Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Rep. Adriano Espaillat to Host 2020 Census Town Hall Thursday, May 23rd in the Bronx


The Constitutionally-mandated Decennial Census is undeniably one of the most consequential duties carried out by our federal government

  Representative Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) will host a district town hall discussion on the 2020 Census on Thursday, May 23rd from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. EDT at Serviam Hall located at 2848 Bainbridge Avenue, Bronx, NY 10458. During the event, Rep. Espaillat will be joined by special guest Julie Menin, Director of the Census for New York City, and city leaders and will provide constituents an overview of the upcoming United States Census.

This event is open to the public.

WHO:            Rep. Adriano Espaillat (NY-13)
 Julie Menin, Director of the Census for New York City

Confirmed participants:

New York State Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz
New York City Council member Andrew Cohen  
New York City Council member Fernando Cabrera
                             
New York City Council member Vanessa L. Gibson

WHAT:          2020 Census Town Hall

                        6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. EDT
                       
WHERE         Serviam Hall
                        2848 Bainbridge Avenue
                        Bronx, NY 10458
                                              
RSVP:            RSVP.Espaillat@mail.house.gov or by phone at 212-663-3900

Governor Cuomo Honors Seven Fallen EMS Providers Who Served in the Aftermath of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks


Ceremony Coincides with National EMS Week - Honoring the Dedicated Professionals Who Serve as EMS Providers

  Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today recognized seven emergency medical service providers who died as a result of injuries or illnesses sustained while performing their duties after the 9/11 terrorist attack. The honorees - William Ryan, Joeddy Friszell, Felipe Torre, Joseph Rodriguez, Walter Nelson, Martha Stewart and Dr. Michael Guttenberg — were added to the Tree of Life EMS Memorial today, at the annual ceremony on the Empire State Plaza in Albany. 

"New Yorkers are fortunate to be served by the brave men and women who provide emergency medical services and who respond to situations day and night, often placing their own safety at risk to serve their communities," Governor Cuomo said. "We stand together to honor these selfless emergency service providers who ultimately gave their lives by running towards danger on September 11, 2001."
Governor Cuomo recently called on the federal government for increased funding for victims still grappling with health effects from 9/11.  
Today's ceremony was attended by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and EMS professionals and first responders from across New York State. 

"Whenever we call on them, our emergency medical service professionals selflessly protect the lives of New Yorkers across the state," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who spoke at today's event. "We honor the courage, dedication, and commitment of all EMS providers, and remember those who lost their lives in the line of duty or as a result of being exposed to 9/11 contaminants during their service. Their bravery and many contributions will not be forgotten."

Each year New York State honors the brave men and women who make the ultimate sacrifice while serving their fellow New Yorkers. This year's honorees join 75 other EMS professionals represented on the memorial. 

Those honored today are:

Name
Agency
Date of Death
William Ryan
Bay Community VAC
August 19, 2018
Joeddy E. Friszell
FDNY EMS
March 5, 2018
Felipe A. Torre
FDNY EMS
October 10, 2018
Joseph A. Rodriguez
FDNY EMS
November 23, 2018
Walter J. Nelson
FDNY EMS
May 2, 2014
Martha Stewart
FDNY EMS
November 18, 2018
Michael G. Guttenberg
Northwell Health Center for EMS
October 17, 2017

Dr. Howard A. Zucker, Commissioner of Health, said, "We are saddened by the loss of these seven courageous emergency services professionals and offer our condolences to their families, friends, and colleagues. We all stand with the fallen, and we thank them for their dedicated service to the community."
EMS professionals in New York State include certified first responders, EMTs, advanced EMTs, and paramedics who provide pre-hospital emergency patient care and transport. New Yorkers are served by nearly 2,000 ambulance and emergency medical response and transportation agencies that provide advanced and basic life support services. 

