Saturday, September 15, 2012

Wave Hill Events September 28–October 5

Cliffs on Stilts/Montañas en zancos
Artist Isidro Blasco, currently exhibiting in Glyndor Gallery, leads us in this multi-media sculptural project that reflects his own work. We’ll use a mixture of clay, wood, sticks and photos to invent a 3-D interpretation of the natural rock formations of the Palisades. Free, and admission to the grounds is free until noon.

Quiet like a mountain, moving like a river, Tai Chi is a sequence of gentle movements based on images found in nature. Short and long form classes are led by Irving Yee, an active member of the William CC Chen Tai Chi School. Sessions are held outdoors only and are weather dependent. Call 718.549.3200 x245 by 8AM on the day of the class for weather updates. Session fee: $15 Member/$23 Non-member. Registration opens onsite at 9:30AM.
ON THE GROUNDS, 10AM Beginners, 11AM Intermediates

Join an exhibition interpreter for one of our regularly scheduled tours of Wave Hill’s fall exhibition Foregrounding the Palisades, sculptural installations by artists Isidro Blasco, Blane de St. Croix and Paula Winokur that focus on the cliffs across the Hudson River, a quintessential feature of Wave Hill’s vista—and history.  In the Sunroom, Crystal Z. Campbell and Yeon Ji Yoo fill the space with site-specific works inspired by local social and natural history. Tours take place Tuesdays and Saturdays at 2PM. Free with admission to the grounds.

Cliffs on Stilts/Montañas en zancos
Artist Isidro Blasco, currently exhibiting in Glyndor Gallery, leads us in this multi-media sculptural project that reflects his own work. We’ll use a mixture of clay, wood, sticks and photos to invent a 3-D interpretation of the natural rock formations of the Palisades. Free with admission to the grounds.

Release stress and find refuge from city life by practicing seasonal yoga, surrounded by the beauty of Wave Hill. Hatha Yoga involves the use of physical postures, breath control and meditation to create a supple, strong and relaxed body-mind. Classes are led by Neem Dewji, certified in Hatha and Therapeutic Yoga from The Yoga for Health Foundation in Bedfordshire, England, and The Integral Yoga Institute in NYC. Participants should bring a mat, dress in loosely fitting clothing and come to class with breakfast well digested. All levels welcomed. Sessions are held outdoors only and are weather dependent. Call 718.549.3200 x245 by 8AM on the day of the class for weather updates. Session fee: $15 Member/$23 Non-member. Registration opens onsite at 9:30AM.

Join us for an hour-long tour of seasonal garden highlights. Free with admission to the grounds.

Join us for an hour-long tour of seasonal garden highlights. Free, and admission to the grounds is free until noon.

Join an exhibition interpreter for one of our regularly scheduled tours of Wave Hill’s fall exhibition Foregrounding the Palisades, sculptural installations by artists Isidro Blasco, Blane de St. Croix and Paula Winokur that focus on the cliffs across the Hudson River, a quintessential feature of Wave Hill’s vista—and history.  In the Sunroom, Crystal Z. Campbell and Yeon Ji Yoo fill the space with site-specific works inspired by local social and natural history. Tours take place Tuesdays and Saturdays at 2PM. Free with admission to the grounds.

A 28-acre public garden and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River  and Palisades, Wave Hill’s mission is to celebrate the artistry and legacy of its gardens and landscape, to preserve its magnificent views, and to explore human connections to the natural world through programs in horticulture, education and the arts.

HOURS  Open all year, Tuesday through Sunday and many major holidays: 9AM—4:30PM. Closes 5:30PM, March 15—October 31.  
ADMISSION  $8 adults, $4 students and seniors 65+, $2 children 6—18. Free Saturday mornings until noon. Free until noon September and October Tuesdays.  Free to Wave Hill Members and children under 6.

PROGRAM FEES  Program s are free with admission to the grounds unless otherwise noted.

