Friday, December 31, 2010

   The Book on Joel Klein-By The New York Post

First this disclaimer- The New York Post is owned by News Corp. Joel Klein's new employer.
Here is the link to the online version of the Post story
    This article appeared in the December 31, 2010 New York Post on page 12. In the print copy (not part of the on-line version) there were six major events that was done by Joel Klein listed next to their dates (in a box below Joel Klein's picture).
1-Dec. 11, 2002 Creates Leadership Academy, a public/private partnership to train future principals.
2-Aug. 20, 2003 Creates position of parent coordinator at each school to improve parent engagement.
3-March 15, 2004 Tougher promotion standards approved for third-graders amid controversy: later extended through eighth grade.
4-April 11, 2006 Announces plan to rate schools with A-through-F letter grades, with serious repercussions for failing schools.
5-Jan. 29, 2007 Cuts and changes bus routes, disrupting the lives of thousands and causes an uproar.
6-May 30, 2007 Announces increases in testing- to five times a year in third through eighth grades, four times a year in high schools. 

We say that is all that The New York Post can write about Joel Klein's eight and a half year tenure, and we would like to refute all six items as a parent leader that served on the Chancellor's Parent Advisory Council when Joel Klein came in as chancellor.
#1- District 10 had a similar program in effect before Joel Klein came in, that was copied and the name changed. District 10 was a low performing district at the time Joel Klein came in, and remains a low performing district eight and a half years later.
#2- Chancellor Klein came to CPAC to see what ideas we had on this position of parent coordinator. CPAC wanted the chancellor to have trained social workers who could help parents with the needs and problems that they may have. Then Deputy Mayor Ed Skylar appearing on NY1's Inside City Hall proclaimed that principals are to busy to deal with parents, and that is why the position of parent coordinator was created. Still to this day there is no job description of the position, it is the discretion of the principal. Parent involvement drastically decreased every year that Joel Klein stayed as chancellor to its lowest point when he resigned.
#3- What was left out was that the changing of the promotion standards did not occur at the beginning of the school year as it should have, but in the middle of the school year causing problems for many.
#4- Failing schools always suffered serious consequences, such as corrective action plans to improve them before a closure program went into effect. The A-through-F school grading worked so well to get Mayor Bloomberg re-elected in 2009, that in 2010 schools received their correct grading with most dropping one, two, or three letters.
#5- This speaks for itself, but did not relay the true story of children being picked up and dropped off far from where they were previously. This happens again not at the start of the school year, but in the middle of the school year.
#6- As we have seen this year, the increase of testing has not helped as true test scores have moved no better in the Klein years than before the Klein years. 
    We must add that we wonder why the last major event of Joel Klein was listed as May 30, 2007. Just what has Joel Klein done in the past three and a half years? Maybe that was why he resigned. God save the children from the Black Plague.
Youth Got Talent Show: Stirring up the Gifts. 

    This letter is written on behalf of the youth of Gethsemane Baptist Church, as a request for your support in an upcoming fundraiser event entitled Youth Got Talent Show: Stirring up the Gifts.  Proceeds will go towards the church’s youth services. We need your support to spread the word about the event, and hopefully to attend (and participate – if eligible). Participants will be selected from auditions.
The event is scheduled to take place Saturday, May 21, 2011: Show time 1:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.  and Gallery 12:00 Noon1:00 P.M. (display of art work in lobby). Location is CS 211 at 1919 Prospect Ave Bx, NY 10460 (b/w Tremont Ave & Elsmere Ave).  Admission is $5.00 for persons not participating in stage performance: tickets sold in advance and at door. Prizes of 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place will be awarded for performances selected by the judges.
The Talent Show activity is a follow-up to the Risk Reduction/Prevention Strategies identified during Gethsemane Baptist Church’s Social Action Ministry meetings and workshops presented year 2010.   It is to be an opportunity for all youth (ages 5 – 25 y/o) in the community to use their imagination, competitive edge, energy, talent, and time for a structured public presentation of their gifts, talents and abilities- in a safe, entertaining and professional manner.  
The desired outcome of the event is the morale and self esteem of participants/attendees will be elevated to encourage them to make healthier choices for a positive lifestyle: to minimize and/or eliminate risks that can lead them to truancy, hospitalizations, institutionalizations, and the likes.
The Youth Got Talent Show: Stirring up the Gifts is also purposed to challenge Gethsemane’s youth and young adults to collaborate with their peers and older members, to cultivate their spiritual gifts; and to embrace leadership roles to organize and bring special events to pass. 
Contact Carrie Taft, YGT Show Committee Chairperson (917) 226-7960 for more information.