Federal Correctional Officer Arrested For Sexually Abusing Female Inmates


Colin Akparanta Engaged in Sexual Acts With Four Inmate Victims Between 2012 and 2018

  Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Guido Modano, Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (“DOJ OIG”), announced today the unsealing of a nine-count indictment charging federal correctional officer COLIN AKPARANTA with four counts of sexual abuse of a ward, four counts of abusive sexual contact, and one count of deprivation of civil rights.  The charges stem from AKPARANTA’s alleged sexual abuse of four female inmates housed at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (“MCC”), a Manhattan detention facility that houses federal inmates, spanning the years 2012 through 2018.  AKPARANTA was arrested today and will be presented and arraigned in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman later today.  AKPARANTA’s case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Lorna G. Schofield. 

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As alleged, Colin Akparanta was a predator in uniform, exploiting his position to sexually abuse multiple inmates over a several-year period.  No inmate in a Bureau of Prisons facility should fear sexual abuse at the hands of a correctional officer, and thankfully, Akparanta will have no more victims.  I encourage all victims of this or similar conduct to contact my Office at the number below.” 
DOJ OIG Special Agent-in-Charge Guido Modano said:  “Correctional officers have a duty to protect federal inmates, but Akparanta allegedly abused his power over female inmates.  Our office is committed to bringing to justice any Justice Department employee who commits sex crimes in federal correctional institutions.”
According to the Indictment, which was unsealed today in Manhattan federal court[1]:
AKPARANTA has been employed as a correctional officer at the MCC since 2004.
Between in or about late 2012 and in or about April 2018, AKPARANTA used his official position to engage in sexual acts and contact with at least four female inmates at the MCC while they were under AKPARANTA’s custodial, supervisory, and disciplinary authority.  AKPARANTA digitally penetrated the victims’ vaginas and touched their breasts, buttocks, and/or genitalia.  AKPARANTA also had some of the victims touch his penis over his pants.  In addition, AKPARANTA smuggled contraband, including, but not limited to, personal hygiene items, makeup, and food into the MCC for some of the victims, and, with respect to at least one of the victims, explicitly conditioned his provision of contraband on the inmate’s continued performance of sexual acts with him.  AKPARANTA also asked the victims for their contact information in order to reach them after their release.
COLIN AKPARANTA, 42, of Irvington, New Jersey, is charged with four counts of sexual abuse of a ward, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, four counts of abusive sexual contact, which carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison, and one count of deprivation of civil rights, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge. 
Any individuals who believe they have information concerning COLIN AKPARANTA or any similar conduct should contact the United States Attorney’s Office at (866) 874-8900.
Mr. Berman praised the investigative work of the DOJ Office of the Inspector General and the Special Agents of the United States Attorney’s Office. 
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
 [1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment, and the description of the Indictment set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Attorney General James Commends The State Assembly On Passage Of The Double Jeopardy Bill


  Attorney General Letitia James commends Speaker Carl Heastie and the New York State Assembly for passing important legislation to close New York’s “double jeopardy” loophole. In response to its passage, Attorney General James released the following statement:  

“The law against double jeopardy, as currently written, contains a gaping loophole which could be exploited to deny justice altogether. The legislation that has now passed both legislative chambers, would close that loophole. It ensures that in the event that a person receives a presidential pardon based on a close relationship or self-interest, New York would preserve its authority to pursue legal action against that individual for crimes committed under state law. This legislation is a commonsense, good government measure that will ensure a reasonable check on the presidential pardon power for not only this President, but all future presidents. I thank Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins as well as the bill’s sponsors for working with my office on this critical legislation to ensure that no one is above the law.”  
Assembly Bill A6653 adds another exception to the state’s “double jeopardy” law by establishing a narrow set of criteria that would prevent the pardon power from being used for a president’s self-interest and self-dealing. To date, the state legislature has established twelve exceptions to the “double jeopardy” law. The legislation passed the State Senate on May 8th. 

