Saturday, July 6, 2013

Emergency Construction on Sedwick Avenue.


   This is what you see at the corner of Sedwick Avenue and Van Cortlandt Avenues. Emergency construction by the Department of Environmental Protection to fix a water leak under the roadway has closed one lane in each way. This is on top of Con Edison construction in the same area, and some of those Con Edison metal plates are still in the roadway. This photo was taken on Saturday afternoon when traffic was at its lightest.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Wave Hill Events July 19–July 26

 
   We are as busy as the bees in our hives getting ready to throw open the doors of newly renovated Wave Hill House tomorrow. Hope you are planning to stop by and step out of the heat into our cool, historic mansion!  At least through mid-August you can celebrate hump day with special zest at Wave Hill, when we celebrate Sunset Wednesdays each week with music, yoga, guided garden walks and fabulous, light suppers in The Café.

FRI, JULY 19    YOGA TOGETHER
Child and parent or caregiver practice fun yoga poses that build strength, increase flexibility and relax body and mind in this one-hour class taught by Catherine McGibney, an instructor at Yoga for Bliss. Recommended for ages 3–5. 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. Member $15/Non-member $23. Session fee includes one adult and one child, $5 each additional child. Registration opens onsite at 9:30AM.
MEET AT PERKINS VISITOR CENTER, 10AM

SAT, JULY 20    FAMILY ART PROJECT—WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE
Water, Water Everywhere/Agua, agua en todas partes
Sketch the river landscape and Wave Hill’s Aquatic Garden, and discover that water really is everywhere. Use water with paint, crayons and collage to create liquid landscapes to take home. Free, and admission to the grounds is free until noon.
WAVE HILL HOUSE, 10AM‒1PM

SAT, JULY 20   TAI CHI CHUAN
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.
MEET AT PERKINS VISITOR CENTER, 10‒11AM

SAT, JULY 20    SUMMER HIVE INSPECTION
Don hat, veil and gloves—bring your own or borrow ours—and join urban beekeeper Sara Katz and Horticultural Interpreter Charles Day for a hands-on look at the Wave Hill hives. Learn proper techniques to safely work with a hive filled with 50,000 honeybees. Beginning and experienced beekeepers welcome. $20 Member/$30 Non-Member. Registration required, online at www.wavehill.org, by calling 718.549.3200 x305 or at the Perkins Visitor Center.
MEET AT PERKINS VISITOR CENTER, 11AM−12:30PM

SAT, JULY 20    WAVE HILL HISTORY WALK
Discover the fascinating history of the gardens, buildings and the people who once called Wave Hill their home, with historian and Wave Hill Garden Guide Deirdre LaPorte. Free, and admission to the grounds is free until noon.
MEET AT PERKINS VISITOR CENTER, 11AM

SAT, JULY 20   GALLERY TOUR
Bronx Calling: The Second AIM Biennial features cutting-edge work by 73 New York-area emerging artists who participated in The Bronx Museum of the Arts’ Artist in the Marketplace (AIM) program in the last two years. Organized by Gabriel de Guzman, Wave Hill Curator of Visual Arts; Elizabeth M. Grady, guest curator; and Lia Zaaloff, Bronx Museum Curator, the exhibition is presented concurrently at The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Wave Hill and 1285 Avenue of the Americas Art Gallery. Also on view in this tour, led by Wave Hill’s Curatorial Fellow, is an installation in the Sunroom Project Space, where Adam Frezza and Terri Chiao transform the space into an artificial greenhouse. Free with admission to the grounds.
GLYNDOR GALLERY, 2PM

SUN, JULY 21    FAMILY ART PROJECT—WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE
Water, Water Everywhere/Agua, agua en todas partes
Sketch the river landscape and Wave Hill’s Aquatic Garden, and discover that water really is everywhere. Use water with paint, crayons and collage to create liquid landscapes to take home. Free with admission to the grounds.
WAVE HILL HOUSE, 10AM‒1PM

SUN, JULY 21   HATHA YOGA
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.
MEET AT PERKINS VISITOR CENTER, 10‒11:15AM

