Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that MARTIN MITCHELL, a/k/a “Tyliek,” pled guilty today to involvement in a racketeering conspiracy in connection with his membership in the “Big Money Bosses” (“BMB”), a violent street gang that operated primarily on White Plains Road from 215th Street to 233rd Street in the Bronx. As part of his guilty plea, MITCHELL admitted that he committed the murder of Keshon Potterfield, on or about June 22, 2014, in the vicinity of East 232nd Street in the Bronx. MITCHELL’s guilty plea was presided over by Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses.
Friday, December 30, 2016
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Arrest Of Georgia Man For Kidnapping, Heroin Trafficking, And Firearms Offenses
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, James J. Hunt, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York Division (“DEA”), George P. Beach II, Superintendent of the New York State Police (“NYSP”), and James P. O’Neill, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced the arrest of EDWIN CABRAL MORA, a/k/a “Sosa.” CABRAL MORA was arrested yesterday in Gwinnett County, Georgia, and was presented today before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the Northern District of Georgia and detained on consent.
Defendant Slashed Victim’s Throat, Inflicting Near-Fatal Injury
Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that a Manhattan man has been charged with Attempted Murder and other crimes for slashing the throat of a fellow Rikers Island inmate, causing a life-threatening injury.
District Attorney Clark said “The defendant allegedly slashed the inmate’s throat, inflicting a wound that nearly caused the victim’s death. We will prosecute such vicious attacks to the fullest extent to eradicate inmate-on-inmate violence, and all violence, in Rikers Island jails.”
District Attorney Clark said that the defendant, Shawn Young, 32, of 2363 Seventh Ave., Manhattan, has been charged with second-degree Attempted Murder, first- and third degree Assault, three counts of second-degree Assault, first- and second-degree Promoting Prison Contraband and fourth-degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon. He was arraigned today before Deputy Administrative Bronx Supreme Court Justice Eugene Oliver, who set bail at $50,000. Young is due back in court on March 27, 2017 and faces up 25 years in prison if convicted of the top charge.
According to the investigation, on September 9, 2016, Young was involved in an altercation with another inmate in an intake cell at the Anna M. Kross Center, and slashed the inmate’s throat with a sharp metal object. He required surgery at Bellevue Hospital.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez of the Rikers Island Prosecution Bureau, under the supervision of Sonya Tennell, Supervisor of the Rikers Island Prosecution Bureau, James Brennan, Deputy Chief of the Rikers Island Prosecution Bureau, and Deanna G. Logan, Chief of the Rikers Island Prosecution Bureau, under the overall supervision of Stuart Levy, Deputy Chief of the Investigations Division, and Jean T. Walsh, Chief of the Investigations Division.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.
On, State Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz, together with the New York Hispanic Clergy Organization, Radio Vision Cristiana International, Radio Cantico Nuevo, Assembly Members Marcos Crespo and Luis Sepulveda, NYC Councilmember Rafael Salamanca, and different community organizations, will be celebrating the Visit of the Three Kings to the Bronx.
The Three Kings Day Visit to the Bronx, a traditional Hispanic cultural celebration, will take place in Public School #5 located at 564 Jackson Avenue, on the corner of East 149th Street.
During this annual event, the first 500 children between the ages of 1-9 years old will receive a toy. School-age children will also receive a book bag with school supplies.
“Live music and entertainment will be provided for the children,” stated Senator Díaz.
Note: Children must be present in order to receive a free toy.
For more information, please contact Ms. Leila Martinez, Senator Diaz’s Director of Operations at 718-991-3161
Public Advocate Letitia James was asked by a reporter from the New York Post if she would be endorsing Mayor Bill de Blasio for re-election today. The answer Public Advocate James who has been a supporter of Mayor de Blasio came as a shock to some when she described the investigation of the mayor 'Very Serious'. James backtracked from the position of support in August, to today's declining to endorse the mayor. Read the entire New York Post article at http://nypost.com/2016/12/30/letitia-james-declines-to-endorse-de-blasio/
Thursday, December 29, 2016
GREAT 2016 - GREATER 2017
Dear Members & Friends:
Your participation, support and membership in The Bronx Chamber of Commerce is sincerely appreciated!
