Saturday, May 21, 2011

Diaz Jr. celebrates the 40th Annual Bronx Week Parade marching with hundreds of Bronx students
After getting inducted the new members of the Bronx Walk of Fame will be part of the parade

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will celebrate the grand finale of Bronx Week 2011 Parade marching down Mosholu Parkway with hundreds of students from more than 90 Bronx schools and youth organizations.  The new members of the Bronx Walk of Fame, Chazz Palminteri, Irene Cara, Joy Bryant, and Charles Latibeaudiere, will also parade along Mosholu Parkway after the unveiling of the plaques that will carry their names on the Grand Concourse
After the parade, residents will enjoy the Bronx Week Food, Art & Music Festival, which features popular restaurants, arts & crafts; the Bronx Arm Wrestling Championships; and games and activities for kids, including the Arbitron Enchanted Forest with authors reading aloud to kids and giveaways for all.  Also, the Bronx Health Pavilion will offer free health screenings and information on services, health insurance; and the stage will offer live music all-day, showcasing the great cultural diversity of the Bronx.  This year’s main performers are: the hip hop legends Big Daddy Kane and Force MD’s

It all happens on Sunday, May 22 starting with:
Bronx Week Volunteers Breakfast:  9:30 AM
Court Building- 161 Street & Grand Concourse.

Bronx Week Walk of Fame Induction: 11:00 AM    
Court Building- 161 Street & Grand Concourse.

40th Annual Bronx Week Parade:   12:00 pm 
Mosholu Parkway North.

Bronx Week 2011 Food & Arts Festival: 12:00 pm 
Mosholu Parkway North & Van Cortlandt Avenue.

 Bronx Week 2011 Concert:   2:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Mosholu Parkway North & Bainbridge Avenue.



BP Diaz will host a hearing on June 2nd to solicit public input on access plans

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. joined together with a coalition of elected officials to call for greater public access to the Jerome Park Reservoir. Borough President Diaz also announced that he would host a public hearing in June to solicit greater input from Bronxites on the future of public access to Jerome Park Reservoir.
Standing across from an empty Jerome Park Reservoir are (From left)- Father Gorman, Chariman, CB 12; Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz; Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.; State Senator Gustavo Rivera; Assemblyman Jose Rivera; and Councilman Oliver Koppell. The picture at the bottom shows a one full and beautiful reservoir. Click on the picture to enlarge it.

“This community treasure has been left unused for far too long,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “It is time for the collective voice of the northwest Bronx to be heard, and for the Department of Environmental Protection to develop a plan for real community access to the Jerome Park Reservoir.”

In March, the Department of Environmental Protection released a disappointing report, two years in the making, that calls for a three-day pilot program for pedestrian access to the Jerome Park Reservoir in 2013. Borough President Diaz said that while he understood the security concerns put forward by the DEP regarding public use of the Jerome Park Reservoir, he felt that those concerns could be addressed well enough to allow for greater public access to the reservoir.

To that end, the borough president’s office will host a public hearing to allow Bronxites a chance to voice their own opinions on greater public access to the Jerome Park Reservoir. That hearing will be held on Thursday, June 2, 2011, at Vladeck Hall in the Amalgamated Houses located at 74 Van Cortlandt Park South (on the corner of Hillman Avenue and Van Cortlandt Park South). The hearing will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“I urge everyone who is interested in seeing the Jerome Park Reservoir opened to the public to come to this hearing and make their voice heard. The reservoir was designed, built and opened as a park, and access should be returned to the community,” said Borough President Diaz.

"We are very concerned over the extremely limited proposals for access by the DEP. We need to explore ways in which we can provide substantially more access without sacrificing public safety,” said Council Member G. Oliver Koppell.

“The residents of the northwest Bronx have a right to enjoy the area around the Jerome Park Reservoir in the same way that the residents of Manhattan have the right to enjoy Central Park,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “The Department of Environment Protection and Parks should be held to their commitment to make this area more accessible to Bronxites and should have to address the concerns of the community regarding their most recent plans. I am proud to stand with my colleagues in calling for greater access to the area around the Jerome Park Reservoir as well as greater community involvement in determining the future of one of our community’s most precious resources.”

