Saturday, September 7, 2013

Cohen to Win 11th Council District Easy

Here is this weeks Riverdale Report from the Bronx News.

Riverdale Report
By Robert Press

Cohen to Win 11th Council District Easy

   As I wrote back in July, I still think that 11th City council candidate Andrew Cohen will be victorious, and by a huge margin over his opponent Cliff Stanton. My prediction then was and still is that Andrew Cohen will get 83 percent of the vote recorded for the 11th City Council race with a margin of error of 5 percent. Mr. Stanton never set the district on fire in the year advantage he had since announcing his candidacy in January of 2012. There was disappointment after disappointment during the campaign when certain people who had expressed interest in running decided not to and they then endorsed Andrew Cohen. Mr. Stanton has campaigned hard in the Norwood, Bedford Park, Kingsbridge, Kingsbridge Heights, and Van Cortlandt Village areas, but knocking off the ballot a Hispanic man and a Black woman might not have been the best strategy if one wants to win in minority areas of the district. I have been told by some people who might have voted for him that it is that and some of those who Mr. Stanton has aligned himself with that had turned them away from voting for him. I know that I will be voting for Andrew Cohen when I go to vote in the 11th City Council district.
   So don't forget to go out and vote on Primary Day Tuesday September 10th. For Republicans there is only a race for Mayor, while for Democrats it is for Mayor, City Comptroller, Public Advocate, Bronx Borough President and City Council if you live in the 8th, 11th, 12th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th districts in the Bronx. Since the Primary Day results will not be in until after our publishing deadline I will have the results in two weeks for you. You can check my blog the day after election day for the results. Four years ago I called the 11th City Council race with in one percentage point.
   Last Tuesday State Senator Jeff Klein hosted a concert in Seton Park by the wonderful Dionne Warwick. It was estimated that over 1,000 people came out to see Ms. Warwick sing her great songs in person. One could hear the sing along from many in the audience as the 72 year old Ms. Warwick kept singing hit after hit. The little longer than one hour non stop performance seemed to go by as minutes some people said to me after the concert. To see more of the concert with photos of Ms. Warwick, and the politicians who were there you can go to my blog at
   Also on my blog is the latest listing of events that are going on at Wave Hill. The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park have a busy schedule coming up in the fall, and you can see it on my blog. Just check the archive section on the lower left and check the previous month August for the listings.
Bronx Community Board #8 is gearing up to get back into business after a short summer vacation, so you may want to go to the CB8 website to check out the meetings, dates, places, and topics of discussion as they are scheduled by the board and its committees.
   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 .

Friday, September 6, 2013


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City Parks Foundation - Free Bronx Fitness Classes

Free Yoga and Fitness Walking Instruction in the Bronx
September 23rd - November 1st, 2013
City Parks Foundation welcomes all New Yorkers, 60 and over, to participate in CityParks Seniors Fitness. The Fall 2013 season of free fitness programs will begin the week of September 23rd and will offer free yoga instruction and fitness walking in 3 parks throughout the Bronx.
season, CityParks Seniors Fitness returns for six weeks to Pelham Bay Park, Soundview, and Van Cortlandt/Woodlawn Park. All activities will take place twice a week for one hour at each park through November 1, 2013. Participants are encouraged to maintain regular attendance to maximize health benefits. All equipment and instruction is provided free of charge.
CityParksSeniors Fitness has served over 5,000 participants since it began in 2006 and aims to keep neighborhood parks a great place for community activity.  The program encourages New Yorkers to maximize the health benefits of staying active at every age. Even in moderate amounts, exercise can help participants feel better, maintain or lose weight, reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, and minimize the symptoms of arthritis.
The following is a detailed schedule for CityParks Seniors Fitness in the Bronx for Fall 2013:
NOTE: Schedule subject to change. For the most up-to-date schedule visit:
For more information about City Parks Foundation’s free Seniors Fitness programs, please call the Sports Department at (718) 760–6999.
BRONX Pelham Bay Park Yoga – Tuesdays/Thursdays at 9 AMMiddletown Rd. and Stadium Ave.
Soundview Park
Walking – Mondays/Wednesdays at 9 AM – Lafayette Ave. between Boynton Ave. and Colgate Ave.
Yoga – Mondays/Wednesdays at 10 AM – Lafayette Ave. between Boynton Ave. and Colgate Ave.
Van Cortlandt Park/Woodlawn Walking – Tuesdays/Thursdays at 9 AMWoodlawn Tennis Courts at Jerome Ave. and E. 233rd St. Yoga – Mondays/Wednesdays at 9 AMWoodlawn Tennis Courts at Jerome Ave. and E. 233rd St

