Saturday, May 18, 2013

Questioning Citizens Union

Here is my column "100 PERCENT" titled "Questioning Citizens Union" that appeared in this weeks Bronx News, Parkchester News, and Coop-City News.

By Robert Press

Questioning Citizens Union

   Before I get into the headline Bronx Week is in full swing, and will be ending this Sunday with the 42nd Annual Bronx Week Parade along Mosholu Parkway. Also on Mosholu Parkway will be the Bronx Week Food & Arts Festival, and the Bronx Grand Finale Concert. This event begins at 12 noon and runs to 6 PM. Don't miss a second of the events that happen right after each other.

   Last week I forgot to bid a farewell to one of the people in Albany that I knew was corruptible, that being Former Democratic Conference Leader Senator John Sampson. It looks like Sampson will be checking into Chez Federal Housing Program soon after he is convicted. It is to bad that this is happening during the Cuomo era where the current governor has said that he is going to crack down on corruption in Albany by appointing an ethics committee. So what has JCOPE done besides having people resign from it, and not be allowed to talk about the corruption that still exists in Albany.

   Former Assemblyman Peter Rivera's law partner & campaign treasurer David Griffiths has been sentenced to five months in the Chez Federal Housing Program after being convicted of mail fraud, obstruction of justice, and making false statements to the government. Griffiths was the head of the Neighborhood Enhancement for Training Services (NETS) of which it was reported that Assemblyman Peter Rivera appropriated $1.8 million dollars to, in addition to $250,000.00 from his law firm to NETS. Peter Rivera is now the commissioner of the New York State Department of Labor as appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
  As for our headline, Citizens Union has compiled a 122 page report titled “Hidden From View the Undisclosed Campaign Activity of Political Clubs in New York. The report states that after the conviction of former Councilman Larry Seabrook the matter of political clubs was looked into. The report does not list any wrongdoings by any of the political clubs listed, hinting only that with the recent arrests and convictions the reporting process needs to be changed which is little or none at all as mentioned. There is emphasis on the top 20 clubs with unusual data listed that makes little sense until one looks at the acknowledgments.

   There are several comments about the Ben Franklin Club and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz stating that he was the club's president three times on page 8, and repeated on page 23. On page 27 Citizens union goes after the Ben Franklin Club again saying that the club has received contributions from PACs such as Senator Jeff Klein, Senator Adriano Espaillat, Assemblyman and County Leader Carl Heastie, and even Governor Cuomo that were not reported. There is even a reference and footnote to my blog about a fundraiser I had listed on the blog for the Ben Franklin Club.
   As for the acknowledgment page there is one name that sounded very familiar to me that being the name Tony Cassino. Was this contributor and CU board member the same Anthony Perez Cassino that ran for city council against Councilman G. Oliver Koppell who was endorsed by the Ben Franklin Club? Was this the same Anthony Perez Cassino who has a blog that tries to berate Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and those associated with him every chance Mr. Cassino can? Also just how did a Cassino friendly Riverdale newspaper have this information about a CU report that came out the same day of the deadline of the newspaper, with details of the CU report?

   I called Citizens Union to speak to the Executive Director Dick Draddy to get answers to my questions. Mr. Draddy tried to downplay Mr. Cassino's part in the CU report, but admitted that Mr. Cassino did contribute to the CU report. I asked Mr. Draddy if he knew about the history between Mr. Cassino and the Ben Franklin Club, Assemblyman Dinowitz, and that Mr. Cassino ran unsuccessfully in 2009 against a candidate that was endorsed by both the club and assemblyman. Draddy was unfamiliar with the facts I mentioned, and could not explain how the Riverdale newspaper friendly to Mr. Cassino was able to do what it did given the very short time span to do so. I also asked why Mr. Cassino's political club that Mr. Cassino had co-founded was not listed, and was told that the report went back only to 2009, and that his club must have filed all the papers required. I also asked why the name Tony Cassino and not the name Anthony Perez Cassino that was used to run for office was listed in the CU report. I want to thank Mr. Draddy for his answers and the quick way he responded and answered my questions. I think he answered them as he thinks political clubs do.

