Clergy Sexual Abuse Surfaces Amid Widespread Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Clergy sexual abuse has been a serious issue in churches across the world for a long time. This year’s surge of sexual harassment and abuse cases is encouraging people to take action against sexual misconduct in churches and religious centers, particularly those related to the Roman Catholic religion. Many of these sexual abuse stories involve minors.

In 2015, the Diocese of Duluth, Minnesota filed for bankruptcy after facing a verdict of over $8 million as the result of a sexual abuse lawsuit. Earlier this month, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn released the names of eight former priests who have previously been removed from the Catholic Church because of sexual abuse.

Recent stories and settlements regarding sexual abuse by priests only uncover a fraction of the abuse that has occurred. Much of the secrecy of and unaccountability for clergy sexual abuse is the fault of organizations that consistently hide these crimes from the public.

Clergy Sexual Abuse in New York

Many of the recent clergy sexual abuse cases are connected to New York. The Diocese of Brooklyn released the names of eight former priests dismissed from their positions because of sexual abuse.

This diocese, with jurisdiction over Brooklyn and Queens, is an administrative organization for local Roman Catholic churches. Half of the offenders named were convicted of child sex abuse after leaving active ministry.

The other four have not been arrested for sexual abuse crimes, though this is not an indication that they haven’t committed these types of crimes since leaving the ministry.

Carolyn Erstad, a spokesperson for the Brooklyn diocese, offered an explanation for releasing the names of the former priests; the organization acted with the intention to protect children who could potentially be in danger by associating with these former priests.

She did not explain why the diocese did not release the names sooner. Most of the priests were removed from the Church before 2000. The representative also stated that the names of deceased priests guilty of sexual abuse would not be named as they are “no longer a threat” to children.

Many of the former priests could not be reached after the Diocese of Brooklyn posted its list, but the action did not go without consequence.

As a result of the diocese’s announcement, Arizona State University forced former priest James Lara to resign from his position as a professor.

Dismissed from the Church in 1992, Lara went on to work different positions in higher education as the diocese kept his secret from the public for 25 years.

Three victims are currently taking legal action against Lara, who abused them between the ages of 9 and 11. The New York Times reported that victims and their advocates have been tracking down and warning employers and others about Lara for years, including a former priest who warned the University of Notre Dame about Lara’s pedophilia and sexual abuse. ASU representatives did not respond to questions on whether they have known about his history of sexual abuse before the announcement.

One of the most notorious priests listed by the diocese is Romano Ferraro. The New York Times reported that after a four-year legal battle, a Miami court forced the Diocese of Brooklyn to release a 1,200-page personal file revealing Ferraro’s sexual abuse of young boys.

The documents indicate that the diocese knew of the former priest’s pedophilia since 1973. The release of the documents was the result of a civil suit regarding Ferraro’s sexual abuse of a boy in Key West, Florida in 1969.

Dismissed from the Church in 1988, Ferraro has been serving a lifelong sentence after his conviction for raping a boy in Massachusetts in the 1970s. His sentence began in 2004.

Representative Erstad from the Diocese of Brooklyn stated that the names of the former priests were passed to law enforcement “years ago,” even though the diocese only released the names publically this month. She did not specify which law enforcement agencies received the information or what resulted from the reports.

The extent of the information the organization reported to law enforcement is also uncertain. The representative stated that the diocese has routinely reported sexual abuse allegations since 2002, when the Roman Catholic Church passed national reforms to protect children.

The list posted by the Diocese of Brooklyn is a small step towards sexual abuse accountability and prevention, but the diocese, and other religious organizations, are facing deserved criticism. The list of former priests also reveals the secrecy surrounding clergy sexual abuse.

The diocese offered no explanation for releasing the names this year, even though many of the former priests were dismissed from ministry decades ago. The diocese, as well as other organizations, has been complicit in these crimes, and it has also failed to adequately warn others who were or may have been victims of sexual abuse.

