Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fresh, Local and Delicious: Farmers come to the Bronx

By Adrian Cabreja - Bronx Free Press

Your parents used to tell you that eating fruits and vegetables was of great benefit to you.
The Hunts Point Farmers’ Market wants to remind those who have not been so diligent in heeding their advice.

Community Markets, an organization which brings regional farming produce to the metropolitan area, has opened the Hunts Point Farmer’s Market at Msr. Raul Del Valle Square and Southern Boulevard for its ninth consecutive season.

The market, which features local farmers, will be available every Wednesday and Saturday until November 16th.

Regional farmers will be able to table and present their products fresh from the farm to offer local Bronx residents access to locally grown, fruits, vegetables and other produce.

The Hunts Point Farmers’ Market has been a long standing portal for farmers and customers alike who share an interest in local farming.

“There is a difference between the products they have here, and the products they have across the street,” said Pauline Brickley, a community resident, as she pointed to a supermarket across the street.

One of the participating farmers’ groups was Alex’s Tomato Farm, owned by Aleksandr Kravets, a resident of Carlisle, New York. The farm was established in the year 2000 after Kravets and her family immigrated to New York from Eastern Europe in the 1980’s. The Kravets family runs the farm together. To hear Kravetz tell it, he and his family have made a strong commitment to supplying great quality produce for an affordable price.

“We want to offer real food,” he explained.

And the riot of color at his table highlighted that point.

The tomato farm table held colorful pepper plants, red, robust apples, bulbous potatoes and cardinal red strawberries. The smell of freshly tilled soil was fragrant in the warm air.
“I really enjoy the selections provided,” said Marina Corianno, a first-time shopper at the Farmer’s Market, as she held a red and yellow apple.

“Everything looks tastier,” she added.

Along with the tabling by local New York State farms, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will offer workshops every week. These workshops and information sessions, hosted by certified nutritionists, are intended to educate the public on healthy eating tips. The presentations will also demonstrate healthy cooking techniques using produce that is in season and that is available in the Hunts Point Farmers’ Market.

After the workshops, observers can taste the various foods that are prepared, and each participant who fills out a corresponding survey will get two Farmers’ Market Health Dollars which can be used at participating Farmers’ Markets.

The Hunts Point Farmer Market also participates with government-funded SNAP, EBT and FNS programs, allowing any one, regardless of income, greater access to fresh and local foods.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES EXTENDED HOURS AT ALL NEW YORK CITY POOLS

NEWS from the BLUE ROOM

Pools Will Stay Open Until 8 PM Tonight and Will Be Open from 10 AM to 8 PM Tomorrow, and Spray Showers in Playgrounds Will Remain On Until 9 PM 

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe today announced that due to the extreme heat, hours at New York City pools will be extended. Pools will close at 8 PM tonight and be open from 10 AM to 8 PM on Saturday. These hours will be in effect at all 54 pools across the City. To find the pool nearest you, call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov. In addition, the 690 spray showers in the City’s parks and playgrounds, which are typically turned off between 6 and 7 PM in moderate temperatures, will remain on until 9 PM tonight and Saturday night.

“The City’s pools are great places to cool off and beat the heat,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “During this heat wave, New Yorkers should take advantage of the free places around the City that offer relief from the heat: pools, spray showers, beaches and cooling centers. Remember to stay out of the sun, drink plenty of water, and check on your friends and family who may be at risk for heat-related illnesses.”

Air-conditioned City cooling centers will be open through Saturday. Cooling centers are public places, such as Department for the Aging senior centers and New York City Housing Authority and Salvation Army community centers, where air conditioning is available. To find the cooling center closest to you, call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov.

Most City beaches, including Coney Island Beach, Rockaway Beach, Orchard Beach, Manhattan Beach and Wolfe’s Pond Beach, are open and unaffected by the fire at a wastewater treatment plant in Manhattan, which caused untreated wastewater to be discharged into the Hudson River. However, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene recommends that, now through Monday, New Yorkers not swim at the following beaches: South Beach, Midland Beach and Cedar Grove Beach in Staten Island; and Sea Gate in Brooklyn. Also, the Hudson River, the East River from the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge to the Verrazano Bridge, the Harlem River and the Kill Van Kull to the Goethals Bridge are not fit for recreational activities such as swimming, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing or any other water activity that would entail possible direct contact now through Monday. Fish caught from those waterways should not be eaten.

