Saturday, May 12, 2012

Bankers Breakfast Bronx Week 2012

     On Friday May 11th The Business Initiative Corporation of New York in partnership with The Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation held the 14th Annual Bronx Bankers Breakfast at Villa Barone Manor. This was a gathering of over 400 leaders of the banking, business, real estate, and technical assistance industries to hear Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg  discuss the accomplishments of both administrations along with future goals of both leaders in economic development. 

     BP Diaz spoke of the new development going on all over the Bronx from his helping to keep the Hunt's Point Market in the Bronx, getting "Fresh Direct" to expand and relocate to the Bronx, and the new development on two separate sites on the Broadway business area in Kingsbridge. Diaz also mentioned that this year "Bronx Week 2012" will feature over 120 different events all around the Bronx, ending on Sunday May 20th with the Bronx Day Parade, then the Music and Food festival both on Mosholu Parkway.

    BP Ruben Diaz Jr.Diaz then introduced Mayor Michael "Ruben" Bloomberg who said that he once was endorsed by Ruben Diaz in his three elections, but that was by Ruben Diaz senior and not the junior Diaz. Bloomberg went on to say how New York City and the Bronx were better of under his administration, and also spoke of the new development going on in the Bronx, such as the expansion of the Bay Plaza shopping center. Bloomberg praised Assemblyman (and Democratic County Leader) Carl Heastie for his help in passing the new "Taxi Bill" in Albany, and said that people in all five boroughs will now be able to hail a safe reliable cab. He added that he has little over one year left to his term in office, and still has a lot of work to do. I was able to ask the mayor about a City Planning initiative on global warming, and the mayor said that we must give very much concern to global warming and how it can effect the city..
  Here you can see a short video of BP Diaz and Mayor Bloomberg. from the breakfast
  Below are a few photos of the event, click on a photo to enlarge it. 

Right - Mayor Bloomberg is seated between Bronx BP Ruben Diaz Jr. and his Chief of Staff Mr. Paul Del Duca. Ms. Marlene Cintron of BOEDC asks BP Diaz to address the audience.    Right - BP Diaz speaking during the breakfast.

Left - Deputy BP Greene and Assemblyman Carl Heastie are seated by the mayor as BP Diaz is speaking.      Right - Mayor Bloomberg addressing the audience.

Some Bronx elected officials on hand.Left - is Assemblyman Marcos Crespo with State Senator Gustavo Rivera.    Right is Assemblyman Crespo with Councilman Joel Rivera, and the owner of Metro Optics.

Left - is BP Diaz center with Assembly members Vanessa Gibson and Jeffrey Dinowitz to his left, and Councilman Rivera and State Senator Rivera on his right. Right - is the unity of Bronx elected officials as Assemblymen Crespo and Heastie join the group.
Chippewa Democratic Club 
114th Annual Dinner Dance

  Thursday May 10th the Chippewa Democratic Club held their 114th Annual Dinner Dance at Villa Barone Manor. While some of the members have been around a long time, no one could remember the first few Dinner Dances. The Honorees were Mr. Bob Kappstater (with the Daily News for over 40 years, and now editor of the Bronx Times Reporter), Mr. Louis Mahoney (Owner of Jerome Florist in Throggs Neck), Ms. Rose Lobianco (a local resident and Department of Education supervisor), Mr. Patrick Welsh ( a union leader fro the CWA), and Mr. George Archambault (longtime Chippewa Democratic Club member and volunteer). 

  Over 250 people were in attendance including local elected officials Councilman Jimmy Vacca, State Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblyman Michael Bennedetto, as well as Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. Many union leaders and members were also in attendance, including United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew who dropped by during the dinner.Also in attendance were Bronx Chamber of Commerce President Lenny Caro, Bronx Democratic County Executive Director Ms. Iashia Bravo (who stood in for the County Leader Assemblyman Carl Heastie), many other local party leaders, and even 80th Assembly District candidate Mr. Mark Gjonaj. 

  Below are a few photos of  event, and you can click on the picture to enlarge it.

