Saturday, February 4, 2012


Customer Appreciation Day Feb. 14


NorthEast Community Bank’s Arthur Avenue Branch at 590East 187th Street (@ Arthur Avenue) will hold its annual customer appreciation day this February 14, Valentine’s Day.

Light refreshments will be served from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.  Everyone is welcome to come in, have a snack, and chat with their local bankers. 

“We’ll have hot drinks and eats for our customers and look forward to speaking with them individually. This gives us a chance to say thank you to our customers and ask what more we can be doing to serve their needs,” said Betty Giordani, Branch Manager.

The website for NorthEast Community Bank which include branch hours is


Friday, February 3, 2012

Black History Month Celebration


2012 Black History 

Celebrating African-American Culture

Black History Month Celebration

Wednesday, February 15, 2012
5:30 pm 
The Bronx Museum of the Arts
1040 Grand Concourse at East 165th Street

Keynote Speaker
Carolyn Carter-Kennedy
Author of "The Lucille Armstrong Story"  

2012 Honorees
 Leroy "Archie" Archible
Korean War Veteran & Community Leader

Reverend Frederick Crawford
Pastor Union Grove Baptist Church

Bernel Arthur Richardson
Chairman United Leadership of the Bronx

Hon. Elizabeth Taylor
Justice. Bronx County Supreme Court

Enjoy an evening with  
musical entertainment provided by the Karl Browne's Smooth Improvisation Band,
a special performance of the "The Creation" by JASA's Drama Bunch Co-op City Seniors and delicious dishes provided by Chef Paul of Z'Novia 

Seating Limited. RSVP required.  Please call 718-590-3522
or email 


RE: Police Shooting in the East Bronx
“We have a problem, not just in the Bronx but across the City. In the past week we have seen a well-publicized video documenting apparent police brutality, the attempted murder of a police officer in Brooklyn, and, this afternoon, a young, unarmed man saw his life end by a police officer’s bullet.

“I’ve had enough, on all sides. I cannot and will not tolerate incidents of police misconduct. It is especially disturbing that a young man, who did not have a gun and was in his own home, could see his life end in such a sudden manner at the hands of those charged with his protection. This is especially disturbing given that we are approaching the anniversary of the unfortunate death of Amadou Diallo. A great deal of work has been done since that time to improve police-community relations, and tragic incidents like this have the potential to undo years of good work. A full investigation into this incident must occur, and immediately. 

“Our police officers must be better trained to deal with the communities they work in, to better respect the lives of those they are charged with protecting and serving. We can no longer tolerate our young men and women falling victim to excessive violence at the hands of our police, or worse yet, lose their lives unjustly.

“At the same time, Police Officer Kevin Brennan lays in a hospital after a gun-toting thug attempted to take his life. The violence on our streets must come to an end. We must respect the hard work of our police department, those men and women who put their lives on the line to protect law-abiding citizens each and every day, and continue to fight to curb illegal gun violence in our streets. I myself have been harassed by the police. I am also the brother of an NYPD sergeant. I understand both sides of this issue, and I know that something must be done to put an end to this violence,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Thursday, February 2, 2012



City Comptroller John C. Liu statement on the Mayor’s FY 2013 Preliminary Budget:

“We commend the Mayor on a balanced budget that avoids layoffs in this difficult environment.  However, the use of short-term financial maneuvers doesn’t reduce real cost but simply defers costs to future administrations. My office will issue our full analysis in the coming weeks.”


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Next Croton FMC Meeting will be Thursday, February 16 at 7 PM at the DEP Community Office


The next Croton Facility Monitoring Committee meeting will be on Thursday evening, February 16th at 7pm at the DEP office, 3660 Jerome Avenue.

The Agenda will be released shortly.


STATEMENT FROM BOROUGH PRESIDENT DIAZ RE: Vidalia Park Basketball Court Shooting


“I am very disappointed by last night’s quadruple shooting at the Vidalia Park Basketball court in West Farms. It is unacceptable that, despite the efforts of my office the police department and our district attorney to take as many illegal guns off our streets as possible, these senseless acts of gun violence continue to plague our borough.