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Plans for Cross County Federal Savings Bank to Open in Van Nest Section of the Bronx

    State Senator Jeff Klein  will be joined by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and Cross County Bank President Anthony Milone to announce the start of construction for a Cross County Federal Savings Bank in Van Nest. The new bank will be the first personal banking institution located in Van Nest in more than fifteen years.
     The Press Conference announcing construction of new Cross County Federal Savings Bank featuring  State Senator Jeff Klein, Bronx Borough President Tuben Diaz Jr., Cross County Bank President Anthony Milone and community leaders will take place on,


    791 Morris Park Avenue, BRONX 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It Appears Even Speaker Quinn Was Unhappy With the City's Response to the Blizzard

    NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn is promising to hold oversight hearings on Jan. 10 to look into the city’s response to the Blizzard of 2010.
    “Yesterday, Members of the Council encountered the true spirit of New York in every corner of the five boroughs as neighbors helped one another overcome the difficulties brought on by the elements. “Council Members also encountered justified anger throughout their districts as New Yorkers were stranded on trains and buses, forced to suffer with a backlog in response to emergencies. New York’s Strongest, the men and women of the Sanitation Department, do an amazing job day in and day out and we are grateful for their service. That said, by all accounts, the collective storm response was not anywhere near up to the standards New Yorkers are accustomed to.
    “This is unacceptable.
    “New Yorkers have serious questions about the City’s snow emergency policy and response. We in the Council will seek forward looking answers on behalf of our constituents.  Therefore, the Council will convene oversight hearings on January 10th at 1pm to examine questions surrounding the City’s response to yesterday’s blizzard.
    “This hearing acknowledges the reality that many New Yorkers are experiencing, that something went wrong. We will conduct a constructive fact finding effort with the goal of preventingit from happening again. As we convene this hearing we must be mindful that the events of the last two days are a stark reminder of the need to protect core public services from potentially life-threatening budget reductions.”‬
    (This comes to us from our friends at State of the Politics Blog)

Some Woes From the Blizzard.

    New York State Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz joins his Senate Colleague Carl Kruger’s rebuke of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ineffective handling of the blizzard that has hit New York. 
    “It is absurd to know that ambulances and emergency vehicles have been unable to navigate through unplowed streets of New York City.  Days before this storm hit we all knew it was coming.  No one even put chains on the tires of city buses, sanitation trucks or ambulances in preparation for the storm. Senator Kruger rightly pointed out that 'Forecasters predicted this blizzard days in advance. There was clearly insufficient planning, and New Yorkers are paying too steep a price. Someone has to be accountable.' 
    I also read MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann’s twitter: 'NYC littered with w/abanonded City buses and Bloomberg is bitching about people not shoveling their sidewalks. Condescension personified.' What kind of Mayor do we have?
    Mayor Michael Bloomberg actually chuckled at a press conference today that the world is not coming to an end. Maybe the Mayor’s world isn’t. And maybe the shows on Broadway will go on, but there are New Yorkers who rely upon City services that tax dollars are supposed to provide, and some of their lives have been put at risk because of him.
    I have said it before and will say it again, Mayor Michael Bloomberg needs to be held accountable.”
    Here  are a few pictures of Bronx buses stuck in snow.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Sexually Explicit Book of Poems in Brooklyn Elementary School Reported on by WCBS T.V.

    We saw this story on WCBS T.V. on Christmas Eve reported by Marsha Krammer, and had to pass it on to you. The link is at the end of the story to see the video replay.
    The Urban Poetry book called "Atrccia" written by poetry teacher Tylibah Washington has come under fire from parents at Brooklyn's PS 279 in Canarsie. While some of the poems were about people such as Rosa Parks, there was also a poem of how former President Bush loves war so much that he got an erection. Another poem called "Supa Dupa" is about a prostitute performing sex acts (which WCBS had to block out some of the words). Still another talks about addiction to pain killers in a very positive way.
    Councilman Charles Barrons (who happens to be Ms. Washington's godfather) said that the writer is reworking the book to be age appropriate for 10-11 year olds that the writer teaches. 60 of the original books were distributed to fifth grade children at PS 279, and 16 were returned to the school by parents.
    When asked by Ms.Krammer if he had any comment about the book, Mayor Bloomberg asked who wrote it. When Ms. Krammer said that it was the goddaughter of Councilman Charles Barrons, Mayor Bloomberg then asked if Ms. Krammer had any other questions as he left her.
    Here is the link  then go to the video news section on the right. You may have to click on the past videos to the right until this story cones up.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


    On Wednesday, December 22, 2010, the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (SoBRO) will hold its annual Toy Drive at the SoBRO Center in the South Bronx. The Toy Drive will feature Santa Claus, hot chocolate and other surprises. SoBRO Holiday Helpers will distribute toys and winter clothing they collected from the community to needy families in the South Bronx, the poorest urban Congressional District in the country.
    This year the Jewish Child Care Association (JCCA) and Teenage Services Act (TASA) are partnering with SoBRO by providing access to 45 children and young adults in their care. SoBRO was joined in this year’s holiday initiative by the HUB 3rd Ave BID, YoungLand, Leroy Pharmacy, Delicioso Restaurant, Ambassadors of Change, Mas Advertising, Modells, Willy Wonka Barber shop and The Butchers Choice Meat Market. 
     2010 Toy Drive     
     South Bronx Overall Economic Development 
     Corporation (SoBRO)
     December 22, 2010 - 3pm
     Contact Linda Yantz, Development Associate 
     for more information

