Saturday, January 18, 2014

NHL Stadium Series at Yankee Stadium

  The 161st Street BID has a unique celebration planned in tandem with the upcoming NHL Hockey series at Yankee Stadium.The BID has commissioned Shinarto Okomoto to carve a statue of Yankee pitching great Mariano Rivera. Okomoto is an international renowned ice sculpter who's work has been featured in the media and on the Grammy Award broadcast.

  The sculpture will honor the pitcher celebrating the renaming of River Avenue in his name and enhance the beauty of the district said Dr. Cary Goodman Executive Director of the 161st Street bid. The date is Sunday January 26th starting at 10 AM.


By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
District 32 Bronx County, New York

You should know, that on Monday January 20, 2014, we celebrate the life and legacy of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. I extend warm greetings to my African-American brothers and sisters and to all people of good will who follow Dr. King's example.
You should also know, on April 4, 1968, Dr. King was taken from us, much too quickly and much too violently. Yet, the manner in which he left us is not what I wish to dwell on as we commemorate his life. Rather, I believe it is important to reflect on the lessons he left us, the lessons of his life and the lessons of his legacy.
Dr. Martin King’s life was a life lived in service to others. His life was a life lived calling for an end to the injustice caused by racial inequality, the injustice caused by poverty, and the injustice caused by war. Despite his best efforts and unending dedication, he did not witness an end to these injustices in his lifetime.
Reverend Doctor King’s legacy to us is this:  that in our time and in our day, right here and now, we are called to end the injustice of racial inequality, the injustice of poverty, and the injustice of all war. We are the heirs of Dr. King’s legacy. We must not falter in our efforts.
 I want you to know of a sermon Dr. King delivered, just two short months before his untimely passing, at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia on February 4, 1968:
“And so Jesus gave us a new norm of greatness. If you want to be important—wonderful. If you want to be recognized—wonderful. If you want to be great—wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That's a new definition of greatness. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don't have to know Einstein's theory of relativity to serve. You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love. And you can be that servant.”
As we celebrate the legacy of  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his message of service and a more peaceful world, let us continue to imitate him in our deeds and in our actions. Let us be the servant that Dr. King so eloquently described. I wish God’s blessings on each and every one of you, my brothers and sisters.
I am State Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.


“Bedtime Story Time” at the Morris Park Community Association with State Senator Jeff Klein

  Friday night State Senator Jeff Klein visited the Morris Park Community Association to see many pajama clad children waiting for the senator to read them a few stories. This is a revival of an old storytelling idea that the MPCA had in the past, and will have on the last Friday of each month. In the photos below Senator Klein gave a short overview of what is going on in the political world in Albany, and what his goals are for this legislative session. He read to the children, and presented the MPCA a check to help cover the costs of the holiday lights this past holiday season. 


Left - Senator Klein is speaking about what he will be doing in the new session of the legislature in Albany.
Right - Senator Klein is showing the children a picture from the book that he is reading to them.

Left - A group photo of children, parents, MPCA members, and Senator Klein.
Right - Senator Klein gives a check for $250.00 to help pay for the holiday lights that were put up by the MPCA. Tony Signorile, Chris Alessandro, and Al D'Angelo of MPCA are in the photo with Senator Klein.

Ben Franklin Democratic Club Meeting

  Above Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz answers a question that was posed to him and the other local elected officials that were on hand for the January meeting of the Ben Franklin Democratic Club of the 81st Assembly District. Left to right are Councilman Andrew Cohen, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, State Senator Gustavo Rivera, and Chief of Staff to Congressman Eliot Engel Bill Weitz. State Senator Jeff Klein was unable to attend, and that is Ben Franklin Club President Ellen Feld standing behind Councilman Cohen and Assemblyman Dinowitz.
  This was a new format of the club to have its elected officials all sit up front together rather than in the past calling them up one at a time. The club also announced its slate of officers that were nominated by its nominating committee to be voted on at the end of the month.