During this period of extreme heat, New Yorkers should take precautions including staying out of the sun as much as possible. When in the sun, wear sunscreen and a hat to protect your face and head. Remember to check on family and friends as heat can affect people differently. Seniors, young children, and people with chronic medical or mental health conditions and those who take certain medications have a higher risk of heat-related illnesses. If you feel sick from the heat, go to a cool place, rest and drink water. Call your doctor or go to the emergency department right away if you have these symptoms:
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Headache
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Confusion, irritability, hallucinations, disorientation
  • Hot, dry skin or cold, clammy skin.
The risk for getting sick during a heat wave is increased for people who:
  • Are younger than five, or older than 64
  • Have chronic medical or mental health conditions
  • Take medications, which can disrupt the regulation of body temperature
  • Are confined to their beds or unable to leave their homes
  • Are overweight

Friday, July 22, 2011

Senator Rivera Kicked Off Senator at Your Market Tour at Harvest Home Echo Park Farmer’s Market


Senator Gustavo Rivera (D, WF-Bronx)launched his Senator at Your Market Tour of all the farmers’ markets in and around the 33rd Senate District on Wednesday, July 20th at the Harvest Home Echo Park Farmer's Market. The Senator at Your Market Tour is part of the Bronx CAN Health Initiative, which Senator Rivera launched in conjunction with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Bronx community organizations in June.

Senator Rivera will continue to be present at farmers' markets throughout the Northwest Bronx to meet with constituents and to promote the importance of having farmers' market throughout the Bronx to provide access to healthy foods and produce. 

July 27th: GrowNYC NYBG garden 10:30-noon
August 3rd:  Harvest Home North Central 10:30-12pm
August 9nd: GrowNYC Poe Park, 9-10:30am
August 16th: La Familia Verde, 11am-1pm
August 19th: GrowNYC Kingsbridge Heights Youthmarket
August 24th: Harvest Home West Farms market, 10:30am-12pm  


Check http://www.bronxcan.com/ or rivera.nysenate.gov for further dates.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

POLITICAL ARENA: Gustavo slims down

By Adam Wisnieski – Riverdale Press

State Sen. Gustavo Rivera lost six pounds since he began the Bronx Change Attitudes Now (CAN) Health Initiative in June. At an event on Saturday at the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center, the freshman senator jumped on the scale and talked about eating healthy.

“I live in the same community and walk by the same fried chicken spots and pizza parlors, but I have made a commitment to lead a healthier life and to help educate my neighbors about the importance of developing healthy habits that will last a lifetime,” he said in a press release.

His goal is to lose 20 pounds by Friday, Oct. 24.

A delicious debut: Youthmarket comes to Kingsbridge Heights

By Mia Wendel-DiLallo - The Riverdale Press

If you look for it, there is a small oasis of green beckoning in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Kingsbridge Heights.

On Fridays, from noon to 6 p.m., teens from the neighborhood sell fruits and vegetables from New York-based farms at the Kingsbridge Heights Youthmarket, located on West Kingsbridge Road and Reservoir Avenue at Barnhill Square.

Operating through Friday, Oct. 28, the market, which debuted on July 15, is a product of the collaboration between Community Board 8 and GrowNYC.

The nonprofit works to establish environmental programs throughout New York City, to educate teens from underserved neighborhoods about healthy eating and to give the communities they serve a convenient place to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. GrowNYC opened its first youthmarket in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brookyln, in 2006.  The network of markets is still expanding, with 13 operating throughout the city.
CB 8 works with the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center to choose the teens from the neighborhood, who go through an application process to be accepted.

The Kingsbridge Heights location is squeezed into what Nicole Stent, District Manager of CB 8, referred to as “one of the densest neighborhoods” in the area. And, she said, that’s the idea.
“GrowNYC wants to get into areas that are busy,” she said.
While the traffic zoomed by, the veggies stayed fresh.