- Over 100 new companies have joined The Bronx Chamber in the past 12 months.
- Over 65 seminars/workshops, Interview and Job Fairs and networking events were sponsored since January 2016.
- We will continue to expand our programs, services and networking events in 2017.
- The 2017 Bronx Business Directory & Resource Guide will list all members alphabetically and by category for referrals and new business contacts.
- The Directory will be distributed to more than 2,000 member businesses, new businesses, and select governmental offices.
- Membership in 2017 to the Bronx Chamber will significantly increase with your encouragement of additional companies to join.
- The 2017 Bronx Business Directory & Resource Guide will be updated each month with an addendum listing new members that join to benefit from referrals.
- Together, we WILL grow the Bronx Chamber of Commerce, enhance its influence and further improve the image of The Bronx.
The Bronx Chamber of Commerce is one of the most influential, professional and successful organizations and voice for businesses in Bronx County. Professionals and companies are drawn to the successful companies and active members affiliated with The Bronx Chamber of Commerce. BCC Membership includes businesses ranging from large corporations, Cultural Institutions, Universities and Colleges, Hospitals and Medical Centers, non-profits, and mid-sized to small companies.
My Best Wishes to you for a Happy, Healthy & Prosperous 2017 New Year!
Nunzio Del Greco
MAYOR DE BLASIO ANNOUNCES THAT CITI BIKE RIDES SURGED 40 PERCENT IN 2016 -- NEARLY 14 MILLION TRIPS TAKEN
New York City’s bike share system shatters annual ridership record for third consecutive year, exceeding 2015 record by 4 million trips
Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that Citi Bike had set another ridership record in 2016, with nearly 14 million trips – shattering the record set in 2015 by more than 4 million. The Citi Bike program, the largest bike-share program in North America, now regularly serves over 60,000 trips per day – on par with Boro Taxis and the Staten Island Ferry. By one estimate, this year’s record number of Citi Bike trips have kept New Yorkers out of carbon-producing vehicles, sparing nearly 5,000 tons of CO² out of New York City’s air.
“In 2016, we fulfilled our pledge to grow Citi Bike, a sustainable transit option, to a range of more diverse Manhattan and Brooklyn communities – from upper Manhattan to Red Hook,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “New Yorkers in these communities really took to Citi Bike, further cementing its reputation as the nation’s largest popular bike-share program. With more Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods slated to get bikes in 2017, we can continue to expect great things.”
“The expansion of Citi Bike in 2016 has brought record-breaking ridership and transformed neighborhoods,” said Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “We look forward to bringing Citi Bike to Astoria, Crown Heights and Prospect Heights in 2017. I thank Mayor Bill de Blasio for his leadership as well as the DOT and Motivate teams for working hard for another fantastic year for Citi Bike.”
“Citi Bike’s latest record shows that bike share is fulfilling its promise as a vital part of New York’s transportation network – increasing access to the city’ transit network and communities underserved by public transit,” said Motivate President and CEO Jay H. Walder. “Citi Bike riders are regularly taking 60,000 rides daily during peak months, and that number keeps growing thanks to innovative partnerships across the city that encourage people of all backgrounds to give blue bikes a try.”
Citi Bike served more than 60,000 trips on 23 different days this year; on , riders completed nearly 70,000 trips – a one-day system record. Operated by Motivate, a national leader in bike share, Citi Bike continues to attract the highest ridership volume of any bike share system in North America. This year’s record represents a 40 percent increase over the previous year, an indication that Citi Bike’s popularity continues to surge all across the city.
The Citi Bike program also added 139 stations and 2,000 bikes to its fleet in 2016 – expanding the network from Harlem to Red Hook in the second phase of an expansion plan that will double the size of the bike share network from 6,000 to 12,000 bikes by 2017. Citi Bike will continue to expand to Astoria, Prospect Heights and Crown Heights in the coming year.
”We are proud of our role in a public-private partnership that has created such a useful and enjoyable transportation solution for New York City,” said Citi Head of Public Affairs Edward Skyler. “Most importantly, we appreciate the Citi Bike riders who have continued to make this program such a success as it gets bigger and better.”
