Archive for April 17th, 2017

Touro pharmacists teach students about drug abuse


Pharmacy students recently visited a Hunts Point school to conduct an anti-drug program.

On Thursday, March 2, 15 future pharmacists from Touro College of Pharmacy held the ‘Say No To Drugs’ program at the Hyde Leadership Charter School to educate more than 75 seventh graders and their teachers about drug and substance abuse.

During the program, the students learned about warning signs and symptoms of abuse for over the counter drugs, prescription drugs, tranquilizers, sedatives, stimulants, pain killers and opioids, as well as mixing drugs and alcohol and dangerous drug interactions.

During the workshop, the students watched videos and engaged in various activities pertaining to drug abuse, including filling out forms and Q&As with the pharmacy students about their knowledge of drugs as well as how to become a pharmacist.

More specifically, the students learned some statistics involving substance abuse, including how many Americans die from drug overdoses annually, as well as how many Americans die from drug overdoses compared to those who died from a car accident each year.

“Kids need to know the signs and symptoms of abuse, and how to help themselves or their friends before they find themselves in a situation they can’t control,” said pharmacist Dipan Ray, director of practice experience at Touro, who also said that one in four teens nationwide believe that prescription drugs can be used as a study aid.

He also added that students in the United States who take prescription drugs are five times more likely to develop substance abuse problems that those who don’t.

“It is important for the community to know that while these prescription drugs are legal, sharing them is not legal – as these medications are not suitable for all patients,” Ray said.

Ray even encouraged all to participate in the Drug Take Back Program, an initiative that helps individuals properly dispose of medications they no longer need, without questions, instead of leaving outdated prescriptions in house cabinets. The program holds events bi-annually in each borough and every state.

The idea of Thursday’s program originally stemmed from the workshops the school had held with Project SUCCESS, another effective, school-based program that prevents and reduces adolescent substance use and abuse.

“We wanted to help young students understand how important this topic is, as well as provide them with knowledge about how much of an impact prescription drugs can have on an individual’s life,” said pharmacy doctor Ronnie Moore, assistant dean for clinical affairs at Touro. “The main point we wanted to get across was that just because a doctor wrote a prescription for a patient, that patient should not pass those prescription drugs to a family member or a friend, just because it is legal for them to take it.”

“This workshop definitely sparked the seventh graders’ curiosity, and I felt that the energy that our Touro students had made the day a success,” Moore added.

“This was certainly an informational eye-opening experience for the students, who were very engaged during the entire workshop,” said Eva Rubinoff, counselor for Hyde Leadership Charter School’s middle school. “In middle school, kids are prone to experiment and think about drugs, and we want them to be informed about drug safety as a preventative measure now and going into high school.”

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By Steven Goodstein

Source: Bronx Times Reporter

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Bronx Times - April 17, 2017 at 11:58 pm

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Butler Houses receives full security upgrade


The Butler Houses in Claremont Village are the first NYCHA property to receive the full security upgrades associated with the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety.

NYCHA completed work on CCTV cameras, Layered Access security doors and new lighting on the grounds in late January which are the first step to creating a safer environment around public housing.

According to NYCHA, the six 21-story buildings – which include a total of 1,476 units – each received two new entrance doors and one new exit door.

In addition, the six buildings received 30 new cameras in addition to upgrades to the 58 existing cameras.

Finally, 245 new exterior lighting fixtures were installed on the grounds.

Cornell Nolton, president of the Resident Association at the Butler Houses, said the new lights have been a plus for Butler Houses’ older residents.

“The seniors feel more at ease with the lighting,” said Nolton. “They feel comfortable that they won’t be robbed.”

He added that residents used to come in early because they were afraid to be outside in the dark.

Nolton, a 20-year resident of the houses, said before the upgrades the Butler Houses experienced its share of shootings, robberies, domestic violence and drug use.

He adds, “Crime is down a little bit now” since the new security features were installed.

In addition, to those features, Nolton said he has been holding meetings twice a month for residents to voice their concerns and better their living experience.

According to Nolton, during those times representatives from government officials and officers from the local PSA 7 have attended the meetings to help in making the buildings better places to live.

The resident association president said he is already seeing improvements thanks to the meetings as residents are putting their garbage in the incinerator instead of throwing it out their window.

According to Renita Francois, deputy director of MAP,hearing from residents is one of the ways the action plan hopes to improve quality of life in a program called Neighborhood STAT.

Francois said the next step for Butler Houses is to install the Neighborhood STAT program, which will include a “very integral and coordinated” response to the problems facing public housing.

She said agencies such as the NYPD, NYCHA, the NYC Department of Homeless Services and the NYC Department of Sanitation will be able to hear from residents and make sure their needs are met.