Taking Action Against Clergy Sexual Abuse

Because of the secrecy of clergy sexual abuse, it can be difficult for victims to receive deserved legal justice. The time limit on initiating legal action, called a statute of limitations, for these crimes also makes prosecution for clergy sexual abuse unlikely.

Catholic bishops, as well as the Boy Scouts of America, are among those lobbying to maintain New York State’s statute of limitations policy, one of the strictest and most limiting in the country.

The state requires victims of molestation to pursue a legal or civil case before age 23. Because of this statute, many victims of clergy sexual abuse are unable to take legal action.

Many New York State lawmakers have been advocating for the reform of the statute of limitations on molestation for years, but their efforts have not yielded results. In June, John Flanagan, leader of the New York State Senate, announced that lawmakers would not vote on the Child Victims Act this year.

The Child Victims Act would extend the statute of limitations on these types of crimes. The bill had gone through many forms, but lawmakers have failed to pass the bill for over a decade. This lack of urgency makes it even more difficult for victims to seek legal justice.

A current version of the bill would allow child sexual abuse survivors to pursue civil cases until 50 years of age, instead of age 23. Victims would also be allowed to pursue felony sexual abuse cases until age 28.

Psychological trauma and current laws make it difficult for survivors to reveal their silent struggles with being sexually abused. Passing the Child Victims Act may encourage survivors of sexual abuse to reveal their suffering and being to heal.

With many examples of sexual misconduct in Hollywood, the media, politics, sports, and other settings, churches cannot ignore the pressure to address these crimes. Because of the current national discussion on sexual harassment and abuse, churches and religious organizations are quietly confronting clergy sexual abuse.

In June, the Diocese of Brooklyn created the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, a program that would provide monetary compensation to victims who suffered sexual abuse by their clergy members.

As of this month, 214 victims have applied to the IRCP of the Diocese of Brooklyn. As more learn of the program, the number of settlements should grow.

One victim who received compensation from the Diocese of Brooklyn is Ricardo Gonzalez, who experienced psychological trauma and previously contemplated suicide as a result of the abuse he experienced by former priest James Lara. Other religious organizations are also beginning to create similar programs.

These compensation programs do not replace legal justice or legislative change regarding sexual abuse. While these programs provide compensation to victims, they also protect the abusers and religious organizations from accountability and public exposure.

The programs do not require the organizations to reveal the names of those involved in the abuse, and they also do not require the disclosure from the organizations of what they previously knew about or when they discovered the abuse.

The programs do not make dioceses or abusers account for their actions in the way a lawsuit would demand. If victims accept their compensation, they cannot pursue legal claims against the diocese in the future.

Programs like the IRCP perpetuate the secrecy around clergy sexual abuse and avoid accountability for these crimes. The programs could also be an avenue for victims whose allegations do not fall under New York’s strict statute of limitations.

Though compensation does not replace legal repercussion, nor does it remedy the lifelong damage victims may experience as a result of the sexual abuse, survivors may choose to pursue these programs.

Compensation may assist with possible medical or therapy bills that stem from the abuse. Victims should also not feel pressured to accept compensation should they pursue a settlement.

Many attorneys across the country are being contacted by victims of clergy sexual abuse, in part due to the large amount of sexual harassment and abuse cases emerging this year. The change in addressing sexual abuse is the result of legal efforts undertaken by the courage of the victims to “come out” together with their attorneys, who lead the charge into the legal battlefield.

Those seeking legal counsel regarding sexual abuse or harassment can contact the Law Offices of Thomas J. Lavin. Our offices can assist victims who wish to seek legal action, who are considering compensation programs, or those who need general advice regarding their sexual misconduct experiences.

With two offices in New York (Bronx and White Plains) and one in West Palm Beach, Florida, survivors can visit us for legal counsel. Call us at 800-394-4216 or contact us online for a free consultation.

Understanding The Benefits Of New York’s No-Fault Laws

In 1974, lawmakers in New York passed the state’s first no-fault law for automobile accidents. The aim of the legislators was to make sure that insurance companies pay for accident-related medical bills and lost income without regard to fault in an accident. The intent behind the law was to expedite compensation to injury victims without disputes over fault, lengthy courtroom trials, and questionable, frivolous injury claims. It hasn’t quite worked out as well as lawmakers intended.