“I am deeply saddened that our kids cannot play a friendly game of basketball without looking over their shoulder because of gun violence. I know I speak for all Bronxites in condemning this despicable, cowardly act. My office will continue to work with the police, our district attorney, elected officials, and other community organizations to take as many illegal guns off of our streets as we possibly can.

“I urge all Bronxites with knowledge of illegal guns in their community to call 866-GUN-STOP to anonymously report those guns to the police, a program that my office continues to promote through our ‘Peace in our Streets’ campaign,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

More information on the 866-GUN-STOP program can be found at the following link:


Senate Passes Klein Bill to Crack Down on Auto Insurance Fraud

Legislation sponsored by Senator Jeffrey D. Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) that would impose tougher penalties on those who commit auto insurance fraud passed the State Senate today.
The measure (S.578) would make it a felony to forge an auto insurance card, or certificate of insurance. In New York State, these documents are necessary to obtain government issued documents --  such as a vehicle registration -- that are required to legally operate a motor vehicle.

It's law-abiding New Yorkers who ultimately have to pay the price of auto insurance fraud,” Senator Klein said. “With this commonsense legislation, we will help punish those who seek to game the system, lower auto insurance premiums, and make New York's roads safer.”

Forged insurance cards and documents are often used to fraudulently register cars so that owners may operate them without paying auto insurance premiums. Klein’s bill also makes the selling of 10 or more false insurance cards or documents a felony.

The bill is pending in the Assembly.

What You Should Know 

by Senator Rev. Ruben DIaz


   Assemblyman Denny Farrell shows no respect for Bronx residents, for Bronx elected officials, and especially no respect for the Bronx’s growing Hispanic population.
“You must understand, for the last 40 years, whatever district Charlie Rangel wants, we give it to him. I say, ‘Charlie, we can’t draw anything else in the state till we draw you.’ That’s always been our position — we do you and then everything. He’s the dean. He’s the No. 1.”

These words expressed today in a Daily News column by Bill Hammond titled ‘Albany's Gift to Charlie Rangel’ practically confirmed to the world what I have been asking all along about our representatives in Albany: Are they are all a bunch of sell-outs or do they have the best interest for our community as their top priority?
Today, my dear reader, Harlem is a very different community. Charles Rangel and Keith Wright may have brought “progress” to Harlem with great business proposals, 125th Street is thriving with stores and businesses, and people now go to Harlem to shop, but there is one big problem. They pushed their residents out – especially the African American community. They did not protect Harlem residents.

There are not enough African American residents in Harlem to keep Charles Rangel in his position, and there is no one to blame but Charles Rangel himself – and his colleagues. They allowed African Americans to lose Harlem to others communities. In other words, today Harlem is owned by others – not by African Americans as it used to be.

We cannot deny, and you should know, that Charlie Rangel is a legendary figure in the African American community and that whatever he wants for Harlem he has always gotten.
We also have to note that the historical beauty of Harlem has been their residents, their struggle for survival and their history. Harlem was a strong political power for the African American community in the eyes of the nation, until their leadership, led by Charles Rangel, sold them out to former President Bill Clinton and his business associates.

Now Charles Rangel, Denny Farrell and Keith Wright – after losing Harlem – want to come to the Bronx and without respect or consideration to the leadership, to the people of the Bronx, and to all of us who have fought to keep our community intact, contrary to what they did in Harlem. Remember Denny Farrell’s words, “Charlie, we can’t draw anything else in the state till we draw you … we do you and then everything.”

What a joke! What a farce! What a lack of respect to Sheldon Silver, to the rest of the Assembly members and to the people of the Bronx!
We in the Bronx have built housing to protect the Black and Hispanic community from leaving us. The census verified that the Bronx did not lose people – the Bronx gained residents because the Bronx leadership has been responding to the needs of its community and has not allowed others to come and push our people out.
We do not need Charles Rangel to come to the Bronx. We have enough people to get two congressional districts independent and apart from everything else, to take over our struggles and our fight.

