Saturday, November 3, 2012

New York City Marathon Cancelled

    Late last evening it was announced that the New York City Marathon was being cancelled. The New York Post had an article the previous day about how generators and precious resources needed in hard hit areas by Hurricane Sandy were being stored for the marathon race.
   The Post reported that two giant emergency generators able to crank out to out power to 400 homes in an areas that have been hard hit, have been going 24/7 in Central Park for the Marathon, while a third generator sits idle as a back up. Also reported was that hundreds of cases of water was dropped off at the park site that also are needed in Hurricane Sandy ravished areas where there may be no safe drinking water.

    "He is clueless without a paddle to the reality of what everyone else is dealing with," was the comment about Mayor Bloomberg by one Staten Island resident. "If there are any resources being put toward the marathon, that's wrong". 

   The New York Road Runners Club, which organizes the world-famous race, is paying for the generators, and the Post also added in its story that a Fire Department permit revealed a $37,500 fee to run them constantly through Nov. 6. “These are our private generators. We are not draining any resources from the city’s plan to recover,” Road Runners spokesman Richard Finn angrily insisted. 

   The Post story goes on to tell of other city resources such as Police Department barricades, trucks and other personal that are being used to help set up for the marathon, and plans to deploy about 100 much needed police officers. The entire Post story can be found here.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Baseball Auction & Awards Night Change of Location

Please note that the Baseball Auction & Award night scheduled for Saturday November 3rd has been moved from PS 24 to The College of Mount Saint Vincent. See Below

Henry Hudson Parkway South Back-Up

    It is not the AM rush hour, but 1:15 PM on Friday afternoon on the southbound Henry Hudson Parkway. as traffic is backed up past the West 239th Street exit (as you will see in the next photo).

    You can see the northbound lanes are empty by exit 20 for West 239th Street. The reason that the southbound lanes are so jammed is that as cars travel under West 232nd Street the roadway is narrowed to one lane and each car is looked at to make sure that they have three occupants or more. Any car with less than three occupants is asked to exit at Kappock Street, the last exit before the Henry Hudson Bridge.
     The photos were taken from the West 235th Street pedestrian overpass.

     As of 6 PM the restriction to have three occupants in cars crossing the Henry Hudson Bridge, and other NYC bridges was lifted.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz

A leap of faith
You should know that I’ve spent a lot of money and resources this year on different Hispanic radio stations and media outlets to air a commercial asking for the Hispanic Community to cast their votes on the Conservative Party line in this year’s General Election on Tuesday November 6th.
My television commercial has aired in Puerto Rico and throughout America on WAPA American TV.  For those who would like to see it on WAPA America TV, tune in every weekday between 6pm - 7pm, and then again between 10pm - 11pm. My commercial, Ni Democratas! Ni Republicanos! has received great praise in the Hispanic Community.  It has been shared widely on Facebook and on websites, reaching a multitude of Spanish-speaking voters.
I have received calls from people in North Carolina, Florida, New Jersey, Connecticut and of course New York State, and I have been greeted by people who see me in my community congratulating me, giving me praise, and telling me that they will join me and vote on the Conservative Party Line.
It is well known that not too many people vote on the Conservative Party Line in New York City, and it will be very interesting to see this year’s election results to see how many Hispanic votes will have jumped over to the Conservative Party Line - not only in New York State but throughout the nation.
I'd like to say to all of you experts and pundits out there, get ready to have your eyes opened to see how many votes are cast on the Conservative Party line.  The results are only days away.
This leap of faith that I am taking is based upon what I believe the Hispanic community truly stands for.
This is State Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know.


NYS Assemblymember
Marcos A. Crespo
85th Assembly District
1163 Manor Avenue, Bronx, NY 10472

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that federal disaster unemployment assistance is now available to all New Yorkers who lost their jobs as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Disaster unemployment benefits are available to provide financial support to anyone who has lost their job and live or work in the Bronx, Kings, New York, Richmond, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland and Westchester counties.

This assistance will supplement New York’s existing unemployment insurance system and will expand eligibility to include individuals who might otherwise not be covered. The United States Department of Labor has committed to providing additional assistance if needed.

“The physical destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy has been terrible, and the resulting job losses can be even more painful for New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said. “These federal funds will quickly provide financial assistance to those whose livelihoods have been upended. I urge impacted New Yorkers to apply as soon as possible.”

