Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Espada Big Looser on Bronxtalk 33rd State Senate Debate

   Monday night's Bronxtalk debate between the candidates of the 33rd State Senate District started off by host Gary Axelbank apologizing to viewers that incumbent 33rd State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. would not be participating in the debate, and that Espada was exhibiting a lack respect for the voters of the 33rd State Senate District. Axelbank added that Espada didn't even have the decency to respond to any of his correspondences. Senator Espada told me that he would have no problem debating on the corner or on television when I asked him at a previous press conference, and I guess the voters should take Senator Espada for his word, which seems to be questionable. 
   The debate for the 33rd State Senate District went on without Espada, as J. Gustavo Rivera and Dan Padernacht began with host Axelbank questioning candidate Padernacht on his candidacy saying "aren't you playing a spoiler in this race"? Padernacht replied with "that is the hype Mr. Rivera is playing, trying to dissuade my supporters and steal my votes away". Padernacht added that his family has lived in the district for over 60 years, and that he (Padernacht) was part of the team that challenged Espada on his residency two years ago. 
   Candidate Rivera mentioned his endorsements from unions and elected officials including BP Diaz Jr. and Assemblyman Dinowitz, to which Padernacht asked "why did BP Diaz and Dinowitz wait so long to endorse you"? Padernacht added his community involvement from fighting the water filtration plant to a proposed methadone clinic in the district. On the question of community involvement Mr. Rivera said that he has lived in the district for 10 years in a rent stabilized apartment, and helped on the Obama campaign. When Padernacht asked Rivera to talk about his community involvement, Rivera countered with his work for the state senate helping to make for a democratic majority. 
   When questioned that he is a lawyer for realtor's Padernacht said that his father helped organize the tenants of the Sholom Aleichem Houses, and that is how he was brought up to help people. Padernacht added that he went to law school, and that he, his mother, his brother, and his grandmother all live in rent stabilized apartments. Rivera said that he helped elect State Senator Cousins (D-Yonkers) who want to get rid of the Erstead law, but Senator Espada is the chair of the Senate Housing Committee who will not let that happen. Padernacht replied that he was in court this morning defending a tenants rights, and said that he is well versed in the law and knows what has to be done in Albany. 
   National health care came up with both Rivera and Padernacht agreeing that more has to be done at the local level, including incentives for people to remain healthy. 
   When Rivera brought up the Kingsbridge Armory during the job creation question, Padernacht said that Rivera was not involved in the armory issue, and again challenged Rivera to discuss how he has been involved in the 33rd district. 
     When Rivera repeated that unions such as 1199 and the UFT have endorsed him, Padernacht countered that it was the political units of the unions that have endorsed and that the membership would probably vote for him.
    On the question of Mayoral Control of the public schools Rivera said that some aspects have worked, while Padernacht said that Mayoral Control has been a failure as seen by the recent test scores.
   In closing statements Padernacht continued his argument that Mr. Rivera was trying to sway Padernacht supporters, and potential Padernacht voters away with the spoiler issue repeating that he (Padernacht) will win the election. Padernacht ended by saying that he is on Community Board #8, that you see him in the community, and will always see him in the community.
   In Mr. Rivera's closing statement, he stated the lack of concern by the current state senator, and said that "I want to work for you". 
  After the debate Mr. Rivera told me that he brought out the facts about Pedro Espada Jr. that the senator needed to be called out on. Mr. Padernacht said that there was no reason to hack Espada, that he wanted to bring out his community involvement, and Mr. Rivera's lack of community involvement. 
   I give the Bronxtalk debate to Dan Padernacht for presenting excellent reasons as to why he deserves to get the vote of the people, while J. Gustavo Rivera could only rattle off endorsements and knock the incumbent Perdro Espada Jr., not that Espada didn't deserve it.  

Monday, August 30, 2010


   The New York Foundling Mott Haven Academy Charter School is First in Nation to Combine Academic Program with Social and Healthcare Services
   Surrounded by children, educators, parents and community leaders, Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott will ring a ceremonial bell on Wednesday, September 1st 2010, at 9:30 am, to celebrate the opening of a first-of-its kind facility that combines a full academic charter school with social services, preventative programs and free healthcare clinic under one roof. 
   The first school of its kind in the nation, “Haven Academy” was founded specifically to address the needs of children in the child welfare system.  The school model integrates the rigorous academic curriculum of a charter school with the supportive social services that many of these children and families rely on to remain intact.  
WHO:              NYC Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott, NYS Assembly Member Carmen Arroyo, NYC City Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, New York Foundling Executive Director Bill Baccaglini, Haven Academy Principal Jessica Nauiokas, Haven Academy staff, children, parents

WHAT:            New York Foundling Bell Ringing Ceremony to Celebrate new Haven Academy and Bronx Community Services Facility

WHERE:          Mott Haven Academy Charter School, 170 Brown Place, Mott Haven, NY

WHEN:            Wednesday, September 1, 2010, 9:30 am

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz endorse J. Gustavo Rivera in 33rd State Senate District

   This morning J. Gustavo Rivera picked up the endorsement of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Assemblyman Jeffry Dinowitz of the 81th A.D. 
   BP Diaz said that he has know Mr. Rivera for many years, it is important for him (Diaz) to have partners in government to work with, that he (Diaz) has such relationships in the city council, state legislature and even congress, with the exception of the 33rd State Senator Pedro Espada Jr., and 86th Assemblyman Nelson Castro. Diaz added that it is important to vote out elected officials that give the Bronx a bad reputation such as Senator Espada. 
   Assemblyman Dinowitz in his endorsement speech brought up the senate coup last June and said that all the hard work and bills passed by the Assembly died while Pedro Espada played with the fate the balence of power in the state senate. Dinowitz added that as Senate Housing Chairman Espada has blocked every piece of pro tenant legislation. 
   J. Gustavo Rivera thanked both BP Diaz and Assemblyman Dinowitz for their endorsement, and added "Pedro Esapda Jr. has forgotten who he represents". He also thanked Yudelka Tapia a candidate from last years 14th City Council race who was there to also support Mr. Rivera's candidacy. 
  BP Diaz was questioned if his endorsement of Mr. Rivera will cause any family problems, since Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. his father has endorsed Pedro Espada Jr. Diaz Jr. answered back with "this is not the first time, nor will it be the last time that I will differ with my father Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. BP Diaz added that in 2002 Pedro Espada Jr. abandoned the Democratic Party and that was how my father became a state senator. 
   When Dinowitz was asked how he is endorsing Mr. Rivera, he answered as an assemblyman whose district is part of the 33rd state senate, and not as Bronx County Committee Chairman. When asked if he will pursue  dis enrollment procedures should Espada win the Democratic Primary, Dinowitz said " let's hope that issue of party enrollment will be mute after the election".
   Tonight is the first of two scheduled debates between all three candidates for the 33rd State Senate, and it is suspected that only J. Gustavo Rivera and Dan Padernacht will show up. The debate can be seen on Bronxtalk hosted by Gary Axelbank on Cablevison  channel 67 at 9PM, and check the channel listing for Verizon Fios.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Frankie Avalon Concert in Loreto Park

