Vol. 18, No. 24 Dec. 15 - 28,  2005



Worker’s Death
We have no idea what was responsible for the death of construction worker Mohammad Nadeem at 2985 Botanical Square last week. What concerns us is that no one seems that concerned with finding out.

Because the scaffolding was cleared almost immediately after the incident, the Buildings Department said it can’t determine whether a permit was necessary. OSHA’s investigation will probably take quite a while.

But, in the meantime, the city should be able to figure precisely what kind of work was going on at the site and make a determination about whether or not a permit was necessary.

We’ve written about the controversial practices of the company that owns the building where Nadeem died. That does not mean that they were at fault in this instance; it could very well be that the Pinnacle organization did not need a permit for the work Nadeem was doing.

But the Buildings Department and any other relevant city agency must try to find out exactly what happened and why.

Nadeem’s death barely made the daily press, and where it was mentioned, he wasn’t even identified by name.

The death of a human being in our community should not pass virtually unnoticed, and certainly not uninvestigated.

Striking Oil
Congressman Jose Serrano came through for his constituency this month, when he brokered an arrangement with the Venezuelan government, whereby 40 million gallons of home heating oil will flow to nonprofit housing companies which provide affordable housing to thousands of Bronx residents.

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, a bombastic leftist, loves to spar with the Bush administration. But if his lengthy visit with Bronx community groups is any guide, his beef seems to be with the president, not the American people.

But regardless of what you think of Chavez, or Serrano’s relationship with him, the deal is a winner on two counts. It lightens the economic burden on tenants during what is certain to be a difficult winter and it pressures American oil companies who, despite record profits this year, are acting like Scrooge this holiday season.

Think Local, Shop Local
Once again, we urge our readers to shop locally this holiday season wherever possible.

Sure, we have a selfish interest in thriving local business districts; this newspaper wouldn’t exist without them. But we all should care about keeping our commercial areas healthy. When they are, it’s a good sign that our neighborhoods are in good shape, too.

Even if you might save a couple of bucks on a video game or a piece of jewelry at a mall in Westchester or Manhattan — and in most cases you’ll get a better buy in your own backyard — spending money here is an investment in your community.

We ask you to particularly pay attention to the advertisers in this newspaper who are themselves investing in better neighborhoods by supporting our work.

Healthy communities require a healthy local economy. This holiday season, please try to do your part.


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