“I like the potatoes, cherries, apples and corn,” said 17-year-old Kiana Jackson, who helped man the market table last week. “I’ll take some of the vegetables home and cook them,” she said while eying her wares.
Food for sale included fresh corn, peppers, collards and cabbage. The teens worked, weighing, bagging and adding up the price of the produce, learning the entrepreneurial and customer service aspects of the market.

Jaylen Edwards, 15, had to ask an overeager little girl not to squeeze the tomatoes. But they were so plump, how could she resist? 

“When you see how many options there are you really get into the fruits and vegetables,” Jaylen said.


Adjoa Bahwah, 36, who lives four blocks away from the market, was delighted to have a new place to shop with her 2-year-old son.

“It’s fantastic because we don’t have to travel because it’s on my route,” said Ms. Bahwah. She had just bought onions but said she typically likes to purchase melon in the summer.

“Grocery stores are always around,” she said. “This is fresh and you don’t get it all the time so when this is here you have to get it.”

Bon Secours New York Health System provided funding for the market and worked with both the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center and Riverdale Neighborhood House on the project.

The Marble Hill Youthmarket, located at West 225th Street and Broadway in front of Target, also opened for its third year on July 8 and will operate on Fridays, from 1 to 7 p.m., also through Friday, Oct. 28.

As chair of the Economic Development Committee for Community Board 8, Robert Fanuzzi, who now chairs the full board, helped spearhead the projects and has made bringing youthmarkets into underserved areas, or “food deserts” as he calls them, a major priority.  Kingsbridge Heights’ farm stand is the second youthmarket that has been opened in the district.

“Community Board 8, was one of the first to bring a youthmarket intentionally right next to a housing project,” said Mr. Fanuzzi. According to Mr. Fanuzzi, CB 8’s objective is to “bundle the idea of fresh food into healthy lifestyles, so that the youthmarkets become more of a big community affair ...”

Attendees at the ribbon-cutting ceremony last week included state Sen. Gustavo Rivera, Councilman Fernando Cabrera, Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, president of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation Marlene Cintron and Kingsbridge Riverdale Van Cortlandt Development Corporation President Tracy Shelton

In addition, representatives from the New York Botanical Garden came out with pamphlets on tips for composting kitchen scraps.


“The neighborhood has a lot of franchise establishments that aren’t conducive to healthy eating,” Mr. Cabrera said. “This is a great event that gets the young people off the streets and gives them an opportunity to have a voice.”

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

One month down in health challenge

By Brendan McHugh – Bronx Press Blog/Riverdale Review

Senator Gustavo Rivera hosted the first Bronx CAN Health Initiative Check-In over the weekend, focusing on nutrition and healthy eating habits, at the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center. At the kick-off in June, Rivera committed to losing 20 pounds by October 24, the last day of the Initiative.
Rivera hopes to lost 20 lbs. by October.

Saturday, he weighed in at 293 lbs., down six pounds from 299 lbs. in June.

“There are several factors as to why the Bronx is the unhealthiest county, including less healthy options than other boroughs, but we can take ownership of our personal health habits and behaviors,”  Rivera said. “I live in the same community and walk by the same fried chicken spots and pizza parlors, but I have made a commitment to lead a healthier life and to help educate my neighbors about the importance of developing healthy habits that will last a lifetime.”

He referenced the pizza place Emilio's, across from the Kingsbridge Armory, as a dangerous vice. "They have the best calzones," he said, adding that he only has them every so often now. "You keep the really bad stuff to the minimum, but you really enjoy it when you have it."

Rivera said he walks to Planet Fitness on Broadway, about a mile from his apartment, about five days a week. He has focused on cardio and abdominal workouts. 

The Bronx - and specifically Rivera's 33rd State Senate district - is last or near last in many obesity and diabetic statistics. 

“Holding these events and urging Bronxites to participate in this program is an excellent idea because it is not only helping people to lose weight, but helping people in our community learn healthy habits that will be with them for the rest of their lives,” said Waheebah Shamsid-Deen, a Bronx CAN Health Challenge participant. “I have already lost three pounds as part of the challenge but plan to lose more in a healthy way, participating in the Bronx CAN Health Challenge.”