Attorney General James Leads Coalition Of 23 Cities And States Suing Trump Administration To Stop Health Care Discrimination


HHS Final Rule Would Expand Ability of Businesses and Individuals to Refuse to Provide Necessary Health Care on the Basis of Their Own “Religious, Moral, Ethical, or Other” Beliefs 

  Attorney General Letitia James, leading a coalition of 23 states, cities, and municipalities, filed a lawsuit today against a Final Rule issued by the Trump Administration’s Department of Health and Human Services, which seeks to expand the ability of businesses and individuals to refuse to provide necessary health care on the basis of businesses' or employees’ “religious beliefs or moral convictions.” The federal lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of New York, seeks to enjoin the Final Rule and prevent it from going into effect. The suit follows upon a comment letter filed by the New York Attorney General and a coalition of states in March 2018, when the rule was first proposed, urging that the rule be withdrawn. 

“Once again, the Trump Administration is putting politics over the health and safety of Americans,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “The federal government is giving health care providers free license to openly discriminate and refuse care to patients – a gross misinterpretation of religious freedom that will have devastating consequences on communities throughout the country. When the health of our residents is at stake, and the safety of vulnerable populations hang in the balance, we cannot rest until this ‘health care refusal’ rule is stopped.” 
The lawsuit alleges that the Final Rule, which will take effect in July 2019, would undermine the delivery of health care by giving a wide range of health care institutions and individuals a right to refuse care, based on the provider’s own personal views. The Rule drastically expands the number of providers eligible to make such refusals, ranging from ambulance drivers to emergency room doctors to receptionists to customer service representatives at insurance companies. The Rule makes this right absolute and categorical, and no matter what reasonable steps a health provider or employer makes to accommodate the views of an objecting individual, if that individual rejects a proposed accommodation, a provider or employer is left with no recourse. 
Under the Rule, a hospital could not inquire, prior to hiring a nurse, if (s)he objected to administering a measles vaccination—even if this was a core duty of the job in the middle of an outbreak of the disease. Or an emergency room doctor could refuse to assist a woman who arrived with a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, even if the woman’s life was in jeopardy.  
The Rule would also allow businesses, including employers, to object to providing insurance coverage for procedures they consider objectionable, and allow individual health care personnel to object to informing patients about their medical options or referring them to providers of those options. The devastating consequences of the Rule would fall particularly hard on marginalized patients, including LGBTQ patients, who already confront discrimination in obtaining health care.  
The lawsuit further alleges that the risk of noncompliance is the termination of billions of dollars in federal health care funding. If HHS determines, in its sole discretion, that states or cities have failed to comply with the Final Rule – through their own actions or the actions of thousands of sub-contractors relied upon to deliver health services – the federal government could terminate funding to those states and cities, to the price tag of hundreds of billions of dollars. States and cities rely upon those funds for countless programs to promote the public health of their residents, including Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, HIV/AIDS and STD prevention and education, and substance abuse and mental health treatment.  
The lawsuit argues that this drastic expansion of refusal rights, and the draconian threat of termination of federal funds, violates the federal Administrative Procedures Act and the Spending Clause and separation of powers principles in the U.S. Constitution.  
In addition to New York, the lawsuit was filed by the City of New York, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawai‘i, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, the City of Chicago, and Cook County, Illinois.  

BRONX MAN SENTENCED TO 23 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR FATAL 2015 SHOOTING


Jury Found Defendant Guilty of Second-Degree Murder 

  Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that a Bronx man has been sentenced to 23 years to life in prison for fatally shooting a man in 2015. 

 District Attorney Clark said, “The defendant –who did not know the victim– shot and killed him just because a few words were exchanged. The defendant will now spend many years behind bars for this senseless violence. ” 

 District Attorney Clark said the defendant, Erin Hall, 42, of 1950 Andrews Avenue was sentenced today to 23 years to life in prison for second-degree Murder and 15 years in prison for second-degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon, to run concurrently, and five years post-release supervision by Bronx Supreme Court Justice James McCarty. A jury found the defendant guilty on March 5, 2019. 

