Friday, March 1, 2013

Thompson Endorses Cohen For Council

  Former City Comptroller Bill Thompson became the third major Democratic candidate for mayor who has endorsed Andrew Cohen for the soon to vacant term limited city council seat of Councilman G. Oliver Koppell. The endorsement came in the North Riverdale section of the district in outside of PS 81.  Thompson & Cohen then walked to the Riverdale Neighborhood House to chat with Mr. Dan Eudence the Director of RNN. 

  In speaking with Mr. Eudence the two candidates learned of the many programs offered by RNN and the fragile funding streams that the youth center gets. RNN is made up of different parcels of adjoining  properties that were donated to the organization to form its current size and shape. 

Left - Former Comptroller & mayoral candidate with City Council candidate Andrew Cohen.
Right - Cohen shows off the art of using your hands that he learned from Public Advocate Bill De Blasio when DeBlasio endorsed Cohen.

Left - Candidate for mayor Bill Thompson meets an old friend of  council candidate Andrew Cohen, Mr. Dan Eudence the director of the Riverdale Neighborhood House. 
Right - After a brief tour of RHH the trio check out some of the outside yard space and new construction behind them at RNN.
Candidate for the 11th City Council seat Andrew Cohen thanks Former City Comptroller and candidate for mayor Bill Thompson for his endorsement, as they leave the Riverdale Neighborhood House.


 Dept. of Education Failed to Take Bias Bullying Seriously;
Agency Didn’t Enforce Its Own Reporting Requirements for Student Harassment, Audit Finds

   Comptroller John C. Liu today announced that the Department of Education had failed to effectively record and track Citywide incidents of student-to-student, bias-based harassment and bullying based on race, creed, nationality, sexual orientation or body type.  The DOE adopted regulations in 2008 for recording, investigating, and following up on bias bullying complaints, but the agency did not update its online reporting system and has been unable to automatically flag and track incidents recorded by schools, Comptroller Liu’s audit found. Staffers were basically sifting for bias incidents among thousands of reports by hand.

“The DOE needs to show parents, students and educators that it takes bullying seriously,” Comptroller Liu said.  “DOE cannot combat bullying and protect students from bias harassment when its own tracking system is blind to it.  The DOE is famous for employing legions of expensive consultants, but for years it couldn’t find someone to write that simple code?  Every day, students are unable to learn because they are bullied for their race, religion, sexual orientation, or body type. Our children deserve better. The DOE needs to do better.”

“In my own district, we are still grieving a tragic incident of bullying that led the young victim to take his own life,” said Assemblyman Robert J. Rodriguez, District 68, East Harlem.  “This audit will be an important step in making sure that what happened to 12-year-old Joel Morales does not happen again.” 

“In order to ensure that all students have access to safe and positive learning environments, the DOE must make student safety a priority by systematically addressing bullying and bias harassment in schools,” said Tejpreet Kaur, Director of Community Development for the Sikh Coalition. “Regular, competent, and consistently reported tracking of bullying incidents in city schools is critical to addressing the problem.  If the DOE’s prohibitions on school bullying are going to be more than paper tigers, more resources must be invested in implementation, diversity education, and restorative justice practices.”

“I am appalled at the incompetence and negligence of the Department of Education,” said Mona Davids, President, New York City Parents Union.  “Throughout the country and in New York City, students are being bullied to death, committing suicide and afraid to come to school, yet the DOE cannot even enforce their own reporting requirement to classify and tabulate bullying and harassment incidents.  Unbelievable.  The DOE has money for useless consultants but not for a basic online system to track and combat bullying.  The DOE’s disregard for our children's safety and well being is despicable and clearly shows parents this administration does not put our children first.”

Background on Efforts to Track and Curtail Bullying
In 2004, the NYC Council passed the Dignity in All Schools Act, over the Mayor’s veto, mandating that the DOE record, track, and provide annual statistics on discriminatory harassment and bullying.  City Hall never implemented the law. Then, in 2008, the DOE created Chancellors Regulation CR-A832, which substantially adopted the requirements of the 2004 Council Act.  Finally, in July 2012, Governor Cuomo signed the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA), which contains many of the requirements for tracking and accounting for bullying found in the NYC Council’s 2004 law and the DOE’s 2008 regulation.