   While he didn't bring his Beach Party movies co-star Annette Funicello with him to the Loreto Park concert, the fans still came out to see Frankie Avalon Thursday night. The concert by Frankie Avalon was set up by State Senator Jeff Klein as part of his free Summertime Symphonies concert series.
 Above Senator Klein with Frankie Avalon as he signs an autograph for a fan.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

More Endorsements for Gustavo Rivera in the 33rd Senate Race

   It is all but set in stone that Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. along with Bronx Democratic County Committee Chairman Jeffrey Dinowitz will endorse J. Gustavo Rivera in the 33rd State Senate race. We are told that this will happen Monday morning 11AM at City Hall.
   Assemblyman Dinowitz answered my question of the endorsement with "that's what I read all over". While the Ben Franklin Club (Dinowitz's home base) had recently endorsed J. Gustavo Rivera in the 33rd senate race, Dinowitz was reluctant then to add his endorsement due to the fact that he wanted to remain neutral as he was being asked by the New York State Democratic Party to throw Pedro Espada Jr. out of the Democratic Party. As County Committee Chairman, Dinowitz would be the person to initiate party dismissal proceedings.
   The endorsement of J. Gustavo Rivera by BP Ruben Diaz Jr. will put the Diaz family at odds, as Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. has endorsed incumbent Pedro Espada Jr. in the33rd State Senate race.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Just Where Does Assemblyman Nelson Castro Live?

   That is the question Bronx Democrats are asking, as the Daily News reports that the Bronx Democratic Party is pulling out all the stops in backing 86th Assembly District Male District Leader Hector Ramirez including trying to yank current 86th Assemblyman Nelson Castro's Democratic Party registration on an issue of residency.
to read the whole story, Bronx Democratic County Leader Carl E. Heastie's reply to charges of using the new head of the Board of Elections to invalidate Assemblyman Castro's voter registration, and even the Board of Election notice of intent to cancel Castro's democratic registration.
   Kudos to Bob Kappstatter Daily News Bronx Bureau Chief on a great story.

J. Gustavo Rivera Expected to pick up Citywide Elected Officials Support

   It is being reported that 33rd State Senate candidate J. Gustavo Rivera will pick up endorsements from two citywide officials. It is expected that NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and NYC Comptroller John Liu will endorse Gustavo Rivera against Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. today.  
  This would be a significant  endorsement for candidate Rivera, as he has only picked up support of those mostly outside the senate district, with the exception of City Council members Cabrera, Koppell, and Palma.
  It should be noted that Senator Pedro Espada Jr. is expected to skip the two debates that have been set up for the candidates of the 33rd State Senate District.

Assemblywoman Rivera Refuses Debate With Giuffre

  Here is the press release from Robert Giuffre candidate for the 80th Assembly District, upon learning that 80th Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera will not debate him on Bronxtalk September 6th.
    Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera refused to debate challenger Robert Giuffre.  Gary Axelbank, host of the popular BronxTalk television program, announced the news yesterday (August 26, 2010) via press release.  The Giuffre campaign believes Mr Axelbank was 100% correct when he said:
    "This is yet another low in Bronx elected representation.  One would think that incumbents would be eager to boast of their records on the eve of a primary or at least feel a sense of responsibility to their constituents and the democratic process itself.  Unfortunately, that's not the case.  It's the height of arrogance and disrespect."
    The Giuffre campaign presses on with its grassroots effort to unseat the dysfunctional Assembly member. 

Friends of Rob Giuffre
Democrat for Assembly – District 80
Contact: 347-538-6231

Thursday, August 26, 2010


   Senator Ruben Díaz Sr. who  is  also the President of the New York Hispanic Clergy Organization  and Pastor of the Christian Community Neighborhood Church in the  Bronx, welcomed Mr. Carl Paladino to the clergy breakfast at Maestro’s Caterer’s this morning. 
   According  to  Senator  Rubén Díaz, an invitation has been sent to New York Attorney  General  Andrew Cuomo  and to Mr. Rick Lazio also candidates for Governor  of the State of New York. “The purpose of this meeting is to hear their   responses  to  our  community  needs  such  as  Education,  Health, Employment, Housing and other issues. By doing this, our community will be educated  in their position and will have a better understanding regardless of their political parties,” stated Senator Díaz.
   Rev. Diaz said that every election candidates tell us how much they love us, what they will do for us, and that they want our votes, but after the election they are gone. "We are going to give all the candidates the courtesy to come and speak to us". 
   When Republican candidate for governor Carl Paladino arrived shortly after the start of the breakfast, Rev. Diaz told him "you are the only one of the three candidates for governor to give us the respect to show up here, and speak to us". "If the other two candidates won't respect us by showing up they must not want our vote". 
   Candidate Paladino said that he is a businessman, lawyer, and a  developer, who is running for office for the first time. "I am an outsider to Albany, I am the only anti abortion candidate, I am against gay marriage (as marriage is between a man and a woman he added), and I will fix what's wrong in Albany". Paladino added that he will go to Albany with a baseball bat (that bat being the voters he added) to bring back a government that will serve all the people. Paladino wants to lower spending by 20 percent, taxes by 10 percent, and create job expansion. Paladino said that Washington is a disgrace, and that Albany makes Washington look like a bunch of choir boys. 
   Rev. Diaz said to Paladino that we might agree on some issues and that they might disagree on some, but that you came to talk to us. Diaz said that the meeting was arraigned through the Bronx Republican Party County Leader Jay Savino (who could not attend due to business), and that Bronx Board of Election Commissioner J.C. Polanco stood in for Savino. 
   Rev. Diaz then ask Paladino "the papers say that you are anti hispanic, and want to put us all in jail". Paladino replied by saying that there are those who want to slow me down and call me a racist, but those who know me laugh at that. Paladino added that the public school system has failed all children, and that he was in favor of charter schools. Paladino continued to say that he would set up a system where people would have to choose to finish school, join the national guard, or go into fields of service such as forestry in rural areas, or in urban areas service to the cities. 
   When asked how people of color would play a role in the Paladino administration, the reply was that Paladino is color blind, and that people will be chosen by ability and not by color. When I asked one of Paladino's aides who came with him how many people of color are on the campaign staff, I was told out of the eight paid staffers-none, but some of the volunteers are. 
   When it came to the question of immigration Paladino said "children born here are citizens, but illeagal immigrants should be given a clear path to go back where they came from". 
    My question to candidate for governor Carl Paladino was what he thought about the recent test score uproar in New York State and New York City, and was he in favor of bi-lingual education in the schools? Paladino's answer was "I am not familiar with the recent test scores or bilingual education".

