Saturday, November 9, 2013

Speaker Silver's Fate in Their Hands?

  The Democratic county Leaders of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx sat down at a restaurant in Puerto Rico, where they are attending the annual Somos conference, to discuss the issue of the next City Council speaker, not Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver each said in a Daily News political blog story here. While Speaker Silver has been under fire lately for several different items including the Vito Lopez deal the three county leaders all said they back Silver all the way, that is as long as Shelly wants to continue to be speaker.

  The News quotes the three Democratic County leaders. Brooklyn Democratic Chairman Frank Seddio as saying, "there's never been a discussion. It's not being considered in any way, shape or form. Silver is doing a "fabulous job with the Assembly."
  Bronx County Democratic Chairman Carl Heastie as saying, "Shelly is our speaker and as far as I'm concerned, I want Shelly to be speaker as long as he wants to continue, I've had no discussions with any of the county chairs (about Silver's future)."

   Manhattan County Democratic Chairman Keith Wright as saying, “That’s emphatically untrue, We are having dinner that’s it.” 

  The News ends with Silver spokesman Michael Whyland saying the speaker has not intention of stepping down and plans to seek re-election next year. However also in the story it is reported that one lawmaker said there has been talk about Silver being replaced by Assemblyman Joseph Lentol of Brooklyn with Heastie, considered a future speaker himself, taking over the powerful Ways and Means Committee.

  About the rumor of replacing Silver with Lentol as Speaker of the Assembly and him getting the chair of the Ways & Means Committee the News has Heastie saying, "I've heard nothing about this, I believe that Shelly has the confidence of the entire conference. People want to speculate that there's been discussions. None of that stuff is true."


Friday, November 8, 2013

Senator Klein, City Island Civic Association Announce Filing of Lawsuit Against Proposed New City Island Bridge

  Standing at the foot of the historic, 112-year old City Island bridge, Senator Klein, community leaders, and local business owners announced the filing of a civil lawsuit against the Department of Transportation as part of their effort to halt construction on the bridge's controversial new replacement. The new bridge's proposed design includes a 150 foot tower and an aesthetic that many residents believes threatens the unique and historic character that drives thousands of tourists to City Island each year. Despite serious concerns raised by community members, Island residents and business owners were never formally invited to be part of the process.

When the Department of Transportation announced work on a temporary bridge in late September, the City Island Civic Association met with Senator Klein to explore possible legal options. After meeting with the City Island Civic Association, Senator Klein, working with volunteer staff members from the offices of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Assemblyman Mike Benedetto and Council Member Jimmy Vacca, developed a legal strategy to ensure that voices of City Islanders are heard and that the proposed design is subject to a more comprehensive review prior to construction. 

Senator Jeff Klein said, "Putting a cable-stayed bridge over Eastchester Bay is like telling the Starship Enterprise it can land at LaGuardia – it just doesn’t fit. We should not have to sacrifice the majesty of City Island in exchange for a 21st century bridge. As I have said all along, the community should have been consulted throughout this process. With the Department of Transportation moving ahead with a design that does not address some of the community's biggest concerns, I think it's important we file this lawsuit to make sure that the City Island community's voices are heard.

"After reviewing possible courses of action against the proposed design for the new bridge, I have worked with the Civic Association on developing a legal strategy. Working with the Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Assemblyman Mike Benedetto and Council Member Jimmy Vacca, I plan to do everything possible to ensure that the City Island community's voices are heard."   

City Island Civic Association Officer, Barbara Dolensek said, “For over 10 years the Civic Association has tried to get the Department of Transportation to honor our concerns about the new bridge, but they continue to force a bridge on us that City Island residents and business owners don't want. Finally, with the help of Senator Klein and other local elected officials, we have found a way to make sure our voices are heard!”  

In the lawsuit, the City Island Civic Association and Barbara Dolensek, challenge the action of the New York City Department of Transportation in moving forward with the replacement of the City Island Bridge and the construction of such replacement bridge by the contractor, Tutor Perini Corporation, without a completed Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (“ULURP) review. The ULURP review is required under Section 197-c of the New York City Charter. The purpose of the ULURP review is to measure the impact of proposed land uses and to take into account community input.

