Saturday, January 5, 2013

Carrion Has Daughter on Payroll for Mayoral Bid


    In an article from Crain's New York Insider former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr. in his bid for the Republican nomination for mayor has hired his daughter to work on the campaign. Crains says that an expenditure for $1,000.00 stands out for Carrion's daughter Raquel on his mayoral financial report for consulting on Dec. 11, 2012. Crains adds that it is not uncommon to have relatives working on a candidates campaign such as in the case listed where former House Majority Leader Tom Delay's wife and daughter were paid $500,000 over several years. Crains however says that the NYC Campaign Finance Board while allowing relatives to be hired for campaigns, says that they must be paid out of privately raised funds not public matching funds and said payments must be designated as such. They add that Ms. Carrion had worked as a paid communications intern on the 2009 Bloomberg mayoral campaign, and is now Vice-President of Metrofutures LLC her fathers company which Crains credits to a social media page.

   Carrions campaign finance report can be found here in which he has already spent $117,589.58 since November of 2012. 


Friday, January 4, 2013


    Citing the decade-long litigation that has resulted in escalating legal fees and tied up valuable City resources, City Comptroller John C. Liu today called for the New York City Law Department and the lawyers representing the “Central Park Five” in their $250 million civil-rights lawsuit to break their stalemate and conclude a settlement as soon as possible.

At a press conference in Harlem, Liu offered the legal expertise of his office and the around-the-clock use of his boardroom to help the parties to come together and work out a settlement for the five young men, who were wrongfully sent to prison for an April 1989 crime.

Following are Comptroller Liu’s remarks, as prepared for delivery:

“Nineteen Eighty-Nine was a painful period in New York City’s history. That year, the City recorded nearly 2,000 murders, countless other violent crimes, and was suffering the devastating effects of a national crack epidemic.

“On April 19th of that year, a 28-year-old female jogger was brutally attacked and raped in Central Park. Almost immediately after this heinous crime, police investigations began to focus on a group of five African American and Latino youths, aged 14 to 16, who came to be known as the ‘Central Park Five.’

“Following lengthy interrogations, the five teenagers – Yusef Salaam, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise – confessed to the crime. The following year, the five were convicted
and sentenced to terms ranging from 5 to 15 years.

“In early 2002, Matias Reyes, a convicted murderer and rapist, confessed that he alone was responsible for the attack on the Central Park jogger. On December 19, 2002, on the recommendation of Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, the five convictions were vacated by Justice Charles Tejada.

“Since 2003, the ‘Central Park Five’ and the New York City Law Department have been engaged in complex and costly litigation that has yet to be settled. As of now, multiple causes of actions are pending in this federal case, including malicious prosecution, racial discrimination, and lack of due process.

“Both as a New Yorker and as the Comptroller, I am deeply troubled by the fact that this civil-rights case remains unresolved more than a decade after these convictions were vacated and nearly a quarter of a century after the occurrence of the crime that another individual has confessed to committing. These five kids may not have been angels, but that does not change the fact that they were imprisoned for a crime perpetrated by another person. Collectively, they spent more than 30 years in prison. While no monetary award could fully repay them for this imprisonment, the City must make an effort to correct this tremendous injustice, which robbed them of their youth.

“Their imprisonment also wreaked havoc on their families. Parents not only lost their sons to prison, but also had to live through the indignity of having their children compared to vicious animals, as the press labeled them with such racially charged expressions as ‘wilding’ and ‘wolf pack.’  They endured multiple trials: first by the tabloid media, which jumped to judgment, and then by prosecutors, who screened what later proved to be false confessions in the courtroom.

“The Comptroller’s Office has the authority and extensive experience settling claims before litigation and approving settlements proposed by the Law Department post-litigation. Last fiscal year, the City paid out $550.4 million for the settlement of claims and payments of judgments; $185.6 million of which were against the NYPD and an additional $84 million of which involved a variety of civil-rights violations.