Audit Findings
Comptroller Liu launched the audit to determine if the DOE and schools were following the 2008 Chancellor’s regulation.  Under the regulation, principals and other designated staffers at schools report complaints and incidents of bullying and other behavioral infractions to the DOE’s Online Occurrence Reporting System (OORS), a database that enables staffers to rank the complaints by the Disciplinary infraction code  from 1 to 5, with 5 being the most severe. Not all recorded bias incidents are severe enough to trigger the regulation; the bullying must have interfered with a child’s ability to learn, according to the DOE.

DOE officials told auditors that, through the 2011-2012 school year, the online system could not identify bias-bullying incidents that violated the 2008 regulation because OORS was not equipped to classify them and sort them out.

Comptroller Liu’s audit found that when faced with the fact that their online data-collection system didn’t capture violations of the Chancellor’s regulation, DOE staffers resorted to identifying bias-incidents in OORS, first by sorting them by their infraction code and then using keyword searches for specific slurs and insults in the behavior reports’ comments field, in order to compile and report Citywide incidents of bias-based harassment and bullying.

When DOE staffers found certain keywords, they would read the accompanying details to determine if the incident was in fact bias-related. Such a subjective and inaccurate system for identifying bias incidents in schools made it impossible for the DOE to properly track and identify problems and trends in bullying in schools, the audit found.

2009-2010 bullying reports
In the 2009-2010 school year, the DOE recorded 8,298 bias incidents, which accounted for 6 percent of all behavioral incidents.  Because of the flaws described above, however, the DOE could not determine how many incidents violated the 2008 regulation and required particular handling.  Moreover, the DOE’s sorting system for bias-incidents did not differentiate between student-to-student harassment (covered by CR-A832) and student-to-staff harassment (not covered by CR-A832).

Percentage of Bias-Related Incidents by
Discipline Code Infraction Level for All incidents at All Grade Levels*
Discipline Code
Infraction Level
Percentage of All Incidents
with At Least One Bias
Level 1 (Least Serious)
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4**
Level 5 (Most Serious)
* Source: DOE’s “OORS Audit of Bias-Related Harassment Incidents 2009-2010” report
** According to the DOE, most Level 4 incidents related to sexually suggestive comments or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

Lack of Oversight
Comptroller Liu’s audit examined 40 bias-bullying reports sent to DOE by three schools — Murry Bergtraum HS, Jordan L. Mott JHS 022, and Juan Morel Campos PS 290 — during the 2009-2010 school year.  Of these, 27 (67 percent) were student-to-student, but DOE could not be assured that the schools consistently followed the guidelines of the 2008 regulation. Comptroller Liu’s audit did not expand its examination to more schools because the DOE could not determine how many violations of the regulation had occurred, making a larger sample irrelevant. 

The audit further examined the schools handling of 10 bias-bullying incidents and found that each school quickly reported the incidents and properly investigated and followed up on them, including reaching out to parents of students involved.  However, the schools did not provide the alleged student victims of the bullying with a written report on the outcome of their investigation within 10 days of the incidents, as required by the regulation.

If the DOE cannot monitor whether schools consistently follow its own student-to-student anti-bullying regulation, it cannot effectively identify problem areas or trends in such behavioral infractions in schools.

Auditors noted that, as of May 2012, the DOE had still not made any changes to the live OORS system used Citywide. Yet, at the very end of the audit process, DOE officials stated that they had modified OORS so that it complied with state DASA reporting requirements and captures violations of the Chancellors 2008 regulation. Without actual evidence of these improvements (i.e., data, such as the total number of incidents for the 2012-2013 school year), the audit could not verify the DOE’s assertion and whether it was now able to identify and report such incidents.
The audit is attached to this e-mail and can also be downloaded here:

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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Wave Hill Events March 15–March 22

Just a reminder that our hours change starting March 15, when we are open until 5:30pm, taking advantage of the increasingly long, lovely days of spring.

