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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Highbridge News: From Hero to Zero

Highbridge News: From Hero to Zero: From Hero to Zero Ca$h is King #Cano gets Bronx Cheer from Fan Faithful By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 30- Robinson Ca...

From Hero to Zero

From Hero to Zero
Ca$h is King #Cano gets Bronx Cheer from Fan Faithful
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 30- Robinson Cano, one of the premier players in MLB, was the center of attention at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday. For the first time he made his debut with the New York Yankees in 2005, Cano dressed in the visitor’s clubhouse and wore the uniform of the visiting club, the Seattle Mariners.
Several days earlier, Cano prophesied his feelings on the day of his return, “It’s going to be weird. It’s going to feel a lot different being on the other side.” 
Cano was on the Yankee side since he signed as a non-drafted free agent at the age of 17 on January 5, 2001. Interestingly, Cano’s father, Jose, was also drafted and signed by the Yankees. After several minor league seasons, he made his big league debut on May 3, 2005.
The native of the baseball hotbed of San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic compiled outstanding statistics and received many honors during his nine seasons with the Yanks. 
The five-time American League All-Star, the last four as the starting second sacker, was a winner of the Silver Slugger five times and the Gold Glove twice. 
He has been especially effective in the last five years averaging 99 runs scored, 103 runs batted in, a batting average of .314, a slugging average of .530 and an on-base percentage of .369 per season. Cano was the winner of the 2012 Home Run Derby, and was named the MVP of the 2013 World Baseball Classic (WBC), leading his nation, the Dominican Republic to the championship with a batting average of .469.
Not surprisingly, his recent performances increased the interest by teams other than the Yankees to obtain the services of Cano for the future. To the shock of many and the disappointment and anger of Yankee rooters, Cano signed a 10-year contract worth $240 million with the Mariners on December 12, 2013. 
In a pre-game press conference in Yankee Stadium on Tuesday afternoon, Cano refused to be trapped by questions in English or Spanish that attempted to get him to discuss his contract negotiations or to criticize the Yankees, “I just want to move on and not talk about the past. I’m just happy to be back and see those guts again that I played with.”
Prior to the game, the new Mariner expressed hope that the New York fans would remember his nine years and react well to him “Hopefully, I’ll be treated nice by the fans.” In spite of his high hopes, he did show understanding of the psyche of partisan sports fans, “I know I’m not a Yankee anymore. I have to understand the reaction of the fans.”
Loud boos were heard after the mention of his name in the pre-game introductions. Those jeers paled in comparison to the negative reception he received when he walked to the plate for his first at bat. The booing did not cease until Cano took a third strike which was cheered. 
The Seattle second baseman struck out again in the eighth, but drove in a run in the fifth with a ground ball out. He got an infield single, stole a base and scored in the seventh. 
The game is now behind him, so hopefully the fans can concentrate on rooting for the success of their team rather than for someone’s failure.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Highbridge News: Remembering an Icon

Highbridge News: Remembering an Icon: Street Named After Fierce Fighter for Community By Robert Press BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 28- It was a cool windy morning as the c...

Remembering an Icon

Street Named After Fierce Fighter for Community
By Robert Press
BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 28- It was a cool windy morning as the crowd gathered at the corner of Matilda Avenue and East 237th Street in the Wakefield section of the Bronx to honor Mary Lauro who passed away last June. 
Who was Mary Lauro you may say? Mary Lauro was a resident of Wakefield for over 50 years. Mary Lauro was the president of the the Wakefield Taxpayers & Civic League Inc. for 25 years which was founded in 1913. It was her civic work in many areas, including being a member of Community Board 12, that so many elected officials came for this street renaming in her honor. Mary Lauro also wrote a column in this newspaper where, as always, she never backed down on issues, one being why several homeless shelters were being built by Mayor Bloomberg in the Wakefield area. 
As they spoke each elected official mentioned the fact that Mary Lauro had something to say of them and what Mary Lauro had meant to them. Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson said "Mary Lauro was the director of the office of Accountability". 
State senator Jeff Klein spoke of the mortgage problems in the Wakefield area she had him assist her on. Assemblyman Carl Heastie said that Mary Lauro cared about White Plains Road and the entire community. Congressman Eliot Engel mentioned that he read into the 113th Congressional Record a statement about Mary Lauro and her never ending work and love for her community. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz said that all the elected officials on hand would be afraid if they had not come to honor such a great woman. 
Community Board 12 Chairman Father Richard Gorman an advisor of Mary Lauro on many issues said that her work is far from done, and more people like Mary Lauro are needed to help improve the community. The sister of Mary Lauro said that Mary is missed by the family, but the family did not know how much she is missed by the community.
Councilman Andy King and former Councilman Oliver Koppell sponsored the legislation for the street sign bearing the name "Mary V. Lauro Way". Ms. Virginia Saunders has taken over as President of the Wakefield Taxpayers & Civic League Inc., and will have some very large shoes to fill.