“As the financial steward of the City, my goal is to ensure that we strike a delicate balance between making those with meritorious claims whole while minimizing taxpayer costs. In the case of the ‘Central Park Five,’ I am extremely concerned that the longer we wait, the more the legal bills mount, and more valuable City resources are claimed. When the City loses a case, it is often required to cover all of the plaintiff’s legal expenses. While each case is different, based on our best estimates, a decade or more of legal fees for five plaintiffs could easily be in the seven or eight digits and this amount increases with every day that passes.

“Moreover, in many instances, the inability to arrive at a negotiated settlement, before a judge or jury renders a verdict, means higher costs for taxpayers. So I am urging the Law Department and the plaintiffs to sit down and negotiate immediately. Those involved need to contain the strong emotions engendered by this case and engage in meaningful discussions. All parties must come to the table – now. I will even provide the table; the Law Department and plaintiffs’ attorneys are welcome to use our boardroom around the clock until they reach a settlement.

“Again, my office stands ready to facilitate this process in any way. Enough is enough. The time has come for the City and these men and their families to put this behind them and heal.

“This troubling case has spanned the administrations of four Mayors – Edward Koch, David Dinkins, Rudolph Giuliani, and now Michael Bloomberg. In the last year of his third term, Mayor Bloomberg has an
historic opportunity to provide closure to all those involved.

“Let’s hope that 2013 is the year when all parties help close this terrible chapter in our City’s history, so that New Yorkers can finally put an end to the tragic ‘Central Park Five’ saga.”

Visit for the latest news, events, and initiatives.
Follow Comptroller Liu on Twitter, YouTube.

Tenth Annual Awards & Scholarship Banquet!! New Postponed Date!! February 28, 2013!! MUST RSVP!!

Join us for our
Annual Awards
& Scholarship Banquet

Celebrating over a century of service to the Bronx
Recognizing our Accomplishments of the Past Ten Years And
Honoring our Distinguished Award Recipients

*Portion of Proceeds will benefit the Hurricane Sandy Reform*

Thursday, February 28, 2013
Marina del Rey
One Marina Drive
Bronx, NY 10465

Cocktails from 5:30 to 7:00 pm
Dinner Immediately Following

Tickets - $175 per person (Non-Profit)
$250 per person (all other guests)

Entertainment by Alive n' Kickin' / Business Attire

For more information or to RSVP, call 718-828-3900
or click here to go to our website.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Swearing In Ceremony - NYS Assembly Member Nelson L. Castro

Swearing In Ceremony  

Wave Hill Events January 17–January 24

Our annual horticulture lecture series is a high point for Wave Hill, a chance to hear experts share their passion for the field―a wonderful counterpoint to the serene, quiet winter gardens―in one of Manhattan’s most elegant venues, the New York School of Interior Design. We’ve got close connections to Samuel Untermyer’s magnificent estate just north of Wave Hill. I hope you’ll join us to hear all about ongoing efforts to recover its gardens.

Then come back to Wave Hill for more layers of artistry, in Glyndor Gallery and at a spicy cooking demo.

Happy 2013 indeed!

Freedom Pillows/Almohadas de libertad
Draw from the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King and traditional African American quilts to display your own personal dream of freedom. Choose from a wide array of cloth, yarn and felt to embellish a pillowcase for your dream-time wish. Free, and admission to the grounds is free until noon.

The ginger family, Zingiberaceae, includes spicy ginger, cardamom and turmeric. Assistant Director of Public Programs Laurel Rimmer shares a sampling of these tropical herbs and their ornamental kin, while a chef from Wave Hill caterer Great Performances demonstrates various ways to cook with fresh and dried members of this aromatic plant family. Free with admission to the grounds.

Freedom Pillows/Almohadas de libertad
Draw from the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King and traditional African American quilts to display your own personal dream of freedom. Choose from a wide array of cloth, yarn and felt to embellish a pillowcase for your dream-time wish. Free with admission to the grounds.

