Friday, December 5, 2014

Just What is the Speed Limit - Especially by a School

  The above photo was taken on the Thursday December 4th afternoon outside Public School 81 on Riverdale Avenue. This is the school that former Mayor Mike Bloomberg visited with his then Traffic Commissioner to thank Senator Jeff Klein for the Speed Camera legislation that Senator Klein had sponsored. 

  Moving to today Mayor Bill de Blasio stood outside PS/MS 95 boasting of the increased number of speed cameras in New York City that was passed by the state legislature. You check the September archive section for September 2nd '120 New Speed Cameras', and you can read about it and see one of the six speed camera cars the mayor showed off. 

  Starting November 7th the Mayor and City Council passed a law reducing the speed limit on New York City roads from 30 miles per hour to 25 MPH unless otherwise posted. It was said that all street speed limit signs would be changed especially by schools. 

  So Mister Mayor why is it that in front of a public school that the former Mayor made such a big stink about speeding still has the higher 30 MPH speed limit sign? Is this another 'Tale of Two Cities ' where Manhattan comes first and the outer boroughs come next? Didn't you promise to end that?

Con Edison comes to the Boston Road Area

  This was what the corner of Boston Road and Waring Avenue looked like this past week, as Con Edison came to the area to dig and lay high pressure gas lines. You will see in the other photos just as I have been reporting in the Northwest Bronx area of Community Board 8 that the Boston Road area of Community Board 11 will have the pleasure or should I say displeasure of having Con Edison Rip up their streets. You will also see as before how Con Edison leaves the street condition, and always is up to date on permits. Just who am I trying to fool. you will also see the posted permits where the completion date on one is 12 - 9 - 2009. 

Left - The dates of start and completion have been scratched off on this permit.
Right On the only other permit the date of completion is Dec. 9, 2009, almost 5 years ago.

Left -  The middle of Boston Road and Waring Avenue.
Right - Just how deep are they digging.

Waring Avenue is left like this after the high pressure gas pipe is laid in the street.

Shades of the movie Tremors, no this is only the high pressure gas pipe being placed underground not one of the giant worms from the movie.


  Mayor de Blasio commits to robust fraud prevention measures and strict privacy protections for applicant information

   Mayor Bill de Blasio, Human Resources Administration (HRA) Commissioner Steven Banks, and Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs Nisha Agarwal announced today the publication of the municipal identification card program eligibility and privacy policies, establishing broad access for all New Yorkers to apply for the card while implementing strong measures to ensure applicant privacy and prevent against fraud and identity theft. The administration also announced the official name and logo of this historic initiative: IDNYC.

“A great deal of analysis and care went into ensuring our IDNYC card is strong on privacy and security, while providing access to as many people as possible,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We want New Yorkers to feel proud to carry this card in their wallet, but also to feel confident knowing that their information is safe and secure. I am pleased to announce today that we are truly delivering on the most ambitious municipal ID card program in the country, built with the best technology, secured with thoughtful privacy protections, and accessible to the widest cross-section of individuals.”

“HRA is proud to have been selected as the IDNYC program administrator based on our experience and expertise in serving millions of New Yorkers, while protecting against fraud,” said HRA Commissioner Steven Banks. “After listening closely to the feedback provided at the public hearing and in other forums, we developed Executive Orders that detail our commitment to applicant privacy, general program integrity, identity theft prevention and the creation of a customer-friendly appeals process. Through IDNYC, HRA will offer New Yorkers exemplary customer service on the front end and robust quality assurance and integrity procedures on the back end.”

“Thanks to the feedback we received from advocates, focus groups, immigrants, and the public hearings process, the IDNYC card reflects the needs and concerns of our communities,” said NYC Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs Nisha Agarwal. “We are going to continue to develop the program, working with businesses and our community partners to make new benefits available to cardholders as the program grows. Today’s announcement underscores our commitment to delivering to New Yorkers the best possible and most robust municipal ID card program in the country.”

