Posts Tagged ‘west harlem’

News | Nov. 10 10:11 pm EST

Fire consumes Associated Supermarket at 131st and Amsterdam

Casey Tolan / Spec

Update, 11:30 p.m.:

Read our full news article on the fire here, with photos by Spec’s David Brann.


Update, 10:28 p.m.:

The News Desk’s Ben Gittelson reports that according to FDNY, there have been no casualties or injuries reported. The fire was called in at 7:33 p.m. The one-story supermarket building, which stands at 125 by 200 feet, has partially collapsed, and FDNY’s response operation is ongoing.

Original post, 10:11 p.m.:

Earlier tonight, a fire consumed Associated Supermarket at 131st Street and Amsterdam Avenue, causing a partial building collapse. Spec’s Casey Tolan is at the scene, which looks like this: More »


Spectrum | Sep. 10 6:25 pm EST
From the Paper

Harlem expansion plans cause new disputes

Pete Bohnhof for Spectator

In today’s paper, Christian Zhang and Avantika Kumar detail how one gas station owner, Carmie Elmore, is fighting the city‘s West Harlem redevelopment plans, in order to keep his property.

According to Mr. Elmore, the conflict boils down to a disagreement on who exactly controls the 110th Street station and how Mr. Elmore should be compensated for his land:

[Mr. Elmore] acknowledged that his initial contract allowed the city to buy back his gas station for urban renewal purposes, but he said that plan expired in 2008—and as a result, he and his partners fully own the property.

The city offered Elmore the original purchase price of the property plus the cost of improvements he has made since then, rather than its current market price, he said

Though this latest squabble is the result of a city-led initiative, and not related to Columbia’s development plans, it is eerily reminiscent a series of legal problems Columbia has had as it also evicts long time land owners in order to facilitate the University’s various planned expansions. More »


Spectrum | Mar. 29 2:31 pm EST

What a Harlem charter school teachers union has to do with Columbia

Hannah Montoya / flickr

Columbia isn’t the only school with factions fighting for greater faculty representation.

After a whole lot of red tape and sticky politics, teachers at the bilingual New York French-American Charter School won unionization. The school’s board denied the faculty’s request for unionization, but when faculty went to the city’s Public Employment Relations Board, they were granted the privilege to join the United Federation of Teachers on March 14.

Spectator Staff Writer Avantika Kumar writes in today’s paper:

The decision was not without controversy. The school’s founding administration—the school opened in September 2010—fought unionization, alleging that some teachers were coerced into supporting the decision. PERB found no evidence of coercion.

Unionization is rare for charter schools, because they start and run with an extra amount of support from the community. From the get-go, teachers are supposed to have more representation.

But in this case, many faculty were uncomfortable with what they said were arbitrary hiring decisions and frequent rule changing. Now, if future issues arise, the union will keep teachers from having to self-advocate.

This situation is an interesting parallel to what’s been happening at Columbia. More »


Opinion | Nov. 14 3:04 pm EST

What’s in $76 million?

Ennuipoet * FreeVerse Photography / flickr

The Editorial Board critiques an organization in West Harlem that is supposed to be allocating funds from Columbia for community development.

Residents, politicians, and activists have criticized the West Harlem Local Development Corporation for its delinquency and obscure proceedings throughout this year. In 2009, Columbia agreed to donate $76 million over the next 16 years to fund community education, housing, and job training in West Harlem, and the job of the LDC is to distribute those funds effectively. While Columbia has already donated $3.5 million of those funds, the LDC has used only $300,000 to fund a relatively small number of jobs through a youth employment program. And with no website, no official disclosure of the organization’s board members, and no apparent plans for its current and incoming funds, the LDC is doing little to meet the pressing needs of its community. (more)