When I hear Denny Farrell practically say that the Assembly will not do anything until “we do” Charles Rangel. I must wonder who is the real Speaker, Sheldon Silver or Denny Farrell. I also wonder how my Bronx colleagues will respond to this insult. I’d like to know how they can allow themselves to be disrespected like that.

I am Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz and this is what you should know.

Monday, January 30, 2012

 Comments on The Proposed Minimum Wage Bill

From the RSDSU
Why a Higher Minimum Wage is Needed in New York
Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) President Stuart Appelbaum made the following statement at a press conference in Albany today to announce minimum wage legislation:
I’m Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). I’m proud to be here today with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and members of the Assembly.
The minimum wage in New York has not been raised in several years, but minimum wage workers are paying more for food, shelter, and other basic necessities. When wages don’t keep pace with rising costs and prices, survival becomes more and more difficult. That’s the predicament countless New Yorkers find themselves in today.
It’s all but impossible to get by on $7.25 per hour, the current minimum wage. Too many low-wage workers, particularly in retail, one of the fastest-growing sectors of our economy, are struggling to survive.
This is unfair and unacceptable. We’re here to say something significant needs to be done about it during this legislative session.
A broad coalition of labor unions, community organizations and the Working Families Party is supporting the Assembly to raise the minimum wage this year. The RWDSU is an active member of this coalition. We see this effort as the logical and necessary extension of the living wage movement we built in New York City-a movement that led recently to a landmark victory for low-wage workers.
The legislation being introduced today is a small but important step that will help forge a path out of poverty toward the middle class.
Raising the minimum wage in New York is morally right and economically smart: when workers earn more, they spend more, generating demand for new goods and services that will create more jobs and strengthen our economy. When workers are stronger, so are businesses and so are the communities in which we live and work.
New Yorkers need a wage-led recovery from the recession. It’s time to transform economic vulnerability into economic security. This legislation tells low-wage New Yorkers they are not invisible or forgotten, and that government can improve their lives.

“I strongly support Speaker Sheldon Silver, Assembly Member Keith Wright and the entire New York State Assembly in their proposal to raise the State’s minimum wage to $ 8.50 an hour.  If passed, this bill will represent a positive step towards changing the life of working families in our City.

“Both the Assembly bill and the ‘Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act,’ our bill that would mandate employers pay a living wage when their projects receive heavy taxpayer subsidies, work together toward the common goal of  improving the quality of life of New York City residents. A little extra money in the pocket of these struggling families will help keep them afloat by putting food on the table, keeping the heat on through the winter, and paying the rent. Our State Legislature has not voted to raise the minimum wage since 2004.  As a result, New York's minimum wage is stagnant at just $7.25 an hour, around $15,000 a year for those who work full-time.  

“In a high-cost state like ours, trying to support a family on such a low salary is nearly impossible. That is why I believe it is time to for New York to raise the minimum wage,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Senator Rivera Testifies at Albany Redistricting Hearing, Continues to Push for an Independent Redistricting Process

State Senator Gustavo Rivera (D,WF-Bronx) testified today, Monday, January 30, 2012 in front of the Legislative Reapportionment Taskforce (LATFOR) in a redistricting hearing in Albany. Senator Rivera is unable to attend the Bronx Redistricting hearing, which is occurring Tuesday at 3:00pm at the Bronx Museum of the Arts (1040 Grand Concourse) and is open for members of the community to express their opinion.  Below is Senator Rivera’s testimony:

“I am State Senator Gustavo Rivera and I represent the 33rd Senate District contained in the Northwest Bronx. The district includes the neighborhoods of Fordham, Kingsbridge, University Heights, Riverdale, Van Cortlandt Park, Bedford Park and East Tremont. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the Bronx Redistricting Hearing tomorrow, Tuesday, January 31st at the Bronx Museum of the Arts.

I am here to testify about the continued need for an independent redistricting process. I am disappointed that there was not an independent redistricting commission established last year, especially given that so many of my colleagues are on the record supporting independent redistricting. I continue to believe that voters should pick their representatives, not the other way around. In order to have fair district lines, without partisan gerrymandering, we need to take legislators out of the process.