SUN, JULY 21    MEDITATION
This summer, take a moment to release stress and reconnect with your inner self while practicing meditation. Each session includes instruction in simple relaxation techniques followed by 20 minutes of meditation. Led by Yoga for Bliss director Neem Dewji and instructor and long-time meditator Lea Tenneriello. 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.
MEET IN WAVE HILL HOUSE, 11:30AM‒12:45PM

SUN, JULY 21    DRAGONFLY WALK
Did you know that dragonflies begin their lives underwater? Join naturalist Paul Keim on this family-friendly nature walk to observe interesting aspects of dragonfly behavior and view their aerial antics in the garden. Ages six and older welcome with an adult. Free with admission to the grounds.
MEET AT PERKINS VISITOR CENTER, 12:30PM

SUN, JULY 21    STUDIO SUNDAYS: GEOMETRIC PATTERNS IN NATURE
Engage in a creative dialogue with your surroundings guided by professional artists working in various media. Try something new―all skill levels welcome! In this session, capture abstract and geometric patterns found in nature using your digital camera. Artist Fariba Alam guides participants in creating images that can stand on their own or become the starting point for intricate symmetrical collages and patterns. $20 Member/$30 Non-member each session. Space is limited. Registration required, online at www.wavehill.org, by calling 718.549.3200 x305 or at the Perkins Visitor Center. Drop-ins accommodated as space permits.
WAVE HILL HOUSE, 1–4PM

SUN, JULY 21    MEET THE ARTISTS; ADAM FREZZA AND TERRI CHIAO
Adam Frezza and Terri Chiao’s collaborative, interdisciplinary practice explores the role of play in everyday life. Their work is often inspired by common daily rituals, such as eating breakfast, watering house plants or celebrating holidays. In the process, quotidian materials become important elements of inspiration. For their project in the Sun Porch, Frezza and Chiao explore the tension between nature and artifice embedded in the concept of a “controlled wild,” transforming the space into a competitive natural environment created largely through artificial means. Responding to the Sun Porch’s alternating role of winter conservatory and summer art space, Frezza and Chiao have built a small pyramidal greenhouse in the center of the Sun Porch, populated by a lush assortment of handmade, paper plants dispersed among living plants curated from local nurseries. Viewers are invited to enter the greenhouse sculpture and inspect the plants up-close while immersed in a fantastical landscape of fiction and reality.
GLYNDOR GALLERY, 1:30PM

SUN, JULY 21    GARDEN HIGHLIGHTS WALK
Join us for an hour-long tour of seasonal garden highlights. Free with admission to the grounds.
MEET AT PERKINS VISITOR CENTER, 2PM

MON, JULY 22
Closed to the public.

TUE, JULY 23    STORIES IN THE GARDEN
Join us for a delightful reading adventure as we explore a different, nature-related theme each week with beautifully illustrated storybooks, beloved classics and exciting new selections. Sessions are held outdoors only and are weather dependent.  Ideal for ages 3 and up and their adult companion. Free, and admission to the grounds is free all day.
ON THE GROUNDS, 11AM

TUE, JULY 23   GALLERY TOUR
Bronx Calling: The Second AIM Biennial features cutting-edge work by 73 New York-area emerging artists who participated in The Bronx Museum of the Arts’ Artist in the Marketplace (AIM) program in the last two years. Organized by Gabriel de Guzman, Wave Hill Curator of Visual Arts; Elizabeth M. Grady, guest curator; and Lia Zaaloff, Bronx Museum Curator, the exhibition is presented concurrently at The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Wave Hill and 1285 Avenue of the Americas Art Gallery. Also on view in this tour, led by Wave Hill’s Curatorial Fellow, is an installation in the Sunroom Project Space, where Adam Frezza and Terri Chiao transform the space into an artificial greenhouse. Free, and admission to the grounds is free all day.
GLYNDOR GALLERY, 2PM