“The time has come for greater community access to the Jerome Park Reservoir.  We've waited too long.  I grew up across the street from the reservoir.  While I was able to enjoy its beauty by looking outside from my living room window or by standing outside the fence, there is no rational reason why the fences are so far from the water.  We have an incredible resource in the northwest Bronx.  Why is the public denied the ability to enjoy it?  DEP's ridiculous proposal to give the public very limited access for a few days in the year 2013 is an insult to our community.  The time for greater public access to the Jerome Park Reservoir is now!” said Assembly Member Jeff Dinowitz.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Bronx BP ruben diaz Jr honors the best of the bronx at the bronx ball 

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr will host the Annual Bronx Ball, a party honoring this year's inductees into the Bronx Walk of Fame. This black-tie awards gala brings together the Bronx’s business, arts and civic leaders to welcome home Bronx-born celebrities.
The Bronx Ball pays tribute to those proud Bronx natives who Borough President Diaz will induct into the Bronx Walk of Fame the following morning.  The Class of 2011 inductees are: Chazz Palminteri, who wrote and starred in “A Bronx Tale” and then turned it into an award-winning stage production; Irene Cara, Grammy and Golden Globe winner, Joy Bryant,  actress and former fashion model who currently stars in Parenthood; and Charles Latibeaudiere, Co-Executive Producer of TMZ.
The honorees will be inducted into the Bronx Walk of Fame on Sunday, May 22, at 11:00AM on the Grand Concourse at 161st Street.  Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will unveil permanent street signs bearing their names. 

Picture (Device Independent Bitmap)
Bronx Week 2011 celebrates environmental day at the bronx river
The Bronx Borough President’s Office and the Bronx Initiative for Energy& The Environment will host Environmental Day at the Bronx River.
Residents will get free canoe rides on the river, courtesy of the young boat builders at Rock the Boat, an award-winning environmental teen program that has helped reclaim the river from the borough gets its name. There will also be live entertainment along with art activities for the kids, courtesy of the Bronx Children’s Museum and the Hunts Point Alliance for Children. 

Saturday, May 21 -- 11:00am
Hunts Point Riverside Park- 
Lafayette Avenue Between Edgewater Road & The Bronx River


Arthur Avenue Festival 

As part of the celebration of Bronx Week 2011, on Wednesday, May 18, the New York Economic Development Corporation and the Bronx Borough President's Office co-hosted an event celebrating the food and history of the Arthur Avenue Retail Market. 

Assemblyman Jose Rivera, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Mike Greco & David Greco of Mike’s Deli on Arthur Avenue, NYCEDC President Seth Pinsky, Bronx Chamber of Commerce President Lenny Caro and City Council Majority Leader Joel Rivera are holding up just some of food that was sampled. 

Click on the picture to see just how good the food that was being tasted was. 


Thursday, May 19, 2011


The Office of the Bronx Borough President and Bronx Health Links host the annual Bronx Community Health Education Day Fair, one of the largest health fairs in the borough where health care providers, wellness programs and disease prevention services from across the borough provide free information and screenings.

Residents will be able to get valuable information for themselves and their family from Bronx organizations and health educators. Experts will give tips to keep kids active and healthy during the summer months.

Friday, May 20 --  11:00 am to 3:00 pm
The Bronx County Building - Veteran's Memorial Hall 
851 Grand Concourse (At East 161Street) 
 Congressman Engel,  Assemblyman Dinowitz, State Senator Klein and Councilman Koppell Announce Town Hall Meeting May 26th

Congressman Eliot Engel, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, State Senator Jeff Klein, City Councilman G.Oliver Koppell, the SAR High School, and the SAR High School’s Political Action Alliance will host a town hall meeting to discuss critical issues such as the federal, state, and city budgets, neighborhood school funding, senior citizen concerns, the expiration of tenant protection laws, the MTA, parking and transportation issues, job creation and economic development, as well as many other important matters.  The elected officials are eager to hear their constituents’ concerns and opinions.
Thursday, May 26th, 7:30pm
SAR High School
503 West 259th Street (at Riverdale Avenue)  
Call  (718) 548-1717 for more information.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Croton Facility Monitoring Committee Meeting
Tuesday, May 24, 2011 – 7:00 PM
Bronx High School of Science – 75 West 205th Street, Bronx NY 10468, Room 131

I Welcome Father Richard Gorman, Chair

II Consider, Adopt 4/27/11 Meeting Minutes CFMC Representatives

III Presentation about Earthen Dam Safety NYS Dept of 
Environmental Conservation

