Axelbank pares down online newsletter


A borough-wide online newsletter run by a popular Bronx media personality appears to be the latest victim of the coronavirus.

ThisIsTheBronx, launched by Gary Axelbank in May 2017, has ended its daily emails.

“Unfortunately, due to pandemic and resultant business considerations, we are reorganizing ThisIsTheBronx Today, and this will be our last daily newsletter,” Axelbank wrote to his subscribers last week. “We will convert to either a weekly, monthly or periodic publication which you will receive, like always, in your email. Those details are still being worked out.”

The newsletter provided a half-dozen stories about the Bronx every day, many of them coming from various news outlets, including The Riverdale Press. However, the newsletter also included hundreds of original stories and columns as well like its Weekday Magazine feature, and various arts reviews.

“Thank you for your past support of ThisIsTheBronx, and we look forward to our continued participation as we transition into an adjusted publication schedule,” Axelbank said.


Lawyers threaten to sue over homeless

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposal to move homeless people out of hotels in the Upper West Side could have ripple effects through the rest of the city. Especially after The Legal Aid Society threatened to sue the mayor if he follows through on such plans.

“These hotel rooms have afforded some of the most vulnerable New Yorkers safe refuge from exposure to COVID-19 in the city’s saturated shelter system, where at least 96 people have already died from contracting the virus,” said Judith Goldiner, attorney-in-charge of the society’s civil law reform unit, in a release.

“The public health crisis is not over, and moving people experiencing homelessness back into overcrowded shelters could spark a second wave of COVID-19, putting needless lives at risk.”

The mortality rate for single adults in shelters is 79 percent higher than the city as a whole, Goldiner added.

The society claims the mayor made the decision to move the homeless out of hotels after the public complaints of some people living and working in the UWS, compaining about the degraded quality of life there because of the hotel sheltering.

The society called de Blasio’s response “racist NIMBYism.” The lawyers say they’re ready to seek an injunction on behalf of the Coalition for the Homeless against the city, in an effort they say to protect 18,000 people who depend on shelters.