Primitive Prints/Impresiones primitivas
Search for prints made by critters venturing out into the March mud. Then, with just a few, simple gestures―plus tempera paint and an easy printmaking method―make big, bright, bold prints of your own. Free, and admission to the grounds is free until noon.

Construct a multi-tiered birdhouse “condo” with master carpenter and Wave Hill Facilities Manager Frank Perrone. Using basic woodworking tools, assemble a one-of-kind sculptural home for your garden’s avian friends. The finished birdhouse can be mounted on a pole, hung from a tree or enjoyed indoors as a decorative piece. No carpentry experience required. Ages 12 and older welcome with an adult. Space is limited. $60 Member/$75 Non-member per project. Registration required, online at, by calling 718.549.3200 x305 or at the Perkins Visitor Center.

Venture through closed doors for a behind-the-scenes garden tour of Wave Hill. Peek inside the Potting Shed, preview the South African bulbs getting ready for their dazzling Palm House debut and get a first look at some of the exciting plants destined for our summer display, with Horticultural Interpreter Charles Day. Free with admission to the grounds.

Primitive Prints/Impresiones primitivas
Search for prints made by critters venturing out into the March mud. Then, with just a few, simple gestures―plus tempera paint and an easy printmaking method―make big, bright, bold prints of your own. Free with admission to the grounds.

Visitors gain insight into Winter Workspace artist Francisco Donoso’s creative process and explore the winter landscape as a source of inspiration. Donoso leads a short discussion on the mixing, interaction and basic properties of color. Participants will use this knowledge to create their own vibrant paintings inspired by the gardens. 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 9.

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.

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. The artist will demonstrate how she creates images of the environment using natural materials such as mud and beeswax sourced onsite. 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, online, 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.

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 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

NYC Design Commission Recommended Stone Dust for Putnam Trail!

(This came in from Save the Putnam Trail)

The NYC Public Design Commission recommended a STONE DUST surface for the Putnam Trail in May 2010. The Van Cortlandt Park Administrator Margot Perron said that, “strong support for the paved (asphalt) surface by community bike riders was sufficient in judgment of DPR” to overturn the qualified recommendation of the NYC Public Design Commission. Is this really how decisions are made now? Who are these “community bike riders” who make the decisions for the entire community regarding how $2.5 million in taxpayers funds are spent?
What happened to the voices of 90% of people who use the trail which include walkers, birders, hikers, runners, nature lovers, and thousands of other ordinary citizens? Why was their opinion not considered?

Ask the NYC Public Design Commission to reopen the review of the Putnam Trail and revert back to their original recommendation of a stone dust surface which is what an overwhelming majority of the community wants. Please ask the NYC Parks Dept. to produce evidence of all of these “community bike riders” who showed overwhelming support for asphalt paving and also ask why other users opinions were not considered.

Please contact the NYC Public Design Commission at this link

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


   Capital Will Rebuild 3,000 Units of Affordable Housing and Help Small Businesses, Mostly in Outer Boroughs

City Comptroller John C. Liu today announced that four of the five New York City pension funds have voted to invest $500 million in residential and commercial real estate, focused in areas
affected by Superstorm Sandy. With leverage, it is anticipated that this will result in a $1.5 billion capital infusion for potentially 3,000 units of housing and 150,000 to 200,000 square feet of commercial space.  The investment is pending approval tomorrow by the New York City Fire Department Pension Fund.

“The $1.5 billion rebuilding program will become the bricks and mortar neighborhoods need to rebuild from Sandy’s wrath,” Comptroller Liu said. “This investment demonstrates the steadfast commitment of City employees and retirees to pursue opportunities that are not only expected to deliver strong returns, but also to generate collateral benefits for the communities they call home.”

