Saturday, February 9, 2013

Wave Hill Events February 22–March 1

   The second session of Wave Hill’s Winter Workspace residency gets underway next week, so by the time of the February 23 and 26 workshops, Onyedika and Tessa will be well settled in. Both workshops are almost full, but we are accommodating drop-ins as space permits. These sessions offer a way to connect with nature as muse, in a way that is distinctly Wave Hill. Be sure to pair the workshop—or papermaker Randy Brozen’s Family Art Project—with a walk through the landscape, already teasing us with signs of spring: This morning, I was thrilled to see clusters of daffodil stems pushing up around the base of the dawn redwoods in front of Glyndor House.  Of course, if you can’t make it to the Bronx this week, check out the lecture urban farmer Annie Novak is offering on Wednesday evening at the New York School of Interior Design.

If you live in the Bronx, take advantage of free admission to the grounds through Sunday, February 24!

Seedy Beady Paper/Papel, pepitas y abalorios
Popular papermaker Randy Brozen shows us how to make beautiful sheets of handmade paper. We’ll make it extra fancy, and dress it up with seeds and seed beads! Free, and admission to the grounds is free until noon.

Visitors gain insight into Winter Workspace artist Onyedika Chuke’s creative process and explore the winter landscape as a source of inspiration. In this mold-making workshop, participants learn about different casting techniques and then create their own molds and casts of both organic and machined forms. 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 March 17.

Seedy Beady Paper/Papel, pepitas y abalorios
Popular papermaker Randy Brozen shows us how to make beautiful sheets of handmade paper. We’ll make it extra fancy, and dress it up with seeds and seed beads! Free with admission to the grounds, and admission is free for Bronx residents.

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 Tessa Grundon’s creative process and explore the winter landscape as a source of inspiration. Grundon demonstrates how she creates images of the environment using natural materials such as mud and beeswax sourced from the site. Using these techniques, participants will make their own drawings of the local 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, and admission to the grounds is free all day. Drop-ins will be accommodated as space permits. This program also takes place on March 19.

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. Hear from the front lines of the urban farm movement, as Annie Novak, founder and director of Growing Chefs, a field-to-fork non-profit for food education, explains how city farmers are learning from the lessons of agricultural history, even as they incorporate their own innovations on rooftops. A lifelong vegetarian and passionate advocate for ecology within good agriculture, Novak is cofounder and farmer of the nation’s first greenroof vegetable farm, the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in Brooklyn. The final lecture in this series takes place March 13. 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 February and March. 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

Sen. Klein Hosts Free Flu Vaccine Event

   On Thursday, February 7, 2012, State Senator Jeff Klein held a free flu vaccine event at Vladeck Hall at 74 Van Cortlandt Park South in the Bronx.. The event was co-sponsored by Jacobi Hospital where a RN from Jacobi gave free flu vaccinations to attendees who signed up for them. By offering free flu vaccinations, Senator Klein, working with the Jacobi Hospital, wants to help Bronx residents protect themselves and their families against influenza. The flu season lasts through May, yet it peaks in February. The sooner Bronxites get vaccinated, the better protected the community will be from influenza.On hand were co-sponsor Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz, and 11th city council district candidate Andrew Cohen.

Left - Senator Klein comforts Mr. Emanuel Badger as Assemblyman Dinowitz and 11th council candidate Andrew Cohen (behind Senator Klein) look on while Jacobi Hospital RN Kylia Ester gives Mr. Badger his flu shot. 
Right - Senator Klein, Assemblyman Dinowitz, and council candidate Andrew Cohen pose for the camera. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Plow NYC and Final 2012-2013 Borough Snow Plans

   This comes from one of our friends at City Hall.

   A new feature now is PlowNYC, a webpage where residents can track the progress of plowing operations in their neighborhoods.  People can put in their address and view a local map that includes their street's priority designation and details about when the location was last serviced.  The link is as follows:

The borough snow plans are now available on the DSNY webpage;

Also the maps can be found at under the tab Snow Plans and Mapping.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio Endorses Andrew Cohen for Council

   New York City Public Advocate (and announced candidate for mayor) Bill de Blasio today has endorsed candidate Andrew Cohen in his bid for the City Council’s 11th district seat. The announcement was made Friday in front of the Mosholu Montefiore Community Center in the Norwood section of the district in the northwest Bronx.

“I know that Andrew is the right person to make our neighborhoods an even better place to live, work, and raise a family,” de Blasio said. “His commitment to helping his community is strong, and I know he will fight for the ideals that I care about in the City Council. I am proud to endorse Andrew Cohen in the race for the 11th City Council district.” This was only an endorsement of 11th council candidate Andrew Cohen, and not a cross endorsement.