IV Construction Update, Schedule & Costs Bernard Daly, P.E., DEP
Status of Construction in Goulden Ave

V Comments about Goulden Ave Construction Attendees

VI Status of Force Main Design Lauren Competello, P.E., DEP

VII Current Report - Croton Jobs Mark Lanaghan, DEP

VIII Continued Discussion, Public Access to JPR CFMC Representatives
- Plans for June 2, 2011 Public Hearing

IX CFMC Discussion, Set Next Meeting CFMC Representatives

X Adjourn

RE: Fire companies closures

“Mayor Bloomberg is compromising public safety and that cannot be an option for the City to balance the budget.  Our community fought hard to keep Ladder 53 on City Island open and we will certainly do the same now to avoid any closures that could put Bronxites in any community at risk. The safety of our residents should be more important than any budget issue and we will fight to avoid the closure of Ladder 53 and Engine 46 and 60,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. 

NYC Pension Funds’ Proposal Calling for Sprint Nextel to Reveal Its Political Spending Gets First Majority Vote Since Citizens United

New York City Comptroller John C. Liu announced a victory for NYC pensioners and institutional investors in the effort to increase corporate disclosures of political donations. Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) released vote totals this week that show 53% of votes at its annual shareholder meeting support the New York City Pension Funds’ proposal for transparency on its political contributions.  It is one of the largest majorities ever recorded on the issue.

“Investors, pensioners, and taxpayers demand that corporations reveal their campaign spending,” Comptroller Liu said.  “This victory for opening the books on political contributions sends a message that corporations ignore at their own risk.”

“Since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, I have been spearheading a national campaign to make companies more transparent and accountable with their political spending,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.  “The shareholder vote at Sprint Nextel demonstrates that momentum behind this national movement is growing.  I commend Comptroller Liu demanding greater corporate disclosure of political spending from these companies.  Sprint Nextel should take heed of shareholder sentiment and adopt the resolution.”

The NYC Pension Funds’ shareholder proposal requested that Sprint Nextel:
§  Report its policies and procedures for political contributions and expenditures (both direct and indirect) made with corporate funds;
§  Account for Company’s funds that are used for political contributions or expenditures; and
§  Identify the people in the Company who make the decisions on political contributions.

The 53% percent vote support that the NYC Pension Funds proposal received from Sprint Nextel shareholders is the largest majority vote on a political disclosure proposal opposed by management in the past four years, and one of the largest majority votes ever on the issue.

In January 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission removed long-standing limitations on corporate spending on political campaigns.   Since then, investors in numerous companies have redoubled their push for disclosures of political spending. 

The New York City Comptroller serves as the investment advisor to, custodian and trustee of the New York City Pension Funds.  The New York City Pension Funds are comprised of the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, Teachers’ Retirement System, New York City Police Pension Fund, New York City Fire Department Pension Fund and the Board of Education Retirement System.  The New York City Pension Funds hold a combined 8,125,023 total shares in Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE: S) with an asset value of $41,518,867.53 as of 5/16/2011.


In addition to Comptroller Liu, the New York City Pension Funds trustees are:

New York City Employees’ Retirement System: Ranji Nagaswami, Mayor’s Representative (Chair); New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio; Borough Presidents: Scott Stringer (Manhattan), Helen Marshall (Queens), Marty Markowitz (Brooklyn), James Molinaro (Staten Island), and Ruben Diaz, Jr. (Bronx); Lillian Roberts, Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME;  John Samuelsen, President Transport Workers Union Local 100; Gregory Floyd, President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 237.

Teachers’ Retirement System: Ranji Nagaswami, Mayor’s Representative; Deputy Chancellor Kathleen Grimm, New York City Department of Education; Mayoral appointee Tino Hernandez; and Sandra March, Melvyn Aaronson and Mona Romain, all of the United Federation of Teachers.

New York City Police Pension Fund: Mayor Michael Bloomberg; New York City Finance Commissioner David Frankel; New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly (Chair); Patrick Lynch, Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association; Michael Palladino, Detectives Endowment Association; Edward D. Mullins, Sergeants Benevolent Association; Thomas Sullivan, Lieutenants Benevolent Association; and, Roy T. Richter, Captain’s Endowment Association.

