Saturday, November 5, 2011

The End of an Institution at The Daily News 

   Layoffs at the Daily News has ended the 43 year career of veteran reporter Bob Kappstatter. Kappy as most have called him, was only one of many people at the Daily News to be laid off in what is being called a downsizing at the paper. 

   When we started our column 100PERCENT in the Bronx News several years ago we tried to pattern it to be much like the column that Bob Kappststter was writing. When we would meet at different events we would kid each other about our columns, and it just is not going to be the same without Kappy around anymore. 

   When we went to the Daily News website to see Kappy's column Thursday we saw a message web page vanishes. To find out more about the layoffs at the Daily News you can go here.

   To view Kappy's last column titled "Castro Vs. Tapia" which has disappeared from the Daily News website
click here while it is available.


Thursday, November 3, 2011



City Comptroller John C. Liu today stated the following in response to questions about the City’s intention to award $290 million in unspecified, multi-year extensions to information technology ("IT") contracts:

"This simply preserves the CityTime model of contracts, which pays consultants based on hourly rates rather than fixed price deliverables. Today's approvals are deeply concerning, especially
after the Administration's encouraging testimony just earlier this week aimed toward a more unified, City-wide strategy for IT contracts.
 There was an opening to competitively bid these services, instead these extensions were rubber stamped for the same crop of vendors, some of which have been in use since 2008. Today’s decision reflects poor planning and bad business practices.

“My office will closely examine the contract packages once we receive them and continue to monitor the integrity of the procurement process.
 We must ensure that the City of New York is fully leveraging economies of scale and, most importantly, enhancing services to New Yorkers."

In January 2011, Comptroller Liu rejected a $286 million DoITT contract request for ECTP, which had mushroomed from a $386 million initial budget to $666 million. Of particular concern was the vague budgeting formula applied to the bulk of the contract allotting unspecified "time and expense" costs; this would have allowed outside consultants to bill on an hourly basis and collect exorbitant fees, as in the case of the original CityTime project.  Working together with City Hall, the Comptroller's Office registered a restructured $95 million fixed-price contract tied to results, rather than open up taxpayers to a potential CityTime 2.

In May 2010, Comptroller Liu released a report outlining the problems associated with large IT projects undertaken by the City.  The report found the City’s management of IT projects in recent years plagued with excessive cost overruns and missed deadlines, putting hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars at risk or explicitly wasted. Comptroller Liu's report outlined primary symptoms of "Why System Development Projects Fail" and provided a number of recommendations to ensure better oversight of IT projects. The report is available at:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Post Office Closure Hearing

As the Postmaster responsible for all Post Offices in your area, I would like your opinion concerning a possible change in the way postal services are provided. Our tentative plans will only lead to a formal proposal if we are satisfied that a maximum degree of regular and effective service can be provided.

Spuyten Duyvil Station is being studied due to declining office workload, which may indicate that maintaining this facility is not warranted. There are a number of alternate sites within a short radius of this office to provide the sales of stamps and the mailing of most package items.

If you would like an opportunity to discuss alternatives with us, a postal representative will be at St. Gabriel's School, 590 West 235th Street, Bronx, NY 10463 on 11/10/2011 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m...

If you have any questions, you may contact LaTRAYER Sumter-Moreau at (212) 330-2345.
Thank you for your assistance.


Senator Rivera and Assembly Member Castro Host Job Fair for Bronxites

Senator Gustavo Rivera and Assemblyman Nelson L. Castro will be hosting a job fair Friday, November 4th from 9:30am to 1:30pm at the Bronx Library Center at 310 E. Kingsbridge Rd. Friday's Job Fair was organized in collaboration with the NYS Department of Labor and the Bronx Women’s Resource Center. With unemployment hovering at 14% in the Bronx, higher than any other borough, it is critical that our elected officials are working with community based organizations to help connect local businesses to Bronxites looking for employment. 