On September 30, 2013, the New York City Department of Transportation issued a Notice to Proceed with construction to Tutor Perini Corporation, without a completed ULURP review. As a result, NYC DOT is in violation of procedures set forth by ULURP.

The City Island Civic Association and Barbara Dolensek are seeking a Court order compelling a completed ULURP review prior to any funds being allocated or expended for or beginning construction in connection with the replacement of the City Island Bridge and a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to maintain the status quo during the pendency of this action. As the press conference concluded, Senator Klein was notified that the temporary restraining order had been issued.

“The people of City Island have the right to voice their concerns or support for the construction of a new City Island Bridge, and this lawsuit will ensure that this proposed bridge is subject to complete review. I strongly believe that the DOT should begin the ULURP process immediately, so that City Island residents have their chance to speak out on this proposal before a single shovel hits the ground. City Island residents have expressed real concerns with the design and cost of this bridge and it is imperative that the ULURP be completed with transparency and collaboration with the residents and businesses of City Island before the City moves forward with its new design.  I look forward to an amicable resolution to this entire matter,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

City Island Chamber of Commerce President Skip Giacco said, "From the Chamber's point of view, City Island is successful as a destination because it offers an alternative to the high-rise, high-density parts of the city. If built, the bridge, in its current design, will mark the beginning of a change on City Island that many residents and business owners don't support. At the very least, I believe that taking legal action will help ensure that our community's input is taken seriously."

Wave Hill Events November 22–November 29

As part of our ongoing celebration of former illustrious residents of newly renovated, historic Wave Hill House, we’ve got a special treat in store. This Saturday Nov. 23 we reintroduce armor to Armor Hall, the magnificent space built by Bashford Dean, a scholar, scientist and first curator of the Metropolitan Museum’s collection of arms and armor. Armor Hall was completed in 1927. Learn about chivalry, and how armor is made, watch fencing demonstrations, make brass rubbings and immerse yourself altogether in the knightly world. Singing kilted juggler John Grimaldi adds to the medieval entertainment.

Come back on Sunday Nov. 24 for a sneak peak at the return of Wave Hill’s beloved annual concert series, which has been on a two-year hiatus while Wave Hill House was being renovated. The concerts take place in Armor Hall, and this Sunday, we reintroduce the piano to the space with a performance by composer and musician Daniel Kelly. There’s more on the attached!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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, a member of the William CC Chen Tai Chi School, introduces students to the internal martial arts and promotes an awareness of its 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: $23/Wave Hill Member $15. Registration opens onsite at 9:30AM.

Celebrate corn and harvest time! Listen to tales told by Native American Danielle Soames, and hear the story of the first cornhusk doll. Then tie, weave and shape our dried husks into a single, cornhusk doll or corny doll family. Free, and admission to the grounds is free until noon. Two sessions meet.

Join us for this drop-in program for families: Try on chainmail, watch a fencing match and learn about
Bashford Dean and his collection, once displayed in Armor Hall. Recommended for ages eight and older. Free with admission to the grounds.

Join a curatorial fellow for a tour of Wave Hill’s fall exhibition, Tandem Pursuits: Armor & Ichthyology, which celebrates the interests of former Wave Hill House resident Bashford Dean. Dean was Curator of Arms and Armor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Curator of Fish at the American Museum of Natural History. The intersection of his interest in both fish and armor provides the opportunity to bring together a remarkable group of contemporary art that explores concepts of adaptation, pattern, and protection. The tour also includes Alan Ruiz’s Sunroom Project Space installation, an architectural intervention that complicates the distinction between interior and exterior spaces. Tours take place Tuesdays and Saturdays at 2PM. Free with admission to the grounds.

Celebrate corn and harvest time! Listen to tales told by Native American Danielle Soames, and hear the story of the first cornhusk doll. Then tie, weave and shape our dried husks into a single, cornhusk doll or corny doll family. Free with admission to the grounds. Two sessions meet.

Find refuge from city life by practicing seasonal yoga. Decrease stress and increase your energy by focusing on your posture, your breath and your mind/body/spirit. Classes are led by Neem Dewji, certified in Hatha and Therapeutic Yoga from The Yoga for Health Foundation, England, and The Integral Yoga Institute, 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: $23/Wave Hill Member $15. Registration opens onsite at 9:30AM.