Department of Labor staff will be deployed to hard-hit communities to help register impacted New Yorkers for Disaster Unemployment Assistance in person.

Anyone unemployed due to Hurricane Sandy is immediately eligible and can submit a claim to the Department of Labor. The criterion for collecting disaster assistance is broader than for collecting regular unemployment benefits. Specifically, an individual can collect disaster assistance in any of the following cases:
•Injured in the disaster and unable to work, whether the person is an employee or self-employed.
•Workplace is damaged, or destroyed, or the person cannot work because of the disaster.
•Transportation to work is not available because of the disaster.
•Cannot get to work because must travel through the affected area, which is impossible due to disaster.
•Planned to begin working, but cannot because of the disaster.
•Derived most of income from areas affected by the disaster, and business is closed or inoperable because of the disaster.

Examples of self-employment include small business owners, independent taxi drivers, vendors, independent commercial fisherman, and farmers.

State Department of Labor Commissioner Peter M. Rivera said, “These people want to work and are unable to because of circumstances far beyond their control. This money will directly help workers who have families to feed and bills to pay. Contact the Department of Labor and we will determine which program you qualify for.”

To apply for unemployment benefits or disaster unemployment assistance, those affected by the storm and have lost their job or income should call the Telephone Claims Center (TCC) at 1-888-209-8124, or 1-877-358-5306 if they live out of state. Applicants should answer the questions to indicate they lost their job due to Hurricane Sandy. In order to receive benefits you must apply by December 3, 2012.  

Borough President Diaz and BOEDC Announce that The Bronx is Open for Business!

Bronx Economic Development Corporation is providing support and information to businesses impacted by Hurricane Sandy

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Marlene Cintron, president of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, made clear today that BOEDC's office is open to support the area's businesses.

"While my office is working with the residents of the Bronx and the area's infrastructure, BOEDC is working on getting our businesses and its workers back to work," stated Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz.

All Bronx businesses that have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy by loss of property and or loss of business are encouraged to immediately call the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) at (800) 621-3362 or (800) 462-7585 TTY. Those who have access to the internet can register their claim online at There are operators who will assist you from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice.

FEMA funds can be used to cover rental payments for temporary housing for those homes that are unlivable, grants for home repairs and replacement of household items as well as unemployment payments up to 26 weeks for workers who have temporarily lost their jobs due to the disaster.

Small Businesses that have registered with FEMA may also apply for disaster loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA) who will provide low interest loans to cover up to $2 MM in loss of property, damage or loss of cash flow. In order to apply for the SBA loans, call (800) 659-2955 or (800) 877-8339 TTY, or register online at or apply in person at any Disaster Recovery Center.

"If you are overwhelmed and need assistance to get your business back on its feet, contact my office at (718) 590-6252. We will walk you through the process to insure that you get the help you need and get it fast," stated Marlene Cintron, president of BOEDC.

"We have been working with the City of New York and SBS and are very pleased with the response we have gotten on issues we have raised to them," she added.

In addition to the resources cited, BOEDC is providing the following listing that can help Bronx businesses in need:  

Red Cross: Provides assistance to displaced residents. Call (877) 733-2767

New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services: Helps in the recovery of natural disasters as well as other emergencies. The Hurricane Sandy Helpline is (888) 769-7243 or (518) 485-1159  

NYC Office of Emergency Management: Coordinates emergency response and recovery in NYC. For the latest on utility and transportation service restoration, go to or call 311

NYC Small Business Services (SBS): Provides assistance to small business owners post Hurricane Sandy. Call 311

Con Edison: To report down lines, outages and check service restoration status by computer or mobile devices do so at You can also call (800) 752-6633.

"You are not alone. You are a Bronx business where help is just a phone call away. Call BOEDC for any kind of assistance your business needs," concluded Ms. Cintron.

Election Day -- The Board of Elections Response

     In a Daily News item by Celeste Katz After Sandy New York officials rush to patch together an election   there is mention of just how things may go on Election day even if there is no power at many poll sites in the outer boroughs.

     “We’ll just have to make do. And it won’t be perfect, but we’re going to have an election,” said Douglas Kellner, Democratic co-chair of the state Board of Elections. “A democracy calls for sacrifice from time to time, and this is one of those occasions” Kellner added.
   J.C. Polanco, the Bronx GOP commissioner for the city BOE, said that officials were considering consolidating about 40 poll sites serving residents of hard-hit Breezy Point and the Rockaways in parking lots at Aqueduct Raceway, Jacob Riis Park and Floyd Bennett Field, setting up tents with generators. Meanwhile, Staten Islanders may end up seeing sites consolidated at the Armory.