“For example if the homeless shelter across the street is not open, that population will trickle over into this development and then we’ll have people sleeping in the hallways or camping out in front of buildings,” said Francois.

She explained in that type of situation the NYPD’s neighborhood coordination officer, a representative from NYC Department of Homeless Services and the property manager will be available to come up with a solution to that problem.

In addition to the security features, said a NYCHA representative, MAP also includes investments in the community such as mentoring and job training for young adults, improved access to public benefits, conflict mediation, grandparent support groups and extended hours at local community centers.

Reach Reporter Robert Christie at (718) 260-4591. E-mail him at

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By Robert Christie

Source: Bronx Times Reporter

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Chipotle Mexican Grill Grand Opening


Chipotle Mexican Grill served up smiles at the grand opening of its brand new restaurant at 260 E. 161st Street on Monday, March 6. The restaurant known for serving food made with fresh, high quality ingredients is open everyday from 10:45 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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By Robert Wirsing

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Bronx Times - at 11:41 pm

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Barnes & Noble commits to Bronx return in 24-36 months


It looks like the Bronx will not have to completely say “goodbye” to its only Barnes & Noble.

After it was recently announced that Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH would take over Barnes & Noble’s current 25,000 square foot location in the Bay Plaza Shopping Center next year, the fate of the borough’s only bookstore was unknown.

Fortunately, last week’s commitment from Barnes & Noble to return to the Bronx has eased the anxiety of many who didn’t want to see the iconic bookstore leave the borough for good.

“We are a borough of book lovers, and Barnes & Noble has been an institution in the Bronx for nearly two decades,” said Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. “My office will continue to work with Barnes & Noble in the coming months to help identify potential locations for new retail sites in our borough that will work with their updated business model.”

“We are also grateful to Prestige Properties for their previous efforts to extend Barnes & Noble’s lease and their commitment to hold space in their retail center for the bookseller, should they choose to return to Bay Plaza,” Diaz, Jr. added.

A shopping center spoksesperson said the still-unbuilt space would be held for Barnes & Noble for up to 36 months, while the book seller finalizes its new business model.

Prestige Properties & Development Company, the owner and operator of the Bay Plaza Shopping Center, who said they were excited to welcome SAKS OFF 5TH to the Bronx and offer their shoppers “an additional luxury option” with great price points”, did not confirm where the still unbuilt bookstore would be located.

“I’m very disappointed that Barnes & Noble is leaving the Bay Plaza Shopping Center,” said Assemblyman Michael Benedetto. “However, I am heartened that they have promised to return to the Bronx and that we’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of this bookstore for years to come.”

“It’s unfortunate that Barnes & Noble and Prestige Properties have not been able to work out an agreement and I urge Barnes & Noble to look at alternative locations in the Bronx,” said Councilman James Vacca.

A Barnes & Noble spokesperson would not confirm a set date for its return to the Bronx, or if the store would be located in the Bay Plaza Shopping Center.

However, they did state that they would be dedicated to making the Bronx one of the destinations for the five new Barnes & Noble stores they will open around the country.

“We remain committed to working diligently with local officials to reopen a store in the Bronx in the future as we finalize our new store openings,” said David Deason, vice president of development for Barnes & Noble, Inc.

“This Barnes & Noble has been a fixture in Co-op City for many years and it’s sad when economics rule over service to the community,” said Councilman Andy King. “The closing of this Barnes & Noble isn’t the end of reading in the Bronx, but it’s a reminder that we must continue to utilize these venues and take full advantage of them while they are here.”

Last Wednesday, Assemblyman Benedetto launched a petition drive in front of Barnes & Noble in an attempt to showcase the borough’s overwhelming support for the bookstore chain that has called the Bronx and the Bay Plaza Shopping Center home for the last 15 years. A petition effort on has also been signed and shared by many in order to keep Barnes & Noble.

Last month, Prestige Properties and Barnes & Noble each confirmed that the store would close at the end of 2016. Prestige Properties also confirmed that Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH would move into the location in March and open the new store in the summer of 2017. The store will be located at 290 Baychester Avenue.

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By Steven Goodstein

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Source: Bronx Times Reporter

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Allerton Merchants Hosts 4th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting


The Allerton International Merchants Association’s fourth annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony made everyone’s holiday spirit shine bright this season.

Many residents, young and old alike, participated in the traditional lighting of the Bronxwood Tree on Tuesday, December 6 at Allerton Avenue and Boston Road.

The Yuletide festivities continued with a holiday afterparty at The Sanz Banquet Hall featuring delicious food, a visit from Santa Claus, carolers, cookies and cocoa and presents for local youth.

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By Robert Wirsing

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Source: Bronx Times Reporter

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