Highbridge News: Walton Dominates with 16-Run First Inning

Highbridge News: Walton Dominates with 16-Run First Inning: Walton Dominates with 16-Run First Inning (Photos by Gary Quintal) By Gary Quintal BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 28- Walton Campu...

Walton Dominates with 16-Run First Inning

Walton Dominates with 16-Run First Inning
(Photos by Gary Quintal)
By Gary Quintal
BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 28- Walton Campus exploded for a 16-run first inning against fellow Bronx A East division rival Taft Campus Friday evening in PSAL baseball action.  
The (5-2) Walton Wildcats cruised to an 18-1 victory putting them 2 games back of (8-2) James Monroe Campus while Taft falls to 2-6.  
Walton seeks to gain ground this week as they face JFK, Lehman, and Roosevelt while Monroe also plays Lehman in addition to Samuel Gompers this week. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Highbridge News: Baby Gorillas

Highbridge News: Baby Gorillas: Baby Gorillas Make Their Zoo Debut (Photos by Julie Larson) BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 24- Two western lowland gorillas were born at the...

Baby Gorillas

Baby Gorillas Make Their Zoo Debut
(Photos by Julie Larson)
BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 24- Two western lowland gorillas were born at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo. These are the first gorillas born at the Bronx Zoo since 2006.
The Bronx Zoo’s Congo Gorilla Forest is now home to 20 gorillas – the largest group of gorillas in North America. The Bronx Zoo has a successful history breeding gorillas as part of the Species Survival Plan, a cooperative breeding program designed to enhance the genetic viability of animal populations in zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
The gender of the babies is not yet known. The infants and the parents live with the rest of their troop in the Bronx Zoo’s Congo Gorilla Forest. These are the 14th and 15th gorillas born at this award-winning exhibit and there have been 50 gorillas born at the Bronx Zoo since 1972.
When the babies can be seen by visitors this spring will vary day-by-day depending on weather, temperature, and other environmental factors.
Julia (33 years old) gave birth on March 10 and Tuti (19 years old) had her baby on April 17. Ernie (31 years old) is the father of both babies. Julia and Tuti are both experienced mothers; Julia has successfully reared two babies and Tuti has had one other. Ernie is a first-time father.
  
The gestation period for a gorilla is 8.5 months and newborns weigh approximately 4 to 5 pounds. Gorilla infants are held by their mother for the first four months of their life. Infants start eating solid foods at about 6 months but will nurse until they are 3 or 4 years old. 
Gorillas are the world’s largest primates. Adult males weigh between 350-450 pounds and when standing upright can be up to six feet tall. Adult females weigh between 150-250 pounds and are up to four feet tall. 
Congo Gorilla Forest opened in 1999 on a 6.5-acre footprint in the southwest corner of the zoo. The exhibit is an immersive walkthrough that gives zoo-goers the feeling of being in a Central African rainforest where they can see examples of African biodiversity.  Species include mandrills, okapis, many species of birds and invertebrates, and of course the western lowland gorillas. Congo Gorilla Forest has won many awards for its design, animal habitats, and horticulture. It is also among the world’s first zoo exhibits where admission fees go directly to field conservation efforts in Africa. Since it opened, more than $12.5 million has gone to support WCS’s Global Conservation Programs.
Western lowland gorillas are designated as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Their natural range spans tropical and subtropical forests in equatorial Africa. They are primarily vegetarian, mainly consuming fruits, plants, and some insects. They spend much of their time on the ground, but are excellent climbers.
The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places around the globe and in all four of the world’s oceans. WCS works throughout Central Africa to protect gorillas from habitat loss and illegal hunting.

Highbridge News: Bx. Puerto Rican Day Parade

Highbridge News: Bx. Puerto Rican Day Parade: PREVIEW OF THE BIG PARADE (Young beauty pageant winners and their parents after the annual contest.--Photos by Miriam Quin) A...

Bx. Puerto Rican Day Parade

PREVIEW OF THE BIG PARADE
(Young beauty pageant winners and their parents after the annual contest.--Photos by Miriam Quin)
A few dozen young ladies competed during The Latinos Unidos Parade, Inc., Reina / Queen Kids Pageant on April 5, at the Latino Pastoral Action Center on West 170 Street in Highbridge. The selected winners will represent the borough in the annual Bronx Puerto Rican Day Parade. Winners competed dancing the Plena dance. This year’s winners in the 6-9 age group were Samira Falu, Nashaly Rodon and Leilani Rodriguez. The 28th annual parade will be held along the Grand Concourse on Sunday, June 1.

Highbridge News: Can This Dimwit

Highbridge News: Can This Dimwit: Can This Dimwit By Dan Gesslein BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 24- It may not be pine tar, but one wannabe Bronx pitcher is in trouble ...