Mr. Cohen has already been endorsed by Congressman Eliot Engel, State Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, City Councilmembers Oliver Koppell and James Vacca and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (who like de Blasio is running for mayor in the September Democratic primary).

“I am proud to receive the endorsement of our Public Advocate, Bill de Blasio, who has been a strong fighter for the people of New York City,” Cohen said. “We are standing outside the Mosholu Montefiore Community Center, an outstanding organization that effectively serves both our youth and our seniors. As Chairman of Bronx Community Board 8’s Aging Committee and former Chair of Board 8’s Youth Committee, I know the importance of wonderful institutions like these and appreciate all they do for our community. Once elected, I plan to work very closely with Mosholu Montefiore and other community organizations that have such a strong and positive affect on our neighborhood.” 

Left - below - Public Advocate and 11th council district Andrew Cohen stand outside the Mosholu Montifiore Community Center as de Blasio explains why he has chosen to endorse candidate Andrew Cohen in the 11th council district. 
Right - above - The pair listen to MMCC director Don Bluestone explain his frustrations about some of the mandates of the Bloomberg administration, and how  MMCC has been cut back on or lost needed programs to the community.

Left and Right - Cohen and de Blasio say hello to the seniors who are at MMCC to get a much needed meal and more.



   At its meeting on Wednesday, February 6, 2013, the Council approved a bill, co-sponsored by Council Member Oliver Koppell, a member of the Environmental Protection Committee, that  authorizes a study to examine relocating overhead utility wires in vulnerable neighborhoods underground. The Council found that thousands of individuals in the outer boroughs where overhead power lines existed were without power for weeks, whereas parts of the city served by underground lines typically had service restored within a few days.
The study, to be conducted over a period of six months, would include an analysis of weather-related power outages over the last five years for both underground and above ground power lines, an examination of general network reliability for both types of power distribution and an estimate of the per-mile cost for undergrounding.
“I welcome this study,” Koppell said “which is particularly relevant to my district where the existence of overhead power lines in Fieldston resulted in a large number of outages and long delays in restoring power to that community.  I have already asked Con Ed to bury the lines underground in Fieldston and I believe the results of this study will bolster my request.” 
Legislation To increase Stormwater Retention and Increase Biodiversity
The Council also voted on legislation to require the Parks Department to develop a stormwater retention planting guide in order to use greenery to help manage stormwater runoff and combined sewer overflows.
“Water from even mild rain storms can overwhelm the city’s sewer system, causing combined sewer overflows where stormwater and raw sewage are mixed and released into surrounding bodies of water untreated,” Koppell said.  “The bill would result in city plantings being more stormwater tolerant in order to facilitate stormwater retention and filtration, procedures that  will become even more important with the anticipated increase in the intensity of future storms.”  
The Council also approved legislation to increase native plant species on city-owned properties.  The bill requires the Parks Department to develop manuals to increase biodiversity in its landscape practices in order to minimize the space available for invasive, non-native plant species that are not suitable to the city’s climate. 
Both the stormwater retention and biodiversity guides will be made available online for the public to use.
Creation of a Green Web Portal
In order to help  reduce  greenhouse gas emissions in the city, the Council also approved the creation of a renewable energy web portal to promote the adoption of green energy systems, including solar, wind and geothermal.  The web portal would inform the public about the feasibility and economic practicality of installing renewable energy resources in New York City.  
“Taken together, these measures are forward thinking and will contribute towards the protection of our environment and mitigate the detrimental effects of climate change,”  Koppell said. 


The following are Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s remarks as delivered today at the Office of Emergency Management in Downtown Brooklyn:

“This morning, I visited Sanitation Department crews who are on snow-removal duty. The winter storm is certainly on everyone’s minds, and I can tell you that there were a lot of plows on the front of trucks, there was a big snow melter ready to go if necessary.

“They had one plow that if we had ten feet of snow, it would blast right through it, but I don’t think we’re going to need that one. But let me update you on what’s being called Winter Storm Nemo and the City’s preparations for it.

“The current forecast from the National Weather Service – now keep in mind, these are forecasts, this is a reasonably unpredictable storm. It could turn further northeast or it could stall and give us more precipitation.

“Right now, as you know, outside it is all rain. There really isn’t any snow, even when you look at the grass it’s pretty clean. But the heavy snow is supposed to come in later on. The National Weather Service says that this morning it started to snow, turned to rain, back to snow this afternoon. Likely to fall in a fast and heavy rate – their words – during much of the evening and overnight period, with the heaviest snow expected to begin between 3 and 7 pm tonight.

“By the time the storm passes early Saturday afternoon, we’re expecting to have accumulations of 10 to 14 inches across the five boroughs, based on the latest from the National Weather Service. And higher local accumulations are possible.