This fall, take a moment to release stress and reconnect with your inner self while practicing meditation. Each session includes instruction in simple techniques followed by 20 to 30 minutes of meditation. Led by Yoga for Bliss director Neem Dewji and other qualified instructors. All levels welcome. Session fee: $23/Wave Hill Member $15. Registration opens onsite at 9:30AM.

As part of pianist and composer Daniel Kelly’s “residency” at Wave Hill, he performs an informal concert to “welcome back the piano.” During his Wave Hill residency, he focuses on where, when and how people find nature and open space in the Bronx. Over the summer, Daniel engaged people of all ages from different parts of the Bronx, speaking about how they experience nature. Using the ‘rakonto’ narrative model, Kelly is collecting stories to weave into a new concert-length suite. On April 27, his NYC-based ensemble will perform the completed work as part of Wave Hill’s concert series. Free with admission to the grounds.

Join us for an hour-long tour of seasonal garden highlights. Free, and admission to the grounds is free all weekend thanks to the generous support of Target.

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.

Join a curatorial fellow for a tour of Wave Hill’s fall exhibition, Tandem Pursuits: Armor & Ichthyology, which celebrates the interests of former Wave Hill House resident Bashford Dean. Dean was Curator of Arms and Armor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Curator of Fish at the American Museum of Natural History. The intersection of his interest in both fish and armor provides the opportunity to bring together a remarkable group of contemporary art that explores concepts of adaptation, pattern, and protection. The tour also includes Alan Ruiz’s Sunroom Project Space installation, an architectural intervention that complicates the distinction between interior and exterior spaces. Tours take place Tuesdays and Saturdays at 2PM. Free with admission to the grounds.

Closed to the public.

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

HOURS  Open all year, Tuesday through Sunday and many major holidays: 9AM—4:30PM. Closes 5:30PM, March 15—October 31.  
ADMISSION  $8 adults, $4 students and seniors 65+, $2 children 6—18. Free Saturday mornings until noon. Free all day on Tuesdays in November. Free to Wave Hill Members and children under 6.

PROGRAM FEES  Programs 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

NCBH Opens State-of-the-Art Psychiatric Emergency Room

Expanded $2.4 Million Facility Will Serve Even More Bronx Residents
  After three years of planning and months of construction, healthcare professionals, elected officials and community leaders joined together on November 6, at State-of-the-Art Psychiatric Emergency Room (NCBH) for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to launch the hospital’s renovated and greatly expanded Psychiatric Emergency Room. The ceremony celebrated the $2.4 million investment made by the New York Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) to provide quality mental health resources for Bronx residents.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that nearly five percent of all New York State residents suffer from a serious mental illness. Each year, over 500,000 receive care statewide. The most serious cases are life-threatening conditions requiring emergency psychiatric intervention typically provided by a psychiatric emergency room like the one at NCBH.  Last year alone, NCBH’s original Psychiatric Emergency Room evaluated nearly 3,400 patients.  The original facility will continue to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing treatment to all those in need including children, adult and geriatric patients.  

The new emergency room nearly triples the clinical space used for psychiatric services, from 1430 square feet to 3600 square feet. Clinical providers estimate this could lead to a 10 percent + increase in patient volume, as additional examination and intake rooms allow patients to be promptly seen by psychiatrists, nurses, psychologists, social workers and other medical professionals.  Once patients are assessed and stabilized, they are either admitted for inpatient services or provided with outpatient resources. 

“Our new Psychiatric Emergency Room provides the excellent care NCBH is known for, now in a brand-new, state-of-the-art setting,” said Executive Director Bill Walsh. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to provide these needed services to all Bronx residents.”

Added Chief Operating Officer Sheldon P. McLeod, “The new Psychiatric Emergency Room is a substantial commitment to the Bronx communities we serve, including the Norwood neighborhood where we are located. This construction and renovation provides strong confirmation that we will be providing needed mental health care in the Northwest Bronx for years to come.”