WED, JULY 24    SUNSET WEDNESDAY
Experience summer at its best—an expansive landscape of rolling lawns and gorgeous formal gardens, fresh river breezes, plein-air performances of Bronx Beat Music, yoga, guided walks and cutting-edge art in Glyndor Gallery. Order dinner from exclusive caterer Great Performances, and you have the makings
of a superb summer evening. Gardens open until 8:30PM. The Café at Wave Hill open until 8PM. Glyndor Gallery, Perkins Visitor Center, The Shop at Wave Hill open until 7:30PM. Check www.wavehill.org/visit for the schedule for Sunset Wednesdays free shuttle service to and from Metro-North and the #1 subway.
ON THE GROUNDS, TILL 8:30PM

WED, JULY 24   SUNSET HATHA YOGA
Find refuge from city life by practicing seasonal yoga. Decrease stress and increase your energy by focusing on your posture, breath control and meditation. This sunset session is led by Yoga for Bliss instructor Joanne Salomone. 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.
MEET AT PERKINS VISITOR CENTER, 6–7:15PM

WED, JULY 24    SUNSET GARDEN WALK
Join a Wave Hill Garden Guide for a mini tour of one of Wave Hill’s magnificent gardens. Tours vary by week―come back on another evening for a glimpse of a different garden area! Free with admission to the grounds.
MEET AT PERKINS VISITOR CENTER, 6:30PM

WED, JULY 24    SUNSET MUSIC: CLASSICAL GUITARIST ANDREW GEDDIS
A high point of each Sunset Wednesday includes live music performed by Bronx musicians on the grassy expanse of the Great Lawn, overlooking the majestic Palisades. Tonight’s performer, classical guitarist and poet Andrew Geddis, performs some of his favorite Spanish-influenced music written for the classical guitar. Free with admission to the grounds.
ON THE GROUNDS, 7–8PM

WED, JULY 24    BAT WALK
Yes, there are bats in New York City! Hunt for these mysterious creatures of the night with naturalist Paul Keim, the “Batman of Brooklyn”. Participants use eyes and ears— and an echo locator—to search for bats as they skim the dusky sky looking for insects. Ages 10 and older welcome with an adult. Space is limited. $10 Member/$18 Non- Member. Registration required, online at www.wavehill.org, by calling 718.549.3200 x305 or at the Perkins Visitor Center.
MEET AT PERKINS VISITOR CENTER, 7:30−9PM

FRI, JULY 26    YOGA TOGETHER
Child and parent or caregiver practice fun yoga poses that build strength, increase flexibility and relax body and mind in this one-hour class taught by Catherine McGibney, an instructor at Yoga for Bliss. Recommended for ages 3–5. 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. Member $15/Non-member $23. Session fee includes one adult and one child, $5 each additional child. Registration opens onsite at 9:30AM.
MEET AT PERKINS VISITOR CENTER, 10AM

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 all day Tuesdays in July. 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 http://mta.info/mnr/html/getaways/outbound_wavehill.htm

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 www.wavehill.org/visit/.

Information at 718.549.3200. On the web at www.wavehill.org.
 
 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Bronx Arts Ensemble 4th of July Concert in VCP


  It was a hot day but cool afternoon at the Rockwood Drive Circle in Van Cortlandt Park as over 150 people came to hear the Bronx Arts Ensemble's "Holiday Salute to George M. Cohan". Chairs were set up, but people were encouraged to bring their own chairs for comfort so they be put in the coolest place under the shadiest tree. This free concert was one of a series of free concerts performed by different artists, such as today's Jazz and Dixieland favorites with vocalist Cathy Gale sponsored by the local elected officials.
  On hand was Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz a sponsor of the free concert series in VCP who briefly addressed the crowd gathered before the concert began. City Council candidate Andrew Cohen and Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner were also on hand before the concert and also addressed the audience as you can see in the photos below. The next free Sunday concert in VCP is scheduled for July 14th is "Afro-Tango", by Bandoneon player Raul Jaurena, vocalist Marga Mitchell, and Dancers. On Friday evening July 12th in Pelham Bay Park starting at 6 PM is "All You Need Is Love" by the BAE's Electronic Mosholu Crash Music of the 1960's including Beatles hits. You can go to bronxartsensemble.org or call 718-601-7399 for more information on the Bronx Arts Ensemble free summer concert series. 

