Author Archives | nm2630

NYCHA Residents Fear New City Development Plans

NYCHA Residents Fear New City Development Plans

NYCHA Residents

Residents gather outside City Hall to fight against the New York Housing Authority’s plan to lease land in the projects to private developers. (Ntshepeng Motema/Uptown Radio)

Listen to the full piece: 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

INTRO: A new plan is taking shape that would change life inside New York City Housing Authority buildings. It would allow the Housing Authority to lease land to private developers. Some residents are protesting the idea, saying it would ruin their communities. Ntshepeng Motema reports.

Posted in City Life, Featured1 Comment

Diabetes May Affect More Than Expected

Listen to the full piece

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

HOST: More than half a million adults living in New York City have diabetes. Hundreds of thousands more may have the disease without knowing it – that’s according to a new report by the city’s health department. As Ntshepeng Motema reports, health experts say obesity remains a major cause of the disease.


People with diabetes are more likely to have heart attack,kidney failure and eventually go  blind.

And Obese people are likely to be diabetic.

Caroline Bohl is a Nutritionist and a Diabetes Educator at the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center in Washington Heights.

She says the number of patients has gone up in the past two years and she sees new patients every week, many of whom are young people.


I think what is becoming more disturbing is that,you are seeing more patients in their 30s 40s generally people that who were not even ten years ago who were not developing thi  s until they were fifty or sixty and we are sing a definite shift in younger people already.

The New Health Department report shows that diabetes is most prevalent in low income black,hispanic and asian communities.

In places where finding healthy food can be a challenge.

Most cannot afford a healthier lifestyle.

Bohl says the city needs to do more to help people eat better.


Making those foods lower cost,if the government,I mean we subsidize corn and all these kind of processed ingredients,maybe throwing a little more money into making fresh fruits and vegetables and very sessional things accessible to people it would make it easier for them.

Not far from the nutrition clinic is a Macdonalds

Bohl says its comes down to a person’s choice on what they decide to eat.

Two customers just bought big sodas 310 calories each .


Order number 14,enjoy the rest of your day. HE POURS HIS DRINK


I do not look at thE calories of the soda that I drink No.

Eliot Lebow runs a family center for diabetic people.


We gonna talk about how the illness is impacting their family and we are gonna talk about how they can change their communications so that their family can understand what they are going through.

He has been living with diabetes for 32 years.

He usually keeps a healthy diet,

but Lebot says sometimes all it takes is a little exercise.


There is a choice between taking the train a couple of stops and walking a couple of stops. and I always take the long way which is healthier and it makes you happy overall.

Lebow says the city needs to advocate more about testing for diabetes,

the same way it is done for breast and colon cancer.

This way maybe people will know their health status before it is too late.

Ntshepeng Motema,Columbia Radio News.

To get in touch with Eliot Lebow go to or

Posted in City Life, Health0 Comments

What Mandela Means to Me

Listen to the full piece

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

HOST: Nelson Mandela is an inspirational leader known around the world. Commentator Ntshepeng Motema says for South Africans like her, Mandela is more than just the man who fought against apartheid.

REPORTER: Every time Nelson Mandela goes back to the hospital I cannot help but worry his time has come.  At 94, Mandela, he keeps getting lung infections — complications from the tuberculosis he contracted during his 27 years in jail. During his more recent hospitalization in March, I found myself checking newswires every hour, and calling journalist friends and mother back home, asking, “Any news on the old man?”

For us South Africans, Mandela is not just our former president. He’s a beloved grandfather, a protector, and a symbol of what’s best about our country. We name everything after him. The Mandela Bridge, The Mandela University, The Mandela Children’s fund, The Mandela Soccer Cup. I mean the man’s face is even on our money.

My mother tells me to feel grateful to have grown up in a free South Africa. I was 10 when Mandela became president. Before then, my mother had to travel with her passport everywhere she went. The police would stop her when she went to places reserved for white people. She went to blacks-only schools, blacks-only restaurants and did hard labor, a blacks-only kind of a job.

I didn’t go through any of that. I went to a multi- racial school. I can go to any part of my country with no restrictions. Blacks and whites live side-by-side, in harmony.

Or at least, so it seems on paper. Sadly, almost twenty years on, South Africa remains divided. Racism has left the restaurants, but it’s alive at the dining room table. Behind closed doors, blacks say “White people have such a sense of entitlement. They forget that this is our land, and we could kick them out any time.” And I’ve heard white people say, “Black people are such savages, their government is corrupt, and I’m thinking of moving away.”