About NCBH

North Central Bronx Hospital (NCBH) is part of HHC’s North Bronx Healthcare Network.  A 215-bed community hospital, NCBH specializes in behavioral, geriatric primary care and ambulatory care services for women and children. Its renowned outpatient department has led the way in community-based care delivered in a compassionate and culturally-appropriate manner. As member facilities of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, Jacobi and NCBH are committed to providing safe, high- quality medical care for any and all in need.

About HHC

The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) is a $6.7 billion integrated healthcare delivery system with its own 420,000 member health plan, MetroPlus, and is the largest municipal healthcare organization in the country. HHC serves 1.4 million New Yorkers every year and more than 475,000 are uninsured. HHC provides medical, mental health and substance abuse services through its 11 acute care hospitals, four skilled nursing facilities, six large diagnostic and treatment centers and more than 70 community based clinics. HHC Health and Home Care also provides in-home services for New Yorkers. HHC was the 2008 recipient of the National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission's John M. Eisenberg Award for Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality. For more information, visit or find us on or

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Bronx Chamber of Commerce Veteran's Luncheon "Salute to the Heros"

  Five of the famous Tuskegee Airmen - Airmen Floyd Carter, Wilfred DeFour, Dabney Montgomery, Joseph Spooner, and Pilot Audley Coulthurst were on hand along with veterans from other U.S. wars for this celebration of their service to the United States of America by the Bronx Chamber of Commerce. BCC President Lenny Caro opened the luncheon by thanking each and everyone of the attendees who had served in the armed forces. Caro pointed to a memorial wall that was set up with the names of former armed forces members who "gave their life so we could be here", Mr. Caro said. After the national anthem was sung by PEPE (from Alive & Kickin) who was accompanied by a trio of bagpipers a short video tribute was played. Father Richard Gorman then gave the invocation. 
  Keynote speaker Senator Jeff Klein said that it should not be only on one day that members of the armed forces are remembered. He went on to say that unemployment is the highest among returning veterans. Klein added that starting in January 2014 any business in NY state will get a $5,000.00 tax break for every new veteran they hire. Klein had his staff members present proclamations to the five Tuskegee airmen present at the luncheon. Other speakers were Thomas Messina from Congressman Crowley's office (who also had citations for the airmen), Terrance Holliday the Commissioner of Veteran's Affair for Mayor Bloomberg, Hugh Meehan of sponsor AT&T, and Captain Matthew E. Loughlin of the NROTC unit SUNY Maritime College.


Left & Right - Two of Senator Klein's aids give citations from Sen. Klein to the airmen.


Left - One Airman checks over the citation from Sen. Klein.
Right - Father Richard Gorman chats with the Tuskegee Airmen after the luncheon.

Left - Geri Sciortinoof the BCC chats with the Airmen.
Right - Sen. Klein and the airmen as the show Sen. Klein's citation. Sorry, but the lighting was bad on this shot.


Left - PEPE from Alive & Kickin sings the National Anthem.
Right - Bag Pipers from the FDNY accompany him during the National Anthem.

Left - The memorial wall to fallen members of the armed forces.
Right - Mr. Caro with two of the Tuskegee Airmen and other veteran's.

Left - Mr. Caro, Senator Klein, Captain Loughlin and others in front of the memorial wall.
Right - Members of the NAM KNIGHTS a five borough chapter of Vietnam Veterans.


  In a unanimous vote, the City Planning Commission today approved the Kingsbridge Armory ULURP application, moving the much-heralded Kingsbridge National Ice Center (KNIC) project one step closer to completion. The project now heads to the Bronx Borough Board and then to the City Council, where it will seek its final approvals before it reaches the mayor’s desk.

“This is an extremely important, transformative project that will not only reshape this historic structure, but will provide living wage jobs, recreation opportunities and community programming. This project will not just help revitalize the surrounding neighborhood, but will add to the borough’s new reputation as a sports mecca while advancing the concept of the ‘New Bronx.’ I look forward to its approval at the City Council,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Borough President Diaz added, “The KNIC Proposal will preserve a significant and irreplaceable architectural and engineering icon and landmark, which will now be saved for posterity. Developed for military use, the Armory will now become a cultural and recreational asset for our great borough and city in the near future.”

