Saturday, October 30, 2010

Liberty Democratic Association Dinner Huge Success
    The guest list is reported to be over 250 people that were at the Liberty Democratic Association 3rd Annual fundraiser last Thursday night. The politicians included New York City Comptroller John Liu, Public Advocate Bill Deblasio, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., City Council members Jimmy Vacca and Majority Leader Joel Rivera, Congressman Eliot Engel (one of the honorees), New York State Senate Deputy Majority Leader Jeff Klein, New York State Assembly members Vanessa Gibson 77th, Jeffrey Dinowitz 81st, Mike Benedetto 82nd, Marcos Crespo 85th, and newly elected 79th Assemblyman Eric Stevenson.
    I asked Comptroller Liu about the term limit ballot proposal, and he said that he will only stay in office as comptroller for two terms no matter what happens on election day.
    I was able to ask 80th A.D. Male District Leader Kenny Agosto if he was running for the 80th assembly seat in 2012, since he has formed a campaign committee Agosto for the people 2012. Mr. Agosto said that he would have to wait on any decision for 2012 until after redistricting in 2011. He added "no one really knows what changes may occur to the 80th assembly district next year so it would be to early to say anything". I did see that gleam in Kenny's eye however when I asked the question. 
    The evening went so well that time just seemed to go by as the event came to an close. The best line of the night had to be Jimmy Vacca saying "I am not going to bore you with a long speech" as he thanked the LDA for their continued support. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Statement from Borough President Diaz
Re: Today’s Vote of the Local Redevelopment Authority for the Muller Army Reserve Center
    “I am unhappy that this administration has concluded that the appropriate use for this facility is as new housing for the homeless, despite the fact that three new homeless facilities are planned for the immediate area surrounding the Muller facility—one of which will be located directly across the street. I do not feel that the concerns of the Bronx have been taken into consideration on this matter, and I feel that we need more time to negotiate the proper use of the Muller space which, in my opinion, should be the next home for the National Guard units currently located at the Kingsbridge Armory.
    “Since the vote of the Muller LRA requires a quorum of all three of its members to go forward on a vote, my appointment will not be attending today’s meeting. I am hopeful that, through continued negotiations, we are able to come to an agreement on the reuse of this facility that will take into account the wishes of the people of the Bronx,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Here is the link to see the 81st A.D. debate


81st Assembly Debate
Nothing for Dinowitz to worry about.

    Last night on Bronxtalk the only local debate of this election season took place between the candidates running for the 81st assembly seat. Current Democratic Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz faced off against Republican, Conservative, and Independence Party candidate Joe McLaughlin. While candidate Mclaughlin hit a few singles, it was Assemblyman Dinowitz that shut Mclaughlin down with his pitching. We reference baseball because if you turned on your Cablevision box last night to see the World Series, there was nothing on. We thought that the stalemate between Cablevision and News Corp. (owners of Fox 5, and MY 9 television channels) would have ended by the start of the World Series, but then again we thought the Yankees would be playing so who cares in New York now. 
    Back to the 81st A.D. debate. McLaughlin got to first base by accusing Dinowitz of favoring the Riverdale community over others in the district. Dinowitz threw a slider back saying that his job is to bring resources into the entire district, and that is what he does. He added that the #10 and #20 buses in Riverdale were cut as were other bus routes. 
    Dinowitz was asked if he is now an insider in Albany and part of the problem, to which he said "I helped defeat Pedro Espada and am working to help reform Albany". In rebuttal McLaughlin accused Dinowitz of raising taxes and not doing enough to help seniors on fixed incomes. Dinowitz replied that the city provides most of the funding for senior centers, and that he would rather raise sin taxes than have to cut things like school funding. 
    As to why he did not sign on to Ed Koch's pledge to reform Albany, and if he is in the way of changing Albany Dinowitz said that he makes it a policy not to sign pledges, and that in his last term Mayor Koch's administration  was rife with corruption and had many suicides. To the charge by McLaughlin that he put Pedro Espada on the ballot and then did nothing to get rid of him Dinowitz said that he did not put Espada on the ballot, that Espada petitioned to get on the ballot, that he (Dinowitz) did not try to give Espada a platform to run on that those people are after him (Espada), and in fact helped Espada's challenger to win the election against Espada. 
    The Water Filtration Plant at Van Courtlandt Park came up with Dinowitz stressing that he fought the project "tooth and nail", and said that his opponent should be asking Mayor Bloomberg these questions.
    Dinowitz was asked about Tony Cassino not being reappointed to Community Board #8, and the politics of CB8. Dinowitz answered by holding up a clip from a newspaper in which Mr. Cassino had said that no one on CB8 should think that they have a position for life, and added that it was under Cassino and the former Bronx Borough President that politics was injected into CB8. 
   In closing statements Mclaughlin said that there has been 16 years of Jeffrey Dinowitz and 16 years of disfunction in Albany, and that he was an independent new face endorsed by three different parties that  he can cross the isle to get things done in Albany. Mclaughlin also stressed the fact that his running mate for governor on the Independence party line was Andrew Cuomo.
   In his closing statement Dinowitz said that he has worked very hard in Albany over the years, and that he grew up in the Bronx, raised his children here in the Bronx, and that there is no issue to small for him to get involved in.
   You can see a repeat of the 81st Assembly debate between challenger Joe Mclaughlin and incumbent Jeffrey Dinowitz tonight and on Friday night on Bronxnet Cabelvision channel 67 or Verizon Fios channel 33 at 9:30 PM.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