Motivate ensures that Citi Bike remains affordable for lower-income New Yorkers by offering reduced-cost memberships for NYCHA residents, IDNYC holders and members of select Community Development Credit Unions.
Motivate, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene continue to partner with community organizations, such as the historic Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, to help increase and diversify participation in bike share. Membership is up over 50 percent in Bed Stuy since the partnership began. Motivate plans to launch similar partnerships in communities including East Harlem and Two Bridges in 2017.
About Citi Bike
The Citi Bike program is New York’s bike share system. It will have 12,000 bikes at over 700 stations by the end of 2017. Stations are currently located in Manhattan as far north as 110th Street and in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, Brooklyn Heights, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Williamsburg and Greenpoint and in Long Island City, Queens. With stations located every few blocks, the program has expanded this year into Harlem, Park Slope, Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Gowanus and Red Hook. Annual members receive an electronic key to undock a bike from any station, allowing unlimited trips up to 45 minutes without incurring any additional costs. Twenty-four-hour passes are available for purchase at any Citi Bike station or through the Citi Bike app and provide unlimited 30-minute trips. Reduced cost memberships are available for NYCHA residents and members of select credit unions throughout the city, and for IDNYC holders in their first year of membership.
It should be noted that Citi Head of Public Affairs Edward Skyler is a former Deputy Mayor under Mayor Michael Bloomberg in whose administration Citi Bike began.
Independent Democratic Conference Releases Report on Economic Impact of Raising the Age of Criminal Responsibility in New York
Senators Jeff Klein, Diane Savino, Jesse Hamilton, Tony Avella, David Carlucci, Senator-elect Marisol Alcantara, advocates, and teen offenders, released a new report on the economic impact of New York’s age of criminal responsibility.
“The impact that the current age of criminal responsibility has on 16- and 17-year-olds affects them for the rest of their lives. Whether it’s increasing the chance to advance academically or secure employment, it is clear that raising the age of responsibility will have a great societal benefit. The report issued by the Independent Democratic Conference shows that in addition to this societal benefit the state will see a fiscal benefit as well. This legislative session we will work with advocates and stakeholders to find a legislative solution to this issue,” said Senator Klein.
“Rectifying the way we deal with crimes committed by 16- and 17-year olds in New York is an important step forward in improving our criminal justice system. We have seen the unfortunate consequences of housing these teens with adult inmates and the effects it has on their future. By raising the age of criminal responsibility we can give these youths a chance to become productive and contributing members of society rather than just giving up on them,” said Senator Diane Savino.
“For far too long New York has been one of only two states where the age of criminal responsibility is 16-years-old. I have seen first hand in my community the effects that this has had on teens now and for their futures. I am confident that we will be able to implement these reforms and I look forward to working with the IDC to accomplish this goal,” said Senator Hamilton.
“New York is one of only two states in the country that treats 16- and 17-year-olds the same as fully developed adults in the criminal justice system. Unfortunately, this can have debilitating consequences for our state’s youth as they make non-violent mistakes that the juvenile system can easily address but isn’t because of the state’s archaic law. It is surprising that a state as progressive as ours, that is usually at the forefront of key social issues, has yet to understand this harsh reality. It is time for the Governor and State Legislature to address this and do right by our youth in raising the age,” said Senator Avella.
“In October of 2014, I hosted a hearing on New York State's Mental Health Supports and Services, titled, "Raising the Age." After hearing testimony from mental health professionals and families affected by mental illness, it was clear we need a new system that supports our youth, especially those with disabilities. New York needs to focus on rehabilitation for our youth, not incarceration. I proudly support raising the age and urge my colleagues in the State Legislature to work together on passing legislation that changes this unjust system of incarceration,” said Senator Carlucci.
“We cannot afford to give up on our teenagers who have made mistakes during their formative years. Holding 16- and 17-year-olds accountable for non-violent offenses the way we do adults makes little sense, and leaves no room for rehabilitation. This ruins their lives, their families lives and impacts our society. We must treat teens like teens and set them on a positive path, leading to them earning higher incomes in the future and becoming productive, contributing members of this state,” said Senator-elect Marisol Alcantara.
