With Black History Month celebrations taking place all over the Bronx in February, Councilman Jimmy Vacca took the opportunity to honor a popular television host for his help.
In October 2009, an MRI truck, operated by Fitore Realty LLC, parked at 1500 Mace Avenue and ran its noisy engine at all hours of the day, annoying local residents until the councilman was able to have the vehicle removed in September 2010.
Vacca’s success was aided by an investigation by the NYC Department of Buildings, a favorable court ruling, and a news segment about the incident that was aired on WPIX’s ‘Help Me Howard’ program hosted by Howard Thompson.
The item, which had aired on Thompson’s show on July 19, was the result of two months of investigation. Thompson continued to work with Councilman Vacca even after the segment, right to the day the truck was padlocked by the DOB and towed away.
On Friday, February 18, Vacca celebrated Black History Month at the Sue Ginsberg Senior Center on 975 Waring Avenue with a presentation by the students of P.S. 89, as well as a special thank you to guests of honor Howard Thompson and U.S. military veteran Ian Curry.
Vacca spoke about the importance of Black History Month and awarded special proclamations to Ian Curry, a local war veteran who is an active member of the Vacca Volunteer Corps, and Howard Thompson, whose airing of the MRI truck on Mace Avenue helped resolve the problem.
“When you make sacrifices, you ultimately end up helping others who are in need,” Vacca said. “Ian fought for our country and continues to be a volunteer for those in need throughout the Bronx. As for Howard, his segment on ‘Help Me Howard’ really helped our cause in getting that MRI truck removed from our neighborhoods, and we certainly are thankful for the work that these men have been able to do for us.”
The senior center was filled with over 100 guests, as well as students and faculty from P.S. 89, who came to say thank you to Councilman Vacca’s special guests.
Many of the older guests in attendance were residents who were affected by the terrible noise that the MRI truck caused for nearly a year, and they wanted to personally thank Thompson for his help.
“I really can’t take all of the credit for having the truck removed,” Thompson said. “The uproar from local residents and the concern from Councilman Vacca played an instrumental part in getting the city to remove the MRI truck.”