Can This Dimwit

Can This Dimwit
By Dan Gesslein
BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 24- It may not be pine tar, but one wannabe Bronx pitcher is in trouble for hurling. Cops are now looking for the man for assault inside a supermarket.
At around 1:30 p.m. on April 13, inside Compare Food Store, located at 2080 White Plains Road, the suspect had assaulted a 69-year-old woman when his throwing ability went awry. Cops say the suspect had gotten into an argument with a man inside the supermarket. The suspect became so enraged he threw a can of soybeans at the man. The can missed the intended target and instead struck a 69-year-old woman in the face. The woman was  treated at Einstein Hospital for swelling to her eye.
Police released surveillance video of the would-be pitcher. He is described as 20 to 25 years old with a medium build.
Anyone with information is urged to call CRIMESTOPPERS at (800) 577-TIPS. The public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
All calls are strictly confidential.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Highbridge News: Mayor gets schooled in Pre-K here

Highbridge News: Mayor gets schooled in Pre-K here: Mayor gets schooled in Pre-K here By Robert Press BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 23- Mayor Bill deBlasio came to Riverdale to visit one...

Mayor gets schooled in Pre-K here

Mayor gets schooled in Pre-K here
By Robert Press
BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 23- Mayor Bill deBlasio came to Riverdale to visit one of the longest running Pre-K site that has successfully been in operation since the 1940's according to Daniel Eudene the Executive Director of the Riverdale Neighborhood Neighborhood House. 
Currently 70 children are being served with half day Pre-K that will increase to full day Pre-K starting at the beginning of the new school year in September. As he arrived, Mayor de Blasio stopped to chat with Ms. Melissa Shields mother of a soon to be Pre-K child and her one year old sister. The mayor and the local elected officials then toured the Riverdale Neighborhood House to see the Pre-K program in action. They also learned that the RNN is also a teen after school center and much more.
The mayor and other elected officials then came outside to discuss what they had seen and just what the mayor’s Pre-K program was all about. As he spoke de Blasio thanked State Senator Jeff Klein in getting the funding put into the state budget after the mayor was unable to have a Pre-K tax passed in Albany. Senator Klein said as Co-Leader of the state senate that he was not going to approve a state budget that did not have a Pre-K plan in it. Klein and other elected officials who spoke said that when children go through a Pre- K class that the students do better in school than others who do not receive the benefit of a Pre-K class. 
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. echoed Senator Klein's words with the story of his two children who received a Pre-K program, and now both are in college with one graduating soon. Riverdale Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and Councilman Andrew Cohen were also on hand, and both gave examples of the virtue of the Pre[-K program.
The deadline for public school sign up was Wednesday Aprill 23rd, but with many public schools not having enough space (if any) Community Based Organizations such as RNN will be called upon to fill the over 50,000 Pre-K seats that are projected for the beginning 0f the September 2014 school year. Mayor de Blasio said that when the Pre-K program is fully implemented in its second year that 70,000 Pre-K seats will be available citywide.

Highbridge News: Working Girls Aren’t the Only Ones Suffering in La...

Highbridge News: Working Girls Aren’t the Only Ones Suffering in La...: Working Girls Aren’t the Only Ones Suffering in Labor Dispute Northeast Bronx Hot-Sheet Motel Battle Over Wages, Bedbugs, and Postin...

Working Girls Aren’t the Only Ones Suffering in Labor Dispute

Working Girls Aren’t the Only Ones Suffering in Labor Dispute
Northeast Bronx Hot-Sheet Motel Battle Over Wages, Bedbugs, and Posting Pix on Internet
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 23- Workers continue to picket a local hot-sheet motel as a labor dispute will soon enter a fifth-month.
The 18 employees of the Capri Whitestone Hotel along the Hutchinson River Parkway near Ferry Point Park, have been demonstrating outside the hotel since early January after their contract expired.
Workers charge that on March 3, the owner slashed the housekeepers’ pay from $24.80 to $10.92 an hour and eliminated their health and retirement benefits.
 (A hotel guest hides the face of his date as they arrive at the Capri Whitestone Hotel.--Photo courtesy of the New York Hotel and Motel Trade Council) The workers clean and maintain 95 rooms that can be rented for a 4-hour stay or by the night. Rooms can cost as little as $55 for a four-hour stay and as much as $120 per night.
With the blessing of organizers at the New York Hotel and Motel Trade Council, on March 20 union members began the unusual step of snapping photos of patrons who crossed their picket line and posting those pictures at the website www.Dontcrosstheline.com.
Fellow union members who have joined the picket line in solidarity with Capri Whitestone workers, are also armed with an air horn and bullhorn to disturb the peace and quiet that those who decided to cross the picket line, had sought.
The union has filed several grievances with the National Labor
Relations Board, including management cutting pay of unionized workers and workers charge-- are violating the National Labor Relations Act.
Those charges are still being investigated.
On April 9 an arbitrator ruled that management must protect workers with hazmat suits to protect them from a bedbug infestation at the hotel.
Workers claim that the bedbug outbreak was caused by management’s refusal of washing the bedspreads after every visit.
Room attendant Venus Burgos, a 12-year employee at the Capri Whitestone, said of her plight, "I'm a single mom. I have three kids to support. I've always known the most important things I can give me children are love and education."
Burgos added, "But with an almost $14 an hour wage cut and no medical, I'm not sure I can even pay for my rent, let alone my children’s education."
Workers and union officials say they are prepared to stick it out for as long as the battle takes.
Calls for comment from the management of the Capri Whitestone Hotel were not immediately returned.   

