Friday, September 3, 2010

Gustavo Rivera sends Letter to Justice Department to ask for Federal Observers in Primary Election in 33rd

    In a letter to Mr. Justin Weinstein-Tull of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department in Washington D.C. dated September 3, 2010 Mr. Gustavo José Rivera says that he is a candidate for the office of State Senator in New York’s 33rd State Senate District. He writes to request that the U.S. Department of Justice
send federal election observers to the 33rd Senate District, in Bronx County, New York on Primary Election Day, September 14, 2010.
   Mr. Rivera mentions that there has been a pattern of intimidation to people who signed Mr. Rivera's petition of Hispanic origin to outright threats by a staff member of Senator Pedro Espada Jr. to Mr. Rivera's campaign workers at the Bronx Board of Elections.
   The letter goes on to say that this year new voting machines will be used, and it is expected that in the 33rd senate district minimal information have gotten to the voters on how these new voting machine operate.
   Mr. Rivera adds in the letter that the incumbent Pedro Espada Jr. is under investigation by the Bronx District Attorney, New york State Attorney General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
   In closing there is another request that federal observers cover the 33rd State Senate District.  
  To see the entire letter go to

J.Gustavo Rivera Ducks 33rd District Debate for Another Outside Endorsement.

   Last night there was a debate scheduled at the Fordham Lutheran Church in the southern part of the 33rd State Senate District. It was known that incumbent 33rd State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. would skip this debate just like Espada skipped the first debate on Bronxtalk, not wanting to defend his questionable behavior in the state senate and elsewhere. What was not known was that challenger J. Gustavo Rivera would also bail out at the last minute by attending an event out out of the district rather than being with the voters of the 33rd State Senate District. Mr. J. Gustavo Rivera's policy director said Rivera would be attending a candidates' forum in the east Bronx, near Westchester Square, an event hosted by the Bronx branches of the NAACP. 
   Last week, Rivera's campaign said he would participate in the debate, organized by Transportation Alternatives at Fordham Lutheran Church, moderated by the Bronx News Network You can go to the BNN website to read their story and comments from people at .
   Getting back to the debate at Fordham Lutheran Church Mr. Dan Padernacht Democratic candidate for the 33rd State Senate came to the debate in the southern part of the district,  as did Mr. John Reynolds the candidate of the Green Party who was also invited.
   This debate was on mass transit and other community related issues which would have been an excellent forum for Mr. J. Gustavo Rivera to give the voters his position on the issues, but Mr. J. Gustavo Rivera showed his lack of concern for the voters by going instead to an event out of the district he is running for. 
   Mr. Padernacht was very kind though to Mr. Rivera by answering the questions as if Mr. Rivera was there to the point, with Mr. Reynolds of the Green party saying most of the time that he agreed with Mr. Padernacht on the issue. In his closing statement however Mr. Padernacht said that he expected Pedro Espada Jr. not to show, But for Mr. J. Gustavo Rivera to bail out at the last minute shows that he is no different than Pedro Espada Jr. 
   A spokesperson for Transportation Alternatives the sponsor of the debate said that they do not endorse any candidates as they are a 501c3 corporation.
   After the debate I asked Mr. Padernacht if he missed anything in the Bronxtalk debate which Mr. J. Gustavo Rivera did attend, and he said yes I did. "When Mr. J. Gustavo Rivera said that he worked in the senate conference to help the democrats gain a majority, I should have said so it was you that helped put Pedro Espada Jr. in the position he now is". 
   It is our opinion that Mr. Dan Padernacht was the hands down winner of both debates and would have been if all the candidates had attended. Mr. J. Gustavo Rivera showed by not attending the second debate that he will politics ahead of the people of the 33rd State Senate District, and it is well known that the incumbent Pedro Espada Jr. has put his own self interests ahead of anything else.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Link to the Bronxtalk Debate for 33rd State Senate

  Here is the link for the Bronxtalk 33rd State Senate debate between J. Gustavo Rivera and Dan Padernacht that incumbent Perdo Espada skipped. Listen to host Gary Axelbank's comment on Espada. Watch the entire debate and decide if we are right or wrong on our commentary of the debate, as we have called Espada the looser, and Dan Padernacht the winner. You may want to check the other blogs for their coverage of the debate, and read some of the comments. We suggest that you visit the Bronx News Network if you want to read some interesting comments. 

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.