Visitors to Wave Hill can take advantage of Metro-North’s one-day getaway offer. Purchase a discount round-trip rail far and discount admission to the gardens. More at

DIRECTIONS – Getting here is easy! Located only 3o minutes from midtown Manhattan, Wave Hill’s free shuttle van transports you to and from our front gate and Metro-North’s Riverdale station, as well as the 242nd Street stop on the #1 subway line. Limited onsite parking is available for $8 per vehicle. Free offsite parking is available nearby with continuous, complimentary shuttle service to and from the offsite lot and our front gate. Complete directions and shuttle bus schedule at

Information at 718.549.3200. On the web at



Friday, September 14, 2012


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

 Two Out of Three Is Not Bad

As you know, the results for Democratic Primary in the City of New York are in, and we all know who are the winners and losers.

It is important for you to know that I personally and directly got involved in three Democratic primaries that were held in Bronx County.

I supported and worked with attorney Luis Sepulveda in his Assembly race for the 87th Assembly District.  I was the first – and I believe the only elected official – who supported Mark Gjonaj against Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera for the race in the 80th Assembly District.  You should also, know that my support for Mark Gjonaj began way before any accusations came out against Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera’s possible misuse of taxpayer money.  I supported him because I believed in him when everyone else thought he had no chance.   I also supported Manny Tavarez, a virtual political unknown, who campaigned against Senator Gustavo Rivera in the 33rd Senatorial District.

In those primaries that I got involved in with my people and my ministers, Luis Sepulvda won 75.6 percent of the vote, while his opponent, Danny Figueroa got 24.4 percent of the vote.  Mark Gjonaj received 51.7 percent of the vote defeating Naomi Rivera and two other contestants.   Manny Tavarez lost his race against Gustavo Rivera, receiving 30 percent of the vote to Gustavo’s 70 percent.

It is not bad to win 2 out of 3.  However, I am not considering that Manny Tavarez lost, because what he did is what you can call the making of a new leader in a district that needs a diversity of philosophy.  I believe that if Manny Tavarez continues to build his name and reputation during the next year, he will be a strong and very formidable candidate for City Council or any of  the upcoming races for office during the next year or two.

So ladies and gentlemen, I thank all of you who joined me to support Luis Sepulveda and Mark Gjonaj so they could each achieve victory in New York’s 2012 Democratic Primary.  I also thank everyone who helped Manny Tavarez to get 30 percent of the vote.

I want you to always remember that all things are possible, if we put our minds to it.  We have proven something with these Primary results by showing that the will of the people will not be ignored, and with this energy, we will continue to build and grow.

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

Tracy Towers Decides the 80th A.D. Race

New 80th A.D. Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj thanking the crowd of supporters, as running mate Incumbent 80 A.D. State Committeewoman Diane Cerino (in white blouse) looks on.

    It was not until after 12:30 AM that the 80th A.D. race was over, and Mark Gjonaj declared the winner. Early returns had challenger Mark Gjonaj ahead by almost 20 points, and at 10 PM incumbent Naomi Rivera was already on television thanking those who had worked on her campaign. A rousing roar came from the large crowd that had gathered at the Gjonaj party (where I was at) thinking it was a concession speech, but it was going to be a long night. As more results came in the lead narrowed, and the 20 point lead shrunk to a single digit lead at one point. 
    The same problem that occurred in the June congressional election happened in this election as voters found that their name did not appear in the registration books. So any win in the 80th A.D. had to be greater than the amount of any outstanding affidavit ballots or it could take weeks to get a winner. At 11PM Mark Gjonaj's lead was down to about 150 votes which was not large enough to declare victory yet. People were wondering why it was taking so long to get the full results in, and where was the Tracy Towers vote that was thought Gjonaj had won big. Tracy Tower residents had a big problem on their hands with a huge rent increase looming, and when it was said that Naomi Rivera could not help, Mark Gjonaj hired a lawyer to help the tenants stop the rent increase. 
    By 11:30 PM the Gjonaj lead started to grow again not to a safe margin of victory yet, but one could tell it would be a Gjonaj victory. A short time after midnight his lead had grown to over 500 votes (52 - 41 percent) clearly enough to declare victory as 99 percent of the vote was in. It was said that the Tracy Towers poll site (which has been historically late in getting in results) had just come in, and provided the winning margin of victory. Mark then arrived, congratulated everyone in the room, thanked everyone who was a part of his winning campaign, gave a brief speech, and then went around the room to shake everyone's hand. 
   With his victory decided some time before, the Democratic primary winner in the 87th A.D. Mr. Luis Sepulveda came in to the ballroom at Maestro's to congratulate Mark Gjonaj on his victory. I suspect that Mr. Gjonaj has received by now several phone calls also congratulating him by many other Bronx elected officials, but by whom I do not know.
87 A.D. primary winner Luis Sepulveda poses for photo with 80 A.D. primary winner Mark Gjonaj. Both winners have their wives standing next to them.

