Sunday, July 5, 2015

New Development at 640 West 238th Street

Demolition of a one family house at 640 West 238th Street took place. West 238th Street in front of 649 West 238th Street has an island in the middle of the street that divides the road into east and west roadways. These roadways are very narrow as you will see in the photos below, and that the demolition vehicles had to go on to the island to maneuver in such a tight area, and the resulting damage to the island.

Above -Demolition truck is blocking West 238th Street in front of a one story house that has been torn down to make way for a 27 unit (or larger) building.
Below - Demolition truck has very little room to maneuver in front of 640 West 238th Street. 

Above - What the corner of the Island in the middle of West 238th Street looks like after the demolition of the one family house at 640 West 238th Street. 
Below - A head on photo of just how little room there is to maneuver large demolition or even building equipment in front of 640 West 238th Street. Note that only one panel truck can be parked on the sidewalk in front of 640 West 238th Street.

Above - You can see that this truck is right next to the homes to the east of 640 West 238th Street in the tiny lot that was a one family home.
Below - You can see the very same truck and driver, and now see how little room is on the other side to the west which is adjacent to the Bonnie House Coop where a one story building once stood..

One last photo to show how small the lot is at 640 West 238th Street, and the problems with the size of the lot.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

STATEMENT FROM BP DIAZ RE: NBC’s Firing of Donald Trump

RE: NBC’s Firing of Donald Trump

"NBC's actions today should send a strong message to Donald Trump that hateful, divisive rhetoric will not be tolerated, and that such rhetoric has real consequences,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Editor's Note:
We agree 100 Percent with BP Diaz on the matter. 
If Presidential Candidate Donald Trump is looking for publicity he has gotten it, however it is the wrong type of publicity that a candidate running for office wants. We suggest that Candidate Trump speak to his consultants on how to learn how to keep his mouth shut.

A Message From George Pataki to Donald Trump

This came to us by way of Pataki for President, Inc.


132 East 43rd Street #614
New York, NY 10017

July 1, 2015

Governor Jeb Bush 
Ben Carson
Governor Chris Christie
Senator Ted Cruz
Carly Fiorina
Senator Lindsey Graham 
Governor Mike Huckabee
Governor Bobby Jindal
Governor John Kasich
Senator Rand Paul
Governor Rick Perry 
Senator Marco Rubio
Senator Rick Santorum
Governor Scott Walker

CC: Donald Trump

Dear Fellow Republican candidates for president, 
“And some, I assume, are good people.”
The last week of news coverage over the language used by Donald Trump to describe Mexicans has left me and a lot of other sensible people wondering what century we are living in.
One hundred years ago, when Irish immigrants were coming to America, my grandmother among them, they were too often characterized as "drunks."   A few years later it was the Italian immigrants, my grandfather among them, who were called "mobsters" or worse, "dagos." This type of divisive rhetoric is just wrong.  It was wrong 100 years ago and it’s wrong today.  
Yet here we are in 2015 and a leading candidate for the GOP nomination for president is calling Mexicans criminals, rapists and drug dealers.  This is unacceptable.

I understand we must secure our border and stop illegal immigration.  But I also understand that it’s not some Mexicans who are good people, it is the vast majority of Mexicans, who came here to work, succeed and live the American Dream.
My fellow Republicans like to talk about how we have to appeal to the Latino vote if we are going to win back the White House.  They speak some Spanish, boast about "telling it like it is," or counsel to not be afraid to lose the primary to win the general – yet so far have been silent when it comes to denouncing these sad and divisive remarks.
The next President of the United States will represent all Americans.  We won’t win by dividing Americans against one another and we certainly can’t govern effectively doing so. We must secure the border, save American jobs, and have a leader in the White House world leaders can respect.
But we also must have a leader in the White House all Americans can respect, not just some.
As Donald Trump doubles down, I’m asking you to join me in standing up.  Stand up for our party, for the ideals that made America great, and stand for the basic decency and integrity entitled to every American, no matter their heritage or nationality.

Join me.  Stand up now.  Denounce his comments today. 