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Living Wage Study: A Stalling Tactic

   EDC Hires Living Wage Opponents to Conduct Study
   The Living Wage NYC campaign announced today that it is condemning the city’s rigged living wage study. The study, which was recently announced by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC), is being spearheaded by Charles River Associates, a management consulting firm based out of Boston. Economists David Neumark and Daniel Hamermesh, who are among the nation’s most vociferous opponents not just of living wage policies but even of the minimum wage, are part of the team.
   “The EDC could have selected a balanced team of experts to give New Yorkers a fair-minded assessment of living wage policies,” said Paul Sonn, policy co-director at the National Employment Law Project. “Instead, it is spending $1 million in taxpayer money to hire economists who are already on record as consistent critics of living wage and minimum wage policies, and who are affiliated with a lobbying arm of the restaurant industry.”
   Hamermesh and Neumark are both strong critics of minimum and living wage policies and have ties to Richard Berman’s Employment Policies Institute, a widely discredited pseudo think-tank, backed by the restaurant and beverage industry.  As exposed by the New York Times in June, the Employment Policies Institute is one of a group of sham, industry-backed “research” organizations established by Berman.  In addition to opposing minimum wage increases, Berman’s groups work to weaken drunk driving laws and promote sales of soda and candy in public schools.  See “Nonprofit Advocate Carves Out a For-Profit Niche,” New York Times, June 17, 2010.
   Neumark is the nation’s leading anti-living wage researcher.  Hamermesh has endorsed Neumark’s research and has been publicly critical of even modest increases in the minimum wage.  Neumark’s living wage research has been criticized by other economists as “neither methodologically sound nor statistically or substantively robust.”
   “Using consultants who have already made up their minds shows that the EDC is not concerned with the economic development of all New Yorkers but the economic development of rich developers and big businesses that are not interested in helping their workers live sustainable lives,” said Valery Jean, Executive Director of Families United for Racial & Economic Equality (FUREE). “The math is easy: to address the revenue crisis, you must provide living wages and health benefits for all.”
   The EDC’s study could hinder progress in enacting the Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act, which will guarantee that when the city gives businesses public subsidies, the jobs they create will pay at least a living wage. All workers employed at subsidized developments will be covered, including employees at retail stores located in subsidized shopping centers, concession workers at subsidized stadiums and cafeteria workers in subsidized office buildings.
   “At a moment when our city sits at the center of the foreclosure and unemployment crisis, Mayor Bloomberg has chosen to spend a million dollars of the city's money to commission a study on how paying a living wage to the poor might affect the non-poor,” said Reverend Dr. Peter Heltzel, Director of the Micah Institute at New York Theological Seminary. “The million dollars being spent on the study could turn 174 minimum-wage jobs into full-time living-wage jobs for a year. It's time for New York to step up to the plate and heed the cries of its impoverished workers.”
   More than 15 cities have enacted such legislation, and they have found that these policies create quality jobs for local residents without slowing growth. New York City is behind the times on this issue and, as a result, our publicly subsidized developments are keeping people in poverty-wage jobs, rather than providing them with opportunities to get ahead.
   Living Wage NYC Coalition partners (in formation): Community Voices Heard; Families United for Racial and Economic Equality; Fifth Ave. Committee; Fiscal Policy Institute; Good Old Lower East Side; The Greater NY Labor Religion Coalition; Jewish Labor Committee; Make the Road NY; Drum Major Institute for Public Policy; Pratt Area Community Council Leadership Group; New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church; The Micah Institute at New York Theological Seminary; National Employment Law Project; Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition; Northwest Bronx for Change; NY Communities for Change; New York Annual Converence of the United Methodist Church; NY Jobs with Justice & Urban Agenda; Pratt Area Community Council Leadership Group; Retail Action Project; Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Labor Wonders About New Roosevelt's Lack of Involvemnt of Late

   It seems that after an early publicity campaign complete with a protest outside Senator Pedro Espada's home in Mamaroneck in June there are those who are involved now wondering where has the New Roosevelt Initiative been lately.
   Click the link below to see the whole story.

Bronx Community Board #4 to Announce Community Outreach Campaign

Who:                Bronx Community Board #4 & Community Leaders
What:               “Community That Cares” Campaign Announcement
Where:             Steps of the Bronx County Courthouse, 851 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY
When:              Wednesday, August 25, 2010, 11 AM
Due to the on-going senseless violence throughout our neighborhoods Bronx Community Board #4 will announce their “Community That Cares” campaign, a positive initiative that will aggressively aim to “clean up” the graffiti, the guns, the gangs, our parks, our buildings, our blocks and our neighborhood!  We will organize a coalition of clergy, business and community leaders to address this matter.  Ours will be an ongoing campaign that enlists the public and private sector in promoting productive, positive persons that are committed to helping our community move forward. 

Term Limits Again Will Get Spot on Ballot

This comes from the Wall Street Journal about the term limit issue, and other items  voted on by the Charter Revision Commission.
   New York City voters will have the opportunity in November to restore a law that will cap elected officials' service at two consecutive four-year terms, but if they choose that option their decision will not fully take effect until 2021, a city panel decided Monday night.
Amid swirling controversy, the Charter Revision Commission voted to approve a so-called grandfather clause that allows all incumbents to serve a maximum of three four-year terms, even if the electorate decides on Nov. 2 to restore a cap on two terms.
   On the City Council, 32 of the 51 members are eligible to serve a third term and will benefit from the decision. Two newly elected citywide officials—Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Comptroller John Liu—and two borough presidents—Scott Stringer of Manhattan and Ruben Diaz Jr. of the Bronx—also stand to benefit.
   Members of the commission, a 15-member panel appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, were bitterly divided on this issue of providing special dispensation to incumbents. The panel attempted twice Monday night to approve an alternative effective date for the term-limits measure, but those motions failed to win a majority of votes.
   Anthony Perez Cassino, a commission member who believed the will of the voters should be effective immediately, said the grandfathering of all incumbents is a "disservice" to the public to "make it so far into the future."
   Stephen Fiala, a commissioner who supported the grandfathering clause, called the move a "thoughtful and balanced solution."
   But many members of the public, who addressed the commission prior to the vote, voiced disdain for placing the effective date of the voters' decision so far into the future.
The public is "outraged by what's being done," said Henry Stern, a former city parks commissioner. "You are wronging the people of the city of New York."
  Several commission members acknowledged in their remarks that it was a difficult decision. Commission Chairman Matt Goldstein said the panel wasn't going to "solve" the term-limits issue, but he urged all the members to vote with "integrity."
   The commission considered and ultimately approved two yes or no questions to be placed on the Nov. 2 ballot.
   The first question asks voters whether they want to restore the cap on term-limits to two consecutive four-year terms—while protecting incumbents' ability to serve three terms—and a provision that would prohibit the council from altering the term-limits law in the future in any way that affects incumbents.
   The second question asks voters to decide on a slew of other issues, including campaign eligibility requirements, conflicts of interest, zoning procedures and more.
   Hope Cohen, a member of the commission, said she is disappointed so many issues are being bundled together, a result of the new electronic voting machines that make their debut in the city next month.
   "When you get 10 different subjects bundled together, there is a good possibility that you will like various items and not like various items," Ms. Cohen said in an interview. "It's unfortunate."
  The marquee issue on the ballot this fall will be the question on term limits. In 2008, Mr. Bloomberg persuaded the City Council to overturn a law capping elected officials service at two consecutive four-year terms, paving the way for his successful bid for a third term in the fall of 2009. Voters approved a two-term cap in two referendums in the 1990s.
   The mayor's and council's decision to overturn the law in 2008 fueled widespread voter anger, with some political observers saying it contributed to Mr. Bloomberg's narrow margin of victory a year later.
   Other issues expected to be placed on the ballot include: require public disclosure of expenditures made by entities and individuals independent from candidates to influence the outcome of a city election or referendum; reduce the number of petition signatures needed by candidates for city elective office to appear on a ballot; merge voter assistance functions, including a reconstituted Voter Assistance Advisory Committee, into the Campaign Finance Board; and change when Campaign Finance Board member terms begin.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Letter to Mayor Bloomberg Re-Pelham Parkway Tree Removal