A no-fault claim is not a bodily injury claim, although many are confused on this point. If a pedestrian, a bicyclist, a passenger, or a driver is injured in a New York traffic collision, he or she may have the right to sue by filing a bodily injury (or “personal injury”) claim. The insurance company that pays the no-fault claim will also be defending and potentially paying the bodily injury claim, even though the two claims are entirely distinct.

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New York’s no-fault system is supposed to guarantee that an insurance company will pay injured drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, and passengers up to $50,000 for demonstrable economic losses including all medical bills and related expenses. It also reimburses injury victims for days lost from work, but it includes no reimbursement whatsoever for pain and suffering. Pain and suffering claims and other claims require a victim to file a separate personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver or any other party liable for causing the accident and injury.

WHO RECEIVES NO-FAULT BENEFITS?

Motorcyclists, riders of Vespas and most other scooters, and anyone injured as a result of driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol are not eligible for no-fault benefits. New York no-fault law applies to any bicyclist, pedestrian, passenger, or driver injured by a motor vehicle in an accident in the state of New York. To qualify for no-fault benefits after a collision in New York:

  1. The vehicle must be insured by a policy sold in New York or issued by a company licensed to do business in New York.
  2. The vehicle must be a car, bus, truck, taxi, or another vehicle registered in New York and covered by New York’s no-fault law. Motorcycles are not covered.
  3. The injured person must have been a driver or passenger in the insured vehicle or a cyclist or pedestrian struck by the vehicle.

HOW DO YOU FILE FOR NO-FAULT BENEFITS?

Although the 1974 legislation was supposed to make the process easier, that has not been the result. Under the cover of “fighting insurance fraud,” insurance companies have essentially turned the process into a confrontation, and they take advantage of any mistake a claimant makes to deny benefits. And even if you make no mistakes, you might be denied compensation if the insurance company’s own doctor says that you are not injured. To protect yourself when filing a no-fault claim, follow these steps:

  1. Complete the no-fault application (Form NF-2): The insurance company will provide this form if you were driving. Injured bicyclists and pedestrians who own an insured vehicle must request a Form NF-2 from their own insurance company. Request the form by mail with certified return receipt requested.
  2. File the no-fault application within thirty days from the date of the crash: Do not procrastinate, and do not just assume that your injuries will heal on their own or that your health insurance will cover your injuries. If that happens, filing the application does not compel you to pursue a claim. Filing Form NF-2 merely protects your rights if you end up needing to pursue a claim.
  3. Submit the form to the right insurance company: The no-fault application gets sent to the insurance carrier for the car that you were struck by, the car you were a passenger in, or the car you were driving. If another driver is uncooperative and will not provide you with insurance information after an accident, make sure the police are on the scene, and ask them to help you.

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Injury victims may claim lost earnings and related out-of-pocket expenses under New York’s no-fault system. Your employer will have to verify your lost wages by completing and filing a form the insurance companies provide called a No-Fault Wage Verification Report. You may receive 80 percent of your accident-related lost income up to $2000 a month. You will also need a note from your doctor that specifies the duration of your disability and verifies that it is a result of the collision. Also, save your receipts for transportation, prescriptions, and related expenditures. You may be reimbursed up to $25 a day for related incidentals for up to a year after the accident.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A CLAIM IS FILED?

After filing, you are given a no-fault claim number. Give this number, the name of the insurance company and the adjuster, and their contact information to your doctor and other health care providers for all accident-related treatment until you have completely healed. You may receive a bill for the ambulance or for various tests and treatments – the same information should be provided. That fulfills your obligation to those service providers, who must then submit the claims to the insurance company.

