes that the EU blacklisting will have “debilitating effects on our Caribbean economies and the “high risk” status also limits access to “critically-needed development funding from the EU.”

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Mar 31, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: Drugged-out homeless man dies after pummeling mailman in Bronx

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Mar 31, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: MTA worker who fell to death honored by family, union at funeral


Grieving friends and family gathered Friday in the Bronx to say goodbye to the transit worker who fell to his death earlier this month.


As pictures of St. Clair Ziare Richards-Stephens played on a screen near the casket, uniformed members of Transport Workers Union Local 100 marched up the aisle and offered their comrade a final salute.


NYC Transit head Andy Byford also attended the funeral.


Local 100 President Tony Utano shared a few words with the crowd on behalf of Richards-Stephens’ co-workers.


“St. Clair was part of something bigger than all of us. He was a transit worker. And New York City is nothing without its transit workers,” Utano said.


Richards-Stephens had only been with NYC Transit six months before his fatal March 20 fall.


The 23-year-old was fatally injured in a subway corridor at 125th St. and Lexington Ave. right before the morning rush.


MTA officials had said it appeared he had been leaning on a railing on the local No. 6 train tracks that gave way.


The rookie track worker fell nine feet to the express tracks on his head. He died about an hour later, despite emergency workers’ attempts to save him.


Michael Graham, 54, a track worker who was friends with Richards-Stephens, said they attended orientation and track school together and were in the same work gang.


“St. Clair was a wonderful person. He had a big smile, he loved his job and he was a team player,” said Graham.

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Mar 31, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: BMW driver identified in deadly Bronx hit-and-run


A hit-and-run driver who slammed into a Bronx dad earlier this month — killing him on his 27th birthday — was identified by cops Friday.


Angel Rodriguez was named as the driver of the white 2017 BMW that crushed Wally Dominguez on March 19 in what police are calling a homicide.



At the moment of impact, Dominguez was standing behind an idling 2001 Chevrolet with an unidentified 24-year-old man on Third Ave. near 181st St. in Belmont just after 5 a.m.


Both pedestrians were pinned by Rodriguez’s luxe car, which then tried to back up before stopping, new video shows.


Moments later the front passenger door opened and someone ran off.



Cops discovered a gun on the street near the point of impact and shell casings under the BMW.


The 24-year-old victim standing next to Dominguez was taken to St. Barnabas Hospital in stable condition, but Dominguez couldn’t be saved.

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Mar 31, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: Man killed in Bronx drive-by shooting


A Bronx man was fatally shot in broad daylight Friday in a drive-by incident, cops said.


Reginald Taylor, 26, was walking on Freeman St. in Foxhurst around 2:15 p.m. when someone traveling in a Nissan squeezed off two rounds from a gun.


A slug struck Taylor in the right arm and then traveled into his stomach. He was pronounced dead four hours later.


“When the guy finished (shooting) … he was just gone,” said Luis Amadis, a tax preparer on the block who witnessed the crime.

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Mar 30, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: VIDEO: Ruthless muggers stab, slash Bronx man outside his home


Two crooks stabbed a 55-year-old man outside his Bronx home during a robbery caught on surveillance video released by cops Friday.


“I thought I was going to die,” victim Rafael Fuentes told the Daily News. “I’ve never seen so much blood.”


Fuentes was ambushed from behind just steps from the entrance to his apartment building on Echo Place near Anthony Ave. in Mt. Hope about 11:35 a.m. Sunday.


“I was coming back from the bakery and the 99-cent store where I was buying some detergent and they just grabbed me from behind,” said Fuentes, a father of four.


Two hooded men ran up on him and one drew a knife and held the blade to Fuentes’ neck while tackling him to the ground, the video shows.


“They had the knife all over me,” he said. “I’m leaking all over. I was totally blind with so much blood.”


The muggers rummaged through Fuentes’ pockets as he lay helpless beneath them.


“Where’s the money — or we’re going to kill you,” they demanded.


“I didn’t want to give them the money — I ain’t no rich man,” Fuentes said. “I tried to hide it as much as possible but it came to a time where I thought I was going to die so I gave them the money.”


The crooks snatched the Fuentes was carrying and dashed east on Echo Place into Richman Park.


“When they were leaving, one of them slashed my eye,” Fuentes said, pointing to a large scar over his right eye from a cut that needed 16 stitches to close.


Medics took him to St. Barnabas Hospital where he was also treated for a gash across his chin and a deep cut to his right hand. He said he needed about 30 stitches in all.


Fuentes said both attackers wielded serrated kitchen knives.


“I was thinking this is it, I’m going to die,” said Fuentes. “Knowing the young kids these days they don’t just take the money — they hurt you. They kill you.”


But having survived the attack, Fuentes says he’s ready to forgive his assailants.


“I believe there’s a higher power so I need to forgive to be forgiven,” he said. “Sixty dollars ain’t much so you can have the money.”


Cops are asking the public’s help identifying and locating the attackers.


One suspect was wearing a black hooded jacket, black track pants with a white stripe down the side and red sneakers. The other was wearing a black jacket, black hooded sweatshirt, black pants and black sneakers.


Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

Tags:
viral videos
new york robberies

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Mar 30, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: Body of woman found floating near Verrazano-Narrows Bridge


The body of a woman in her 60s was found floating near the Brooklyn side of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge early Friday, police said.


The fully-clothed body was found just before 8 a.m. in the East River near 92nd St. in Bay Ridge, police said.


Police did not immediately release her identity.

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Mar 30, 2018
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BRONX NEWS: Second suspect wanted in deadly assault on Bronx father of three


If you have seen this man, give police a call.


The seated straphanger is wanted in connection with the beating death of a Bronx father, cops said.


Philip Roseburgh, 35, was pummeled on the sidewalk in front of his Garden St. home in Belmont on Feb. 20, police said.


Roseburgh died at St. Barnabas Hospital six days after the attack, cops said. The single dad left behind three children.

Homeless man, 19, cuffed for fatal attack on Bronx father of 3


Detectives busted one man — 19-year-old Ceasar Johnson — for the beating on March 21.


The man whose picture the NYPD released Thursday is believed to be Johnson’s accomplice.


Cops ask anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.

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