Governor George Pataki

Paid for by Pataki for President, Inc.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Former State Senate Leader Malcolm Smith And Former Queens GOP Leader Vincent Tabone Sentenced In White Plains Federal Court RE - 2013 New York City Mayor’s Race

  Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that former New York State Senate leader MALCOLM SMITH was sentenced today to seven years in prison for bribing New York City Republican Party leaders, including Queens County Republican Party Vice Chairman VINCENT TABONE, as part of a scheme to allow SMITH, a Democrat, to run as a Republican candidate for New York City Mayor in 2013 and for his role in obtaining New York State funding for a real estate project in Spring Valley, New York, in exchange for cash bribes paid on his behalf to the New York City Republican Party officials.  TABONE was sentenced to 42 months in prison for receiving bribes and witness tampering.  Both were convicted after a three-and-a-half week jury trial before U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas, who imposed today’s sentences.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Bribes and kickbacks should never play a role in the selection of candidates for public office.  By attempting to buy and sell a spot on New York City’s Mayoral ballot, Malcolm Smith and Vincent Tabone corrupted one of the most fundamental tenets of the democratic process, that candidates cannot bribe their way onto a ballot.  Today’s sentences make clear that the cost of violating the public trust in this way will be measured in years in a federal prison.”
According to the Complaint and the Indictment filed in federal court and the evidence presented at trial:
The Bribery and Extortion Schemes
SMITH was first elected to the New York State Senate in November 2000, and represented a district within Queens, New York.  He was chairman of the Independent Democratic Conference of the State Senate and, among other positions, has served as the State Senate’s minority leader, majority leader, and acting lieutenant governor.  From about November 2012, through April 2, 2013, SMITH agreed with former New York City councilman Daniel Halloran, who was convicted in a separate trial, and an undercover FBI agent posing as a wealthy real estate developer (the “UC”), and a cooperating witness (“CW”) to bribe New York City Republican Party county leaders, including TABONE, in exchange for their authorization for SMITH to appear as a Republican candidate for New York City Mayor in 2013, even though SMITH is a registered Democrat.
SMITH participated in two overlapping criminal schemes that involved the payment of bribes to obtain official action.  First, SMITH, a registered Democrat, authorized the payment of $110,000 in cash bribes to be paid to leaders of the New York City Republican Party, including TABONE, so that they would allow SMITH to run for mayor on the Republican Party’s ballot line.  Second, SMITH agreed to use his influence to help steer at least $500,000 in New York State transportation funding to a real estate project the UC and CW had proposed to develop in Spring Valley, New York, in exchange for the UC and CW paying bribes on SMITH’s behalf to the New York City Republican Party Chairs.
In furtherance of the scheme, SMITH authorized the UC and the CW to meet TABONE, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Queens County Republican Party, Joseph Savino, the Chairman of the Bronx County Republican Party, and other party leaders.  During a meeting with the UC, TABONE accepted a $25,000 cash bribe in a dimly lit SUV parked in front of a Manhattan restaurant and agreed to accept another $25,000 after his committee authorized SMITH to compete in the Republican primary. Savino similarly accepted a $15,000 cash bribe and agreed to accept another $15,000 after he voted to authorize SMITH to compete for the Republican ballot line.  In return for his efforts in negotiating the bribes, Daniel Halloran accepted $15,500 as a down payment on a “broker’s” fee of at least $75,000 and expected to be appointed First Deputy Mayor if Smith was elected mayor.
Witness Tampering
Shortly before the start of a previously scheduled trial, the Government sought permission from the Court to take the deposition of Philip Ragusa, the former Chairman of the Queens County Republican Party. Ragusa, who was gravely ill at the time, was expected to testify favorably to the Government.  Over TABONE’s objections, the Court ordered the deposition to take place.  TABONE unexpectedly appeared at Ragusa’s home an hour before the scheduled start of the deposition and attempted to pressure Ragusa not to testify against him.
*            *           *
SMITH, 58, of Queens, was also sentenced to two years of supervised release.  TABONE, 48, of Queens, was sentenced to one year supervised release and ordered to forfeit $25,000.  SMITH was ordered to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on September 21, 2015.  TABONE was ordered to surrender October 1, 2015.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office.
This case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division and Public Corruption Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Douglas B. Bloom, Justin Anderson and Perry Carbone are in charge of the prosecution.

1135 Pelham Parkway North UPDATE


DOB, City & State agencies heed Klein’s call to take action against Bronx landlord who deprived rent-stabilized tenants of gas for 29 days

Stop work orders issued on Goldfarb owned property for endangering the health and safety of Bronx tenants
After State Senator Jeff Klein called for an immediate investigation of Bronx slumlord Phillip Goldfarb for the flagrant harassment and unlawful eviction of tenants in The Bronx, representatives from the New York City Department of Buildings today issued two stop work orders on 1135 Pelham Parkway North. The New York State Department of Housing and Community Renewal, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and New York State Attorney General’s office also visited the property to meet with residents and inspect the building.