Comptroller Liu’s Bureau of Asset Management (BAM) has worked aggressively and quickly in the few months since Sandy to bring together the Pension Funds’ capital and local real estate developers to assist in rebuilding stricken neighborhoods.

“Comptroller Liu and the BAM staff have crafted a much-needed investment program that will help the City recover from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy and provide solid risk-adjusted returns for the Funds.   I believe this program will prove to be a great benefit for thousands of City residents affected by Sandy,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

“I am pleased to vote in support of investing NYCERS pension funds to rebuild New York City neighborhoods affected by Hurricane Sandy,” said District Council 37 Executive Director and NYCERS trustee Lillian Roberts.  “Our members’ hard-earned retirement money, and that of our fellow union brothers and sisters, will rebuild 3,000 units of affordable housing, and create new and refurbished commercial space. This will create hundreds of jobs during the construction phase and in long-term employment in businesses that will locate to this space. I wish to commend my fellow trustees for voting yes to this plan and thank Comptroller Liu and his team for putting it together so quickly.”

Sandy Rebuilding Program
The New York City Pension Funds’ $500 million investment will provide the needed equity for the projects, which are expected to utilize approximately $1 billion of additional loans toward the total $1.5 billion in Sandy-related building projects.

The projects will take shape in the coming months as the money is invested in repairs and construction over the next three years.  The housing restored and rebuilt by the Funds’ investment will be predominantly affordable and the projects selected will be concentrated in the outer boroughs.

The investments will be made by two newly formed partnerships with Related Companies and the Hudson Companies Incorporated, which the Funds will provide with $300 million and $200 million respectively. The Funds are expected earn a risk-adjusted market rate of return on the investments.

The Related investment program will focus on the renovation and reconstruction of housing that was damaged or destroyed by Sandy. The company will use the Funds’ investment in the City’s outer boroughs and low-lying areas of Manhattan. Related will also invest across NYC in multi-family housing in order to increase the overall availability of housing units to NYC residents displaced by Superstorm Sandy, with a priority on rental units. The investment will additionally create a loan program to offer property owners who face shortfalls from insurance proceeds, with funds to restore properties to full function. Related will invest $10 million of its own funds into the overall program.

Hudson will receive $200 million, 80 percent of which will create affordable and market-rate housing in coastal areas zoned A, B, and C that were impacted by Sandy.  Hudson will acquire properties in need of repair and retrofitting. Part of the money will be used to develop properties that incorporate green and flood-prevention design technologies. Another portion of the funds will go toward retail properties. Hudson will invest an additional $8 million into the projects.

Related Companies is headquartered in New York City and has experience in development, acquisitions, management, finance, marketing, and sales.  Related has an existing portfolio of real estate assets valued at over $15 billion.  Over 40 years, Related has demonstrated a commitment to the preservation of affordable housing.

The Hudson Companies Incorporated, which is also based in New York City, is experienced in new construction, building rehabilitation, and development, including “green” building and rehabilitation of historic
properties. The firm’s residential developments span the luxury, middle-income, and subsidized affordable housing markets.

New York City Comptroller John C. Liu serves as the investment advisor to, custodian, and trustee of the New York City Pension Funds. The New York City Pension Funds are composed of the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, Teachers’ Retirement System, New York City Police Pension Fund, New York City Fire Department Pension Fund, and the Board of Education Retirement System. In addition to Comptroller Liu, the New York City Pension Funds’ trustees are:

New York City Employees’ Retirement System: Janice Emery, Mayor’s Representative (Chair); New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio; Borough Presidents: Scott Stringer (Manhattan), Helen Marshall (Queens), Marty Markowitz (Brooklyn), James Molinaro (Staten Island), and Ruben Diaz, Jr. (Bronx); Lillian Roberts, Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME; John Samuelsen, President Transport Workers Union Local 100; Gregory Floyd, President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 237.

Teachers’ Retirement System: Janice Emery, Mayor’s Representative; Deputy Chancellor Kathleen Grimm, New York City Department of Education; and Sandra March, Melvyn Aaronson (Chair) and Mona Romain, all of the United Federation of Teachers.