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Highbridge News: Soccer has a New Home at Yankee Stadium

Highbridge News: Soccer has a New Home at Yankee Stadium: Soccer has a New Home at Yankee Stadium By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 22- Officials of the New York Yankees and the New Y...

Soccer has a New Home at Yankee Stadium

Soccer has a New Home at Yankee Stadium

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 22- Officials of the New York Yankees and the New York City FC (NYCFC) were present at a  press conference that was held at Yankee Stadium on Monday to announce that that the iconic ballpark will be the first home venue for the NYCFC when the team begins its first season in MLS (Major League Soccer) in March of 2015.

Tim Pernetti, the Chief Business Officer of the new club in the MLS, stated its goal originally was and still is “to find the right community to build a soccer specific stadium in New York City.” He stressed that the 20th member of the MLS intends to play its games within New York City.

Attempts have previously been made to plan construction of a new stadium in Flushing Meadow Park in Queens and in the South-west Bronx, but resistance from residents has thus far thwarted those efforts from being successful.

With less than one year remaining before the new MLS season will begin, a home for the new club to play had to be named. All those officials on the dais presented realistic reasons as to why Yankee Stadium fits the bill.

Pernetti pointed out, “The Yankees are no strangers to soccer. They understand the needs of our club. This is the first MLS season that will be played within New York City.”

As part owners of the club, the Yankees organization has a vested interest in it being successful in every measurement of that term. Transforming the baseball field into an acceptable soccer pitch has been done before and is already been thoughtfully planned for 2015.

Soccer was played at the original Yankee Stadium from 1931 through 1976. Two world class soccer matches have been played at the current Yankee Stadium in each of the past tywo years and a match between Manchester City and Liverpool, two of the powers in the English Premier League is scheduled to be played on July 30.

Lonn Trost, the COO of the Yankees, using a chart, explained the particulars of the use of the stadium by NYCFC: The baseball capacity of 49,681 will be lowered to 33,444 for soccer, the pitch will measure 110X70, 17 games will be played in the Bronx during the regular season, field conversion to the other sport will take three days.

The schedule of playing dates between the Yankees and NYCFC will be worked out without difficulty. According to Randy Levine, “They [MLS] know we know what we are doing.”
One of the main benefits of playing in Yankee Stadium is accessibility, which was mentioned repeatedly during the press conference. 

Pernetti remarked, “Yankee Stadium is one of the world’s most legendary sports venues and a great and accessible location for fans.”

The Sporting Director of NYCFC, an experienced soccer star who captained the Red Bulls, commented on its attractiveness to world class players, “By having our home facility at Yankee Stadium, we feel even more confident that we’ll be able to attract top-level talent from around the world to our organization. Top athletes want the opportunity to showcase their talents at the world’s most famouis sports venues, and Yankee Stadium is such a venue.”

Although not present at the press conference, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. issued a statement supporting the team’s playing in the Bronx, “The Bronx is thrilled to have the New York City Football Club makes its home in Yankee Stadium. This will lead to more visitors to our borough, which in turn will mean more tourism dollars and more people discovering the ‘New Bronx’.”


Monday, April 21, 2014

Highbridge News: Knocked Out

Highbridge News: Knocked Out: Knocked Out 2 Arrested for Assault By Michael Horowitz BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 21-  Two Co-op City men have been arrested in conne...

Knocked Out

Knocked Out
2 Arrested for Assault

By Michael Horowitz

BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 21- Two Co-op City men have been arrested in connection with an assault on a 51-year-old man, who lost consciousness after being beaten up, police said this week.
The 51-year-old victim, whose identity has been withheld, was transported to Jacobi Hospital for treatment. He reportedly sustained bruising and swelling to his left eye, cheek and face. The injuries ultimately caused him to lose consciousness.

Arrested in the assault on the unidentified local man in the vicinity of the Einstein  Loop Shopping Center were Adalberto Torres, 21, of Hunter Ave., and Andre Nelson, 23, of Einstein Loop.

Nelson and Torres, who were reportedly known to their victim, were charged with third-degree assault in connection with the beating and with possession of 23 bags of marijuana in their possession. The suspects were arrested two days after their alleged assault, being apprehended in an area opposite 140 Elgar Place.

Co-op City’s Public Safety officers reportedly played a key role in apprehending the suspects, who face only misdemeanor charges because they didn’t use weapons in their attack.

Public Safety officers were the first ones to spot the suspects based on a description that was supplied to them.


The arrested men reportedly confessed to their crimes after being turned over to 45th Precinct officers for the processing of the suspects’ arrests.