Monday, December 20, 2010

New York Yankees and Bronx BP Play Santa to Kids

    On Friday, December 17 the New York Yankees, and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr hosted the 2010 Winter Wonderland. Over 5,000 kids received toys and enjoyed hot chocolate, cookies and hot dogs while taking pictures with Santa Claus and his elves at Yankee Stadium.
    “We want to make sure all our kids have a great holiday season,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “With this event we want to spread joy and to give a hand to the neediest families in the borough. I thank the Yankees for helping us to put a smile on our children’s faces and for their continued charitable work.” 
 BP Diaz plays one of Santa's Elf's giving out toys to the children.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Senator Klein, Senator-Elect Gustavo Rivera and Santa Claus Celebrate The Holiday Season In The Bronx

     State Senator Jeff Klein (D- Bronx/ Westchester) kicked-off the holiday season with his Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Peace Memorial Plaza in Pelham Parkway. Klein was joined by Senator-Elect Gustavo Rivera and Santa Claus, who handed out gifts to children. Members of the community enjoyed complimentary hot chocolate and Christmas carols led by St. Lucy's Choir.
 Senator Klein, and Senator Elect Gustavo Rivera pose for picture with Santa on Pelham Parkway.

    Subsequent to New York City Comptroller John Liu's call for an emergency session of the Office of Payroll Administration Board of Directors, Comptroller Liu and Mayor Bloomberg have agreed to suspend Executive Director Joel Bondy indefinitely without pay.
    Comptroller Liu also suspended all payments to the vendor Spherion -- effective immediately -- until the City conducts a comprehensive review of subcontracting, consultant billing and record keeping practices.
    Comptroller Liu's office will continue to assist the U.S. Attorney's Office and DOI in their ongoing investigation into the CityTime project.
     Comptroller Liu rejected a $32 million encumbrance on the CityTime project, pursuant to the 9/28/2010 agreement that stipulates the City will not pay any more money until the full and timely completion of the Citytime project.
    New York City Comptroller John Liu had called for the emergency session of the New York City Office of Payroll Administration "OPA" Board of Directors upon yesterday's announcement by the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the NYC Department of Investigations of massive fraud and $80 million in misappropriations relating to the CityTime project. Comptroller Liu had stated: "This further underscores the need to more closely monitor expensive outside consultant contracts.
     As recently as last week, the Comptroller's Office has continuously provided series of documents to DOI for their investigation. The Comptroller's Office will continue to assist the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the NYC Department of Investigations in their ongoing investigation into the CityTime project.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Officials and Community Groups Commend Borough President Diaz's Actions on Homeless Shelter Plan

Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will be appearing on NY1’s “Inside City Hall” this evening.  The show airs at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Cablevision  channel 1.

   Today, on the steps of City Hall State Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, City Council Member G. Oliver Koppell and a wide variety of community organizations and civic leaders joined together to commend and support Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. on his decision to default on the vote of the Muller Army Reserve Center (MARC) LRA. 

     The LRA, which is made up of Borough President Diaz as well as two deputy mayors to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, had put forth a proposal to use the MARC to house a 200-unit homeless shelter for single men, despite widespread opposition to the plan and a glut of new and existing homeless shelters in Community Board #12, a number of which are planned for the area immediately adjacent to the MARC.

    Rather than a homeless shelter, Bronxites have for years asked that the National Guard units that currently occupy space outside of the Kingsbridge Armory be moved to the MARC, freeing up their current space for use as potential public schools. Since the MARC is already used by the military, transferring a different military unit would be an easy, inexpensive way to reuse the MARC. Instead, the Bloomberg administration has chosen to undergo a costly renovation of the MARC for use as a homeless shelter. 

    “We understand that we must help the least fortunate among us. With that said, Community Board #12 is already doing its fair share for the homeless. Adding another shelter to this community is wrong, especially when a viable alternative use for the MARC is on the table. It is shameful that this administration has ignored  the collective voice of the Bronx and pushed forward with this homeless shelter plan," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.



     New York City Comptroller John C. Liu stated the following in response to questions about today's announcement by the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the NYC Department of Investigations of massive fraud and $80 million in misappropriations relating to the CityTime project:
    "These charges will be another stain on the checkered history of the CityTime project. This further underscores the need to more closely monitor expensive outside consultant contracts."
     Comptroller Liu has called for an emergency session of the New York City Office of Payroll Administration "OPA" Board of Directors.
      As recently as last week, the Comptroller's Office has continuously provided series of documents to DOI for their investigation. The Comptroller's Office will continue to assist the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the NYC Department of Investigations in their ongoing investigation into the CityTime project.