 













Left - Ms. Cathy Gale sings the first number played.
Right - Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz speaks to the crowd before the concert began.

 













Left - City Council candidate Andrew Cohen listens to a voter as Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz also listens.
Right - Another candidate at the concert Anthony Weiner (running for mayor) stops to say hello to Assemblyman Dinowitz and council candidate Andrew Cohen. Dinowitz and the Ben Franklin Democratic Club endorsed Weiner for mayor in 2005. As of yet there has been no endorsement this year by Dinowitz or the club in the mayors race.














Left - Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner poses with a family that came to listen to the concert.
Right - Weiner listens to a concern of a concert goer.
And of course there were volunteers from the two candidates campaigns gathering signatures. Here Mr. Allen Fraizer signs a petition for Anthony Weiner as his wife Martha smiles.



Wednesday, July 3, 2013

JCOPE Publishes NY State Elected Officialls 2012 Financial Disclosure Statements


  The Joint Commission on Public Ethics has released the 2012 financial disclosure statements that are required to be filled by all New York State elected officials. Here is the link to the JCOPE page which lets you see the 2012 financial disclosure statements of the  four state wide office holders (Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, and State Comptroller), all members of the State Assembly, and all members of the State Senate. When you go to the JCOPE page you will see the options for either of the four statewide offices, the assembly, and senate. If you choose one of the latter choices an alphabetical listing of each assembly or senate member will appear on your screen. Just click on the elected official(s) financial disclosure statement you wish to view.

  The disclosure statement can be from 14 to 20 pages, with the first page starting with the persons name, title, state agency, office address & phone number, marital status, and spouses name. The other pages (with a coded letter for each amount explained in a table at the end) ask for anything from amount of monies received from other employment & where from, amount of investments & how much, holdings & approximate value, any liabilities & how much, and any other personal gains or employment of the elected official and or spouse. The report includes stating any party positions, what they are, and if any compensation is given. The information is very informative as you can find out just what your elected state official has declared. 

  The financial disclosure statements are from the year ending 2012, and had to be sent during the month of May as you will see the date stamped on page one. Here is the link to the JCOPE page  again.




Items from Comptroller Lohn Liu


LIU ON DEEPENING REPORTS OF E911 PROBLEMS

City Comptroller John C. Liu stated the following about the Daily News article reporting that City officials were aware of problems linked to the new Emergency 911 call system prior to Ariel Russo’s death:
 
“As the Daily News report again demonstrates, the Bloomberg Administration has repeatedly and knowingly put New Yorkers at risk with their botched handling of the emergency call system. Each new revelation makes it even more impossible to believe the Administration’s excuses—and we need a full, honest reckoning immediately. Until that happens, all we can do is pray that lives will not be unnecessarily lost because of this problem-plagued system.”
 
Background
Statement: Liu on E911 Response Times
 
Press release: Liu to Mayor: Where’s the E911 Contract?
http://www.comptroller.nyc.gov/press/2013_releases/pr13-06-091.shtm

Press release: Liu Announces Audit of E911 System
http://www.comptroller.nyc.gov/press/2013_releases/pr13-06-084.shtm
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 City Comptroller John C. Liu stated the following on the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk data: 
 
“The Daily News analysis of stop-and-frisk data, contradicting Mayor Bloomberg’s claim that whites are stopped too frequently, is the latest sign that his unjust policy is unraveling. More to the point, it is absurd and outrageous that he thinks blacks and Hispanics should be stopped more based on racial profiling of suspects overall. We look forward to Judge Scheindlin’s ruling in the stop-and-frisk suit, and to the day when this civil-rights violation ends once and for all.”
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City Comptroller John C. Liu stated the following in response to former Schools Chancellor Joel Klein’s speech today on charter schools:
 