Over the last week, we have seen that a bad process results in a bad product. Today’s hearing is suppose to garner reactions to a proposal that shows a willingness to disenfranchise voters, especially Black and Latino voters, throughout New York to protect the interests of certain individuals or one conference over another.

There are two issues that stuck out to me as unconstitutional and unfair after having looked at the Republican redistricting proposal for the State Senate. The first is the proposed increase from 62 to 63 State Senate districts, which not only defies the New York State Constitution, but also defies all logic, as it comes at a time when New York’s population has decreased and we are losing two Congressional districts. The second is the issue of “packing,” or seeing to it that minority communities are packed into a few districts through gerrymandering instead of being able to figure significantly in the election of representatives in a much larger number of districts. I believe this proposal does just that and moreover could lead to a potential violation of the Voting Rights Act.

While it may be too late for an independent commission to draw districts, it is not too late to demand an independent process this year. That is why I stand united with Governor Cuomo in calling for an independent process and am ready to uphold a veto from the Governor. I will continue to push to make independent redistricting a reality in New York.”

Protecting Houses of Worship:
Sen. Klein Proposes Tougher Penalties for Thefts in Religious Institutions

Following a rash of break-ins and burglaries targeting houses of worship in the Northern Bronx, State Senator Jeffrey D. Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) today announced legislation to stiffen criminal penalties for those who steal, or damage items and property in churches, synagogues and other religious institutions.

He was joined by religious and community leaders who have been stung by these crimes.

An assaults on a house of worship is an assault on an entire community,” Senator Klein said. “These vandals need to know there will be heavy consequences for their reckless and despicable crimes. This legislation will send that message and protect these sacred institutions.”
This recent crime spree includes:
  • In the Waterbury-LaSalle Community, Our Lady of Assumption Roman Catholic Church parishioners noticed a laptop and approximately $400 were stolen from their school. Additionally, a door leading to the chapel was broken.
  • In Pelham Bay, Zoodohos Peghe Greek Orthodox Church was victim to about $50 being taken from donation box and the destruction of an intricate wood carving in the Church.  Additionally, two months prior at St. Theresa Catholic Church their gift shop was broken into and cash was stolen from the register.
  • On City Island, Police found windows and doors smashed and broken at Temple Beth El Synagogue and silver Torah crowns and Kiddush cups missing. They estimate $5,000 to $10,000 worth of items were stolen.
Senator Klein’s legislation would:
  • Increase the penalty for theft, or the intentional damage to a scroll, religious vestment, vessel, any other item used in connection with religious worship, in any building of worship punishable, to a maximum of seven years in prison. These crimes would be classified as third-degree grand larceny and second-degree criminal mischief, both Class D Felonies. Currently, these charges would only apply in cases where items worth more than $3,000 have been stolen, or where items have sustained more than $1,500 in damages.
  • Expand the definition of second-degree grand larceny to include the theft of any scroll, religious vestment, vessel, any other item used in connection with religious worship, in any building of worship, that are worth more than $250. This would be a Class C felony punishable by up to five to 15 years in prison.   
  • Strengthen the penalty for any intentional damage to house of worship-owned property to up to four years in prison, making it a Class E felony. Currently, this applies to damage worth more than $250. 
If passed, this legislation would build upon Senator Klein’s past legislative accomplishment of increased criminal penalties for those who desecrate and vandalize church property.  That bill was signed into law by Governor Paterson in 2010 and was strongly championed by a wide range of religious leaders, including Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan.
 “A crime against a religious institution is a crime against a community at large,” said Monsignor Anthony Marchitelli of Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church.
It is urgent that all people of good will stand together against violence that target our houses of worship. We thank Senator Klein and his colleagues for their leadership in helping lift us up, so that all of our brothers and sisters of faith can congregate and worship in safety and peace,” said Rabbi Shohama Wiener of Temple Beth El Synagogue.
Those who have any information on these recent burglaries against religious institutions are urged to contact the 45th Precinct Detective Squad at (718) 822-5414 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-8447