WHO:    Senator Gustavo Rivera and Assembly Member Castro 

WHAT:   Job Fair 

WHERE: Bronx Library Center - 310 East Kingsbridge Road

WHEN:  Friday, November 4th - from 9:30am-1:30pm

- Senator Rivera and Assembly Member Castro available from 12:30pm-1:30pm 

Employers that will be present on Friday include: Aflac, Albert Einstein, Best Choice Home Healthcare, FEDEX, Food Bank, HHH Continuum of Care, Jewish Home Lifecare, MTA- Metro North Railroad,  United Healthcare, SoBRO, Morton Williams, US Customs and Border Patrol, New York Life, St. Barnabas Hospital and the Wyndham Garden Hotel.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011


New York City Comptroller John C. Liu issued the following statement in response to questions concerning the enactment of the Schools Facility, Accountability, Capacity and Transparency Act today.

“The DOE can do better to reduce overcrowded schools and classrooms starting with better understanding of how space is currently used. The Schools F.A.C.T. Act will push the DOE further in this direction and we thank the Mayor and the Council for enacting this measure.”

Comptroller Liu’s office in September released an audit of the DOE’s “Blue Book” estimates of available space in schools.  The Blue Book is used by the DOE and the School Construction Authority to assist in making decisions regarding the placement of new schools and programs in pre-existing buildings and plans for major capital projects and upgrades that may increase capacity. The audit found errors in both the measurements of rooms’ sizes and their use, whether for instructional or non-instructional purposes.  Details of the audit’s findings are available at:

Holy Family Church Invites you to a Dedication to the Virgen de la Providencia, Patron of Puerto Rico

  Holy Family Church invites you to a dedication to the Virgen de la Providencia, Patron of Puerto Rico and In recognition of Senator Ruben Diaz for his interest working for the betterment of the community.

Date:            Saturday, November 12, 2011

Time:           7:30 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.

Donation:     $25.00 – Hot Buffet

Music:         Conjunto Tropical

Place:          Mechler Hall, 2158 Watson Avenue, Bronx, New York (Between Castle Hill and Olmstead Avenues)

Enjoy Raffles, Surprises and Attractions (Ice, and Refreshments are available at a minimal cost.)

For Ticket Information Please Call: (718)829-7436 or (718) 931-3813

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pension Reform Oped From Comptroller John Liu


World-Class Pensions for a World-Class City
By New York City Comptroller John C. Liu  

New York is one of the world’s financial capitals, and yet our pension investment system exists in an outdated backwater. Dating from the 19th Century, it is unwieldy, inefficient, and heavily politicized. The City’s five pension funds are governed by five separate boards, and no two funds are managed the same. The result is a mess – even as it is responsible for $120 billion in retirement funds for 700,000 hardworking and retired New Yorkers.

Pension Reform NYC will change things. Labor leaders, elected officials, and pension trustees themselves have joined forces to replace this outmoded system with a streamlined structure that will lower pension costs, improve returns on workers’ pension investments, and ensure greater accountability.  It will save money right from the start by in-sourcing the management of certain assets. And, it will save more money over time by focusing on long-term investment decisions, strategic risk management, and all the elements one would expect in a top-tier financial center like New York.

Under the plan, the City’s five pension funds would cede authority to a new Pension Investment Board – with representation from municipal employees and the Mayor and Comptroller -- that would set policies and objectives for the system as a whole. The Bureau of Asset Management would move out of the Comptroller’s Office and be reestablished as the NYC Investment Management Company, headed by a Chief Investment Officer whose term would not coincide with any elected official.

This new structure will be more efficient and more nimble – allowing it to increase investment results while lowering taxpayer costs. It is important to note that the biggest driver of pension cost escalation over the past decade has been poor market performance. And amid looming risks of a double-dip in our economy, long-term strategy is more essential than ever.

Full implementation of Pension Reform NYC requires state and city legislative approval. The Comptroller’s Office is committed to working with all stakeholders to shepherd this proposal to fruition in the months to come.
Municipal workers’ and retirees pensions should be entrusted to a modern, professionally managed system that can withstand the volatility and unpredictability of markets for years to come. This is our best chance to create a public pension system that New York City deserves. There is no time to waste.

For more information on Pension Reform NYC visit