Week in Rewind: Bronx CBs urge homeless shelter policy reform, AG to probe police shooting and Bally’s to run Trump Links

Trump Golf Course NYC Tournament
The former president’s name will soon no longer greet East Bronx golfers.
Photo John Minchillo, AP

The Week in Rewind spotlights some of the editorial work of the Bronx Times for the week of Sept. 8-15.

Bronx community boards urge City Council to reform homeless shelter policy, citing boroughwide inequities

Bronx community boards are seeking action from the New York City Council for what they say are unfair homeless shelter siting policies, the Bronx Times has learned. 

In a letter obtained by the Bronx Times that was sent to Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala’s office on Aug. 1, leadership from seven out of the Bronx’s 12 community boards (CB) outlined their concerns with current siting policy or lack thereof – saying that their districts have been disproportionately burdened by the city Department of Homeless Services (DHS).

They’re hoping Ayala, whose council district overlaps Manhattan and the Bronx, will use her “power to hold the Department of Homeless Services accountable for their lack of a shelter siting policy, their refusal to provide data on shelter operations, and failure to conduct Community Advisory Board (CAB) meetings for local shelters,” according to the letter.

Ayala chairs the council’s General Welfare Committee, which oversees DHS.  

Those who signed the letter include: Bronx CB1 District Manager Anthony Jordan, Bronx CB2 Chair Roberto Crespo, Bronx CB3 District Manager Etta Ritter, Bronx CB4 Chair Robert Garmendiz, Bronx CB5 Chair Angel Caballero, Bronx CB6 District Manager Rafael Moure-Punnett, and Bronx CB12 District Manager George Torres II. All signatories signed on as individuals, not on behalf of their whole boards — which are just now coming out of their summer hiatus. 

“With DHS unwilling to create a citywide policy, the real estate industry is deciding where shelters go,” the letter reads. “This abdication of responsibility from the city has allowed select neighborhoods to resist shelters in affluent areas of each borough.” 

The fight over homeless shelter siting has been an ongoing issue in the Bronx. But the most recent impetus for policy change was this summer, after the city announced it was planning on bringing a new homeless shelter to Webster Avenue in the Fordham section of the borough. 

The former bingo hall at 2028 White Plains Road — part of CB11 — was destined to become a men’s shelter, until the city pulled its plan in March 2022.File photo/Adrian Childress

AG James opens probe in Bronx police shooting that left knife-wielding man dead

State Attorney General Letitia James announced a probe by her office Tuesday into the Bronx police shooting over the past weekend that left a knife-wielding man dead.

The AG’s Office of Special Investigation, which examines incidents of police use of force across the Empire State, has launched the inquiry into the incident at a 7-Eleven store in Throggs Neck on Sept. 9 in what, police determined, was an apparent robbery attempt.

While investigating the reported heist, a member of the 45th Precinct shot the knife-wielding man, a Bronx resident in his 30s, after he allegedly charged at the officer with the weapon.

The fired bullet struck the man in the chest; he later died from his injuries at nearby Jacobi Hospital.

The commencement of the investigation does not necessarily infer that the officers involved in the shooting did anything wrong. The OSI, according to the Attorney General’s office, “assesses every incident reported to it where a police or a peace officer, including a corrections officer, may have caused the death of a person by an act or omission.”

FILE – New York State Attorney General Letitia James speaks during the New York State Democratic Convention on Feb. 17, 2022, in New York. New York’s attorney general sued former President Donald Trump and his company on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, alleging business fraud involving some of their most prized assets, including properties in Manhattan, Chicago and Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Rain doesn’t deter annual 9/11 ceremony in Throggs Neck

The combination of rain and an inoperative microphone were not going to get in the way of the annual Throggs Neck 9/11 memorial ceremony on Monday.

On Sept. 11, members of the Throggs Neck community gathered at the 9/11 memorial near FDNY Engine 72 to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

As the sun set on a mostly rainy day, local firefighters, police officers, other first responders and elected officials and Throggs Neck residents came together to remember those who were killed as a result of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

The memorial, located at East Tremont Avenue and the Cross Bronx Expressway service road, includes the names of the 15 deceased firefighters and police officers from the Bronx who passed away on that horrific day. A candle within the memorial symbolized “a light of hope.”

The event was attended by FDNY firefighters of nearby Engine 72, NYPD police officers from the 45th Precinct as well as the Throggs Neck Volunteer Ambulance Corps, who were among the nearly 200 people in attendance.

Mike Rahilly speaks at the annual 9/11 memorial event in Throggs Neck on Monday, Sept. 11, 2023.Photo Steven Goodstein

Bally’s to run Trump Links through 2035 ‘win or lose’ casino bid, Chair Soo Kim says

The giant letters spelling out former President Donald Trump’s last name next to the Hutchinson River Parkway will soon be gone now that The Trump Organization has sold the golf course formerly known as Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point to Bally’s Corporation, an entertainment company seeking one of three downstate casino licenses.

On Tuesday, Bally’s took over a 20-year lease the city granted to The Trump Organization in 2012 to operate the 18-hole course on public parkland atop a former landfill — the lease began in 2015 and is slated to end in 2035. While city officials have tried and failed to remove the controversial name from the Throggs Neck course, the change in management is tied to Bally’s interest in one of three promised unprecedented full casino licenses for NYC, Long Island and Westchester.

In his first newspaper interview about the purchase, Bally’s Chair Soohyung “Soo” Kim told the Bronx Times that despite the controversy the Trump name brought to the site, the course is run “fantastically” and the corporation plans to keep the entirety of the current staff.

“It’s in great shape and really not a lot has to change about what it is today,” he said. ” … In all honesty, it’s a great course and the former management here has done a good job of keeping it up and it’s our job to make sure that we maintain the very high standards and continue to build upon them.”

The company plans to work on building “even deeper community bridges than what currently exists today,” he added.

Kim would not specify how many tens of millions Bally’s paid The Trump Organization for the license to manage the course. He said that as part of the arrangement, Bally’s will pay the city “somewhat more” than The Trump Organization did to rent the course.

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