   I asked Assemblyman Dinowitz about the Citizens Union report. Dinowitz said that Citizens Union did not disclose any facts about contributor and board member Anthony Perez Cassino's conflict of interest in contributing to the report. Dinowitz added that the Ben Franklin Club (to which he belongs) has done nothing wrong, has filed any and all forms that are required by the Board of Elections, and that he was president of the club about 20 years ago.
   Citizens Union on two pages of the report lists six different paragraphs of criteria (with several sub headings) of changes to the current required filings, which starts by saying that “the State Board of Elections should notify all political clubs of their obligation to register as a political committee and file required campaign finance reports”.

   Lastly the Bangladeshi Community for State Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz Sr. will be holding a fu8nd raiser for Senator Diaz on Saturday May 18th from 1:30 – 3:30 PM at the Oasis Mediterranean restaurant located at 1907 White Plains Road (off Rhinelander Avenue).

   Don't forget to check my blog at for more on these stories, any items that may come in after our deadline, and to see the many photos of the events. If you have any comments about this column or would like to have an event listed or covered in this column or on my blog you can e-mail us at or call 718-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press. 

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Bangladeshi-American Community Coalition

Lunch reception & Fundraising in Support of State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. at Oasis Restaurant.

  This afternoon the Bronx Bangladeshi-American Community Coalition gathered to honor State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. & help him with a fundraiser that was held at the Oasis Restaurant located at 1907 White Plains Road.
   The program opened up with a meet and greet of the over 75 people in attendance, Mr. Nazrul Haque officially started the program by introducing Community Board #9 Land Use Chair Mohammed N. Mujumder. Mr. Mujumder spoke of how Senator Diaz has helped the Bangladeshi community in the Bronx, and how it has grown in the Bronx to what it currently is. He said that the Bangladeshi community first met Senator Diaz in 1991 and have been working with him and his son Ruben Diaz Jr. who is now Bronx Borough President. He added that the community has also worked with local councilwoman Palma as well as helping to elect Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda, but must also look towards the next generation. 
   The Bangladeshi movement in New York began as early as 1890 it was said, and by the 1920's Bangladeshi people began immigrating to Brooklyn. Others who spoke also had only high praise for Senator Diaz and Assemblyman Sepulveda who was in attendance. Assemblyman Sepulveda thanked the Bangladeshi community for their support in his huge victory last year, and added that he will continue to work for all of the people in his district.
   Senator Diaz thanked all in the Bangladeshi community for their continued support, especially as he mentioned that in their homeland citizens do not do such work as is being done today for him. Diaz added that this was not the first fundraiser for him by the Bangladeshi Community, but in 2001 when he was running for City Council the community held a fundraiser for him. He named several individuals in attendance, saying that he goes back a long way with them. He spoke of having the first Bangladeshi Judicial Delegate elected last year, and wants to elect a second this year. Diaz closed by saying that the main reason of the event is "to raise money to re-elect State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr.".

Left - Senator Diaz poses for photo with  prominent realtor Khalilur Rahman.
Right - Closest to the camera is Abdus Shahid President of BANDS, Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. Community Board #9 Land Use Chair Mohammed N. Mujumder, and Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda.

Left - Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda thanks the Bangladeshi Community for the support that he was given, and this luncheon for Sen. Diaz. 
Right - are the honorees with Senator Diaz and Assemblyman Sepulveda.


NYC Mayor's Race Update

  As front runner Christine Quinn still keeps losing momentum, Anthony Weiner is poised to enter the Democratic primary for mayor. Weiner is expected to make an announcement early next week that he is indeed running for mayor.

  Public Advocate Bill Deblasio has received the endorsement of the powerhouse union local 1199-SEIU that represents over 200,000 health care workers. This is seen as a big blow to Speaker Quinn, and Bill Thompson who was endorsed four years ago by the union. 

  Labor in general should be split among the top three or even four candidates for mayor, and no one thinks that any Democratic candidate can reach the 40 % win level to avoid a run off election that the Board of Elections has said it would not be able to handle properly.



Friday, May 17, 2013

BP Diaz Hosts Youth & Senior Day in Co-op City

  Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. dances with some of the attendees at the Bronx Week 2013 Youth & Senior Day Talent Show. The event took place on Thursday, May 16, in the Dreiser Loop Community Center in Co-op City. 