Obviously, insurance companies do not like paying no-fault benefits, so they are allowed to send you to their own doctor to determine if benefits should be terminated. If you do not appear for an exam scheduled by the insurance company, they will probably stop paying benefits. You may also have to appear at an examination under oath or EUO. This is a meeting with an insurance company attorney who will ask you about the accident and injury under oath. Again, if you fail to appear, the insurance company will almost certainly terminate benefits.

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When a no-fault claim is rejected by an auto insurer, those with private health insurance may submit the bills to their private carrier and have healthcare providers bill them as well. Most insurance companies will demand proof that you have been rejected for no-fault before they will pay the bills. No-Fault rules change frequently. A Bronx personal injury attorney handling a personal injury claim on your behalf can also handle the no-fault aspect of the case. Additionally, a good Bronx personal injury attorney will know how to respond to insurance company efforts to deny no-fault benefits.

Colleges and Universities in The Bronx

The Bronx, NY is home to many notable universities. Here are some that have put their stamp on educational in the Bronx for many years.

Fordham University

Fordham has the distinction of being the first Catholic College in the Northeast. It’s also the third oldest University in the state. It was founded as St. John’s College in 1841. Officially, it’s now an independent university. It has an 85-acre campus in the Bronx. Known as Rose Hill, it’s among the largest in the city.Since 1969, it’s no longer officially governed by the church. However, Fordham has had a Jesuit priest as president since 1846, and the Jesuit educational principles remain in effect today. You will find approximately 15,300 students from 65 countries enrolled in Fordham at any given time.

The City University of New York

Hostos Community College, Bronx Community College, and Lehman College are all Bronx campus locations of the City University of New York, also known as CUNY. It has the distinction of being known as the biggest urban university system in the United States. CUNY has a very diverse student body, more diverse than most other schools in the country.  Students from 208 countries attend university here. Hispanic, African American and Caucasian undergraduates each comprise more than a fourth of the entire student body. Asian undergraduates comprise 18 percent.  It’s interesting to note that 57 percent of students are female, and 28 percent are over the age of 25.

The College of Mount Saint Vincent

The College of Mount Saint Vincent is under the direction of the Sisters of Charity of New York. It was founded in 1847 as a school for girls. It became a college that granted degrees in 1911. In 1974, they began admitting men. Today, this Catholic liberal arts college shares its campus with the Academy for Jewish Religion.

Manhattan College

This Catholic college is a great place to go for an undergraduate degree in the arts, science, engineering, education, or business. They offer graduate degrees in engineering, business, and education.It was started in 1853 by the Brothers of the Christian Schools, was originally located in Manhattan. It moved in 1922 to the Bronx. They get good ratings, consistently, for one of the best colleges that have a good return on education investment.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine

This medical school is part of the Montefiore Medical Center. The Albert Einstein College of Medicine is located in the Bronx.It focuses on medical education, clinical research, and basic research. They offer course study towards your M.D. degree, and they also grant biomedical graduate degrees.

Monroe College

At Monroe College, which is a private college, the course of study focuses on readiness for business and professional work. They started in the Bronx in 1933, and have campuses in the Bronx’s Fordham neighborhood, as well as one in Westchester County.

The State University of New York Maritime College

Located on the grounds of Fort Schuyler, The State University of New York Maritime College leads the nation in maritime education. The Maritime Industry Museum is located in Fort Schuyler as well. It’s interesting to note that as of this writing in 2017, people that graduate from this university earn the highest annual salary of any other college graduates in the country. This average annual salary is $144,000.

Family Parks in the Bronx

The Bronx is one of the five boroughs of New York City. It is the northernmost of all the boroughs. The Bronx shares the same boundaries as Bronx County, which is the third on the list of most densely populated counties in the US. As dense as the population is, it’s surprising to learn that a quarter of the borough’s area is dedicated to open space. These beautiful public places are some of the real treasures of The Bronx. Let’s visit some here.

Van Cortlandt Park

Van Cortlandt Park is New York City’s third largest park. The Van Cortlandt House Museum is located on the 1,146-acre grounds. You will find several sports facilities in the park. The park is home to the oldest golf course in the country, The Van Cortlandt Golf Course. The property has been repurposed several times over the years. In 1888, the house and grounds were sold to New York City and designated for public parklands.

