Saturday, December 24, 2011

Diaz Christmas Party

      Despite Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. taking some flack for announcing his holiday party as a Christmas party with no children invited it was the biggest and most attended party of the holiday season in the Bronx. People were wall to wall, and Senator Diaz said that he will have to find a larger venue next year that will be able to host the most popular Christmas Party. Assemblyman Marcos Crespo (85 A.D.) co-hosted the event with Senator Diaz.   

     Other elected officials in attendance were Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., fellow State Senator Adriano Espailat, Bronx Democratic County Leader Assemblyman Carl Heastie, Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson (77 A.D.), Assemblyman Eric Stevenson (79 A.D.), City Council members Fernando Cabrera and Jimmy Vacca, City Comptroller John Liu, Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio, Judge Fernando Tapia, and announced 78th A.D. candidate Luis Sepulveda on the left in the first photo. 

     The music was loud, and because of the huge crowd the lines for food were long, but everybody had a good time. Below are a few pictures of the event. 

                                  And here is Team Diaz 2012

Friday, December 23, 2011


 City Comptroller John C. Liu today green-lighted technology contracts after the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) agreed to a $93 million reduction in
the cost of the contracts. This follows six weeks of negotiations between the Comptroller’s office and DoITT.

“We will continue to closely scrutinize, examine and, wherever possible, apply the budget scalpel to city contracts with expensive outside consultants,” said Comptroller Liu. “The $93 million savings
here can surely be redirected to helping with the significant fiscal challenges we face in the near horizon. We thank DoITT and MOCS for their cooperation and efforts in this negotiation.”

On November 3, 2011, the Mayor’s Office of Contacts (MOCS) approved $290 million in contract extensions for IT services to City agencies. Comptroller Liu had expressed deep concerns about the contracts and said his office would examine them closely once they were submitted. In the weeks since MOCS approval, Comptroller Liu’s office has worked on this issue with DoITT and MOCS, and as a result of these negotiations the agencies agreed to the $93 million cost reduction.

DoITT and MOCS also agreed to shorten the contracts’ time frame to 18 months from their original proposals of two years.

This is the latest example of contract savings Comptroller Liu’s office has been able to realize for the City’s taxpayers. Working with City Hall, the Comptroller’s office successfully put an end to the runaway spending related to, among other items, CityTime and the Emergency Communications Transformation Project (ECTP).

Liu credited Deputy Comptroller Geneith Turnbull and the staff of the Bureau of Contract Administration for securing the cost reductions from MOCS and DoITT.

Credits Cuomo with Disability Access  
    As Chair of the Council Committee that deals with disability services and a longtime advocate for full taxi accessibility, Council Member Oliver Koppell is particularly pleased that the legislation creating changes in NYC taxi service will provide for wheelchair accessibility and has praised Governor Cuomo as being instrumental in making this happen. 
In a letter to the governor, Koppell said, “Your leadership with respect to this legislation was crucial in moving the city toward the goal of full accessibility.  Without your insistence that there be greater taxi accessibility for disabled people this would not have happened”. (see attached.).
In addition to giving credit to the governor for the success of this historic legislation, Koppell also credited the disabled community and their advocates saying, “A victory of this magnitude does not happen in a vacuum. It can be attributed in large measure to those who have been forcefully calling for “taxis for all” for more than a decade.   As the prime sponsor of a bill in the City Council to make all new yellow cabs in New York City wheelchair accessible, Koppell has been a strong spokesman for equal transportation.
The legislation provides for 2,000 more wheelchair accessible yellow cabs, whose medallion auction is expected to raise at least $1 billion for the city. It also creates a new class of livery cabs with metered fares, credit card readers and roof lights.  Of the 18,000 new permits that the Taxi and Limousine Commission is expected to issue for these cabs, one fifth will be wheelchair accessible. The city will also provide up to $54 million in subsidies and loans to encourage livery drivers to buy vehicles that accommodate disabled riders.
As part of the deal, within a year, the city must create a long-term plan to convert the entire yellow cab fleet to disability access. The State Department of Transportation, which is overseen by the governor, will have to approve that plan before the city can auction all 2,000 new medallions.
Koppell is also gratified that people in northern Manhattan and the outer-boroughs will have vastly expanded access to taxi service, something his constituents have wanted for a long time.
Koppell said, “As the representative of an outer-borough district, I am delighted that my Bronx constituents will no longer be disadvantaged with respect to taxi service. I am equally gratified that, after a long fight, members of the disabled community will have equal access to taxi service.” 

   On Thursday, December 22, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., together with New York Yankees broadcaster Suzyn Waldman, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Deputy BP Greene, and Councilman Fernando Cabrera hosted the borough’s annual Chanukah celebration.
   As hundreds were in attendance Borough president Diaz, Rabbi Israel Greenberg (left), New York Yankees broadcaster Suzyn Waldman (right), lit the menorah to commemorate the Jewish holiday

Also in the photo next to Assemblyman Dinowitz are Mr. Lou Goldstein, and Ms. Marlene Cintron of BOEDC.

The event held at the Bronx County Building’s Veterans Memorial Hall, featured traditional Chanukah foods, such as latkes and jelly donuts. Everyone then went outside to light the huge outdoor menorah.

BP Diaz turns the on the switch to light the menorah. Click on the photo to enlarge it.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

NYC Parks Dept.: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas


   THE HOLIDAY MARATHONS team wanted to make everyone aware that the NYC Parks Dept. has DENIED our permit request to host a run on Christmas in Van Cortlandt Park! For a detailed list of the NYC Parks Dept antics go to,
The two articles below help explain how damaging NYC Parks decision was to the community.
Luckily Westchester County has been very cooperative and agreed on short notice to host the Christmas Run in Yonkers, (Tibbetts Brook Park)!
Please pass along the news and let us know if you would like to do a story on this issue.