    Finally let me say I do not know how the poll workers were able to endure a 16 hour workday, with many putting in even more time. I traveled through-out the 80th A.D. yesterday stopping by almost everyone of the polling sites, and I tried to talk to as many people as I could which included the poll workers. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and the City Council who are fighting for other workers rights to fair pay need to look into this as the $200.00 pay if overtime after 8 hours of work is factored in comes out to only $10.00 dollars an hour, without benefits is lower than the recent living wage bill passed by the city council. 


Thursday, September 13, 2012


Here is a copy of our column "100 PERCENT" that appears in the Bronx News today.


    How can I pick two challengers over one of the most powerful political father-daughter families Jose Rivera 78th A.D./Naomi Rivera 80th A.D. in the Bronx you may ask, and I will now explain. With the trials and convictions of corrupt Bronx elected officials over the past few years, and continuing still one has to wonder if all the rascals (as I will call them) have gone to jail. Jose Rivera has been investigated by the “FEDS” before I was told by his campaign manager, but just what was he investigated for, I was not told. Pedro Espada is now on trial for tax evasion (which I said would be his downfall), and one has to wonder if a Rivera will be charged with tax evasion for the lavish life style reportedly lived by the New York Post. Another question is of residency for Jose Rivera that has come up when the Post wrote that one of his sons is now living in the home of his mother and father Assemblyman Jose Rivera in Elmont Long Island.
At the press conference for the The Kingsbridge National Ice Center proposal for the Kingsbridge Armory Jose Rivera tried to clam the credit for fixing the armory roof and inside. In a recent mailing Jose Rivera claims he made sure that the community benefited from the New Yankee Stadium. First that area is not in his assembly district, all one has to do is see the more than half empty garages built, and ask residents of that community not an outside politician. Rivera also claims credit for more jobs for the community from the Bronx Terminal Market project, which is now known as the Gateway Mall. Shortly after Jose Rivera was deposed as Bronx Democratic County Leader newly elected Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. demanded a full accounting of hundreds of thousands of dollars of the Community Benefits agreement for the Gateway Mall that was reported by the Daily News as being misused.
This one has to be the proof that it is time for Jose Rivera to retire, as he also claims he “brought the community together to win millions of dollars in new jobs and new recreation space as part of the water filtration plant agreement”. By his own words Assemblyman Jose Rivera is then responsible for the more than $2,000,000,000.00 (two billion dollars) in cost overruns at the Croton Water Filtration Plant that is still being built in Van Cortlandt Park, as he was the Bronx Democratic leader who helped close the deal with the Bronx delegation in Albany with Mayor Bloomberg. By the way one should then ask Assemblyman Rivera where the missing millions of dollars in the $240 million dollar mitigation money went that was to go to Bronx parks so Bronx elected officials would vote to build the water filtration plant in Van Cortlandt Park. We can go on and on, but will just say if re-elected those people who voted for Rivera deserve him. I endorse Richardo “Ricky Martinez in the 78th A.D.
As for the 80th A.D. what more can we say about the current assemblywoman that the New York Post has not said. As a parent leader I took a group of parents to see her in Albany (on Lobby Day) during her first year in office. Her office was right next to her father's 78th A.D. Assemblyman Jose Rivera who also at the time still was the Bronx Democratic County Leader. As soon as Jose heard some noise coming from next room he rushed in to escort the group into his office, and we did not see any more of his daughter, much like most people in her district. In her first race in 2004 there was a third person in the race to draw votes away from her opponent which happened and thus Naomi Rivera became the 80th A.D. Assemblywoman with less than half of the vote however. In a repeat in 2006 with out a third candidate Naomi got 3,557 votes to 1,793. There was no primary in 2008, and in her last election in 2010 against a novice token candidate with little money and no backing Naomi got only 2,699 votes to 1,166 with 14 write ins.
