The future of the Bridges Juvenile Center on Spofford Ave will be the topic of discussion at a Town Hall forum at MS 424 Friday, July 30, pending a permit from the school. Hunts Point residents and others interested in the outcome of the detention center better known as Spofford are invited to attend a barbecue on Friday, July 30 between 4 and 6 p.m. at MS 424 on Bryant Avenue between Spofford and Lafayette, and to participate in a public discussion of what should become of the jail opponents have been trying to get the city to shut down for years. City Councilwoman Maria Carmen del Arroyo is expected to attend, along with representatives from the Correctional Association, the non-profit that has spearheaded recent efforts to have Spofford converted into a space offering other uses. “We want it to be an organic community event, it shouldn’t be a top-down decision,” said Gabrielle Prisco, Director of Juvenile Justice at the Correctional Association, who said it appears Spofford’s days are clearly numbered, and residents should get involved to plot a new course for the massive space on Spofford Ave between Manida and Tiffany Streets.
When Congress voted to spend $37 million Tuesday to support the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Rep. Jose Serrano, who represents Mott Haven and Hunts Point, voted No. Serrano called for an end to the Afghanistan war, and said e U.S. forces should leave Pakistan unless Congress gives specific authority for them to be there. “I believe that sending forces to Afghanistan after 9/11 to root out the terrorists, their supporters and their training camps was the correct move. Nine years later, I believe that it is past time to end our involvement in that nation, because it is clear we are stuck in a quagmire and not on the road to peace or victory,” he said after the vote, which won approval for President Barack Obama’s policy 308-114 with many Democrats voting against the expenditure while Republicans voted with the White House. If military involvement in Pakistan were to be put to a vote, Serrano said, he would vote No again.
Banana Kelly students and anti-violence activists rallied to draw awareness to the plague of gun violence among young people by holding an event on Hunts Point Ave on July 24. The activists cordoned off an area where they’d laid out a covered mannequin to resemble a homicide scene, and encouraged pedestrians sign a petition to restrict gun sales. The student group, United Playaz, is led by local volunteers, and meets regularly during the school year at Banana Kelly High School to plan actions to defuse violence and rally support to strengthen gun laws.
Tear down the Sheridan Expressway? Community advocates for and against the proposal to scrap the highway and build parks and housing in its place will discuss the issue on Monday night, July 26, on BronxTalk, Gary Axelbank’s long-running cable talk show devoted to public issues in the borough. Beginning at 9 p.m. on Bronxnet’s channel 67, Jaime Rivera from For a Better Bronx and Julien Terrell of Youth Ministries of Peace and Justice will discuss the pros and cons. Shows are rebroadcast daily and are posted on the web. The schedule is here.
There wereplenty of references to Hunts Point on WNYC Tuesday, when Brian Lehrer’s show was devoted to changes in the Bronx over the 10 years since the last census. Former Borough President Fernando Ferrer, Sustainable South Bronx’s Miquela Craytor, TV talk show host Gary Axelbank and others joined callers to reflect on the recent past. If you missed it, you can hear the show online.
Hector Nazario, the member of Tats Cru known as Nicer, plans to start a fund for victims of violence in memory of his son Bleu, who was caught in a crossfire and killed when an argument at a party escalated into gunplay.
The Bronx Culture Trolley will make its next run on Wednesday, Aug. 4, with a number of stops in Hunts Point and Mott Haven, including 52 Park, The Point CDC, Bronxartspace, LDR Studio Gallery and the Bruckner Bar and Grill. The free ride begins at Longwood Art Gallery, Hostos Community College, 450 Grand Concourse at East 149th Street.