Elevation of Judge Edgar Walker to Justice of the Supreme Court

    Tuesday afternoon Judge Edgar Walker was sworn in as the next Bronx Supreme Court Justice. Many were on hand for the occasion including Bronx elected officials such as Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Congressman Eliot Engel, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and Bronx Democratic County Leader Assemblyman Carl E. Heastie.
 Also in the picture are 81st A.D. District Leaders Bruce Feld and Randi Martos, along with Bruce Weitz chief of staff for Congressman Engel, and new Supreme Court Judge Edgar Walker..

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Espada Indicted  US Attorney
   NEW  Pedro Esapda charged with fraud and embezzlement of $500,000.00 from the Soundview Medical Center. His son has also been incited on similar charges it is reported. Both could face up to ten years in jail on these counts alone.
   We have just heard word that the US attorney will indict current State Senator Pedro Espada on five counts.
We will have the details as they are announced.

Monday, December 13, 2010


    On Sunday, December 12, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and The Bronx Tourism Council gave food enthusiasts the chance to taste the best of the Bronx cuisine. Residents who purchased tickets to the production of “A Bronx Messiah” by Handel at the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, received free admission to “A Taste of The Bronx” Food Show, an event created to draw attention and business to the borough’s array of fine restaurants.
    "With a record number of Bronx restaurants being recognized by publications like Zagat Survey and the Michelin Guide, it's an especially good time to celebrate some of the best eateries in our borough.  Our residents don’t have to go far to enjoy a good meal, The Bronx is full of excellent restaurants,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. 
        BP Diaz getting the first tasting of the food on display.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It Stinks
by Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz

    Kudos to Ms. Joanna Molloy from the New York Daily News for her sharp warning to us in Saturday’s column, New Yorkers rip Bloomberg on crash tax, say he's 'bleeding the middle class' dry.
    Her comparison of Mayor Bloomberg’s intention to allow the FDNY to bill drivers involved in accidents to the Emperor Nero’s tax on urine collectors may sound grotesque.  According to history, Nero’s son complained about the gross nature of that tax.  A gold coin was held high before him and a voice of authority stated: “This doesn’t stink.”  
    Well, my friends, if we hold Mayor Bloomberg’s plan up to the light, it does stink.
    It stinks that people who need help may not call for help.
    It stinks that anyone injured in a car accident where the car goes on fire would have to worry if he or she has an extra $415 in the bank before calling the FDNY for help.
    It stinks that under-privileged New Yorkers could decide to leave the scene of an accident just to avoid paying a $490 ‘crash’ tax.
    It stinks that the number of hit and runs could go up.
    It stinks that taxi drivers and truck drivers would have new worries added to their already difficult lives.
    It stinks that fender benders where the drivers (thankfully) have no injuries and are reported by a third party could cost drivers $365 for the ambulance that shows up.
     It stinks that needy New Yorkers may vow to never call 911 again even in the case of medical emergency because of this preposterous plan.
    The men and women who work in New York’s firehouses, drive emergency vehicles and respond to accidents are our heroes and heroines.
    It stinks to think that Mayor Michael Bloomberg could exploit the relationship between New York’s Bravest and New York residents by sending a bill from the FDNY to accident victims.
    It stinks that our Mayor or anyone could even think of pitting emergency care workers – our heroes and heroines – against the public.
    Back to Ms. Molloy’s reference to Nero … we’ve all heard the expression: “Nero fiddled while Rome burned.”
    Let’s hope that Mayor Michael Bloomberg does not take up the fiddle anytime soon.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Senator Klein’s Court Watchers Team To Show Solidarity At Bronx Vandalism Case
UPDATE This was postponed, as The case has been adjourned until further notice.
    Members of State Senator Jeff Klein's (D- Bronx/ Westchester) court watchers team will observe the court case of Iyylania Milityk on Friday, taking place at the Bronx Criminal Courthouse. Milityk is being charged a second time for committing vandalism within the 49th Precinct. Klein's Bronx Court Watchers program, which launched in April, is aimed at showing community support and solidarity in calling for tougher sentences for repeat adult graffiti vandals. The program is an extension of Klein's ongoing efforts to eliminate graffiti across the Bronx. As part of the Court Watchers program, volunteers from the community sit-in on repeat, adult offender court proceedings, wearing t-shirts and buttons that express their intolerance for graffiti and desire for a jail-time sentence. To volunteer for the Court Watchers program, residents should call Klein’s office at (718)-822-2049. 
     Observing the Court Case of Iyylania Milityk, who is being charged a  second time for vandalism within the  49th Precinct.  
     Bronx Courthouse, 265 East 161 Street, Bronx 
     For more information call (718) 822-2049

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

     On Thursday, December 9th  at Haven Academy Charter School in the Bronx, 175 students in grades Kindergarten through 3rd, will learn, rehearse and perform the timeless “Nutcracker” ballet in an engaging, one-day workshop. Children will learn basic ballet steps, practice scenes from the “Nutcracker” and then perform, dressed in costumes, for parents, peers and staff. The workshop will be led by two professional dancers from Ballet Ambassadors, Inc.-- a non-profit organization that gives children and teens in schools, afterschool programs, and homeless shelters the chance to share the stage with professional dancers in costumed adaptations of the ballet classics, original ballets, and world dance productions.
    The New York Foundling, one of the City’s oldest and largest child welfare agencies, developed Haven Academy Charter School to address the obstacles to educational achievement that plague students growing up in poor, underserved, urban communities and particularly those in the child welfare system. The school enrolls one third children in foster care, one third children with families receiving preventive services and one third children from the general Mott Haven community, the poorest Congressional district in the country.