“The City Council is proud to have spearheaded IDNYC, a groundbreaking program that will provide all New Yorkers with a safe, secure form of identification,” said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “We are strongly committed to helping residents take full advantage of what the City offers so they can contribute to the economic vibrancy of New York. The eligibility policies established by the Administration will ensure that no person will be excluded from applying for the largest municipal ID program in the nation.”

“New York City continues to push the boundaries that have historically kept government and community disconnected from one another,” said Councilmember Carlos Menchaca. “The launch of IDNYC addresses the growing concern that because of a lack of proper identification, New York City residents are missing out on some of the key resources that make New York both a world class cultural destination, and a City with resources available to help secure dignified life for hardworking families and individuals. This ID program represents the way that government can ensure that residents are enfranchised, empowered, and able to be fully a part of our diverse communities. I look forward to working with the Administration, my colleagues in the Council, and with community groups to ensure the success of this program in my district, and across the five boroughs.”

“The New York Immigration Coalition applauds the de Blasio Administration for creating a safe, secure, and accessible Municipal ID Program,” said Steve Choi, Executive Director of NYIC. The rules and executive orders announced today for IDNYC represent a program that will allow the fullest eligibility possible, the most privacy permissible under current law, and critical protections for our communities against fraud. We stand confidently behind IDNYC and thank the Administration for listening to and acting upon the concerns of immigrant and other communities. We look forward to continuing to work alongside the City to ensure successful implementation of IDNYC.”

“I am very excited for the launch of the Municipal ID program and commend the Mayor and his staff for listening to our concerns, taking them to heart and ensuring that New Yorkers get the best quality service and protections as they go through the process,” said Linda Sarsour, Executive Director, Arab American Association of New York.

On July 10, 2014, Mayor de Blasio signed Local Law No. 35, establishing the New York City Identification Card Program to ensure that every New Yorker is provided with the opportunity and peace of mind that comes with possessing a government issued photo identification. On August 4th, Mayor de Blasio signed Executive Order 6 of 2014 designating the Human Resources Administration as the administering agency of IDNYC.

The newly published rules provide that:
         The IDNYC Card will be provided to applicants free of charge (the de Blasio Administration has committed to making IDNYC available free of charge for the first year of the program throughDecember 31, 2015)
         The IDNYC Card will expire after five years
         The minimum age to apply for the card will be 14 years of age
         Applicants will be required to present proof of identity and proof of residency in New York City
         Homeless New Yorkers without a permanent address will have the ability to obtain a card
         The card will provide address confidentiality protections to survivors of domestic violence

Additionally, the rules establish which documents may be used to demonstrate identity and residency.  The rule sets forth over 40 categories of documents that may be used to establish identity, including foreign passports and consular identification cards, foreign birth certificates, military identification, U.S. high school diplomas, and U.S. voter registration cards. Applicants will be able to demonstrate residency in New York City with cable, phone or utility bills, bank statements, and residential leases, among other documents. The documents will be accepted on a point-based system that weighs document value, similar to the one used by the New York State DMV.

Applicants without a home address will be able to list a Care Of address on their card. Passports that are machine-readable will be accepted up to three years after expiration, but all other documents must be current. There will be a 30-day window for applicants to appeal IDNYC denials.

The need for the City of New York to create an additional form of government-issued photo identification is significant, as approximately half of New York City residents age 16 and over do not have a New York State Driver’s License. The IDNYC Card will connect New Yorkers in all five boroughs – regardless of immigration status, homeless status, or gender identity – to public and private sector services, including one-year free membership packages at 33 of the City’s leading cultural institutions.

On October 8, 2014, HRA held a public hearing on the proposed IDNYC rules, receiving feedback from advocates and members of the public on how this card should reflect the needs of all New Yorkers, and address concerns about privacy and security.