DiNapoli: State Tax Receipts Below Projections Three Quarters Through Fiscal Year

  State tax receipts for the first three quarters of the fiscal year were $534 million below the latest Financial Plan projections, according to a quarterly report on state finances released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.
“The state started the fiscal year strong but it is not clear if we will end the year that way, given that some state revenue streams are slowing down,” DiNapoli said. “Business taxes are lagging behind projections and growth in personal income tax withholding is slowing down. Still, sales tax collections continue to be strong and other tax receipts may exceed projections. It is critical that we closely monitor revenue trends in the last quarter of the fiscal year. While the last three budgets have narrowed the state’s structural imbalance, there is still much to do to ensure the state’s fiscal health.”
Major findings in the quarterly report include:
  • All Funds tax collections of $49 billion through Dec. 31 were $2.6 billion higher than last year, but $534 million below midyear projections. Personal Income Tax (PIT), the state’s largest in-state revenue source, totaled $29.8 billion, 7.4 percent higher than last year for the same period, although almost all of this growth occurred in April; and
  • Overall PIT collections through the first three quarters were $225 million lower than the latest projections. However, certain categories within PIT may end the year above planned levels. Consumption and use tax collections totaled $11.5 billion through Dec. 31, an increase of 4.5 percent and $12 million over current projections. Business tax collections through December were down 4.5 percent and $465 million below projections.  
DiNapoli also noted:
  • All Funds spending of $96.2 billion through December was $938 million below current projections. The variance is primarily due to lower than anticipated spending for local assistance programs ($858 million lower than projected). All Funds spending for state operations totaled $14.7 billion through December, which was $141 million lower than planned. General state charges increased $1.2 billion, which was $45 million higher than projections. Total spending was $5 billion, or 5.5 percent, higher than the same period in SFY 2012-13; and
  • All Funds receipts totaled $99.5 billion through the first three quarters, $606 million below updated projections. The majority of the variance was in taxes ($534 million) and federal receipts ($113 million), offset by higher than anticipated miscellaneous receipts ($41 million higher than projected). 

The state's finances are generally broken down by two main categories: General Fund and All Funds. The General Fund is the major operating fund of the state and accounts for all receipts that are not required by law to be deposited into another fund. All Governmental Funds includes General, Special Revenue, Debt Service and Capital Projects funds, as well as funds from the federal government.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Former Indian Point Supervisor Sentenced In White Plains Federal Court For Falsifying Nuclear Facility Records

   Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that DANIEL WILSON was sentenced today in White Plains federal court to 18 months’ probation for engaging in deliberate misconduct while serving as Chemistry Manager at Indian Point Energy Center (“Indian Point”), a nuclear power plant in Westchester County. WILSON was sentenced by United States District Judge Nelson Román, who also imposed a $500 fine.
  The U.S. Attorney stated: “The safe operation of the Indian Point nuclear power facility is of critical importance to our communities in and around it. This Office will be vigilant about prosecuting criminal misconduct that takes place at the facility.”
  According to the felony Information to which WILSON pleaded guilty, the Complaint, and information provided for purposes of sentencing:
  Indian Point maintains a backup system of emergency generators for use in part to provide power in the event of a power outage and shutdown. WILSON, the Chemistry Manager at Indian Point from 2007 through 2012, was responsible for, among other things, ensuring that certain aspects of the operation at Indian Point were in compliance with technical specifications required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“NRC”). One such requirement related to the amount of particulate matter in the diesel fuel used to power emergency generators at Indian Point, which could not exceed a set limit. In 2011, tests of the diesel fuel maintained for use in powering the emergency generators at Indian Point showed that the ratio of particulate matter in the diesel fuel exceeded the limit set by the NRC.
  In February 2012, WILSON concealed material facts from his employer and the NRC by fabricating test data, falsely showing that resampling tests of diesel fuel tested below the applicable NRC limit. In fact, no such resamples were taken, and the purported test data were fabrications. Later in February 2012, WILSON, in response to questioning by other employees of Indian Point in advance of an inspection by the NRC, wrote a report – the kind on which the NRC ordinarily relies in inspecting nuclear facilities for safety – in which he gave a false explanation for the lack of supporting documentation for his fabricated test results. In a subsequent interview with NRC personnel, WILSON admitted that he had fabricated the test results so that Indian Point would not have to shut down.
  In April 2012, Wilson resigned from Indian Point.
  On October 16, 2013, WILSON pleaded guilty to a one-count Information charging him with deliberate misconduct in connection with a matter regulated by the NRC, in violation of Title 42, United States Code, Section 2273.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

7th Annual Sweetheart Luncheon

  Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. & Healthfirst are hosting their 7th Annual Sweetheart Luncheon  on February 13, 2014. If you’re a couple that resides in the Bronx, have been married for 50+ years and would like to participate in the event, please contact Larcenia Walton, Director of Senior Services, at 718-590-6248 for further information.   