    There is also mention of having mobil poll sites, and battery operated voting machine which would be required in areas that still would not have power. Then there mention Gov. Cuomo is also considering issuing an emergency proclamation to let people who reside in areas affected by the killer storm to vote by absentee ballot even if they’re in town. 

    We will have to wait and see what happens on Tuesday November 6th to make sure that people who are already disenfranchised by Hurricane Sandy do not get disenfranchised again when it comes to vote.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

This weeks 'Riverdale Report' From the Bronx News

This is a copy of the Riverdale Report from the Bronx News Nov 1, 2012.

Riverdale Report
By Robert Press

Ben Franklin Democratic Club Celebrates

Monday October 22nd members of the Ben Franklin Democratic Club (of the 81st A.D.) held a “Watch the Debate” fundraiser at Oregano's restaurant located on Johnson Avenue. All in attendance agreed that President Obama won the third debate, would win the election on election day, and that the food was great at Oregano's. The restaurant was full of happy cheering Democrats, some who commented often during the debate about Obama's challenger Mitt Romney's lack of a vision and experience.
The following Sunday the Ben Franklin Democratic Club held a Pre-Election day victory party at the home of City Council candidate (and Vice-Chair of the Bronx Democratic County Committee) Mr. Andrew Cohen. While Mr. Cohen is waiting until after election day to officially announce his candidacy for current term limited Councilman G. Oliver Koppells seat, it has been one of the worst keep secrets.
On hand were Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer (Mayoral/Comptroller candidate), Congressman Eliot Engel, State Senators Jeff Klein and Gustavo Rivera, 81st A.D. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, Brooklyn Councilwoman Letitia James (candidate for Public Advocate in 2013), and almost 100 other supporters of the Ben Franklin Club.
Councilman Koppell expressed his view that President Obama has a chance of loosing the popular vote, but winning the all important “Electoral College” that elects the president. Congressman Engel took a swipe at his Republican opponent on election day, by asking Assemblyman Dinowitz if it was the same person Dinowitz soundly defeated two years ago. Yes it is replied Dinowitz. Senator Gustavo Rivera standing near Councilman Koppell thanked him for his over 40 years of public service as an elected official. Senator Jeff Klein said that the election is important as it is between what is right and wrong. Klein added “we have to make sure programs continue, and are not cut or discontinued”. It was said that Councilman Koppell has been a member of the Ben Franklin Democratic Club since 1966. Back then the club was known as “The Ben Franklin Reform Democratic Club”.
Questions I asked – Manhattan BP Stringer – Is it true that you are going to run for Comptroller instead of mayor? Reply by Stringer, I have not made up my mind yet.
State Senator Jeff Klein – In 2016 if Gov. Cuomo runs for president and current Attorney General Eric Schniderman runs for governor, would you run for A.G. Reply by Klein – I don't know, it could be a possibility if what I said all happens, but that is to far away to think about now.
Councilwoman James – Are you afraid of facing Brooklyn Councilman Charles Barrons who has said he wants to run for Public Advocate also. Reply by James – Don't believe what Barrons is saying, he and his wife are going to try to swap positions in the council and assembly. An interesting note was that we both agreed that Bronx BP Ruben Diaz Jr. would not be running for citywide office next year. James said that Diaz Jr. is doing a fine job as Bronx BP, but still has to raise the image of the Bronx and himself more before considering citywide office.
The Riverdale Temple is holding a “Holiday Gift and Craft Sale” on Sunday November 18th from 9 AM – 3 PM. The Riverdale Temple is located at 4545 Independence Avenue at the corner of West 246th Street. There is free parking, and the temple has a few spots available for vendors. For more information check my blog or email or
For the latest listings of events going on at Wave Hill don't forget to check my blog at (look in the archive section on the left) to see this and other events in the Bronx.
Finally, on Saturday November 3rd from 5 – 8 PM at PS 24 there will be an “Auction & Awards Night featuring current New York Met player Mike Baxter. The event is to support the local South Riverdale Little League. PS 24 is located on Independence Avenue at the corner of West 235th Street (two blocks from the Henry Hudson Parkway).
If you have any comments about this column or would like to have an event listed or covered in this column or on my blog you can e-mail us at or call 718-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press. 