In total, two stop work orders were issued. The DOB issued the first stop work order for plumbing work being conducted throughout the entire building that left tenants without gas service for 29 days. The second was issued on an individual apartment where haphazard construction has been taking place for months.

Senator Klein said, “No tenant should be the target of illegal discrimination or systematic harassment by dishonest, scamming landlords while trying to make a home for themselves and their families. The stop work orders issued today by the DOB on this property send a message to slumlords across the five boroughs that they will be held accountable and that this kind of misconduct will not be tolerated. I commend the joint efforts of New York’s city and state agencies to protect the health and safety of Bronx tenants and I look forward to working together to to combat tenant harassment in New York now and into the future.”

With ongoing construction at 1135 Pelham Parkway North, tenants in the building have been forced to use hot plates to cook their meals. Goldfarb Properties has made no concessions or provided any accommodations to residents who have been without heat or gas during this period.

For more than a year, residents at Goldfarb Properties in The Bronx have been victims of persistent threats by management, dragged to court under false filings, received non-rent regulated lease renewals and had their rents both unfairly and substantially increased. Mr. Goldfarb has repeatedly endangered the health and welfare of tenants – cutting off all elevator access for elderly and disabled residents, removing security systems and forbidding tenants from using buildings’ parking garages.  

“We are very grateful to Senator Klein for the great strides he has made against these very terrible and troublesome landlords. Thank you to Attorney General Schneiderman, the DOB and HPD for their swift action and involvement in protecting tenants in The Bronx. Let today’s occurrences put all landlords on notice that tenants have rights and we will exercise those rights to keep from living in less than equal conditions, free from landlord harassment and from lack of building-wide services like gas, hot water, or easy access for our handicap-able tenants. We will not stand for this treatment,” said Andrew Goebel, Tenant Leader at 1135 Pelham Parkway North.

In 2009, Senator Klein passed landmark legislation that provided New York State with the toughest tenant protection laws in the nation. Penalties for landlords found in violation of DHCR rules and regulations increased from $250 to $1,000 for the first offense, and $1,000 to $2,000 for the second offense. Fines were also strengthened for landlords found guilty of any form of tenant harassment – regardless of whether their actions were intended to drive tenants from their homes – from $1,000 to $2,000 for the first offense, and $5,000 to $10,000 for subsequent offenses.

The Bronx Chamber of Commerce holds the largest Business Exposition in the Bronx

   The Bronx Chamber of Commerce held its largest Business Exposition at The Mall at Bay Plaza on Tuesday, June 30, 2015. Bronx Chamber of Commerce President Lenny Caro called this Business Expo the largest in the BCC's history. Mr. Caro said that the BCC is bringing Bronx Business's to the people of the Bronx. Also on hand were several health providers who provided varies free health screenings to the attendees of the Business Expo. 
   On hand were State Senator Ruth Hassel-Thompson who applauded the work of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce, and welcomed everyone to her district in which Bay Plaza lies. Assemblyman Michael Blake was also on hand telling of the grueling experience of the past state legislative session, but that he is not afraid to work longer and harder if there is results. He also hailed the 2,000 jobs that were created in the area for Bronx residents. The rest of the story is in the photos of the BCC Business Expo below.

Above - Left and Right are photos from above the BCC Business Expo in the Bay Plaza Mall.

Above- A view from the second floor of the Bay Plaza Mall of one section of the BCC Business Expo.
Below - On the Business Expo floor Milea Auto Sales on the left, and NECB on the right. Behind are more Bronx Businesses, and you can see where the BCC booth in the background. 

Above Left - Capital Bank was on hand at the BCC Business Expo. Capital Bank has several branches throughout the Bronx. 
Right -  The Bronx Driving School located on Castle Hill Avenue was also on hand to offer some safe driving tips. 

Above - Nursing students from Mercy College were doing health Screening in conjunction with Montefiore Hospital.
Below BCC President Lenny Caro poses with some of the many BCC business members.

Above - BCC President Lenny Caro is joined by most of the venders for the official ribbon cutting ceremony of the new mall at Bay Plaza.
Below - Bcc President Caro cuts the ribbon.

BCC Chairman Joe Kelleher is speaking, as State Senator Ruth  Hassel-Thompson is on the left, Bcc President Lenny caro in the middle, with Assemblyman Michael Blake next, and BCC Executive Director Michelle Dolgow-Cristofaro on the right.   