Left - is the band "Just Nuts" led by Mr. Victor Sabatini that provided the music for the night.         Right - is Councilman Jimmy Vacca.

Left - is UFT President Michael Mulgrew with Councilman Vacca.    Right - is Councilman Vacca explaining his latest position with honoree (and new editor of the Bronx Times Reporter) Bob Kappstater.

Left - is BP Diaz with Steamfitter Union rep and 80th A.D. State Committeeman Joe McManus.    Right - is Ms. Iashia Bravo with honoree Bob Kappstater.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Statement by State Senator Rubén Díaz

Re; President Obama's Statement on Gay Marriage

  “As a conservative Democrat, I am very disappointed with President Barack Obama regarding his announcement today in favor of gay marriage.  It is well known that in every state where the people have had the opportunity to vote, including in North Carolina this week, the people have rejected gay marriage.  Even though the polls indicate that the majority of Americans favor gay marriage, the reality is clearly very different when the people are given the right to vote on this issue."
  Thirty-one (31) states have already expressed that sentiment in the voting booth. I am afraid that with this pronouncement, the President has hurt the Democrats’ chances of regaining the Senate and will hurt many Democratic candidates throughout the nation.  I will not be surprised if in the next few days you  see in the polls that Mitt Romney has surpassed Barack Obama.
  “Gay marriage has been the Achilles Heel in New York State since it became law.  The Democratic party has lost every single election to Republicans, even in Democratic controlled areas.”


City Can Spur Economic Growth and Realize Long-Term Savings by Accelerating Capital Projects Already in the Pipeline
Comptroller John C. Liu today unveiled details of an innovative plan to accelerate school construction and
other vital capital projects that have already been approved. The plan would create jobs now, improve infrastructure, and take advantage of today’s historically-low borrowing costs and relatively low construction costs. Comptroller Liu is advocating for adoption of this plan in the Fiscal Year 2013 budget.
“By accelerating projects already in the pipeline the City can jump-start 15,000 jobs – at a time when the construction industry is still struggling and unemployment is stubbornly high, especially among minorities.” Comptroller Liu said. “The plan addresses infrastructure challenges such as school overcrowding, deteriorating roads and bridges, and the need for new and better parks. It also offers an opportunity to save taxpayer money by taking advantage of today’s historically low interest rates and relatively low construction costs.”

The City plans to commit $28.8 billion in capital projects for Fiscal Years 2014-2021 to build schools and upgrade other infrastructure. The Comptroller's plan challenges the City to evaluate its long-term pipeline to identify projects that can start in the upcoming fiscal year. Accelerating $2 billion of capital spending over the next two fiscal years would not represent an increase to the City's long term capital plan, but rather an acceleration of scheduled capital budget commitments. The plan expands on the concept Comptroller Liu proposed in his State of the City address earlier this year which outlined ways to spur economic development.

The Comptroller’s office estimates that borrowing $2 billion now could save taxpayers up to $468 million in long-term borrowing costs. The short-term cost of debt service on the incremental borrowing could be mitigated by targeting savings from refinancing existing high coupon debt at current low rates – resulting in no new costs for taxpayers. Since taking office, Comptroller Liu, together with the Office of Management and Budget, has executed refinancings that have produced more than $700 million in total budget savings.

Accelerating capital projects has the potential to spur more than 15,000 jobs in FY 2013 and 2014. Conservative estimates by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce indicate that 7.7 new jobs are created for every $1 million invested in infrastructure; thus, a $2 billion investment over a two-year time span would create over 15,000 jobs. Further, construction costs, while rising, are still low compared to four years ago – presenting an additional cost-saving opportunity.

The City’s infrastructure needs are well-documented. New York City is currently No. 1 in competitiveness among 120 of the world’s major cities, according to a ranking earlier this year by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Yet, that same study ranked New York City 24th in terms of physical capital, raising questions about the City’s ability to maintain its competitive edge.