“Joel Klein’s contention that those who oppose the co-location of charter schools in district schools ‘lack … courage’ and ‘ignore’ charter school families is disingenuous in the extreme. We oppose co-location because it disrupts school communities and makes district-school students feel like second-class citizens when they see in the charter school new equipment and technology that their own classrooms lack. No New York City child should be disrespected in this manner, and shame on Mr. Klein for establishing the policy that made it so.”
Background:

Liu Statement on School Closures and Co-Locations:
http://comptroller.nyc.gov/press/2013_releases/pr13-01-015.shtm
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 City Comptroller John C. Liu stated the following about the new fees for Central Park tours:

“It’s especially galling to hear that the Central Park Conservancy is charging $15 for tours that were once free, because this wealthy, privately funded group enjoys plum arrangements with the City that other parks groups don’t get. Our public parks need better funding, but more importantly they need equitable funding.”
Background:

Two weeks ago, the Comptroller's office rejected a $90 million, 10-year contract the Conservancy is seeking and asked Mayor Bloomberg to restructure the agreement so that it helps level the playing field for parks across the five boroughs:
 

Visit www.comptroller.nyc.gov for the latest news, events, and initiatives.
Follow Comptroller Liu on 
Twitter. To receive Twitter updates via text message,
text “follow johncliu” to 40404.
 View the latest Comptroller’s office videos on 
YouTube.





 
 
 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Weiner Would Eliminate the Parent Coordinator at Schools


   In a story by Celeste Katz After Job Cut Vow of Parent Coordinator, Union PAC Vows to Take Him Out by splashing Weiner sexting photos. Local 372 of DC 37 of which union parent coordinators belong has begun flashing photos of a topless Weiner, and even has a new website http://stopweiner.com/ with every single article and photo the union could put up on the website. Also are comments from union leaders, a Staten Island Community Education Council 31 member, a couple of NYCPU (New York City Parent Union) members of how great parent coordinators are, and others.
   As a very involved parent leader not only district wide in School District 10, I also represented the district and all the public school children as member of the Chancellor's Parent Advisory Council in 2002. That was when there was real parent involvement, and no need for any parent coordinators. CPAC as a whole wound up questioning then Chancellor Joel Klein on many issues such as changing the promotion criteria of the third grade in the middle of the school year. We later found out that was because the children who would do poorly next year on the fourth grade standardized tests were indiscriminately held back so those fourth grade test scores would be higher the next year. 
  When CPAC was asked their opinion of what a parent coordinator position should entail we told the chancellor that the parent coordinator should be able to help students and their parents get any needed help. That meant tutoring, free lunch, better communication with the teacher or supervisor, a bus ride if needed, any counseling that a child or even their parent may need, wellness assistance, and basically anything that a social worker would do. In fact the stand taken of CPAC was if parent coordinators had to hired we wanted them to be social workers giving Chancellor Klein a list of items the PC should be able to handle. What happened was that then Deputy Mayor Ed Skylar went on television (NY1) to announce that the position of parent coordinator was created because principals were to busy to see parents. When CPAC asked for a kob description of the parent coordinator position we were told that is going to be up to the principal. To this date there is no job description of just what the position of parent coordinator does. It was found out that a few principals had hired relatives to be their parent coordinator, while others took their current parent leaders and hired them. The latter lead to a decrease of parent involvement because these new parent coordinators continued to attend meeting as they had as parents, but the new parent leader did not go leaving it up to the new parent coordinator to filter down any information.
  Don't get me wrong there are many good parent coordinator's who have adjusted to the position, but many others still do not know just what is expected of them. Also CPAC fought hard to keep the word District in Community District Education Council which I see has been lost now by those in the position and the unions. Also the NYCPU was started in 2011 less than two years ago, and did not fight the battles that CPAC fought for parents. It is now a much different playing field for parents who for the past ten years have been told by the Bloomberg administration "Get involved, but stay in your own school".
   DC 37 has endorsed current City Comptroller John Liu for Mayor in the Democratic primary.


  

Monday, July 1, 2013

1199SEIU Endorses Victor Pichardo for 86 A.D.


