Saturday, October 24, 2015



By Robert Press

Build it Anyhow - CPC 

    The move for more affordable housing moves on in the Northwest Bronx. On Wednesday October 28th  Bronx Community Boards Seven and Eight will be holding public meetings on the City Planning Commission plan known as Land Use Review Application N160049ZRY. Explanation - The Department of City Planning is proposing a set of targeted changes to zoning regulations to support the creation of new affordable housing under the Mayor’s ten-year, five-borough Housing New York plan.  
    The Community Board seven meeting begins at 6:30 PM at the Sister Annunciata Bethel Senior Center located at 243 East 204th Street (between Valentine Avenue and Mosholu Parkway). Also on the agenda is the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing text amendment which will come first. If you plan to attend the Community Board seven meeting prepare for a long stay as this meeting should last for several hours. 
    The Community Board eight meeting begins at 7:30 PM at the Riverdale Jewish Center located at 3700 Independence Avenue at the corner of West 237th Street. Community Board eight has already held a meeting on the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing text amendment in which there were several questions that appeared to remain unanswered. I am sure the same will happen at the Community Board seven meeting. 
    The mayor was so proud that he had met his first year goal of achieving over twenty thousand units of affordable housing. With the recent Stuyvesant City agreement to save five-thousand more units of affordable housing this year, why then is the mayor pushing to have text amendments to the land use process for even more units when the goal is being met? Several community boards citywide have voiced their opposition to the proposed zoning text amendments, and there seems to be no good reason why Bronx Community Boards seven and eight will not be added to the list if not many more citywide. 
   Check the posting on this blog that Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has said that just under 100,000 more Bronxites are employed then when he took office in 2009. When BP Diaz took over in 2009 as the Borough's ranking elected official unemployment in the Bronx was in double digits. The Department of Labor has released the September 2015 unemployment rate for the Bronx to be at 6.6 percent down from 8.7 percent a year ago. 
    Speaking of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. - the Tour De Bronx will take off on Sunday from the Bronx Courthouse on East 161st Street at 10 AM, and riders are encouraged to get there by 9 AM to sign in. There is a 25 mile ride and a 40 mile ride that riders can take, and both rides end at the Bronx Botanical Garden with the festival beginning at 2 PM.     
    The race for Bronx District Attorney is all but over, however it will be official on election day in November, Current Justice Darcel Clark the Democratic candidate will be the winner and new Bronx District Attorney. Ms. Clark will replace Robert 'Why would I want to become a Judge' Johnson who should be elected a Bronx Supreme Court Justice. Some questions to be answered on election day include on which line will Ms. Clark's opponent receive more votes the Republican or the Conservative line since he is running on both lines against the new Bronx DA Darcel Clark. Another question is will Judge Johnson have no opposition as he has when he ran for Bronx DA where he had the Democratic, Republican, and Conservative lines? The last question to be answered on election day will be if those who were so angry at the way the events unfolded at the Bronx Democratic County Judicial Convention remember what went on? One has to agree with Bronx Democratic County Leader Marcos Crespo who said "You may not like the results, but the election law process was followed, and change it if you do not like it".
   The New York Post however reports that likely new Bronx DA Darcel Clark as Justice Darcel Clark presided over six of the thirty-one times Kalief Browder came to trial. Kalief Browder committed suicide while he was held in the Rikers Island jail for three years without ever having a trial, claiming that he was innocent and being held for a crime he never committed. Charges against Browder were dropped after his death due to what was reported as inmate abuse over the three years he was awaiting trial. Had there been a primary battle for Bronx DA this information could have been used to help by any challenger.   
    Speaking of elections, now that current Vice-President Joe Biden has removed himself from the Democratic presidential process as a candidate, it looks like Hilary Clinton should be the Democratic candidate for president next year. The next question will be who will she be facing on the Republican side, and who will she choose as her running mate for Vice-President?
    Finally on the subject of elections, there will be a new congressman in the 15th Congressional district now that Charlie Rangel is stepping down. Rangel has endorsed current Manhattan Democratic County Leader Assemblyman Keith Wright, and Wright has picked up the endorsement of the United Firefighters Union most recently. Others ion the race are Adam 'I am going to reclaim my father's seat' Clayton Powell, State Senator Bill Perkins, and now Clyde Williams a candidate who received ten percent of the vote in the last election has announced that he will be running again this year for Congressman Rangel's seat. As of now State Senator Adriano Espaillat who ran twice before against Rangel has not announced if he intends to run.
     If you have any political information that you want to share or have checked out, any comments about this column, or would like to have an event listed or covered in this column or on my blog you can e-mail us at or call 718-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press.

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