“Today’s vote will facilitate the construction of a world class skating, community and educational facility that will promote the Borough, produce many needed permanent jobs, teach the art of skating, promote the art of competitive ice hockey and be the catalyst for the rebirth of the Kingsbridge Heights section of the Bronx, the entire borough of the Bronx, the City as a whole and the entire region,” said Orlando Marin, Bronx Representative to the City Planning Commission.

“I am very pleased that the City Planning Commission has approved the Kingsbridge Armory proposal.  The project is enormously important for the Bronx and will transform the Kingsbridge Heights neighborhood. I will be a vigorous advocate for prompt Council approval,” said City Council Member G. Oliver Koppell.

“I am incredibly pleased that the City Planning Commission has unanimously approved the Kingsbridge National Ice Center project. This decision brings us one step closer to transforming the Kingsbridge Armory into an important economic engine for the Kingsbridge community and the Bronx as a whole,” said Senator Gustavo Rivera. "I am proud that we have been able to move forward a deal that will revitalize a Bronx landmark while providing living wage jobs, community programs and economic development to the community I serve,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera.

“This unanimous vote by the City Planning Commission on the proposal of the Kingsbridge National Ice Center (KNIC) is great news for the Bronx and New York City.  I want to commend Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. for his leadership on this important initiative. The KNIC proposal will give the children of our borough and our city an amazing recreational outlet, bring numerous jobs for the people of the Bronx and revenue to the surrounding merchants in the area, and is deserving of such strong support,” said City Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito.

“Community Board #7 is very happy that the NYC City Planning Commission has approved the Kingsbridge National Ice Center proposal and we look forward to the opening of this wonderful facility which will empower our community and its residents,” said Adaline Walker Santiago, Chairperson, Bronx Community Board #7.

"This is great news for Kingsbridge Heights and all of the Bronx. I have strongly supported the proposal by KNIC because it promises to not only bring living wage jobs to the community, but also provide world class facilities that will benefit young people from throughout the Bronx and beyond. I also believe that this project will revitalize the Kingsbridge Road shopping district and the entire community. Kudos to Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. for his steadfast leadership, without which this project would not have been possible,” said Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz.

“It’s exciting to know that the Bronx is one step closer to becoming home to the world’s largest indoor ice skating rink,” said Marlene Cintron, President of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation. “I believe that the Kingsbridge National Ice Center will attract numerous visitors from all over the world, which is always great business for the Bronx.”

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Thank You From Joe Lhota


When I began my campaign for Mayor in February, I said we would focus on issues, substance, and what’s best for the future of New York – and we did.

Thank you to the hundreds of volunteers who spent countless hours making phone calls, knocking on doors, and handing out literature.  And thank you to everyone who made a financial contribution to our campaign.

I will remain a strong advocate for all New Yorkers and I will continue to speak out to ensure New York continues the progress it has made over the past 20 years.  I love this city.  I cherish its diversity and optimism.  New York is five boroughs, but we will always be One City.  Thank you again.

With warm regards,


Bronx Election Results - No Surprises Here

   There were no surprises on Election Day 2013 as the three citywide Democrats coasted to easy victories. In the Bronx the story was the same, that the real election day was the Democratic Primary. 

   Citywide The Mayors race went as follows - 
Bill deBlasio 73.3% - Joe Lhota 24.3% - Adolfo Carrion 0.8% - All other candidates (12) 2.4%

   In the Bronx the Mayors race went as follows - 
Bill deBlasio 86.1% - Joe Lhota 11.1% - Adolfo Carrion 1.9% - All other candidates (12) less than 1%

  A Breakdown of the 5 boroughs for Mayor -
Bronx -                  Bill deBlasio 86.1% -  Joe Lhota 11.1%
Brooklyn -           Bill deBlasio 77.7% - Joe Lhota 20.1%
Manhattan -        Bill deBlasio 72% -     Joe Lhota 25.4%
Queens -               Bill deBlasio 70.6% - Joe Lhota 27.3%
Staten Island  - Joe Lhota 53.2% - Bill deBlasio 44.2%

  Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. - 89%

The Bronx City Council Races all were won by the Democratic candidate.
CD - 8 - Melissa Mark-Viverito (I) -      94%
CD 11 - Andrew Cohen -                             80%
CD 12 - Andy King (I) -                               96%
CD 13 - James Vacca (I) -                          83%
CD 14 - Fernando Cabrera (I) -               96%
CD 15 - Ritchie Torres -                              91%
CD 16 - Vanessa Gibson -                           91%
CD 17 - Maria del Carmen Arroyo (I) - 93%
CD 18 - Annabel Palma (I) -                      89%

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Questions About Voting & Poll Workers

  In my travels today I have witnessed some questionable things that I saw when I went to vote, and reports from other people who I spoke to when they went to vote.