Thursday, December 9, 2010
Haven Academy students perform “Nutcracker” ballet
Haven Academy Charter School, 170 Brown Place, Mott Haven, Bronx
CONTACT:       Abby Ross, LAK PR 212-329-1404/479-283-3505 or



Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Riverdalian Charles Moerdler named to MTA Board

   Prominent labor lawyer and Riverdale community leader Mr. Charles Moerdler has been named to the MTA board. It is unclear just whom Mr Moerdler will replace on the MTA board as there are several members who are holdover  members beyond the expiration of their terms. With his extensive labor background it is suspected that Mr. Moerdler will represent either the  Transit Workers Union, or the Metro North Railroad Unions. 
    There are 17 members of the MTA board appointed by either the Governor, Mayor of New York City, 7 surrounding county executives serviced by the MTA, employee unions, and New York City Transit Riders Council. The 17 member MTA board is headed by Mr. Jay Walder, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
The Battle For Control Of The State Senate May Not Be Over
    Newsday is reporting that former Democratic State Senator Craig Johnson has filed a notice of appeal Monday of a judge's ruling certifying Republican Jack Martins as the winner of the election in the 7th State Senate District, his attorney said. "We are optimistic that justice will be served on appeal". 
    Johnson believes that a hand count of all 85,000 ballots is needed to unearth votes for him that were missed by the new electronic voting machines.  Currently Republicans have a 32-30 margin in the State Senate, but should the full hand recount change the results in this race the State Senate would become deadlocked at 31-31.
Bronx Annual Chanukah Menorah Lighting Ceremony

    On Monday, December 6, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and the Bronx Jewish Community Council hosted the Bronx Annual Chanukah Menorah Lighting Ceremony at the Bronx County Building. The event, attended by elected officials, Jewish community leaders and dozens of residents, featured a live musical performance by Dafna, a world-renowned recording artist, performer, educator, and music therapist.
     “The Bronx Annual Chanukah Menorah Lighting Ceremony is a great opportunity to both celebrate the holiday season with our borough’s Jewish community and to renew the bonds of solidarity and friendship in faith that bind our residents together. Once again, Bronxites of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds join with communities across the world in commemorating the Festival of Lights,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
       Above Bp Diaz lights Menorah with Rabbi Greenblatt inside borough hall.
         They then went outside to light the giant Menorah on the steps of borough hall below.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

It's Official Democrats Loose Control of State Senate

     With new voter ballot scan machines, it took over one month to finally count all the ballots and declare all the winners in the State Senate races. The result is, after all that hard work in 2008 to finally win the majority (after 40 years of Republican control) State Senate Democrats have given back control of the State Senate to Republicans 32-30. Not only did they loose control; of the state house, but Democrats reelected the man who lead them to defeat Brooklyn Senator John Sampson as their leader.
     Some will say it was Pedro Espada Jr that caused the loss to Republicans, while others will point to the AEG scandal at Aqueduct Race Track, and others will say it was newly elected governor Andrew Cuomo who did not do enough to help senate Democrats either win more seats or get reelected. As we predicted there were three new Democratic State Senators elected this year, one in Queens, one in Hudson Valley, and one in Buffalo. The flip side however was that Democratics lost five seats while gaining only three for a net loss of two seats, and control of the State Senate.
     This will mean a loss of millions of dollars in member items to senate Democrats, as well as chairmanships of committees, as the party in power controls who gets what committee. Worse is that Republicans in the State Senate will control redistricting in 2011 on how State Senate districts will change. We have already heard that the 34th State Senate district (D-Jeff Klein) may change to include some of the area of former State Senator Frank Padavan's Republican stronghold, while dropping some heavy Democratic areas of the Bronx. This would then give Senator Klein a reason to run for that new proposed East Bronx congressional seat that may open up after redistricting