New York City Fire Department Pension Fund: Mayor Michael Bloomberg; New York City Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano (Chair);New York City Finance Commissioner David Frankel; Stephen Cassidy, President, James Slevin, Vice President, Robert Straub, Treasurer, and John Kelly, Brooklyn Representative and Chair, Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York; John Dunne, Captains’ Rep.; James Lemonda , Chiefs’ Rep., and James J. McGowan, Lieutenants’ Rep., Uniformed Fire Officers Association; and, Sean O’Connor, Marine Engineers Association.

Board of Education Retirement System: Schools Chancellor Cathleen Black, Mayoral: Philip Berry, Gitte Peng, Robert Reffkin, Tino Hernandez, Joe Chan, Tomas Morales, Linda Laursell Bryant, and Lisette Nieves; Patrick Sullivan (Manhattan BP), Gbubemi Okotieuro (Brooklyn BP), Dmytro Fedkowskyj (Queens BP), Joan Correale (Staten Island BP), and Monica Major (Bronx BP); and employee members Joseph D’Amico of the IUOE Local 891 and Milagros Rodriguez of District Council 37, Local 372.



Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. will host a dance event to honor the borough’s seniors.

Residents will grab their poodle skirt and roll up their t-shirt sleeves to do the peppermint twist, the mashed potato and the swim at this old fashioned Sweet Shoppe sock hop.
Thursday, May 19 -- 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
177 Dreiser Loop – Community Room A,B,C 


On Friday, May 20, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will join with elected officials, community organizations and local activists to call for greater public access to the Jerome Park Reservoir.

The borough president will also announce a public hearing, hosted by the Croton Monitoring Committee, to solicit community input on the future use of the Jerome Park Reservoir, to be held on Thursday, June 2, 2011, at Vladeck Hall in the Amalgamated Houses located at 74 Van Cortlandt Park South (on the corner of Hillman Avenue and Van Cortlandt Park South). The hearing will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

In March, the Department of Environmental Protection released a plan that would allow for very limited, three-day public access pilot to portions of the reservoir once the Croton Watershed Filtration Plant is completed in 2013.

The Press Conference calling for greater public access to the Jerome Park Reservoir will be held at the Intersection of Reservoir Avenue & Claflin Avenue, overlooking the reservoir
Friday, May 20, 2011--10:30 a.m.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and the Annenberg Institute for School Reform Invite You, as Part of Bronx Week, to the Bronx Premiere Film Screening of

This 35-minute documentary dramatically demonstrates how grassroots organizing won major improvements for schools in African American and Latino neighborhoods in the Bronx and across New York City. Through the voices of local parents and their allies, the film chronicles fifteen years of effective community organizing for education reform.

Thursday May 19th, 2011, 6pm

The New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Boulevard (Kazimiroff Blvd.) Bronx, New York
Arthur and Janet Ross Gallery and Lecture Hall

(for directions to the Garden visit Panel discussion to follow )

Indian Point Should it Stay Open or Close?

The Benjamin Franklin Reform Democratic Club will host an open forum on Wednesday, May 25th 2011 at 7:30pm at Tibbett Towers, 3130 Irwin Ave., between West 231st and 232nd Sts., to discuss the controversial question of whether the Indian Point nuclear power plant should close or continue to operate. 

          Long-time community activist Marilyn Elie, who lives two miles from the plant, will argue that it’s time to close the plant to avert disaster. She is co-founder of the Westchester Citizens Awareness Network and leading member of the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition (IPSEC).

Defending the plant’s safety will be a representative for the Entergy Corporation, which runs Indian Point.  Entergy is the second largest generator of nuclear power in the country. Located in Buchanan, N.Y., Indian Point employs over a thousand people and produces more than two thousand megawatts, 10 percent of the state’s total energy demand. The plant is 34 miles from Tibbett Towers, the site of the forum.
          The public is welcome and questions will be invited from the audience on this hot and timely topic.