Against a well funded and well known individual such as Mark Gjonaj we are sure Naomi Rivera will have a very hard time, wind up loosing, and even if she does pull a victory out I don't see her finishing her term in office. Naomi's father once again has to come to her rescue, and I don't see the county organization having, let alone giving her much support. It seems that the county organization may have to be involved in the 77th A.D. in more than one race, the 87th A.D. to insure this time a Sepulveda victory, and in the 33rd State Senate district. Not that those other candidates are going to loose, but they must win big enough so in two years they do not have a primary challenge. Another factor in the 80th A.D. race is the race for Female State Committeewoman where incumbent Diane Cerino has joined forces with Naomi's challenger Mark Gjonaj. There is no primary for the incumbent Male state committeeman or Male District Leader. The Liberty Democratic Association political club in the 80th A.D. is split as members like State Committeewoman Cerino and are supporting Mark Gjonaj, others staying neutral, with some supporting Cerino's opponent for that position and Naomi Rivera. The two other candidates in the 80th A.D. race were left on the ballot and it seems that may have been done to take anti Rivera votes away from Mark Gjonaj. However with all the lousy publicity about the alleged wrong doings of Assemblywoman Rivera the two other Hispanic candidates are now expected to take more votes away from Rivera. I endorse Mark Gjonaj for Assembly, and Diane Cerino for State Committeewoman in the 80th A.D. Don't forget today Thursday September13 is Primary Election day. Please go and vote.
Bronxtalk host Gary Axelbank issued the following statement at the beginning of the 80th A.D. debate on his long running show with the incumbent Naomi Rivera refusing to appear again as she did in 2010. “Unfortunately, although we had worked very hard to coordinate the schedule for this debate with the incumbent, Naomi Rivera has flat declined our invitation to appear. Editorially, I will say that asking people for their vote and then not be willing to participate in a debate with other candidates is a posture that we reject wholeheartedly. The Bronx is made stronger by responsive elected officials who respect the democratic process, their opponents, and most importantly, their constituents. By refusing to appear tonight Assemblywoman Rivera is directly insulting everyone involved, BronxTalk, Bronxnet, her fellow candidates, and you the people of the Bronx. In fact, it’s the second time she has declined to participate. Viewers will remember she didn’t appear in 2010 either. Given this program’s ongoing commitment to keeping Bronxites informed and engaged, we abhor the very notion of it. And so she will be represented by an empty chair throughout tonight’s proceedings”. 


87th A.D. RACE

We received the following

In answer to the flyer on the left candidate Luis Sepulveda sent the following

To the primary voters of the 87th Assembly district,  Peter Rivera has endorsed no one in this primary race.  “NYS Commissioner of Labor Peter Rivera has taken no official or unofficial position in the 76th [now the 87th Assembly] district primary election or any other local election. Further, he did not authorize the use of his name or title on the Democratic Primary Election 2012 ‘People Come First’ palm card.”-Leo Rosales, spokesperson of Peter Rivera 

I hope to see you all at the polls tomorrow, 
Luis Sepulveda, Democratic candidate for the 87th Assembly district

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Community Input meeting for the Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment

The following came to us from Community Board # 7

Dear Community Residents, Business, Institutions, and all other interested parties:

This is to inform you that the Community Board will be hosting a community input meeting regarding the potential redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory. This meeting will take place at Monroe College’s King Hall Auditorium, located at 2501 Jerome Avenue, on Thursday, October 11th from 6:30PM to 8:30PM. Please refer to our community calendar for any changes or updates regarding this meeting by visiting: More information regarding this meeting will be made available as the date approaches. Please contact the office at the number/e-mail below for any additional information regarding this event. Thank you.

