Stimulus money creates green jobs in South Bronx

Text and photo by Ted Regencia

In the borough where the unemployment rate hovers around 12.3 percent—the highest in the state–“green-collar” jobs in heating, cooling, and window retrofitting are still experiencing modest growth. That’s due in large part to 2010 federal stimulus money earmarked particularly for the environmentally friendly industries, according to the Hunts Point-based Sustainable South Bronx advocacy group.

“We are at 70 to 75 percent of people getting jobs,” said Annette Williams, training director at Sustainable South Bronx. “Within the last month, we have gotten 13 people hired.”

Williams’ organization advocates environment-friendly solutions to the chronic joblessness endemic to the South Bronx. Eight years ago the group initiated a green jobs program that trains unemployed and low-income residents in building maintenance, urban forestry, landscaping and hazardous waste cleanup. In 2010, the organization received an extra $150,000 windfall from President Barack Obama’s $396 million federal green technology stimulus funds for New York State.

To read the full story, please visit BronxInk.org

Images of the Libyan conflict find a South Bronx audience

Text, video and images by Ted Regencia and Diane Jeantet

World Press Photo award winner Tim Hetherington was killed in Libya on April 20, not long after he took the image above. (By Ted Regencia)

One image shows an elderly man and two boys posing with spent mortar shells. Another captures a family fleeing a wrecked building, terror etched on their faces. In still another, a young soldier brandishes a machine gun, bullets wrapped around his body.

These full-color photos from the recent civil war in Libya are on display in Mott Haven as part of “Visions: Tim Hetherington,” the inaugural exhibition of the Bronx Documentary Center that opened on October 22, to honor the slain photojournalist and award-winning director of the documentary, “Restrepo,” a feature-length film on a U.S. platoon in Afghanistan.

To read the full story, please visit BronxInk.org

A view from the Bronx: The 2011 New York City marathon

Text and photo by Ted Regencia

NEW YORK — With their running shoes ready and their energy in high gear, this year’s 47,000 plus New York City marathoners gathered last Sunday in Staten Island for the 41st time that the race has been held.

In South Bronx, home to a number of top African competitive runners, local residents lined up the intersection of 3rd Avenue and 138th Street, near the 20-mile marker, to cheer on the runners.

To see the full photo gallery, please visit BronxInk.org

After midnight with the fishmongers in the Bronx

Text, photo and audio by Ted Regencia

NEW YORK — It’s been almost six years since the New Fulton Fish Market moved to The Bronx on Nov. 14, 2005 after 180 years of smelling up lower Manhattan. The $86-million, half-mile long facility houses more than 30 wholesale distributors, bringing over a billion dollars in annual revenue. Critics contend it lacks the character of the old market by the Brooklyn Bridge, and its remote location contributes to a recent slump in sales. Others say the city-owned Hunts Point warehouse has modern amenities that keep the produce fresh and in high demand. Most recently, one operator declared bankruptcy leaving the warehouse 15 percent empty. But on a midnight visit not too long ago, the market still pulsates with energy. And with the thick smell of the sea wafting over the vending spots, there’s no mistaking this is the world’s second largest fish market.

Also published in BronxInk.org

Despite controversy, nun still calls Hunts Point home

Text and photo by Ted Regencia

NEW YORK — On a warm and sunny morning a few Sundays ago, Sister Thomas found herself resting on a chair while overseeing the weekly rummage sale at the garage next to the red brick St. Athanasius Catholic Church in Hunts Point. The cramped structure serves as a storage facility for donated items that her group sells every Sunday. At 78, Sister Thomas is still as involved as she was 49 years ago, when she first arrived at the South Bronx neighborhood.

Only now, she’s no longer welcomed by church’s new pastor.

On July 1, 2010, the Rev. Jose Rivas of the neighboring St. John Chrysostom took over following the death of Rev. Bill Smith. Immediately after taking office, the Colombian-born priest dismissed long-time staff and informed Sister Thomas that her services were no longer needed.

To read the full story, please visit BronxInk.org