The Independent Democratic Conference’s report focused on the short and long term economic effects that raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction from 16 to 18 would have on New York.
A key finding was the savings to the state’s criminal justice system, due to the reduction in detention costs and the expenditure of resources such as transportation between correctional facilities and court hearings as well as probation and parole supervision post-release. The report found that that when fully annualized the state could see savings of up to $117.11 million annually in criminal justice system costs.
The opportunity at a second chance for these 16- and 17-year-olds was also found to have a significant economic impact for New York through additional tax revenue and a reduction in welfare payments, social support programs, and health care costs. As these youths will see a rise in expected lifetime earnings that could keep them off social support programs the state will see an economic benefit. The report found that avoided costs for public welfare, social welfare and health care would save the state $3.46 million annually while additional tax revenue from increased income would total $0.6 million annually.
After a successful 2016 legislative session which saw an increase in minimum wage and the adoption of paid family leave championed by the IDC, accomplishing raise the age has become a priority of the for the 2017 legislative session. The IDC plans to work in a bipartisan fashion to hold public hearings and engage with stakeholders to develop a comprehensive proposal to be released in the coming weeks.
“We can do better than prosecuting and incarcerating 16- and 17-year olds charged with non-violent crimes in the same manner as adults,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. “Young New Yorkers incarcerated in adult prisons are more likely to suffer abuse and assault, and more likely to reoffend when they get out. In the area of juvenile justice, it is long past time for New York to lead. I thank Senator Klein for his collaboration and commitment to establishing developmentally appropriate options to hold teen offenders accountable.”
Above - Howie Martin CEO of Bronx House thanks Senator Klein for the 22nd Annual Chanukah Menorah lighting at Bronx House.
Below - Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj speaks to the crowd as Senator Klein and Rabbi Greenberg listen to Assemblyman Gjonaj.
Above - Rabbi Greenberg says a few words about Senator Klein and Assemblyman Gjonaj before calling both up to help light the Bronx House Menorah.
Below - After saying the Chanukah prayer, Rabbi Greenberg, Senator Klein, and Assemblyman Gjonaj light the Bronx House Menorah.
Above - Captain Thomas Alps of the 49th Precinct stands with Mr. Joe Thompson the 49th Precinct Council President as they watch the menorah lighting.
Below - Bronx House CEO Howie Martin, Senator Klein, Assemblyman Gjonaj, Rabbi Greenberg, and Brad Silver of the Bronx Jewish Community Council stand in front of the lit Chanukah Menorah.
In time for more than a million New Year’s Eve revelers, improvements include more permanent plazas with almost two acres of pedestrian space; New benches, kiosks and sidewalks are complemented by new southbound bike lane
Pedestrian flow zones and designated activity areas created during 2016 have proven a success in maintaining safe pedestrian flow at the “Crossroads of the World”
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Administration today announced that the reconstruction of Times Square had been completed in time for its world-famous New Year’s Eve festivities. NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora and NYPD Captain Robert O’Hare were joined at the dedication in the heart of Times Square by Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins, former DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and elected officials, including Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.
“All the world knows that New Year’s Eve is an incomparable time to be in New York City -- and there will be no more iconic place to ring in 2017 than Times Square,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “With the changes unveiled today, Times Square is now a safer and more welcoming place for the millions of residents, commuters and tourists who visit and pass through it every day. I am so proud that our agencies could come together and finish their incredible work before the new year, ending the disruption that invariably comes with big and complex construction projects.”
“Being able to carve out two acres of new space for pedestrians in one of the world’s most popular plazas is a remarkable gift to the tens of millions of people who visit the ‘Crossroads of the World’ each year,” said DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora. “Times Square is now equipped with more resilient sewer systems, wider sidewalks, ample seating, and an emphasis on pedestrian safety that will serve generations to come.”
“In the almost eight years since Broadway in Times Square was first closed to vehicular traffic, it has never looked better,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “These amazing changes, coupled with the sensible policies for pedestrian movement and solicitation that we instated this year, have made a magical public space even more wonderful and inviting. We are also grateful to be joined today by so many of our partners whose collective vision was so instrumental in getting us to where we are today.”