New York City Police Pension Fund: Janice Emery, Mayor’s Representative; New York City Finance Commissioner David Frankel; New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly (Chair); Patrick Lynch, Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association; Michael Palladino, Detectives Endowment Association; Edward D. Mullins, Sergeants Benevolent Association; Louis Turco, Lieutenants Benevolent Association; and, Roy T. Richter, Captains Endowment Association.

New York City Fire Department Pension Fund: Janice Emery, Mayor’s Representative; New York City Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano (Chair); New York City Finance Commissioner David Frankel; Stephen Cassidy, President, James Slevin, Vice President, Robert Straub, Treasurer, and John Kelly, Brooklyn Representative and Chair, Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York; John Dunne, Captains’ Rep.; James Lemonda, Chiefs’ Rep., and James J. McGowan, Lieutenants’ Rep., Uniformed Fire Officers Association; and, Sean O’Connor, Marine Engineers Association.

Board of Education Retirement System: Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott; Mayoral: Rosemarie Maldonado, Jeanette Moy, Ian Shapiro, Tino Hernandez, Judy Bergtraum, Freida Foster, Allison Rogovin, and Milton Williams; Patrick Sullivan (Manhattan BP), Kelvin Diamond (Brooklyn BP), Dmytro Fedkowskyj (Queens BP), Robert Powell (Bronx BP) and Diane Peruggia (Staten Island BP); and employee members Joseph D’Amico of the IUOE Local 891 and Milagros Rodriguez of District Council 37, Local 372.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Public Meeting-The Bronx Charter School of Excellenc

The Bronx Charter School of Excellence will be constructing a new facility on 1960 Benedict ave., and converting 2000 Benedict ave. to a community facility.

I invite the community to attend to be informed of how these project will proceed and to voice any questions or concerns.

Location: Community Building, 2000 Benedict Ave., Bronx, NY

Date: Friday, March 1st.,

Time: 6PM

Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda-87th District
1973 Westchester Ave
Phone: (718) 931-2620
Bronx, NY 10462

Join us March 11th for the Irish Heritage Luncheon!! MUST RSVP!!

Bronx Chamber Logo       


Monday, March 11th
11:30 AM - 2:00 PM
F & J Pine Tavern
Bronx, NY 10462

$30-Members / $40-Future Members

US Congressman Joseph Crowley
Commissioner Robert Walsh, SBS
Kevin McCabe, News 12 The Bronx
James E. McQuade, Owner - Schuyler Hill
Joseph A. McManus,
NY Democratic State Committee 80th AD
Bronx Borough Commander Kevin Butler, FDNY
Virginia Gallagher,
Pilot Cove Manor Housing Development Fund
and more to be announced

Sponsored by:
Verizon Wireless
TGI Office Automation

Click Here to register for this event.
For more information, call 718-828-3900 or email