“Now, all of that could change. The storm could move much further east faster, and we could have an awful lot less snow, which would be great. But we’ve got to prepare for the worst case, and this is what the National Weather Service says is the worst case.

“As widely reported, the storm is resulting from the merging of two low pressure systems, one approaching from the west – the Chicago area – and one coming up the Atlantic Coast – from the North Carolina area. And largely because of the coastal nor’easter, we’ll see sustained winds of 10 to 30 miles an hour, gusts up to 40 or 50 miles an hour.

“This combination of snow and high winds and the reduced visibility are hazards for travel, and it’s why we remain under a blizzard warning through 1 pm on Saturday.

“As New Yorkers know all too well, high winds can also disrupt electrical service in neighborhoods with overhead lines, as trees topple down or branches shear off trees and do serious damage.

“Let me just remind you, if you have a tree come down and there’s a power line down, don’t go near it. Don’t touch it. Pick up the phone, call 311 and they’ll tell you what to do and we’ll get a professional crew there to remove it. Power lines are dangerous, and every time we have a storm like this – or many times – we do have tragedies occur.

“A final potentially hazardous element of this storm is some coastal flooding. It is likely to happen during high tide, which will wash up at the Battery shortly after 7 pm and along the Long Island Sound shores of Northern Queens and the Bronx several hours later. The reason it’s much later there is that the water has to go around Montauk and come all the way down Long Island Sound before it hits Northern Queens and the Bronx, whereas the water from the Battery comes straight in from the ocean.

“Many of the same communities that were inundated by Hurricane Sandy’s tidal surge just about 100 days ago are likely to see some moderate coastal flooding this evening. It’s likely to produce the kind of coastal flooding that can be expected in these areas during such storms and people know how to deal with it.

“If your house has been damaged by Sandy and it’s still without heat, call 311 and we’ll be sure to find you shelter. And certainly, if you or someone you see has symptoms like uncontrolled shivering or disorientation, that may very well be hypothermia and hypothermia can be deadly. So anyone with these symptoms should get someplace warm immediately.

“Also, please do not use gas ovens or ranges to heat your homes. That can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning – which can be fatal.

“Now, as we do during all emergency weather conditions, our City has a plan of action for keeping New Yorkers safe, and we’ve already put that plan into motion. And I would like to describe a little bit about what our different City agencies are doing and stress some things that we would ask all New Yorkers to do.

“The first is: Stay off the city streets, stay out of your cars, and stay in your homes while the worst of this storm is on us. That’s for your own protection during potentially hazardous outdoor conditions. It is why we’ve cancelled all Friday after school activities, including Public School Athletic League games. Saturday classes and activities at public schools have also been cancelled.

“Staying off the streets will make it easier for City workers to clear the streets of snow so that emergency vehicles can use them.

“Any vehicles found to be blocking roadways or impeding the flow of traffic will be subject to towing at the owner’s expense. And by keeping ourselves out of harm’s way, we’ll reduce the hazards our first responders have to confront, as well, so there’s double value in doing this.

“Also, there is no need to do panic buying of gas for your cars; all indications are the gas supply is plentiful and deliveries will not be disrupted.

“Tonight, what’s a good idea? Cook a meal, stay home, read a good book, watch a movie, just take it easy.

“Remember, there are a lot of people who are going to be out there shoveling the snow and trying to plow it to the side, and just don’t want to get in their way. And also, if you’re out there shoveling snow, be careful, don’t over-exert yourself with that task. This snow can be very heavy snow, very wet snow, and you really can strain yourself or worse.

“Also, as I said this morning on my radio show, it’s good to look at your neighbors who may need a little extra help getting through the next several days.

“If you see someone homeless on the streets or in a public place, just pick up the phone, call 311. This is no night to be out in the elements, and we will send a staff right away to help that person.

“Last night, I did order all Department of Homeless Services staff to double their outreach efforts to protect unsheltered New Yorkers. That will be true tonight as well.

“During this high alert period, Homeless Services staff will check on vulnerable clients every two hours – or four times per shift. And we are putting on an additional number of outreach vans on the streets to respond to 311 calls.

“Also, please use 911 wisely – only for genuine emergencies requiring a response from the police, firefighters, or emergency service vehicles. Use 311 for all other calls or inquires to City agencies; we’ve brought in additional 311 call-takers to handle what we expect to be a higher than normal volume of calls.

“But if you want to know whether the plow is coming or whether the schools are closed and that sort of thing, do not use 911. When you do it, somebody with a real emergency can’t get through and they may suffer and may die.

“Let me walk through what City agencies are doing in response to the storm, starting with preparing to clear streets and highways of snow.