RE: Proposal to Lower Fees on Gun Licenses in New York City

    “The proposal to lower the cost of a gun license renewal goes against everything we are doing in the Bronx. It is particularly odd that, in a time of fiscal crisis, we would seek to lower the cost of a gun license, especially when we ask City residents to pay more for so many other services—from the rising costs of fees at the Business Integrity Commission to the ever present MTA fare hikes that affect all New Yorkers. Gun violence is a public health issue, and this administration should treat it the same way it treats other public health issues: fighting fiercely for what it believes and offering no quarter to its critics. It should be harder to license a firearm, not easier, and I urge the members of the City Council to strongly reject this bill,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Assemblyman Marcos A. Crespo Joins Community Residents to Demand Action on Removing Toxic PCB Chemicals from Public Schools

    85th Assemblyman Marcos Crespo joined two reps from NY Communities For Change and two volunteers from Labor Unions in front of the South Bronx Classical Charter School, located on Fox Street between Westchester Ave and 163rd St., where they spent an hour informing parents about the PCB problem and collecting signatures for a petition to request immediate action by the D.O.E. on this issue. They collected about 70 signatures at this site in one hour. My understanding is that approximately 500 signatures where collected that day in other citywide petitioning events Assemblyman Crespo said
Verdict Is In: EDC's $1 Million Living Wage Study is Rigged
Council Members Say, 'Pass the Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act Now'
    New York City Council Members will blast the Economic Development Corporation for spending $1 million on a rigged living wage study. Their charge is supported by a report, to be released tomorrow, that exposes Charles River Associates (CRA), EDC's choice to conduct the study, as a business-backed lobbying group using economists who oppose living wage and even minimum wage policies for EDC's study. The detailed report on CRA and its economists is written by the National Employment Law Project and the Fiscal Policy Institute, two highly respected economic research groups.
    Council Members Oliver Koppell, Annabel Palma, Brad Lander, Fernando Cabrera, Melissa Mark-Viverito, James Sanders, Julissa Ferraras, Jumaane Williams, Letitia James, Margaret Chin, Ydanis Rodriguez, Other Elected Officials, National Employment Law Project, Fiscal Policy Institute, Clergy, Living Wage NYC coalition partners
    Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at Noon ---The New York City Hall Steps.  

Interns Sought

 The office of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is seeking college interns for the Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 semesters. Internships are available in a number of departments, including planning and development, health, communications, special events, constituent services and others. To apply for an internship, please submit a resume and a writing sample to College credit is available, and hours are flexible.

Monday, October 25, 2010

We Say Vote No on Term Limits
Proposal #1

This is the reason why!
Reprinted from The Daily News Wednesday, October 20th 2010.

Vote for term limits, but demand another crack at it next year

When New Yorkers go to the polls on Nov. 2, they'll get to decide - for a third time - whether they want a two-term limit for all city elected officials. I was a member of the 2010 New York City Charter Revision Commission that put this choice on the ballot as part of Question 1. While I strongly encourage all voters to vote yes on this question, I believe that the decision by the Charter commission to exempt incumbents from the two-term limit was incorrect.
Unfortunately, this provision will serve to increase cynicism rather than help to restore confidence in government.
That is why I propose that if New Yorkers vote yes on Question 1, they be given a chance next year to vote on whether the two-term limit should apply to incumbents as well. The only way that will happen is if all New Yorkers who agree with this suggestion speak up and demand this choice.

First, some history. The Charter commission on which I served was created by Mayor Bloomberg in the aftermath of the public's outrage over the way that city elected officials overturned two public referendums on term limits. You no doubt know the story: In 1993, the public overwhelming supported a two-term limit for all city officials. This was reaffirmed by a second referendum in 1996.
Then these two decisions were overturned by the City Council and mayor in 2008, enabling all city elected officials to serve three full terms.
Given that history, the Charter commission unanimously voted to put a two-term limit on the ballot - to give New Yorkers a chance to go back to the way things were. We also voted unanimously to eliminate the ability of the City Council to overturn a public referendum on term limits for current elected officials.
So far, so good.

But the Charter commission was sharply divided on the question of when the two-term limit would become effective. Of the 15 members on the commission, six of us wanted the change to be effective immediately so that it would apply to all incumbents.
After two nights of impassioned debates and a few attempts at compromise, the commission narrowly voted to make the change applicable only to officials who were first elected in or after the 2010 general election. In other words, all incumbents who are not already in their third terms would be "grandfathered in" and would get a shot at a third term.
After hearing all the public testimony and listening to my fellow commissioners, I remain convinced that our panel got this provision wrong. In a minority report that I authored along with two fellow commissioners, we stated that "by 'grandfathering' all incumbents, the commission failed to deliver on the public's implicit demand that the restoration occur as soon as possible." In fact, during the commission's numerous discussions, I did not hear even one good reason for granting such a windfall to incumbents, who can't seem to take no for an answer.