Jump below for more information about the challenge, as well as to find out who else has joined the challenge.

The event included a healthy cooking demonstration from the Nutrition and Health Program Cornell University Cooperative as well as the opportunity for Bronx CAN Health participants to sit down with nutritionists to discuss how to make healthier choices in their daily lives. Participants also received free healthy recipes cookbooks and Green Bucks coupons for NYC Green Carts. 
District Leader Kenny Agosto has lost 10 lbs. during the challenge.
“I want to thank Senator Gustavo Rivera for asking me to participate in the Bronx CAN Health Challenge,” said Kenny Agosto, District Leader in District 80 and Bronx CAN Health Challenge participant. “I know I didn’t gain all this weight overnight and that I won’t lose it all overnight, but with Senator Rivera’s help I am getting on track to having a healthy lifestyle and have already lost 10 pounds."

We asked Rivera last month if he planned to bring his challenge to Albany, and he told us he's focusing on the Bronx first, but hopes to lead by example for his colleagues upstate.

Urban Health Plan breaks ground on its newest expansion project

This past Fri., July 8th, Urban Health Plan (UHP) broke ground on its latest expansion project at 1054 Simpson Street.   Once construction is complete, the new facility is expected to provide health care to more than 20,000 South Bronx residents.
The event was a family affair attended by New York State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. and his son, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., who called himself “a son of this neighborhood” and referred to Urban Health Plan’s founder, Dr. Richard Izquierdo, as “my doctor.” 
“When a young man or young woman can get quality health care, can be able to live healthy lives and one day aspire to be a borough president, that’s what we’re celebrating here,” Diaz Jr. said.   He also acknowledged the jobs UHP’s expansion will create, a sentiment echoed by UHP’s President and CEO and Dr. Izquierdo’s daughter, Paloma Hernandez. 
“We are a true economic engine in this community,” Hernandez said.
The expansion project was funded by grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s Facility Improvement Program, the Bronx Borough President, the New York State Senate, the New York City Council, and New Markets Tax Credits.  The new facility will expand Urban Health Plan’s current network of four health centers, five school-based health programs, four part-time locations, and two administrative sites.
Representatives from Goldman Sachs, Nonprofit Finance Fund, Enterprise, and Stonehenge Structured Finance Partners, all of who assisted in the financing of the expansion project, were in attendance at the groundbreaking.  New York State Assemblyman Marcos Crespo and Angela Fernandez, chief of staff for Congressman Jose Serrano, also participated in the event.
As UHP staff and local leaders donned bright yellow hard hats and picked up shovels to make the groundbreaking official, Dr. Izquierdo chose to commemorate the occasion according to his family’s traditions.  He explained that just as his Puerto Rican father had done when he opened his first bodega in the Bronx in the 1930s, he would celebrate UHP’s latest achievement “con un palo de ron.”  As the strong scent of rum filled the air and the crowd cheered, Dr. Izquierdo poured a small bottle of rum into the ground, and said, “Over the years, I’ve been to many ribbon cuttings and groundbreakings associated with Urban Health Plan, and I hope to be at many more!”