  On hand for the event was Coop-City Councilman Andy King who joined in with BP Diaz and Deputy BP Greene to help celebrate with the people who attended.

   Also on hand was Democratic mayoral candidate Bill Thompson, who BP Diaz has already endorsed as his choice for mayor. Councilman Kong told me that he has not made his choice for mayor, but may sometime soon. 


Left - BP Diaz dances with some of the attendees. 
Right - Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson speaks to the crowd. BP Diaz and Coop-City Councilman Andy King are in the background. While Diaz has endorsed Thompson for mayor, Councilman King has not made any endorsement for mayor yet.


Left & Right - Diaz and Thompson engage potential voters in discussion,and pose for photos.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bronx Week 2013 Grand Finale Celebration

New York State Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz Announces $198,500 for Hyde Leadership Charter School

  New York State Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz is proud to announce that he has assigned $198,500 to the Hyde Leadership Charter School, located in his South Bronx district.

Senator Rev. Diaz stated: "I am delighted to announce that I have assigned $198,500 to the Hyde Leadership Charter School which is located in my district. This money is a godsend - it is a blessing for our children! It will be used for technology equipment to continue to develop the accomplishments of the Hyde Leadership Charter School and expand the achievements of their students.  These resources should be seen as a hopeful forecast of continued support for the Hyde Leadership Charter School as they graduate their first high school class this year and establish themselves more firmly in the education community."

Senator Rev. Diaz continued: "We have all read the disappointing news this week that 50,000 children were turned away from city charter schools, and we all realize that there is still a lot of work to be done.  Parents are entitled to have their children receive quality education.  The option of charter school programs is one that I fully support and encourage – and I will continue to do so, as schools like the Hyde Leadership Charter School continue to demonstrate success."

The Hyde Leadership Charter School is the only K-12 college preparatory school located in the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx.

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Senators Klein and Savino Detail Hidden Dangers at NYC Day Care Centers

Even When DOH Violations Pile-up, Many Centers Do Nothing, Putting Children at Risk

   Today, New York State Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein (D-Bronx) and Senator Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) announced findings of a citywide investigation into the safety of New York City day care centers. The report found that not only are an alarming number of day care centers repeatedly cited by the NYC Department of Health for “serious” and “critical” health code violations, but due to a lack of accountability, few of these centers take meaningful corrective action. Instead, many centers simply allow violations to roll over from year to year—without any meaningful repercussions. In fact, since 2008, not a single New York City day care center has had their operating license suspended or revoked.

Senator Jeff Klein said, “When New York City parents read these findings, they’ll have every right to be outraged.  Everyday, hardworking parents trust these daycares to look after their children. But after today, we need to ask ourselves, who is looking after the day care centers? Since city agencies are not holding these day care centers accountable, we need to give parents the ability to easily identify the worst offenders. That’s why we’re introducing legislation that will require every daycare to post their most recent inspection report on-site and online. We know that will serve as a tremendous wake-up call to the industry.”

Some of the most common violations include (1) persistent failure to screen new hires for a history of child abuse, criminal convictions, or sex offender status, (2) deterioration of facility infrastructure, (3) failure to properly clean facilities, (4) failure certify all staff members as physically and mentally healthy, and (5) failure to install and maintain window guards in rooms, hallways, and stairwells.
According to the report, New York City’s Department of Health has recorded over 11,000 health code violations in Brooklyn’s 809 registered day care centers since 2010. Over the past two and a half years, Brooklyn’s day care centers averaged 14.5 violations per facility. Facilities in the Bronx, Staten Island, and Manhattan are not far behind, averaging 13, 12, and 11 violations, respectively.

Violations for Group Day Care by Borough

# of Providers
# of Violations Since 2010
Avg. # of Violations Per Provider Since 2010
Staten Island

Senator Diane Savino said, “As someone who started her career as a child advocate, I know how tough it can be for parents to find a reliable daycare provider. We want every parent to have access to high quality day care. But in order to do that, we can’t allow repeat offenders to get away without so much as a slap on the wrist. Posting the latest inspection report at the entrance of every day care center will get these operators to clean-up their act—after all, advertising a laundry list of threats to children’s safety isn’t a great way of attracting new families.”

