Wednesday, September 30, 2015

3 More Cases of Legionnaires’ Disease Reported.- One Death Now in Morris Park Outbreak

  3 more cases of Legionnaires’ Disease have been reported in the Morris Park area, and there is now one death from the latest outbreak. In all 13 cases of  Legionnaires’ Disease have been reported by the city, and we have seen the first person die from this latest outbreak. The victim was under the age of 50, but had underlying health problems which were not disclosed. 

  35 cooling towers have been checked with at first 5 coming back as contaminated, with that number now at 15. I spoke to one local elected official who is disturbed by this lack of information and explanation to the community. It appears that the city is hiding something, and there will be a Town Hall meeting on the Morris Park Outbreak of  Legionnaires’ Disease tomorrow night at Maestro's Caterers located at 1703 Bronxdale Avenue starting at 8 PM. 

  Let's Hope the community can get some real answers this time from the city before more people die.

The following is from State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr.

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

What Are They Hiding From Us? Something is Definitely Going Wrong in the City of New York 

Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz (D-Bronx) has released the following statement about the ongoing Legionnaires Disease Breakout: 

“On one side of the issue, the City of New York says they have controlled the outburst of Legionnaires Disease – and on the other hand, people are dying. 

I have to ask: Why are they keeping what is going on in Brooklyn so quiet? On September 13, 2015 in Woodhull Hospital, 46 year old Andres Martinez died of Legionnaires Disease.  Andres was the son of well-known Bronx community leader, Mr. Gumercindo Martinez. 

This week, we have learned that here in the Bronx another person has died from Legionnaires Disease.  I am afraid that the City’s Administration is hiding some vital information about Legionnaires Disease from us as people continue to die. 

I pray for the families and friends whose loved ones have died and who continue to suffer from this disease, and for the safety and well-being of everyone who lives and works in New York City. 

I am Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know.”

Jerome Park Reservoir Tours - Postponed for this Weekend Due to Storm




The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that due to the potential for inclement weather this weekend, the special guided tours and limited access recreation planned at Jerome Park Reservoir have been postponed until the weekend of November 14th and 15th.  As was originally planned, there will be two ticketed tours on each day, followed by a non-ticketed opportunity for the public to walk or jog around the 2-mile perimeter of the Reservoir.  Entry will be through a Gate House located on the west side of Goulden Avenue, just south of 205th Street and phones, bags and cameras will not be permitted on the Reservoir grounds.  There will be an opportunity to check phones, but visitors should not bring bags or cameras.  All individuals who had registered for the tours scheduled for October 3rd and 4th will be contacted by DEP and given the first opportunity for tickets to the November 14th and 15th tours.  To the extent any tickets remain after that, DEP will make them available on a first-come, first-served basis.  More information will be made available about any remaining tickets on the DEP website and Facebook page.  

Saturday, November 14th:

Guided Tours (tickets required)

10:00am – 11:00am

11:00am – 12:00pm

Limited Access Recreation (tickets not required)

12:30pm – 2:30pm

Sunday, November 15th:

Guided Tours (tickets required)

10:00am – 11:00am

11:00am – 12:00pm

Limited Access Recreation (tickets not required)

12:30pm – 2:30pm

This special access to the Reservoir grounds is the result of a continuing dialogue between DEP, elected officials and the community.

Attention Bronx Chamber of Commerced Members: Upcoming Business Opportunities

Request For Proposals 

Bronx Chamber of Commerce Member:

NYC Housing Authority Contracting Opportunity :

As part of The New York City Housing Authority's continuing effort to reach out to the MWSBE community, we would like to inform you of some procurement opportunities that may be of interest to your businesses .

-  RFQ62755 SMD -Mepco Heating Supplies 
 - RFQ62725 SMD_Replacement of Vacuum Pump Units
To register in the Supplier Portal, 
go to NYCHA's website at: 

The City of New York Department of Parks & Recreation ("Parks")
requests proposals for the
renovation, operation, and maintenance of three (3) snack bars and up to fifteen (15) mobile
food units at Orchard Beach in Pelham Bay Park.

For more information CLICK HERE

To register email:

NYC Department of Design and Construction Event -
  Wednesday, Oct. 21st

Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business Workshop-
Monday, Oct.26th   

Friendly Reminder: 
October 15th
October 22nd
October 28th
Workforce Development Workshop 
For more information
Call 718-828-3900 or email 

Halloween Spooktacular and Pumpkin Fest 2015

Happy Halloween

Legionnaires' Town Hall in Morris Park Thursday 8 PM

Bronx Town Hall 
on Legionnaries' 
Thursday, October 1st
Maestro's Caterers
1703 Bronxdale Avenue
Bronx, NY 10462

For more information, 
contact the offices of 
Senator Klein (718) 822-2049
Assemblyman Gjonaj (718) 409-0109
Councilman Vacca (718) 931-1721

McFarlane Toys Attacks 

New York Comic Con

Construction Competition, Toys & 
Comic Giveaways, Autograph Signings and More!
Todd McFarlane (Spawn, Spiderman) and McFarlane Toys
are bringing new bricks and new contests to this years'
New York Comic Con.