Visitors gain insight into Winter Workspace artist Manuel Acevedo’s creative process and explore the winter landscape as a source of inspiration. Acevedo discusses his work and explains methods of animation, such as stop-motion, flipbooks and optical devices. Participants will then explore the transformation of Wave Hill’s winter landscape using basic animation techniques. Art materials are provided unless otherwise noted. Workshops are open to all visitors ages 12 and over when accompanied by an adult. Space is limited, so registration is recommended, at, by calling 718.549.3200 x305 or at the Perkins Visitor Center. Free with admission to the grounds. Drop-ins will be accommodated as space permits. This program also takes place on February 3.

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

Closed to the public.

Visitors gain insight into Winter Workspace artist Maria Hupfield’s creative process and explore the winter landscape as a source of inspiration. After exploring the gardens with the artist, participants create a snow globe as a personal souvenir inspired by the winter landscape. Art materials are provided unless otherwise noted. Workshops are open to all visitors ages 12 and over when accompanied by an adult. Space is limited, so registration is recommended, at, by calling 718.549.3200 x305 or at the Perkins Visitor Center. Free with admission to the grounds. Drop-ins will be accommodated as space permits. This program also takes place on January 29.

Wave Hill Horticultural Lectures are devoted to landscape design and the meaning of our interactions with plants and the natural world. This year’s distinguished lecturers offer a walk down memory lane. But these presentations are not simply an indulgence in nostalgia, because the past strongly informs the present in the three subjects we address. Before Samuel Untermyer’s death in 1940, his gardens in Yonkers, New York, were among America’s most celebrated. Spearheading the rebirth of this estate are Untermyer Gardens Conservancy chair and former Wave Hill board member Stephen F. Byrns and former Wave Hill Gardener Timothy Tilghman, Untermyer’s horticulturist. (Marco Polo Stufano, Wave Hill’s founding Director of Horticulture, is adviser to the project.) Byrns, an award-winning partner at BKSK Architects, has published widely. He joins Tilghman, an acclaimed horticulturist whose experience ranges from Missouri to the Hudson Valley, in painting a bright picture of the recovery of this magnificent estate. The second in this series takes place February 27. Series: $48 Member, Student/$60 General. Individual lectures: $20 Member, Student/$25 General. Reservations recommended, online at or by calling 718.549.3200 x216.

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 all day Tuesdays in January. 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

MWBE Bidding Opportunities & NYPD

(Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises) 


The New York City Department of Education (DOE) has announced many opportunities for MWBE business. If applicable, please review the DOE's current solicitations online:

Request for Proposals:

Request for Bids:

Multiple Task Award Contract:

DOE Vendor Portal: We encourage vendors to sign up for the Vendor Portal at

By signing up, vendors can have DOE solicitations emailed to them directly. In order to download complete DOE bids and solicitations, vendors must register for an account on Vendor Portal.

DOE Vendor Hotline: Vendors are also encouraged to call or email the DOE Vendor Hotline if they need assistance registering for Vendor Portal, downloading required documents, or if they have other questions.
Vendors can contact Vendor Hotline at (718) 935-2300 or email A live representative is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

DOE Commitment to Equal Opportunity: The New York City Department of Education (DOE) has contracts with vendors to purchase the goods and services necessary to ensure that students receive the quality education they deserve. The agency strives to give all businesses, including Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs), an equal opportunity to compete for DOE procurements. The agency casts a wide net in search of talented vendors, seeking qualified suppliers from all segments of the community. The DOE's mission is to provide equal access to procurement opportunities for all qualified vendors including MWBEs.

The DOE works to enhance the ability of MWBEs to compete for contracts and DOE is committed to ensuring that MWBEs fully participate in the procurement process.

Please call 718-828-3900 or email  for any additional information or if you have questions regarding MWBE certification.