Wave Hill Events January 31–February 7

  If you have youngsters in your life, they’ll provide the perfect excuse to hear Sonic Escape—“a force of epic proportion”—perform here on February 2. It’s only the second concert in the 2014 return of concerts to Armor Hall, and this one is especially designed to include younger ears. Prepare to be engaged and charmed!

In their own world, bees are another force of epic proportion. And there’s still a little room left in our workshop for beginning beekeepers. I’d register promptly since space is limited.

Collect a sample of twigs, leaves and seeds or use the ones provided. Then, join visiting artist Donna Maria de Creeft in celebrating the presence of Toscanini at Wave Hill. Create a collage with natural materials and incorporating imaginary music. Assemble your findings and drawings into a mixed-media, pocket-style, accordion book to take home. Free, and admission to the grounds is free until noon. Illustrious Residents event.

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. Winter sessions are held indoors. Session fee: $25/Wave Hill Member $15. Registration opens online and onsite at the Perkins Visitor Center. (Reservations may not be made by telephone.) Online registration closes at 8AM on the day of this session. Cancellations must be made by 3PM the Friday before; after that, refunds will not be made.  Drops-ins will be accommodated as the limited space permits. Participants must present a Member’s ID card or a printed program registration form at the front gate.

How do plants and animals survive our harsh New York winters? Naturalist Gabriel Willow combines a multimedia presentation with an outdoor walk to illustrate the challenges faced by plant and animals during the chilliest months. Witness some amazing adaptive strategies that help them survive, from hibernation to migration to “anti-freeze-laced” blood. Ages 10 and older welcome with an adult. Free, and admission to the grounds is free until noon.

Gain insight into Winter Workspace artist Jan Mun’s creative process and explore the winter landscape as a source of inspiration.  Learn simple paper-making techniques to make a card with embedded seeds, exploring how the meaning behind specific seeds can be used to create a message in the paper. Art materials are provided unless otherwise noted. Workshops are open to all visitors ages 8 and over when accompanied by an adult. Registration required, online at, onsite at the Perkins Visitor Center or by calling 718.549.3200 x251. Free with admission to the grounds.

Thriving beehives exist in community gardens, backyards and on rooftops throughout New York City. Share the joys and challenges of urban beekeeping with Bronx beekeepers Roger Repohl. Learn what you need in order to start a hive—including equipment, start-up costs and where to obtain bees—and decide if urban beekeeping is for you. $30/$25 Wave Hill Member. Registration required, online at, onsite at the Perkins Visitor Center or by calling 718.439.3200 x251.

Collect a sample of twigs, leaves and seeds or use the ones provided. Then, join visiting artist Donna Maria de Creeft in celebrating the presence of Toscanini at Wave Hill. Create a collage with natural materials and incorporating imaginary music. Assemble your findings and drawings into a mixed-media, pocket-style, accordion book to take home. Free with admission to the grounds. Illustrious Residents event.

Reduce stress, increase your energy and bring strength and flexibility to mind, body and spirit with a yoga practice. Classes are led by Yoga for Bliss director Neem Dewji and other certified instructors. Ms. Dewji is certified in Hatha and Therapeutic Yoga from The Yoga for Health Foundation, England, and The Integral Yoga Institute, NYC. All levels welcome. Winter sessions are held indoors. Session fee: $25/Wave Hill Member $15. Registration opens online and onsite at the Perkins Visitor Center. (Reservations may not be made by telephone.) Online registration closes at 8AM on the day of this session. Cancellations must be made by 3PM the Friday before; after that, refunds will not be made.  Drops-ins will be accommodated as the limited space permits. Participants must present a Member’s ID card or a printed program registration form at the front gate.

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. Classes are led by Yoga for Bliss director Neem Dewji and other certified instructors. All levels welcome. Winter sessions are held indoors. Session fee: $25/Wave Hill Member $15. Registration opens online and onsite at the Perkins Visitor Center. (Reservations may not be made by telephone.) Online registration closes at 8AM on the day of this session. Cancellations must be made by 3PM the Friday before; after that, refunds will not be made.  Drops-ins will be accommodated as the limited space permits. Participants must present a Member’s ID card or a printed program registration form at the front gate.