“City Sanitation workers are on a full mobilization, and have been since Thursday night.  They’re on 12-hour shifts. The Sanitation Department will deploy something like 1,700 snow plows and 65 front-end loaders. It also has 450 salt spreaders already deployed. And the Department has made arrangements with private sector contractors to pull in more than 100 pieces of additional heavy equipment for cleaning residential streets.

“The Sanitation Department plows, as you know, are now GPS-equipped, and New Yorkers can track the progress of snow removal in their neighborhood online at using the ‘Plow NYC’ feature. I have used it myself.

“The way it basically works is you put in your address and it’s updated only once every half an hour, but we color code the streets. When the plow goes down it stays one color for the first hour, then it switches to another color, then to another color, and it really gives you what you need to know, whether or not you’ve been plowed.

“At the Sanitation garages, they have a much more sophisticated and hard to use version of that where they can actually talk to and know where every single plow is, knowing the number of the plow, and you can look up the name of the driver and know how fast they’re going and all that kind of information that’s useful for managing the plowing and sanding fleet. But in terms of the public, we want something that’s simple and it does work. Plug in your address, be careful to do it accurately, and you will find out when the last time a plow went down your street.

“The Departments of Parks, Environmental Protection, and Transportation, those three departments, are supplementing, you should know, the snow removal effort with their own equipment. The Transportation Department also has 17 anti-icing vehicles working on the roadways on the East River Bridges. 

“In addition, the NYPD has a fleet of 95 tow trucks on the streets and prepared to remove stalled vehicles, with additional tow trucks being deployed by the Departments of Transportation and Parks. And we have also 31 private tow trucks included in this force. So we’ve got a whole system of pulling together all the resources, all the tow trucks, and we certainly think we have enough.

“Finally, to assist with snow removal, street cleaning and parking meter regulations will be suspended citywide today and tomorrow. [Note: Parking meter regulations are still in effect today but will be suspended tomorrow.]

“Tonight, the Fire Department will have 100 additional ambulances on the streets; they’ll have snow chains on their tires and snow removal equipment and other special equipment on board. And because snow conditions can make fighting fires even more difficult, the FDNY has added an additional firefighter to each of their engine units starting with tonight’s tours of duty.

“Because of the likelihood of moderate coastal flooding, the FDNY also has prepositioned a number of its waterborne rescue units in the city’s low-lying coastal areas. The NYPD has Emergency Services Units in these areas as well, and they’ll be beefing up police patrols in those neighborhoods.

“The Police Department will also be putting additional highway patrol units on duty to help stranded motorists. But what would be great is if you left work early today, got home, parked your car in a legal parking place, and if you have to go around use mass transit. What we don’t want are cars getting stuck in the middle of the road. That keeps us from plowing and it just, if you’ll pardon the pun, snowballs the problem. You’ve got to get home safely, rush hour, but get your car off the street or to the side of the road where it’s parked and that will help everybody.

“As to mass transit, we’ve spent a lot of time talking to the State agency. The MTA believes that underground subway service will be operating close to normal throughout the rush hour today. And after that, some trains will be stored underground for safety, and much of the rest will offer local service only. It is also likely that MTA bus service will be reduced as the snow intensifies, and for the duration of the storm.

“For example, they will not be operating these big articulated buses. They’re just so big that the wind can push them around, and so the bus service may be curtailed to some extent. If there is a subway where you’re going, I would suggest that you take that.

“The MTA also has put on extra commuter trains ahead of the normal evening rush hour and is strongly urging their riders to use them. Northbound Amtrak service from Penn Station has also been suspended because of the storm.

“If you look at the weather map, there’s going to be an awful lot more snow, it is predicted to be greater, north and east of where we are as you go towards Massachusetts.

“Our human services agencies are also responding to the storm as you would expect. By the end of this afternoon, all Department for the Aging home-delivered meal programs will have delivered extra meals to last through the weekend in case we can’t get there tomorrow or Sunday. Over 15,000 seniors will receive this service.

“All City senior centers will be open until 3 pm today. However, we are encouraging New Yorkers to stay at home if possible, especially our seniors. And senior centers will be closed tomorrow, Saturday. So senior centers closed tomorrow, don’t go down and expect to find them open. Stay at home is a good rule.

“The Department of Buildings also has issued an advisory warning to property owners and building contractors to secure their construction sites, and tie down loose materials and equipment. Inspectors are performing spot-checks to make sure workers are taking the proper precautions.

“All permits issued to film crews by the Mayor’s Office of Film and Media Entertainment Saturday has been suspended. So we won’t be making movies, it just gets in the way of everything else. 

