Articles written by: Joe Hirsch

Business / Food

Hunts Point food distribution market workers ratify new contract

The Hunts Point market on Edgewater Road.

A looming strike has been averted at the Hunts Point Produce Market, as workers voted today to ratify a new, three-year collective bargaining agreement.

Housing

Residents alarmed over new market-rate development

Residents alarmed over new market-rate development

Housing advocates and residents hope that a market-rate development scheduled for construction in Longwood is not a sign of worrying things to come in the area.

Government / Politics

Salamanca will chair City Council’s Land Use Committee

Rafael Salamanca Jr.

City Councilman Rafael Salamanca Jr. was named to chair the City Council’s influential Land Use Committee, where he will be responsible for working to shape zoning measures, development and affordable housing across the city.

Government / Politics

Groups call on State Sen. Klein to resign

Heather Stewart of Empire State Indivisible demands State Sen. Jeff Klein's resignation, at City Hall on Jan. 12.

Representatives from grassroots coalitions across the state gathered on the steps of City Hall on Friday afternoon to demand State Sen. Jeff Klein step down, in the wake of allegations he forcibly kissed a former staffer outside an Albany bar in 2015.

Transportation

City to ramp up enforcement on drivers who use express bus lane

The new BX6 Select.

The city’s transportation department has activated cameras along the Bx6 Select Bus Service route through Longwood and Hunts Point, to help crack down on drivers who slow down the new buses by using those express lanes.

Business / Economy

Small businesses brace for rough holiday season

Blueprint clothing store (15 years at the location)
Ronald Elike, owner
1038 Southern
PHOTOGRAPHER: Mohammad Sharif Hassan

Ronald Elike is the owner of the Blueprint, a clothing store, on Southern Blvd. He launched the business in 2002 when few online businesses were selling cloths. His business grew for about a decade, but started trending down about five years ago. 

 “The chain stores have an effect on us, but online is even worse – that’s taken a big chunk of our business away – because a lot of customers are now shopping online,” 41-year-old business owner said. 

Elike tried to embrace the online business in the hope to compensate the store decline. He created a website and started selling on Ebay. The website didn’t help. The Ebay sales, however, increased over time. 

Elike said his business is “tremendously down,” this holiday season. In addition to online and chain store growth, he has another problem – unfriendly weather. With the weather warmer this December, fewer people buy winter clothes. 

“This year in particular we had a lot of issues with weather. It’s been warm. Normally it supposed to be cold [in December]. So, we are selling winter cloths, but people don’t need it right now,” he said.

Though business owners often depend on the holiday season to boost flagging revenues, many in Longwood’s main shopping district along Southern Boulevard say they’re not optimistic as big box stores and online sales have eaten away at their ability to earn a living in recent years.

Health

Hunts Point program protects seniors from abuse

Hunts Point program protects seniors from abuse

Earlier this year, a New York state senator introduced a bill that aims to establish mandated reporters responsible for reporting suspected incidents of elder abuse or maltreatment.

Business

Tech skills on offer for LGBTQ youth

Joseph Cancel, 20, (left) looks on as Chris Mercado (center) gives Bejan Merz, 29 (right) resume edits

A class offered at the BankNote building teaches technology and career readiness to LGBTQ youth who make less than $50,000 a year. It is the first of its kind dedicated exclusively to LGBTQ youth in the Bronx.

Jobs

Program brings tech skills to Hunts Point

What makes The Knowledge House unique is that its classes encourage students to solve community problems with tech.

What makes The Knowledge House unique is that its classes encourage students to solve community problems with tech.