About City Parks Foundation City Parks Foundation is the only independent, nonprofit organization to offer park programs throughout the five boroughs of New York City. We work in over 750 parks citywide, presenting a broad range of free arts, sports, and education programs, and empowering citizens to support their parks on a local level. Our programs and community building initiatives reach more than 600,000 people each year, contributing to the revitalization of neighborhoods throughout New York City.
Follow City Parks Foundation via the below links
Twitter: @CPFNYC 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Senator Klein and Assemblyman Crespo Team Up to Rid Bronx of Violent Nightclubs

  Lawmakers Urge Governor to Sign Legislation into Law That Can Help Shut Down NYC Nightclubs with Violent Track Records

   Standing in front of the infamous nightclub, Club Eleven, in the Hunts Point area of the Bronx, Senator Klein and Assemblyman Crespo announced legislation passed by both houses in the state legislature that would close the information gap between the New York Police Department and State Liquor Authority when it comes to crimes committed at bars, nightclubs and restaurants with liquor licenses.
In the wake of a prolonged effort by the Hunts Point community to revoke the liquor licenses of crime-plagued nightclubs like Club Eleven, Senator Klein and Assemblyman Crespo successfully sponsored legislation to help shut down licensed institutions with track records of criminal activity. Under their legislation, communities would be able to recommend what types of information the NYPD provide the SLA regarding criminal activity at licensed establishments.
This legislation would also establish a systematic process for the NYPD to transfer usable information on criminal activities to the SLA. This would allow the SLA to be systematically informed of all crimes and complaints that could threaten a community’s quality of life or put residents in danger. These crimes could include, assault, prostitution, drug trafficking, unreasonable noise, littering, obstructing a pedestrian, public urination or underage drinking. With this additional information, the SLA would have a more complete profile of the frequency and types of criminal activity occurring at and around venues with liquor licenses.
Alongside community leaders from across the Bronx, Senator Klein and Assemblyman Crespo called on Governor Cuomo to sign this legislation into law.

Senate Majority Coalition Leader Jeff Klein said, “Establishments like Club Eleven are cesspools of violence and crime that have no place in our strong, working class communities. That’s why Assemblyman Crespo and community leaders from across the Bronx urge Governor Cuomo to immediately sign this bill into law. This law would encourage better communication between the SLA and the NYPD regarding criminal activity, allowing the SLA to better understand how certain licensed venues are putting the community’s quality of life in jeopardy. By making sure we are all on the same page, I believe we can get in front of the violence and keep our communities safe and our neighborhoods strong.”

"We have the fabric of communities all across our state being torn apart and the safety of New Yorkers threatened by establishments that abuse their privilege to hold a State liquor license. This legislation will help the State Liquor Authority (SLA) access police data on crimes committed at and around licensed businesses. It will also allow for additional community input so that the SLA will be able to make a better determination on granting or renewing liquor licenses,” said Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, member of the Assembly Standing Committee on Cities. “These changes to the law are part of the ongoing work of Senator Klein and myself to improve public safety and make our neighborhoods a safer place to live and raise our families. I urge Governor Cuomo to sign this legislation into law."

Community Board 2 Chair Dr. Ian Amritt said, "Our community board has done everything possible to protect our neighborhood from the violence and destruction that center around nightclubs like Club Eleven. While we are concerned about violent crimes that happen at venues like Club Eleven, our community is also deeply affected by other issues like noise, reckless driving and littering. This legislation would allow us to give law enforcement and the SLA a fuller picture of how certain local bars and lounges are truly compromising our quality of life. I thank Senator Klein and Assemblyman Crespo for their leadership on this issue and urge Governor Cuomo to sign this legislation into law.”

Croton FMC Meeting Agenda Thursday Sept. 12th

Croton Facility Monitoring Committee Meeting

Thursday, September 12, 2013 – 7:00 PM
DEP Office – 3660 Jerome Avenue, Bronx NY 10467 - (718) 231-8470

I  Welcome                                      - Bob Fanuzzi, Chair

II Consider, Adopt September CFMC Agenda -  CFMC Representatives

III Public Questions & Comments (15 minutes)

IV Consider, Adopt 6/6/13 Meeting Minutes     -  CFMC Representatives

IV Update on Jogging Path Construction at Jerome Park Reservoir Including  Status of Tree Removal
JPR Bern & JPR Perimeter Tree replacement schedule & locations
Department of Parks & Recreation      Andrew Penzi, Hector Aponte, 
V Findings of NYC Comptroller’s Audit re Croton-Funded Parks Capital Projects - CFMC Representatives