In February 2009, DOT announced that vehicular traffic would be replaced by pedestrian plazas along Broadway in Times Square between West 42nd and West 47th Streets. The $55 million project to more permanently convert those plazas to pedestrian use began in 2013, managed by the Department of Design and Construction for the Department of Transportation. The five reconstructed pedestrian plazas comprise 85,000-square-feet – or almost two full acres – in the space previously occupied by Broadway traffic. The completed reconstruction includes wider sidewalks; user amenities like benches; rebuilt curbs, streets and sidewalks; modern street and traffic lighting; and a new southbound raised bike lane on 7th Avenue.
Prior to the completion of the above-ground work, the area received new sewers and water mains and utility companies such as Con Edison and Verizon also completed about $25 million of underground utility upgrades. Also hidden from view are electrical lines and other cables and outlets that allow for street performances and events without the need to run wires above ground. Several lengths of old unused streetcar tracks were also removed. With the ongoing and extensive work in Times Square now complete, the end of construction is expected to ease roadway congestion in the surrounding area.
Earlier this year, the City Council enacted a new law governing pedestrian plazas Citywide. Under that law, DOT promulgated new regulations for Times Square, governing new pedestrian flow zones and designated activity zones. Enforced by NYPD, the new zones have helped keep pedestrian traffic flowing and helped curb aggressive commercial behavior.
"The completion of the construction in Times Square, and its transformation into pedestrian plazas with sound regulations, are a true testament and an example of what can be accomplished when city agencies and the community work together towards a goal," said Captain Robert W. O'Hare, Commanding Officer of the NYPD’s Times Square Unit. "The members of the NYPD and the Times Square Unit look forward to continuing to make "The Crossroads of the World" a safe place to visit."
NYPD to maintain enhanced security perimeter protecting the President-Elect, while allowing limited vehicle access
Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that 56th Street between 6th and 5th avenues will reopen to crosstown traffic, following several weeks of closure. In addition, the New York City Police Department will relocate their mobile command post from the southwest corner of 56th Street to the northwest corner of 56th Street. This will allow for the opening of the south side of 56th Street to one-lane thru traffic while still allowing the mobile command post to act as a traffic deterrent to keep vehicular threats at bay. These changes – implemented in coordination with the Department of Small Business Services, Department of Transportation, NYPD and Secret Service – will improve congestion and allow for easier access to deliveries for businesses within the security perimeter all while maintaining the safety and security of Trump Tower and the surrounding area. The changes take effect today, Wednesday, December 28.
“The safety of New Yorkers and of the President-Elect are our top concern. The changes we are implementing will maintain that security, while allowing for more movement in the area and addressing concerns raised by surrounding businesses. We will continue to examine and carefully confront the challenges presented by this unprecedented responsibility," said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
"Protecting the President-elect while minimizing the impact to nearby businesses has required constant dialogue from everyone involved," said Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill. "We welcome the re-opening of 56th street to increase pedestrian and vehicular movements in the area while still maintaining the security of the next President of the United States."
"DOT is working closely with the NYPD, local businesses and building owners to continue to mitigate the impact of Midtown security measures on traffic, bus routes and pedestrians on our sidewalks," said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.
"Our department heard the concerns of small business owners near Trump Tower and we took swift action," said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services. "By working with Mayor de Blasio, the NYPD and other colleagues in government, I am pleased that 56th Street will be reopened and that this big security challenge can be met without harming area small businesses."
The Department of Small Business Services recently canvassed businesses around Trump Tower with the NYPD regarding challenges they faced, and SBS Commissioner Gregg Bishop, joined by Council Member Dan Garodnick, met with small business owners within the security perimeter. That outreach helped inform changes that will alleviate some constraints on customer traffic and deliveries.
In addition, a preliminary DOT study of travel times on West 57th Street between 7th and 5th avenues during November showed that eastbound traffic travel times on that street had increased by over 20 percent with the closure of West 56th Street.
The new changes – implemented in coordination with SBS, the NYPD and Secret Service – ensures that the safety and security of Trump Tower and the surrounding area remain intact while improving traffic flow. The City and Secret Service will continue working closely to keep the area secure and maintain steady traffic for surrounding businesses.