Fernando P. Tirado
District Manager
Bronx Community Board 7
229-A East 204th Street
Bronx, NY 10458

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bronxtalk 80th A.D. Debate

    Monday night the 80th A.D. debate on Bronxtalk went on as scheduled with only three of the candidates appearing since the incumbent Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera who wanted to run on her record refused to appear, just as she did in 2010 when she was involved in a primary then. Bronxtalk host Gary Axelbank read a commentary which denounced this action of arrogance by Assemblywoman Rivera, and her lack of action as an elected official. He also included that the current assemblywoman is being investigated by 5 different government agencies for what has been reported in the New York Post as wrong doing by an elected official. An empty chair was left on the end next to the three candidates who did show up.
    We have 80th A.D. candidate Mark Gjoanj winning the debate hands down, and that is probably why the current assemblywoman ducked the debate as not to be exposed for what she really is, an EMPTY CHAIR. We tried to have Bronxtalk do a debate between 78th A.D. challenger  Richardo "Ricky Martinez  and current 78th Assemblyman Jose Rivera (father of Naomi Rivera), but were told that Jose Rivera would be a no show. We guess it runs in the family.
    If you did not see the show here is the link to the 80th A.D. debate .


RE: September 11th Memorial

“It has been 11 years since the attacks on September 11th, and the sadness still remains in all our hearts as though it was yesterday. My heart goes out to the families of the 2,998 victims of the terror attacks who died on that day, 143 of which were from the Bronx.  Today, I join together with all the families of the victims to mourn their loss with a broken heart and offer comfort to my brothers and sisters in this time of need.

“Regardless of the pain that 9/11 brings to us we must also remember that on this day we must show the world that Americans will not submit to terror, and that we will always remember those innocent hard working people among those building employees, first responders and others, who perished in the attacks.  On this solemn occasion, I offer my condolences to the families of the victims of 9/11 and will always keep in my prayers the brave and innocent lives lost,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

The official 9/11 memorial service of the Bronx will take place on Friday, September 14, 2012, at Lou Gehrig Plaza (corner of Grand Concourse and East 161st Street) at noon. The event will be followed by refreshments in the Veterans’ Memorial Hall of the Bronx County Building (851 Grand Concourse at East 161st Street).

Reynaldo Cuevas Shooting Accident, or Murder

  Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson now is investigating just that, if the tragic shooting of Bodega worker Reynaldo Cuevas was an accident or murder by a police officer that Cuevas ran into while fleeing a robbery that was taking place in the bodega he worked. High profile lawyer Sandford Rubenstein has been brought in to help the family get answers as there are daily vigils outside the bodega on the corner of Franklin Avenue and East 167th Street.

   On Saturday over 150 people marched to the 42nd Precinct to demand action by the police department in what the family believes was murder. They believe that the police department is trying to cover this up, and also say that a surveillance tape of the shooting has been edited already by the police department. Mr. Jose Padilla a community activist who is well known in the community, (and a candidate for the 79th assembly in the November election) has called for action by Bronx Legislatures not defense of the police departments "Stop and Frisk" policy he says that current 79th Assemblyman Eric Stevenson is doing.

Left - Candles sit in front of the bodega where Reynaldo Cuevas died.
Right - Friends and family also have t-shirt with Reynaldo's photo on them as a remembrance.
Rev. Que English President of the Bronx Criminal Justice Roundtable Inc. conducts a prayer vigil Sunday night.

Fordham Road Renissance Fair?

    We were on Fordham Road Sunday for what use to be called the Renaissance Fair, and even included the Renaissance Dancers, but when we asked for a program we were told nothing in writing is to be given out to the media. This was told to us by a lawyer who we have to guess was from the Acacia Network the lead sponsor of whatever the event was called. We have to also guess that because of recent inquires by the New York Post into past "Renaissance Fairs" and the "Hispanic Federation" (another sponsor) that was the reason. 