The New York City Police Department has launched a new application for your Apple devices (iPad and iPhone). This application is called "NYPD" and it is free of charge. It provides its users with interface icons for each of the following:

  • Wanted Posters
  • Submit Tips
  • Crime Videos
  • Breaking News
  • NYPD Facebook
  • Inside NYPD Videos
  • Crime Statistics
  • Precinct Boundaries
  • Join NYPD

The NYPD is continuously exploring methods to expand the availability and collection of information to assist in our crime fighting efforts. We recognize that community members are our partners in the reduction of crime and improvement of the quality of life in our neighborhoods.  Technology is a vital tool that connects law enforcement with its communities around the world to help improve safety and security.

We invite everyone to take a minute and download the application through the Apple store direct to your device, so that you can began to enjoy the many benefits this application has to offer its users. In addition, we encourage everyone to pass the word around your community of this new application.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


City Comptroller John C. Liu offered the following statement on the Congressional agreement to avoid the so-called Fiscal Cliff and its effect on New York City taxpayers:

“We will have to wait and see how this agreement fits into the coming debt-ceiling negotiations but, like any compromise, the deal to avoid the so-called Fiscal Cliff has some bright spots and dark patches for New York City taxpayers.

“Thousands of struggling New Yorkers will not find their extended unemployment benefits abruptly and cruelly cut off.  And some 900,000 New Yorkers can breathe a sigh of relief now that the Alternative Minimum Tax has been permanently fixed.  
“We must properly fund Social Security and unfortunately the 2% increase in the Social Security Payroll Tax will cost four million hard-working New Yorkers, on average, more than $800 out of pocket this year, taking more than $3 billion out of the City’s income stream.

“Finally, Congress has taken steps to avoid the cliff, but millions still face a steep plunge because the House of Representatives failed to approve aid for those who lost their loved ones, homes, and possessions in Hurricane Sandy.  Families hurt by Sandy have been left out in the cold by Congressional bickering.”

                          Estimated Cost of 2% Increase in Social Security Payroll Tax

# of Workers Affected
Estimated Cost
Average Increase
$425 million
$875 million
$1.12 billion
$800 million
Staten Island
$220 million
$3.44 billion

Source: Security Administration; Bureau of Labor Statistics; NYC Comptroller’s Office.

Liberty Democratic Association Annual Meeting

The Liberty Democratic Association

And Election of Officers for 2013-2015

Will take place on ---
 SUNDAY, JANUARY 13,  2013 @1 P.M.
Community Room

New Years’ CeleBration
AT 2:30 P.M.
Hot Food and refreshments will be served.

RSVP: Miriam Schwartz: (718) 829-3041

Cost is $10

Free:  Members, Inspectors and Coordinators

If you have any questions, please contact Ritchie Torres at 
(914) 648-0616 or Monica Major at (917) 208-3886

More on SLOW ZONE Speed Bumps

     Apparently the DOT has painted street markings at two of the three speed bumps that were placed on Independence Avenue between West 232nd and West 237th Streets. However as you will see in the photos below Dot has not put up a warning sign before the speed bumps, as there is only one sign that is marked "Speed Bump 15 MPH" as you hit the speed bump (in one photo you can see that the one warning sign has either bent over due to the wind or has been backed into by a parking car). Also one has to wonder at what speed these speed bumps can be taken at. In the presentation by the DOT Bronx commissioner she said that motorists can safely take these "Speed Humps" at 20 MPH as would be the speed limit in the area of the SLOW ZONE. The signs by the new speed bumps (humps) say 15 MPH, or do all of them. I found one bump on West 239th Street with signs of 20 MPH on them, and also with a sharp left turn sign on one below the speed bump sign. Another placement of one of these speed bumps is at the top of a hill on West 237th St. the side of RKA (141) where buses park to pick up students, and block any warning sign. Lastly as you will see in one photo that the speed bump on Independence Avenue right in front of RKA has already been damaged during the last plowing a few days ago.  More to come.

Left - You can see pavement markings by DOT now in place in front of two of the speed bumps on Independence Avenue by Seton Park.
Right - However you can see the one warning sign is bent over due to either the wind or being hit by a car backing into a space.

Left - there are no road markings at the speed bump in front of RKA (141), and you can see the damage that plowing from only one snowfall has done to the speed bump.
Right - You can barley make out the one speed bump sign on the right in between the trees on West 237th Street as you come up the hill. This view is of  the side of the street where school buses for RKA  park to load and unload students which will block the sign.