And then there’s the economic inequality. Wealth still remains in the hands of the white minority and a small black elite while the rest of the country is poor. Resentment bubbles under the surface and violence threatens to explode. Many fear that once Mandela is gone, his rainbow coalition will fall apart, whites against black, rich against poor. And what scares me is that, these days, we do not have the kind of leaders that can hold the country together.

Mandela may not be with us for much longer. And I would hate if something happened to him while I’m so far from home. I want to be able to hold hands with my countrymen when his time comes. But, then again, I think Mandela would want me to be here, in New York City, taking advantage of the opportunities he spent his life fighting for. So I’ll keep checking the newswires, texting my friends, calling my mom, desperate for the news I hope will never come.


Ntshepeng Motema met Nelson Mandela once. She says she’ll never forget the glow of his smile and the sparkle in his eyes.

Posted in Commentaries, The Globe0 Comments

Paychecks Can’t Save Some New Yorkers From Poverty

Listen to the full piece: 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

And now to economic news closer to home. More and more people in New York are getting jobs since the 2008 financial crisis, But many of those getting employed are also getting poorer. A recent report from the New York Think Tank Center for an Urban Future says that nearly half of all adult workers in the Bronx earn less money than they made before. Reporter Ntshepeng Motema went to Danielle Jacobsen’s apartment in the borough to find out how she makes a living.

Posted in City Life, Money0 Comments

New Report Finds Widespread Problems In Nursing Homes

HOST INTRO: A report by the U.S. Inspector General says many nursing home residents are not getting the care they need. The agency’s investigation discovered neglect and fraud at government-funded homes across the country. Ntshepeng Motema reports.

A physician giving antipsychotic drugs to a patient with no history of psychosis. This is just one error among the many cases documented by  the report. Don White is a Spokesman for the US Health and Human Services Department, which authored the report. He says some of the nursing homes do not even have proper care plans for patients.


If you do not have a care plan you do not have a guide for everyone providing care to that patient.

White says this is a requirement for monitoring a patient’s recovery progress.


You are going to have all sorts of professionals providing care. They might need to refer to that single care plan so that we have a co-ordination of services.

Another striking discovery that the report unearthed is fraud. Funding to run these nursing homes comes from Medicare. White says in some cases the homes are over-billing government.


We were actually looking at individual patient records and saw that the homes were billing for services that were not needed but increased the number of reimbursement to the institution.

New York has many traditional nursing homes that provide services to the elderly, mainly funded by Medicare. One such place is Silvercrest Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Queens. Director of Recreation Ann Simmons says Silvercrest is effective in meeting the needs of old people.


They would get care of nursing, they would get the right nutrition, they would keep up their ability to function, mobility, keep that going, everything we can as long as it is progressive and you know they do not get any sicker.

But Simmons says to ensure that patients are not mistreated, it is the responsibility of  family members to regularly check up on their loved ones.


If you are not going to make sure on a continuous basis that they are getting the best quality of care that they need then you do not know what is happening to them.

But what happens if a person does not have a family?

Luisa Gonzalez is 83 years old, she has Alzheimers disease and has no relatives. But she refuses to move into a nursing facility, opting for a more conventional way of being taken care of.


Do you like staying here?


Staying here, I do not mind, I live alone I have nobody at home.

For the past year Gonzalez has been  staying in the home of her caregiver,  Manuela Reverol, in the Bronx.

She says she prefers this arrangement to living alone.


It is lonely being alone I do not know how people do it, watch tv day and night, night and day that is not me, I like action, sometimes I go to the club, they play records there, life short is honey.

Reverol has been a paid caregiver for Gonzalez for two years. At first she went to her home five days a week.

Last year Gonzalez’s mental  condition worsened.

She left stove on while she was watching AND nearly setting her apartment on fire. It was not until a neighbor came knocking that Gonzalez realized what was happening. So the Reverol family took her in and are taking care of her at no additional cost.


Like most days at lunchtime Revelo is in the kitchen preparing a snack for Gonzalez.

Today Revelo’s daughter Denise is helping out.

Denise says her mother makes sure that Gonzalez is well taken care of.