VI Discussion about CFMC Request for Tour of Jerome Park Reservoir - Shane Ojar, DEP

VII Croton Construction Update & Croton Costs Report
    Including Update on Construction in Goulden Avenue & Sedgwick Avenue
    Update on Distribution Chamber at JPR Status of Permits & Demolition of Microstrainer Building - Bernard Daly, DEP

VIII CFMC Discussion &.Confirm Date for December 19, 2013 CFMC Meeting - CFMC Representatives

IX Adjourn


  Calls on Mayor Bloomberg to Abandon Failed ‘Taxi of Tomorrow

  City Comptroller John C. Liu today unveiled “Taxis for All New Yorkers” and called on Mayor Bloomberg to abandon his failed “Taxi of Tomorrow,” which the Comptroller’s office rejected for a second time earlier this week when its contract was resubmitted for registration.

“‘Taxis for All New Yorkers’ offers choices for medallion owners as well as full wheelchair-accessibility, unlike the Mayor’s failed plan, which provides neither,” Comptroller Liu said. “The introduction of a new taxi fleet should be an opportunity to create a better experience for all, and that means listening to taxi owners and drivers – and protecting the civil rights of disabled New Yorkers.”

Liu’s “Taxis for All New Yorkers” allows medallion owners to purchase any taxicab that is fully wheelchair-accessible, provides pre-paid debit cards for Access-A-Ride customers to use with taxi and livery cabs in all five boroughs, and incentivizes drivers and owners to use accessible vehicles.

Taxis for All New Yorkers

The plan increases competition by allowing multiple firms, including Nissan, to offer purpose-built wheelchair-accessible taxicabs, or modified accessible taxis with intact factory warranties. Purchase grants, financed by medallion revenues, would be available for five years to encourage early adopters to buy accessible vehicles.

The plan would expand an MTA pilot program that allows Access-A-Ride users to use pre-paid debit cards for regularly scheduled pick-ups, saving the City an average of $45 per ride over traditional dispatch systems. Given Access-A-Ride’s huge costs – nearly $700 million by 2017 – potential savings are substantial.

During the transition, the plan would provide incentive fees for all drivers and owners who use accessible vehicles – as opposed to the current method in which only taxis participating in the City’s dispatch systems for disabled passengers are eligible for incentives and are severely penalized for delays. This would streamline and standardize the incentives.

The plan also calls for the creation of a committee to determine if additional incentives are needed for the transition to a fully accessible fleet.

The Mayor’s “Taxi of Tomorrow” plan, by contrast, limits competition and choices. It mandates that medallion owners purchase the Nissan NV200. Taxi owners have filed suit, saying the plan forces them to buy a vehicle they don’t want. Already, a court has ruled that the administration must also provide a hybrid option.

Further, advocates for the disabled charge the new taxi fleet should be wheelchair-accessible. With the Nissan NV200, medallion owners interested in a wheelchair-accessible version would have to pay an extra $15,000 for extensive retrofitting – a steep disincentive. By contrast, “Taxis for All New Yorkers” would offer a grant of $15,000 per vehicle for up to five years, which will incentivize early adoption of vehicles and promote accessibility.


In May 2012, Comptroller Liu called on Mayor Bloomberg to modify the proposed “Taxi of Tomorrow” to make all new taxis wheelchair-accessible:

In December 2012, Liu rejected the “Taxi of Tomorrow” contract on the grounds that it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and would expose the City to costly lawsuits:

In April 2013, Liu testified before the City Council in favor of Intro 433-A, a bill that would mandate that the entire City taxi fleet be wheelchair-accessible:


  This morning Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., WellCare of New York and Bronx senior citizens kicked off Bronx Senior Month, celebrating the contributions of seniors from across the Bronx.

The itinerary of activities for senior citizens during the month of September will include a Grandparents Resource Fair and will finalize with an award ceremony honoring seniors who are making a difference in their community.

“Our senior citizens are the heart of our community and I am proud to partner with WellCare Health Plans, Inc. to honor them during the month of September.  Bronx Senior Month is a wonderful opportunity to provide entertainment to our seniors as well as information on their benefits and health needs. Here in the Bronx we have a rich history  thanks to our elders who continue to make invaluable contributions to our community.   Although September is especially dedicated to  our seniors we  should  always remember to help and support  them for a job well done throughout the year,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Immediately after the press conference, seniors were treated to a free screening at the Concourse Plaza Theater  of “The Butler,” a historical film starring Academy Award winning actor Forest Whitaker.