“When the construction industry is strong, New York City thrives,” said Richard T. Anderson, President of the New York Building Congress. “More government leaders need to focus on the city's capital budget – in fact, we would like to see the budget not just accelerated but also increased. The Comptroller is paying attention to the capital plan in a very important way, and this innovative plan would help ensure New York City maintains its competitive edge. The Building Congress supports this Capital Acceleration Plan. It would generate much-needed jobs, help kick-start our sluggish economy, and expedite important infrastructure improvements.”

“We are fully supportive of the Comptroller's initiative, which would assist in creating much- needed jobs today while also stimulating economic growth and new development,” said New York City Central Labor Council President Vincent Alvarez. “New York City’s unacceptably high unemployment rate – higher than the national rate – illustrates just how badly jobs are needed here, especially in the hard-hit construction industry.”

“This would save the City money and speed up much-needed school construction. It's a common-sense plan and a good idea for the City of New York,” said Michael Mulgrew, President of the United Federation of Teachers.

“Creating good jobs in New York City is priority number one for the unionized Building and Construction Trades,” said Gary LaBarbera, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. “To the extent there are public works projects that can be accelerated to put people to work while at the same time cutting long-term borrowing costs to taxpayers by taking advantage of currently low interest rates, we ought to fully explore doing so.”

“This plan represents much-needed thinking about how to seriously address the City’s high unemployment and unused capacity in the critical construction sector,” said James Parrott, Deputy Director and Chief Economist at the Fiscal Policy Institute.

“School construction must be accelerated, or else another generation of children will lose out on their right to an adequate education,” said Leonie Haimson, Executive Director of Class Size Matters. “This is a far-thinking proposal and we hope that the Mayor, DOE and the City Council take heed.”

“The New York City Parents Union supports Comptroller John C. Liu's capital acceleration plan because it will create much needed jobs for New Yorkers and the construction of new school buildings will alleviate overcrowding in our schools,” said Mona Davids, President of the New York City Parents Union.

“This proposal is a no-brainer. It creates 15,000 much-needed jobs, costs very little in the short-term, and actually saves money in the long-term,” said John Petro, policy analyst at the Drum Major Institute. 

For more information, download “New York City Capital Acceleration Plan: Creating Jobs Today by Improving Tomorrow’s Infrastructure,” at:

Croton FMC Meeting on May 17


The Croton Facility Monitoring Committee will next meet on May 17th at the DEP office located on Jerome Avenue by the Croton Water Filtration Plant at 7pm.

The agenda will follow soon.


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By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District, Bronx County, New York 

  You should know that some Members of the New York State Legislature are pushing hard to prevent McDonald’s and certain restaurants from giving out toys to children when they receive their meals unless those meals meet certain standards.
  Senate Bill 6386, sponsored by Senator Gustavo Rivera, and Assembly Bill 7662, sponsored by Assembly Member Felix Ortiz, both Hispanic and Puerto Rican, are calling for a law to dictate which restaurants may or may not distribute toys or as they call them, “incentives,” to children, especially poor children in our communities, when their parents take them to McDonald’s or any other restaurant to purchase a meal.
  It does not make sense! It is disturbing to see these same elected officials fight tooth and nail to give a woman the right to kill an unborn baby, because according to them, it is a woman’s choice to do what they want with their bodies. Gustavo and Felix have no problem in being part of the “American Holocaust” and by being pro-choice by giving a woman a right to murder an unborn baby, but they have problems and are willing to take away the right of the mother and father or child to eat whatever they want.
  Don’t get me wrong, I believe that obesity is a problem and that people should be more careful with what they eat, but if people want to be fat and eat hamburgers or anything they want, it is their right to allow them to eat whatever they want. I think that it is a lot better to be fat than to terminate the life of an unborn, innocent baby. Does anyone believe that people are elected into office to regulate what food and drinks moms and dads can serve their children?
  Do these same elected officials who fight for any woman to have a supposed right to choose to kill her unborn baby realize that they are way out of line to try to assume authority over moms by taking away their right to choose what to give their children to eat or drink?
  When pro-lifers like me state the obvious that abortion affects two lives and that the fetus is a life, and that to crush their skulls with forceps or to use saline water to be disintegrated, the proc-choice, pro-abortion politicians argue back with that old cliché “my body, my choice”. I’m pretty sure that Assembly Member Ortiz and Senator Rivera would stand by their side.  
  How can these same two officials think they have the right to tell moms how they should feed their children or what to what restaurant they should take them?
  Parents struggle to do what’s best for their children, and at least so far, in this country parents are not dictated to by local elected officials about how to feed their children.  If they want to cook at home, they can. If they want to go out and eat, they can.
  You should know that there are important issues before us in the Legislature, and we sure don’t need Senator Rivera and Assembly Member Ortiz to divert our attention by creating a Nanny State in New York and much less deny McDonald’s or any other restaurant to give a free toy as an incentive. It is their right! It is their choice! And it is their money!
  I am Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know.
398164_Food Insurance 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Senate Overwhelmingly Passes Senator Klein’s Bill to Increase Penalties for Religious Vandals