So my mom pretty much makes sure that she takes all of her medication, like her Alzheimer medication and all her other medication because she gets jumpy and anxious, my mom takes her to the doctor and takes care of her.

To make sure that many more elderly people are as well looked after as Gonzalez, the Health and Human Services department wants a system where only nursing homes that are compliant with good quality care are funded.

Ntshepeng Motema, Columbia Radio News.

Posted in Health0 Comments

Relief Bus Provides Warmth, Friendship to Homeless

Listen to the full piece: 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

HOST INTRO: Spring might be just a week away and most New Yorkers are looking forward to warm and sunny days, but the winter chills have not yet left us. So a warm soup or hot chocolate still comes in handy, But not everyone can afford a cup. The Relief bus in East Harlem is helping feed the homeless but it gives them more than just a meal and provides prayer and friendship to those it serves. Ntshepeng Motema reports.

Posted in Voices of New York0 Comments

New York Venezuelans Mark Death of Hugo Chavez

New York Venezuelans Mark Death of Hugo Chavez

Chavez mourning at Venezuela Consulate

Portrait memorial of deceased Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at Venezuelan Consulate in New York City, Friday March 8, 2013. (Ntshepeng Motema/Uptown Radio)

Listen to the full piece:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

HOST: In Venezuela, President Hugo Chavez’s funeral is underway. Thousands of citizens filed past his coffin and dozens of foreign leaders paid their respects. Cuba’s Raul Castro and Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were among those saying good-byes. Venezuelans in New York also marked the death of the socialist leader, who passed away on Tuesday. Ntshepeng Motema filed this report.

Posted in Featured, The Globe0 Comments

How Sequester Budget Cuts Will Change Daily Life

Listen to the full piece: 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Congressional leaders have failed — once again — to reach a last minute agreement to avoid the 85 billion dollar budget cuts, known as the sequester. President Obama said some cuts are still on the table. Here’s what he had to say today.

I am prepared to take on the problem where it exists on entitlements and do some things that my own party really doesn’t like if it’s part of the broader package of sensible deficit.

I spoke with Sam Stein, the Senior Political Correspondent at the Huffington Post, about how this might change life for you and me.

Posted in Interviews, Money and Politics0 Comments

Breast Cancer Screenings for Women without Health Insurance

Listen to the full piece: 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 According to the American Cancer society, many women make fewer visits to the doctor because they don’t have health insurance. St. Barnabas hospital in the Bronx has a plan to bring mammograms to the women who need them. My co-host, Ntshepeng Motema (en-SEP-eng mo-TAY-mah) has the story.

The new mobile mammogram van parked outside St Barnabas Hospital actually looks more like a recreational van.

But walk inside and it’s more like a regular doctor’s office – there’s a waiting room, magazines to go through while you wait and water for refreshment.

Bert Petersen is the director of the Breast Surgery Department at St Barnabas.

The first thing you would do is you would go right into this room this is where you disrobe ad get ready for the services that we can provide. Then we also have this room right here where we also do clinical breast exam.

St. Barnabas has had a mobile mammography van before – their last one has been out of commission for the past two years due to outdated equipment.
As he walks visitors through the van, Dr. Petersen points out some key features of the latest offering.

Starting with this right here, so this is the data collection system, this links immediately to our electronic medical records. And the we go right back into this room what is exciting here is state of the art digital mammography which is really key in the new fight against breast cancer because 15% of breast cancers are missed by mammography.

He says a lot of lives could be saved if more women would just get checked out before it’s too late.

There is free coverage for mammography in New York State many women do not realize that it is just a matter of applying and meeting certain qualifications.

But the trick is getting this information to those women.

Arlene Riviera who helps patients understand how the system works says their efforts to reach the community are already paying off. Since they aired commercials about the van a day ago she has had more than 20 women call.
Our phones have been ringing I have had women call me I have had in just a matter of a day or a day and a half say to me I was at home watching t.v and I saw you guys offer free screenings I am age forty I do not have insurance, they have just been calling.

Some women who make appointments come to the hospital.Inside St Barnabas a patient, who does not wish to identify herself, has just come out of a checkup. She is one of the lucky ones with health insurance and she says all women need to get checked.

You have to know about your body and health if you want to live longer, if you do not know that’s how you get sick and you die before your time.

The new van will start making weekly rounds around the neighborhood from next week.
Ntshepeng Motema, Columbia Radio News.

Posted in Health0 Comments