Within the park, you will find the largest freshwater lake in the Bronx. Walking trails and hiking trails, along with Tibbetts Brook, wind through the old-growth forests. Sports facilities are located throughout the park as well.  If you like cross-country running, cricket, soccer, tennis, swimming, or baseball, even horseback riding opportunities are in Van Cortlandt Park.

Pelham Bay Park

This park has the distinction of being the largest public park in New York City! At 2,772 sprawling acres, it is more than three times the size of Central Park in Manhattan. This area has a rich historical place in the American Revolutionary War, and the land was a buffer between British and Rebel-held territories. This was where the Battle of Pell’s Point was held, and the Massachusetts militia stopped a British advance.

The park was created in 1888. Much of it is a wildlife sanctuary that is visited by nature lovers. Orchard Beach is located within the park. This public beach has been nicknamed the “Bronx Riviera.” The beach is manmade, designed by urban planner Robert Moses, and opened in 1936. They filled in about one-third of Pelham Bay, then brought sand in by barge from Sandy Hook, New Jersey, and the Rockaways in Queens.

Today, the 115-acre area of Orchard Beach contains a promenade and a central pavilion with specialty shops and food stores. Included in the Orchard Beach complex are two playgrounds, two picnic areas, 26 courts for basketball, handball, and volleyball.

Bronx Zoo

Located in Bronx Park, the Bronx Zoo is the largest metropolitan zoo in the United States, and is one of the largest in the world! Approximately 2.15 million visitors come to enjoy the zoo each year. These visitors enjoy world-renowned animal collections and award-winning animal exhibits. The zoo itself is actually a system comprised of four zoos and one aquarium. It was four years from conception to the grand opening to the public in 1899. When it opened, it was home to 843 animals in 22 exhibits.

By 2010, more than 4,000 animals of 650 species called the zoo home. Many species that are being treasured there are endangered or threatened. No trip to the Bronx would be complete without a visit to the Bronx Zoo.

Historical Places in the Bronx

Are you looking to catch a glimpse of the historical Bronx? Here are a few great places to start!

Edgar Allan Poe’s Cottage

Poe’s cottage has been restored and is now a museum that houses a collection of some of the original period furnishings that Poe and his wife, Virginia, owned. This includes the bed on which Virginia drew her last breath. It was in this cottage in the Bronx that Poe composed many of his famous poems, including Annabel Lee, which was the last full poem that Poe wrote.

When you’re planning a visit, please take note that the cottage is only open on Saturday and Sunday. The short film and the guided tour are definitely worth the $5 price of admission.

Woodlawn Cemetery

Woodlawn Cemetery is 150 years old, and it hosts the bodily remains of over 300,000 people. A truly beautiful, peaceful place to visit and reflect, you will marvel at the beautiful monuments and memorial sculptures dotted amongst the magnificent landscaping. Those interred there included famous figures from history, notable artists, and leaders, and some remembered only by their name on a headstone.

Guided tours are available, or you can take a tour of your own, and visit the final resting place of such greats as Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, Augustus Julliard, Herman Melville, Joseph Pulitzer, and Fiorelo LaGuardia. You will find the grave of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, known for her work in the women’s rights movement. Rowland H. Macy, F.W. Woolworth, and James Cash Penney, department store founders, are both buried here. These are just a few of the famous gravesites you will discover. The history is rich and fascinating.

You can visit Woodlawn seven days a week. Hours are from 8:30 am until 5:00 pm.

Van Cortlandt House Museum

This historic house predates the United States! The Van Cortlandt House is the oldest building in the Bronx, and is almost 270 years old! Built-in 1748 as a home for the Van Cortlandt family, the mansion was turned into a house museum in 1897 and provides a view into the type of life that was possible in the 1700s. The Van Cortlandt House is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is a National Historic Landmark, in addition to being a Bronx treasure!