Following a rash of break-ins and burglaries targeting houses of worship in the Northern Bronx earlier this year, State Senator Jeffrey D. Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) today announced the passage of legislation to stiffen criminal penalties for those who steal or damage property in churches, synagogues or any other religious institution. The measure passed by a vote of 60-1. Corresponding legislation is being carried by Assemblyman Rory Lancman in the New York State Assembly.   

“An assault on a house of worship is an assault on our entire community,” Senator Klein said. “It’s time that these assailants learn that we mean business. I believe that this legislation will send that message and will better protect our communities’ sacred houses of worship. I'm pleased that an overwhelming number of my senate colleagues agree.”

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 to a Class D Felony punishable by up to seven years in prison. These crimes would be classified as third-degree grand larceny and second-degree criminal mischief. 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 a Class E felony punishable by up to four years in prison. Currently, this applies to damage worth more than $250. 

In recent months there has been a disturbing pattern in the area, which 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.

If enacted into law, 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 piece.” said Rabbi Shohama Wiener of Temple Beth El Synagogue.“ 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.





The Association of the Merchants & Business Professionals of Westchester Square, Inc., the new Westchester Square BID, the Bronx Chamber of Commerce, and the Bronx Council on the Arts announce the 4th Annual “Fair @ The Square” taking place on Saturday, May 12th from 11 AM to 6 PM along the streets of Westchester Square between St. Raymond Avenue and Westchester Avenue.             
“The Westchester Square merchants have made great strides over the past few years, with commercial revitalization efforts, to improve our area’s commerce and quality of life.  Now, with newly formed Westchester Square Business Improvement District (BID) in place, we can bring even more to the re-emergence of Westchester Square and we invite all the residents of New York City to come see what the buzz is all about. This annual fair allows us to showcase the diversity of our commerce, our culture, and our community, and the progress we have made in our neighborhood.” says Mr. Joe Regina, of AMBPWS, “We welcome this opportunity to have thousands of people, who we expect throughout the day, to come and join us as we celebrate the rebuilding of a great area for a great future.”

This multi-cultural event will feature an all day concert series showcasing New York City’s most popular groups performing every genre of music from oldies through today’s great music.  The show will be hosted by TV personality Molly Rokasy (Anchor, News12 the Bronx) and radio personality Dennis “Dion” Nardone (WVOX 1460 AM Radio).  From Doo-Wop to Hip-Hop, and everything in between, you will catch it all on the main stage at St. Raymond Avenue.  The artist line-up includes such performers as the tri-state area’s favorites SugaRush, the Just Nuts Dance Band, Italian Hip-Hop Movement artists SALESE, G-Fella and the Shark, Latin sensation Anayka, the Bronx Underground’s popular rock band A Moments Worth, the Truman High School TruSoul Ensemble, plus many other performers and dancers.

