Happy Friday, ladies and gentlemen of the Bronx and beyond, let's get down to business.
Weather: It may be cooler today, but there's definitely still some sticky humidity lingering. A slight chance of thunderstorms this afternoon before we head into a weekend full of clouds, rain and, thankfully, much cooler temperatures.
Story of the Day: Four Injured in Castle Hill BBQ Shooting
I hate (and I don't use that word lightly) making gun violence the subject of our Story of the Day. It feeds into the worldwide-held stereotype of the Bronx as a crime-ridden blight on the rest of New York City. There are other positive, compelling, fun and substantive conversations we should be having. But for the second time in two days, I couldn't ignore another case of reckless gun violence that endangered and injured innocent people. On Wednesday afternoon, someone fired shots into a crowd of teenagers in Soundview. Then last night, at a Cattle Hill-area barbecue, two men stepped out of an SUV and sprayed the assembled party goers with bullets, hitting four people, including a 16-year-old boy and a young pregnant woman. All are expected to survive, including the pregnant woman's baby, but the incident is disturbing and should sound alarm bells from Kingsbridge to the Throgs Neck Bridge. History tells us violence heats up along with the temperatures in the Bronx. Still, it's only early June. School's not even out, the summer hasn't even officially started yet. Stop the madness!
Now onto one of the aforementioned (and rarer) positive Bronx stories. This one, from the Daily News' Dan Beekman, who writes a fair share of these type of stories, is about City Squash, a Belmont-based organization that provides free squash training and academic help for around 100 at-risk Bronx kids. (For those unfamiliar, squash is a racquet sport “traditionally dominated by preppy trust-funders,” Beekman writes.) The program has helped numerous participant land scholarships at prestigious prep schools and colleges. As part of a fundraising effort, a handful of City Squash organizers, volunteers and participants recently embarked on a cross-country bike tour. For more info on this group, check out citysquash.org.
A Hunts Point prostitute graphically described her terrifying encounter with a known sex offender.
Paul McCartney is scheduled to play Yankee Stadium on July 15. It will mark the first time the Beatles legend performs in the Bronx.
Bronx rapper (Not Nearly as) Fat Joe talks about how he recently lost 88 pounds after seeing several friends with weight problems drop dead from heart attacks. Switching to a healthier diet has been difficult. “I'm addicted to food; I love food,” he told the Daily News. “It's like a crack addict – he hits rock bottom and he says, 'All right, forget it. I'm not going to get high anymore.'”
A Bronx model boat enthusiast laments the city's policy on banning motorized boats at the Central Park Model Boat Pond.
This great picture from the Bronx Zoo is now on display at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.
And finally, our ongoing quest to provide the public with invaluable neighborhood crime stats continues.
On to the clock! For some background, see Norwood News' editorial here.