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Mexican Ambassador to the U.S., Arturo Sarakhun Casamitjana, said in a press release that Mr. Engel has become a “key actor in building upon the unprecedented levels of cooperation that Mexico and the U.S. enjoy today” and refers to him as a “true ally.”


Engel’s building troubles



Two violations were issued in 2009 in relation to a building Rep. Eliot Engel owns in the Bronx for an illegal basement apartment, according to a spokesperson for the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.



Mr. Engel and a business partner, Harry Bajraktari, own the building at 1142 Metcalf Ave. in the Bronx.

The Daily News originally reported the story over the weekend, drawing attention to the property.

Mr. Engel contends that he and his business partner — who handles the day-to-day duties as landlord — have been trying to evict the tenant living in the illegal basement apartment for two years, according to a spokesman for Mr. Engel. 

After buying the property, HPD told Mr. Bajraktari and Mr. Engel they had to either discontinue use of the basement for living or file plans to obtain a new Certificate of Occupancy, according to HPD.

Two weeks ago, a housing court judge ruled in their favor and the tenant is required to leave by the end of the month. 


Gustavo slims down



State Sen. Gustavo Rivera lost six pounds since he began the Bronx Change Attitudes Now (CAN) Health Initiative in June. At an event on Saturday at the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center, the freshman senator jumped on the scale and talked about eating healthy. 



“I live in the same community and walk by the same fried chicken spots and pizza parlors, but I have made a commitment to lead a healthier life and to help educate my neighbors about the importance of developing healthy habits that will last a lifetime,” he said in a press release.

His goal is to lose 20 pounds by Friday, Oct. 24.


BP, DEP tour reservoir



Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and local pols toured Jerome Park Reservoir on Tuesday with Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway to check out the possibility of public access. 



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