Stop by the McFarlane Toys Booth (1526) to meet and greet
with Todd McFarlane and see all the cool new action figures,
construction sets and statues McFarlane Toys is releasing this
Fall from AMC's The Walking Dead, HBO's Game of Thrones,
Halo, Assassin's Creed, The Walking Dead Comic and more!

Thursday, October 8th - Sunday, October 12
McFarlane Toys Booth #1526
New McFarlane Build Off Competitions, Life-Size
Photo Opportunities, Signings, Giveaways and
Signings with Todd McFarlane!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

3 More Cases of Legionnaires' Disease in Morris Park Total Now Up to 10 Reported Cases

   There have been 3 more cases of Legionnaires Disease reported in the Morris Park 'Cluster Area' bringing the total of cases reported to 10. One person was released from the hospital today with 9  people remaining hospitalized. As usual The New York City Department of Health and Mayor Bill de Blasio have not said where this outbreak was found, or just how widespread it may be. 

 Let's hope we don't have to wait a month for details from the city, and also hope that the number of people affected does not rise. Below are some tips from State Senator Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj on what to do if you suspect that you may have contracted Legionnaires Disease, and what the symptoms are.

Legionnaires' Disease Found In Morris Park
Reports from NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene have confirmed the findings of Legionnaires' disease in the Morris Park section of the Bronx.  
Please do not disregard any physical ailment. Symptoms of Legionnaires' disease typically occur within 2-14 days after exposure to Legionella bacteria. Please take all necessary precautions and seek immediate medical attention if you or someone you know exhibits any of the following symptoms:
  • Fever above 104 °F
  • Chills
  • Cough, with or without mucus or blood
Other symptoms may include:
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
Please call a physician immediately if you are feeling ill. Legionnaires' disease is treatable with antibiotics if detected. Legionnaires' disease cannot be spread from person to person.
Please be aware that this outbreak does not affect the water supply in our homes. We will continue to notify as updates become available. A town hall meeting will be announced.
In Good Health, 
Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj and Senator Jeff Klein


NYC tenant protection programs will serve over 113,000 individuals a year when fully implemented 

    Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a $12.3 million on homelessness prevention services to expand free legal representation in Housing Court and help thousands of New Yorkers facing eviction or harassment stay in their homes.

“The economic recovery that so many New Yorkers are enjoying now hasn't reached everyone. Too many families are becoming homeless for purely economic reasons – their wages are flat while their rent is steep,” said Mayor de Blasio. “With these programs, we are intervening early to keep families in their homes before shelter becomes their only option.” 

The two City-funded legal service programs total to $46.3 million in Fiscal Year 2016, growing to $61.8 million in Fiscal Year 2017 – ten times the $6 million that was spent on anti-eviction programs in Fiscal Year 2013. The two programs will serve 32,700 households a year – over 113,000 individuals – when fully implemented.

In Fiscal Year 15, over 62,000 individuals were enrolled in HomeBase, a proven homelessness prevention program that connects families and individuals on the brink of homelessness to resources to help keep them in their homes. Over 35,000 individuals were supported through the City’s anti-eviction legal services and tenant protection program.

“Too often, low-income tenants in Housing Court without a lawyer face a landlord with a lawyer and that, rather than the facts or the law, determines the outcome. Our expanded program will protect more families and individuals and prevent additional New Yorkers from becoming homeless by keeping them in their homes and preserving affordable housing. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” said Human Resources Administration Commissioner Steven Banks.

“Prevention is one of our core strategies to stop homelessness before it begins,” said Homeless Services Commissioner Gilbert Taylor. “Expanding programs like these are crucial to ensuring that families remain in their homes and communities.” 

Families with children comprise the largest proportion of the City’s shelter census, accounting for over 40,000 individuals – including over 23,000 children – of the approximately 57,000 total individuals shelter. Eviction is one of the leading causes of homelessness for families with children. 30 percent of the heads of households for families with children in shelter are actively employed, and 46 percent of the heads of households for families with children in shelter (including those actively employed) had been employed within the past year. Women lead 91 percent of the families with children in shelter.

The City’s civil legal services programs have been consolidated at HRA. New York City has two anti-eviction and tenant protection legal services programs, both housed at HRA: 

·         Anti-Eviction Legal Services: $25.8 million (including the new $12.3 million) in FY16. Fully implemented, this program will serve 19,000 households each year. This program is aimed at communities in which the highest numbers of children and adults are losing their homes and entering shelter.  