Bronx Senior Month Activities

  • September 19, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Grandparents Resource Fair, light refreshments provided by Golden Crust
Sotomayor Community Center, 1000 Rosedale Ave, Bronx, N.Y.

  • September 26 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Awards Ceremony and continental Breakfast
WellCare Bronx Retail Sales Office, 1043 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, N.Y.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Latest Quinnipiac Poll has DeBlasio at 43%

   It may sound like Bill DeBlasio has won the Democratic Primary without a run off election by getting 43 percent of the Democratic vote in the latest Quinnipiac poll, but lets look at the numbers.
   From August 28 - September 1, Quinnipiac University surveyed 750 likely Democratic primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percentage points and 101 likely Republican primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 9.8 percentage points.
   With seven days until the primary, 24 percent of likely Democratic primary voters say there is a good chance they will change their mind, but 61 percent of Thompson voters, 59 percent of De Blasio backers and 56 percent of Quinn supporters say they definitely will vote for their candidate.  
   That means by having about 300 people say they would vote for Bill DeBlasio in the Democratic Primary It looks like this race is over. However when the above statement is factored in along with the margin of error of the poll that number drops down to about 175 enthusiastic, but not definite votes for Bill DeBlasio.
   When you look into the numbers of the Quinnipiac College poll this is still a horse race, or should I say a race for Mayor or the Run Off election. This is like calling the Presidential race when that tiny town in New Hampshire comes in first with about a dozen votes.
  Here is a statement from the Joe Lhota Campaign about the poll
September 3, 2013
“Today’s Quinnipiac poll showing Joe winning by a 2-1 
margin is further proof that voters are looking for a serious 
candidate with ideas about how to move the city forward, 
while outright rejecting the negative personal and untruthful
attacks being waged by Mr. Catsimatidis.
We are heading into the final week of the campaign showing
strong momentum, having garnered the endorsements of
every newspaper that has weighed in on the Republican
primary. We  look forward to a decisive victory on  
September 10th and beginning a vigorous debate in the
general election.”
 --Jessica Proud, Lhota campaign spokeswoman

  Editors Note:  Only 101 Likely Republicans were polled
with Mr. Lhota receiving 48 %. That means only 26 probable
Republican votes have determined this poll.

Join Letitica James & Fernando Cabrera at The Kingsbridge Armory/NWBx Dems

  Having already endorsed candidates in the 11th and 15th City Council districts that they have been on the payroll of the NWBx/Dems today endorsed two other candidates. Public Advocate Letitia James was scheduled to appear, but was in Brooklyn so one of her campaign workers came. Incumbent 14th City Councilman Fernando Cabrera, in a tight primary race this year accepted the endorsement of the NWBx/Dems this time around. While he appeared in photos with two other City Council District candidates endorsed by the NWBx/Dems 14th City Councilman Fernando Cabrera said in no way was he endorsing the other candidates in the photos with him. Councilman Cabrera said that he is working to help elect Candidate Joel R. Rivera in the 15th City Council District. An aide to Councilman Cabrera said that Councilman Fernando Cabrera was endorsing Andrew Cohen in the 11th City Council District. Both 15th council district candidate Joel R. Rivera and 11th council district candidate Andrew Cohen have not been endorsed by the NWBx/Dems. The endorsement took place in front of the Kingsbridge Armory on Kingsbridge Road in the 14th Council District.

Left - The two candidates endorsed by the NWBx/Dems are in the middle of the photo. Cliff Stanton 11th council district, and Cynthia Thompkins 15th council district.
Right - When he arrived  14th City Councilman Fernando Cabrera stood at the left end of the photo as not to be next to candidates he has not endorsed.

NWBx/Dems Anthony Rivieccio is talking to Councilman Fernando Cabrera, and his two candidates in the 11th & 15th council districts he has been in the employ of.  Mr. John Zaccaro Jr. President of the Bronx Young Democrats of the Bronx Democratic County Committee  keeps a close eye on what is going on.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

John Liu Endorsed by Committee of 100 Democrats

  A week after his successful Free Community Barbecue Committee of 100 Democrats Chairman Ricky Martinez announced the endorsement of current City Comptroller John Liu for Mayor. Chairman Martinez had only kind words for Mayoral candidate John Liu. In the photo above you can see Chairman Martinez hiolding up Mayoral candidate John Liu's arm in a show of the victory to come. 


Left - Mayoral candidate John Liu arrives and receives a warm welcome from the crowd assembled.
Right - Mayoral candidate John Liu with Committee of 100 Democrats Chairman Ricky Martinez and other members of the committee after the endorsement of John Liu for Mayor.