Kids will enjoy the day in the Kid’s Activity Area featuring all sorts of games, exhibits, and other fun activities including the FDNY Smoke House Exhibit & antique engine, the American Museum of Natural History Dinosaur Exhibit, while fair-goers enjoy the scores of merchants and vendors displaying their wares, and services, as well as great restaurants offering up great food. Other highlights include the Bronx Council on the Arts artists & artisans displaying their works throughout the Square.

Date:                     Saturday, May 12, 2012
Time:                    11am-6pm
Location:              Westchester Square from St. Raymond Avenue to Westchester Avenue 

Assemblyman Dinowitz Slams Bloomberg for Insensitive iPhone Remarks


  Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz blasted Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his insensitive remarks regarding iPhone thefts at his budget announcement on Thursday.

  Asked about the 44 percent increase in iPhone thefts this year, Bloomberg replied, “If the worst problem we have is iPhone stealing...”  He then turned to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and sarcastically said, “Ray, you’d better get on this iPhone right away.  This is serious!”  He continued to suggest that victims should not treat their iPhones “cavalierly.”

  “Mayor Bloomberg’s remarks are insensitive, hurtful, and wrongheaded.  A member of our community was shot and killed for his iPhone last month.  I don’t think the Mayor appreciates how serious this problem is.  Instead of blaming the victims, we must do more to improve law enforcement’s ability to fight and deter this type of crime.  That’s why I support Senator Chuck Schumer’s push to permanently disable stolen phones.  I call on Mayor Bloomberg to apologize for his insensitive remarks, particularly to the family of Hwang Yang, who are constituents of mine,” said Assemblyman Dinowitz.


Monday, May 7, 2012


Monday May 7, 2012,

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. officially kicked off Bronx Week 2012, a celebration which pays tribute to the continuing revitalization of the borough’s businesses, educational institutions, cultural sites and civic groups. 

Bronx Week 2012 will take place from Thursday, May 10th through Sunday, May 20th. This year’s kickoff event was held at the Bronx County Building’s Rotunda and featured an appearance by 2012 Bronx Walk of Fame honoree Valerie Capers, an award-winning jazz musician and longtime Bronx resident. In addition, the event offered a taste of the great food the Bronx has to offer, featuring samples from Mike’s Deli of Arthur Avenue, Delicioso Coco Helado and the Bronx Brewery.

“We invite Bronxites, New Yorkers, and visitors from all over the world to join us in the Bronx for our annual celebration of what makes the Bronx a great place to live. Bronx Week gets bigger and better every year and has something exciting for everyone. I look forward to seeing you all here,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

During the kickoff, Borough President Diaz also announced the names of the other celebrity and notable Bronxites who will also be included into the 2012 Bronx Walk of Fame: Hollywood cinematographer Sol Negrin, Hip-Hop legend Fat Joe, and supermodel and actor Tyson Beckford.

Bronx Week 2012 is made possible thanks to the support of Montefiore Medical Center, the main sponsor of all the events.  “Montefiore will continue its tradition of giving free health screenings, expert exercise advice, nutritional counseling and other practical guidance to support Bronx residents in their efforts to keep healthy and look forward to a terrific Bronx Week 2012.” 

This year’s Bronx week 2012 highlights include the first annual solar conference, 2nd annual Agricultural Tour, a centenarian celebration, as well as some of the favorite events from years past, which include the Bronx Trolley, the Business Breakfast, the Health Fair and the annual Bronx Food, Arts and Music Festival and Bronx Week Parade. All the events are organized by the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation and the Bronx Tourism Council.

Bronx Week will close with the annual Bronx Parade and Food & Arts Festival on Mosholu Parkway on Sunday, May 20, 2012. In addition to dozens of food and arts vendors, as well as the borough’s biggest parade showcasing “Bronx Pride,” the annual concert will feature performances by hip-hop legend Doug E. Fresh, salsa stars Los Hermanos Morenos and many more.