Highbridge News: Fordham Sweeps Double Header

Highbridge News: Fordham Sweeps Double Header: Fordham Sweeps Double Header  (Photos by Gary Quintal) By Gary Quintal BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 21- Fordham softball swept a d...

Fordham Sweeps Double Header

Fordham Sweeps Double Header 
(Photos by Gary Quintal)
By Gary Quintal
BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 21- Fordham softball swept a double header over visiting UMass Saturday afternoon to extend their winning steak to 11 games.  
Fordham took the first game 7-0. All of their runs were scored  in the third inning, including a grand slam by pitcher Michele Daubman.  
A five-run, sixth inning in Game Two gave Fordham a 6-2 victory. With six games remaining, Fordham holds a 29-16 record. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Highbridge News: Spring Events Throughout Boro

Highbridge News: Spring Events Throughout Boro: Spring Events Throughout Boro Jazz standards to be performed at library Spend an afternoon of music with Don Witter at the Pelham ...

Spring Events Throughout Boro

Spring Events Throughout Boro
Jazz standards to be performed at library
Spend an afternoon of music with Don Witter at the Pelham Bay Library at 2 p.m. on April 26. He will be performing works by Ellington, Rodgers and Hart, Legrand, Porter and Gershwin.
Don Witter, Jr. started musical life at 4 trained as a Classical Pianist and first performed in public at the age of 5 at Carnegie Recital Hall. He appeared on the "TED MACK AMATEUR HOUR" and graduated from the high school of Music and Art where he was known as an accompanist for the High School Chorus and Vocal Students.
All Public Library Programs are free of charge and are subject to cancellation without notice.
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Salsa legend holds final concert at Lehman
Photo by Allen Spatz Photography
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is proud to host the historic celebration Paquito Guzman “Great Farewell Concert” on Saturday, April 26th, 2014 at 8 p.m. 
After a long and fruitful musical career, with unforgettable hits and a loyal fan base around the world, Paquito Guzmán is retiring from the concert stage, with a farewell show at Lehman Center. Joining Guzmán for this concert are special guests direct from Puerto Rico, the legendary La Selecta orchestra with 
Raphy Leavitt. Produced by Lehman Center and José Raposo. 
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is on the campus of Lehman College/CUNY at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY 10468. 
Tickets for Paquito Guzman “Great Farewell Concert” on Saturday, April 26th, 2014 at 8 p.m. are $55, $50, and $45 and can be purchased by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718-960-8833 (Monday through Friday, 10am–5pm, and beginning at 12 noon on the day of the concert), or through online access at www.LehmanCenter.org.  Lehman Center is accessible by #4 or D train to Bedford Park Blvd. and is off the Saw Mill River Parkway and the Major Deegan Expressway. Low-cost on-site parking available for $5.
Paquito Guzman, one of the greatest Salsa Romantica vocalists, was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico. In 1959, at the age of 20, he moved to the Bronx, NY, and went to work in a record shop, hoping to make connections in the music industry. Less than a year later he met Joe Quijano who hired him as the lead singer for his Caribbean pachanga band Joint Cachana, that also included Bobby Valentín on trumpet. Within three years, Joint Cachana recorded seven albums with Guzmán as vocalist including Dance to the Bossa Nova, the Mambo, the Cha Cha Cha and The World’s Most Exciting Latin American Orchestra and Revue, the latter record selling 1,000 copies in the first 6 months alone and has become a cult classic often referred to as “The Nostros Album”. 
Firmly established as a bolerista in the new “salsa” movement, Guzmán returned to Puerto Rico in 1962 to sing vocals with Chamaco Ramirez in the Tommy Olivencia band, recording seven albums. Mintiendo Se Gana Mas (1977) marked his first of over twenty albums as a solo artist, and during the 1980’s he was widely popular singing in the Salsa Romantica style reaching a high point in sales with his 1986 album Salsa The Best Ballads. 2008 saw the release of Guzmán’s well regarded album The Greatest Salsa Ever and his latest record, Iconos: 25 Exitos, was released in 2013.
Raphy Leavitt, bandleader, pianist, arranger, composer, and producer, formed his first band, Los Señoriales, in his early teens. After graduating from the University of Puerto Rico, he taught business at the San Agustin College in his hometown of Puerta De Tierra. In 1971, he formed La Selecta, whose line-up of trombones and trumpets, rhythm section and voices included lead singer Sammy Marrero. With Borinquen Records, they released 10 albums between 1971 and 1979. Leavitt’s first composition, a bolero montuno called “Payaso,” was a smash hit. The single and La Selecta's self-titled debut album both went gold. 
The following year the band had a huge international hit with “Jibaro Soy,” their second gold record. Leavitt’s tribute to his late trumpeter Luisito Maisonet, “La cuna blanca,” topped the charts in Latin America and the Latin charts in the USA, and he was named Puerto Rico’s Composer of The Year. In 1976, the single “El buen pastor” became another international hit and went gold.  The band released three albums with TH Records from 1981 to 1983. Carlitos Ramírez joined La Selecta as co-lead singer on their tenth anniversary album. In 1987, La Selecta received the Puerto Rican music industry’s Diplo Award for Band of the Year. With over 30 albums, including five compilations, to their credit, the band’s latest release of new material is 2006’s two-DVD set 30 Aniversario: Live. 
Lehman Center is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council. The 2013-2014 season is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, JPMorgan Chase, and through corporations, foundations and private donations.