“We’ll provide additional information about this storm as it’s available. For the latest details on City services and alerts, you can visit our severe weather webpage at

“You can sign up on for Notify NYC text and e-mail alerts. And you can follow NYCgov on Twitter and Facebook. You can also send a text to 311 about any snow issues. The number to text is 311-NYC, or 311-692.

“For instance, if you text about a particular street that has yet to be plowed, a 311 representative will make sure that information is passed along to the Sanitation Department. But remember, we do the primary streets first, then we do the secondaries, then the tertiaries. And on the, if you go to Plow NYC, you can see how your street is designated – primary, secondary or tertiary.

“ can also tell you how to volunteer for snow removal duties tomorrow if you are interested in doing that.”

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Major Winter Storm To Impact The NYC Area Friday Evening To Saturday Morning

This is a Storm Warning Alert by NYC

Thu Feb 07 18:21:06 2013
STATUS: Open - Active
PROGNOSIS: Monitoring Weather-Snow
Citywide  02/08-09/2013


  High pressure over the area will begin to retreat north tonight as an area of low pressure over the mid-west approaches the area.  This will allow for cloudy skies and increases chances for snow late tonight into Friday morning. A light easterly flow will increase tonight with the approach of the system. Lows will range from the upper teens to lower 20s inland to upper 20s to near 30 in the New York metro area.

As the low over the mid-west approaches, low pressure over the southeast U.S. will push off the east coast and head northeast Friday morning.  This low will become the dominant storm as it approaches the tri-state area. Snow will continue Friday morning for the entire area.  The snow will mix with and possibly change over to rain over portions of Long Island, New York City, and northeast NJ by the afternoon.  It will remain all snow, coming down heavy at times for inland areas.  As the storm approaches, it will strengthen, and winds will continue to increase, with gusts 45 to 55 mph, especially for eastern areas.

A changeover back to snow is expected by early Friday night for areas that will mix or change over to rain prior.  Blizzard conditions are expected, with heavy snow, wind gusts increasing to 45 to 60 mph, and visibilities reduced to 1/4 miles or less. The snow will continue into early Saturday morning and taper off by late morning into the early afternoon. 12 to 16 inches are forecast for Long Island, New York City, and northeast NJ, and the lower Hudson Valley with up to 2 feet in portions of southeast CT.  Locally higher amounts are possible, depending on where the heaviest snow sets up. Additionally, coastal flooding will also be a concern for portions of Long Island and southwest Connecticut Friday evening.


A total of 10 to 14 inches of snowfall is forecasted by NWS with isolated higher amounts possible.  This event is described as moderate snow with narrow bands of heavy snow.  Friday night to early Saturday morning is the timeframe for the heaviest rates of snowfall.  The evening commute on Friday will be impacted by this snow storm.

Thursday Night: there is a 60 percent chance of snow tonight with little or no snow accumulation.

Friday: on Friday morning there is chance for snow, and then a chance for a rain and snow mix in the afternoon.  Snow accumulations of 1 to 3 inches can be expected.  By Friday night snow may be heavy at times.  An additional 6 to 10 inches of accumulating snow can be expected.  The chance for precipitation/snow will remain near 100 percent throughout the day on Friday.

Saturday: snow is likely on Saturday morning as well with an additional light snow accumulation possible.


Tonight: lows in the upper 20s.

Friday: near steady temperatures in the mid 30s; lows in the mid 20s.

Saturday: highs in the upper 20s; lows around 15.

Sunday: high in the upper 30s; lows in the mid 20s.


Tonight: east winds 10 to 15 MPH.

Friday: northeast winds 15 to 25 MPH with gusts up to 30 MPH increasing to 40 MPH by the afternoon; winds will be out of the north Friday night at 20 to 25 MPH with gusts up to 40 MPH.

Saturday: northwest winds 20 to 25 MPH with gusts up to 40 MPH; winds continue out of the northwest at night at 15 to 20 MPH with gusts up to 30 MPH.  Winds begin to diminish to around 10 MPH after midnight Saturday night.


Moderate beach erosion and widespread flooding of vulnerable shore areas can be expected during the times of high tide on Friday evening between 9:00 PM and 11:00 PM.


A Blizzard Warning is in effect citywide from 6:00 AM Friday to 1:00 PM Saturday.

A Coastal Flood Warning is in effect from 6:00 PM Friday to midnight Friday night along Long Island Sound and Twin Forks of Long Island.


