Thursday, December 31, 2015

MulchFest 2016 is almost here!

Bronx MulchFest 2016
Saturday and Sunday, January 9 and 10, 2016
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Bring your holiday tree to a designated city park to be recycled into mulch that will nourish plantings across the city!
Join the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, the New York City Department of Sanitation , andGreeNYC to recycle your Christmas trees into wood chips.
These wood chips are used to nourish trees and plants on streets and gardens citywide. Or, take home your very own bag of mulch to use in your backyard or to make a winter bed for a street tree .
More than 30,000 trees were recycled last year. Help us top this number!
How to 'Chip In.'
This year, MulchFest will take place on January 9 and 10, 2016. It’s easier than ever to chip in! There are two ways you can help.
Chipping Locations
You can bring your tree to a chipping location on January 9 and 10 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. We’ll chip your tree, and give you your very own bag of mulch!
Drop Off Locations
Or you can bring your tree to a drop-off site from Saturday, January 2 through Sunday, January 10. Leave your tree with us, and we’ll recycle it for you later! The NYC Department of Sanitation will also
be conducting special curbside collections for mulching and recycling of Christmas trees from Monday, January 4, 2016 through Friday, January 15, 2016.
What to Bring
Please remember to remove all lights, ornaments, and netting before bringing the tree to a MulchFest site. Bags will be provided if you wish to take some free mulch home. Mulch is available at the sites
marked with an asterisk (*) below.
MulchFest Locations

The Bronx
Brook Park*
East 141st Street & Brook Avenue
Co-Op City
Co-Op Boulevard & Bellamy Loop
Drop-off only
El Flamboyan Community Garden
586 Tinton Avenue at East 150th Street
Drop-off only
Reservoir & Webb Avenues
Drop-off only
Mosholu Parkway North / Kossuth Avenue
Drop-off only
Little Green Garden / Jardin La Roca - Rock Garden
422 E. 160th Street
Drop-off only
Metropolitan Oval Parkchester*
Metropolitan Avenue & Unionport Road
Padre Plaza / Success Garden
541 E. 139th Street
Drop-off only
Parking lot at Middletown Road & Stadium Avenue
Drop-off only
Grand Concourse between East Kingsbridge Road & East 192nd Street
Drop-off only
Story & Morrison Avenues
West 192nd Street & Jerome Avenue
Drop-off only
Golf course at Bailey Avenue & Van Cortlandt Park South
Reservoir Place & Reservoir Oval
Drop-off only

CFMC Meeting Agenda Thursday, January 21, 2016

Croton Facility Monitoring Committee Meeting

Thursday, January 21, 2016 – 7:00 PM

DEP Office – 3660 Jerome Avenue, Bronx NY 10467 

I  Welcome and Call to Order Adaline Walker-Santiago, Chair

II Election of 2016 CFMC Chair CFMC Representatives

III Consider, Adopt January CFMC Agenda CFMC Representatives

IV Consider, Adopt Previous Meeting Minutes CFMC Representatives  

V Discussion, Jerome Park Reservoir CFMC Representatives & Public - Public Access Pilot & Education Program 

VI Croton Costs Report & Construction Update Bernard Daly, DEP 

VII Old Business CFMC Representatives & Public

VIII New Business CFMC Representatives & Public 

IX Select Next CFMC Meeting Date CFMC Representatives 

X Adjourn

Rochester Man Arrested with Plans for New Year's Eve Attack

  It has been reported by the New York Times that 25 year 0ld Emanuel Lutchman has been arrested and charged with planning a New Year's Eve attack on diners in a Rochester restaurant on behalf of ISIS. He is accused of purchasing weapons as part of a plan to help ISIS bring terror to New York State, in the Rochester area.

  Also in the Times story it is mentioned that a Rochester Pizza owner was arrested early in December for recruiting people and raising money for ISIS. Iy is not reported if the two arrests were connected, or if there was any connection to spreading any terror to New York City. The entire New York Times article with a photo of Emanuel Lutchman can be found HERE. 