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

The Music Makers: How The Music And Stories Of North America Came To Be
Sonic Escape's most exciting, virtuosic and emotive musical works are presented in the context of five settings—The Campfire, The Parlour, The Session, The Protest and The Workplace. Each is brought to life as Sonic Escape weaves folk, classical, pop, bluegrass, protest songs and sea shanties into a tale of how North America’s music came to be. The Music Makers is about communal gatherings, sharing songs and stories and raising the spirits of all. Works to be performed include Maria Millar’s Walking the Woods in Twilight and Mosquito Blue, Franz Joseph Haydn’s London Trio No. 3 in G, Wade Hemsworth’s The Log Driver’s Waltz and traditional songs, such as "We Shall Overcome," "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" and "Rolling Down to Old Maui." The musicians of Sonic Escape—Shawn Wyckoff (flute), Maria Kaneko Millar (violin) and Nan-Cheng Chen (cello)—call themselves “daredevils” with instruments. This program shows us why! One hour, no intermission. General Admission Tickets $32, $28 Senior, $18 child (ages 7 to 18); Wave Hill Members $22; child $12. Tickets on sale online, onsite at the Perkins Visitor Center or by calling 718.549.3200 x251.

Closed to the public.

Gain insight into Winter Workspace artist Jessica Lagunas’ creative process and explore the winter landscape as a source of inspiration. Learn the basics of bookbinding with a focus on creating some simple structure books made without adhesive. Participants will make a pamphlet book with a decorative cover inspired by nature. Art materials are provided unless otherwise noted. Workshops are open to all visitors ages 12 and over when accompanied by an adult. Registration required, online at, onsite at the Perkins Visitor Center or by calling 718.549.3200 x251. Free with admission to the grounds.

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

HOURS  Open all year, Tuesday through Sunday and many major holidays: 9AM—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 January and February. 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

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

New York State Assemblymember Victor M. Pichardo’s Inauguration Ceremony

  New York State Assemblymember Victor M. Pichardo will be joined by community leaders at his inauguration ceremony on Friday, January 17, 2014 at Bronx Community College.
WHAT: Inauguration Ceremony for New York State Assemblymember Victor M. Pichardo

WHEN:      Friday, January 17, 2014 at 6:30 PM
WHO:         Assemblymember Victor Pichardo
                    U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer
                    Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.
                    Assemblymember Carl Heastie
                    City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito
                    State Senator Gustavo Rivera
                    Public Advocate Letitia James
                    Comptroller Scott Stringer

WHERE:   Bronx Community College
                   Gould Memorial Library Auditorium
                   2155 University Avenue
                   Bronx, NY 10453

Bronx General Post Office

RE: Potential Sale of the Bronx General Post Office

“Our priority is for this location to remain a Post Office. However, in light of the fact that the USPS has made an apparent decision to sell the Bronx GPO over our objections, good faith demands that they seek community input on the future of the building. They must solicit the input of community stakeholders before any sale is made. This building is too important to simply be auctioned to the highest bidder,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Liberty Democraic Association New Year Party & Special Election

Special Election
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Janel Towers - 801 Neill Ave
Community Room at back of lobby
Positions Open: President and Treasurer
Other  offices may be open if any  elected officer chooses to vacate their office to run for another position.
Anyone that is a member of Liberty Democratic Association for three (3) months can vote.
To be nominated for an Liberty Democratic Association office, the nominee must be a member for at least one (1) year.

Dues will be collected for year 2014
or you may mail check to :
Liberty Democratic Association
c/o Joseph A. McManus
1284 Waring Ave
Bronx, NY 10469

New Year's Party 2PM-5PM
Free: Members, inspectors, coordinators & Awards Dinner participants- Others $10.
RSVP : Joseph A. McManus  718-644-1841
                      Monica Major  917-208-3886

New Coalition of Gay Celebrities, Elected Officials, Labor Leaders, and Activists Urges Governor Cuomo to Protect Affordable Housing for New Yorkers Living With HIV/AIDS

  In a letter to Governor Cuomo A large coalition of more than 100 gay celebrities, labor leaders, elected officials, activists, and others is launching a new campaign today, organized by VOCAL-NY, to get Governor Cuomo to use this year’s state budget to close a loophole that denies affordable housing to homeless and low-income New Yorkers with HIV/AIDS.
January 15, 2014

The Honorable Andrew Cuomo
Governor of the State of New York
New York State Capitol
Albany, New York 12247

Dear Governor Cuomo:

We applaud your leadership promoting LGBT equality, tackling health disparities, and investing in affordable housing. We write to you with a concern that touches on all of these priority areas for your administration. Your leadership is needed now to change an anachronistic subsidy exclusion that discriminates against people living with HIV/AIDS.