Notify NYC - Blizzard Warning - 2/8 to 2/9 (Citywide)

Thu Feb 07 16:28:39 2013
STATUS: Open - Active
PROGNOSIS: Monitoring
Weather - Snow
Citywide   02/08-09/2013

The following Notify NYC message was issued:

Title: Blizzard Warning - 2/8 to 2/9 (Citywide)

Distribution Area(s): CW
Borough(s): Citywide

Email/RSS: Notification issued 2/7/13 at 4:15 PM. The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning for New York City from 6:00 AM Friday, 2/8 to 1 PM Saturday, 2/9. The current forecast calls for 10-14 inches of snow accompanied by strong winds. With visibility expected to be one quarter mile or less, caution should be exercised when traveling. For more information visit

SMS: Blizzard Warning for NYC from 6 AM Fri 2/8 to 1 PM Sat 2/9. Forecast: 10-14 inches of snow and strong winds.

Twitter: Blizzard Warning for NYC from 6 AM Fri 2/8 to 1 PM Sat 2/9. Forecast: 10-14 inches of snow and strong winds.



427 PM EST THU FEB 7 2013





427 PM EST THU FEB 7 2013







Veterans History Project Bronx VA Medical Center 2/13/2013

   Wartime veterans of all eras (WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, Gulf War, Bosnia, Grenada, Lebanon, OEF/OIF/OND, etc)

The Bronx Public Library will be interviewing Veterans at the Bronx VA Medical Center on Wednesday February 13, 2013 all day as part of the National Archives Library of Congress VETERANS HISTORY PROJECT.

Any Veterans interested to have their story “told by the Veteran”.  Please contact the Library or my office for assistance.  Thanks

Lyn Johnson USMC Veteran
Bronx Outreach Specialist
James J Peters VA Medical Center
130 West Kingsbridge Road 4B-47
Bronx, New York 10468

Bloomberg Boulevard: The new “Cross Bronx Expressway”

   Remember the last time an autocrat with way too much power (Robert Moses) rammed through a plan to divide the Bronx with a freeway to give wealthy suburbanites an easier time driving through (not to) the Bronx on the way back and forth from their suburban homes. It was called the Cross Bronx Expressway. It created endless health problems and destroyed Bronx neighborhoods forever.
Now here we are in 2013. We have a Mayor with tremendous power and he insists on creating a 1.5 mile asphalt bikeway right through one of the last native forests of the Bronx in Van Cortlandt Park. (The Mayor will also cut down 400 trees as part of his plan and spend $1 million NYC taxpayer dollars). All of this so wealthy suburban cyclists will have an easier time getting through the Bronx.
See article below

Ask yourselves. How does a 15ft paved asphalt path help the Bronx more than an 8ft stone dust pathway? It doesn’t.
Why is another project being forced on the Bronx which the Bronx didn’t ask for?
Mayor Bloomberg’s actions are eerily reminiscent of Robert Moses ill-conceived Cross Bronx Expressway. We all know how that one turned out! Let’s not let history repeat itself.
Say no “to Bloomberg Boulevard” in Van Cortlandt Park!
Please write a note to Mayor Bloomberg saying no to another ill-conceived project the Bronx doesn’t want!
Please also write your City Council Rep asking them not to destroy the Bronx using $1 million of your tax dollars!
“Maybe when you have billions you think you don’t have to listen to the millions”
Save the Putnam Trail Campaign


Lack of Documentation Amid Questions of Fraud in Shelter Placement Process

    New York City Comptroller John C. Liu today rejected a 21-year, $91 million contract for a homeless shelter in the Bronx amid questions concerning the legitimacy of the required approval process represented to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) in seeking approval for the project. Comptroller Liu’s office was unable to verify whether the City properly followed federal regulations in the disposition of the former Muller Army Reserve Center (“the Center”), located at 555 Nereid Avenue, in the Wakefield section of the Bronx. The City wants to use the site as 200-bed shelter for homeless men.
  “Time and again since Mayor Bloomberg took office, serious questions have arisen about whether the administration has broken the rules protecting the rights of neighborhood residents and homeless people,” said Comptroller Liu. “City Hall’s failed record on homeless policy cannot and should not become the excuse for skirting rules in this Wakefield siting or for the many emergency shelter contracts proliferating in certain neighborhoods.”
“This administration has worked to force this contract to completion and has used fraudulent means to reach that goal, blatantly ignoring the input of the community and its representatives,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “I thank Comptroller Liu for rejecting this contract and for his thorough examination of the evidence, which proves that this administration failed to follow the correct process regarding the closure of the Muller Army Reserve Center. My office has said all along that this site was inappropriate for use as a homeless shelter, and I hope that we can now move forward on a better, military use for this site.”
Before repurposing a military facility for a non-military function, the federal government requires that a local redevelopment authority (“LRA”) recommend the best possible use for the site. In 2008, a three-member LRA, consisting of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, and the Bronx Borough President, was formed to consider uses for the Center, but it is unclear how the group came to an ultimate recommendation. Documentation evidencing the LRA’s approval was not submitted with the proposed contract, and Borough President Diaz has asserted that no vote was ever held to determine the LRA’s final proposal, which would be a violation of the LRA process.
·         January 28, 2013 testimony by Comptroller Liu submitted to the New York City Council in support of Int. No. 193, which would require that agencies notify the City Council of emergency procurements:
·         August 21, 2012 letter from Deputy Comptroller for Contracts and Procurement Geneith Turnbull to Department of Homeless Services Commissioner Seth Diamond, raising concerns about the proliferation of emergency contract requests made by the agency:
·         July 13, 2011 letter from Borough President Diaz to Linda R. Charest of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Patrick O’Brien of the Office of Economic Adjustment:
·         March 25, 2010 audit published by Comptroller Liu finding that DHS paid out millions of dollars to non-contracted service providers based on an “honor system” of unwritten agreements, invented rates, and duplicate client lists:
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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Postal Service Announces New Delivery Schedule