Left - A close up of the damage to the speed bump in front of RKA. It now seems that emergency vehicles are turning left at West 237th Street to the HHP service road rather than going over the three speed bumps on Independence Avenue.
Right - You can see how cars are parking on the speed bumps that go to within a foot of the curb.

Left - You see that this speed bump sign says 20 MPH here.
Right - You see the other side of the street also with the 20 MPH sign, but also note there is another sign  warning  that the road turns left ahead.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Dinowitz Urges Primary Date to be Moved from September to June

     Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx) has urged Speaker Sheldon Silver to support moving primary day throughout New York State from September to June beginning with the 2013 elections.  In a letter sent to the Speaker, Dinowitz outlined several reasons why changing the date of the primary election would be beneficial to the State--particularly financial and logistical concerns.

He pointed to this past year’s elections where local municipalities had to endure extra expenses with the separation of the Congressional primaries and the primaries for the State legislature. 

“Moving the primary to June is a much more cost-effective and sensible alternative to the September primary,” stated Mr. Dinowitz.

Having a September primary would also make it burdensome for New York City to hold a runoff, if needed, two weeks later.  There have been ongoing concerns regarding the new voting machines and it is possible that the Board of Elections would not be able to provide election results before the day the runoff is scheduled to be held or even determine whether or not a runoff would be necessary.

“Changing the primary election to a date in June would enable the Board of Elections to certify the election results in a timely manner.  This is a simple and sensible solution to this insurmountable logistical problem,” said Assemblyman Dinowitz.

Because the petitioning process for a June primary would commence in March Assemblyman Dinowitz further urged the Speaker to take up this matter at the beginning of the legislative session when the Assembly returns to Albany next month. 

“It is essential that any change in the election calendar be determined as soon as possible,” added Mr. Dinowitz.
Editor Note- What do you think of Assemblyman Dinowitz's idea?


   City Comptroller John C. Liu today announced the appointment of Maria Tavares as Deputy Comptroller for Accountancy.  Tavares, who currently serves as Assistant Comptroller of Accountancy, will assume her new responsibilities on January 1, 2013, succeeding Deputy Comptroller Simcha Felder, who is assuming his newly elected position as New York State Senator.

“Maria has demonstrated herself to be exceedingly capable in ensuring the soundness of the City’s financial reporting,” Comptroller Liu said. “Though Simcha has big shoes to fill, I am excited that she is joining my top leadership team as we continue to navigate through a tough time for City finances.”

As Deputy Comptroller, Tavares will oversee the operations of Comptroller Liu’s Bureau of Accountancy, which is responsible for all aspects of the City’s accounting and financial reporting. She will oversee the City’s accounting operations throughout the year, as well as the preparation of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), which contains the City's official, audited financial statements.

She will also oversee the design and management of the accounting aspects of the City’s centralized accounting and budgeting system, the Financial Management System, the accounting mechanism in which New York City pays its bills and receives deposits. 

Deputy Comptroller Tavares is a 15-year veteran of the Comptroller’s Office. She is a graduate of Syracuse University. 

In addition, Comptroller Liu announced that Deputy Comptroller of Public Affairs Ari Hoffnung will assume oversight of the Comptroller’s Bureau of Fiscal and Budget Studies. Hoffnung previously served as Assistant Comptroller of Budget and will now oversee the publication of a wide range of fiscal reports on New York City’s economy and budgetary outlook.

Maria Tavares joins  Comptroller Liu’s team of Deputy Comptrollers, consisting of First Deputy Comptroller Ricardo Morales, Valerie Budzik (General Counsel / Legal Affairs), H. Tina Kim (Audit), Mark Kim (Economic Development), Carol Kostik (Public Finance), Ari Hoffnung (Public Affairs / Budget), Larry Schloss (Asset Management / Chief Investment Officer), and Geneith Turnbull (Contracts).