Rent Guidelines Board Freezes One Year Leases - Response by Elected Officials


Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is praising this evening’s vote of the Rent Guidelines Board, which voted to freeze rents for rent stabilized tenants with one-year leases and to approve a two percent increase for tenants with two-year leases.

“Tonight’s vote of the Rent Guidelines Board is historic, and will provide meaningful relief for over one million tenants in this City. For too long, the people have seen their rents, and their cost of living, continue to rise while their paychecks did not follow suit. This rent freeze is a tremendous step in the right direction for the people of this city,” said Borough President Diaz.

Borough President Diaz added that his office was willing to help landlords keep their own costs down as well, and invited interested property owners to reach out to his office for information on the “The Bronx Clean Energy and Housing Initiative.”

The program, which is being spearheaded by Borough President Diaz, endeavors to partner government funding with private dollars to provide green retrofits to older residential buildings in The Bronx.

“Tonight’s vote is only a piece in the puzzle of affordable. Through programs like ‘The Bronx Clean Energy and Housing Initiative,’ we can green our existing housing stock, keep energy costs low for property owners while simultaneously keeping rents affordable for tenants,” said Borough President Diaz. “My office is ready to work with Bronx property owners on the critical issue of affordability, and I encourage all interested parties to reach out to my office to discuss this innovative program.”

Borough President Diaz’s testimony earlier this month before the Rent Guidelines Board can be found at

Council Member Andrew Cohen applauds the decision made last night by the Rent Guidelines Board, which voted to freeze the rent for tenants living in rent stabilized apartments with one-year leases and approved a two percent increase for tenants with two-year leases.

“The decision made last night by the Rent Guidelines Board was a historic moment and will help millions of New Yorkers to continue to live in their homes. Tenants living throughout the City have worried for too long that the cost of living would exceed their budget. This rent freeze has provided a sense of relief to these residents and will prove to be the right step forward for people living in the City on fixed incomes,” said Council Member Cohen.

State Senator Adriano Espaillat -   "While I believe a rent role back is appropriate, the Rent Guidelines Board's historic decision to freeze rents will help keep New York affordable for over two million tenants," said State Senator Adriano Espaillat , the Ranking Member of the Senate's Housing Committee. Making sure working and middle class New Yorkers have a home in this city is paramount to its future. Tenants are being asked to pay an ever increasing percentage of their income towards rent, while landlords have increased their profits due to relatively flat operating costs."

Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, Deputy Leader and Chair of the Council's Housing and Buildings Committee, -   "Today is a win for the tenants of New York. As Chair of the Council's Housing and Buildings Committee, I am thrilled that the Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) has for the first time in its history voted to freeze rent for 1.2 million rent stabilized tenants. Tonight's vote sends a clear message that the City of New York is determined to provide relief for its residents, unlike Governor Cuomo and Albany who recently enacted detrimental rent laws that could eliminate approximately 90,000 affordable housing units due to deregulation over the next four years-- units that do not just provide an affordable price point for tenants, but offer protections against arbitrary evictions as well. Separately, due to Albany's inability to close unresolved loopholes with preferential rent, approximately 27% of tenants could see their rent go up by thousands of dollars, regardless of tonight's RGB decision and without advance notice. 

"Even though Governor Cuomo completely and thoroughly let New York City tenants down, we've found solace tonight from one of the most unlikely of places: the RGB. Throughout the RGB's history, the Board has always asked what the annual increase should be, not whether an increase was needed at all. This year was different, so for that I thank them. As we move forward, I will continue to work with advocates and elected officials to solve our affordable housing crisis so that New York City can become a place for all to thrive."

Assemblyman Victor Pichardo - “For the first time in its 46-year history, the Rent Guidelines Board voted in favor of a rent freeze for tenants in rent-stabilized apartments with one-year leases. This historic move will help provide meaningful relief to the more than 1.2 million tenants whose leases expire this year. Combined with the extension and enhancement of rent regulations that I helped fight for, this freeze is another step in strengthening tenants’ rights and helping renters stay in their homes while keeping more of their hard-earned money

“I believe that every New Yorker deserves to have the economic security to take care of themselves and their family. Unfortunately, too many of my Bronx neighbors struggle to make ends meet because their incomes have not kept pace with rising housing costs, and that’s unacceptable. As a steadfast tenant advocate, I will continue fighting to not only make housing more affordable, but to raise the minimum wage so that families have the opportunity to better their lives and no longer have to choose between paying their bills and putting food on the table.”