Six Days of Package Delivery, Five Days of Mail Delivery Begins August 2013

   The United States Postal Service announced plans today to transition to a new delivery schedule during the week of Aug. 5, 2013 that includes package delivery Monday through Saturday, and mail delivery Monday through Friday. The Postal Service expects to generate cost savings of approximately $2 billion annually, once the plan is fully implemented.
“The Postal Service is advancing an important new approach to delivery that reflects the strong growth of our package business and responds to the financial realities resulting from America’s changing mailing habits,” said Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General and CEO. “We developed this approach by working with our customers to understand their delivery needs and by identifying creative ways to generate significant cost savings.”
Over the past several years, the Postal Service has advocated shifting to a five-day delivery schedule for mail and packages. However, recent strong growth in package delivery (14 percent volume increase since 2010) and projections of continued strong package growth throughout the coming decade led to the revised approach to maintain package delivery six days per week.
“Our customers see strong value in the national delivery platform we provide and maintaining a six-day delivery schedule for packages is an important part of that platform,” said Donahoe. “As consumers increasingly use and rely on delivery services — especially due to the rise of e-commerce — we can play an increasingly vital role as a delivery provider of choice, and as a driver of growth opportunities for America’s businesses.” 
Once implemented during August of 2013, mail delivery to street addresses will occur Monday through Friday. Packages will continue to be delivered six days per week. Mail addressed to PO Boxes will continue to be delivered on Saturdays. Post Offices currently open on Saturdays will remain open on Saturdays. 
Market research conducted by the Postal Service and independent research by major news organizations indicate that nearly seven out of ten Americans (70 percent) supported the switch to five-day delivery as a way for the Postal Service to reduce costs in its effort to return the organization to financial stability.¹ Support for this approach will likely be even higher since the Postal Service plans to maintain six-day package delivery.
The Postal Service is making the announcement today, more than six months in advance of implementing five-day mail delivery schedule, to give residential and business customers time to plan and adjust. The Postal Service plans to publish specific guidance in the near future for residential and business customers about its new delivery schedule.
Given the ongoing financial challenges, the Postal Service Board of Governors last month directed postal management to accelerate the restructuring of Postal Service operations in order to strengthen Postal Service finances.
“The American public understands the financial challenges of the Postal Service and supports these steps as a responsible and reasonable approach to improving our financial situation,” said Donahoe. “The Postal Service has a responsibility to take the steps necessary to return to long-term financial stability and ensure the continued affordability of the U.S. Mail.”
The operational plan for the new delivery schedule anticipates a combination of employee reassignment and attrition and is expected to achieve cost savings of approximately $2 billion annually when fully implemented.
The Postal Service is currently implementing major restructuring throughout its retail, delivery and mail processing operations. Since 2006, the Postal Service has reduced its annual cost base by approximately $15 billion, reduced the size of its career workforce by 193,000 or 28 percent, and has consolidated more than 200 mail processing locations. During these unprecedented initiatives, the Postal Service continued to deliver record high levels of service to its customers.
While the change in the delivery schedule announced today is one of the actions needed to restore the financial health of the Postal Service, legislative change is urgently needed to address matters outside the Postal Service’s control. The Postal Service continues to seek legislation to provide it with greater flexibility to control costs and generate new revenue and encourages the 113th Congress to make postal reform legislation an urgent priority.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.



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

Divide and Conquer
You should know that even though it is impossible to say for certain, it is Julius Caesar who has been attributed to the quote "Divide et impera" which translates from Latin to mean "Divide and Conquer."

You should also know that New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo – one more time – has proven to be a very Machiavellian and skillful politician.  This time, using that old tactic of “divide and conquer" to pit the Hispanic community against the non-Hispanic community , especially the Republicans in the New York State Senate to secure the nomination of Miss Jenny Rivera, a “Puerto Rican,” to the State of New York’s top Court, the Court of Appeals.

