Friday, December 2, 2011

Plans for Ice Skating Rink in Van Cortlandt Park
No Approval Needed

Click on the picture to enlarge it.

Here is the scaled down version of the proposed Van Cortlandt Park Ice Skating Rink that will come and go like a circus according to Parks Department spokesman Davita Mabourakh. 
The electric upgrade will be at the north end of the old tennis courts along with the ice chillers. One question though, will the electric upgrade and chillers be taken out each year like the new smaller ice skating rink?

Oh, by the way Ms. Mabourakh said that the Franchise and Concession Review Committee would not have to approve this smaller rink which was compared to a circus, note the tents, The local community board and elected officials are being told "we thought you wanted the ice skating rink", so we don't need your approval, but let us know you like it. 

By the way this was sprung on the few who attended the Community Board 8 Parks Committee meeting Wednesday night November 30th at the last minute.

Typical Bloomberg thinking.... 
Don't let anyone know what you are doing, and do it at the last minute so there can be little if any opposition. Also tell them that is what they wanted.

Assemblyman Dinowitz Speaks Out Against Potential Cuts to Senior Centers

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz spoke out against potential cuts to Title XX funding for senior centers at a rally at City Hall today sponsored by the Council of Senior Centers & Services of NYC.  For each of the last two years, the Governor's budget proposed cutting tens of millions of dollars from Title XX funding, which resulted in New York City threatening to close over a hundred senior centers.  Assemblyman Dinowitz, former Chair of the Assembly Committee on Aging, led the successful fight this year to prevent this cutback and the closing of senior centers.

"This time around, we want to convince the Governor to not propose this cut in the first place.  I will fight together with Speaker Sheldon Silver, Aging Committee Chair Joan Millman, and my other colleagues to make sure that seniors will not have to live in fear that the senior centers that so many of them depond upon would be closed," said Assemblyman Dinowitz.



Council Member Oliver Koppell is pleased to announce that he is one of nine Council Members who received an A grade on the “2011 New York City Council Human Rights Report Card,” which was  released by the Human Rights Project at the Urban Justice Center on November 14, 2011.
The goal of the annual Human Rights Report Card is to provide reliable and accessible information on the performance of City Council representatives in protecting and advancing the human rights of New Yorkers in 2011. Council Members were graded based on their sponsorship of, and votes on, legislation  to advance human rights, as well as their responses to the Human Rights Questionnaire sent to each Council Member in June.
The Human Rights Project highlighted Koppell’s legislative priorities including the “Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act,” the “Accessible Taxi Mandate” and improving Department of Buildings access to illegal residential housing conversions as the basis for its rating.  The project also noted Koppell’s  advocacy on behalf of these measures, as well as his budget priorities, which included the “ Children Under Five Mental Health Initiative“, the “Geriatric Mental Health Initiative” and helping ensure that teachers were not laid off.
“I am very proud to have received an A grade on the NYC Council Human Rights Report Card based on my legislative record at the City Council, and I look forward to continuing  to advocate on behalf of this vital issue,”  Koppell said..

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bronx Annual Chanukah Celebration

Bronx Borough President
Ruben Diaz Jr.

Invites you to join him at the

Bronx Annual Chanukah Celebration

Mistress of Ceremony
Suzyn Waldman
New York Yankees Broadcaster

Musical Performance
Dafna Israel-Kotok
Shir Fun
Recording Artist and Educator

Thursday, December 22, 2011
Program begins at 12:00 PM

The Bronx County Building
Veteran's Memorial Hall
851 Grand Concourse

Seating is Complimentary and Limited.

RSVP 718.590.3989

Bronx Borough President's Holiday Tree Lighting

         Bronx Borough President 

             Ruben Diaz Jr.

Invites you to join him at the annual
Holiday Tree Lighting
Thursday, December 8, 2011
5:00 pm
Bronx County Building
851 Grand Concourse (Corner of 161st Street)
Sing Christmas carols with Santa Claus

RSVP by Calling 718-590-3522 or email

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


State Senator Gustavo Rivera will launch his second series of civics classes at the Kingsbridge Library starting Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 6:00PM. Tonight’s class will focus on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. This course is FREE TO THE PUBLIC and we encourage Bronxites of all ages to attend. 