Mark your calendar to visit the Van Cortlandt House Tuesday through Friday for a group tour or self-guided tour.

Fort Schuyler

A wonderful example of French-style fortifications, Fort Schuyler was named for Major General Philip Schuyler of the Continental Army. It serves many purposes these days, containing a museum, the Stephen B. Luce Library, and offices of the State University of New York Maritime College. It was built in the aftermath of the War of 1812. This fort and many others were built up and down the east coast of the United States to prevent a foreign invasion.

The fort was designed to protect New York City from being attacked through Long Island Sound. It guards the eastern entrance to New York Harbor. On the other side of the East River, Fort Totten was built to work in tandem with Fort Schuyler to ensure the safety of the City. At one point, it housed 440 guns. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1976, a portion of the fort was dedicated as a Maritime Industry Museum in 1986. It’s a fascinating place to learn about the history of the Fort, as well as the history of the Maritime industry and commercial shipping in the United States.

The museum is open to the public on weekdays. Be sure to pay a visit to this piece of history in the Bronx.

Movies Filmed in the Bronx

The historical places and open landscapes make the Bronx, New York a great place to film a movie. Here are a few that you might not know were filmed, at least partially, in the Bronx.

A Beautiful Mind

Directed by Ron Howard, this thought-provoking American biographical film lays out the life of John Nash, a gifted mathematician, who won the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences in 1994. Starring in the titular role was Russell Crowe, with other main characters played by Ed Harris and Jennifer Connelly. The film was made in 2001.

The Verdict

The Verdict was a 1982 courtroom drama film. Paul Newman stars as a washed-up, alcoholic lawyer, who is tempted into taking a medical malpractice lawsuit for financial gain. During the course of the trial, he realizes that he is actually doing a great service and that the work is meaningful. The lawsuit revolves around a woman in a vegetative state. In addition to Paul Newman, the film features the acting of Charlotte Rampling, Jack Warden, James Mason, Milo O’Shea, and Lindsay Crouse.

Kinsey

Bill Condon wrote and directed Kinsey, an American biographical drama released in 2004. The story tells of the life of Alfred Kinsey, who was a pioneer in the study of sexology. Kinsey’s 1948 paper, called “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male,” was one of the first documented studies on human sexual behavior. Liam Neeson stars as Kinsey, and the film also features Laura Linney, Chris O’Donnell, Peter Sarsgaard, Timothy Hutton, John Lithgow, Tim Curry, and Oliver Platt.

Awake

Joby Harold wrote and directed Awake. It was filmed in 2005 and wasn’t released until 2007. It’s a conspiracy thriller starring Hayden Christensen, Terrence Howard, Jessica Alba, and Lena Olin. Parts were filmed at Fordham University.

Margot at the Wedding

Margot at the Wedding was directed by Noah Baumbach, who also wrote the screenplay. This comedy premiered at the 34th Telluride Film Festival in August 2007. It was also shown at the New York Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and the Mill Valley Film Festival. The film opened in theaters to limited release and mixed reviews from the critics. The film stars Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jack Black, and John Turturro.

Love is All There Is

This romantic comedy from 1996 is directed by Joseph Bologna and Renee Taylor. They both have starring roles in the movie as well. The plot is basically a Romeo and Juliet adaptation. It takes place in the Bronx, with two Italian families. Joseph Bologna and Lainie Kazan play the Cappamezzas, who are Sicilians that were born in the Bronx. Barbara Carrera and Paul Sorvino play the Malacicis, who just immigrated from Florence. The two families get involved in a bitter rivalry that ramps up just as their children Gina, played by Angelina Jolie, and Rosario, played by Nathaniel Marston get romantically involved. Many scenes from this film were filmed on City Island in the Bronx.