As a result of the feedback received at the hearing, Commissioners Banks and Agarwal formed a workgroup to develop three executive orders, mandating high levels of protection for cardholder information and stringent processes for dealing with third party requests for IDNYC cardholder information. The HRA Executive Orders establish that only HRA staff designated by the IDNYC Executive Director and the HRA General Counsel will have access to the IDNYC applicant database, and all access to databases and servers will be tracked through audit logs.  A fourth executive order sets forth details concerning the administrative appeals process for applicants who have been denied a card. Commissioner Banks signed and issued the executive orders in conjunction with the publication of the rules.

Read the full HRA Executive Orders Here:

The technology firms Prutech and MorphoTrust were chosen through a competitive bid process to develop the card enrollment system. MorphoTrust is an internationally renowned company that works with 42 state DMVs to provide highly secure driver license and state identification cards. The firm has established itself as a leader in developing topline security systems that protect against fraud and offer among the most advanced security protections in the world. Prutech has a breadth of experience delivering complex technology projects for the City of New York.

The enrollment system will feature ID verification scanning technology and high-tech cameras. Additionally, nearly two dozen experienced HRA investigators have been hired by the IDNYC Program as Integrity Specialists to protect against fraud and verify applicant identity. IDNYC cards will be printed by 3M, which has established a reputation for its extensive experience printing fraud-resistant identification cards for states and national governments. The cards will be printed on polycarbonate cardstock and features will include an embedded hologram, applicant signature, an engraved City seal and a secondary, black and white ghost photo of the applicant.

IDNYC cards will be available to the public in January 2015. The full list of enrollment center locations will be announced in advance of the launch.

For more information and program updates, please visit:

Showing our Respect for the Honorable Herman Badillo

What You Should Know 
By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz 
32nd Senatorial District 

You should know that on Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 11:00 AM there will be a Funeral Service for the repose of the soul of the Honorable Herman Badillo at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home located at 1076 Madison Avenue in New York City. 
You should know that Herman Badillo was an orphan from Puerto Rico who came to live in New York as a child.  He graduated from Brooklyn Law School as Valedictorian.  He was the first Hispanic to be appointed as a Commissioner of New York City.  He was the first Hispanic to be elected to serve as a Borough President in New York City.  He was the first Puerto Rican to be elected to the United States Congress as a voting Member. He was the first Hispanic to be a Deputy Mayor for any New York City Mayor. 
You should know that Herman Badillo’s career was dedicated to expanding the rights of all New Yorkers, and some of his greatest efforts included anti-poverty initiatives.  He established the first bi-lingual education program in the nation. His legacy and his work were on behalf of every member of the community, regardless of race, gender, age, or religion.  Herman Badillo had a brilliant mind and he represented our community with great distinction. 
You should know that in 1972, Congressman Herman Badillo wrote his first book titled "A Bill of No Rights: Attica and the American Prison System."  This book was about his experience in 1971 when he tried to negotiate on behalf of prisoners at Attica State Prison to help quell the riot during a prisoner-staged takeover.  In September of 1971, 1000 of the 2,200 prisoners in Attica staged a takeover and held 42 staff as hostages.  The prisoners were demanding a review of their conditions, and they asked for civilians to come and represent them. 
You should know that those requested by the prisoners included Louis Farrakhan from the Nation of Islam, civil rights attorney William Kunstler, Black Panthers leader Bobby Seale, and gay rights leader and playwright David Rothenberg.  Congressman Herman Badillo was also requested to attend by the Young Lords, and he went.  A discussion and meeting produced demands and terms for surrender and release of hostages.  However, Governor Nelson Rockefeller was determined to play tough and simply refused to talk or set a deadline.  He told the representatives to leave.  Most did leave, but both Rothenberg and Badillo refused.  Herman Badillo believed that if he left, then the guards would exact revenge and kill many of the prisoners. Herman Badillo fully expected to die when Nelson Rockefeller sent in the National Guard, but he refused to go. 
My dear reader, this was a remarkable instance of bravery and advocacy by Herman Badillo for the least among us.  It should not be forgotten when reviewing this great man’s life's work. 
You should know that Governor Nelson Rockefeller demanded that Badillo be forcefully removed in order to avoid a Congressional Inquiry into his death if he were killed when the State Police opened fire on the prisoners.  Because of Rockefeller’s orders, there were 43 deaths in Attica State Prison that included ten correctional officers and civilian employees, and 33 prisoners. A panel appointed by Governor Rockefeller to study this event concluded that Governor Rockefeller acted recklessly causing many deaths, unnecessarily.         
Ladies and gentlemen, out of respect for Herman Badillo and for all that this honorable and great man did in his life for all New Yorkers, we should all be there on Sunday to honor the life of one of the greatest leaders our city has known. 
My sympathies are with his family. 
This is Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Con Edison's Time is Up

