Bronx synagogue welcomes Jewish New Year with a last goodbye

Text by Ted Regencia and Lindsay Minerva (photo by Ted Regencia)

NEW YORK — On a rainy Wednesday night at the start of Rosh Hashanah, Miriam and Herbert Korman struggled up the stairs to reach the lobby of Temple Emanuel at Parkchester in the Bronx. Eight other congregants waited patiently for the couple to arrive inside the almost empty sanctuary of faded wood and stained glass. As he reached the foyer, 91-year-old Herbert Korman groaned with exhaustion.

It was the final time that the Kormans will lead Jewish New Year services at Temple Emanuel. On Oct. 31, Parkchester’s last conservative synagogue will officially close, bringing an end to another chapter of Jewish history in the Bronx.

“I can’t even imagine not having this,” said Miriam Korman, as she nodded towards the two-story sanctuary. “We’ve been members here for over 50 years.”

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Hurricane Irene: The Aftermath In The Bronx

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August 28, 2011

By Ted Regencia

NEW YORK — Hurricane Irene packed a much weaker punch when it hit New York early Sunday morning of August 28, prompting Mayor Mike Bloomberg to declare that the city “certainly dodged a bullet.” But it still left some scattered scenes of destruction in the Bronx, uprooting trees and destroying properties around the Parkchester district.

Along Metropolitan Avenue, a downed tree fell on top of a Toyota RAV4 smashing its windows and crushing the roof. A Mercedes Benz SUV parked right in front of the Toyota was also damaged.

Continue reading “Hurricane Irene: The Aftermath In The Bronx”

Geithner staying in office for now; warns of debt ceiling impasse

Web Exclusive
July 01, 2011

Text and photos by Ted Regencia

To read the Xinhua English version of the story please click here

CHICAGO — U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Thursday he is keeping his post for the “foreseeable future,” telling an audience in Chicago that he wants to continue helping President Obama solve the country’s economic woes, on top of which is the budget negotiation that would raise the debt ceiling and prevent the country from defaulting.

“I live for this work. It’s the only thing I’ve ever done. I believe in it. We have lots of challenges in the country, I’m going to do it for the foreseeable future,” Geithner said when asked by former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Clinton hosted a two-day economic summit here.

Earlier, Bloomberg News reported that Geithner will resign as soon as the Obama administration and Congress reach a deal on raising the U.S. debt ceiling.

“People are worried, or interested, because you know, I have a family. My son’s going back to New York to finish high school and I’ve been commuting for a while, but I’m gonna be doing this for the foreseeable future,” Geithner said.

Speaking about the contentious issue that’s dominating Washington D.C., Geithner urged Republican lawmakers to reach an agreement with President Obama to raise the debt ceiling, warning that failure to do so would be catastrophic to the American economy.

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Bill Clinton hosts jobs and economic forum in Chicago

Xinhua English
June 29, 2011

Text and photo by Ted Regencia

CHICAGO — Seeking to help the U.S. domestic economy recover from the recession and cut down the 9.1 percent unemployment rate, former U.S. president Bill Clinton kicked-off a two day forum here on Wednesday, while touting Chicago as a model of innovation and economic resurgence.

Clinton, whose eight-year stint at the White House saw the U.S. economy prosper, urged American banks to unlock an estimated $2 trillion in cash for loans.

He also encouraged companies to invest within America another existing $2 trillion dollars in their reservoir, and called on more jobs training to fill as much as three million jobs currently available but remain vacant because of mismatch in qualification.

By filling the three million available jobs, unemployment rate will already be significantly reduced and create a more optimistic economic atmosphere, Clinton said.

On the first day of the event, Clinton has already secured the financial commitment of four organizations, including a 10 billion dollars in capital from the labor group AFL-CIO to be spent for public infrastructure repairs for the next five years.

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Jewish Republicans see Obama as one-termer

Huffington Post and
June 27, 2011

Text and photo by Ted Regencia


SKOKIE, Ill. – Between analyzing the electoral prospects of Republican presidential candidates and ridiculing the “level of mental illness among liberal Jews,” members of the Republican Jewish Coalition(RJC) gathered in Skokie last week to discuss how they could help defeat President Obama in 2012.

The standing-room only crowd came from throughout Illinois to fill a conference room at Holiday Inn, where they listened to political analysts and Republican scholars offer political red meat against Obama, whom one speaker accused of being “more pro-Palestinian than the Palestinians.”

Michael Menis, president of RJC’s Chicago chapter, told Skokie Patch that his group was alarmed at Obama’s policies toward Israel.

“There’s concern in the Jewish community as far as President Obama’s allegiance to the United States’ long-time ally Israel,” he said. “Through his rhetoric and his actions, he seems to have departed from the policy that we’ve seen coming from other presidential administrations since the creation of Israel in 1949.”

Menis said the meeting’s heavy turnout on June 23 was a good indication that RJC members could be invaluable in helping efforts to elect a GOP president in 2012.

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Same-sex civil unions now in effect in Illinois
June 01, 2011

By Ted Regencia

(Photo Credit: Carla Shaw)

SKOKIE, Ill — Carla Shaw and Karen Behen have been together for 19 years. The couple have known each other since childhood. But it was not until years later that they decided to become partners.

In between, Shaw got married and had two children. She later divorced her now-deceased husband, who she said was supportive of her relationship with another woman. Her two grown sons have also welcomed Behen, she noted.

On June 2, Shaw and Behen of Decatur will make it official at a mass ceremony planned at Millennium Park in downtown Chicago.

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Ex-Warner Bros. employee is 3rd Pinoy fatality in Missouri

The Filipino Channel-Balitang America
May 30, 2011

By Ted Regencia

(Joplin story also featured as a banner headline of The Philippine News)

CHICAGO — It’s been a week since the deadly tornado hit Joplin, Missouri and authorities are reporting that the death toll has climbed up to 139, including a Filipino who once worked for Warner Brothers in New York.

Relatives from Cebu confirmed to ABS-CBN the death of 76-year-old Thomas Sarino. A naturalized American citizen, he is the third person of Filipino origin to have died from last Sunday’s disaster.

According to his niece Grace Sarino, she was contacted by a certain Taylor Jayne Thompson who then relayed to her the coroner’s confirmation of the elderly Sarino’s death.(Photo courtesy of Grace Sarino)

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