   In an open letter to Mayor Bloomberg sent earlier today, a group of Bronx elected officials representing the Pelham Parkway community are seeking a reassessment of City plans to remove 80 trees as part of the Pelham Parkway Reconstruction project. The letter is signed by Council Member James Vacca, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Congressman Joseph Crowley, State Senator Jeff Klein, Assembly Member Naomi Rivera, and Assembly Member Michael Benedetto.

The Pelham Parkway Reconstruction is a $36 million capital project led by the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) to improve the road and sewer network on one of the borough's main east-west thoroughfares. The City plans to remove up to 50 trees to make way for a guardrail along the parkway; an additional 30 to 40 trees have been designated by the Department of Parks and Recreation as unhealthy and in need of removal.

The joint letter asks the Mayor to:

* Incorporate community voices into its internal tree-removal review by appointing three representatives of the Pelham Parkway Preservation Alliance to sit on the recently formed DDC Technical Working Group.
* Address the assertion made by former Parks Commissioner Henry Stern that an alternate guardrail design could save dozens of trees.
* Consider redesigning the sewer reconstruction project on the Pelham Parkway South service road in an effort to save otherwise healthy street trees.
* Immediately re-evaluate the need to remove 30 to 40 trees designated by the Department of Parks & Recreation as unhealthy or deceased.

Council Member James Vacca said: "The community has made its voice loud and clear on this issue, and it is time for the City to address this matter with the urgency it deserves. By the Department of Design and Construction making minor adjustments to its designs, and the Parks Department allowing more trees to mature naturally, I believe we can save many of the trees currently slated for removal and keep the beauty of Pelham Parkway intact."

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., said: "I understand the concerns of the many Bronxites who have contacted my office to protest the removal of trees along Pelham Parkway. The recommendations as outlined in this joint letter would ensure both that the collective voice of the community is heard and that as few trees as possible are removed from Pelham Parkway during the course of construction. With smart planning, we can see to it that Pelham Parkway is not only made safer for drivers and pedestrians alike but that it retains its character as a beautiful parkway."

Congressman Joseph Crowley said: "Pelham Parkway and its surrounding natural beauty truly is a Bronx treasure. While improvements to ensure pedestrian and vehicle safety on the parkway are needed, it is also important to explore every option to save as many trees as possible and to minimize the impact on the environment."

State Senator Jeff Klein said: "I am confident that by working with the city and the residents of the Pelham Parkway area we can make sure that no tree is removed needlessly and that those who are fighting to maintain the beauty of the area be involved in part of the process. The community deserves accountability regarding what's going on in their backyard and I hope the movement by the city to create this working group shows they believe this as well. I hope other city agencies and the mayor continue to move forward with addressing the concerns laid out in this letter and voiced by the many residents of Pelham Parkway."

Assembly Member Naomi Rivera said: "While we agree that public safety is a priority, we urge officials to exhaust all measures in aiding the preservation of trees on Pelham Parkway through transparent decisions that are inclusive of the community being affected. The trees on Pelham Parkway are a tremendous asset to our quality of life and we have a responsibility to ensure that future generations can enjoy them."

Assembly Member Michael R. Benedetto said: "It takes too long for trees to grow to maturity for any tree to be cut down unless absolutely necessary. We must take great care if we are going to remove them, to protect their natural beauty and the oxygen that they bring us. We are asking the city to take a fresh look at the Pelham Parkway project and to take community concerns into account so we do not needlessly alter the character of this beautiful jewel of the Bronx."


Ed Koch set to endorse in 33rd State Senate Race

   Rumors are that former NYC Mayor Ed Koch is poised to endorse challenger J. Gustavo Rivera in the 33rd State Senate Democratic Primary, hoping to drive home the fact that he most certainly is not a supporter of the scandal-scarred Bronx incumbent democrat, even though Pedro Espada Jr. has been dubbed a “hero of reform” by Koch’s NY Uprising PAC. 
   Koch made it clear that if he lived in Espada’s district, he would not vote for the Pedro Espada Jr., who has been slapped with two civil lawsuits by AG Andrew Cuomo and remains under investigation for allegedly bilking his Soundview nonprofit out of millions of dollars. 
   Espada also shouldn’t expect Koch to endorse him anytime soon. “Never,” said the former mayor, who has pledged to stump statewide for the “heroes” of reform who have signed the NY Uprising pledges. By the way J. Gustavo Rivera has also signed on to the NY Uprising PAC pledge.
   Meanwhile Senate Conference Leader John Sampson still is endorsing ALL incumbent Democratic State Senators for re-election, and is hoping to pick up a few more seats that would make the democratic majority even larger.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

In Cross-Endorsement, Eric Schneiderman Announces Support For Senate Candidate Gustavo Rivera

   On the heels of receiving an enthusiastic endorsement from the New York Times editorial board, Attorney General candidate Eric Schneiderman today announced his support for Gustavo Rivera, a Senate candidate running to unseat Pedro Espada. Rivera also endorsed Schneiderman for Attorney General, citing his commitment to public integrity. 
Rivera is a relative unknown who can’t really do much to aid Schneiderman’s statewide bid, this is looks like a   symbolic way for the Manhattan Democrat to continue to try to demonstrate his years in the Senate won’t impede his ability to crack down on corruption there if he’s elected AG, and try to appeal to minority voters.
Senate Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson has made it clear he’s backing all incumbent members of his conference seeking re-election this year – including Espada, who has been slapped with two civil lawsuits by Cuomo’s office in connection with his Bronx Soundview Health Care Network.