One message was heard loud and clear at our hearings: The public wanted to go back to two terms and wanted us to end the City Council's ability to override the will of the people on term limits. Regrettably, instead of being fully responsive to those concerns, we actually created another "loophole" by making the effective date so far in the future.
Not all is lost. I strongly urge the public to vote yes on Question 1. Returning to a two-term limit that cannot be overturned by the City Council will go a long way toward restoring some of our faith in government. However, once those changes are enacted, we need another Charter commission or public referendum to give New Yorkers the chance to finish the job we started.
Cassino is a lawyer who lives in the Bronx.

We Say Vote No On Proposal #1


    On Sunday, October 24, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Transportation Alternatives, in conjunction with Montefiore Medical Center, St. Barnabas Hospital and Bronx Lebanon Medical Center, hosted New York State’s Largest Free Bicycling Event, Tour de Bronx. In its 15th year, this special biking event attracted a record crowd of over 5,000 avid cyclists from throughout the tri-state area and beyond. 

    “Tour de Bronx give us the chance to show to thousands of people that the Bronx is filled with beautiful places to visit.  Riding a bike around our borough is the healthiest  way to see exactly what The Bronx has to offer,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “I want to thank the many visitors who participated on our tour and to keep the invitation open for them to continue experiencing our wonderful borough.”

    Over five thousand of cyclists rode around the borough’s streets, enjoying attractions like St. Ann’s, the borough’s oldest church once owned by the Morris family, Yankee Stadium, the historic Longwood section celebrated for its stately Victorian-era townhouses, Orchard Beach  and many more great Bronx attractions.  Following the ride, the cyclists got together at the Botanical Gardens to enjoy the Tour de Bronx Festival, which featured live entertainment and refreshments.

    This year’s ride honored the memory of Megan Charlop, a former Montefiore employee and avid cyclist. She died on March 17, 2010, as she biked to P.S. 55 along Crotona Avenue. A moment of silence was held in her memory.  


 That's Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. wearing his "I Love the Bronx" shirt and his helmet as he finishes up the "Tour de Bronx". 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Illyria Newspaper Endorses Vernuccio

    This came in from the Friends of Frank Vernuccio 34nd Senate District.

       The Illyria Newspaper, America's only Albanian-American newspaper, has endorsed the candidacy of Frank Vernuccio for the 34th Senatorial District.

      Noting that Vernuccio "Has gained the respect of ...Albanian-American activists," the paper stressed the candidates' record. 

      The support of the hard-working Albanian-American community for a candidate who does not have Albanian roots is the result of Vernuccio's strong stand on ethics, low taxes for individuals, property owners, and small business, as well as his support for the freedom of Kosova.  

      We want to add that the Riverdale Review has also endorsed Mr. Vernuccio's campaign. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

It's My Park Day Big Success

    The Bedford Mosholu Community Association's "It's My Park Day" clean up of Mosholu Parkway between Webster and Hull Avenues was a huge success today. Dozens of volunteers were on hand to rake, paint, and plant the park like area used by hundreds of local people at almost any time of the year. BMCA President Barbara Stronzer was extremely pleased with the turnout, and all the work that was done to beautify the area. Ms. Stronzer is also the chairperson of Community Board #7's Parks and Recreation Committee. Even workers from the Foodtown supermarket (that burnt down last month) who live in the area came out to lend a hand. They hope to see the local community soon when their Foodtown supermarket is rebuilt into a larger and more modern store.

Friday, October 22, 2010


    Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. announced today that Gustavo Rivera, Democratic nominee for the State Senate in the 33rd District, will be joining the Kingsbridge Armory Task Force, effective immediately. 
    “Gustavo will bring an important perspective to this group, and I am happy that he has accepted my invitation to join the Kingsbridge Armory Task Force. I welcome his input on the redevelopment of this historic building,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
    “I look forward to working with Borough President Diaz and the other members of the Kingsbridge Armory Task Force on this important endeavor. I am resolved to making sure that we transform this structure into something that will be useful to the community, the Bronx and the entire city, and I am committed to working with my colleagues in government, labor and the private sector to make it happen,” said Gustavo Rivera.  The 33rd State Senate District includes the Kingsbridge Armory.   