This week of amazing Bronx events is organized jointly by the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation and the Bronx Tourism Council. For more information on Bronx Week 2012, visit

Congressman Charlie Rangel was on hand for the Bronx Week 2012 Kick off.  Left- Congressman Rangel poses with Deputy Bronx Borough President Aurelia Greene.   Right Rangel praising BP Diaz, and the Bronx.
One of the Bronx Week 2012 Honorees Dr. Valerie Capers speaks to those gathered for the Bronx Week 2012 kick off.

Left- is Mr. Damian Brown (Head Brewer) of the Bronx Brewery with special container of Bronx Beer.  Right- is BP Diaz sampling some of the brew.

After his career in politics BP Diaz can always get an ices cart, as he puts the finishing touch on a flavor of  Coco Helado being sampled at the Bronx Week 2012 Kick Off as Deputy BP Greene looks on..


What You Should Know

By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District, Bronx County, New York


  You should know that the term "they stayed with the carbines to the shoulder” is one of those sayings we Hispanics are accustomed to hearing in our countries.

   There are very few instances when we speak without making use of old sayings, for example, when we refer to an ungrateful person who forgets the favors that someone has done for them, we will say, "A dog never bites the hand of the master who feeds him," or "He’s worse than Judas" referring to the one who betrayed Jesus.  When we are in trouble and beg for help, we say, "People remember Saint Barbara only when there’s thunder."

You should know that even in the Word of God, in the Bible, you can find
several sayings, for example: "A living dog is better than a dead lion," “A threefold cord is not quickly broken," “An eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth," etc. etc.  Our own Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ made use of expressions when he said: “All who take the sword will perish by the sword."

Let's return to the saying in the title of this column, Roberto Ramirez and Luis Miranda could “stay with the carbines to the shoulder.” This saying is used when a person expects, works, wishes or yearns for something, and gets the opposite.

You should know that Luis Miranda is a Political Consultant who has worked for many Governors, and through his connections, he has managed to position his sons, daughters and relatives in positions in government.

Roberto Ramirez was an Assemblyman in the Bronx County and the President of the Bronx Democratic Party  Both Roberto Ramirez and Luis Miranda formed the MirRam Group Political Consulting Firm. Through this firm they have personified themselves to the world as the ones who have the influence to bring the Hispanic vote to any candidate who hires them and pays for their service.

The business of selling the Hispanic vote has been very successful for Roberto and Luis through the MirRam Group, LLC.  We all know that most Hispanics vote Democrat, and getting them to vote Democrat is not magic - but the problem that Roberto Ramirez and Luis Miranda are now facing is the candidacy of Adriano Espaillat to the United States Congress.

Apparently and allegedly, when Luis Miranda and Roberto Ramirez realized the
enthusiasm and the desire that there was (note that I said was) in the Dominican community for choosing a Dominican to run for Congress, they took this opportunity to convince Espaillat to hire them to be responsible to get all of the Hispanic elected officials to support Espaillat.

You should know that apparently things have not gone as well as the MirRam Group expected, and what they are proving to the world, apparently, is that they don’t have enough influence to convince the Hispanic legislators to support Espaillat.

Every day that passes, more and more Hispanic lawmakers join the campaign of Congressman Charlie Rangel against Espaillat.  Apparently, Roberto Ramirez and Luis Miranda advised Espaillat to promise Mark Levine, a non-Hispanic, the Senate  seat  which  he currently occupies, without thinking that this seat was fought for by Hispanic leaders for a Dominican, and for this reason the Dominican community can’t afford to lose a seat to someone else’s whims.

This has angered many elected officials who believe that by giving away a Senate seat which was created for the Dominican community, they are selling out and committing treason against the Dominican Community. Even Assemblyman Guillermo Linares who is of Dominican descent is furious with Ramirez, Miranda and Espaillat for promising to give away this Senatorial seat to Mark Levine in exchange for his support to Espaillat.  As of today, Guillermo has refused to give his support to Espaillat and rumor has it that he might lend his support to Congressman Charlie Rangel.

If these rumors are true and Guillermo makes the leap, Roberto Ramirez and Luis Miranda could “stay with the carbines to the shoulder” and lose many clients, because if they can’t "deliver" Hispanic Legislators to another Hispanic, how can they deliver to other candidates of other races?