As members and allies of the LGBT community, we are grateful for your tireless effort and tremendous success in passing same-sex marriage in New York. We are confident that you will also want to stand with us in putting a stop to the discrimination against people living with HIV/ AIDS in affordable housing – discrimination that disproportionately impacts low-income, LGBT people of color.

We ask you to implement the 30% rent cap for people living with HIV/AIDS, a cost-neutral affordable housing protection, through Article VII language in the 2014 - 2015 Executive Budget.

Background - People with AIDS Excluded from Affordable Housing Protection
The primary housing program for poor New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS is tenant-based rental assistance. As with other state housing programs for disabled people, residents with income from disability benefits are expected to contribute a portion of those benefits toward their rent. All state disability housing programs – and all federally funded housing assistance – cap the tenant’s rent contribution at 30% of income. Except one. The HIV/AIDS rental assistance program put in place in the 1980s excluded an affordable housing protection.

What this means today is that disabled New Yorkers with an AIDS diagnosis who receive rental assistance are required to pay upwards of 70% or more of their federal disability income (SSI, SSDI or Veterans’ benefits) towards their rent. This forces people to choose between paying their rent and other essential needs like food, transportation and co-pays for life-saving medical care. For those evicted, the risks are even greater. Without stable housing, it is difficult for people living with HIV/AIDS to remain connected to medical care, adhere to treatment and practice HIV prevention. The consequences include high rates of housing loss, homelessness, and premature death among a vulnerable population.

The Cost Savings
This policy will pay for itself by preventing unnecessary costs associated with housing loss and homelessness. An analysis by Shubert Botein Policy Associates (SBPA) estimates that annual reductions in crisis and emergency housing costs for the 10,000 people currently at risk of homelessness who are living with HIV/AIDS will more than offset the estimated cost of implementing this policy. These reductions in emergency housing costs make this affordable housing protection cost-neutral or even a cost savings for City and State agencies responsible for the rental assistance program. Moreover, by reducing avoidable crisis healthcare costs and the risk of ongoing HIV transmission, SBPA estimates the policy will result in significant additional Medicaid savings.

Legislative History
Legislation addressing this issue passed the Assembly and the Senate in 2010, with only one Senator voting against it. Former Senator Thomas K. Duane spoke passionately about it on the Senate floor, convincing his colleagues — Democrats and Republicans — to pass the bill in the final hours of session. When advocates met with then-Governor Paterson, the Governor indicated that he was likely going to sign it into law. Only after a conversation with Mayor Bloomberg did the Governor veto it. Governor Paterson included this powerful statement in his veto message: “This is my most difficult veto. I recognize, sadly, the history of the inadequacy of services government has brought to bear for those with HIV/AIDS.”

An affordable housing protection for homeless and at-risk people living with HIV/AIDS has strong bi-partisan support in the legislature. Senator Brad Hoylman and Assembly Member Robert Rodriguez are the current sponsors of the legislation (S3022/A7782). New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also backs the legislation and pledged his support during his campaign to work with you on this common-sense fix to an existing housing subsidy.

Current Opportunity
HIV remains a severe crisis in both the LGBT community and communities of color. In NYC, a majority of new HIV diagnoses are among gay and bisexual men, with Black and Latino youth at highest risk. While HIV has touched every population and age group in New York, 79% of people living with HIV/AIDS in our state are people of color. Promoting stable and affordable housing is the foundation for effective HIV prevention, treatment and care — and is therefore essential to ending the epidemic and addressing these disparities.

We encourage you to seize this opportunity to end the unfair double standard that forces low-income and disabled people living with HIV/AIDS to pay more in New York’s housing assistance programs.


Elected Officials

New York State Senator Brad Holyman
New York State Assembly Member Daniel O'Donnell
New York State Assembly Member Robert Rodriquez

New York City Council Member Daniel Dromm
New York City Council Member Corey Johnson

New York City Council Member Carlos Menchaca

New York City Council Member Ritchie Torres

Soundview Child Rapist Captured in New Orleans after Multi-State Manhunt

  Assemblyman Marcos A. Crespo, member of the Assembly Standing Committee on Cities, released the following statement on the successful manhunt and capture of the Soundview child rapist.