3rd Annual Bronx Veterans Parade will be held on Saturday, September 25, 2010,

   On the last Saturday in September (9/25/10) the 3rd Annual Bronx Veterans Parade will take place in The Bronx: the Bronx Veterans Parade Committee (BVPC) would be honored to have you, your organization, family, and friends attend the parade event.
   The purpose of the parade is to give recognition to The Bronx area Veterans who served in the military; and to support community awareness through collaboration with community boards, Veterans organizations, political and governmental groups, agencies, faith communities, CBOs and FBOs. Our Veterans come from the Army, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, Merchant Marines, National Guard, and Reserves. Our Veterans served in all eras and campaigns.  
   The parade event will be held on Saturday, September 25, 2010, (Rain or Shine) from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Formation starts 9:00 AM at East 178th Street, on Crotona Parkway @ the Crotona Mall: Bronx, NY 10460. Parade Route/Event: Make a right turn on E.180th Street to the Old Soldiers Cemetery: wreath laying ceremony and placing of flags on headstones. Proceed to Vidalia Park- between Vyse & Daly Avenue, where we are honoring our Bronx Veterans and their Families with a barbecue.
   An application must be completed to march in the parade, and submitted to committee no later than Friday, September 10, 2010: use application attached or contact BVPC Administrative Assistant Carrie Taft @ (917) 226-7960 to have an application sent to you. Please direct any questions about parade to BVPC Founder & Chairperson Dolores Steele (718) 506-6533 or BVPC Co chairperson Raymond Lettsome (718) 824-2197. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Espada and Sampson give $100,00.00 to aid restoration of Love Gospel Assembly

   Today the spiritual leaders of the recently fire ravaged Love Gospel Assembly (of the Grand Concourse) held a "Operation Restoration" fundraiser at the Concert Hall in Lehman College. Over 500 people came from all over the Bronx to rejoiced that the Love Gospel Assembly would rebuild. In addition to the singing, sermons, testimonials of how Love Gospel helped individuals, there were also the politicians. 
   Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. gave such a rousing speech in favor of the good work done by Love Gospel that you thought he was following in his father's footsteps. BP Diaz also pledged one thousand dollars to the restoration effort.
   Next up was Councilman (and pastor) Fernando Cabrera, who really gave a sermon. Cabrera ended with saying that we stand with you Bishop Bailey, and the Love Gospel Assembly congregation. he added "The lord is about to position you to go to the next level, and you are not just a church, but a movement in the Bronx. Cabrera then also pledged one thousand dollars to the restoration effort.
  Also in the audience were Deputy Bronx Borough President Greene, Assemblywoman Gibson, Assemblyman Jose Rivera, and 33rd State Senate candidate J. Gustavo Rivera. After some songs and more testimonials State Senator Pedro Espada (33rd district) with his wife Connie, and State Senate Conference Leader John Sampson arrived.
   Senator Sampson said that god puts obstacles in our way, and this is only a test to see how you will rebuilds the Love Gospel Assembly. He added "one of our cornerstones is our beliefs in god, especially in these tough times". "Keep the faith". 
   Senator Espada then said that we don't believe in separation of church, and  that god is everywhere. Senators Espada and Sampson then presented Bishop Bailey with a check for one hundred thousand dollars for Operation Restoration. After thanking both senators Bishop Bailey showed the sketch of a new 7 story building to replace the old burned out one.
   Before Senator Espada left I asked him if he would appear on the Bronxtalk debate set up by Gary Axelbank, and Senator Espada told me that he saw no reason why he would not be there for the TV debate, but that he would have to talk to his chief of staff first about the debate.
   I also asked Espada's opponent to comment on the check that Senator Espada gave to Operation Restoration, and Mr. Gustavo Rivera commented that he hopes the check is for real, because the Love Gospel Assembly needs all the help it can get in its rebuilding effort.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Espada Commercial Slams Gustavo Rivera

   The first of two commercials made by the Pedro Espada Jr. camp is up an running, slamming challenger Gustavo Rivera as a puppet controlled by outsiders of the community who “want to take our power away from us” in the 33rd State Senate District.
  Also singled out for criticism are a handful of “outsiders”: 32BJ’s Mike Fishman (“sued for racketeering”), WFP Executive Director Dan Cantor (“under investigation by the FBI for voter fraud” ), Sen. Liz Krueger and Bill Samuels (“millionaire puppet masters who don’t care about our community”). 
  It should be noted the U.S. Attorney’s Office has decided to close its investigation without the filing of any charges against Dan Cantor or the WFP.
Just copy and paste the link below to view the 30 second commercial.


33rd State Senate Debate on Bronxtalk

   We have been told that the Monday night August 30th Bronxtalk Show hosted by Gary Axelbank will feature a debate between the three candidates running for the 33rd State Senate seat. Invitations were sent out to all three candidates and it is expected that the debate will go on even if incumbent State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. does not appear. Espada is famous for his previous debate on Bronxtalk several years ago when he pulled a rubber hatchet from under his jacket, and replied that his opponent then (David Rosado) along with his supporters were trying to do a hatchet job on his reputation. 
   Bronxtalk has been on the air for over 15 years and is hosted by Gary Axelbank. A few weeks ago there was a debate between the two candidates for the 76th Assembly District, and the week before the show was given entirely to 86th Assemblyman Nelson Castro when his opponent 86th Assembly District Male District Leader Hector Ramirez did not show up. We figure that Mr. Axelbank will go on with the 33rd State Senate debate with or without Senator Espada. That would only give more time to Espada's opponents Mr. J. Gustavo Rivera and Mr. Dan Padernacht to argue why they should be elected to replace Senator Espada.
   That's Monday night August 30th at 9PM for the 33rd State Senate debate on Bronxtalk channel 67 on Cabelvision, and Bronxtalk is also available on Verizion Fios please check the program listings for the channel.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Does Anthony Perez Cassino Have a Conflict of Intrest on the Charter Revision Commission?

   With the Charter Revision Committee taking up the question of returning to two terms for all city elected officials, does one member of the commission have a conflict of interest?
   It appears that Charter Revision Commission member Anthony Perez Cassino will be voting on the term limit issue of returning to two terms instead of the current three terms that was changed by the City Council in 2009. The Charter Revision Committee will be meeting on Monday August 24th, and several members have said that they will bring up the question of not allowing those elected officials who may be eligible to run for a third term in 2017 to run for that third term as part of the ballot proposal.
   This would mean that current Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. who did not reappoint Mr. Cassino to Community Board #8 would not be allowed to run for a third term, and be term limited out in 2017. This would also mean that Councilman Fernando Cabrera who did not reappoint Cassino ally Bradford Treabach would also not be allowed to run for a third term in 2017. This would also mean that Councilman Jimmy Vacca would not be able to run for a third term in 2013, as would all other council members that were elected in 2005 for the first term.
   Should this possible term limit reversal ballot proposal be passed by the voters, it could mean an almost clean sweep of the city council in 2013 except for those council members who started their first term in 2009. For the Bronx that would mean that only Councilman Fernando Cabrera who was first elected in 2009  could be the only Bronx council member to be eligible to run for re-election if no other member retires or is removed before 2013.

