Saturday, November 21, 2015

100 Percent Saturday November 21, 2015


By Robert Press


     That was what the Bronx Borough Board said to the two City Planning Commission proposals called MIH and ZQA when the vote was over. All 12 Bronx Community Boards said no to both even after boards 6 and 9 had originally voted in favor of the two CPC proposals. It seems that both CB 6 and CB 9 were somewhat confused by the quickness of the presentation at their board level, and thought that they had to vote on the night of the presentation to them by CPC. After some clarity, and the second presentation at the borough level both boards that were in favor suddenly realized that Bronxites were united from all over the borough that the MIH and ZQA zoning Text Amendments were wrong for the Bronx and for their community board. 
    All city council members with the exception of council member Mark-Vivirito who abstained, and council members Cabrera and Vacca who were absent voted to reject the MIH and ZQA proposals. Then it was Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.'s turn to vote, and he gave a short speech about what is wrong with the CPC MIH and ZQA proposals, and how the city can not make a one size fits all plan when the 51 neighborhoods of the Bronx are of their own character. What may be good for one neighborhood may not be good for another. BP Diaz's full comments can be found in the archive section of this blog
      Newly elected Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark has formed her transition team in order make the change in the office go as smooth as possible. the entire listing of her transition team can be found in the archive section .
    The Bronx Chamber of Commerce held their annual Veterans Brunch along with a Job/Resource fair last week, and over 200 Veterans from the various wars were in attendance. New President and CEO of the BCC Nunzio Del Greco was introduced by BCC Chairman Joe Kelleher, and Executive Director Michelle Dolgow-Christrofaro announced that she would be leaving the BCC to take a position with State Senator Jeff Klein. Photos of the event can be found on this blog.
      Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, and the North Bronx Democratic Club will be hosting their 1st Holiday Dinner (which is sure to become an annual event) on Tuesday December 1st at Maestro's Caterers located at 1703 Bronxdale Avenue from 6 - 9 PM. The Guest of Honor is New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and the Honorees include Norman Seabrook, Beatrice Castiglia Catuillo, Joseph Kelleher, and Meisha Ross Porter. For more information and to purchase tickets and/or journal ad, you can call 347-256-8719, or email The invitation is also on this blog just check the archive section.
    The trial of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is winding down as closing arguments are due next. The U.S. Attorney tried to carve out a scheme in different ways of Silver receiving 'Kickbacks' better know as client referrals on different occasions from different people. Silvers defense team claims that the U.S. Attorney did not prove its case and rested not calling a witness. We should have a verdict in this case before the first snowfall.
      The trial of former State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son Adam Skelos began with what seems to me to be an open and shut case of what use to be common in the Bronx. The U.S.Attorney claims that the elder Skelos used his influence as Senate Majority Leader to get his son Adam several no show jobs on different occasions. Is it a coincidence or as many have said 'What goes on in Albany Politics' that one of the same witnesses called by the U.S. Attorney for the Silver trial also testified in the Skelos trial.
     Lastly, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has announced that he is accepting applications for membership on any of the 12 Bronx Community Boards. Community Board members serve two year terms, and half the board members are up for reappointment every year. Some members leave, do not reapply, or in some rare cases are not reappointed to their respective community boards so new members are put on in their place. Applications are available at the Bronx Borough President's Community Board office, your local community board office, or online at . You can call the BP's Community Board office at 718-590-3914 for more information. The deadline for submission of a community board application for the next round of appointments is February 5, 2916.
      Look for a new newspaper that will be coming out in mid December that will featuire this column and my other column the Riverdale Report. More on this new exciting new newspaper in next column and on this blog.
       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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