Hurricane Sandy UPDATE Thursday Nov 1st

The number of confirmed deaths in New York City has climbed to 37.
The two biggest challenges remain getting the power grid and transportation systems fully operational again.

All NYC Public Schools will be closed tomorrow Friday.
Tap water is safe to drink.
Do not use generators or grills indoors.  

Con Edison crews have restored power to about 250,000 customers who were affected by the storm. As of 11 a.m., the company was working to restore power to about 650,000 customers still out of service. 

Con Edison said today that based on an assessment of the unprecedented damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, it expects to restore the vast majority of customers who lost power by the weekend of Nov. 10 and 11. The remaining customer restorations could take an additional week or more.  

Those parts of the city with overhead power lines still without service may not have it restored possibly until next weekend. 

There are still approximately 534,000 customers citywide without power, down nearly 100,000 since yesterday, with 38,000 customers in the Bronx still without power. 

Lights ate turning on for many people in South Brooklyn, Staten Island, and some parts of Lower Manhattan.

"Con Ed has set a goal of restoring power to all Manhattan customers by the end of the weekend".

It is intend to reopen public schools for classes on Monday.

Traffic is very heavy in the city, particularly on routes into Manhattan.

The 3-person HOV restriction on Henry Hudson Bridge southbound crossings into Manhattan is still in effect, 6 a.m. until midnight Nov 1st & 2nd.

The Holland Tunnel and the Hugh Carey Brooklyn Battery Tunnel are still closed.

911 should only be used in case of emergencies. 
To report other conditions such as fallen trees and sewer backups, please use 311 Online, text 311 at 311-692, or call 311. 

Power outages and live wires should be directly reported to Con Ed (1-800-75-CON-ED)  


525035_Save Up To 70% On Ink And Toner At 



Bronx Restaurants to Serve Up Special Deals

    Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., in conjunction with American Express and the New York State Restaurant Association, kicked off the 2nd Annual Savor the Bronx! Restaurant Week at the Oregano Bar and Bistro in Riverdale.

Savor the Bronx! Restaurant Week, produced by the Bronx Tourism Council and co-hosted by the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC), showcases the borough’s best eateries by offering special values and discounts, all viewable at

This year’s event is especially significant, given the impact of Hurricane Sandy on our borough’s restaurants and eateries, which lost several days worth of business due to the storm. In addition, the famous Tony’s Pier restaurant on City Island was destroyed by fire on Sunday night.

This 12-day event, which runs from November 5th to November 16th, is the perfect opportunity to explore your taste buds and the Bronx.  Foodies can experience various delicious dishes from the Caribbean, the Americas, Europe and Asia, all of which are available in the Bronx.  
“I invite everyone to visit and Savor the Bronx. Come to our beautiful borough to try a new restaurant or return to an old favorite. Enjoy authentic Italian food on Arthur Avenue or some fresh seafood on City Island. Now is the perfect time to give our borough’s restaurants a try, when they need the business the most. Take a look at the ‘Savor the Bronx!’ website for participating restaurants and make your own savory choice,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

“While our local businesses and restaurants have suffered from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, other boroughs have been hit even harder.  Let’s support our Bronx restaurants by bringing our families and even our friends from other boroughs to the Bronx to share the best of the best with them. This is how we help each other out,” said Marlene Cintron, President of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation.

“Visitors are drawn to borough restaurants as a way of experiencing diverse cultures through diverse flavors. What better way to share the Bronx with the rest of the world than through an epicurean experience? And what better way to say we are OPEN FOR BUSINESS than with a good meal?” said Olga Luz Tirado, Executive Director of The Bronx Tourism Council. 

Taste-tempting offers include special values like 15% off the check at Enzo’s Restaurant in Morris Park, Jake’s Steakhouse in Riverdale and the Lobster Box on City Island, as well as pre fixe menus at the Palace of Japan in Riverdale, Havana Café in Throggs Neck, and Montezuma Restaurant that are sure to leave your taste buds craving for more!

Other offers include $16.41 lunch menu, which represents the year Jonas Bronck purchased 500 acres of land that is now known as the Bronx, as well as $20.12 dinner menu representing the year we are in today!

More than 35 restaurants are participating in this year’s Savor the Bronx. For more information on participating Savor the Bronx! restaurants, please visit For more information on what to see and do in the Bronx, visit the Bronx Tourism Council website at

Below are some photos of the Savor the Bronx! Restaurant Week kick off at the Oregano Bar and Bistro in Riverdale.