Hidden Camera Footage
At the press conference, hidden camera footage shot by Sen. Klein’s staff at NYC day care centers illustrated clear lapses in security. At one day care center in Queens, an undercover member of Senator Klein’s staff posing as a prospective parent toured most of the facility without being noticed. During the undercover staffer’s tour, video footage revealed an exit door wide open and two security desks unattended. 
At another day care center in the Bronx, when the prospective parent asked if the facility had any outstanding health violations, the center’s tour guide answered “no”--even though the day care has some of the most DOH violations in the borough. At a day care center in Staten Island, a closet full of toxic cleaning supplies was left open and unattended only a few feet away from nearby children. 
Senators Klein and Savino introduced legislation today that will require day care centers to post their most recent Department of Health inspection report on-site, at the entrance of the facility, and online. By making these inspections readily accessible to prospective families, Senators Klein and Savino believe that parents can make a more informed decision about where to enroll their child. Senators Klein and Savino also believe that posting inspection results will spur day care operators into action and put an end to persistent violations.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Sen. Klein Attends Earth Day Celebration at PS 24 in Riverdale

    State Senator Jeff Klein joined with PS 24 students, school administrators, and Project BOOST coordinators in commemorating Earth Day with arts, crafts, community service programs and the painting of the mural. This event was made possible in part by funds Senator Klein secured through Project BOOST. 
    The PS 24 Earth Day celebration is based on the old "Science Fair" idea said PS 24 Principal Dr. Donna Connelly. She added that science fairs no longer exist in public schools. Tables were set up to show the different areas of interest of the school children. There was a table with three ducklings that were hatched at PS 24, a table with different healthy foods to eat, one with reusable items, one with different information for the children, videos set up, and even a mural on one small wall that the children painted for Earth Day. 


Left - the three ducks that were hatched and now being cared for by the children of PS 24. 
Right - The teacher holds one duck up for a close up view.


Left - Senator Klein sitting at one table with several children. 
Right - Senator Klein visited the PS 24 library. Here he is pictured with the two PS 24 Co-presidents on his left, PS 24 Principal Dr. Donna Connelly next to him on his right, and the incoming PA President on the end next to Principal Connelly.

 Senator Klein plans to visit all 12 schools receiving funds from the Project Boost program in the district to see their programs in action and hear how the program has impacted the participating students.
  Project BOOST (Building Options and Opportunities for Students) is a program designed for elementary and middle school students who have demonstrated a commitment to academic success and who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. The chief objective of Project BOOST is to ensure admission to a quality high school by providing academic and cultural enrichment opportunities, ranging from enhancing arts, reading and music programs to offering new experiences such as attending musicals, walking tours and museums.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sen. Klein and Bronx BP Ruben Diaz Jr. Release Analysis Showing Economic Benefits to the Bronx from Metro North's Proposed Expansion

Metro North expansion is predicted to create 5,400 new jobs, increase home values by up to $142,400 and add over a billion dollars in added business sales in the Bronx

Today, New York State Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. joined union leaders, Bronx business owners, employers, homeowners and community leaders to announce economic benefit projections of the MTA Metro North transportation expansion into the Bronx.

The MTA Metro North proposal includes building four new Metro North stations in the East Bronx on current Amtrak lines, in Co-op City, Hunts Point, Morris Park and Parkchester.

In an economic white paper released today, experts project that the Metro North expansion plan will create 5,400 new jobs, increase home vales by more than $140,000, and increase business activity in the Bronx by more than $1 billion.  The economic analysis was conducted at the behest of Senator Klein and Bronx Borough President Diaz. 

Senator Jeff Klein said, “As Bronx Week kicks off, I am happy to announce that the MTA Metro North expansion is something the Bronx can really celebrate. This expansion will not only give over 160,000 Bronx residents a better way to commute into Manhattan, but it will also help drive new business and economic growth into the East Bronx. These stations will open up a fast, easy and direct link to the suburbs and Manhattan – which means an added boost of over $1.1 billion to local businesses both large and small. The expansion is also good news for area homeowners, who will see home values rise by more than $140,000. Finally, with one of the highest unemployment rates in the state, all Bronxites stand to benefit from the creation of over 5,400 new jobs.