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Trees are among the most captivating natural citizens of Wave Hill. Rather than offering clusters of one type of tree or another, the landscape offers a stately elm just east of historic Wave Hill House, a soaring copper beach beyond Glyndor Gallery, conifers north of Armor Hall, flowering cherry and lilac along the edge of the Lower Lawn—each an individual that captures the heart of visitors. No surprise, then, that Arbor Week at Wave Hill branches out into a three-day celebration. From a bike tour and an arborist station to Tai Chi and Hath Yoga on lawns that are ringed by these graceful, tall companions, it’s a fine time to celebrate as our trees leaf out and blossom in all their glory.
No less important, however, is the culminating performance of our current concert season, on Sunday, April 27. The focus is a jazz suite commissioned by Wave Hill and performed by composer/pianist Daniel Kelly, it promises to be a thrilling event.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, April 25-27- Arbor Weekend
Arbor Day extends into a weekend celebration with a tree giveaway, tree walks and talks, a bike tour of trees in the Bronx, a tree-themed Family Art Project and a junior arborist station sponsored by Almstead Tree, Shrub & Lawn Care.
Friday, April 25- Tree Giveaway
Thanks to a partnership with MillionTreesNYC, Wave Hill welcomes families, individuals and community groups to pick up a free tree for planting on private property within the five boroughs of New York City. Staff horticulturists will be on hand to help you make your selection and simple tree planting and care instructions will be available. At home, all you’ll need is a spade, a place to plant and access to water. Trees will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Arbor Weekend event.
Friday, April 25- Garden Walk
Don’t miss this special tour of Wave Hill’s magnificent living collection with Assistant Director of Horticulture Brian McGowan. Wander among centuries-old trees and newly-planted specimens and see first-hand how our tree planting and maintenance plan will provide shade and beauty for future generations of visitors. Free with admission to the grounds. Arbor Weekend event.
Saturday, April 26- Family Art Project: Buds, Buds, Buds
Explore Wave Hill’s many budding trees and observe the myriad shapes and sizes of these flowery beginnings. Then, using a wood base, paper and a variety of natural materials, make a sculptural tree—and even add a nest of eggs or a plaster-of-Paris flock of birds. Free, and admission to the grounds is free until noon. Arbor Weekend event.
Saturday, April 26- Tai Chi Chuan
Quiet like a mountain, moving like a river, Tai Chi is a sequence of gentle movements based on images found in nature. In this beginner-level class, Irving Yee, a member of the William CC Chen Tai Chi School, introduces students to the internal martial arts and promotes an awareness of its benefits. Sessions are held outdoors as weather permits. Session fee: $25/$15 Wave Hill Member. Register online and, day of, onsite at the Perkins Visitor Center. (Reservations may not be made by telephone.) Online registration closes at 8AM on the day of the session. Cancellations must be made by 3PM the Friday before; after that, refunds will not be made.  Drops-ins will be accommodated as the limited space permits. Participants must present a Member’s ID card or a printed program registration form at the front gate.
Saturday, April 26- Trees of the Bronx Bike Tour
In celebration of Arbor Day, join professional photographer Benjamin Swett, author of New York City of Trees (April 2013), and Boogie Down Rides, a Bronx-based bicycling and art project, on a bicycle tour of significant trees in the Bronx. Explore the connections between the urban forest and the rich cultural heritage of our borough. Tour begins at Woodlawn Cemetery and ends at Wave Hill. Snacks and water provided. $20/$10 Wave Hill Member. Registration required, online at www.wavehill.org, onsite at the Perkins Visitor Center or by calling 718.549.3200 x251. Arbor Weekend event.
Saturday, April 26- Junior Arborist Station
Kids ages seven and up are invited to don tree-climbing harnesses and hardhats and ascend into the canopy of our old sugar maple tree to get a birds-eye view of Wave Hill. Arborists from Almstead Tree and Shrub Care—who have generously sponsored this free program—are on hand to assist budding arborists and answer questions about the big old trees at Wave Hill. Free, and admission to the grounds is free until noon. Arbor Weekend event.
Saturday, April 26- Garden Walk: Best Trees for the Small Garden
Are you thinking about planting a tree for your yard but overwhelmed by the choices? Enjoy a spring walk around Wave Hill as a garden interpreter highlights some great trees with four seasons of interest, suitably-scaled to the smaller garden. Free with admission to the grounds. Arbor Weekend event.
Saturday, April 26- Gallery Tour
Join a curatorial assistant for a tour of Wave Hill's spring exhibition, Prickly, Tender and Steamy: Artists in the Hothouse, which assembles artworks that were created during Wave Hill's Winter Workspace program over the last five years. During their residencies, Gabriela Albergaria, Carrie Beckmann, Susan Benarcik, Matthew Burcaw, Asuka Hishiki, Nick Lamia, Lina Puerta, Naomi Reis, Anne-Katrin Spiess, Linda Stillman, James Walsh and Marion Wilson closely examined, and were inspired by, the living collection in Wave Hill's Marco Polo Stufano Conservatory. Representing a wide variety of mediums, the works on view give visitors multiple ways to observe the plants in the Tropical, Palm, Cactus and Succulent Houses. In the Sunroom Project Space, Brandon Neubauer's installation incorporates video projection, photographs and recorded sounds to create a portrait of the Wave Hill site that engages time, optical phenomena, topography and found objects. Tours take place Tuesdays and Saturdays at 2 p.m.. Free with admission to the grounds.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Highbridge News: Yankees Honor Mandela, Jackie Robinson

