Bronx News Roundup, Sept. 1

We all knew this summer’s been oppressively, relentlessly, shirt-stainingly hot, but now it’s official. We are enduring the hottest summer in New York City history, according to the National Weather Service. Thankfully, temperatures are supposed to drop on Friday. City officials unveiled a new $6 million dollar skate park near Yankee Stadium. A lawyer has taken the Riverdale’s Horace Mann School to court after the school suspended his son for three days.

Vigil for Shooting Victim in St. James Park (Plus Video)

Murder victim Jelani Ciria’s girlfriend, daughter and brother (center), flanked by Councilman Fernando Cabrera (far left), Bishop Fernando Rodriguez (second from right), and State Senator Pedro Espada, called for justice in St. James Park yesterday.The brutal murder of a 20-year-old Bronx man on Sunday evening in St. James Park led local political and religious leaders and members of the community – including the victim’s victim’s girlfriend, 11-month-old daughter and brother – to hold a prayer vigil in the park and call for justice as well as an end to violence that is increasing throughout the borough.Police said Jelani Ciria was shot multiple times (the family and Councilman Fernando Cabrera say it was 16 times) on Sunday at about 6:10 p.m. as he exited St. James Park. Family members say the murder was a gang related hit and added that “We know who did it.”

Espada Camp Feeling Good (Updated)

Standing outside of Pedro Espada’s district office on Bainbridge Avenue, a political outpost among rows of medical offices, State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. offered a prediction for the upcoming primaries on Sept. 14.”Pedro’s going to win. I’m going to win. And we’re going to come back stronger, faster and better,” said Diaz, who remains the only elected official to have endorsed Espada. “You know, like the $60 Million Man, you remember the TV show?”Well, not really.

Who is Steve Pigeon?

I briefly met Steve Pigeon today at a press conference State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. held at his Bainbridge Avenue district office to announce an immigration forum he is hosting at Bronx Community College, Sept. 9 (more details to follow).Meeting Pigeon isn’t news, but his presence in the Bronx is a reminder of how he became part of Espada’s staff as his $150,000-a-year general counsel.Pigeon, a veteran political operative from Buffalo, along with Rochester billionaire Tom Golisano, helped Espada orchestrate last summer’s Senate coup, which put Albany at a standstill for more than a month.

Bronx Immigration Forum, Sept. 9

State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. will be hosting a Bronx Immigration Forum on Sept. 9, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at Bronx Community College, 2155 University Avenue in the Gould Memorial Library. Espada, who held a press conference today to announce the event, said he is holding the forum in response to a wave of bias attacks on immigrants in the Bronx, Staten Island and Long Island. Espada referenced the Sunday shooting, in broad daylight, of a 20-year-old man near St. James Park.