“The benefits are clear and will be critical to launching the Bronx into the 21st century and beyond. Working with the Bronx Borough President and community stakeholders, I am committed to doing whatever I can to support this expansion for the benefit of the Bronx at large.”

“The expansion of Metro North service to the East Bronx has the potential to transform not just the Bronx, but the entire region. This project has been a priority of mine since I first became borough president, and I continue to push the MTA to include these four stations in their five-year capital plan. This analysis shows just how great an impact this project will have in our borough, and we cannot afford to miss out on new jobs and new economic activity. It is time to make this project happen, and I will continue to work with State Senator Jeff Klein, our elected officials, businesses, institutions and all Bronxites to bring Metro North service to the East Bronx. It is time for this long-held dream to become a reality,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. 

In an analysis of the MTA Metro-North Expansion into the East Bronx released today by Senator Klein and Borough President Diaz, highlights included:

Economic Indicator
Economic Benefit
Potential Job Creation
5400 jobs
Increase in Business Sales
$1.151 billion
Residential Property Values Potential Increases
Up to $142,400
Condominium Value Potential Increases
Up to $70,848
Commercial Property Values Potential Increases
Up to $450.00 increase per square foot
Retail Rental Increases
An increase of almost $4, 175 of rental income a month
General Chairman of Association of Community Rail Employees Anthony Bottalico said: “Expanding transportation options is a win-win for not just the Bronx, but New York at large. With these four new stations in the Bronx, we’re giving Bronx business owners and residents easy access all over New York. But we’re also creating high-quality jobs for those who build and maintain these stations right here in the Bronx. Investing in rail expansion now, will have economic benefits – including quality job creation – for years to come and I thank Senator Klein and Borough President Diaz for championing this incredible boost for the Bronx.” 

“Metro North service on the Amtrak line, including a Morris Park stop, will help transform Einstein as well as our local community,” said Gordon Earle, Associate Dean of Public Affairs and Communications at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “It will provide major benefits for our faculty, researchers, students and the entire East Bronx medical community, providing easy access to Manhattan, as well as to Washington DC and points north.  We are extremely enthusiastic about the plan.”

 Left - Senator Jeff Klein speaks about how the four new Metro North East Bronx Stations would benefit the entire Bronx. He adds that as Senate Co-President that he has to sign off on the new five year Metro North Capital Plan which better include these four new East Bronx stations.
Right Bronx BP Ruben Diaz Jr. holds up the report that he and Senator Klein have come out with as to the economic impact that the four new Metro North stations will have on the Bronx.
Others in the photos are Community Board 10 District Manager Ken Kearns, Community Board 11 District Manager Jeremy Warneke, Community Board 11 Chair Tony Vitaliano and Community Board 2 Chair Ian Armit, Morris Park property owner Patrick O'Connell, Pelham Bay Community Leader Joseph Oddo, in addition to Gordon Earle, Associate Dean of Public Affairs and Communications at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and a few others.

MTA's plan for building would establish four new East Bronx Metro North Stations would by 2019.

Wave Hill Events May 31–June 7

  After such a spectacular, cool spring, it’s a challenge picturing June and the true start of summer. After watching our gardeners plan, discuss, order bulbs and plant beginning this past winter and into spring, we’re looking forward intensely to seeing the fruits of their inspired labor across the landscape. Oh, the gardeners will still be very much in evidence, weeding, dead-heading, thinning, watering—actively interacting with the gardens as they mature under the warm summer sun. And we’ll all sit back and enjoy the show.

Isn’t it wonderful that so much that you can enjoy here – yoga, tai chi, walks, cooking demos – takes place outdoors, enhanced by the beauty of the setting?

A Tree Lives Here/Un árbol vive aquí
Explore the qualities of some of Wave Hill’s special trees with visiting artist Richard Lewis and the Touchstone Center Theatre Ensemble and create a tree of your own imagining with oil pastels on black paper. Enjoy a performance by the ensemble at 11AM, followed by a parade with your tree at 12:30PM. Free, and admission to the grounds is free until noon.