A Grace-ful mind and ethic bring a new healthcare model to the Bronx

The Bronx Free Press - by Adrian Cabreja

Underachievers, beware.
Dr. Myra White is a woman who lives for accomplishment.
She is both an anesthesiologist and a lawyer.
As if there were little in the way of personal and professional achievement, Dr. White has set a new modest goal for herself in opening a revolutionary new health clinic on East 180th Street in the Bronx.
The Three Graces clinic will offer quality medical care for people with no health insurance at an affordable and reasonable price.
“Out of our sixty-two counties in New York, the Bronx is ranked last in health and this is a problem,” explains Dr. White. “What is more upsetting is that we have the most clinics per capita.”
Dr. Myra White is hoping to get at a problem that has plagued residents of the county for many years, and looking to find a new solution that will improve their quality of life.
This past Fri., June 24th, Dr. White was joined by her associates in cutting the ribbon on the brand-spanking new facility that is decorated with colorful, welcoming touches.
“We want to cover people who aren’t insured, can’t be insured and can’t get into the system,” said Dr. White.
As she explained it, many local residents earn an income that keeps them in a health care quagmire. Their incomes are too high to qualify them for Medicaid while at the same time, they are unable to afford health insurance.
This seeming Catch-22 condition, adds Dr. White, too often leads to the negligence of one’s own health. As she sees it, the result is an ongoing disregard for basic primary care that can lead to far more serious complications.
And Dr. White wants to change that.
Three Graces offers a comprehensive annual physical examination for ninety-nine dollars a checkup. The checkups will include tests for diabetes, blood pressure and other diseases that claim the lives of too many every year. The clinic also offers memberships that will run the patient an affordable sum total a year. Along with affordable preventative care, the clinic offers reduced rates on costly bloodwork exams. And in case of emergencies, the clinic will also offer linkages to hospitals for its patients for prices far below that of the norm.
“People need to learn about this program, [as] it can save a lot of lives,” said Carlos Cortez, the Clinics’ Chief Marketing Officer.
Among the many local notables in attendance was Cheryl Simmons, an economic development representative for Congressman Jose Serrano. Simmons believes that the program offered by Three Clinics offers residents a promising gateway for a healthier way of life. The program, she belives, is going to give many people who have not seen a doctor for years the opportunity to get a simple check up.
The Center is home to six exam rooms as well as a lecture room that will serve to host  seminars intended to educate the community about different health issues.
At present, the clinic includes two doctors, one of whom is Dr. Mitzi Reid, who has 25 years of experience in family practice. The clinic will soon also offer a pediatrician, clinical psychologist and a doctor for internal medicine.
The clinic as Dr. White explained, is striving to become, and to offer, something greater, and is hoping to expand in the near future.
Dr. White intends for the services available at Three Graces in the Bronx clinic to soon be available to all of New York, and soon, other areas of the metropolitan region.
As for the “Three Graces” name?
As you might guess for a woman who is both a doctor and lawyer, and is trained in the ancient trades, there is a story to be had.
Dr. White named her clinic after the three daughters of the ancient Greek god of medicine, Asclepius. They are Iaso, the goddess of Medicine; Panacea, the goddess of Healing; and Hygeia, the goddess of Hygiene. These three deities were called the three charites (graces).
It is Dr. White’s belief that her education has earned her a number of distinctions. Chief among them is the responsibility to put her hard-earned knowledge into practice and better the lives of those around her.
 “This is important,” says Dr. White, and her track record would point to very good outcomes for the health of Bronx residents.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bronx CAN Health Initiative

By Peter Milosheff – Bronx Times

At the kick-off of the Bronx CAN Health Initiative in June, Senator Rivera committed to losing 20 pounds by October 24th, the last day of the Bronx CAN Health Initiative. Today, he weighed in at 293 lbs. down six pounds from 299 lbs in June.

“ There are several factors as to why the Bronx is the unhealthiest county, including less healthy options than other boroughs, but we can take ownership of our personal health habits and behaviors,” said Senator Gustavo Rivera. “I live in the same community and walk by the same fried chicken spots and pizza parlors, but I have made a commitment to lead a healthier life and to help educate my neighbors about the importance of developing healthy habits that will last a lifetime.”

“Holding these events and urging Bronxites to participate in this program is an excellent idea because it is not only helping people to lose weight, but helping people in our community learn healthy habits that will be with them for the rest of their lives,”
 said Waheebah Shamsid-Deen, a Bronx CAN Health Challenge participant. “I have already lost three pounds as part of the challenge but plan to lose more in a healthy way, participating in the Bronx CAN Health Challenge.”