Jamaican Heritage and Culture Celebration in The Bronx

   On Tuesday, August 17, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and the Jamaica Progressive League, Inc. commemorated the 48th Year of the Independence of Jamaica and the 123rd birthday anniversary of Marcus M. Garvey, Jamaica’s First National Hero. During the event, Diaz Jr. presented a proclamation to the president of the Jamaica Progressive League, Sadie Campbell.
   “I extend my gratitude and appreciation to the Jamaica Progressive League and its committed members for keeping alive the memory of Marcus Garvey and for highlighting Jamaican culture. Today we acknowledge the cultural and political contributions Jamaican-Americans have made to our great borough,” said Diaz Jr. 
       Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. presents proclamation to Ms.Sadie Campbell.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


   The New York City Charter Revision Commission will hold its last scheduled public hearing and meeting on Monday, August 23rd.  At that meeting, the Commission will receive public input on its work to date, and the Commission will vote on any remaining issues before it, including the adoption of a Final Report and ballot questions.  The hearing is open to the public and will be streamed live via webcast through the Commission’s website at www.nyc.gov/charter.
***Attached, for public consideration, are draft proposed amendments to the City Charter corresponding to the resolutions adopted by the Charter Revision Commission at its open meeting on August 11, 2010***        PLACE:   Baruch College, Newman Vertical Campus Conference Center
55 Lexington Avenue (enter at 24th Street & Lexington Ave)             
14th Floor, Room 14-220

·           DATE:     Monday, August 23, 2010 at 6:00 PM

·           DIRECTIONS:  Baruch College is accessible by public transportation:  Take the 6 train to the 23rd Street stop, or the N or R to the 23rd Street stop.  The following bus lines also stop near Baruch:  M1, M2, M3, M4, M32, M101 and M102. 
Anyone may sign-up to speak during the hearing segment of the evening. Individuals who wish to give testimony may begin signing-up one half-hour before the hearing. Written testimony is encouraged and can be submitted at the hearing or through the “Contact the Commission” link on the Commission’s website or by emailing the Commission at commission@charter.nyc.gov

Senator Diaz Brings Bronx Clergy to Endorse Senator Espada

   Down to just three amigos in the State Senate, Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. came to the Church of the Mediator (located on W.231 Street) in Kingsbridge to endorse fellow State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. for re-election.
Bishop Rodriguez, Reverend Galentine, Reverend Hamilton, and Reverend Miller church leaders from all over the Bronx stood with hands up (see photo below) in support for Senator Pedro Espada to be victorious in his upcoming election. 
   Senator Diaz said that no senior center in the 33rd district was closed thanks to Senator Espada and himself, and that the community can not allow Senator Espada to be defeated. Being a Reverend himself, Diaz brought several religious leaders from the Bronx to show their support for Senator Espada. 
   Reverend Hamilton said "Despite the media attempt to disgrace Senator Espada and Senator Diaz, he has supported them in the past and will continue to support them now even more". 
   Reverend Galentine Said "Senator Espada's track record speaks for itself, and he is a man of honor and ethics".
   Bishop Rodriguez said " We will stand behind and with Senator Espada 100 Percent".
   Senator Espada thanked all who came to support him, and said "It is special to get the support of Senator Diaz". he added that outsiders from the district are trying to influence the election by supporting his opponents in the 33rd State Senate race. Espada spoke of his rent freeze bill, finding jobs at the now closed Stella Doro plant, redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory.   When we asked if Senator Espada if he would appeal the ruling of Bronx Supreme Court Judge Sewald keeping J. Gustavo Rivera on the ballot, Senator Espada said no he would not, and when asked about debates he said that he will debate his opponents on the street corner and on television.
 Senator Pedro Espada Jr. with Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. and Bronx clergy members hold their hands up for an early victory celebration.

Monday, August 16, 2010

New Poll by The New Roosevelt Initiative Shows Low Approval Rating for Espada

The results of the New Roosevelt Initiative’s August Viability survey in Senate District 33 Democratic primary demonstrate that Senator Pedro Espada has clearly been damaged by the myriad scandals that surround him and he enters his re-election campaign in an extremely vulnerable position. As will be expanded upon in greater detail below, the three typical indicators for incumbent vulnerability – favorable v. unfavorable, job approval v. disapproval and re-elect v. replace – are all net negatives for Senator Espada.
Ironically, Espada is in this situation despite the fact that he has the highest overall name recognition of any elected official tested, even surpassing Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. 78% of the electorate knew and had an opinion of Espada, but more than half held an unfavorable rating of him and the vast majority of those held a strongly unfavorable rating. Two things to draw from this: First, when people know who Espada is, they usually have an unfavorable view of him, and second, unfortunately for Senator Espada, most people know who he is.
The survey was conducted from August 3rd through August 5th, 2010. Using bilingual (English/Spanish) callers, 400 Democrats registered to vote in the 33rd Senatorial District (and likely to vote in the September Democratic Primary) were randomly sampled. Respondents were further narrowed following a screener in the questionnaire on vote likelihood. The poll sample was matched to the 2008 statistics on turnout based on gender, age, Assembly District, and race, in order to ensure that the results reflect the likely composition of the 2010 primary electorate. The margin of error of this poll is plus or minus 4.8% at the 95% confidence level, while margins of error are greater for subgroups from the sample.
Despite his high name recognition, Senator Espada was given a strongly favorable rating by only 18% of respondents (with an additional 20% holding a somewhat favorable view), while 30% held a strongly UNfavorable view (with an additional 11% somewhat unfavorable). The difference between the strongly-held favorable sentiments indicates an intensity of anger at the incumbent that is not matched by his supporters. In contrast, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has a 66% favorable rating and a 7% unfavorable rating. Cuomo’s popularity is likely to help validate the charges that he brought against the Senator in two civil actions earlier in the year, further contributing to the Senator’s poor performance in this survey.
Notable breakdowns of Senator Espada’s favorable-unfavorable ratings indicate that:
  • Less than half of Latinos (48%) have a favorable view of the Senator, while almost a third (31%) of Latinos have an unfavorable view of Espada.
  • Barely a quarter (27%) of black and white voters hold a favorable view of the Senator (with only 9% strongly favorable), and a solid 50% holding unfavorable views
  • Espada’s faces negative sentiments all across the district, as his unfavorable ratings are merely equal to his favorable ratings in the southern part of the district, while in the northern part of the district he is faced with 60% of voters with an unfavorable opinion of him (compared to a only 22% with a favorable opinion)
Regardless of voters’ personal sentiments about Pedro Espada, their assessment of how successful he is at his job as State Senator is even worse. Only 34% approve of the job Senator Espada has done, while 42% disapprove (and 32% strongly disapprove). The same regional and ethnic divides mentioned above apply to this measure as well, and a remarkable 33% of Latinas and 28% of Latino men disapprove of his job performance.
Generally considered the most accurate measure of an incumbent’s prospect for re-election, Senator Espada’s most sobering statistic is the level of voters expressing a desire to replace him rather than re-elect him. A mere 26% say he should be re-elected, while a solid 47% want to see him replaced. Across every age group, gender, level of voting history, geographic region, and even race, there is a larger sentiment for replacing Espada over re-electing him, including 39% of Latinos who want to replace him vs. only 35% of Latinos who would re-elect him.  


