Diaz to Albany: Give MTA back to NYC


Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr., wants the battle between the state and city over the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to end. And the only way to do that, he says, is to revert control of the MTA back to New York City.

“The MTA is adding a bigger burden on New Yorkers, our working class residents, by hiking fares on public transportation,” Diaz said, in a release. “We are continuing to pay more and more for less and less service each year. The current system is just not working, and commuters are sick and tired of being asked to spend more money for deplorable, subpar service.”

Putting MTA under city control is not a new concept, of course. The city’s buses and subways were once under the control of city government, until the state created the MTA in the 1960s.

Not much new has been built since then, and the aging system requires billions of dollars to just meet minimum service and safety standards.

Among different ideas to pay for that, however, is one that would hike standard fares of $2.75 for straphangers. Diaz says he doesn’t want to see an increase in fares until problems with service — including delays — are fixed.


5-0 loses beloved sergeant-at-arms

Thomas O’Connor, sergeant-at-arms for the New York Police Department’s 50th Precinct, died Jan. 25, according to Det. Mindy Ramos. He was 77.

A venerable presence within the 5-0, O’Connor had been ill for at least a few months, Ramos said. It was he who, as sergeant-at-arms, would open community council meetings and lay down ground rules, including what could — and could not — be asked. He served in that role for nearly three decades.

O’Connor received a pacemaker not long ago, said close family friend Sean Reddy. In fact, O’Connor even appeared to be on the mend.

O’Connor grew up in the South Bronx near East 156th Street and Melrose Avenue, the son of Thomas and Christina O’Connor.

One of the things Reddy said he’ll miss about his friend is O’Connor’s knack for making people laugh.

“He was dedicated to the community, involved in a lot of community events,” Reddy said. In fact, even though he was retired, he would still participate in community council meetings, becoming what Ramos called a regular — and highly esteemed — bearded presence.

A wake was scheduled for Wednesday, with a funeral Mass on Jan. 29 at 1 p.m., at St. John’s School on Kingsbridge Avenue.

— Zak Kostro


Still reading The Press

Robert Trick no longer lives in Riverdale, but that’s not stopping him from continuing to be a reader of The Riverdale Press. Trick, 95, lives in New Rochelle, but was a lifelong Riverdale resident.

And he was there for the first-ever edition of The Press in 1950, picking up bundles of the paper from founder David Stein’s apartment at 3900 Greystone Ave., and taking them to the post office at 149th Street.