  First as I waited behind a few people at the desk where i vote I noticed that the tags of the three pole workers sitting at the desk had an "R" by the name. I watched as one of these "R"s gave instructions to the three people in front of me and then to me. She said that one does not have to go straight down the line to vote (moving her hand over the first column on the ballot), and reminded all of us that there were other candidates on the ballot. After the other people left and I was given these same instructions, and I said that the poll worker could not say that asking if there was a Democrat at the table. One worker said that she was, but that the tags were screwed up.

  Second at no time were any of us instructed to turn the ballot over to vote on the 6 ballot proposals. It was as if the NYC Board of Elections did not want anybody to know the 6 ballot questions were on the back of the ballot. Upon going to the scanning machine I informed the person by the machine that I wanted to place my ballot in the machine, rather than have the poll workers who seemed to be looking at the finished ballots as they placed the ballot in the scanner.

  Before leaving I had a long talk with the poll coordinator who agreed with me, but did nothing.

  As my day went on I met several other people who told me much of the same story that I had at my poll site. Almost everyone told me that they were not instructed to turn the ballot over for the 6 propositions. 20% said that they also were told not to go straight down the column, while more than half said that it looked like the poll worker was checking their ballot before placing it into the scanning machine.

  Upstate New York will benefit the most if Ballot Proposal #1 is passed, as the Governor and state legislature have already penciled in the revenue the casino gambling will bring in into the upcoming state budget. Is it any wonder that the less New York City votes on Ballot Proposal #1 the better it is for the pro casino people.

  To put it another way.
Strike one was the wording of Ballot Proposal #1.
Strike two was the millions of dollars spent to have voters vote yes on Ballot Proposal #1.
Strike three is the way the NYC Board of Election placed the Ballot Proposals, on the back of the ballot.
It looks like we are out, because those millions spent in advertising can be won back by the casinos in a few short months. Don't believe me - just go to the Aqueduct Racino website to see that ELEVEN BILLION DOLLARS was bet ther in the first year.

What Borough was Freddie Ferrer President of?

  This comes from the State of Politics blog and was posted under the heading of Gaming, titled  Ferrer Robocalls: A "Win-Win for our Community" . The first sentence reads however - Former Manhattan Borough President Freddy Ferrer is popping up a pro-casino robocall that’s going to Latino homes across the state. 

  The article quotes Ferrer saying “I’m calling today to urge you to join me in flipping over the ballot and voting yes on proposal one on November 5th,” says Ferrer, the 2005 Democratic nominee for New York City mayor. “It’s a win-win for our community. New Yorkers spend over $1.2 billion each year at casinos and hotels in neighboring states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Let’s bring that money back here to our city and state. Proposal one will create thousands of good paying jobs for our community and generate hundreds of millions of dollars in new funding for our schools.” 

  It is also stated that the robocall was paid for by New York Jobs, the pro-casino coalition composed of gambling companies and labor unions that is backing the amendment. 

   You may want to go back and read the bold print again that has Ferrer as the former Borough President of Manhattan and not as Borough President of the Bronx. Maybe that was why he lost the election in 2005, no one knew where Freddy Ferrer came from. Or could it be that former Bronx BP Ferrer is looking for that  job that Robert De Niro had in the movie Casino. 

Monday, November 4, 2013


By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District, 

Look Who’s Talking About Treason?

You should know that I am reading Fred Dicker’s column in today’s 11/4/13, New York Post about how New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is getting leaders of the Democratic Party together for fight against the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) Leader Jeff Klein and his fellow IDC Members: Senator Diane Savino, Senator David Valesky and Senator David Carlucci – calling them “traitors to the Democratic Party.”

