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".