·         Anti-Harassment Tenant Protection Program: $20.5 million in FY16, increasing to $36 million in FY17 and serving more than 13,700 households each year when fully implemented. This program is aimed at preventing tenant harassment in communities that will be designated for rezoning and was announced by the Mayor in the State of the City.

The additional $12.3 million will allow the Anti-Eviction Legal Services program to expand in the following areas:

  • Brooklyn: Bedford Stuyvesant, Bushwick, Crown Heights
  • Manhattan: Central and West Harlem
  • Queens:  Jamaica and South Jamaica
  • Bronx: Tremont and Williamsbridge
  • Staten Island:  Port Richmond and Mariner’s Harbor 

The City is re-launching a homeless prevention public awareness campaign, “Imagine” – targeting 15 communities with residents most likely to enter homeless shelters and encouraging those at risk to access HomeBase services. The ads depict families with children in housing crises, asking parents to “Imagine being forced out of your home. Now imagine seeing your kids go through it.” This outreach is intended to encourage families with children and individuals to access prevention services early on, averting the need for shelter. Beginning in January of this year and running through April of this year, the campaign appeared on television and in print and was featured on subways, buses, and check-cashing facilities.  

“Ending homelessness in New York City won’t be easy, but to start we must significantly increase efforts to ensure that people don’t lose their homes to begin with. As Chair of the Council’s Housing and Buildings Committee, my goal has been to address our City’s housing crisis, so I commend Mayor de Blasio for drastically expanding legal services so that tenants facing eviction or harassment receive the help they need before it’s too late,” said Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, Chair of the Committee on Housing and Buildings.

“Homelessness is the unspoken effect of tenant harassment and unfair evictions. When we turn a blind eye to the behaviors of unscrupulous landlords we are in effect ignoring one of the root causes of the growing homelessness crisis in our City. I commend Mayor de Blasio for his determination to stop this crisis where it starts. The $12.3 million his administration is dedicating to anti eviction legal services will go a long way to curb homelessness in New York and improve the inequities in rights among renters in our City,” said Council Member Vanessa Gibson.   

"With additional money for legal services, we will be able to keep more needy New Yorkers in their homes helping to stem the tide of homelessness. The Mayor has shown incredible leadership ensuring that more New Yorkers in need will have these important services," said Seymour James, Attorney-in-Chief at the Legal Aid Society.

“Tenant protections are critical to stabilizing families, maintaining vibrant communities and preserving affordable housing,” said Joanne M. Oplustil, President & CEO of CAMBA/ CAMBA Housing Ventures. “We are grateful and enthusiastic that Mayor de Blasio is making such a strong commitment to renters throughout New York City.”

21st Annual Tour de Bronx Registration is now Open!

The largest free cycling event in New York State to 

take place on Sunday, October 25th.

   Registration for the 21st Annual Tour de Bronx, the largest free cycling event in New York State, is now open. The event was established in 1994 by the office of the Bronx Borough President and The Bronx Tourism Council as a means to promote a healthier lifestyle, an alternate mode of transportation and a way to tour the burgeoning neighborhoods, scenic waterfronts and greenways of the borough.

Participants come from all over the country to ride one of two possible routes: The 25-mile ride takes riders through the south, east and mid portion of the borough including the Mott Haven district, Clason Point along the East River, and Pelham Bay Park, the largest park in New York boasting nearly 3,000 acres of natural forest; The 40-mile route includes a visit to the historic Fort Schuyler on the Throggs Neck peninsula, the nautical community of City Island and the northwest communities such as Woodlawn and Riverdale. Both rides conclude at the iconic New York Botanical Garden where riders receive a complimentary souvenir T-shirt and enjoy a live musical performance as they relax from the day’s festivities.

The New York City Department of Transportation will fit and distribute free bicycle helmets from 8am to noon (while supplies last) and Metro North Railroad will waive their bicycle permit requirements and quantity limits for the day.

“Tour de Bronx is a great event for people of all ages, especially for visitors to our vibrant borough. It gives everyone an opportunity to explore historical sites, see beautiful waterfronts, and ride through our amazing local neighborhoods,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “Once again, we are welcoming riders from across the region and around the globe to see The Bronx as they had never seen it before.”

Throughout the years, the event has grown exponentially. In 2014 the Tour de Bronx saw a record-breaking 7,000+ participants from all over the country as well as a few who come from abroad.

“It’s exciting to watch this event continue to evolve as we see more and more tourists joining New Yorkers to experience The Bronx in a unique way.” Says Olga Luz Tirado, executive director of The Bronx Tourism Council.

The Tour de Bronx is made possible by Montefiore Medical CenterBronx Lebanon Hospital Center and St. Barnabas Health System. Additional support is provided by Transportation AlternativesThe Coca Cola Company, Domino’s Pizza and Clif Bar.