The Groomsmen

The Groomsmen, the comedy film that Edward Burns wrote and directedin 2006, it opened in Los Angeles and New York City in July 2006. The film was also shot on City Island in the Bronx. The plot of the film revolves around a groom and his four friends, who will be his groomsmen, considering all the ins and outs of marriage, fatherhood, sexuality, etc. You’ll find a host of familiar names in the cast.  Edward Burns plays the lead as the groom, Paulie. Also featured in the film are Jessica Capshaw, Spencer Fox, John Leguizamo, Matthew Lillard, Donal Logue, Jay Mohr, Brittany Murphy, and Heather Burns.

That’s a Wrap!

The Bronx has provided a great backdrop for lots of filmmakers. Be sure to look for landmarks from the Bronx when you catch these films!

The Best Pizza in the Bronx

If you ask anybody that’s from the Bronx, they’ll tell you that the very best pizza comes from the Bronx. There might be some disagreement about the best place in the Bronx to get a pie, but here’s a few to put on the list.

COALS

Close to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Coals is a funky little place that turns out some great pizza! The pizza has a super thin crust and is grilled to perfection. Try the Heaven Scent, which is topped with fresh garlic, tomato, fresh mozzarella, and aged provolone. It’s guaranteed to tickle your taste buds. Mmmm…that garlic!

New Yankee SK Pizza

This is the place to get a slice if you’re looking for a classic New York pizza. It’s a hidden treasure, but well worth the hunt! Six dollars will get you two massive slices and a soda. The pizza has a firm crust, delicious sauce, and lots of fresh, gooey cheese. Perfect eats for pizza folders…you know who you are!

Zero Otto Nove

If you’re eating in and looking for some atmosphere, this is the joint you want to go to for pizza. You’ll think that you’re in a trattoria in Tuscany. The wall murals, combined with the rustic décor, set off the beautiful brick oven pies wonderfully! You’ll find a wide variety of unusual combinations when you want to try something a little different. The La Ricardo is topped with pancetta and smoked mozzarella, atop a delicious butternut squash puree.

Napoli’s Best Pizza

This friendly, family-owned, neighborhood joint is what getting a slice is all about! Head over to East Tremont and for $2.50, buy your slice of heaven. This place keeps the old pizza-making tradition alive through the generations. Even as employees take over these cozy little pizza places, they stick with the tried and true methods that create the perfect pizza.

Patricia’s

Patricia’s has the art of the brick oven down to perfection. This family-run Italian place serves pizza and a whole variety of Italian favorites. A fan favorite is the Regina. This pizza with the hearty crust is topped with fresh tomato, fresh basil, and buffalo mozzarella. Are you looking for a vegetarian pizza treat? Try their La Gardinia, which is topped with Portobello mushrooms, grilled eggplant, and zucchini. While you’re waiting for your pie, you might want to try some of their seared octopus as an appetizer…it’s great!

Full Moon Pizzeria

When you’re in the mood for Italian in the Bronx, head for Arthur Ave…the place to be when you get that craving. Full Moon Pizzeria is an upscale pizza parlor and a little pricier than some of the other places we mentioned. Still, a plain slice at $3, or a topped slice for $4 won’t break the bank. The crust here is thin, crispy, and delicious! You can tell that they use the freshest ingredients and that they demand high-quality ingredients for their pizza.

Are You Hungry Yet?

This list gives you plenty of inspiration to do your own research for the best pizza in the Bronx. Happy Hunting!

MORE AUTOMOBILE RECALLS

It’s not even Labor Day, but automobile makers have already recalled more vehicles in 2014 than in any other year in history. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 37.5 million cars, vans, and trucks have been recalled so far this year in the United States; the previous record was 30.8 million in 2004. Although faulty ignition switches on GM vehicles receive most of the media’s attention, Ford, Subaru, Nissan, Chrysler, Hyundai, Mazda, BMW, Toyota, Honda, Lexus and Kia have all announced recalls this year, according to the NHTSA. If you’re injured in New York City in a traffic accident, and the cause of your injury was a defect in one of the vehicles, you may have grounds for a product liability claim against the vehicle’s manufacturer. If you’re injured this way, speak at once to an experienced Bronx product liability attorney.