“The terrible news that a child, once again, had been a victim of a horrendous crime stunned New York City when it was reported. The crime involved the rape of the seven-year old child in Soundview, Bronx.

The depraved perpetrator of this case of child sexual abuse fled from New York and a diligent manhunt by law enforcement agencies has led to his capture in New Orleans, Louisiana.  I commend the New York City Police Department and other law enforcement agencies involved in finding this child abuser and bringing him to justice.

It is my hope that our court system will use its full authority and sentence this derived individual to the maximum sentence allowed by law.

Unfortunately, cases of child abuse are too common in our nation, our State and our city.  According to groups working to prevent child abuse and neglect, from 1990 to 2010, substantiated cases of sexual abuse dropped from 23 per 10,000 children under 18 to 8.6 per 10,000 sexual abuses by an adult who was not a family member from 1992 to 2010. The majority of sexual abuse cases involve family members or acquaintances rather than strangers, studies have found.

I am thankful that to the hard work of our law enforcement agencies because their diligent work will send a clear message that if a crime against a child is committed, law enforcement will find you and bring you to justice.

Child abuse and neglect is an issue that needs more attention because the incidents of abuse show our children are being victimized in their own homes.

In New York State in 2010, 114 children died as a result of abuse or neglect, a fatality rate of 2.58 per 100,000 children, according to Child Maltreatment 2010. This is a 4.4 percent increase from 109 fatalities that occurred in 2009.

In 2010, child sexual abuse comprised 3.5% of the 79,668 cases of substantiated investigations into child abuse and neglect in New York State.

Child neglect continues to comprise the largest portion of cases of child maltreatment. According to the federal report Child Maltreatment 2010, figures for the country and for New York State are as follows:

United States
New York State
Physical Abuse
Sexual Abuse
Psychological Maltreatment
Medical Neglect

In 2010, according to the NYS Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (the Child Abuse Reporting Hotline) — 170,224 reports of suspected child abuse or neglect, involving 223,340 children were received.”

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

State Senate Democrats May Have Ended Their Debt, But Who is in the Money

   State Senate Democrats may have ended their debt, but according to the latest campaign filing to the State Campaign Finance Board State Senate Co-Leader Republican State Senator Dean Skelos has $2.3 million cash on hand.
   Things are a lot better for the other Co-Leader State Senator Jeff Klein and his IDC.
Klein has $1.6 million while the four members of the IDC has $3.6 million in total.
  “From Buffalo to the Bronx, our members continue to receive overwhelming support from New Yorkers,” Klein, said in a statement. “Entering an important election cycle, we know our candidates will have the resources they need to get their message out to the voters. All of us look forward to not only maintaining, but to building upon our electoral successes in the State Senate.” 
   There has been talk of Senate Democrats putting up challengers to Klein and the IDC members, most notably former Councilman Oliver Koppell to Klein himself.

Monday, January 13, 2014

STATEMENT FROM BOROUGH PRESIDENT DIAZ RE: Conviction of Assembly Member Eric Stevenson

“Today’s conviction of Assembly Member Eric Stevenson closes an unfortunate chapter in our borough’s history.
“As I have made crystal clear in the past, our borough and our city require and deserve honest, corruption free government. The public must have faith in its elected leaders, and the deplorable actions of Assembly Member Stevenson should not cast a bad light on all elected officials, most of whom work hard to deliver for their communities and solve the issues that face our neighborhoods. I will continue to work with my colleagues, the people of the 79th Assembly District and the people of the Bronx to restore the public’s faith in government,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Assemblyman Eric Stevenson Found Guilty

  79th Assemblyman Eric Stevenson has been found guilty of taking $22,000.00 from Senior Center Developers in cash bribes. The U.S. Attorney's office acted swiftly on this case, since it was the culmination of over 4 years of using former assemblyman Nelson Castro to try to root out corruption in the Bronx Democratic County organization. Nelson Castro was snared by the Bronx District Attorney on a charge of election fraud back in 2008, and agreed to wear a wire for the U.S. Attorney to catch Bronx elected or party officials in the act of corruption.
  Meanwhile Assemblyman Castro was allowed to run for re-election against a Bronx Democratic County backed opponent, winning re-election in 2010. This continued for the next election in 2012 as Assemblyman Castro again won re-election while wearing a wire for the U.S. Attorney. It was actually one of Assemblyman Castro's associates Sigfredo Gonzalez who actually gave the testimony that convicted Assemblyman Eric Stevenson. Stevenson never took the stand as it was reported that his attorney could never believe that the jury would find Gonzalez's testimony credible let alone believe it and convict Stevenson of corruption.
  Stevenson's former New York State Assembly page was taken down right after the conviction and replaced with a blank page for the 79th A.D. Stevenson now faces up to 50+ years in jail following the conviction.