 According to the investigation, on the night of April 15, 2015, at 2260 Washington Avenue, the victim, Felix de la Cruz Jr., 23, was standing in front of the location with a group of friends when the defendant approached and exchanged words with him. Hall, who is a member of the Bloods’ Sex, Money, Murder set, walked away and returned with a gun drawn. After exchanging words again, Hall fired a shot at de la Cruz and missed. He then moved closer and shot de la Cruz in the back of his head. The victim died of his wound the following day.

  District Attorney Clark also thanked NYPD Detective Joseph Bermudez of the 48th Precinct, and Detective Daniel Fox of the NYPD Auto Crime Division.

South Bronx Unite - All Out for CB1 Vote on New Jail in Mott Haven | Thurs, May 23, 6pm | 234 East 149th Street


Community Board 1 to Vote on
Proposed New Jail

Thursday, May 23rd, 6:00 pm
234 East 149th Street, Bronx 


On Wed, May 15, the CB1 Land Use Subcommittee voted unanimously AGAINST the proposed new jail in Mott Haven. This Thurs, May 23rd, will be the vote of the full board. Join us and add your voice. Upwards of 3,500 people have already signed the petition against the new jail in the South Bronx, and community boards in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens have already voted NO to the mayor's $11 billion jail plan.
 
No New Jails - Not in the South Bronx, Not Anywhere.
* Full background available at nojaildeblasio.com

BP DIAZ CALLS FOR ‘FAIR FARES’ EXPANSION TO ACCESS-A-RIDE PROGRAM


  Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is calling for the “fair fares” transit discount program to include Access-A-Ride users in the city’s FY 2020 budget.

In a letter to City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Borough President Diaz notes that the “fair fares” program is designed to provide eligible low-income New Yorkers with reduced transit fares, and that such benefits should be expanded to include Access-A-Ride customers.

“A reliable and affordable mode of transportation is key for employment, and by not providing low-income community members with disabilities an affordable option to get to their workplace, New York City is not giving them every opportunity they deserve to rise above poverty,” wrote Borough President Diaz in the letter.

Borough President Diaz notes in the letter that Access-A-Ride, which services disabled New Yorkers, currently has approximately 150,000 users who take approximately 625,000 total trips per month, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 

The full letter can be viewed at https://on.nyc.gov/2HHchW8.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Speaker Corey Johnson and Sanitation Committee Chair Antonio Reynoso Demand $4.2 Million for Extra Litter Basket Collection in Fiscal Year 2020 Budget


  New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Sanitation & Solid Waste Management Committee Chair Antonio Reynoso gathered at Maria Hernandez Park in Brooklyn on Saturday to demand Mayor Bill de Blasio restore $4.2 million in funding for extra litter basket collection in the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget.

New Yorkers deserve a cleaner city. That’s why the New York City Council fought to fund 14,000 additional trash pick-ups per week by the Sanitation Department in the last fiscal budget. The results have been outstanding. Nearly 96 percent of streets are rated acceptably clean this fiscal year, up from about 95 percent the previous year, according to the Department of Sanitation’s (DSN) testimony from the Council’s preliminary budget hearings.
Now Mayor de Blasio wants to reverse this citywide improvement, and the Administration did not include this funding in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget.
“No one wants to go back to the days when overflowing trash baskets on every corner was the norm. We need those baskets emptied more often, not less. Cutting this funding won’t balance the city’s budget, it will hurt the city’s quality of life. Services like this are critical for our communities,” said Speaker Corey Johnson.
“Our committee is constantly fielding complaints from New Yorkers that there is too much trash on the streets. The solution is simple: More litter basket collection. Yet Mayor de Blasio says the city can’t afford to empty them as often as they do. The City Council knows the city can’t afford not to. We will fight to have this $4.2 million restored to the budget,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management.
Lowest street cleaning rating per scorecard monthly ratings by Borough and Community Board – 2019 (Average as of April of the current fiscal year)
  1. Community Board 3 in Brooklyn at 88.1 percent
    (CMs Levin, Ampry-Samuel, Cumbo)
  2. Community Board 12 in Brooklyn at 88.8 percent
    (CMs Eugene, Lander, Menchaca, Yeger)
  3. Community Board 1 in Brooklyn at 89.4 percent
    (CMs Levin, Reynoso)
  4. Community Board 3  in the Bronx at 90
    percent (CMs Salamanca, Gibson)
  5. Community Board  9 in Brooklyn at 91.7
    percent (CMs Cumbo, Eugene, Ampry-Samuel)
  6. Community Board 1 in the Bronx at 91.9 percent
    (CMs Salamanca, Ayala)
  7. Community Board 16 in Brooklyn at 91.8 percent
    (CMs Barron, Samuel, Espinal)
  8. Community Board 12 in Manhattan at 92 percent
    (CMs Rodriguez, Levine)
  9. Community Board 4 in the Bronx at 92.1 percent
    (CMs Gibson, Ayala, Salamanca, Torres)
  10. Community Board 5 in Brooklyn at 92.3 percent
    (CM Espinal, Barron)