Mike of Mike's Deli serving BP Diaz at 'Savor The Bronx' Kick off.

Left - BP Diaz holding up Mikes Deli Sign.
Right - Diaz with Chef Claude from Oregano Restaurant Bistro, host to the Kick Off of 'Savor the Bronx'.

Left - Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz of Riverdale area  host Restaurant Oregano watches BP Diaz enjoy the food.
Right - Assemblyman Dinowitz gets a plate of his own to enjoy.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


    City Comptroller John C. Liu today released his Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for Fiscal Year 2012. The report shows that, despite difficult economic circumstances, for the 32nd consecutive year New York City completed its fiscal year with a General Fund surplus, as determined by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). The report is due on Oct. 31st each year, as required by the City Charter.

“We are pleased to present the city’s financial report on time, notwithstanding Hurricane Sandy,” said Comptroller Liu. “The City’s budget is balanced for fiscal 2012. We expect some economic and revenue growth over the next few years, but must be vigilant aboutlooming deficits, the cost impact of the hurricane, and the potentialfiscal cliff requiring Washington’s action.”

Among other important economic findings, the report contains updateson New York City’s finances, including:

City pension funds, which paid benefits totaling $11.5 billion duringfiscal year 2012 funded from the sale of investments. Employer andemployee contributions to the City pension funds were $9.1billion and$1.0 billion, respectively.

As of June 30, 2012, the City pension funds had aggregate investmentassets, excluding cash from the settlement of pending purchases andsales, of $122.1 billion representing an increase of $2.1 billion from the June 30, 2011 value of $119.9 billion. During the fiscal year, the market value of the assets ranged from a low of $108.1 billion to a high of $123.8 billion.

Notable securities litigation developments in fiscal year 2012 included the appointment on December 28, 2011 of the City pension funds as lead plaintiffs in the securities class action pending against Community Health Systems, Inc.; and a derivative lawsuit against officers and directors of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in connection with their alleged failure to properly investigate and remedy a reported bribery scheme in Mexico. In a securities class-action lawsuit against Wachovia Corp. in which the City pension funds were lead plaintiff, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted final approval on June 12, 2012 to a $75 million cash settlement of the action, which related to that company’s alleged failure to disclose problems with its residential mortgage loans.

In Fiscal Year 2012, the Comptroller’s Bureau of Audit issued 92 audits and special reports. Many of these audits focused on the effectiveness and service quality of City programs. Others focused on financial issues, identifying approximately $304.3 million in actual and potential revenue and savings. Reviews of claims filed against the City identified another $25.6 million in cost avoidance.

In fiscal year 2012, the City paid $588.6 million in settlements and judgments (tort and non-tort), representing a 3% increase from the prior year. These cases ranged from trip and fall to medical malpractice, police action, property damage, and contract claims.

In fiscal year 2012, the City and its Blended Component Units issued $10.10 billion of long-term bonds to finance the City’s capital needs and to refinance certain outstanding bonds for interest savings. The New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority (Water Authority) issued $3.51 billion of long-term bonds to finance the City’s capital plan and to refinance certain of its outstanding bonds for interest savings. Conditions were ideal for refinancing outstanding bond issues. The City issued a total of $4.28 billion of refunding bonds
through the General Obligation, New York City Transitional Finance Authority (TFA), and Water Authority credits. This accounted for 31% of the total issuance for these credits and generated a total of $523.88 million in present value savings.




The New York Blood Center (NYBC) has lost approximately 4500 units of blood due to cancellations Mon – Wed.  They anticipate that they will continue to be forced to cancel blood drives throughout the weekend and perhaps even into next week. 
Monday, 10/29, NYBC operated just 5 of 45 Sites (45 Operations - A  combination of Donor Centers and Community blood drives).
 Tuesday, 10/30, NYBC operated just 4 of 45 Sites (45 Operations - A   combination of Donor Centers and Community blood drives).
Wednesday 10/31, NYBC are operating just 10 of 45 Sites.
NYBC hopes to be at 50% of capacity Thursday and perhaps 75% by Friday and the weekend.
In all, NYBC will likely have lost 6000 or more donations, and types O-, B- and platelets are in extremely short supply.
Anything you can do to help would be really appreciated.

This FRIDAY, November 2nd, 2012
9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Bronx County Building
851 Grand Concourse-Veterans Memorial Hall -1st Floor Rotunda.