  1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East today announced their endorsement of Victor Pichardo for the 86th Assembly District in the Bronx.
Mr. Pichardo is part of a new group of community leaders working for a better future in the Bronx. Kevin Finnegan, Political Director of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, said “During the many years Victor has been working as a public servant, he has put the interest of working people first. He has a strong vision for the future of the Bronx, including good jobs, affordable housing, quality education and health care for all.”
“I am honored and proud to receive the support of 1199SEIU, which has one of the most effective, member-driven political programs in the country. With over 220,000 members in New York City, 1199SEIU’s membership represents the hardworking men and women of the 86th assembly district,” said Victor Pichardo. He added “I look forward to working with 1199SEIU members, who are very politically active and engaged, to help improve the lives of the diverse communities that live in the district and the Bronx.”
Born in New York City, Victor spent his childhood living in the Fordham Road section of the Bronx and the Inwood section of Upper Manhattan. After graduating from the University at Buffalo in 2007 with a degree in Communications and double minors in English and Sociology, Victor pursued an internship with Senator Charles Schumer in New York City. After completing his internship, Victor became Senator Schumer’s Staff Assistant and was eventually promoted to Community Outreach Coordinator/Latino Liaison.
After serving 4 years in Senator Schumer’s office, Victor expanded his career and became an Associate Director of Public Relations at Mercy College. Although it was a wonderful experience, Victor missed the life of public service and decided to return to his true calling. In 2012, Victor became the Director of Community Affairs for State Senator Gustavo Rivera in the Bronx.

This comes after the State's Largest Grocery Workers Union 

   The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 1500, New York State's largest grocery workers union,  announced its endorsement of Victor Pichardo in the special election being held to fill the vacant 86th Assembly seat from the Bronx.
"Albany needs young, dedicated individuals committed to open and transparent governing if it is going to ask for public's trust. Victor Pichardo is just that type of individual Albany and most importantly the constituents of the 86th Assembly District, are seeking to bring integrity and honesty to this Assembly seat," said Patrick Purcell, Assistant to the President of UFCW Local 1500.


Friends of VCP's July 2013 Enewsletter


Happy Summer!

We just wrapped up a busy spring and have lots of exciting projects and events taking place in the Park this summer. 

This spring we started working on the expan7.22.13-a 3sion of our Garden & Compost Site.  With the support of New York Restoration Project our new raised bed was built and then planted by volunteers from Outdoor Rise.  This summer, everyone is welcome to volunteer with us to woodchip the site, build a compost bin and tend to our vegetables. 

We are happy to announce that the
IMG_1160Friends will be running two internships for youth this summer.  The first is our Youth Run Farm Stand Internship thanks to the support of the Partnership for a Healthier NYC and NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets FreshConnect program.   Our second one is a Summer Teen Trail Crew Internship thanks to the support of Lush Charity Pot.

We have lots of other exciting events and programs scheduled for the next few months.  See below for all of our summer events.


See you in the Park!
Christina


Garden Crew
Tuesdays, July 9th -August 27th from 10am-1pm
The Friends are celebrating a brand new extension to our garden during the 2013 season! More space means more to be done. Help care for our vegetable beds (where all of our produce will be donated to local food pantries and sold at our Youth Run Farm Stand), weed, and make compost. Bring water and sunscreen.
Held at Friends of Van Cortlandt Park Compost & Garden Site.  Enter the Park at Broadway & Mosholu Ave.

Youth Run Farm Stands
Wednesdays from 4-7pm from July 10th- August 28th
3965 Sedgwick Avenue Bronx, NY 10463

Thursdays from 1-7pm from July 11th- November 21st
111 E. 210th Street at Montefiore Hospital.  This site is being held in partnership with GrowNYC.

EcoCrafts

Thursdays, July 11th – August 29th from 11am-1pm
Recycle used and natural materials into new creations at Classic Playground.  Projects include wearable crafts, repurposed items, and creative ways to look at nature.
Enter the Park at Van Cortlandt Park South and Gouvernuer Ave.