SUPERVISING PHARMACIST AND PHARMACY TECHNICIAN ARRESTED IN DIVERSION OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN OXYCODONE PILLS FROM QUEENS PHARMACY


  Bridget G. Brennan, New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor, Ray Donovan, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New York Division and Acting Queens District Attorney Jack Ryan announced today the arrests of a supervising pharmacist and a pharmacy technician, who allegedly abused their positions at a Richmond Hill, Queens pharmacy by knowingly filling forged prescriptions for opioid painkillers and illegally selling additional pills in exchange for cash.

As a result of an investigation by the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s (SNP) Prescription Drug Investigation Unit (PDIU) and DEA Diversion Group D-22, supervising pharmacist VICTOR LAPERLA and pharmacy technician BIANCA MARTINEZ were arrested this morning on charges contained in a 35-count indictment, including Conspiracy, Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance, Criminal Sale of a Prescription for a Controlled Substance and Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument. The Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York assisted in the investigation. The defendants are scheduled for arraignment today before Judge Ann E. Scherzer in Manhattan Supreme Court, Part 93, 100 Centre Street.
In carrying out the alleged scheme, LAPERLA and MARTINEZ conspired to fill hundreds of illegitimate prescriptions for oxycodone 30 mg at the pharmacy where they worked, Dale Pharmacy & Surgical, Inc., and sold additional oxycodone pills in unlabeled bottles for which no official prescription had been presented. An unindicted coconspirator and others made cash payments for the pills for the purposes of reselling them on the black market. MARTINEZ assisted LAPERLA and brokered illicit transactions. Charges in the indictment stem from 15 such transactions between LAPERLA, MARTINEZ and the unindicted coconspirator between April 21, 2015 and February 7, 2018. Each of the forged prescriptions was written for 180 pills of oxycodone 30 mg for a total of 2,700 pills.
Between March of 2013 and May of 2018, LAPERLA and MARTINEZ allegedly filled over 855 oxycodone 30 mg prescriptions pills purportedly issued by two physicians. These prescriptions were all paid for in cash, as were approximately 90% of all oxycodone 30 mg prescriptions filled by the pharmacy during that timeframe. The two doctors reported to authorities that prescriptions in their names had been forged and the investigation revealed that their prescription pads had been stolen. The approximately 158,000 oxycodone 30 mg pills dispensed as a result of these fraudulent prescriptions would have carried a black market street value of between $2 million and $4 million.
On May 23, 2018, DEA agents and SNP investigators conducted a court authorized search of the pharmacy, located at 108-13 Jamaica Avenue, and recovered hard-copies of the forged prescriptions, as well as records and inventories, a DVR machine and LAPERLA’s cellphone. A court authorized search of LAPERLA’s residence at 6 Netto Lane, Plainview, Long Island, yielded approximately $186,500 cash from a safe and bedside table.
An examination of LAPERLA’s phone revealed that the pharmacist recorded the illegal cash payments and prescription counts in a “note” application. In 2017 alone, LAPERLA allegedly received approximately $303,900 in exchange for filling forged prescriptions and oxycodone 30 mg sales. The prescription count information LAPERLA entered into his notes corresponds with prescription records.
LAPERLA purported to act within the scope of the power and authority of a pharmacist when he recorded the forged prescriptions in a database maintained by the New York State Health Department’s Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement. A comparative review of BNE records and DEA controlled substance inventories for Dale Pharmacy & Surgical revealed a disparity in the numbers of oxycodone 30 mg pills ordered versus those dispensed. A significant quantity of oxycodone 30 mg pills were unaccounted for on a monthly basis, at least partially attributable to illegal sales of oxycodone 30 mg in unlabeled bottles.
Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan commended the work of her office’s Prescription Drug Investigation Unit and DEA Division Group D-22, and thanked the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and Acting Queens District Attorney Jack Ryan.
“Flooding the black market with millions of dollars’ worth of highly addictive substance is something we have come to expect of international drug cartels, but today’s indictment charges that a pharmacist, working in collaboration with an assistant, can inflict the same damage,” Special Narcotics Prosecutor Brennan said. “I thank our law enforcement partners for their commitment to performing a thorough investigation leading to the charges announced today.”
“When these two pharmacy employees came to work, they became drug dealers; diverting over one hundred thousand oxycodone pills into New York City streets,” stated Ray Donovan, DEA Special Agent in Charge. “Opioid addiction and overdoses have become an all-too-common issue, which has led to zero-tolerance for those who profit off the pain and suffering of victims and their families. I commend our partners at the New York City Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor and DEA Group D-22 for their diligence in this investigation and work in combatting drug abuse.”
Acting Queens District Attorney Jack Ryan said, “The scourge of this on-going opioid epidemic has affected all of us in innumerable ways. We must do everything possible to eradicate access and hold those accountable that would peddle this extremely addictive drug in our communities.”
 Indicted DefendantsCharges
1Victor LaPerla; Plainview, NY; 12/18/1954Conspiracy 2nd – 1 ct; Conspiracy 4th – 1 ct; Conspiracy 5th – 1 ct; CSCS 2nd – 1 ct; Criminal Sale of a Prescription for a Controlled Substance by a Practitioner or Pharmacist – 15 cts; Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument 2nd – 15 cts
2Bianca Martinez; Brooklyn, NY; 2/20/1986Conspiracy 2nd – 1 ct; Conspiracy 4th – 1 ct; Conspiracy 5th – 1 ct; CSCS 2nd – 1 ct; Criminal Sale of a Prescription for a Controlled Substance by a Practitioner or Pharmacist – 15 cts; Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument 2nd – 15 cts
The charges and allegations are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Comptroller Stringer Releases First Quarter 2019 Economic Update


New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer today released an economic update for the first quarter of 2019, showing that the city’s economy grew 3.0 percent in the first three months of the year. Unemployment remains at historically low levels, even as job growth in the city cooled off slightly. The city’s private sector added 18,000 jobs – an increase of 1.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis. While real estate markets remain soft, leading economic indicators point to continued growth.
To read Comptroller Stringer’s Q1 2019 economic update, click here.

Statement from New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer on Proposed Bus Service Cuts


“This is a terrible mistake. Right now, weekday ridership is on the upswing, we’re redesigning our bus network, and we’ve set a goal as a City and State of reducing congestion on our streets. Rolling back service now on eleven routes is the exact wrong way to go. For years, we’ve called for more frequent bus service, particularly during the off-peak and weekend hours, and we’ve long said that the bus network redesign process should not rely on any cutbacks to service. My office has advocated common sense steps to turn our bus system around for the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who are already being deprived of reliable service every day, and we’re going to keep speaking out for the modern – and frequent service – all New Yorkers deserve. New York is a world class city, and it is time we have a world class bus system to match it.”

Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark - Cases of Interest for the Week of May 20, 2019


Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Reynolds, O. 
TRP 
McCarty 
Sentencing
Erin HallDefendant was found guilty of second-degree Murder and second-degree Criminal Possession of Weapon. The defendant shot and killed a man in 2015.
McHale, S.
-- 
FA 
Appearance
Roberto MarcucciCharged with first-degree Sexual Abuse and additional charges. The defendant allegedly sexually abused a woman who was in a coma.
Schordine, M. 
Michael 
77 
Appearance
Taha MahranCharged with second-degree Murder and additional charges in the death of Zakir Khan. The defendant allegedly stabbed the victim in his torso and neck.
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Newell, S. 
-- 
SCA 
Appearance
Alberto HernandezCharged with first-degree Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. The defendant allegedly sexually abused a child between June 2011 and June 2016.
Horton, M. 
Carter 
T19 
Sentencing
Davon StallingsConvicted of Attempted Murder in the second degree, first-degree Assault and second-degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon on April 10, 2019. The defendant shot a man one time in the chest from inches away.
Williams, C. Michael 70 Possible DispositionMalik QuickCharged with Assault and additional charges. The defendant, in concert with others, allegedly assaulted and slashed a New York City Department of Correction officer on Rikers Island.
McMahon, H. 
Greenberg 
IDV 
Appearance
Oscar AlvarezCharged with Attempted Murder in the second degree, first and second-degree Abortion, first and second-degree Assault, and Unlawful Imprisonment. The defendant allegedly stabbed his pregnant fiancée which resulted in the death of their unborn child.
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Villaverde, M. 
McCarty 
TRP 
Sentencing
Joshua CruzCharged with first-degree Gang Assault and additional charges. The defendant, with others, beat a street vendor on May 2, 2017. The beating left the victim in a coma.
Smith, J. 
McCarty 
TRP 
Appearance
Dennis CastellarCharged with Attempted Murder first degree for allegedly dragging an NYPD officer for several blocks at high speed with his ATV.
Friday, May 24, 2019
Villaverde, M. 
McCarty 
TRP 
Sentencing
Octavious ProfitCharged with first-degree Gang Assault and additional charges. The defendant, with others, beat a street vendor on May 2, 2017. The beating left the victim in a coma.
Please note: All court proceedings are scheduled for after 9:30 a.m. at 265 East 161st Street, the Hall of Justice, Bronx Supreme Court unless otherwise specified.

Michael A. Blake - Congressional Campaign Launch




On Sunday, michael Blake launched his campaign for Congress with a block party that featured talented artists, performers, local business owners, and leaders from both the Puerto Rican and Dominican communities. Joined by his Mama Hilary and close friends, he laid out my vision for the 15th District: “Born and raised right here in The Bronx, I have personally witnessed the decades of neglect our neighborhoods have sustained. But make no mistake, together we endured, we have persevered, and we still BELIEVE in better and brighter times ahead, which is why I am running for Congress” He said.


Haile Rivera, a Dominican community leader and former President Obama campaign staffer greeting Mama Hilary.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Bronx Week Parade 2019



  Mosholu Parkway was closed to traffic both ways from Southern Boulevard to where it meets the Grand Concourse. The Bronx Week Parade was marching the north side on Mosholu Parkway, while the International Food and Music Festival had the south side of the parkway.  Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. was joined by his co-host Roxy Digital (L), and Deputy Borough President Marika Scott-McFadden (R). Others would join the three on stage as the day and parade went on.


Bronx Hall of Fame inductee Champion Boxer Iran Barkley would dash from his car to the stage to join BP Diaz Jr., Co-Host Roxy Digital and Deputy BP Scott-McFadden.


Below are photos of the parade and performances by students.


















  Fat Joe would arrive for the Music Festival. BP Diaz Jr. greets him, goes on stage to introduce him, and Assemblyman Jose Rivera was in the audience with his video camera.