Thursday, October 21, 2010


    Today, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. announced the appointment of Monica Major as his representative to the Panel for Education Policy (PEP), which holds approval power over the actions of the New York City Department of Education. 
    A Morris Park resident and lifelong Bronxite, Ms. Major is a former president of the Community Education Council of School District #11 (CEC), and served as its vice president until her appointment to the PEP. Prior to serving on CEC #11, Ms. Major was a member of the Parent Commission on Mayoral Control, a grassroots, parent-led organization that advocated on the issue of school control. In addition to currently serving as a member of the school leadership team at P.S. 121—The Throop School, Ms. Major is a lifelong advocate on education issues.
    Prior to being appointed to the PEP, Ms. Major had already worked with Borough President Diaz on issues such as increasing gifted and talented programs, school zoning, and ongoing issues regarding testing and student achievement.
    Ms. Major currently works as a software trainer and certified mediator with the New York State Homes and Community Renewal.
    “I have known Monica Major to be a fierce advocate for the needs of Bronx children since before I came to Borough Hall, and I am thrilled that she will now be a part of our team. We have a great deal of work to do to improve our borough’s public schools, and I know Monica will be a strong ally to both myself and the 1.4 million residents of the Bronx,” said Borough President Diaz.
    “I love advocating for both parents and students, and I look forward to helping our schools move forward and improving the education of children in the Bronx and throughout the City. I am proud to be working with Borough President Diaz to craft his education agenda, and I look forward to hearing from parents, educators, and the public over the next few months on what can be done to improve our public school system,” said Ms. Major.
    Ms. Major replaces Anna Santos, who stepped down from the PEP this week after having served admirably in that position since February 2009.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

81st Assembly Debate On For Wednesday Night October 27th

    Gary Axelbank will moderate the debate between between Republican challenger Joe McClaughlin and incumbent Democrat Jeff Dinowitz. The pre-recorded program will be broadcast on the evenings of Wednesday, October 27 - Friday October 29 beginning at 9:30pm on Bronxnet's Cablevision channel 67 and Verizon Fios channel 33.
     Next Monday evening October 25th, Bronx County democratic Committee Chairman Carl Heastie will be the guest. Now in its 17th year,  BronxTalk is seen live each Monday night at 9:00pm on Bronxnet's Cablevision channel 67. It's also on Verizon Fios channel 33 and streamed live at Hosted by Gary Axelbank and produced by Jane Folloro, BronxTalk is repeated each day at 9:30am, 3:30pm, and 9:00pm. Archives are available at; click "BronxTalk" on the right hand navigation bar.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Last Night's Governor Debate- "Three Ring Circus"
NY Governors Race_Katz.jpg
     Andrew Cuomo of the Democratic, Independence, and Working Family lines- Carl Palidino of the Republican, and Conservative lines- Howie Hawkins Green candidate- Kristin Davis Anti Prohibition candidate- Warren Redlich Libertarian candidate - Charles Barrons Freedom candidate- and Jimmy Mcmillan Rent is To Damn High candidate squared off for a free or all candidates debate to be the governor of New York State last night. 
    On the first question Charles Barrons complained of the ethnic make up of the panel asking the questions, and didn't end there. Barrons said that Chancellor Joel Klein should be fired, Mayoral control ended, and that the MTA should be abolished. 
    Carl Palidino looking nervous (and getting up midway to go to the bathroom) wants to do away with the State Department of Education, and stop all the unfunded mandates on local school districts, but had no solution as to how to do it. 
    Warren Redlich the Libertarian candidate may of had the best line of the night saying "We need to stop wasting our tax money", to which the others agreed. 
    Andrew Cumo said that there are 10,500 governments in total in New York State with some needing to be merged to save money. 
    Kristin Davis wants to legalize marijuana and casino gambling, and had two good lines saying that Albany was full of whores and that she is probably the only person on stage who can deal with that. Davis also said that if the corporate tax is raised that companies will flee New York quicker than Carl Palidino at a gay bar. 
    Jimmy Mcmillan was a one topic candidate constantly repeating that "Rent is to Damn High" every time he spoke. 
    On the question of gay marriage Yes or No, Palidino said no, Barrons had no position, and the rest said yes to the question with Mcmillan adding if you want to marry a shoe I'll marry you.
    Cuomo and Palidino did not take any real shots at each during the debate, with the pot shots coming from the five other candidates. Cuomo was beat up for some of his questional contributions, and  Palidino for his conduct of the past few weeks.
    In closing statements Palidino said that he wants to lower income taxes 10%, a 20% cut to the state work force, term limits of 8 years, and real campaign reform. Cuomo said that we need to bring New York State to where it once was, and that he can do that. Cuomo was the only one to say "Go Yankees" during the debate in his closing statement.

Courtesy of the Visiting Nurse Service of NY, and The Office of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. 
Monday, October 25th, 2010
10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
The Bronx County Building (Rotunda-1st Floor)  851 Grand Concourse (at E. 161st Street)
 RSVP REQUIRED: Please call 718-537-5268
Individuals 50 years of age and older or those 18 years of age and older who are at increased risk--including people affected by heart or lung diseases, diabetes or asthma--are encouraged to receive a flu shot.  

Monday, October 18, 2010

Joe McLaughlin for Assembly Town Hall Meeting

Due to Jeffrey Dinowitz’s backing out of a scheduled debate with Joe McLaughlin, the McLaughlin Campaign has decided to have a town hall meeting with the 81st district community. 
  V.F.W Hall - 3960 Orloff Avenue (between Van Cortlandt Avenue West and Gale Place – look for the American Eagles)  
THURSDAY OCTOBER 21 at 8PM (Doors open at 7:30pm)
The planned format will be a Question and Answer from any member of the community who attends.  Joe will open with a brief statement and proceed to address any questions or concerns the attendees have.
This Town Hall meeting is in response to Jeffrey Dinowitz’s refusal to confirm an invitation to debate at Manhattan College on October 26th after repeatedly giving that date as an open date to do so.  Joe McLaughlin continues his plan to take his message directly to the voters and give them a choice this November.
For more information please contact Bill Murphy at 201-320-7850 or 
Farmers Market & Family Fun Day!