Veterans Recognition Luncheon!! Nov 5th!! MUST RSVP!!


NYC Business Assistance Programs for Businesses Affected by Hurricane Sandy

Attention Businesses Affected by Hurricane Sandy! 

New York City, including the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), is coordinating a set of services to assist small businesses in recovering from Hurricane Sandy. Below is an outline of available programs and relevant contact information.  

New York City Business Assistance Programs

For small- to mid-sized businesses that have experienced business interruption
A low-interest working capital bridge loan program will be available, patterned after similar programs deployed in past emergencies. Loans will be capped at $10,000. The application and intake process is still being determined. Please contact NYC Business Solutions staff as outlined below.

For mid- to large-sized businesses that need to undertake rebuilding
An emergency sales tax letter from New York City Industrial Development Authority (IDA) will be available allowing businesses to avoid payment of New York City and New York State sales taxes on materials purchased for rebuilding. IDA will also waive all fees and, while following State law, look to streamline its normal procedure. This program is expected to offer economic benefits to reconstruction projects costing $500,000 or more. Please contact Shin Mitsugi at for further information on this program.

For any business that is temporarily displaced from its space
Short-term "swing" office space at Brooklyn Army Terminal available free of charge for the next 30 days. NYCEDC has approximately 40,000 square feet of warehouse space at the Terminal that can be used for this purpose. Please contact NYC Business Solutions staff as outlined below. 

For any business in need of assistance
SBS will be the primary point of contact for all businesses seeking assistance - all of whom should call if they need help.

The SBS Business Outreach Team and Emergency Response Unit's Large Scale Response Team will be deployed after the storm to help all impacted small businesses. This team is currently on-call for any storm-related business inquiries and is closely coordinating with the NYC Office of Emergency Management. 

NYC Business Solutions Centers will coordinate with local community-based-organizations in severely affected areas to help businesses with the application process for the emergency loan program.

NYC Business Solutions contact information
For further information on the above programs, please contact NYC Business Solutions by filling out our Contact an Account Manager form or calling 311 and asking for "NYC Business Solutions."

Federal Aid Programs for State of New York Disaster Recovery

Loans are available up to $2 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance. Loans of up to $2 million are also available for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster's adverse economic impact. This loan in combination with a property loss loan cannot exceed a total of $2 million.

Those in the county designated for assistance to affected residents and business owners can begin the disaster application process by registering online at, by web enabled mobile device at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers are available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) Monday through Sunday until further notice.  Applicants registering for aid should be prepared to provide basic information about themselves (name, permanent address, phone number), insurance coverage and any other information to help substantiate losses.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Post Hurricane Sandy The Photos

     Some of the photos of the day after Hurricane Sandy in the Northwest Bronx. You can click on any photo to enlarge it.

Left - one of the many many trees that were uprooted by Hurricane Sandy. 
Right - One of the many scenes you may have encountered on a secondary street. 
Left- Water is almost touching the Amtrak Bridge 
Right - This track reported to be under water during Hurricane Sandy, looked fine to us.

Left - Northbound Diesel powered train goes through station to see conditions.
Right - You can see the rear of the train and debris on the track to the right of the train.
Left - Tree covers car on street. 
Right - Another car has (live ?) wires on it.
Left - Henry Hudson Bridge is closed by MTA Police. It opened after 1 PM.
Right - Department of Sanitation crew taking away a tree that fell across this road.

Left - Tree on Sedwick Avenue fell on power lines and two cars. Yes those are live wires next to the cars, I was told.
Right - Utility pole was taken down by the tree and lies in the middle of Sedwick Avenue guarded by a police officer from the 50th Precinct. I was told that the wires on the downed pole were still live, hence the need for the police officer.

Post Hurricane UPDATE 5 PM

Its 5 PM and the #1,#2, #7, #10 and other buses are back on the road.
It is expected that subway service will not be restored for four days or until next week.
The water level in Lower Manhattan is slowly receding, but several areas are still flooded.
Power is still out to lower Manhattan below 40th Street, and may be out for several more days.
The Metropolitan area has been declared a disaster area.
Most bridges have reopened. The Battery Tunnel remains closed due to flooding.
4.5 million people are still without power in NYC, Long Island New Jersey and Connecticut.
18 people have been found dead in NYC with 3 more missing.
In the Far Rockaway several people have been arrested for looting.
Many trees are down and several bus routes will have to be detoured around them.