SD 33 Open Matchup
Come September 14th, the voters of the 33rd Senate District have the opportunity to end an unfortunate two-year experience with a State Senator who has somehow managed to make Albany look even worse and who is under investigation by a half-dozen groups and individuals. This poll demonstrates the weaknesses of Senator Espada.
If the election were held today, the race would theoretically be a toss-up, although historically undecided voters tend to break against well-known incumbents. A month from now, if the media focuses more on the candidates and the campaign engages in far more direct voter contact, Gustavo Rivera should be in a solid position to defeat this unpopular incumbent. To make this a reality, New Roosevelt Initiative needs to engage in an effort to introduce him more fully to the voters and needs to engage quickly.
Yet, there are only five weeks left until the primary, and it is generally assumed that Pedro Espada will use any means available to him to fund his campaign and to deceive the voters of the 33rd Senate District. However, as this poll demonstrates, Espada is NOT as popular as he believes or as many outside observers may suggest, and the voters of this Senate District are have not been persuaded by his two years of self-promotion, nor are they particularly moved by his questionable claims of victimhood.
This was taken from the New Roosevelt Initiative report from Red Horse Strategies of Brooklyn dated August 10th 2010.

It must be noted that the New Roosevelt Initiative has endorsed J. Gustavo Rivera in the 33rd State Senate race.

Hector Ramirez Fundraiser Tonught

An invitation from Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Dear Friend,

I'm writing to invite you to a reception honoring Hector Ramirez, a candidate for the New York State Assembly, this Monday, August 16th.
As you know, I had the privilege of serving in the State Assembly until I was elected Bronx Borough President last year. I know the hard work and dedication it takes to be a successful legislator, and I know Hector will be a great and vibrant leader in Albany.

I don't have to tell you that Albany desperately needs new and energetic leadership. As a small business owner, Hector understands our community's economy. Hector believes New York can and must work harder to create local jobs with living wages, and I couldn't agree more.
Hector will be a force for bringing real affordable housing to the Bronx, and I need his partnership in Albany to do the best job I can as Borough President.
So won't you please join me in support of Hector's campaign? I am hosting a reception for Hector on Monday, August 16th, from 7-9 PM, at Ibiza Lounge, 220 West 242nd Street, and I'd love to greet you personally.
This election couldn't be more important for the future of our borough, our city and our state. I hope I can count on your support.

Ruben Diaz Jr.
Bronx Borough President

You are cordially invited to join Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. in supporting Hon. Hector Ramirez for the New York State Assembly

Monday, August 16, 2010

7pm - 9pm
Ibiza Lounge
220 West 242nd Street, Bronx, New York

Sponsorship Levels:

Sponsor - $2,500 Host - $1,000 Patron - $500 Friend - $100

Please make checks payable to Friends of Ramirez

To RSVP or for more information call 718-731-2009

or email mjemrick@peoplefordiaz.com.

Political contributions are not tax deductible.

Individuals, PACs, LLCs and partnerships may contribute up to $7,600 per cycle ($3,800 for the primary election and $3,800 for the general election). Corporations may contribute up to a total of $5,000 aggregated political giving per year.

PS: Hector Ramirez candidacy has been supported by the Bronx Democratic County Committee, The Workings Family Party, Congressman Jose Serrano, Senator Ruben Díaz J, Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, Councilman Fernando Cabrera, Councilwoman Annabel Palma, and several Labor Unions. For more information visit www.hectorramirez

Friday, August 13, 2010


   Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. in conjunction with Jamaica Progressive League, Inc. will commemorate the 48th Year of the Independence of Jamaica. The event will also celebrate the 123rd birthday anniversary of Marcus M. Garvey, Jamaica’s First National Hero. 
   Residents will be able to enjoy music and traditional Jamaican cuisine.
WHEN:             Tuesday, August 17 
WHERE:            The Bronx County Building- 851 Grand Concourse- 1ST Floor

TIME:                6:00 pm

Thursday, August 12, 2010

It's Down to 5 Court Challenges

   It is down to five cases that Supreme Court Judge Robert Sewald will have to decide on. The challenge to the petition of J. Gustave Rivera by Pedro Espada looks like it should go the Rivera way as Judge Sewald heard verbal arguments from each lawyer. A press release from the Rivera campaign says that an official report from a Bronx County Supreme Court-appointed referee today decreed that Gustavo Rivera's campaign collected well over the required number of signatures to qualify for this September's Primary Election and rejected a frivolous challenge made by Pedro Espada's campaign, dealing the embattled Senator yet another blow. 
   "Instead of fighting for our community, Pedro Espada tried to intimidate his own constituents and take away our right to vote for change," said Gustavo Rivera. "But the Bronx is still a democracy and our community will have a chance to elect new leadership on September 14th. Judge Sewald will give his final ruling on Friday afternoon, which should be appealed by either side to the State Appellate Court on Monday.
  Stanley Schleim, the king of election lawyers is involved in the other four challenges left. In the 32nd State Senate race Charlie Ramos will be on the ballot to face incumbent State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. In the 28th State Senate race incumbent State Senator Serrano will not face a primary challenge. In the 82nd A.D. it looks like the petition of Egidio Sementilli will fall short by one signature this year in his attempt for candidacy.
   Judge Sewald heard arguments from both sides in the attempt to invalidate the petition of incumbent 86th A.D. Assemblyman Nelson Castro, as the referee's report had gone in Assemblyman Castro's favor. Stanley Schlein was very entertaining in his argument to invalidate Assemblyman Castro's petition, as even Judge Sewald was seen smiling at times. Judge Sewald will give his verdicts on all five cases tomorrow. It is expected that the judge will go with his appointed special referee's decisions as I was told by Mr. Schlein, but he added that the judge does not always rule that way. Mr. Schlein is looking for that exception in the Nelson Castro case.

Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz to Gerson Borrero: Please Get Help.

   New York State Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz issued the following statement about El Diario la Prensa journalist, Gerson Borrero: 
   "Friends and constituents have approached me today to ask if Gerson Borrero suffers from delirium tremors or just extreme psychosis?
These remarks have come on the heels of last night's performance by Gerson Borrero on NY1's Road to City Hall when he and Curtis Sliwa discussed my unification rally in Staten Island.
Apparently Gerson Borrero's outburst is causing great concern in our community.
At first I brushed off his diatribe against me as being shameful and ridiculous. Then, after thinking about it a little more, I also became concerned.
He clearly could not control himself during last night's interview as he raged and ranted and accused me of being Lucifer.  This is not the first time that Gerson Borrero has one of these outbursts on television.  I recall an interview he gave with Andrew Kirtzman on NY1 when Gerson Borrero was cursing and got up while the camera were rolling and walked off the set. It seems that  he gets fired from every job he gets - including jobs with Radio WADO and with Angelo Falcon's Puerto Rican Public Policy.  Gerson Borrero gets fired because he cannot control himself, and I have to agree that his hostility and unprofessional behavior border on being dangerous.
While his outbursts against me did offend me personally, I need for Gerson Borrero to know that I do forgive him and that I join the ranks of those New Yorkers who urge him to seek professional help immediately."