People will start to notice that they have practically lost every candidate they have supported in the past, starting with Adriano Espaillat for Manhattan Boro-President, David Yasskay for Comptroller, Maria Baez for City Council, to Fernando Ferrer and Billy Thompson for Mayor.
According to some experts, Espaillat’s race should be an easy one to win.  If they lose Espaillat for Congress against a person who is not only  ailing, frail, tired and recently convicted of eleven congressional ethics violations,  but who also has another African-American running that will probably divide the African-American vote.  If they lose this one it will be disastrous for their credibility.

I am Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know.




New York City (May 7, 2012)—Nearly a year after the passage of same-sex marriage in New York, NYC & Company is encouraging travel to the five boroughs over a two-month period beginning in June. The City is poised to welcome even more visitors from around the world who can experience firsthand the diversity, excitement and history that comes with New York City’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender heritage. From the annual flagship Heritage of Pride events taking place June 16–24 in Manhattan to other celebratory events in The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island throughout June and July, the City is brimming with gay pride activity. A full listing of pride events throughout the City can be found at

“With last year’s passage of same-sex marriage, there’s never been a better time to experience the City’s unique energy and diversity through two months of LGBT celebrations across the entire City,” said George Fertitta, NYC & Company’s CEO. “We invite visitors from around the world to book their travel now to ensure their place in one of the City’s most anticipated events of the year.”

This year, Cyndi Lauper, Chris Salgardo, Phyllis Siegel and Connie Kopelov are on hand as the grand marshals for the Heritage of Pride March on Sunday, June 24. Heritage of Pride, which organizes the flagship LGBT events in New York City to commemorate and celebrate the 1969 Stonewall Riots, will present a weeklong roster of activities in Manhattan to showcase the City as one of the most popular LGBT destinations in the world. In addition, each borough will also sponsor its own LGBT pride celebrations for everyone to enjoy.
Highlights of 2012 NYC Pride activities throughout the City follows:
Heritage of Pride events—with a theme of “Share the Love”—take place from June 16 to 24, including:
·         The Rally (Saturday, June 16, 3–6pm at the East River Bandshell at FDR and Houston) will feature well-known performers and motivational speakers from the LGBT community to kick off this year's Pride Week events. The event is free and open to the public; no tickets are necessary.
·         Rapture on the River: A Women's Dance (Saturday, June 23, 4–11pm, Pier 57 at 15th Street and West Side Highway – Hudson River Park) has decided to supersize this year’s version with an extended edition, adding three hours to the event to create a day-to-night party that won’t disappoint. Tickets go on sale May 1. Event venue is enclosed.
·         The March (Sunday, June 24; step-off begins at noon, starts at 36th Street and Fifth Avenue, ends at Christopher and Greenwich Streets), which began as a civil rights demonstration the year after the Stonewall Riots, is now also a celebration of gay rights as well as recognition of causes, such as the fight against AIDS. For smaller crowds, visitors should watch anywhere from the teens to the 30s on Fifth Avenue, and for larger crowds and high energy, anywhere in the Village is ideal. This event is free and open to the public; no tickets are necessary.
·         PrideFest (Sunday, June 24, 11am7pm, Hudson Street between Abingdon Square and West 14th Street), the annual LGBT street fair, brings together local residents and families, community leaders, area business owners, and visitors for a day of fun and celebration. The event is free and open to the public; no tickets are necessary.
·         Dance on the Pier: Dance 26 (Sunday, June 24, 8pm–2am), Pier 57 at 15th Street and West Side Highway), featuring the Perry Twins and Boris, will culminate in a fireworks display at 10:30pm. All proceeds from the Dance on the Pier will benefit NYC's LGBT Pride Week events and community organizations. Event venue is enclosed.
The BronxBronx Pride Festival is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, July 21, from noon to 6pm at Crotona Park (Claremont Parkway and Crotona Avenue). The event will also feature a festival that will include entertainment, a health fair, food and memorabilia. For more information, visit
For more information on the best of NYC’s LGBT history and offerings, as well as NYC & Company’s “NYC I DO” initiative to encourage more marriages in the City, visit To access the latest information on events, attractions, dining and theater, go to, like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at @nycgo
For more information on the annual Heritage of Pride events, visit or follow Heritage of Pride on Twitter ( or on Facebook (