Volunteer Trails Restoration Crew
Second Saturdays of the Month from July to December 2013 from 10am to 3pm
Want to develop useful skills, while making a significant contribution to the future of Van Cortlandt Park and the Bronx Community?  Crew Members will work alongside trails professionals, developing skills in various areas of trail construction while improving the various trails in Van Cortlandt Park.  Projects include building boardwalks, clearing waterbars and drainage swells and installing drainage dips.  No prior trails experience is necessary.  All crew members must register online by July 10th.

Picnic Supper & Concert in Van Cortlandt Park with the New York Philharmonic
Tuesday July 16th from 6pm to 10:30pm
The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park are very excited to be partnering with the The Van Cortlandt Committee of The National Society of  Colonial Dames in the State of New York to celebrate and honor Dr. Roscoe C. Brown, Jr. and George A. Nelson on the evening of the New York Philharmonic in Van Cortlandt Park.   Our guests will enjoy: Picnic Supper under a tent on the lawn of Van Cortlandt House Museum, Reserved V.I.P. seating on chairs for the New York Philharmonic Concert on the Parade Ground and Round-trip transportation from Manhattan or Free Parking in Manhattan College Parking Garage.  Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.  Please RSVP by Tuesday July 9th.

City of Water Day in Van Cortlandt Park
Saturday July 20th, 2013 from 10am-1pm
Join the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park as we participate in the Metropolitian Waterfront Alliance’s city-wide event celebrating the waterfront.  At Van Cortlandt Lake, we will have hands-on activities: using dipnets to collect aquatic invertebrate, craft projects and a hike around the lake.  Outdoor fun for all ages! 
Enter the park at Van Cortlandt Park South and Bailey Avenue and meet us near the Van Cortlandt Golf House. 

LIU ON RISE IN STUDENT LOAN RATES




   Comptroller John C. Liu stated the following today on the rise in federally-subsidized student loan rates and the impact on New York City:
http://1centrestreet.com/site/uploads/2013/06/past-due-student-loans.jpg
“Our City needs Congress to get back together right away and craft a fix that will cancel the doubling of federally subsidized student-loan rates. The rise in rates on new loans will hurt many struggling young New Yorkers. Our analysis, based on federal data, shows that about 912,000 New York City residents owe an average of $29,800 in student loans. Assuming a third of new student loans are federally subsidized, a permanent rise in interest rates could cost City borrowers roughly $40 million in the first year.
“With higher rates, that amount will rise rapidly – further constricting disposable incomes in a City that is a magnet for the country’s college graduates.”
 
Notes:
 
Data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York show that, even at the lower interest rate, many New Yorkers are struggling to keep up with their student loan payments:
 

For additional economic analysis, visit our new blog 1 Centre Street: http://1centrestreet.com/
 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

DeBlasio Returns to Parkchester


  On  Sunday April 21st current Public Advocate  and candidate for mayor in the upcoming Democratic primary Bill DeBlasio came to Parkchester to receive an endorsement for mayor. That was the first endorsement of a mayoral candidate by a Bronx elected official, and it was made by 87th A.D. Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda. Since then Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. endorsed Bill Thompson as did the Bronx Democratic County organization. State Senator Gustavo Rivera endorsed Christine Quinn, State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. endorsed Erick Salgado, and the powerful Ben Franklin Democratic Club of the Northwest Bronx led by Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz has not endorsed any candidate for mayor as of yet.
   When he came to Parkchester to receive Assemblyman Sepulveda's endorsement DeBlasio said that this would not be the only time the voters of Parkchester would see him. DeBlasio returned this past Saturday to Parkchester, and his first stop was the Roselyn Johnson Democratic Club of the 87th A.D located on Castle Hill Avenue. He went inside to discuss the walking tour from Castle Hill Avenue to the heart of Parkchester, telling State Committeeman and Community Board #9 member William Rivera that he wanted to meet as many people that he could.
   The walking tour started across Castle Hill Avenue onto Starling Avenue. On Starling Avenue DeBlasio stopped for every person to introduce himself and ask a question of the concerns of the person he was talking to. Before he left Deblasio kindly asked for the persons vote in the upcoming Democratic primary. He went into several stores to talk to the owners and patrons again asking questions and listening to the answers. The walking tour then went onto Unionport Road to the heart of Parkchester. Again as he was doing Deblasio wanted to speak to as many people as he could. He would stop to hear the concerns of newly registered voters, parents, senior citizens, and anybody who had anything to say to him. Some of what was said can not be printed as it was not aimed at DeBlasio, but the current mayor. 
   Parkchester has a lot of union people living in its vast development. While DeBlasio was happy to hear 1199 union people tell him they were voting for him because their union had supported DeBlasio, that was not always the case when it came to other union members. He ran into several members of the United Federation of Teachers who said their union had endorsed another candidate and that was who they were voting for. The same happened when he ran into some members of the union DC 37 who had endorsed a different opponent of DeBlasio.
   The walking tour finally reached its destination in front of Macy's where there was a table set up and dozens of volunteers collecting signatures of registered Democrats to put DeBlasio on the ballot to run for mayor. Below are a few photos of candidate DeBlasio and his return to Parkchester.