WHAT: FREE Civics classes taught by Senator Rivera

WHO: Senator Gustavo Rivera and Irving Ladimer

WHERE: Kingsbridge Library - 291 West 231st Street, Bronx, NY

WHEN: Wednesday, November 30th - 6:00PM-7:00PM

The course will focus on learning about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the risks and rewards of citizenship as well as voting and elections. Senator Rivera’s civics course will start on November 30th and will continue every Wednesday until December 14th with a graduation ceremony to celebrate the completion of the course.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Key Witness in Seabrook Corruption Trial Says She Suffers From Dementia 


In our column in the Bronx News "100 PERCENT" our headline reads "Just a slap on the wrist", referring to the Larry Seabrook trial and how the governments case seems to be falling apart. The above byline comes from the WNYC blog found here , and says that federal witness 71-year-old Gloria Jones-Grant, was Seabrook's former girlfriend and executive director of the three non-profits Seabrook allegedly used to pocket more than a $1 million in earmarked City Council discretionary funds.

 The only problem is that Ms. Jones-Grant who was granted immunity for her testimony forgot to tell the feds (or the feds did not want to hear) that she has been under the care of a doctor for early stages of dementia.

It just gets better and better for Seabrook, and we can't wait for the testimony of Speaker Quinn and Mayor Bloomberg.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will join the volunteer organization New York Cares and HealthPlus to kickoff the 2011 “Keep The Bronx Warm Month” annual coat drive.

Borough President Diaz will announce that during the month of December individuals can drop off and donate coats at his office in the Bronx County Courthouse, local police precincts as well as other public locations.

Last year coat donations declined, leaving 10,000 children city-wide without a warm coat. This year’s goal is to collect 100,000 coats to help meet the unprecedented need in the borough and across the City.

When:                         Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Time:                         11 a.m.
Where:                        On the Steps of the 50th Precinct
3450 Kingsbridge Avenue
                                                  (W.238th Street)

Monday, November 28, 2011


City Comptroller John C. Liu today announced the appointment of Ari Hoffnung as Deputy Comptroller for Public Affairs. Hoffnung, who most recently served as Assistant Comptroller of Budget & Chief Policy Officer, will assume his new role on December 19th. He replaces Alan van Capelle who is departing the Comptroller’s Office.

“Ari has been a consistent and constant driving force on some of our office’s highest priority initiatives over the past two years, and he's proven to execute with precision,” Comptroller Liu said. “Ari also shares my deep commitment to public service and improving city government. I’ve no doubt he will excel even more as part of my leadership team.”

“I am honored and humbled for this opportunity,” Hoffnung said. “I look forward to helping to build on Comptroller Liu’s accomplishments and highlighting the great work of the Comptroller’s Office.”

Hoffnung will oversee all operations pertaining to the Public Affairs Bureau of the New York City Comptroller’s Office, which includes the Community Action Center, Public Affairs, and Communications
departments. He will also retain his oversight of the Comptroller’s Policy Bureau. As Deputy Comptroller for Public Affairs, Hoffnung will serve as a chief advisor to Comptroller Liu on all matters involving public policy, intergovernmental, media and community relations.

Deputy Comptroller Hoffnung currently serves as Comptroller Liu’s representative at the Office of Payroll Administration (OPA) and the Financial Information Services Agency (FISA), where he played an integral role in ending the runaway spending associated with the CityTime project.  In addition to FISA and OPA, Hoffnung also serves as Comptroller Liu’s representative on the New York City Banking Commission.

Hoffnung currently manages the division responsible for the budget, policy, and corporate governance functions of the Comptroller’s Office. He has been a driving force on many of Comptroller Liu’s initiatives, including Checkbook NYC, which gives the public online access to the City’s $66 billion in annual expenditures, and Pension NYC, which provides unparalleled access to information pertaining to the $109 billion New York City pension funds.

In addition, he spearheaded the Comptroller’s “Retirement Security NYC”, a major initiative to protect the retirement security of public employees while ensuring the City’s financial health.

Prior to joining Comptroller Liu’s Administration, Deputy Comptroller Hoffnung served as Chief of Staff to then-City Councilman Simcha Felder, and was a Managing Director at Bear Stearns where he worked for more than a decade.

Hoffnung holds an MBA in Finance from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a bachelor’s degree from Queens College.  He resides in the Riverdale section of the Bronx with his wife and two children.

Ari Hoffnung joins  Comptroller Liu's team of Deputy Comptrollers, consisting of First Deputy Eric Eve, Simcha Felder (accountancy and budget), Tina Kim (audit), Carol Kostik (public finance), Ricardo Morales (legal affairs, General Counsel), Larry Schloss (pensions, Chief Investment Officer), and Geneith Turnbull (contracts and procurement).



More Holiday Cheers