I am a Puerto Rican, born and raised in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, and I have to agree with those who are of the opinion that Jenny Rivera does not have the necessary experience, due to the fact that she has neither been a judge nor a litigator, and now she has been appointed to the Court of Appeals, the highest judicial system in New York State.

Do not misunderstand me. I am very honored and glad that the Governor is appointing a Hispanic.  However, to me, it is disrespectful and offensive for the Governor to jump over so many men and women who have been serving in the judicial system for many years and have vast experience.

I have to question why it is that judges such as the Honorable Luis Gonzalez, "of Puerto Rican descent," who is the Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, First Judicial Department and has a wealth of experience in the Supreme Court, was overlooked.  He seems to be the most qualified and has been considered the next in line to serve in this capacity.  He has served as a New York City Housing Court Judge, a New York City Civil Court Judge, and a New York State Supreme Court Justice.

Also, a person like the Honorable Rolando Acosta could have been appointed.  He is an Associate Justice of the New York Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, First Judicial Department.  He has additional judicial experience as a New York Supreme Court Justice, 1st Judicial District; a member of the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct; and a Judge on the New York City Civil Court.

There are many more qualified Judges and Justices who were not selected and whose experience deserve mention:

•    The Honorable Sallie Manzanet-Daniels is an Associate Justice of the New York Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, First Judicial Department.  She has additional judicial experience as a Justice on the New York Supreme Court and a Judge in the Civil Court of the City of New York.

•    The Honorable Faviola Soto, "first Judge of Dominican descent to sit on any court of the State of New York," is a Judge in the New York City Court of Claims in New York and serves on the Bronx County Supreme Court, Civil Term.  She has additional judicial experience as an Acting Justice in the Supreme Court, New York County and a Judge in the Civil Court of the City of New York.

•    The Honorable Doris Gonzalez is an Acting Justice in the Supreme Court, Bronx County.  She has additional judicial experience as a Judge in the Civil Court of the City of New York, Bronx County;

•    The Honorable Lizbeth Gonzalez is a Judge of the New York City Civil Court of Bronx County, New York. She has additional judicial experience as an Acting Justice of the Bronx County/12th Judicial District Supreme Court.

•    The Honorable Nelson Roman is an Associate Justice of the New York Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, First Judicial Department.  He has additional judicial experience as a Judge of the New York City Civil Court, and as a Justice of the New York Supreme Court in Bronx County.

•    The Honorable Lucindo Suarez is the Statewide Coordinating Judge for Summary Jury Trials, and a Justice for the Supreme Court, New York County.  He has additional judicial experience as a Judge in the Civil Court of the City of New York.

•    The Honorable Charles Ramos is a Justice in the Supreme Court, New York County, and a Senior Justice in the Commercial Division, New York County. He has additional judicial experience as a Supreme Court Justice in New York County; a Supervising Judge in the Civil Court of the City of New York, New York County; an Acting Justice in the Supreme Court, 1st Judicial District; and a Judge in the Civil Court of the City of New York.

•    The Honorable Ruben Franco is a Judge in the Criminal Court of the City of New York, Bronx County, and a Judge in the Civil Court of the City of New York, Bronx County.

•    The Honorable Manuel Mendez is a Justice in the Supreme Court, New York County, and a Judge in the Civil Court of the City of New York.

Apparently Governor Cuomo knew that this tactic of divide and conquer could be used with skill to appoint one of his friends, knowing that she is not the most qualified and does not have the necessary experience compared to others, but knowing that any non-Hispanic who would vote against her would create the perception that he or she was Anti-Hispanic.  Governor Cuomo could win points with the Hispanic community and Hispanic media by defending her nomination.

You should know that I believe that if Governor Cuomo wanted to appoint a Hispanic and not create the mess as he has done now by bringing more division to the Senate Floor, he should have spent some time with the Senate Leadership and Hispanic Senators.  If he really wanted to appoint a Hispanic, the least he could have done was to select the Honorable Luis Gonzalez – or any of the other judges who I have previously mentioned , who all have more court experience and judicial experience than Jenny Rivera.

So we have to give Governor Cuomo a special prize for creating this mess and bringing chaos to the New York State Senate and getting away with his will, and using the Hispanic community and Hispanic media – this time.

You should know – and the world should know – that we in New York State have many Puerto Rican, Dominican and other Hispanic Judges with a lot more experience and better qualifications than Jenny Rivera.  She’s not - and I repeat, not the best we have, and the Governor knows it. But it’s a lot better for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s presidential ambitions to use the Hispanic community and the Hispanic media to create a “divide and conquer” crisis.

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


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