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Bronx Times/BronxNet sponsor Council debates

City Council contenders traded blows and complements at the inaugural Bronx Times / BRONXNET series The Candidates Debate, taped on Wednesday, August 26 at Lehman College for BRONXNET and the Community Newspaper Group.

The series aired on BRONXNET Cablevision 67 and BRONXNET Verizon FiOS 33 on Saturday, August 29 and will air repeatedly until Tuesday, September 15.

It will also appear at BRONXNET’s www.bronxnet.org and the CNG’s www.boropolitics.com.

11th Council District incumbent Oliver Koppell and candidate Tony Perez Cassino discussed the future of Riverdale and the Croton Water Filtration Plant in Van Cortlandt Park. The candidates sparred over campaign donations and leadership.

“You’re a liar!” Koppell roared.

12th Council District candidates Jerome Rice and Andy King debated the fate of Mitchell-Lama housing.

The retired Department of Corrections captain and 1199 SEIU organizer weighed in on overdevelopment and blasted incumbent Larry Seabrook, who was out of town and unable to attend the debate.

“You’ve been notified!” Rice thundered.

14th Council District candidates Yudelka Tapia and Fernando Cabrera exchanged opinions on the redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory and on crowded public schools.

Tapia questioned Cabrera’s background; Cabrera questioned incumbent Maria Baez’ performance. Baez chose not to participate in the debate.

“I raised four children in the 14th Council District,” Tapia declared.

16th Council District candidate Carlos Sierra shared thoughts on mayoral control and the new Yankee Stadium, affordable housing and crime. Incumbent Helen Diane Foster chose not to participate in the debate.

The BRONXNET team shuffled candidates and cameras to produce a terrific series.

Thanks to producer Marcelo Mendez, line producer Bharati Kemraj, director Marisa White, assistant director Shaun Lilly, technical director William Jackson, DDR operators Dina Valentin and Nicole Ashley, audio operator James Terhaar, CG operator Melissa Johnson, floor manager Christian Brown, camera operators Justin Olivencia, Angel Ramos, Yaritza Agramonte and Kevin Flores, teleprompter Desiree Tavares and host Daren Jaime.

BRONXNET is the borough’s private, non-profit, community-oriented television station.

The Bronx Times is a member of CNG, the city’s largest weekly newspaper chain.

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CNG: Community Newspaper Group