Council Member Andy King to Host Open House For 12th District Constituents

  City Council Member Andy King will hold an open house and community  “meet and greet” at his 12th District offices at 940 East Gun Hill Road and 135 Einstein Loop, Room 44, in Co-Op City on Wednesday,  Jan. 15, from  11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Joining Council Member King will be his staff and representatives from city agencies, who will be available to answer community questions.

The open house also celebrates the observance of the birthday of the slain civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“It’s only fitting that on the day of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s actual birthday that we open up our house as Dr. King had opened up his heart and gave his life to improve the lives of others. That true commitment to service is what we strive for in the 12th District,” said Council Member King.

Council Member King, who was celebrated on Sunday with an inauguration and swearing-in ceremony at Evander Childs High School, Bronx, was re-elected in November 2013 to his first four-year term as the representative of the 12th District. In November 2012, he was elected in a landslide vote to fill the vacant seat.

So far, in his short time in office, he has spearheaded a number of community activities, including the 12th District Cleanup, weekly Bronx Youth Empowerment Program, Tax Lien and Foreclosure workshops, CUNY Now, weekly immigration assistance and Caribbean heritage celebrations.

In just one year after he was elected in office, Council Member King made his first contribution to the New York City Charter. Last month, then Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed into law a bill Council Member King’s bill to have public schools develop and distribute information on college saving programs to all students.

Andy King Inauguration

  It was postponed due to the big snow storm, It started late, but when it was all over Andy King's inauguration received a grade of "A+" from the filled auditorium at Evander Child High School. This was a well mixed event that was hosted by Mr. Michael Harmon of the United Federation of Teachers. Yes there were a few boring speeches by one or two elected officials, but there were performances in between the speeches that made you want to sing or dance along. 
  U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, Public Advocate Letitia James, new City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., State Senator Gustavo Rivera, several Bronx assembly members, several fellow city council members, and others who are important to the King family as you will see in the photos below.
  As they came up to speak every elected official who spoke praised Andy King for the hard work he had done on his way to becoming the councilman from the 12th council district. Many knew Andy from before he was elected, and were glad to see that the 12th council district is finally getting the representation that did not come from Andy's predecessor.
  The performances between speeches all received standing ovations from the audience, but the best was yet to come. After the swearing in ceremony Councilman King said that he had two surprises that he was going to announce. First Andy had two young boys bring out a mural that turned out to be a flag that he said was going to be the flag of the 12th Council District. The councilman described what each and every detail on the flag stood for, and the reason for the flag.
  Councilman King's second surprise involved his father Andy King Sr. Andy Jr. said that he was thrilled that his mother and father could be on stage to share this enjoyment with him, and he added that the day was his father's 77th birthday. If I left out the swearing in part just see the photos below.

Left - U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer is between new City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Mr. Lenny Caro of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce.
Right - Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda, District Leader Lou Goldstein, Speaker Melissia Mark-Viverito, Bronx BP Ruben Diaz Jr.

Front row- U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, Bronx BP Ruben DiazJr., Congressman Charles Rangel, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. Second row Councilman Andrew Choen, Councilwoman Maria Del Carmen Arroyo, Mr. Lenny Caro, Ms. Slyvia Laisk (hidden), Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz.

Left - Former City Comptroller John Liu is seated in front of Councilman Ritchie Torres and Rayblin Vargas of TWU Local 100.
Right - Councilman Andy King stood up to join in with the dancing.
Three generations of the King family  pose with Judge Armando Montano before the ceremony.

 Left - With his daughter Katie holding the bible Councilman Andy King is sworn into office by Judge Montano. 
Right - Andy hugs his wife Neva right after being sworn in.

Left - Councilman King displays the new 12th council district flag.
Right - Councilman King announces that the day of his inauguration is also his father Andy King Sr.'s 77th birthday.