Farmer’s Market, Local Vendors, Pumpkin Decorating, Bouncy Castle, Contests, Music, Bake Sale and much, much more!
Sponsored by Senator Jeff Klein, KRVC, PS 81, Community Board 8 and Riverdale Neighborhood House 
Sunday, October 24th from 11:00am-3:00pm
PS 81 & Riverdale Neighborhood House 
5550 Riverdale Avenue & 5521 Mosholu Avenue (along 256th Street).
Rain or Shine!
For further information, please contact Senator Klein’s office at (800) 822-2039 or contact Tracy Shelton, the Kingsbridge-Riverdale-Van Cortlandt Development Corp./KRVC's Executive Director, at 917-570-9027 or at      

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Looking for Channels 5 and 9 on Cablevision?

    If you are a Cablevision subscriber and turned your television and cable box on today it went to channel 1999 and gave you a pre-recorded message (from Cablevision) that channels 5 and 9 were taken off the air by News Corp the owners of the stations. The message continues to say that News Corp wants more than double the last agreement to keep the channels on Cablevision, more than several other networks combined. The message then attacks News Corp for owning two on the air television stations and two major newspapers while the law permits ownership of only one of each in a marketplace. 
    If you surf through the channels however you will find that all other fox cable channels are in fine working order. FNN, FX, FSC, FMC, etc. are all on the air on Cablevision. If you have a regular over the air television and a FCC required converter box you can see channels 5 and 9.
    If you remember the blackout of channel 7 from Cablevision earlier this year that ended twenty minutes after the Oscar Awards started, this dispute between News Corp and Cablevision should end in the third inning of game one of the World Series. We have received a correspondence from Senator Jeff Klein on this matter. We hope to hear from other elected officials also on this matter, especially our members of Congress who make the laws and regulations for broadcasting.
I am deeply disappointed that as of today my constituents can no longer view Fox 5 and My9, blacking out access to this weekend’s NY Giants Football Game, National League Playoff games, and possibility of the World Series.  It is imperative that the parties immediately restore programming to consumers and submit to binding arbitration.  I call on the Federal Communications Commission, as the federal agency charged with protecting the interest of consumers in such disputes, to act quickly to bring the parties together and reaffirm its call for arbitration - to ensure that consumers are able to watch this highly anticipated programming.
     Thank you Senator Klein.

Borough President Diaz celebrated the 34th Anniversary of Italian American Heritage and Culture Month 2010

    The 34th Italian Heritage and Culture Month was a salute to Italian American women, honoring Dr. Maria Montessori an Internationally renowned educator and physician who lived from 1870-1952. 
    In 1976 the tradition was started with Italian Culture Week, and has grown to the month long celebration that it is today. This year Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. presented a Proclamation paying tribute to the Italian-American community and the culture, political, and scientific contributions Italian-Americans have made to our great borough, city, and country. BP Diaz proclaimed October 2010 as "Italian Heritage and Culture Month in The Bronx".
    Judge John Barone of the Supreme Court of New York was the master of ceremonies, and  the invocation was given by Megr. John A. Ruvo the former pastor of Our Lady Mt. Carmel Church. The American and Italian national anthems were played, and the invited guests were treated to a wonderful musical selection by 
Soprano singer Maria Fraccola with Dina Pruzhansky accompanying  her on the piano. 
    The event was held at the Bronx Zoo in what was formally known as the lion house, now vacated by the lions to their new outdoor home. One marveled at the fine marble columns and walls that were built in 1903 by Italian immigrants, and it was pointed out that The Bronx Botanical gardens and Fordham University were among other architectural wonders in the Bronx that were also built by Italians. 
    After a greeting by Francesco Maria Talo, Consul General of Italy in New York, and an Introduction by Mr. John Calvelli (Executive Vice President of Public Affairs for the Wildlife Conservation Society that runs the Bronx Zoo) BP Diaz brought up the honorees one by one.
    Rosemary Deluca (the Wildlife Conservation Society Assistant Director of City and State Affairs), Donna M. Rapaccioli Ph.D. (Professor and Dean of Business Faculty at Fordham University). and Geri Scortino (Owner of Bronx Design Group) were the 2010 Honorees. 
    Unbeknown to BP Diaz his elementary school principal Carol Russo (and a first generation Italian American) presented Diaz with a special presentation. Russo was the principal of PS 31 where young Ruben Diaz Jr. attended. She had nothing but praise for him, and BP Diaz told the audience of an experience that he had as a fifth grade student that got him on television for the first time. Diaz added that he was in the gifted program at PS 31 then, and that he wanted to see more gifted programs in the Bronx like the one he took. 
    Also in attendance were City Councilman Jimmy Vacca and 82nd Assemblyman Mike Benedetto who could only stay a short time due to other commitments. The program ended with BP Diaz saying "We should always celebrate our diversity",  and the delicious Italian food (from Auther Avenue) on hand was served.