  N. Y. Governor Andrew Cuomo has said in light of the Rochester arrest that New Yorkers need to be even more vigilant than ever. He also praised law enforcement at the state and federal level after the arrest of Mr. Lutchman. Cuomo added that every precaution is being taken to make this a safe and happy New Year. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

You're Invited to attend A Community Interfaith Service

Trinity Baptist Church
Rev. Naomi Tyler-Lloyd,
 D. Min., M. Div., Senior Pastor
 In Conjunction With
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Invites You to
Remember the Legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
A Community Interfaith Service
Monday, January 18, 2016
Trinity Baptist Church
 808 East 224th Street
   Bronx, NY
   (Between Barnes & Bronxwood Avenues)
 Please RSVP to 718.590.3989

Just 1 More Day to Give to the Friends in 2015


dig in

Time is running out but you can still make a secure tax deductible donation to the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park in 2015. 

Your support will help our efforts to bring Youth, Community and Nature Together in 2016. 

Thank you for all of your support.  Hope to see you in the Park in 2016! 


Christina Taylor, Executive Director
Friends of Van Cortlandt Park

P.S. Please take a moment to watch this short video to learn more about what the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park accomplished in 2015 and consider making a year-end contribution to help make 2016 a success.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


Elected Officials, Hoverboard Riders and Advocates Discuss Legislation to Legalize and Regulate These Devices

  Senator Jose Peralta, Assemblymember David Weprin, Councilmembers Andy King and Ydanis Rodriguez and hoverboard riders and advocates discuss legislation to legalize and regulate these devices

  In efforts to legalize the use of hoverboards and electric unicycles in New York City, NY State Senator Jose Peralta (Queens), Assemblymember David I. Weprin (Queens) and NYC Council members Andy King (Bronx) and Ydanis Rodriguez (Manhattan) discussed legislation today that would exempt these devices from being define as “motor vehicles” under New York State law. Senator Peralta introduced a bill that would provide state and municipal authorities with the ability to create regulations regarding these popular devices. Councilmembers King and Rodriguez announced the introduction of a resolution in the City Council in support of the bill.

Under the proposal, these devices are no longer considered “electric personal mobility assistive devices.” In addition, state and municipal authorities would have the ability to create unique sets of regulations regarding hoverboards and electric unicycles. “This is a bill that tries to keep up with technology,” said Senator Peralta. “Because hoverborads and electric unicycles are not cars or motorbikes, my proposal removes these devices from what is considered a ‘motor vehicle’ under State law.”

Senator Peralta explained that nothing in his bill “constricts the ability of State or municipal governments to address operational or safety concerns relative to these devices; quite conversely, it allows these entities to address these issues outside of the blanket regulatory scheme that is applicable to motor vehicles and electric personal assistive mobility devices.”

According to reports, during Cyber Monday, about 7,500 hoverboards were sold nationwide, which means one on every 12 seconds.  Senator Peralta noted, “These are some of the hottest items on store shelves and the idea here is that if they are sold legally in New York, as they are now, you should also be able to ride them in New York.”

Senator Peralta’s bill would render the rule said to pertain to the use of hoverboards and electric unicycles in New York City obsolete, creating a separate categories for these devices.  Following the creation of these categories, State and municipal authorities would then have the power to act on safety and operational issues that are unique to the use of these technologies.

Assembly member Weprin stated “hoverboards have been one of the most popular holiday gifts this season, with many being sold in stores right here in the city. And although you won’t find me on one, New Yorkers of all ages should be able to enjoy their gifts without the threat of a $200-$500 fine. State law must keep up with technology and our bill does this for these new devices. This bill allows users to continue using these hoverboards while still providing state and municipal authorities with the ability to regulate the operation of these popular devices if necessary.”

“It is our aim to revise the traffic law to allow for the use of hover boards and electric unicycles in limited spaces, I am urging all my colleagues at the City Council and the Administration to sign onto my resolution, which would call upon the state legislature to pass Bill # S6260A, which would amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to exempting hoverboards and electric unicycles from the definition of 'motor vehicle' ", said Councilmember King.

“These so-called hoverboards have taken New York City by storm, already in use on our streets and in our parks by New Yorkers from all walks of life,” said Transportation Committee Chair Ydanis Rodriguez. “While I remain dubious about legalizing their use on streets and sidewalks, I believe there is a place for them to be used recreationally, in safe designated areas, without fear of a fine. Regulations should keep up with technology and I support Senator Peralta’s efforts toward this end. This bill will allow us in New York City to deliberate and find where these popular devices are most appropriate.”