On Thursday, December 22, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., together with New York Yankees broadcaster Suzyn Waldman, will host the borough’s annual Chanukah celebration.

The event will take place at 12 noon in the Bronx County Building, 851 Grand Concourse, in Veterans Memorial Hall. Traditional Chanukah foods, such as latkes and jelly donuts, will be served. The event will also feature a musical performance from world-renowned recording artist Dafka Israel-Potok.

“As borough president, I invite all Bronxites to participate in our annual Chanukah celebration. I am thrilled to have Suzyn Waldman, the voice of our very own Bronx Bombers, join me on this festive occasion,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

"The celebration of Chanukah reminds us that we can triumph over oppression of all kinds, no matter what the odds.  It is a triumph of a little light over total darkness.  I am thrilled to be partnering with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. to help celebrate Chanukah and light the Menorah in ‘my second home’...The Bronx!” said Suzyn Waldman, who will serve as MC at the event.

Waldman has spent the greater part of her twenty five year career overcoming all the obstacles that go along with being a female sports broadcaster, and has risen to the top of her profession. She is the only woman doing radio color commentary for a MLB team.  Suzyn Waldman is the first woman to broadcast a World Series and is prominently featured in the Women and Baseball room in Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

In l987, Waldman became the first female voice heard on WFAN, the first All-Sports Radio station in the country, and was a mainstay on that station for almost 15 years, creating the job of the radio beat reporter, covering both the New York Yankees and New York Knicks. Her news-breaking reports, exclusive interviews and always original and controversial opinions won her countless journalism awards. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

2012 Conference on Aging - REGISTER TODAY!


Register NOW to ensure your spot at the
2012 Conference on Aging
The Power of Aging: Creating a Future
for Older New Yorkers
January 19, 2012 8:30 - 4:00
CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY

    Unique workshops on timely issues
    Innovative resources for programming
    Networking with professionals in the field
    Vendor expo offering a variety of services and products
 We are excited to announces the 2012 Keynote Speaker:
Larry Minnix
Nationally-renowned Leader and Speaker
President & CEO, Leading Age

Use the Conference Webpage:
Learn more about the keynote speaker!

For more information please contact Allison Nickerson
  by phone: 212-398-6565 x 235 or via email at:
CSCS ~ The Power of Aging


John Haggerty Sentenced

   John Haggerty one of Mayor Bloombergs political operatives who was found guilty of using money from the 2009 mayoral election for personal uses will spend between 1 1/2 to 4 years behind bars. This was a case where the Mayor Bloomberg gave $1.1 million dollars to the state Independence Party to use on his 2009 re-election campaign for a election day poll watching operation, and $750,000 of it to Haggerty for his part in the operation. 

   Along with the jail time Haggerty was ordered to repay Mayor Bloomberg the $750,000 dollars that he used for personal use. Mayor Bloomberg was a key witness called to testify in the case.

Statement on de Blasio, Quinn & Living Wage

 The following came from the Living Wage NYC Coalition about the latest endorsement to the bill, and the 2013 mayors race. 


The Living Wage NYC coalition released the following statement today:
"2013 mayoral politics should not determine the fate of the living wage bill. Bill de Blasio is the latest in a very long line of elected officials, leaders, and organizations around the city to endorse the living wage bill. The final decision on the legislation is not up to him. The City Council will decide what happens next. We thank Speaker Quinn for her willingness to work with us and discuss the legislation from the very first day it was introduced. All along, she has guided a truly deliberative process, holding two hearings and thoughtfully engaging many supporters of the legislation since the spring of 2010. She has devoted a tremendous amount of staff time and personal time to reviewing all the relevant evidence and data. She deserves credit for her commitment to sustaining an open and productive dialogue."

RE: Public Advocate de Blasio’s Support for the ‘Fair Wages for New Yorkers’ Act

“As a leader in the fight to bring a ‘living wage’ law to New York City, I enthusiastically welcome Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s support for the ‘Fair Wages for New Yorkers’ Act. Public Advocate de Blasio has displayed a strong record of fighting for the rights of those underserved and often ignored residents of this City, and his support for this historic legislation is another great example of his commitment to justice and fairness for New Yorkers.

“For months, the public advocate met with individuals and organizations on all sides of this legislation as he engaged in a thoughtful, deliberative examination of the merits of this bill. After meeting with me personally last week, I am thrilled that he has joined the majority of our City in support of the ‘Fair Wages for New Yorkers’ Act. This further demonstrates that we are gaining momentum in our efforts to pass this important legislation.

“The ‘Fair Wages for New Yorkers’ Act will ensure that our taxpayer dollars are spent not only to enrich major developers, but also to provide a way forward out of poverty for their employees. Bill de Blasio understands that, and I welcome his support for this bill and look forward to working with him on making it law,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Last week, a Quinnipiac Poll new Quinnipiac Poll was released showing that New Yorkers of all political leanings support a “living wage.” Voters polled by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute said that the “Fair Wages for New Yorkers” Act, which is currently before the New York City Council, is a “good idea” by a wide margin of 74-19 percent. 

The poll also found support strong for the bill across the political spectrum, with support for the bill among Republicans at 56-39 percent, among Democrats at 83-11 percent and among independents at 67-25 percent.