Ed. note.  You can go to  ny1.com to see the political rundown in question.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Senators Sampson and Díaz Announce Historic Funding For Senior Center Infrastructure Repair

   Senate Majority Conference Leader John L. Sampson (19th SD) and Senator Rubén Díaz (32nd SD), Chairman of the New York State Senate Committee on Aging, today announced that twenty-five (25) Senior Centers throughout New York State would receive $545,000 in funding for capital improvements.
   Senator Díaz said, “As Chairman of the New York State Senate Committee on Aging, I am deeply grateful to Senate Majority Conference Leader John Sampson for his support in making these funds available.  Senior centers provide many important services for older New Yorkers including meals, social programs and educational opportunities. These services keep seniors active, independent and living in their own homes.”
   “The senior population in New York is steadily growing and it is our responsibility to do everything within our power to ensure they age with dignity, and with the security afforded by adequate senior centers. We must always strive to protect our most vulnerable and deliver the vital services they need to enjoy the safe, healthy and happy lifestyle they deserve. I applaud my colleague, Senator Rubén Díaz for his strong advocacy on behalf of seniors across our state," said Senate Majority Conference Leader John L. Sampson.
   The funding for these capital projects will be distributed in two phases. The $545,000 announced today is the first phase of the project and award letters notifying the recipients have been mailed by the New York State Office for the Aging. The second phase will be announced in the near future.  Requests from the centers were received in response to a letter Senator Díaz mailed to 600 senior centers across New York State soon after he became Chairman of the Aging Committee in 2009.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Supreme Court Rulings -Thursday 2PM

   With so many court challenges to candidates petitions the referees decisions were finished today, with Judge Sewald scheduled to rule Thursday afternoon.
   Almost all hearings have been settled and almost all Board of Election decisions have been kept in place. The few challenges that have not been solved between the candidates will be decided by Judge Sewald Thursday.
   One case still up in the air is that of the challenge to the petition of J. Gustavo Rivera, which will be decided Thursday. Word from both camps is that the decision will go their way.  Meanwhile Mr. Rivera picked up key union support yesterday as SEIU 1199 and 32BJ endorsed his candidacy.
   The challenge to the petition of Dan Padernacht was dropped, meaning that Mr. Padernacht will be on the ballot in the 33rd State Senate race Democratic Primary, awaiting the outcome of the court decision to see if it will still be a three-way race.

Senator Klein Unveils New Data Showing Dozens of Registered Sex Offenders Still Illegally Living in NYC Public Housing

   State Senator and Deputy Majority Leader Jeffrey D. Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) will join Assemblymembers Michael Benjamin (D-Bronx) and Michael Benedetto (D-Bronx), tenant leaders and community members to unveil data showing that there are more sex offenders illegally living in public housing units in New York City now than earlier this year. Governor Paterson recently signed into law Klein’s legislation to require the NYS Department of Criminal Justice Services to provide municipal housing authorities with a list each month of all registered sex offenders whose address is within the authority's city or municipality. This legislation is scheduled to take effect on September 28th of this year.
   WHO: State Senator Jeff Klein; Assemblyman Michael Benjamin; Assemblyman Michael Benedetto; Dwayne Jenkins, President of the Throggs Neck Houses Residents Council; local elected officials and community members.
   WHAT: Klein Releases Data Showing Sex Offenders Still Illegally Living in Public Housing, Announces Passage of New Law
   WHEN: Tuesday, August 10th AT 1:00PM
   WHERE: Throggs Neck Houses – Randall Avenue and the Cross Bronx Expressway, Bronx

Monday, August 9, 2010

Is Bloomberg looking For a Fourth Term Or Trying to Hand-pick his Successor?

   That is the question former Bronx Borough President and opponent to Mayor Bloomberg in 2005 Freddy Ferrer wants to know. Ferrer is reigniting an old fight against his former nemesis,  saying the mayor is again pushing nonpartisan elections so he can handpick his successor. 
   Ferrer told the Daily News that Bloomberg is using his vast fortune to either get a fourth term or hand-pick his successor. Ferrer added that it is entirely conceivable the mayor is trying to set the stage for his longtime companion, Diana Taylor, or NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly to succeed him at City Hall.
   A Bloomberg spokesman responded that Mr. Ferrer launched three unsuccessful campaigns for mayor under the partisan elections system. But in the September 2001 primary he won many more votes than any other candidate running on the Democratic or Republican line. If nonpartisan elections were in effect then, New York may well have had Mayor Ferrer instead of Mayor Bloomberg.


Saturday, August 7, 2010


   Bird to be Delivered to Recovery Sanctuary
   State Senator and Deputy Majority Leader Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) announced on Friday that he has secured a safe, long term home for an abused rooster recently rescued from a South Bronx cockfight. The owner of the Hollywood Haircuts barber shop on City Island has been rehabilitating and caring for the rooster, Coco, since his rescue earlier this year. Following the press conference, Klein’s office delivered the rooster to its new home at the Berkshire Bird Paradise Sanctuary in Petersburg, NY.
   “Cockfights are an abusive and horrendous practice that has no place in the Bronx or anywhere else in this city. I am extremely pleased that we were able to find a good home for this rooster where he can live safely while becoming reacquainted with other birds in a natural and healthy habitat,” said State Senator and Deputy Majority Leader Jeffrey D. Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester).
   Klein’s office was first contacted in July by a concerned City Island resident who noticed a rooster running around in the street in front of the Hollywood Haircuts barber shop on City Island Avenue.  The resident was troubled by the animal’s noise level and the safety threat it posed to drivers. Klein’s office immediately reached out to the barber shop to determine why it was letting a farm animal loose on a public street. Alex Mullokandov, an employee at the shop, had the answer.   
According to Mullokandov, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) rescued five roosters from a cock fighting operation in the South Bronx earlier this year. While Mullokandov was caring for Coco temporarily, he was not able to keep it permanently in his apartment or the shop. Klein’s office stepped in began reaching out to area farms to find the rooster a home.
   Upon learning of the rooster, Riverdale resident Isabelle Weisinger immediately called Klein’s office to let them know about the Berkshire Bird Paradise Sanctuary. Weisinger became familiar with the sanctuary a few years ago when a bird in her neighborhood was in need of a new home.
    “We have a very large sanctuary with birds from all over the world.  When the rooster arrives, we will make sure the he is compatible with other birds and we will gradually introduce him to them. We have had cockfighting roosters brought to us before, and they have done very well.,” said Pete Dubacher, owner of the Berkshire Bird Paradise Sanctuar
   To report animal cruelty, contact the New York City ASPCA at (212) 876-7700. 
     Senator Klein with "COCO", and Alex Mullokando. Cocco is perched on Senator Klein's Arm.