 













Left - Mayor candidate Bill DeBlasio stands in front of the Roselyn Jackson Democratic Club on Castle Hill Avenue in the 87th A.D.
Right - DeBlasio goes over the walking tour with State Committeeman and CB 9 member William Rivera.

 













Left - DeBlasio poses with some newly registered voters on Starling Avenue.
Right - Inside Parkchester DeBlasio listens to a fathers concerns, and tells of his education plan.















Left - DeBlasio listens to the concerns of Margret Walsh former head of Parkchester South.
Right - DeBlasio poses with many of the volunteers who were gathering signatures for him outside Macy's. Julian Sepulveda (on DeBlasio's left) stands in for his father Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda who was out of town.


Council Candidate Andrew Cohen Speaks With Merchant Leader


   City Council candidate Andrew Cohen running to replace term limited Councilman Oliver Koppell was spotted on Riverdale Avenue talking with the head of the South Riverdale Merchants Association. Cohen who is on Community Board # 8 as the boards Aging Chair listened as Mario owner of Salvatore's of Soho and Yo Burger told candidate Cohen the problems that merchants not only on Riverdale Avenue, but in general that all merchants have with the city. The lack of help to small businesses when they try to open, the problem of over enforcement at times by the city, and when problems with the city occur such as the soon to be done water main replacement in the area the lack of concern by city agencies to the small businesses.

   Riverdale Avenue was dug up several years ago by Con Edison for placement of the M29 high voltage power line to Manhattan, and the small businesses are only now recovering from the disruption that Con Edison caused. Several stores went out of business, but with understanding landlords many of the empty stores reopened and are doing well. A new luxury building with very expensive prices has gone up across from Salvatore's and Yo Burger with another planned right next door. Other new luxury buildings have gone up in the area giving fears that this neighborhood shopping area may face the same problems as Johnson Avenue.

















Left - I caught City Council candidate Andrew Cohen on Riverdale Avenue listening to the concerns of the head of the Riverdale Avenue Merchants Association who owns Yo Burger and Salvatore's of Soho where the two were talking.
Right - Candidate Cohen and Mario pose for the photo. You can see the new building in the foreground behind Cohen.


New Store opens on Johnson Avenue as Another is About to Close.


   Menchies opened up on the corner of Johnson Avenue & West 236th Street in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. Pictured above are owners Jane Potter and Gabriel Feldman who think they can make the store a fixture on Johnson Avenue. Feldman said that his mother still lives in the community where he use to at one time. Menchies offers 14 different flavors of frozen yogurt, 32 different dry toppings, and 12 different fruit toppings which can and will change at different time. Menchies opens up officially on July 7th. 

  Johnson Avenue was once home to a very busy and bustling shopping area, and like many other neighborhood shopping areas has fallen on hard times with many empty stores. The major landlord in the area demands top dollar and offers only short term leases as many former stores remain empty. There is talk that the recently opened restaurant Oregono's on Johnson Avenue may soon be closing. Several merchants have moved to nearby Riverdale Avenue where the rents were cheaper and the landlords more accommodating.