As you know, IDC Leader Senator Jeff Klein formed an alliance with the Senate Republican Party Leader, Senator Dean Skelos, where they both serve as Co-Chairs to the State Senate. They share the authority to bring and stop legislation from coming to the Floor of the Senate. They both run the Senate.

According to Fred Dicker, Governor Andrew Cuomo has pressured Members of the IDC to support him on certain issues, and since they refuse, Dicker quotes a Cuomo administration source: “He said members of Klein’s IDC would be “prime targets’’ of the governor’s attacks. “The governor thinks the IDC members are most vulnerable in Democratic primaries as traitors to the Democratic Party,’’ the source continued.”

You should know this is laughable. It is pure hypocrisy – and the biggest farce any leader could bring to the Democratic Party.  If we really want to talk about treason and the Democratic Party, let’s talk about Governor Andrew Cuomo himself.

You should know that Governor Andrew Cuomo did everything possible from stopping the Democrats from taking control of the State Senate. We all know that it was Governor Andrew Cuomo who stopped Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins from becoming the Leader of the New York State Senate by working behind doors to create the IDC.

Today we have a coalition of Democrats in the State Senate – something called the Independent Democratic Conference – and we can all thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for it. It was formed behind the scenes with his full support. Governor Andrew Cuomo did not want the Democrats to be in control of the State Senate, so he pushed for the formation of this coalition hoping to manipulate it – and of course, he blessed it.

And while we’re on the subject who is the traitor to the Democratic Party, you should know that it was Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Budget that cut services to senior citizens, closed community service organizations, cut services to Medicare, and hurt the poor and needy New Yorkers. He even refused to include the Dream Act in his Budget.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s opposition to helping and supporting the most vulnerable New Yorkers goes completely against the heart of the Democratic Party. He may want to take a look in the mirror if he really wants to see who is committing treason against basic Democratic issues.

You should also know that during the last election, Governor Andrew Cuomo, the standard bearer of New York State Democratic Party, publicly supported Republicans running for State Senate. He backed GOP Senators Roy McDonald and Stephen Saland. He even backed GOP Mark Grisanti over Democrat Mike Amodeo.

You should know that while Senator Jeff Klein has just announced that he will be the major advocate of Bill de Blasio's plan to use tax hikes on the wealthy to fund universal prekindergarten – Governor Andrew Cuomo remains opposed to taxing the rich.

My dear reader, when anyone tells me that Governor Andrew Cuomo is attacking Senator Jeff Klein and the IDC and calling them traitors, I have to say: Please, GIVE ME A BREAK!

Senator Jeff Klein looks like a hero compared to Governor Andrew Cuomo. Even though I oppose Senator Klein’s efforts to promote the Reproductive Health Act, I have to applaud him because at least he was able to grab and hold on to some of the power and protect some legislation that helps the poor and the needy – and he does not ignore the needs of minority New Yorkers.

So ladies and gentlemen, when we talk about treason and who is the real traitor, all eyes, all fingers, all arrow and all darts have to be pointed at our beloved Governor Andrew Cuomo.

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


Senator Diaz and Assemblyman Sepulveda Introduce Legislation to Protect Shoppers

  Senator Ruben Diaz and Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda will Introduce Legislation to Protect Macy's Shoppers

New York State Senator Rev Ruben Diaz and Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda will introduce legislation to “amend the general obligations law, in relation to requiring mercantile establishments to cease collections upon a court order finding of not guilty of larceny in mercantile establishments.” This legislation is in response to the growing number of news stories about people who have shopped at Macy’s and other stores and have been erroneously charged with shoplifting.

Senator Rev Diaz stated: “This legislation is intended to protect consumers – especially Black and Hispanic men and women who shop at Macy’s or elsewhere – and who are not guilty of any criminal activity and do not deserve to be fined by the stores for crimes they did not commit.”

Assemblyman Sepulveda stated: “Our city is known for its rich diversity of persons of varying socio-economic backgrounds. Everyone has the right to purchase goods without fearing that they will be suspected of shoplifting. New York State Senator Ruben Diaz and I are proposing legislation that would require merchants to cease attempts to collect fines against a customer falsely accused of shoplifting. It is shameful that innocent people are blacklisted. We, as legislators, will continue to fight against these inherently unfair and unjust practices.”