The truth is, product liability claims are one reason for this year’s record number of recalls. Auto manufacturers are increasingly aware that design flaws and defectively-made products are eventually going to cost them in court, so they’ve become pro-active, sometimes recalling vehicles at the first sign of trouble. Still, the number of recalls this year is troubling because it means plenty of defective vehicles are still on the streets in New York City and across the nation.

If you or someone you love is injured in an accident with a defective vehicle in New York City, it’s important for you to speak to a good auto accident lawyer about your injury and your legal rights. An experienced product liability attorney can assess the specifics of your case, outline your legal options, and guide you through all the paperwork, filings, and legal hearings that will likely ensue. In the New York City area, be sure to have your case handled by an experienced Bronx auto accident attorney.

LEAD POISONING AND YOU

Although we’ve known about it for years, lead poisoning can still be a genuine public health risk. In 2009, for example, 189 lead poisoning cases were reported in the Bronx and 515 in Brooklyn. If you become sick anywhere in the New York area because a landlord has failed to inform you about the dangers of lead paint in a rental property, you may have grounds for filing a personal injury lawsuit, and you’ll want the help of an experienced Bronx personal injury attorney.

One landlord in Florida has been so irresponsible regarding the dangers of lead paint that he’s now the target of a criminal prosecution. Michael Moshe Shimshoni, 56, was indicted last December by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa. Shimshoni is charged with four counts of failing to present approved lead paint warnings to his tenants. He could serve a year in federal prison for each count. Shimshoni’s many rental properties in St. Petersburg have generated numerous nuisance complaints for years in that city.

Lead poisoning is no trivial matter. It causes learning disabilities, stunted growth, delayed development, seizures, and it sometimes leads to death. Peeling lead-based paint in older buildings and homes is the most common source of lead poisoning. Sometimes residential soil has been contaminated by lead; it can also contaminate drinking water through old plumbing. If you’ve suffered a personal injury due to the neglect of a landlord in Bronx County or anywhere in the New York City area, speak with an experienced Bronx personal injury attorney immediately. You may win compensation for medical expenses and lost wages, and in some cases you may be awarded punitive damages as well. A good personal injury lawyer can assess your lead poisoning case and suggest your best legal options. Nothing is more important than your family’s health and legal rights. If you’ve been injured, don’t hesitate to talk with an experienced Bronx personal injury attorney – today.

CHECK YOUR TIRES ROUTINELY

In the United States, 1972 was the tragic year when 54,589 people died in traffic accidents – more than any other year on record. By 2012, that figure had dropped by about 38 percent. It’s hard now to recall that auto manufacturers weren’t even required to install seat belts before 1968, or that prior to 1984 not a single state required seat belt use. In the intervening years, the advances in automobile safety have been astounding. And with driverless, computer-driven cars and computer-managed traffic right around the corner, the prospects are bright for even safer streets and fewer fatalities.

Some safety advances – air bags, for instance – take little thought or maintenance. We know the air bags are there if we need them. But other parts of your vehicle, especially your lights, brakes, and tires, wear out and require regular maintenance or replacement. Low tire pressure, for example, causes you to spend more at the gas pump, but it’s also quite dangerous. About 200,000 accidents a year in the U.S. are attributable to under-inflated tires, leading to about 33,000 injuries and about 660 fatalities annually, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Some automobiles now have a warning light to tell drivers when a tire is under-inflated; however, the light is designed only to display when tires are about 25 percent deflated, and that’s a lot. The wisest strategy is to check your tire pressure yourself routinely.

If you’re injured in a traffic accident, and an under-inflated tire is the cause of your accident and injury, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the driver or against the business or mechanic who maintains that driver’s vehicle. If you’re injured this way in Bronx County or anywhere in the New York area, speak at once with an experienced Bronx personal injury attorney. A good personal injury lawyer will look at the evidence, consult with experts, and determine who is responsible for your injury. You may receive compensation for your medical expenses, lost earnings, and more. If you’re hurt in any traffic collision in the New York area now or in the future, protect yourself and speak right away with an experienced Bronx auto accident attorney.