  In the above photos the top photo of the current status of the high pressure gas pipes and other materials that is being stored on West 238th Street off Riverdale Avenue time is up.
  The date of completion is 12- 2 - 14. the newspaper below has the date of December 4th as you see in the bottom photo - click on the photo to enlarge it.
  So why are these pipes and materials still on West 238th Street when the current work by Con Edison's contractor is no where near this storage site that is taking up valuable metered parking spaces.

Wave Hill Events Dec 19–Dec 26

Choose from live evergreen boughs and their wonderful scents and textures to create a winter wonderland snow-globe box. Add inhabitants and decorate it with shiny foil, snowy shapes and natural objects, such as cones, dried herbs and spices. Free, and admission to the grounds is free until noon. 

Quiet like a mountain, moving like a river, Tai Chi is a sequence of gentle movements based on images found in nature. In this hour-long 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 indoors in winter. Session fee, which includes admission to the grounds: $25/$15 Wave Hill Member. Advance registration offered online only and includes a $2 discount. Online registration closes at 8AM on the day of the session. Drop-ins will be accommodated as the limited space permits. 

Choose from live evergreen boughs and their wonderful scents and textures to create a winter wonderland snow-globe box. Add inhabitants and decorate it with shiny foil, snowy shapes and natural objects, such as cones, dried herbs and spices. Free with admission to the grounds. 

Reduce stress and increase your energy by focusing on your posture, breath and mind/body/spirit. Classes are led by Yoga for Bliss Director Neem Dewji and other certified instructors, and last for an hour and a quarter. 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. Sessions are held indoors in winter. Session fee, which includes admission to the grounds: $25/$15 Wave Hill Member. Advance registration offered online only and includes a $2 discount. Online registration closes at 8AM on the day of the session. Drop-ins will be accommodated as the limited space permits. 

Let nature inspire you to find your center and reconnect with your true self using guided mindfulness and other meditation practices. Each session includes instruction in simple techniques, followed by guided meditations. Led by Yoga for Bliss director Neem Dewji and other qualified instructors. Sessions are held indoors. All levels welcome. Session fee, which includes admission to the grounds: $20/$10 Wave Hill Member. Advance registration offered online only and includes a $2 discount. Online registration closes at 8AM on the day of the session. Drop-ins will be accommodated as the limited space permits. 

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

Closed to the public

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 15October 31.  
ADMISSION  $8 adults, $4 students and seniors 65+, $2 children 6–18. Free Saturday and Tuesday mornings until noon. 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 30 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

The city we need to be: Bill de Blasio

Fellow New Yorkers --

Eric Garner's death was a terrible tragedy that no family should have to endure. For many across our city and our nation, yesterday's grand jury ruling compounds feelings of grief with dissatisfaction and anger.

As we reflect on the weeks leading up to yesterday's decision and prepare our path forward, I want to share a snapshot of our short- and long-term plans to improve the relationship between police and the communities they serve.

First, this is not the end of the story -- only the end of a chapter. The NYPD and the Justice Department will initiate their own investigations.