“Hoodriderz and the community would like to thank Senator Peralta, Council member King and their teams for addressing the current legislation and bringing it up to date. We are excited for the legalization of personal transportation devices and believe that these fun modes of transport also have great potential to reduce pollution as adoption grows,” said Tim Haden, founder of Hoodriderz and hoverboard activist.

“The joint support of both Senator Peralta and Councilman King regarding the legalization of these balance boards aka hoverboards is proof positive that the current policy, making them illegal, is far overreaching and a definite target on the backs of minority youth who are the largest consumers of these modern skateboards,” said Tony Herbert, hoverboard activist.

Councilman Andy King holds one of the Hoverboards currently being sold. It looks and acts quite different from the Hoverboard in the movie 'Back to The Future'. The Hoverboard in the movie floated above the ground, and did not ride on the sidewalk or street surface as the one in the photo does.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

More Than 500 Children & Their Families Treated to Holiday Party Hosted by Council Member Andy King, Neva Shillingford King, Bronx YEP

  More than 500 children and their families were treated to a holiday party on Christmas eve thanks to Council Member Andy King and his wife Neva Shillingford King and the Bronx Youth Empowerment Program (YEP), which hosted the event.

“Reaching out to our local families in need, and bringing fun and excitement to the children, is just another way to say ‘we care about you,’ said Council Member King of the “Sharing is Caring” holiday event.  “One of the greatest things you can do for the holidays is share.”

Council Member King and his wife, the co-founders of Bronx YEP,  began hosting the holiday meal and gift-giving event 10 years ago. The couple opened their Bronx home to neighborhood children from youth programs, nearby NYCHA developments and throughout the Northeast community. In 2013, the King family and Bronx YEP moved the festive “Sharing is Caring” holiday affair to a larger space, the Eastwood Manor, to accommodate 200 children and parents.

This year, more than 500 youngsters, from infants to 18 year olds,  met costume characters Batman, Captain America, Iron Man, Mr. Met, the Major League Baseball mascot for the NY Mets and Santa Claus. They also enjoyed games, face-painting, dancing by I RAISE GIRLS and BOYS, singing by 12-year-old Jamiah Roper, a DJ and a hot buffet lunch. To top it off, each child was able to choose more than one toy or game to take home.

“Giving is what it’s all about as well as building mind, body and community,” said Council Member King.

For the 2015 “Sharing is Caring” event, a number of local merchants and community-based organizations donated toys and goods. Sponsors included Workmen Circle MultiCare Center, Major League Baseball, Toys R Us, HomeBase, Urban Justice, union locals 420, 371, CareRide, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Teddy Nissan, the Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Amalgamated Bank, MetroPlus, Bronx Community Health Network, DJ Danny and the NYPD.

Above - A group photo of all that helped make this event a huge success. Santa had to sit down after all the hard work.
Below - Mr. Met was on hand to help Councilman King and his wife Neva.

Another photo, this time with Mr. Met and some Super Heroes, but the Bronx YEP volunteers were the Super Heroes here.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas From Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj


Christmas is a joyous day which we celebrate amongst our family and friends. It's a time of giving and reflection shared with those we love.

I wish you and your loved ones a very joyful, safe and Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season. May the peace and blessings of Christmas be yours to cherish. 

From my family to yours,
Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj
and Family

Merry Christmas From Adam Clayton Powell

¡Feliz Navidad! Merry Christmas everyone! May you and your loved ones receive the best gifts in life: health, happiness and peace.
All the best,