“I want to thank Senator Gustavo Rivera for asking me to participate in the Bronx CAN Health Challenge,” said Kenny Agosto, District Leader in District 80 and Bronx CAN Health Challenge participant. “I know I didn’t gain all this weight overnight and that I won’t lose it all overnight, but with Senator Rivera’s help I am getting on track to having a healthy lifestyle and have already lost ten pounds." 
The event included a healthy cooking demonstration from the Nutrition and Health Program Cornell University Cooperative as well as the opportunity for Bronx CAN Health participants to sit down with nutritionists to discuss how to make healthier choices in their daily lives. Participants also received free healthy recipes cookbooks and Green Bucks coupons for NYC Green Carts.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Senator Rivera Kicks Off Senator at Your Market Tour at Harvest Home Echo Park Farmer’s Market

Bronx, NY – Senator Gustavo Rivera (D, WF-Bronx) is launching a Senator at Your Market Tour of all the farmers’ markets in and around the 33rd Senate District on Wednesday, July 20th at 12 noon. The Senator at Your Market Tour is part of the Bronx CAN Health Initiative, which Senator Rivera launched in conjunction with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Bronx community organizations in June.

WHO: State Senator Gustavo Rivera and constituents

WHAT: Launch of Senator at Your Market Tour

WHERE: Harvest Home Echo Park Farmer’s Market - Corner of Ryer Ave. and Burnside Ave. Bronx, NY

WHEN: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 from 12:00pm-1:00pm

The Bronx CAN Health Initiative seeks to promotes healthy habits and provide the resources to Bronxites to help them make better decisions when it comes to their health. The month of July, the Bronx CAN Health Initiative is focused on drawing attention to nutrition and developing helping eating habits.

Senator Rivera Hosted Bronx CAN Health Initiative Check-In Focused on Nutrition

Bronx, NY – Senator Gustavo Rivera (D, WF-Bronx) today, Saturday, July 16th, 2011, hosted the first Bronx CAN Health Initiative Check-In focused on nutrition and healthy eating habits at the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center. At the kick-off of the Bronx CAN Health Initiative in June, Senator Rivera committed to losing 20 pounds by October 24th, the last day of the Bronx CAN Health Initiative. Today, he weighed in at 293 lbs. down six pounds from 299 lbs in June.

“ There are several factors as to why the Bronx is the unhealthiest county, including less healthy options than other boroughs, but we can take ownership of our personal health habits and behaviors,” saidSenator Gustavo Rivera“I live in the same community and walk by the same fried chicken spots and pizza parlors, but I have made a commitment to lead a healthier life and to help educate my neighbors about the importance of developing healthy habits that will last a lifetime.”

“Holding these events and urging Bronxites to participate in this program is an excellent idea because it is not only helping people to lose weight, but helping people in our community learn healthy habits that will be with them for the rest of their lives,” said Waheebah Shamsid-Deen, a Bronx CAN Health Challenge participant. “I have already lost three pounds as part of the challenge but plan to lose more in a healthy way, participating in the Bronx CAN Health Challenge.”

“I want to thank Senator Gustavo Rivera for asking me to participate in the Bronx CAN Health Challenge,” said Kenny Agosto, District Leader in District 80 and Bronx CAN Health Challenge participant. “I know I didn’t gain all this weight overnight and that I won’t lose it all overnight, but with Senator Rivera’s help I am getting on track to having a healthy lifestyle and have already lost ten pounds.

The event included a healthy cooking demonstration from the Nutrition and Health Program Cornell University Cooperative as well as the opportunity for Bronx CAN Health participants to sit down with nutritionists to discuss how to make healthier choices in their daily lives. Participants also received free healthy recipes cookbooks and Green Bucks coupons for NYC Green Carts.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Calendar of Farmers' Markets in the Northwest Bronx

Check out the calendar of farmers' markets in the Northwest Bronx. If you live in the 33rd Senate District and have not received a calendar in the mail, please contact Senator Gustavo Rivera's office at 718-933-2034 and they we will mail you a copy.

You can also pick up a copy on Saturday at the July 16th Bronx CAN Health Initiative Check-in at the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center from 1:30pm-3:30pm.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

NYC Lap Swimming Program for Adults

Some New York City pools are opening up their doors for an adult lap swimming program. Lap swimming will allow participants to swim without the interruption of other individuals in the pool. Awards and free t-shirts will be awarded to those who complete 25 miles or more by the end of the summer. Lap swimming is a great way to get fit and stay healthy. Online registration ended in June, but participants are still able to register on site during lap swimming hours. You can visit http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_things_to_do/programs/adultlaps.html for more info.