Friday, October 15, 2010


    Deputy Majority Leader State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) celebrated his 16th annual Senior Appreciation Days on Wednesday, October 13th and Thursday, October 14th.
   Klein treated nearly 1,000 Bronx and Westchester senior citizens to a three-course meal and a popular musical at the Westchester Broadway Theatre. This year’s performance was the Tony Award Nominated Musical Jekyll & Hyde, based on the novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.
   This is the sixteenth year in a row that Klein has taken hundreds of senior citizens who reside in the 34th Senate District out for a gourmet lunch and Broadway show as a sign of appreciation for their contribution to the community.
    “Our Seniors are the pillars of our community and I can’t thank them enough for their endless support and dedication. To show my appreciation, I’m delighted to treat them to an all expenses paid afternoon where they can enjoy good food, good company and a great show,” said State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester).
    “Senior Appreciation Day is a much anticipated yearly event for our seniors. Our seniors would never be able to see a show of that caliber on their own.  We are very grateful for the generosity of Senator Klein, he is very warm and caring to our senior community,” said Silvia Ponce of the Northeast Bronx Senior Citizen Center. 
34th District   Republican Conservative 
October 15, 2010
New Water Rate Increase Inexcusable 
    The already overburdened tax and rate payers of New Rochelle are again being subjected to unaffordable and inexcusably high water rate increases.  Considering the extraordinarily high property, income and other taxes paid by residents, the question may legitimately be asked: what are all those other taxes and fees being used for if a   
commodity as basic as water comes with such a high price tag?  
Frank V. Vernuccio, Jr.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


    In an open letter to the public, the Kingsbridge Armory Task Force has announced that New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service has selected the Kingsbridge Armory for study through its highly competitive Capstone Program.
Under NYU’s Capstone Program, a team of faculty and students from the university will identify alternative uses for the armory through a year-long planning study that will advise the Kingsbridge Armory Task Force. The project will include research, design, and analysis of a sustainable and socially-beneficial model for the reuse of the Kingsbridge Armory.
    “The NYU Capstone Program is a highly selective, highly competitive program, and we are thrilled that they have chosen to focus their efforts on the redevelopment and reuse of the Kingsbridge Armory this year. Working together with NYU, it is our hope that this study will not only identify new uses for the Kingsbridge Armory, but will lead to the creation of a new RFP for this historic structure,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
    “The task force has taken on the challenge of identifying how the Bronx can attract the jobs of the future and prepare its residents to fill them. This is not simply about reuse of a public building. It is about how this building might contribute to a larger community and borough agenda for economic growth,” said Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City.
    “We are bringing in highly skilled individuals to ensure that the Kingsbridge Armory will be transformed into a space that benefits our borough without downsides.  The NYU’s Capstone Program will offer us the vision of young and talented professionals, and we are ready to work with them to find the best plan for the Kingsbridge Armory,” said Marlene Cintron, President of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC).
    “I welcome the news that the NYU Capstone Program will participate in the process of redeveloping the Kingsbridge Armory, and I am confident that the seeds for a wonderful new community resource within the walls of this historic structure will be planted,” said City Council Member Fernando Cabrera.
    The Kingsbridge Armory Task Force consists of Borough President Diaz, Council Member Cabrera, Ms. Cintron, Ms. Wylde, Majora Carter, environmental consultant; Paul Foster, chairman of Bronx Community Board #7; Jack Kittle, political director of District Council 9; Steven McInnis, political director for the New York City District Council of Carpenters; Desiree Pilgrim-Hunter, a board member of the Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition; Ned Regan, former state comptroller; Jack Rosen, Chief Executive of Rosen Partners LLC; and Steven M. Safyer, MD, President and CEO of Montefiore Medical Center.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010



Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and The Bronx Defenders will sponsor a re-entry clinic to assist ex-offenders to obtain Certificates of Relief from Disabilities and Certificates of Good Conduct.  These documents will help ex-offenders who have traditionally faced barriers to employment and housing because of a criminal record.

Certificates of Relief from Disability and Certificate of Good Conduct are crucial tools created by the legislature.  They facilitate successful reintegration after a conviction by helping people overcome legal barriers to employment, housing, and civic participation.  Unfortunately, they are vastly underutilized and only a small fraction of the people who could benefit from the certificates applies and receives them each year. 

The clinic will help hundreds of Bronxites to apply for the certificates and to spread to word about its benefits.  

Thursday, October 14                                  11:00 am
Bronx Supreme Court Building- 851 Grand Concourse - 1st floor- Rotunda  


Monday, October 11, 2010

Carl Palidino- "Crazy, Nuts, Homophobic, or Just Plain Stupid"

    The more Republican, Conservative, and Tea Party candidate for New York State governor Carl Palidino opens up his mouth the more he sticks his foot into it. First it was the baseball bat approach to cleaning up Albany, then it was saying that his opponent had extra-marital affairs, then it was a blow-out threat to Fred Dicker of the New York Post, and now it is candidate Palidino's anti gay comments that were or were not said by him. 
    Now even his running mates for New York State Comptroller and Attorney General are trying to distance themselves from Carl Palidino's comments. Even Former Conservative Party candidate Rick Lazio who dropped out to allow Carl Palidino to obtain the Conservative Party line has called his remarks an embarrassment.
paladino two hands up.jpg
    Stay tuned for just what will happen next to "Crazy, Nutty, Homophobic, or Just Plain Stupid Carl Palidino".