Second, New York City owns a proud and powerful tradition of expression through non-violent protest. Demonstrations and free speech are valuable contributions to debate, but violence and disorder are not only wrong -- they are counterproductive.

Frustration is understandable. Centuries of racism precede us. But working together, we can turn from that history and make a profound and lasting change in the culture of law enforcement and bring police and community closer together.

We've already begun to make progress.

We've dramatically reduced the overuse and abuse of stop-and-frisk, initiated a comprehensive plan to retrain the entire NYPD to reduce the use of excessive force and to work with the community, reduced arrests for minor marijuana possession, and given officers body cameras to improve transparency and accountability.

And we know there is much more to be done.

Finally, in recent weeks, protesters and activists have adopted a phrase that should never have to be said, but that the stains on our country's history demand we say: Black Lives Matter.

When invoking this refrain, we must be mindful that issues surrounding policing and civil rights are not just an issue for people of color, they're not just a problem for young people, and they're not just a problem for people who get stopped by police. They're a problem for all Americans who care about justice.

As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Together, we must work to make this right, to work for justice, and to build the kind of city and the kind of country we need to be. And we will.

Thank you,

Bill de Blasio

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Reaction to 'NO INDICTMENT' in Eric Garner Grand Jury Decision

   Reaction is coming in from all ends to the Staten Island grand jury decision not to indict police officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner while in police custody. 

   President Barack Obama has said that there needs to be equal justice for all.

  Mayor Bill de Blasio said just a few moments ago - 'This is a national problem that has existed for centuries'. De Blasio also mentioned his son Dante several times during his speech from near where the Eric Garner death took place. The mayor asked for calm, and Eric would not have wanted violence. Protest, but do it peacefully.


  “I am incredibly saddened and shocked that a grand jury on Staten Island has failed to indict Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner.  The system is broken. Officer Pantaleo’s deadly encounter was caught clearly on videotape, and yet Eric Garner and his family will not know the justice of a jury trial. This is a travesty. I hope that a federal investigation will be forthcoming.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the Garner family, and I wish them peace in their most difficult hour. This is why we protest: to fight injustice. Whether Amadou Diallo or Eric Bell or now Eric Garner, we protest to stand up against a justice system that so often seems to fail men and women of color. We can no longer allow that to stand.
With that said, this is not the time for violence. I urge the people of this city to fight their battles through continued protest and activism, and not to meet this outrage with more violence,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Statement from Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda

  – “I am deeply disappointed by the verdict reached by the Grand Jury regarding the Eric Garner case. What I saw captured on video was a clear demonstration of excessive force. My prayers go out to the Garner Family during this difficult time. With tensions running high, I hope that any subsequent protests or police actions in response are peaceful and that interactions on both sides remain civil. It is important to remember that the actions of this officer do not represent the department as a whole.”

Minority Caucus Issues Statement on Disappointing Finding of Grand Jury

  The New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus is releasing the following statement on the Grand Jury decision not to indict the police officer in the choke hold death of Staten Island resident Eric Garner.

“In the eyes of millions of our fellow Americans, today is another day in the disappointing history of a justice system that continues to fail to hold rouge police officers responsible for the excessive use of deadly force on unarmed civilians.  We strongly disagree with the non-indictment of the police officer who caused the death of Mr. Eric Garner and see this decision as the impetus to look for public policy solution to a system that allows local district attorneys to investigate crimes and civil rights violations committed by their co-workers in the criminal justice system. 

It is now clear to us that every case of police brutality and use of excessive force on unarmed civilians must be investigated by a special prosecutor with no ties to the community or residents were the incident occurred.  Only through an independent and transparent investigation of these crimes will communities now so heavily impacted by such actions become more trusting of the police forces empowered to protect them.