Friday, December 3, 2010

Croton Facility Monitoring Committee Meeting

    Wednesday December 15th at 7PM in the DEP community office 3660 Jerome Avenue is the next meeting of the CFMC. The agenda includes a brief update by DEP on M/WBE subcontracts of Schiavone & Skanska. A construction update and report on a recent smoke condition at the Jerome Park Reservoir & status of the forve main. Public acess to JPR and schedule for the next meeting.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Senator Klein Celebrates 1st Night Of Hanukkah With Bronx Seniors
    On Wednesday, December 1st, State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) held his 17th Annual Menorah lighting ceremony at the Bronx House in Pelham Parkway to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah. Rabbi Izzy Greenberg joined Senator Klein along with dozens of Bronx seniors to kick-off “The Festival Of Lights.”
    "When we celebrate Hanukkah, we celebrate miracles and wonder and are reminded of how fortunate we are to live in a community where we can prosper and raise our families safely and in peace,” said State Senator Jeff Klein
    Rabbi Greenberg led the ceremony with the traditional Hanukkah prayer and blessing which was followed by the lighting of the first candle of the Menorah. Seniors enjoyed kosher snacks and refreshments provided by Senator Klein.
Senate Democrats Reelect Sampson as Leader

    With two State Senate seats still undecided, and a best case scenario of a 31-31 tie in the State Senate Democrats reelected Brooklyn Senator John Sampson as their Conference Leader. The State Senate is currently 31-29 in favor of the Republicans, with the two seats likely to go one to each side giving the Republicans back control of the State Senate 32-30.    
    This despite the fact that as I predicted Democrats would pick up three new seats in the State Senate which they did. Tony Avella won in Queens, David Carlucci in Hudson Valley, and Tim Kennedy in Buffalo, but Democrats  lost five other seats under John Sampson's leadership as they should go back into the minority in the State Senate by 32-30.    
    It was Senator Sampson, who was one of the people named in the investigation of the Aqueduct Racino, in a bid to put slot machines in the race track by a failed bidder that was reported to have been favored.
    So will end the Democratic control of the State Senate, unless a miracle happens that Democrats win both seats still contested resulting in a tie, give the tie breaking votes to the new Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thompson Ends Senate Race, and
Democrats Hope of Majority in State Senate

   Current Democratic Senator Antoine M. Thompson officially conceded today to his Democrat turned Republican opponent Mark Grisanti. This now means that the Republicans have a 31 to 29 lead on Democrats in the State Senate with two seats left to finish recounting. It looks like the best case scenario for Democrats would be a 31-31 tie. In that case the tie breaking vote would come from newly elected Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy.
   In the Westchester race incumbent Suzy Oppenheimer should be able to stay ahead of her Republican opponent, while on Long Island incumbent Senator Craig Johnson trail Republican Jack Martins. Democratic hopes are that even if when all the votes are counted, that a recount of the paper ballots will give the win to Johnson. The hope could be that if voters filled in more than one circle on their ballot that there was a foul up in the machine as to alter the actual voter count, thus a full ballot hand recount would give Democrat Johnson the win.
Upcoming Events

1.- Bronx Annual Chanukah Menorah Lighting Ceremony
  Monday, December 6 ---      1:30 p.m.
  Bronx County Building 851 Grand Concourse 
  To RSVP, please call 718-590-3989
   Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, is a celebration of the victory of the Maccabees and the rededication of the Jerusalem Temple. It also commemorates the miracle of the oil that burned for 8 days.  

2.- Bronx Annual Christmas  Tree Lighting    
  Wednesday, December 8 ---      5:00 p.m.
  Bronx County Building 851 Grand Concourse at 161st Street 
  To RSVP, please send an email to  or call 718-590-3522 
    The Cardinal Spellman High School’s Gospel Choir will play traditional holiday songs. 

3.- A Taste of the Bronx Food Show   
  Sunday, December 12 ---    5:00 p.m.
  Lehman Center for the Performing Arts 
  Following the Handel’s Messiah concert, taking place at the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, the 5th Annual “A Taste of The Bronx” food show will feature some of The Bronx’s most popular eateries in one room for concert goers to enjoy. 
  They will be able to sample the cuisine of top Bronx restaurants, some of them celebrated by restaurant critics and featured in dining guides like Zagat and Michelin.
  Admission to the food show is free with the purchase of a concert ticket at Lehman.  
  For further information and to find out how your restaurant can be part of A Taste of the Bronx, please contact Sara Monserrat at 718-590-2502 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Public Hearing Thursday December 2nd

    As it appeared in the City Record Monday November 29, 2010, there will be a Public hearing on Thursday December 2nd 2010 at 10AM in room 915 of the Bronx County Building 851 Grand Concourse by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
    The matter of the public hearing is to an application submitted by the Department of City Planning pursuant to sections 197c and 201 of the New York City charter for an amendment of the Zoning Map, Section # 1D and 3C. The zoning changes will occur in Community Boards #7 and 12.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Riverdale Review Boycott?

    It appears that there is someone or some people who are participating in the above boycott who are leaving comments that have derogatory remarks. In the matter of the boycott of the Riverdale Review this blog and my column have taken an opinion that the whole matter is none of our business. While we may have some gripes with the owner of the Review, we also have some problems with the those tactics that are being used by the anti-Review people, such as the comments being left on this and other blogs. I have not seen any of those comments on the Bronx News Network blog, and why has Gary Axelbank not done a show about it.
    I will not get into the personalities of Mr. Andrew Wolf or Mr. Anthony Perez Cassino, whom this whole boycott seems to be centering around. If you want to comment on this post you may, however please do not put any links to biased opinions, or derogatory remarks as they will be deleted.  