Saturday, October 9, 2010

RE: Hate Crimes Against Gay Men In the Bronx

    Bronx Borough President has made the following statement about the recent rash of hate crimes against gay men in the Bronx 
“The news of these hate crimes sadden us all, and I am grateful that the NYPD has moved so quickly against those responsible for these homophobic attacks. Bronxites will not tolerate any form of bigotry in our borough, and we stand together as 1.4 million residents to condemn these actions and to oppose hatred in all its forms,” said Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Friday, October 8, 2010

McLaughlin Responds to Dinowitz's Puzzling Comments About His Campaign

    We received this e-mail from the Joe Mclaughlin campaign, and we have several questions about some of the claims by the Mclaughlin campaign. We must also disclose that I (Robert Press) ran against Assemblyman Dinowitz in the 1996 general election.

    We are very concerned that the Mclaughlin campaign was for building an outdated oversized water filtration plant in Van Cortlandt Park, blaming Assemblyman Dinowitz for things that Mayor Bloomberg has done, while Assemblyman Dinowitz opposed those projects. Fails to know the name of the current State Senate Majority leader Pedro Espada Jr. calling him Jose Espada. Thinks that Ed Koch who was the only person in his administration as mayor of the City of New York that could not be bought (as per FBI tapes) is the person to end corruption in Albany. Finally while attacking Assemblyman Dinowitz for allowing New Jersey trade unions at the NYC DEP Water Filtration Plant in Van Cortlandt Park, The Mclaughlin campaign uses New Jersey as a base of operations by its 201-320-7850 phone number.


Yesterday, the Norwood News printed a story on Joe McLaughlin’s assembly campaign in the 81st district of the Bronx.  Joe is running a grassroots campaign throughout the district to give voters a choice for real reform this November against Jeffrey Dinowitz.

Dinowitz was also interviewed for the story and had a few puzzling statements we would like to address.

You can read the article here:

Dinowitz: "[Voters] know I work hard for the neighborhood."

His record says otherwise.
- He voted against a water filtration plant that has provided jobs in construction and plumbing.  
- Dinowitz allowed NJ trade unions to lock out Woodlawn plumbers when 80% of the jobs to build the plant were designated to be filled by neighborhood laborers and tradesmen.
- Allowed the Firehouse to close in Woodlawn
- Hit seniors on a fixed income with taxes on clothing and footwear
- Did nothing while lifeline buses the BX34 and BX 1 were put on reduced schedules while fattening pensions for MTA employees
- Siphoned money from a payroll tax designed to fund the MTA.  
- Killed student MetroCards 
- Voted to get rid of 10 of the 30 insurance companies that insure seniors in NY
- Allowed Mayor Bloomberg to shove every drug center and homeless shelter in Wakefield
- All while NYPD reduced about 100 officers from local precincts  
- Voted against giving New Yorkers temporary relief from gas taxes, at a time when gas was $4
- Voted against nearly $2 billion in property tax relief
- Voted to kill a bill that excluded Social Security income when determining eligibility for real property tax exemptions on property owned by senior citizens
- Said he wanted to "slightly increase" corporate taxes, have no cap on property tax hikes and institute even more fees and sales taxes.
- While NY went broke, Dinowitz demanded a pay raise for himself.  Last year he made $95,000
- Decided against ousting Jose Espada from the Democratic Party before the Sept 14 primary
While the people of the 81st district are looking for a leader, Dinowitz has continued to play Albany partisan politics.  Dinowitz has cast blame on anyone but himself and Speaker Silver when the Democrats have had total control of the Senate, Assembly and Governor’s mansion for 2 years.
On his statement against Mayor Koch (“Who died and made Ed Koch an expert on reform?”) 
Joe is appalled that he would attack one of the greatest Jewish Politicians of our time who is advocating for real reform against corruption.  Koch has pushed for reform as early as the 1963 when he took on party boss Carmine Desapio.  To get further information from Mayor Koch please contact Adam Riff at 212-616-5815.
Jeffrey Dinowitz: “I’m sure I’ll get at least 75 percent of the votes. I don’t want to be cocky” 
We are not shocked by this comment.  Joe has known for a long time that Jeffrey Dinowitz is out of touch with the people of the 81st district.
Joe has been through every neighborhood in the district.  He knows the people are fed up with business as usual. They are looking for common sense reform to get the Bronx and New York back on track.
Joe may be the underdog in this race but he is not alone when he says "we cannot trust those who helped create the mess in Albany to go back this November and fix it."
For more information or to speak with Joe please contact me anytime at or 201-320-7850.


Bill Murphy


 BP Diaz and Others Join Local 70 Calling for More Bronx Jobs

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson and Assembly Candidate Eric Stevenson participated in a rally organized by the Laborers International Union of North America, Local 79, to demand that developers of publicly financed construction projects hire more local residents to work on their projects.    

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It's My Park Day Saturday October 23rd.