Russian National Ballet performs Giselle at Lehman Center

 The Quintessential Romantic Ballet!
Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 4pm
"The Russian National Ballet Theatre, Directed by Elena Radchenko, is a cut above many of its rivals.” —The Washington Post
   The Lehman Center for the Performing Arts proudly offers audiences a chance to experience firsthand what makes the Ballet such a magnificent art form with The Russian National Ballet Theatre’s performance of Giselle.  With music by composer Adolphe Adam and choreography by Marius Petipa, Giselle is one of the most celebrated ballets of the Romantic era and the ballet credited with giving Mikhail Baryshnikov his dancing debut.  The company of 50 dancers brings the story of a young peasant girl to life as she enters a world of betrayal, beauty and danger.  The company’s New York City performance is on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 4pm at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY.
The Russian National Ballet Theatre was founded in Moscow during the transitional period of Perestroika in the late 1980s, when many of the great dancers and choreographers of the Soviet Union's ballet institutions were exercising their new-found creative freedom by starting new, vibrant companies dedicated not only to the timeless tradition of classical Russian Ballet but to invigorate this tradition as the Russians began to accept new developments in the dance from around the world. 
“This performance [of Giselle] was great…Each member danced with emotion and style that stayed true to classical ballet while making their role their own.  Their gracefulness, perfect edges and lines demonstrate why the ballet, like opera, is such a powerful art form.  You can feel the emotion in your seat….” – Muncie Gannett
Special ticket price for children 12 and under, $10 any seat
The performance of the Giselle takes place on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 4pm at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts located at 250 Bedford Park Blvd. W. on the campus of Lehman College in the Bronx.  Tickets cost $40, $35 and $25, and for children 12 and under, $10 any seat.  Tickets can be purchased through 24 hour online access at or by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718-960-8833 open Monday & Wednesday-Friday 10am-5pm (closed on Tuesdays) and beginning at 12 noon on the day of the concert.  Lehman Center is accessible by #4 or D train to Bedford Park Blvd., and is right off several major highways, including the Henry Hudson Parkway, the Saw Mill River Parkway and Major Deegan Expressway.  Low-cost on-site parking available for $5.
Lehman Center is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council.  The 2012-2013 season is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, JPMorgan Chase, and through corporations, foundations and private donations.  Special $10 tickets for children are underwritten by Con Edison.



Wednesday, February 27  11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Thursday, February 28  9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Atrium (Building 8)
Jacobi Medical Center
1400 Pelham Parkway South, Bronx, NY, 10461

Call - - 718.918.4055, for more information.


2nd Annual African-American Abrazo

By Team Diaz, 
State Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz Sr., Assemblyman Marcos Crespo 85th A.D., and Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda 87th A.D.

   Friday night February 22nd was the 2nd Annual African-American Abrazo held by Team Diaz. 
The event opened up with a welcome by Senator Diaz Sr. , and an invocation by Rev. Felecia Smith. The U. S. National Anthem was sung by the New York City Housing Authority Choir, and the Negro National Anthem was sung by the Parkchester Baptist Church Voices of Praise. 

   Ms. Beverly Roberts the Chair of the Advisory Committee said a few words, and introduced the elected officials in attendance. After performances by the Mount Zion Sisters in the Spirit Praise Dancers, and New Tabernacle Praise Dancers the Presentation of proclamations to the Honorees began. the Honorees were Police officer Cleneth A, Davis, Ms. Linda M. Jordan, Ms. Viola Doswell, Master Michael Dean, and Deacon Emeritus Douglas B. Williams.

Left - The NYCHA Choir.
Right - The Parkchester Baptist Church Voices of Praise.


Left - Apostle Leeds Jern.
Right the elected officials stand behind the five Honorees for a group photo.

A group shot with City Controller (and candidate for mayor) John Liu (between the two women next to Assemblyman Sepulveda.

Left - Mayoral candidate Rev. Eric Salgado speaks to the crowd.
Right - Councilwoman Letitia James (candidate for Public Advocate) addresses the crowd.

Left - Senator Diaz with City Compotroller and candidate for mayor John Liu with Honoree Police officer Cleneth A. Davis and Rev. Joel Bauza candidate in the 15th council district.
Right - Comptroller Liu and Assemblyman Sepulveda with Community Board 9 member and candidate for the 15th council district William Rivera. Mr. Rivera was key to Assemblyman Sepulveda's victory last year.

Statement from Assemblyman Camara regarding Assemblyman Hikind's Blackface Costume

Contact: Jervonne Singletary
Office of New York State Assemblyman Karim Camara
1216 Union Street Brooklyn, NY
718-771-3105 (o)
718-344-2023 (c)

Statement from Caucus Chair Regarding Assemblyman Hikind’s ‘Blackface’     Costume
 I am deeply shocked and outraged by the insensitive actions of Assemblyman Hikind, to dress as a black basketball player complete with tanned skin and an afro wig. We, as leaders have to be extremely careful that we foster understanding amongst our different cultural groups and not use the images of one as a tool for humor. In speaking with many African Americans both leaders and average citizens, the outrage is widespread. 