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Assemblyman Marcos Crespo Calls Upon Cathie Black To Withdraw Her Application For School Chancellor
    Assemblyman Marcos Crespo (D-Bronx) is calling upon Cathie Black to withdraw as New York City School Chancellor Candidate. “While I respect Cathie Black’s interest in overseeing the New York City school system that serves 1.1 million children, I respectfully suggest that she withdraw her application. Ms. Black has an impressive resume that may very well be sought after by many media companies, but our education system should not be supervised by anyone who needs to be chaperoned by someone else who has the required education experience."
    “The advisory panel recommended for the State Education Department to deny the waiver for Cathie Black, even though according to reports, some of those panel members are tied to the Bloomberg Administration. 
     Like many of my colleagues and like many parents of children who attend New York City’s public schools, I urge State Education Commissioner David Steiner to deny the waiver as submitted and refuse to circumvent the waiver process by rejecting any modified waiver for Ms. Black. 
    “It is unconscionable to consider that Mayor Bloomberg would resubmit Cathie Black’s School Chancellor application with new conditions - such as being joined with a co-chancellor who has education experience.  The very suggestion that since Ms. Black’s experience does not qualify her to serve, an alternative waiver could permit her to serve with a qualified co-chair does not seem to be within the scope of the law. 
    “Just one year ago, Mayor Bloomberg emphasized why New Yorkers should have more choices when electing their mayor.  I respectfully suggest that the Mayor give himself more choice and select someone who qualifies for the position of School Chancellor and has the experience to serve as required by law.”

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Will State Education Commissioner Steiner Give Cathie Black A Waiver Now That His Panel Votes Against It?

    In a four to two vote with two members abstaining the panel of experts set up by State Education Commissioner David Steiner has said no to giving a waiver to Mayor Bloomberg's choice of Hearst Publications President  Ms Cathie Black This now leaves a very big question to the fytyre of Ms. Cathie Black, and just when will Mayor Bloomberg withdraw her as his choice to replace Joel Klein as chancellor of the New York City public schools. 
    Once the panel released their decision there was no comment by Mayor Bloomberg. The two abstaining votes were said to be at this time, and Commissioner Steiner is leaning to have the application resubmitted with a Chief academic officer included.
Friends, Family, and Supporters Celebrate Kenny Agosto's Birthday

    Monday night was the celebration of 80th Assembly Male District Leader Kenny Agosto's 41th birthday. There were many friends, family, supporters, and even a few politicians on hand. New York City Comptroller John Liu said that more people like Kenny Agosto are needed in public office. 78th State Committeeman Ricky Martinez recalled the first time he met Kenny at the Board of Elections when Kenny was running against then Assemblywoman Gloria Davis. Also on hand was newly elected 79th Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, who said that his inauguration was being held on January 8th. 
    While I asked again if he was going to run for the 80th Assembly seat, Kenny again would not commit himself either way. He mentioned redistricting next year, and that he would have to see how the district changes.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


NYS Senator Eric Adams and NYS Assemblyman Marcos Crespo will amend State law to require concurrent resolution by the Senate and Assembly for any Commissioner’s waiver of requirements for persons who do not meet educational or professional prerequisites
NYS Senator Eric Adams states: “My legislation (S8512) will amend the Education law to restrict the ability of the Commissioner of Education to issue a certificate for Superintendent or Chancellor to persons who do not meet educational or professional requirements for the position.
“New York State law requires that school superintendents have a minimum of three years teaching experience and done graduate work in ‘school administration.’  The law enables the Regents to grant waivers in the case of ‘exceptionally qualified persons’ whose ‘exceptional training and experience are the substantial equivalent’ of certification in teaching.
 “Requiring concurrent resolution of the Senate and Assembly for waivers will bring a thorough and essential review process and a necessary transparency.  The individual selected as Chancellor must be the most appropriate person for this uniquely demanding position.” 
NYS Assemblyman Marcos Crespo states: “I will introduce legislation in the NYS Assembly to modify existing Education law to require concurrent resolution of the Assembly and Senate when the State Education commissioner grants a waiver to any individual who does not possess the stipulated requirements for the position of public schools Chancellor.
“It is imperative that any decision on the issuance of a waiver for someone seeking ‘exceptionally qualified person status’ undergo a careful and comprehensive review process to ensure that the selectee is the most qualified individual available.
 “A compelling alternative argument is required in support of anyone who has no background in or commitment to public education; the elected representatives of the people of New York State must review any such selection.”
Sunday, November 21, 2010 – 1:30PM  On the steps of Tweed Courthouse