Highbridge News: Yankees Honor Mandela, Jackie Robinson: Yankees Honor Mandela, Jackie Robinson  By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 17- On April 15, 1997, the 50 th anniversary of t...

Yankees Honor Mandela, Jackie Robinson

Yankees Honor Mandela, Jackie Robinson 
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 17- On April 15, 1997, the 50th anniversary of the first game played by Jack Roosevelt Robinson in the major leagues, Baseball Commissioner Allan “Bud” Selig announced the retirement of Robinson’s #42 from Major League Baseball. On that date in every year since 1997, all players in a scheduled game wear the #42 to honor Robinson’s accomplishment of breaking the color barrier. With the retirement of Mariano Rivera at the close of the 2013 season, there are no longer any active p[layers wearing #42.
Inclement weather in the Bronx forced the delay of the April 15 game between the Yankees and Cubs, the ceremony and the press conference for the one day, but did not in any way lessen the meaning of the day of remembrance.
This year’s special Robinson ceremony took place at Yankee Stadium to honor not only Robinson but former South African President Nelson Mandela. The New York Yankees added a plaque honoring Mandela in Monument Park. Many remember Mandela’s appearance at Yankee Stadium on June 21, 1990, shortly after his 27 year imprisonment in South Africa ended. On that day, wearing a Yankee jacket and cap, Mandela remarked to the crowd, ‘’You know who I am. I am a Yankee.’’
That day and Mandela’s subsequent accomplishments as South Africa’s president were recalled in a press conference that featured many prominent speakers who paid tribute to his deeds.
Zondwa Mandela, the grandson of the world leader who died at the age of 95 in December 2013, expressed his gratitude to the Yankees, and referred to himself as ‘’just a custodian of his [Mandela’s] legacy.”
Also present were South Africa’s Consul General, George Monyemangene, and Sello Hatang, Nelson Mandela Foundation CEO. The latter asked the Yankees to honor Mandela on July 18, Nelson Mandela Day. 
Others who spoke in honor of Mandela included former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, the Reverands Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton, Harry Belafonte, New York Yankees President Randy Levine and Robinson’s daughter, Sharon.
Yankee Managing Partner Hal Steinbrenner presented a matted copy of Mandela’s plaque to Mandela’s grandson and wife. The plaque will join those of Robinson, Yankees immortals and world leaders such as Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI in Monument Park. 
The centerpiece of the annual ceremony was, as always, a recognition of Robinson’s deed. His widow, Rachel, and daughter, Sharon, were present to enhance the remembrance of their loved one. 
To put the achievement of Jackie Robinson in historical perspective, we should recognize that he integrated MLB before it was accomplished in the NFL or NBA, seven years before the Supreme Court decision on Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, 16 years before the memorable March on Washington and 17 years before Congress passed the Civil Rights Acts during the administration of President Lyndon Johnson. 
In his introductory words at the informative, inspirational and educational press conference, New York Yankees Executive Director of Communications and Media Relations Jason Zilo linked the legacies of the two honorees, “Bringing people of all backgrounds and demographics together.”

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Highbridge News: Cops on Lookout for Perv

Highbridge News: Cops on Lookout for Perv: Cops on Lookout for Perv  By Dan Gesslein BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 16- Cops are asking for the public’s help to catch a perv who to...

Cops on Lookout for Perv

Cops on Lookout for Perv 
By Dan Gesslein
BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 16- Cops are asking for the public’s help to catch a perv who touched a teenage boy near a school.
At around 5:35 a.m., the man in his 20s approached a 13-year-old boy at Boynton and Lafayette Avenues. The man pulled the teen’s pants down and touched the boy’s buttocks. The boy pushed the groper away and the suspect fled. The incident took place near a school and Soundview Park.
Police released a photo of the suspect who is described as Hispanic or a light skinned black man in his 20s. He is 5 foot 10 and 140 pounds.
Anyone with information is urged to call CRIMESTOPPERS at (800) 577-TIPS. The public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
All calls are strictly confidential.