    The Bedford Mosholu Community Association is having its annual "It's My Park" cleanup and spruce up  of Mosholu Parkway on Saturday October 23rd from 10AM to 12PM. BCMA will be cleaning and planting along Mosholu Parkway starting from the meeting point of the NYC Parks Department building on Webster Avenue and Mosholu Parkway South. 
    There will be a large crowd helping out and you can be part of it. Help to beautify Mosholu Parkway on October 23rd from 10-12.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

16th Annual Tour De Bronx
Sunday October 24th

          Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Transportation Alternatives, together with Montefiore Medical Center, St. Barnabas Hospital and Bronx Lebanon Hospital, invite all the residents to be part of New York State’s largest free cycling even.
     Over 6,000 riders from throughout the TRI-STATE area will cover over 65-miles of Bronx historic landmarks, waterfronts, new developments, new bike paths, greenways, parks and beaches, and will even ride through a portion of the Sheridan Expressway which is exclusively closed for this ride. 
       Cyclists will ride a 25-mile or 40-mile route.  Both routes include attractions like St. Ann’s, the borough’s oldest church once owned by the Morris family, Yankee Stadium, the historic Longwood section celebrated for its stately Victorian-era townhouses and various other Bronx attractions. 
      Following the ride, cyclists are invited to the Tour de Bronx Festival at Botanical Gardens featuring live entertainment and refreshments.
     For REGISTRATION:   Call 718.590.3518 or visit
          The registration dead line is Thursday, October 21st
       16th Annual Tour De Bronx ---- Sunday, October 24 
      The Starting Point--- The Grand Concourse and East 161st Street.
      Please note, this year there is only one starting location.
      Starting Time---  9:30 AM


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz Clarifies News Reports About Attorney General Candidate Dan Donovan Endorsement

 New York State Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz (D-Bronx) issued the following statement to clarify a statement that had been reported by Liz Benjamin in a Capital Tonight column on Monday, October 4th:

“I would like to clarify something reported by Ms. Benjamin’s in her news report that stated: “The clergy group has already endorsed one Republican statewide contender: AG hopeful Dan Donovan.”
Ms. Benjamin did not accurately report what I told her in regard to my fellow ministers and our support for Dan Donovan in his race for New York Attorney General race.
On Sunday, I told Ms. Benjamin that my ministers and I took a vote and agreed that we would endorse Dan Donovan only after if he would meet with us during one of our weekly meetings so that he could answer some questions about issues that effect our community.
As I have clarified during other public forums where candidates have attended and shared their positions, the New York Hispanic Clergy Organization does not officially endorse candidates, but the ministers themselves may endorse them.”

Monday, October 4, 2010

Will the 82nd A.D. be the Only Real Contested Race in the Bronx This November?
    In the 82nd Assembly District incumbent Assemblyman Michael Benedetto won the Democratic Primary with ease, but will have a much tougher challenge in the November general election from Republican, Conservative, and Independence candidate Mike Rendino. Rendino is a former NYC fire fighter who is Chair of the Economic Development Committee of Community Board #4, as well as running a local Bronx business. 
    Almost 100 people came to the Bronx County Republican Headquarters yesterday to see and hear candidate Rendino in what was called a "Meet and Greet" breakfast. Many in attendance were impressed by candidate Rendinos platform of wanting to restore fiscal responsibility, while fighting new taxes and fees. Rendino said that he had to retire fron the NYFD after he responded to 9/11 and the medical problems he has suffered since then, but he said that he wants to fight for the people of the 82nd now.
    The 82nd Assembly district goes from Throggs Neck up the east Bronx all the way to Coop-City, and is diverse as well as the neighborhoods it runs through. Throggs Neck seems to be more conservative while Coop-City tends to be more liberal. 
    To learn more or to get involved in the campaign of Mr. Mike Rendino you can go to WWW.MIKERENDINO.COM  , or call 347-538-6231 Mr. Robert Giuffre the campaign manager for Mike Rendino for 82nd Assembly.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Liberty Democratic Association to hold fundraiser Thursday October. 28th

Here is the last post again in its original size. See the previous posting for the phone numbers if you have any trouble reading them on this posting.

Liberty Democratic Association to hold fundraiser Thursday October. 28th

   The Liberty Democratic Association will hold its 3rd annual fund raising dinner on Thursday night starting at 7:00PM, with the cocktail hour starting at 6:00PM.We apologize for the size and small missing part, but we wanted you to have the phone numbers clear as you would not be able to read them if we made the image any smaller. What is missing on the right side is to make your checks payable to the Liberty Democratic Association, and for more information please call one of the phone numbers at the lower left.


Friday, October 1, 2010


   Insurgent 82nd A.D. State Assembly Candidate Mike Rendino will host the community for a "meet and Greet" breakfast at his campaign headquarters this Sunday from 9:00AM – 11:000AM located at 3029 MIDDLETOWN ROAD in the Pelham Bay neighborhood of The Bronx. Mr. Rendino will have the Republican, Conservative, and Independence lines for the November general election.

For more information on Mike Rendino for New York State Assembly please visit

Contact: Robert Giuffre (347) 538-6231 for more information