  If Eric Garner’s tragic death teaches us anything, it’s that we as Americans need to heal the frayed relationship between our police and the neighborhoods they serve—whether it’s in Ferguson, Missouri or Staten Island. We must build a society where all people are treated fairly and equally under the law, regardless of their race. My heart goes out to Mr. Garner’s family, and I call on all New Yorkers who wish to protest the Grand Jury’s decision to respect his family’s wishes and do so in a peaceful, non-violent manner. - 

STATEMENT FROM BP DIAZ RE: The passing of Herman Badillo

  “I am deeply saddened by the passing of a man whom I looked up to as a role model and who represented Latinos, Bronxites and all New Yorkers as an exemplary public servant.

As the first Puerto Rican to be elected as Bronx Borough President, as U.S. Representative and  to be a mayoral candidate in our city, Herman Badillo was one of my inspirations as a young man of Puerto Rican descent who was born and raised in the  Bronx and pursuing a career in politics. He was a true Bronxite and the epitome of a passionate leader who truly cared for his community. Herman Badillo worked assiduously throughout his career to make a difference in the lives of countless individuals across our Borough and City.

“Most importantly, Herman Badillo was both a mentor and a friend to me personally. Herman was always there to listen to questions and offer advice. He was a guiding voice early in my career, and he remained a rock throughout my time in elected office.

“I, along with all 1.4 million residents of The Bronx as well as all the people whom he touched during his long work in public service, offer my thoughts and prayers to Mr. Badillo’s family,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Assemblyman Dinowitz alerts consumers to New York City rip-off by Poland Spring

Unfair delivery fees much greater than previous oil/fuel surcharge fees

   Assemblyman Dinowitz, Chair of the New York State Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection, is alerting consumers to what he calls a New York City rip-off by Poland Spring. For a number of years, Poland Spring has been charging customers who are delivered water several dollars per month for what they term an “oil/fuel surcharge.” Recently, the company has replaced the oil/fuel surcharge for all New York City customers with a flat delivery fee that is much greater than what was previously charged.

While Poland Spring claims to adjust its oil/fuel surcharges according to the monthly price of fuel, its pricing system charges consumers similar fees despite wide market fluctuations. The last time diesel fuel prices were low enough to allow consumers to avoid an oil/fuel surcharge, according to the U.S. Department of Energy records that Poland Spring uses to set its rates, was in February 2005, nearly ten years ago.

Assemblyman Dinowitz said, “Consumers who already pay a premium for delivery don’t deserve additional, unnecessary fees. I always found it outrageous that Poland Spring adds a monthly surcharge for fuel that, at around $3 per month, is only loosely pegged to fluctuating fuel prices. Poland Spring, like far too many businesses, has used high fuel prices as an excuse to raise rates, then has sustained these high rates even when the price of fuel drops.”

“Now, Poland Spring has burdened New York City consumers with a new delivery charge that, at $3.95 or $4.95 per month, is much higher than these surcharges. It’s about time consumers are treated fairly by businesses, rather than be subjected to artificially high fees for the sake of corporate profits. How about reducing the burden on New York City consumers by eliminating this absurd delivery charge in time for the holiday season?” Assemblyman Dinowitz concluded.

Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda & Senator Ruben Diaz Job Fair

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Watchdog to Conflicts Board --: Investigate de Blasio's Closed Meeting with Union

  This item comes by way of the Daily News, but many are reporting the same question. Did Mayor Bill de Blasio violate the cities conflict of interest law when he had a closed meeting with Local 1182 of the Communications Workers of America at PS 66 in Brooklyn. 

  Dick Dadey Executive Director of Citizens Union is quoted as saying. “From what is known, this appears to have been a political event held at a public school in violation of city rules, The News a;so quotes Dadey “It is important that New Yorkers who want a transparent and accountable city government know that our public officials are faithfully following the laws of New York and the rules that guide their implementation.”

  At first there was no comment from the mayor, but in a nupdate a mayoral spokesman is quoted as saying "The DOI reported this was an inadvertent mistake, one the mayor said won’t happen again," 

  The complete Daily News article and two page letter to the conflict of interest board from Mr. Dadey can be found here.