The history of the blackface minstrel show is something deeply painful in the African American community. It brings back the memories of African Americans being reduced to “buffoonery” just to gain access to the entertainment industry. The stereotypes embodied in blackface minstrels have played a significant role in cementing and proliferating racist images, attitudes and perceptions, which are still painful and offensive today.

I find the actions of the Assemblyman to be callous and repugnant. At the very least, an apology should be issued to those who found his portrayal objectionable. 

This response is on Assemblyman Dov Hikind's blog.

It's Purim. People Dress Up.

Yes, I wore a costume on Purim and hosted a party. Most of the people who attended also wore costumes. Everywhere that Purim was being celebrated, people wore costumes. It was Purim. People dress up.

I am intrigued that anyone who understands Purim—or for that matter understands me—would have a problem with this. This is political correctness to the absurd. There is not a prejudiced bone in my body. 

NYLCV To Mayoral Candidates: Don't Backtrack On Solid Waste Management Plan

   The New York League of Conservation Voters, which works to make environmental sustainability a top political priority in New York, today called on all mayoral candidates to support the New York City Solid Waste Management Plan in its entirety.
Several mayoral candidates discussed the Solid Waste Management Plan last Friday night at a forum in Manhattan, where it appeared that some candidates have changed their views.
Passed in 2006 with strong support from New Yorkers, city leaders and environmental organizations, the Solid Waste Management Plan revolutionized the way New York handles its garbage. Prior to the plan’s implementation, the overwhelming majority of the city’s garbage was trucked into low-income and minority neighborhoods outside of Manhattan. For decades, those communities faced disproportionate environmental burdens including noise, reduced air quality and odors.
The Solid Waste Management Plan addressed this environmental injustice by requiring each borough to handle its own share of waste. The plan also helped clean the air and reduce quality-of-life complaints by establishing a system of marine transfer stations to reduce truck traffic and transport waste more efficiently. The locations of the marine transfer stations were carefully selected after exhaustive studies and community input.
After many years of debate, the City Council approved the Solid Waste Management Plan in 2006 by a vote of 44 to five.
“It is understandable that no one wants a garbage facility in their neighborhood. But New York cannot go back to the old, inefficient and unfair ways of the past,” said NYLCV President Marcia Bystryn. “The marine transfer stations can be made resilient to higher sea levels without abandoning the Solid Waste Management Plan. We strongly encourage all mayoral candidates to stand their ground and affirm their commitment to this smart, sustainable and equitable system.”

NYLCV was founded in 1989 as a nonpartisan, policy making and political action organization that works to make environmental protection a top priority with elected officials, decision makers, and voters by evaluating incumbent performance and endorsing and electing environmental leaders to office in New York State.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Bronx Parks Speak Out - The Photos.

Here are many photos of the 19th annual Bronx Parks Speak Out held on Saturday at Lehman College.

Left - Margot Perron of Van Cortlandt Park. 
Right - The Con Edison table on green energy.

Left - The Friends of Ferry Point Park.
Right  - Transportation Alternatives.

Left - Mr. I.C. Levenberg at the BCEQ table.
Right - I.C. with some friends in the dinning room.


Left - Musicians King Ktakei & Shaka Shabazz. Enlarge the photo to see their sculpture on the table. 
Right - Mr. Dart Westphal speaking out about Bronx parks.

Brandy Cochrane speaking up about building understanding around cultural differences, and learning what parks mean to different cultures looking at the power point presentation.

Left - Mayoral candidates Democrat Sal Abanese (left), No Party candidate Adolfo Carrion Jr (center), Green Party candidate Dr,. Anthony Gronowicz (right).
Right - Current Councilman G. Oliver Koppell 11th district with his staffer Andrew Sandler.


The candidates running for the term limited seat of Councilman G. Oliver Koppell.
Left - Community Board 8 Aging Committee Chairman Andrew Cohen sitting with Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz.
Right - KRVDC treasurer Cliff Stanton (middle) with two attendees.