Quiet like a mountain, moving like a river, Tai Chi is a sequence of gentle movements based on images found in nature. In this beginner-level class, Irving Yee, an active member of the William CC Chen Tai Chi School, will introduce students to the internal martial arts and promote an awareness of their health benefits. Sessions are held outdoors only and are weather dependent. Call 718.549.3200 x245 by 8AM on the day of the class for program updates. Session fee: Member $15/Non-member $23. Registration opens onsite at 9:30AM.

Join a curatorial fellow for a tour of Wave Hill’s spring exhibition, Drawn to Nature, which features the work of seven artists who use drawing to convey a deep connection to the natural world. In the Sunroom Project Space, Lynn Koble’s multi-media, sculptural installation explores her idea of classification systems as a point of intersection between people and nature. Tours take place Tuesdays and Saturdays at 2PM. Free with admission to the grounds.

A Tree Lives Here/Un árbol vive aquí
Explore the qualities of some of Wave Hill’s special trees with visiting artist Richard Lewis and the Touchstone Center Theatre Ensemble and create a tree of your own imagining with oil pastels on black paper. Enjoy a performance by the ensemble at 11AM, followed by a parade with your tree at 12:30PM. Free with admission to the grounds.

Find refuge from city life by practicing seasonal yoga. Decrease stress and increase your energy by focusing on your posture, breath control and meditation. Classes are led by Neem Dewji, certified in Hatha and Therapeutic Yoga by The Yoga for Health Foundation in Bedfordshire, England, and The Integral Yoga Institute in NYC. All levels welcome. Sessions are held outdoors only and are weather dependent. Call 718.549.3200 x245 by 8AM on the day of the class for program updates. Session fee: Member $15/Non-member $23. Registration opens onsite at 9:30AM.

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

Join us for a summer-long garden party—free with admission to the grounds—as chefs from Wave Hill exclusive caterer Great Performances prepare delicious recipes for casual al fresco meals. Taste memorable salads with pasta, greens and fresh herbs. After the program, explore the Herb Garden with a garden interpreter then purchase herb plants in The Shop at Wave Hill. Free with admission to the grounds.

Closed to the public.

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

Glyndor Gallery opens at 11AM today, following a private function. The Tuesday afternoon tour takes place as scheduled.

Join a curatorial fellow for a tour of Wave Hill’s spring exhibition, Drawn to Nature, which features the work of seven artists who use drawing to convey a deep connection to the natural world. In the Sunroom Project Space, Lynn Koble’s multi-media, sculptural installation explores her idea of classification systems as a point of intersection between people and nature. Tours take place Tuesdays and Saturdays at 2PM. Free with admission to the grounds.

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

HOURS  Open all year, Tuesday through Sunday and many major holidays: 9AM—5:30PM. Closes 4:30PM, November 1—March 14.  
ADMISSION  $8 adults, $4 students and seniors 65+, $2 children 6—18. Free Saturday mornings until noon. Free until noon Tuesdays in  May and June. 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
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   Report Finds Two-Thirds of NYC Seniors 70+ Pay Unaffordable Rents, Presents Policy Prescriptions to Help Them Stay Independent Longer

  City Comptroller John C. Liu today warned that New York faces a looming crisis as the elderly population rises and rents skyrocket, and offered a comprehensive strategy to alleviate the shortage of affordable housing options.

“We cannot let our seniors fall into poverty – we need to do more to help them afford to stay in their homes,” Comptroller Liu said. “Unfortunately, the current administration’s measures are falling short. Increasing affordable-housing options for seniors is not only the right thing to do, it also makes financial sense. Helping seniors live independently saves the City money in the long run by reducing their reliance on costly social services.”


A new report by the Comptroller’s office, “Senior Housing in New York City: The Coming Crisis,” released today, examines the effects of escalating housing costs and offers recommendations that would not only help lessen the burden on City seniors but also defray the need for more intensive and expensive care. The City’s senior population is growing fast: The number of New Yorkers over age 60 rose 12.4 percent from 2000 to 2010, as compared to a 2.1 percent increase in the City population overall during that period, according to Census figures.

And those seniors are literally pushed to the wall. The report found that 53 percent of households headed by those between ages 60 and 69 pay more than 30 percent of their income on rent – a level considered unaffordable by federal standards – and fully 66 percent of households headed by those 70 and over pay unaffordable rents by the same measure. The report also found nearly 20 percent of the City’s 60+ population lives below the poverty line compared to 9 percent nationally, and evictions of seniors account for 15 percent of all evictions in the City.