Thursday, December 24, 2015

100 PERCENT Thursday December 24,2015


By Robert Press

Tis The Holiday Season

    You would never know that Christmas Eve is today, as the temperature hit a record 70+ degrees. While Chanukah Menorahs and Christmas trees have been lit, and winter has begun not one real snowflake has fallen. Weather predictions are 'No snow until the New Year', and then maybe sometime in mid January if it is cold enough. What will this all mean comes opening day for the 2016 Baseball season? How many opening day games might be snowed out? Will it be to cold to play baseball? We will see the answer to those questions in a few short months. Maybe that is the good news for the New York Yankees.
     As for politics, it is going to be cold days ahead for former New York State Assembly Speaker  (and assemblyman) Sheldon Silver, and former New York State Senate Majority Leader (and state Senator) Dean Skelos as they await their respective sentencing dates after being convicted of corruption. There is speculation as to just who is next on the U.S. Attorney's hit list, and we will probably find out shortly after the sentencing of Silver and Skelos. 
     Locally, Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda and Public Advocate Leticia James have been able to hold off a 15 - 19 percent increase in common charges at the Parkchester South Condominium scheduled to take effect after Christmas. That is the increase has been postponed until sometime in February unless other means of income can be found for the Parkchester South Condominium. 
   An IDNYC 'Pop Up Site' has popped up at the Kingsbridge Library on West 231st Street in Kingsbridge. Councilman Andrew Cohen and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz were on hand to show off their IDNYC cards. This PopUp Site opened on December 21st and will be at the Kingsbridge Library until January 15th. Check the posting on this blog titled Councilman Cohen Assemblyman Dinowitz and Commissioner in the archive section on the left for more information and a photo of Councilman Cohen, Assemblyman Dinowitz, Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs Sona Rai, and others.
     There seems to be no stopping Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump as he can say whatever he wants to whomever he wants to, and does almost anything he wants to do. It kind of makes me think of Bronx State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. Is he a Democrat or Republican as Senator Diaz and Bronx Community Board #2 District Manager Rafael Salamanca hosted a political toy give away at I.S. 216. Why do I say it was a political event you may ask, and the reason ids that the third person who was named on the banner for the event was New York State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox. It is a well known fact that State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. has worked with the Republican leadership in Albany, but it was a surprise to see Bronx Community Board #2 District Manager Rafael Salamanca so chummy with not only the state Republican Chairman Ed Cox, but also the Bronx County Republican Chairman Mr. John Greaney. I wonder what has happen to the Democrats only that Democratic candidates are suppose to run on, but then again Senator Diaz seems to be grooming Mr. Salamanca in his own image.
     Speaking of State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr., the annual Diaz Christmas Party held at Maestro's last week was no disappointment. It may have been a little short of elected officials as in past years, but State Senator Diaz, Bronx County Leader Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda, Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson, New Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark, 15th Congressional candidate and former Assemblyman Adam Powell, along with several district leaders were on hand as were the almost 500 people there. 
    Bronx Democratic County Leader Marcos Crespo made it a point to publicly announce that the Bronx Democratic County organization had held interviews of candidates for the soon to be vacant 17th City Council Seat currently held by Councilwoman Maria Del Carmen Arroyo. Councilwoman Arroyo announced in early November that she would be stepping down at the end of the year 2015 for personal reasons (still unknown). Bronx Democratic County Leader Marcos Crespo also announced that the choice of the Bronx Democratic County organization for the not yet vacant seat in the 17th City Council district was Mr. Rafael Salamanca the current District Manager of Bronx Community Board #2. I asked County Leader Marcos Crespo how interviews were done for a not yet vacant seat, and with still undeclared candidates. Crespo said the process was done with those interested candidates and the choice was made. 
     I will have much more on the upcoming special election for the not yet vacant 17th City Council seat in upcoming columns. I am being told that the possible pool of candidates is shrinking since the Bronx Democratic County organization has chosen Mr. Salamanca. It seems though that the MC of this event may have a smelly fish on his hands, as the 'Three Bears' in the pool are going to eat up and then spit out the Salmon in the pool. I will have more details next week in the print edition of the Bronx County News January 1st. 
     If you have any political information (especially about the 17th City Council special election) that you want to share or have checked out, any comments about this column or would like to have an event listed or covered in this column or on this blog, you can e-mail us at or call 718-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press.