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Riverdale Festival of the Arts

  The 2012 edition of the Riverdale Festival of the Arts took place on Sunday with hundreds of people enjoying the event. Ms. Lisa Cooper (owner, Elisa Contemporary Art), Ms. Linda Manning (Linda Manning Productions), and Ms. Tracy Shelton (Executive Director KRVDC) were the driving force behind putting this years event together on Johnson Avenue in the Riverdale Section of the Bronx. In all Ms. Shelton said that between the merchants of Johnson Avenue, local service providers, and others there were around 70 different tables set up on Johnson Avenue. We are going to let the photos that we took show you some of the action that occurred. Click on any photo to enlarge it.   

Left is Johnson Avenue at 10 AM one hour before the start of the Festival of the Arts 2012.  Right is the stage area at the corner of Johnson Avenue and West 236th Street.

Left is Ms. Lisa Cooper with some of her art displayed in front of the Capital One Bank on Johnson Avenue.   Right is Adam Auslander Street Performer who grew up a few blocks from Johnson Avenue.

Left is Chef Claude Solliard of the New Restaurant Oregano's located at 3522 Johnson Avenue handing out samples of the fine food available at Oregano's.  Right is food that was for sale at Nam Thai Restaurant across the street from Oregano's.

Left is a demonstration of a new solar panel skylight made by New York City Daylight.   Right are Congressman Eliot Engel and State Senator Gustavo Rivera.

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz is speaking to the crowd as Congressman Eliot Engel, and State Senators Gustavo Rivera and Jeff Klein look on as the band takes a break while the elected officials talk.
U.S. Census Bureau does more than conduct the once every 10-year Census 

Bronxites, Did you know...
The  U.S. Census Bureau does more than conduct the once every 10-year Census?  

(If you said NO you are not alone—Please spread the word!)

·        The Census conduct surveys every month involving thousands of households and businesses throughout the country.

·        One or several of these surveys are currently being conducted in your area:
o   American Community Survey Provides accurate and up-to-date demographic, economic, social, and housing profiles on communities.
o   Current Population Survey Provides monthly information on the labor force characteristics of America’s communities.
o   Current Population Survey Provides facts and figures that public health planners and organizations need to provide adequate health care in ycommunities.
o   Consumer Expenditure Survey Provides data for the Consumer Price Index and public and private investments and spending.
o   Survey of Income and Program Participation Provides current information about the financial situation of Americans on earnings, assets, spending, and income assistance programs.
o   National Crime & Victimization Survey Provides data on the extent and nature of crime in America and documents changes in the criminal justice system.
o   American Housing Survey Provides extensive data on the quality and characteristics of the housing stock in selected metropolitan areas around the nation.

·        These  “Current Surveys” collect data on conditions that affect our society such as labor force participation, income, and measures of health which impact funding and policy decisions for our borough.


·        Complete a Current Survey: If you receive a survey, please complete and send back to the US Census.

·        Get Involved…Help the US Census to educate your neighbors on the importance of responding to “Current Surveys”—Share this email.

·        Educate Your Friends: Ask a Community/Civic Organization You are Involved with to REQUEST A PRESENTATION/WORKSHOP ABOUT:

o   The different surveys that the Census conducts in your community and the importance of participating.
o   How to navigate and use the Census website and data products.
o   How to retrieve, download, and print Census data for select topics and geographies.
o   How to create maps using Census data.

U.S. Census Bureau—Rosemarie Fogarty
New York Regional Office
395 Hudson Street, Rm. 800
New York, NY 10014
Hours: Monday - Friday 9 - 4 PM