While the Mayor’s New Housing Marketplace Plan has worked to build or preserve 125,000 affordable-housing units since 2004, more than 32,000 Mitchell-Lama units are no longer subject to affordability requirements, and housing costs remain unaffordable for many segments of the population – especially seniors. The Mayor’s plan also relies extensively on federal funding support, which is increasingly at risk.

The report recommends a number of measures, including:

·         Revise rules on the City’s Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) to take into account household size and inflation, plus increase outreach efforts;
·         Create a property tax credit for families that take in elderly dependents;

·         Increase aid to programs that help seniors stay in their homes longer.

Visit for the latest news, events and initiatives.
Follow Comptroller Liu on 
Twitter. To receive Twitter updates via text message,
text “follow johncliu” to 40404.
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Monday, May 13, 2013

Bronx Chamber Upcoming Events!! MUST RSVP!!

Bronx Chamber Logo       

Follow us on TwitterLike us on Facebook 
Join us at the following upcoming events!!

Wednesday, May 22nd / 5:30 PM
Networking with Hudson Valley Bank
Tosca Cafe / 4038 East Tremont Avenue
***Complimentary Admission***
For more information, call 718-828-3900 or Click Here to register.

ThursdayMay 30th / 11:00 AM
Annual Celebrity Golf Outing & Dinner
Pelham Bay & Split Rock Golf Course / 870 Shore Road
The biggest golf event of the year!!
For more information, call 718-828-3900 or Click Here to register.
Wednesday, June 12th / 2:00 PM
2013 Business Expo
The New York Botanical Garden / Abigail Kirsch
***Complimentary Admission for all attendees***
For more information, call 718-828-3900 or
Click Here to register 
 We look forward to seeing you there!

Yudelka Tapia Statement on Supreme Court Ruling

Statement on Supreme Court Ruling

- In a surprise ruling, the New York State Supreme Court, rejected a request by Tapia for City Council for the New York City Campaign Finance Board to review expenditure documentation from the 2009 election cycle. Ms. Tapia, who acknowledges that her campaign was late in filing the documentation, will appeal the ruling in the hope that CFB will review all her expenditures.
Tapia’s elections lawyer, Leo Glickman, issued a statement on the matter:
“During the 2009 campaign,  the Tapia for City Council campaign committee submitted to the CFB’s routine audit, was found to be compliant and was cleared to receive  public matching funds. All  campaign money – public and private - was spent in accordance with CFB rules throughout the campaign.
“During the CFB’s routine post election audit, Ms. Tapia’s son, who was also her Treasurer, became very ill and was repeatedly admitted to the hospital. As a result, the campaign was late in submitting documentation in response to the CFB’s routine request to substantiate the spending of public funds.  The campaign made a request to the CFB to scrutinize the documentation even though it was submitted late.  The CFB determined that it would not consider the documentation because it was late - not because money was spent inappropriately.
“Certain that the documentation shows that all money was spent in accordance with campaign finance regulations, we commenced  an action asking the  Supreme Court to order the CFB to scrutinize the documentation. We are disappointed that the Judge ruled that missing the deadline supersedes all other matters.
“Our appeal will ask for the same relief we asked the Supreme Court.  The campaign has not asked that the penalties it has received for its late response be overturned. We are only asking that the CFB not proceed as if the documentation was never received, and perform its Charter mandated audit to ensure that money was spent appropriately.  If they do so, we are certain that there will be no question about our full compliance with spending regulations.
Yudelka Tapia reiterated her regret for having missed CFB deadlines in 2009, “I am, as I have always been, sorry for not having submitted required documentation by the deadline imposed by the Campaign Finance Board and I look forward to paying the fine for this mistake. My only request is that the CFB review the paperwork I have submitted so that we can put this matter to rest.”
Yudelka Tapia has been a district leader or state committee person from the 86th Assembly District since 2002. A leader in her community for 25 years and a member of AFL-CIO Local DC37, Tapia founded the first Dominican based Democratic Club in the Bronx. Yudelka raised four sons in the Bronx, served as president of their PTA and lives in East Tremont with her husband, Tito.
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