Highbridge News: Criminal masterminds caught on tape using stolen c...

Highbridge News: Criminal masterminds caught on tape using stolen c...: Criminal masterminds caught on tape using stolen credit card By Dan Gesslein BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 16- A pair of brazen, but ...

Criminal masterminds caught on tape using stolen credit card

Criminal masterminds caught on tape using stolen credit card
By Dan Gesslein
BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 16- A pair of brazen, but not-too-bright, home invaders were caught on surveillance tape allegedly using a credit card they stole from a Bronx man at gunpoint.
At around 8:14 p.m. on April 9, the two men entered a building on Decatur Avenue and attacked a man. Displaying a handgun, they restrained the victim with duct tape and removed $900 in cash, jewelry and a cell phone. The men left without incident.
Less than an hour later, the credit card that was stolen from the victim was used at Rite Aid store at West 125 Street and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard in Manhattan. Police pulled the surveillance video from the store and say the men using the card are the ones wanted for robbing the man in the Bronx. 
Anyone with information is urged to call CRIMESTOPPERS at (800) 577-TIPS. The public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
All calls are strictly confidential.

Highbridge News: Cardinal Dolan Visits Sick in Bronx

Highbridge News: Cardinal Dolan Visits Sick in Bronx: Cardinal Dolan Visits Sick in Bronx BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 16- The Archbishop of New York, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, celebrated Mass ...

Cardinal Dolan Visits Sick in Bronx

Cardinal Dolan Visits Sick in Bronx
BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 16- The Archbishop of New York, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, celebrated Mass recently at Calvary Hospital for more than 140 patients, families, employees, and special guests. Afterwards His Eminence visited with many patients and their visitors. He also visited the Hospital’s Kosher Hospitality Room and Shabbos Lounge. Cardinal Dolan serves as honorary chairman of Calvary Hospital.
In 2012, Calvary and Yeshiva University’s affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) announced a pioneering collaboration to provide rabbinic consultation to the observant Jewish community about end-of-life care in accordance with Jewish law. Several representatives from Yeshiva University were on hand to meet with the Archbishop including Edward R. Burns, M.D., Executive Dean, Albert Einstein School of Medicine, and Rabbi Menachem Penner, Dean of RIETS. Each year, the Hospital cares for hundreds of Jewish patients at their Bronx hospital, 25-bed Brooklyn Satellite at Lutheran Medical Center, as well as with home care and home hospice throughout the greater New York area.
Calvary Hospital is the nation’s only fully accredited acute care specialty hospital devoted exclusively to providing palliative care to adult advanced cancer patients. A 225-bed facility with locations in the Bronx and Brooklyn, Calvary is the model for the relief of cancer pain and symptoms for more than a century. More than 6,000 patients are cared for annually by Calvary’s inpatient, outpatient, home, hospice, nursing home hospice, and wound care services. To learn more or sign up for the e-newsletter, Calvary Life, please go to www.calvaryhospital.org.

Highbridge News: Sedar hailed as a success

Highbridge News: Sedar hailed as a success: Sedar hailed as a success BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 16- Almost 30 persons participated in the community Seder sponsored by Temple Hati...

Sedar hailed as a success

Sedar hailed as a success
BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 16- Almost 30 persons participated in the community Seder sponsored by Temple Hatikva this past Sunday evening at the synagogue. The Seder was conducted by Cantor Kyle Cherry and Rabbi Harry Hertzberg, and all participants read from the special “Hatikva Haggadah”, retelling the story of Passover (the Exodus from Egypt) and singing special holiday songs.
Directly after the Seder, a Kosher Passover feast was served, including chicken soup with matza balls, chopped liver, salad, roast chicken, potato & noodle kugels and traditional Passover desserts.
It was a wonderful evening, with everyone enjoying the traditional Passover foods during the Seder, including Shmura Maztza, bitter herbs and charoset.
Cantor Kyle thanked all those in attendance for their wonderful participation. He noted:“Everyone took part in this beautiful Seder.
It was a pleasure to hear all these voices enthusiastically sing the
traditional Passover songs.”
Rabbi Harry added: “We are grateful to the Bronx Jewish Community Council and its Executive Director Brad Silver for partnering with us in bringing this magnificent event to our friends and neighbors. This Seder was truly a joint effort of the Jewish community and was a great success!”
Temple Hatikva is located at 2440 Esplanade, Bronx, NY. For more information about Temple Hatikva or any of our programs, please call Temple Hatikva at (917) 453-7557 or contact us at

Monday, April 14, 2014

Highbridge News: Yankees Sock it to Boston

Highbridge News: Yankees Sock it to Boston: Yankees Sock it to Boston Yanks Put to Rest Some Questions with Dominance of Red Sox, Ejection of Manager John Farrell By Ric...