   This event stretched along Fordham Road from Kinsbridge Road  across the Grand Concourse overpass all the way to Morris Avenue or about 8 blocks. There were thousands of People and well over over a hundred booths where vendors sold their merchandise, and again as was the case in the Allerton Avenue event there was grumbling about the cost of the booth, and prices of the food by some people. Businesses on Fordham Road were mixed with some saying they had no customers, and others jammed with people. There was separate inflatable kids attractions set up on the Concourse overpass, and here also opinions varied on the ten dollar all access charge. Some parents loved it while others said what is a parent with many children suppose to do, we can not afford to pay ten dollars each for all our children to do this. 

   Apparently Assemblyman Jose Rivera was at one end while I was at the other end of the event so I was not able to say hello or ask him a question as he quickly left before I was able to get through the crowd on Fordham Road. Below are a few photos of the event.
Here you see the Renaissance Kids in action at the start of the event on Fordham Road.

Left - One photo of the huge crowd.
Right - DJ IZZY got up close with the huge crowd.

Left - The Concourse overpass set up with Inflatables for the kids.
Right - one vendor came prepared for the huge crowd.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Bronx County Democratic Barbecue

   There was heavy rains in the AM and when the Bronx County Democratic Barbecue started at 12 PM yesterday storm clouds were still above. This kept many people away as the crowd was much smaller than usual, but the comradely of those who attended was still the same. As the barbecue continued there was no rain, and the photo ops and speeches were abundant. As the weather got better Bronx Democratic County Leader Assemblyman Carl Heastie seemed to be getting worse (as you will see in the last photo), saying that he caught something in Charlotte during the Democratic Convention recently. Second in command at county Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz then became the master of ceremonies as he took over for the ailing Heastie. 

   Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Bill deBlasio were the only two mayoral candidates in 2013 to show, and Manhattan Democratic County Leader Assemblyman Keith Wright was the only other non Bronx elected official to also attend. The barbecue really seemed to come out of its coma when Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. showed up as the BP was the life of this party. When he took the microphone his now famous words "Is The Bronx in The House" came out first. 

    Now for some Barbecue talk. I asked mayoral candidate Scott Stringer if those rumors I heard about him running for Public Advocate instead of mayor were true. Stringer replied that rumor is "Definitely False", and that his campaign for mayor has only begun. He added that everyone will soon see that. To Manhattan Democratic County Leader Keith Wright I asked if he was going to run for the 13th Congressional District next year when Charlie Rangel retires, and his answer was "Who Knows". Deputy City Clerk Shirley Saunders told me that since the Marriage Equality law was passed over 10% of marriages in the Bronx are of same sex. 

    The only insurgent candidate to show up was 80th A.D. candidate Adam Bernudez at the end of the barbecue, as I was leaving. Adam sent an e-mail to me saying that he shook BP Diaz's hand, and the BP said "Good luck Adam'. He added the only person nasty to him, was a certain Executive Director (he did not name) who hates him and said "You can't give out your fliers here". He was just talking to his friend, Yves Filius, who lives in the 80th A.D. he wrote.

Left - Manning the grill as usual Election Law King Stanley Schlein is flanked by recent law graduate Rosanna Vargas and Darrell Walston. Right - Bronx Young Dems Daniel Johnson (in green), Michelle Avila, and President John Zacarro help out on the grill.

Left - Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz 81st A.D.  Manhattan Borough President (mayoral candidate in 2013) Scott Stringer, 81st A.D. District Leader Bruce Feld, and County Leader Carl Heastie,
Right - Senator Ruth Hassel-Thompson, Civil Court Juge candidate Eddie McShan, BP Diaz, Deputy City Clerk Shirley Saunders holding granddaughter Madison, Assemblymen Dinowitz and Crespo, State Senator Serrano with son, and Councilman Fernando Cabrera (far right).

Left - Just about every Bx. County endorsed candidate or incumbent along with Public Advocate Bill deBlasio.
Right - State Senator Gustavo Rivera at the microphone. Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson with cast on leg after falling at the Democratic convention in Charlotte, and Bx. County Democratic County Leader Carl Heastie sitting in chair. No Heastie is not suffering through another long speech, but is really sick as he also has a remembrance of the convention in Charlotte.