Below are the pools that are offering this program in our area and the days and time:

Van Cortlandt Pool
244th Street east of Broadway
Early Bird Hours: 7:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

Crotona Pool
173rd Street and Fulton Avenue
Early Bird Hours: 7:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.
Night Owl Hours: 7:00 p.m. - dusk

Thursday, July 7, 2011

St. Barnabas Breaks Ground on Parking Garage

By Patrick Rocchio - Bronx Times

After 30 years of anticipation, the only hospital in the Bronx without a parking garage is finally getting one.

Ground was broken on Wednesday, June 29 on a six-story, 210,000-square-foot garage that will house 605 parking spaces for St. Barnabas Hospital. The garage is expected to be operational by August 2012.

The new project costs about $23.3 million, with $19.8 million coming in bonds financed by a subsidiary of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, and authorized under the federal stimulus American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Mayor Bloomberg sent his personal best wishes, and in attendance were Scott Cooper, the president and CEO of St. Barnabas, Seth Pinsky, president of the NYC EDC, Senator Gustavo Rivera, Senator Jeff Klein, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and a representative from Councilman Joel Rivera.

“This is the fulfillment of a life-long dream,” Cooper said. “I am going back 30 years at the hospital and we always said ‘we are going to have a parking garage.’”

The project is the perfect example of public-private partnership from all levels of government at its best, Pinsky said, adding that it is a win-win situation for all involved as it will create badly needed construction jobs while finishing a stalled project.

Since health care is an economic engine of the Bronx, with more than one in three people employed in the borough in the health care field, both those seeking health care and those providing it will benefit, said Senator Klein.

“I am going to keep it simple,” Klein said. “What is good for the Bronx is good for St. Barnabas, and what is good for St. Barnabas is good for the Bronx.”

The last thing that people need when coming to the hospital for medical care is to have to worry about parking, Diaz said before the groundbreaking. The new garage should give patients and their families much-needed piece of mind.

The groundbreaking ceremony showed the importance of the federal stimulus funding in creating jobs, said Gustavo Rivera. Rivera has founded a new health care initiative called the Bronx CAN with help from St. Barnabas staff.

“In this case, this project is creating good jobs in the Bronx, helping St. Barnabas to continue to grow their outreach efforts, as well as provide better and more efficient care for their patients,” Senator Rivera said. “I want to congratulate St. Barnabas and their president, Scott Cooper, for getting this construction project off the ground and thank the wonderful staff of St. Barnabas for being wonderful partners on the Bronx CAN Health Initiative.”

A study showed that hospital parking has reached 130 percent of capacity.

Dance Your Way to Great Health!

Dance your way into shape with free Zumba classes. Zumba is a new popular way of exercising. It combines Latin dance moves with popular international dance themes and creates and intense, yet fun cardio workout. It combines fast dance steps with slow moves to help sculpt and tone your body.

The Davidson Community Center is teaming up with New York City’s Park Department and Equinox Fitness Clubs to provide local residents with free classes. The classes take place all summer on Thursdays at 3 p.m. and Fridays at 8 a.m. The classes will be held for an hour and will take place at the Davidson Community Center at 2038 Davidson Avenue (at the corner of West Burnside Avenue). For more information feel free to call (718) 731-6360.

And remember to check our calendar daily for any new fun and FREE events!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Bronx CAN Health Initiative July 16th Weigh-In

Bronx CAN July 16th Weigh-In

Friday, July 1, 2011

Green Bronx Machine Revs Up Healthy Eating

By Rachel Sander – Norwood News
http://www.norwoodnews.org/id=3737&story=green-bronx-machine-revs-up-healthy-eating/
The sweet smell of basil drifted down the halls of Discovery High School one day in late May. Parents, teachers and neighbors chased it down to Room 279, where Steven Ritz and his science classes hosted a Farmers Market and Edible Plant Sale. Guests got to shop amidst a selection of fresh veggies, plants, and flowers while learning about Ritz’s unique science curriculum.