Unopened Computers and Tablets sit in boxes, some since 2011 
New York, NY – More than 1,800 computers were unaccounted for or missing entirely and nearly 400 laptops and tablets were found unpacked and unused in ten Department of Education (DOE) locations, raising concerns that millions in computer equipment may be lost citywide, according to an audit of DOE’s inventory control over nearly $200 million in computer purchases released today by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer.
“It is an insult to families who are desperate to access technology for their children to leave brand new computers and tablets unused in closets and storage facilities,” Stringer said. “If auditors can’t locate an average of 180 computers per DOE location, this may be just the tip of the iceberg. Every school should be prepared to use the devices they have and DOE should have a plan for where its computer hardware can best be put to use. Taxpayer dollars, and our children’s education, are too important to take this technology for granted.”                                                      
The audit examined how DOE maintained inventory controls over computer hardware purchased through two separate contracts with Apple and Lenovo.  The contracts, entered into in September 2009 and July 2011 respectively, have been used to purchase over 211,000 pieces of computers and tablets worth more than $197 million as of September 2014.
Auditors examined a sample of the computer and tablet inventory purchased from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2013 for use at ten DOE sites – nine schools and one administrative building. At one of the schools, Bronx P.S. 168, auditors examined lists provided by DOE’s Asset Management System (AMS) database, a program which contains records of the computer and tablet purchases, but is not used by DOE to maintain inventory control. At the remaining nine sites, the results of auditors’ physical findings at these sites were compared with the AMS database.
Audit findings include:
·         Missing computers and grossly inaccurate records– DOE was unable to identify the location of 1,817 laptop and desktop computers that were supposed to be at the ten sites-1,090 that were listed as “asset location unknown” or were no longer listed at all at Bronx P.S. 168 and 727 that were not physically found at nine of the locations.  The Department spent nearly $200 million during FY12-FY13 on computers and tablets, yet does not maintain a centralized inventory system to make sure they are sent to the right places. Instead, the DOE tasks schools with creating their own annual inventory lists.  These school inventory lists are not reconciled with the AMS database of purchases, leaving the DOE with inaccurate counts and unknown locations of computers and tablets.
·         No system to track tablets – DOE spent $26.9 million on tablets during FY 2012 and 2013 citywide, but did not keep an inventory of these purchases, even though its Standard Operating Procedures requires it to do so. According to City records, 956 tablets were purchased for eight sampled schools during the audit period, but only 703 were listed on the individual sites’ inventory records, leaving 253 unaccounted for.
·         Computers sitting in closets – The audit found 394 devices had gone unused and unopened at the eight school sites that were physically examined. At Boys and Girls High School in Brooklyn, 78 laptops and iPads, some purchased in 2011, were found unopened.
“Parents have a right to expect that their kids have access to the technology that will prepare them for the global economy,” Comptroller Stringer said.  “DOE has failed in its duty to ensure that when taxpayer dollars are spent on computers and tablets, that technology makes it into the classroom. The City is wasting precious resources, creating a climate that invites theft, and ultimately undermining our responsibility to educate our children.”
Recommendations submitted to the DOE by Comptroller Stringer’s office included:
·         Create a centralized inventory system – DOE should have a centralized inventory system for computer hardware that includes computer hardware purchases and delivery information, as well as the item’s current location.
·         Revise DOE’s Procedures – DOE should ensure that all hardware purchases are included in its AMS and require schools to do annual inventory counts that are reconciled with AMS
·         Find every computer identified as missing – DOE should locate those computers identified as missing and take steps to ensure that other locations have accurate inventories.
·         Report any evidence of crimes – If evidence of illegal activity is uncovered as pat of the updated inventory, the DOE should immediately contact the proper authorities and cooperate with any investigation.

To read the complete audit, please click here