          For more information, contact: Raffi Holoszyc-Pimentel, 646-369-0330

BJCC Day at the Bronx Zoo
By Robert Press

The Bronx Jewish Community Council's mission is to provide enhanced quality of life to the residents of the Bronx, by offering services, support, and connections to the resources that help people continue living comfortably and safely in their homes and communities. 
Sunday May 15th in the former Lion House (now refurbished into an event room) of the Bronx Zoo, the BJCC honored some of the people that help the organization continue to provide the services they do, to the people of the Bronx. It's not all just bagels and lox, but a lot of hard work being done by dedicated people that work out of the many offices that the BJCC has throughout the Bronx. While the administrative office of BJCC is located at 2930 Wallace Avenue (718-798-2398), BJCC has offices in Coop-City at 177 Dreiser Loop, Parkchester at 1525 Unionport Road, Van Cortlandt Village at 80 Van Cortlandt Park South, Bedford Park at 3176 Bainbridge Avenue, and in the Pelham Parkway Houses at 2425 Williamsbridge Road.
In attendance were elected officials such as Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. (one of the honorees), State Senator Jeff Klein ( a former vice-president of BJCC), Councilman Jimmy Vacca (one of the honorees), Former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, and Former State Assemblyman Steve Kaufman. 
The honorees were, for The Public Service Awards – Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Councilman Jimmy Vacca. The Community Service Award was given to Mr. John Calvelli the Executive Vice-President of Public Affairs for the Wildlife Conservation Society. Rabbi David Jonas was the presenter to the guest of honor, his father Mr. Howard Jonas the Chairman & chief Executive Offers of IDT Corporation.

 This is a photo of the honorees, and some of those who work so hard at BJCC to provide needed services to the people of the Bronx. Click on the photo to enlarge it.

If you would like to help in the Bronx Jewish Community Council volunteer program, you can call 917-693-3084.  

Senator Gustavo Rivera said,

“I am holding town hall meetings throughout my district because I want my constituents to know that I am available to them,” said Senator Rivera. “It is important to me that the residents of the 33rd Senate District know they have a State Senator who cares about their concerns and wants to listen to their ideas about how to make our community better. I will continue to hold town hall meetings and other public events because so that my constituents feel they know me and my staff and that we know what they are going through in their day to day lives and how the issues the legislature debate in Albany impact them.”  

Read more about this town hall meeting in this weeks issue of the Bronx News or Parkchester Newspapers, in the column 100 PERCENT on page 7.


Wednesday May 18th, 2011; 4-7 pm

Arthur Avenue Retail Market
2344 Arthur Avenue, Bronx, NY 10458

Hosted by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and NYCEDC and Co-sponsored by
Congressman Jose E. Serrano, State Senator Jeffrey D. Klein, Assembly Member Jose Rivera, Council Member Joel Rivera and the Bronx Delegation of the New York City Council, Community Board 6, Bronx Chamber of Commerce, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, Bronx Tourism Council, Belmont BID, Fordham University, Mary Mitchell Center, Montefiore Medical Center, The New York Botanical Garden, St. Barnabas Hospital, Wildlife Conservation Society/Bronx Zoo

Monday, May 16, 2011

 Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz calls for additional fields for youth soccer players in Van Cortlandt Park

 $15 million dollars later, soccer players are finding themselves with less field space following the renovation of the Van Cortlandt Park Parade Ground according to Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz

Prior to the renovation, the Parade Ground had eight soccer fields in the fall and six in the spring.  Now there are only six soccer fields year-round, and two must be closed each season to help preserve their condition, leaving only four usable soccer fields.

After the Riverdale Soccer Club, a youth soccer organization struggling to find enough field space for its games, brought the issue to his attention, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz decided to take action.  Assemblyman Dinowitz wrote to Bronx Borough Commissioner Hector Aponte requesting that the Department of Parks and Recreation provide at least the number of soccer fields that were available in the spring prior to the renovation of the Parade Ground.  As a possible solution, he suggested examining a proposal of the Riverdale Soccer Club which involves designating three additional soccer fields in the southeastern section of the Parade Ground when it opens.

“When taxpayers’ money goes to an improvement of a public facility, they expect a public benefit, not a detriment.  That’s why I was shocked to learn that youth soccer players found themselves worse off after the renovation of the Parade Ground,” said Assemblyman Dinowitz.  “I urge the Parks Department to make changes in the use of the fields in Van Cortlandt Park.  The first priority must be to provide space for young people.  Soccer continues to grow in popularity among kids, yet Parks has reduced the number of soccer fields.  This is unacceptable and must be changed.  Van Cortlandt Park is for all New Yorkers, but first and foremost it should be for the children of our community.”