More later with photos.


Tuesday AM--


Lower Manhattan was under water.
The East Side was flooded to 1st Avenue.
The West side Highway was under Water.
Electricity below 40th Street in Manhattan was out Monday night continuing into today.
All roads on Long Island were closed.
All Subway and commuter railroads are still not running.
There are subway stations that are still flooded, and tunnels under the East River that are still under water.
A boat landed across Metro North Tracks on the Hudson line in Westchester County.
NYC schools will be closed on Wednesday.
Millions of people are still without power.
Fires ranged out of control in low lying areas that were flooded.
Downed power lines were everywhere.

More as details come in.

Monday, October 29, 2012


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

A Word or Three about Yellow Journalism
You should know that the Saturday, October 27th New York Post column “State Dems shaking off scandals in polls” used the photos of three minority Senate Democrats: Pedro Espada, Jr., Hiram Monserrate, and Shirley Huntley to highlight corruption in the State Senate.

The New York Post, apparently disappointed with recent polls showing that New Yorkers want the Democrats to take back control of the State Senate, pointed out how Black and Hispanic Democrats have been indicted, belong in jail, or are accused of corruption.  This New York Post article includes Senators Malcolm Smith, John Sampson and Eric Adams in their story, despite the fact that none of these Senators has ever been indicted of nor found guilty of anything – except being Black.

New York Post readers need to be wary because the Post somehow continues to overlook the corruption that is, has been, and continues to exist in the Republican Party by those Senate colleagues.

Lawmakers facing corruption charges are not exclusive to Democrats, nor are they exclusive to Black and Hispanic Senators, but the New York Post seems to make believe or ignore these facts.  It may be the case that they are using their paper to slant their story or lie to their readers.

There are many ways of lying.  You can lie by purposely ignoring the truth or speaking in half-truths.  You can lie by only releasing the part of the story that you want to release.  You can lie by making people believe that “this” is the whole truth while you knowingly hide the rest. You can lie by slanting the truth.

In this case, the New York Post exposes and accuses only Democratic Senators - highlighting Black and Hispanic Senators – while hiding the truth that there are at least as many among the ranks of the Republicans in the New York State Senate who have been accused of corruption and have been or may belong in jail.

Let’s start at the top.
Republican Senate Leader Joseph Bruno’s corruption was so egregious that it resulted in the Public Corruption Prevention and Enforcement Act.  (I have no recollection of any stronger piece of legislation that resulted from the scandalous acts of any Black or Hispanic Senate Democrat.)  Judge Gary L. Sharpe chastised Republican Senator Joseph Bruno during sentencing by telling the Republican Senate Leader:  “You trampled on the integrity of the State Legislature.”

Disgraced Republican Senator Guy Velella ended his political career in the New York State Senate after he was convicted of bribery and went to prison.

Republican Senator Vincent Leibell is a convicted felon, guilty of taking kickbacks from a charity he founded which was funded with millions of taxpayer dollars.  He pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and tax evasion.

Republican Senator Nick Spano pleaded guilty to tax evasion.  During his sentencing, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated: “When Nicholas Spano took the oath of office, he swore to uphold the law, and yet he did exactly the opposite. There is absolutely no place in government for lawbreakers, and we will continue to do everything within our power to prosecute and punish them.”

There are calls to investigate Republican Senate Deputy Majority Leader Tom Libous about a downstate law firm hiring his son, which, according to a witness in a recent federal corruption trial, was in exchange for the promise of more business.

Let's not forget the story about Republican Senator Jim Alesi, who doesn't exactly make the Republican Party shine.  Senator Alesi trespassed on a homeowner's property, fell and broke his leg.  Although the owners declined to press charges against him, Senator Alesi proceeded to sue the building contractor, DiRisio Builders. The New York Daily News editorial “State Sen. James Alesi is suing constituents when he should be apologizing for acting like an idiot” began with the following: “Remember the old joke about the kid who murdered his parents, then pleaded for mercy on grounds of being an orphan?”

While there is so much more to share about the Republican Senate, I will stop here, for now.

I ask my readers to always keep in mind that just because something appears in a newspaper, in a tabloid, or on the internet doesn’t mean it’s true. I also ask my friends in the media to keep in mind that just because the majority of New Yorkers want to see Democrats control the New York State Senate doesn’t mean that the New York Post or anyone else should engage in the use ugly racial tactics to try to undercut these hopes.

This is State Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know.