Saturday, November 20, 2010


    On Thursday, November 18, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Comité Noviembre celebrated Puerto Rican Heritage Month 2010 honoring an important group of Puerto Rican leaders.  
     The annual event highlights the positive impact the Puerto Rican community has made on virtually every sector of life in The Bronx.  During the celebration, which was attended by more than 250 Bronx community leaders from the fields of academia, community service, the arts, healthcare, business and communications, Borough President Diaz honored the outstanding careers of Marcus Solis, ABC Network reporter, and Angel Rodriguez, well known musician. The keynote speaker for the evening was Nicholasa Mohr, author of numerous acclaimed books for children and adults. 
 Caption: From left, Marcus Solis, Nicholasa Mohr, Borough President Diaz, and Angel Rodriguez.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Did Donald Trump Convince Mayor Bloomberg to Appoint Cathie Black Chancellor?
    If you watched the "Apprentice", Donald Trump's television show last night you saw that the reward for the winning project manager was a meeting with a highly skilled, professional, executive of a major corporation. Since the current season of the Apprentice is filmed weeks in advance, Donald Trump when saying  the title of the person that the winner was having their meeting with only said Ms. Cathie Black President of Heart Publications. 
    I almost fell out of my seat when Donald Trump mentioned Ms. Blacks name, and then realized that if Mayor Bloomberg needed someone to replace Joel Klein, Donald Trump probably suggested that he hire Ms. Cathie Black, some one who Mr. Trump has great admiration for. 
    Now if only Mayor Bloomberg would only admit that he took Donald Trumps advice we could see how she was ever thought of for the position of chancellor. 
   New York State Education Commissioner David Steiner has announced an eight-member screening panel to review Mayor Bloomberg’s waiver request for Ms. Black. Three members are former employees of Joel Klein that left before he did. 
    Mayor Bloomberg said that it would be very difficult for him to find another choice for chancellor if the waiver for Ms. Black is denied. 
    New York City Comptroller John C. Liu stated the following in response to questions about the Mayor's proposed layoffs and service cuts:
    "Layoffs and cuts to essential city services aren't the only options for closing a daunting $1.6 billion budget gap.  Especially now, there must be a concerted effort across city agencies to identify and trim any fat around city contracts. Specifically, agencies should be questioning whether all contracts are truly necessary, and should also be asking for reasonable cost concessions from its major contractors the way even the MTA has recently and successfully done.
    "In Fiscal Year 2010, my office identified $157.4 million in potential savings through audits of city agencies alone.
    "Working with the Mayor, we will continue to seek additional savings through audits and contract reviews to improve efficiency in city agencies and ensure that each and every dollar available is maximized. In the coming weeks, we will issue our review of the Mayor's budget, including options to consider before resorting to service cuts and layoffs."
Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz to Distribute Thanksgiving Turkeys to Seniors

    New York State Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz, Chair of the Senate Aging Committee, will distribute Thanksgiving turkeys on Friday, November 19, 2010 at two senior citizen centers in The Bronx.
    At 11:30 am, Senator Reverend Díaz will join senior citizens at the Sue Ginsberg Center located at 975 Waring Avenue to distribute turkeys to every member who is present at that center.
    At 12:00 noon, Senator Reverend Díaz will join senior citizens at the RAIN Boston Road Senior Center located at 2424 Boston Road to distribute turkeys to every member who is present at that center.
     “I thank God for all of our senior citizens and wish them all a blessed and happy thanksgiving day”, stated Senator Reverend Díaz.
     Senator Reverend Díaz will be distributing turkeys (or vouchers for turkeys) at eighteen more senior citizen centers in his district before Thanksgiving Day.    

Thursday, November 18, 2010


     Leroy/LeMed Pharmacies and Marketing & Advertising Solutions Inc. (MAS) will be sponsoring Thanksgiving meals for underprivileged Bronxites at HIV Centers throughout the borough as well as donating turkeys to needy Bronx families during the week leading up to Thanksgiving Day. The recent 1st Annual MAS-Querade Ball held on October 28th, which featured a Latin-style buffet, great music, and special performances, allowed MAS and Leroy Pharmacies to raise funds to provide these meals and turkeys this holiday season. “The event was very successful and I’m looking forward to producing more Events by MAS that will benefit the Bronx community” said Jacqueline Acevedo, CEO of MAS Inc.
     “Leroy/LeMed Pharmacies are happy to give back to the community in every way possible. We are excited to have partnered with MAS Inc. to make these events possible for individuals that may not otherwise have a Thanksgiving meal”, says Vipul Parekh, pharmacist at the Gun Hill Road location.
    These Thanksgiving meals are by invitation only. For more information on how to attend these events, please contact MAS Inc. at 718.676.1626. 
    Marketing & Advertising Solutions Inc. was launched in 2007 and is the largest and only freestanding multimedia firm in the borough. Recognized for an unparalleled commitment to clients and obtaining optimum results via all facets of media, MAS provides the strategic aptitude needed to build companies and organizations, large and small.