Happy Holidays from Assemblyman Sepulveda

Dear Friend,
I want to wish each of you and your families the most joyous holiday season and a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year. I look forward to seeing many of you at the various holiday events that occur during these busy weeks, before I head back to Albany for the legislative session that resumes in January. 
As 2015 comes to a close, I think it is important to say thank you to all the volunteers and civic groups in our vibrant community who work tirelessly to enhance the quality of life for everyone in the 87th Assembly District and also for the Bronx and the city as a whole. It is an honor as your Assemblyman to work with you as your champion in the community and your voice in Albany. 
May it come to pass that 2016 be a wonderful year for each of you, for our community, and for our country. 
My staff and I are always pleased to be of assistance to you in whatever way we can. Call us at718-931-2620 or stop by my District Office at 1973 Westchester Avenue whenever we can help.
Again, I wish each of you and your loved ones a joyous and healthy holiday season and all great things for the New Year.
Your Assemblyman,
Luis R. SepĂșlveda

Holiday Greetings from Borough President Diaz


December 10, 2015: Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. (L) is joined by Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus, as they prepare to light the Christmas tree in front of  The Bronx County Building.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Twenty Charged In Manhattan Federal Court With Narcotics Conspiracy In The Bronx

    Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, William J. Bratton, Commissioner of the of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), and Glenn Sorge, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the United States Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), and the United States Marshals Service today announced further arrests in a federal indictment charging 20 defendants with allegedly participating in a conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine in the Bronx, New York, and charging six of those defendants with carrying guns as part of the conspiracy.  Nineteen defendants are now in federal custody – five after having initially fled apprehension.  One defendant remains at large.  The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman.
            U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated:  “Until these arrests, the flood of poisonous drugs that allegedly accompanied this conspiracy were a plague on the neighborhood these defendants dominated through intimidation and threats of violence.  We thank the New York City Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security for their extraordinary efforts on this case, and the U.S. Marshals Service for their vital assistance in apprehending those fugitives who tried to escape justice.”  
             Commissioner William J. Bratton said:  “The resolve of the NYPD and its law enforcement partners to stamp out illegal narcotic sales and its accompanying violence remains unfettered.  I commend the work of the investigators and prosecutors involved in this case, whose dedication to protecting the residents of New York has resulted in these pivotal arrests.”
            Acting Special Agent in Charge Glenn Sorge said:  “The individuals arrested today wreaked havoc on the neighborhoods of the Bronx by selling crack cocaine to anyone who had the money, including young children.  This operation embodies HSI’s commitment to partner with our federal and state authorities to rid our communities of these dangerous criminal organizations and the violence that comes with them.”  
            Michael Greco, the United States Marshal for the Southern District of New York stated:  “The U.S. Marshals success in this operation was a direct result of interagency collaboration and tireless follow up with previous investigative efforts by HSI and NYPD. The swift apprehension of these dangerous fugitives is proof of the effectiveness and efficiency derived from federal and local law enforcement agencies working together.”            
            As alleged in the Indictment, United States v. Rayshawn Barnes, a/k/a “Twerk,” et al., S1 15 Cr. 288 (RMB)[1]:
            Since at least 2013, the defendants conspired to distribute massive amounts of crack cocaine, as well as other drugs, in an area of the Bronx centered on Barnes Avenue and East 213th Street.  The defendants often sold to children as young as middle school age, and controlled the area by the threat of violence.  Many carried guns to make that threat real. 
            The NYPD and HSI used the full spectrum of law enforcement techniques to investigate this criminal conspiracy.  Through covert surveillance, dozens of undercover purchases of narcotics, and court-authorized wiretaps of the conspirators’ phones, among other methods, law enforcement agents learned the structure and membership of the conspiracy, and amassed evidence of its crimes.    
*                      *                     *
            The defendants in United States v. Barnes, et al. face maximum terms of life in prison and mandatory minimum terms of at least 10 years in prison. The  defendants charged with both narcotics conspiracy and gun possession face a mandatory minimum term of at least 15 years in prison. 
            The statutory maximum sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencings of the defendants will be determined by the Court.
            A chart containing the names of the defendants who were arrested, and the charges and maximum penalties they face, is attached.
            Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the New York City Police Department’s Organized Crime Control Bureau Bronx Narcotics Major Case Unit, 47th Precinct Narcotics Module, 47th Precinct Detective Squad, and All Source Intelligence Collaboration Unit, the United States Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Marshals for the Southern District of New York and the New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force.
            The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rachel Maimin, Micah Smith, Robert Allen, and Hagan Scotten are in charge of the prosecution.
            The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.