For more information and to register for the 21st Annual Tour de Bronx, visit

BingoFest on October 2! at Bronx House

Hosted by the Crime Victims Support Services of 
the North Bronx Inc.
Friday, October 2, 2015 
Starting at 7:00 pm 
Bronx House 
990 Pelham Parkway South
$10/10 games 
Additional cards sold at the door.
Complimentary coffee and dessert 
Door prizes,  raffles & more!
Tickets must be paid for in advance 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Legionnaire’s Disease Outbreak in Morris Park

Here we go again folks!

The New York City Department of Health has confirmed that there have been 7 new cases of Legionnaires' disease found in the Morris Park area, and is investigating.  

   The Health Department is currently investigating a cluster of seven Legionnaires' disease cases in the Morris Park section of the Bronx. This cluster is unrelated to the outbreak in the South Bronx this summer that was attributed to Legionella found in the cooling tower of the OPERA HOUSE HOTEL. Patients in the current cluster live or work in Morris Park, range in age from 45 to 75 and are all currently hospitalized. There have been no deaths. New Yorkers with respiratory symptoms, such as fever, cough, chills and difficulty breathing, are advised to promptly seek medical attention.
“We are investigating a cluster of seven cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Morris Park. I urge all New Yorkers to seek care immediately if they have flu -like symptoms, including fever, cough, headache, or difficulty breathing. The Department is taking immediate steps to determine the source and protect the people who live and work in Morris Park,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett.
As soon as the possibility of a cluster was identified, DOHMH began an aggressive response:
  • The Health Department was notified of these seven cases between Sept. 21 and Sept. 27
  • On Sept. 21, when the first case was reported, the Health Department’s disease detectives began investigating immediately. This work initially involves interviewing patients and reviewing medical records.
  • Since Saturday, environmental scientists visited all cooling towers and took samples.
  • Issued a Health Alert to providers advising them to look for symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease, conduct appropriate tests on patients, and provide proper samples to the Department for lab testing
  • Conducting tests at our Public Health Lab and the New York State Wadsworth Center
  • Monitoring Emergency Department visits for pneumonia among residents of Morris Park, which have remained at normal levels
  • Identifying facilities such as nursing homes and senior centers where vulnerable populations live in and near Morris Park. Starting today, the Department will work with other City agencies to send staff to these locations, distributing Frequently Asked Questions about Legionnaires’ disease, answering questions and reminding people to seek care immediately if they have symptoms such as fever, chills and muscle ache.

RE: Legionnaire’s Disease Cluster in Morris Park

“My office has been informed by the City’s Department of Health & Mental Hygiene of cluster of Legionnaire’s Disease in Morris Park. We are in contact with city, state and federal officials about this latest outbreak, and we will continue to stay on top of these developments and take the necessary measures as we gather more information.

“My office will share information with the public through my website and through social media channels on thiscluster as it becomes available. As we monitor this situation, we urge anyone who feels sick to visit their doctor or a hospital to get checked. It is too important to wait,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Flyers in English, Spanish, French and Chinese answering frequently asked questions on Legionnaire’s Disease can be found at

Statement from Assemblyman Sepulveda on Bill Signed by Governor Cuomo


Assemblyman Luis Sepúlveda, Chair of the Subcommittee on Transitional Services, praised Governor Andrew Cuomo today (9/28) for signing a package of legislation on Friday to ease prisoner reentry to communities upon their parole.

Among the bills signed into law was one sponsored Sepúlveda (A.7814 / S.4905), along with Senator Patrick Gallivan (R, Erie County) to ensure that parolees have next-day reporting to a parole officer, even if they had been scheduled for a Friday release.

The law effectively moves Friday release dates to the day before, Thursday, so that a weekend will not intervene between the release and the all-important next day meeting of the parolee with a parole officer.

“The first twenty-four hours after release from a facility can be the most critical for a parolee,” said Sepúlveda. “Next-day reporting is one of the best ways to ensure that the parolee hear — loudly and clearly — that the terms of his or her sentence still apply, and that bad behavior, like celebrating one’s release with alcohol or drugs, can lead to the parole being deemed violated and to the parolee’s swift return to prison.”

Sepúlveda said that the law will “greatly enhance community safety and increase successful outcomes for parolees.”

Syfy NY Comic Con Panels


WHAT:                 Syfy presents 12 MonkeysThe ExpanseHunters and The Magicians at this year’s New York Comic Con. Please find panels and press opportunities below.

WHEN:                 Thursday, October 8th

12 Monkeys:

Panel:  12:15-1:15pm (Main Stage)
Follow one man’s desperate attempt to save mankind from a group bent on global annihilation by braving an untested method of time travel. Join Executive Producer Terry Matalas and stars Aaron Stanford, Amanda Schull, Kirk Acevedo, Emily Hampshire, Barbara Sukowa and Todd Stashwick for an exclusive first look at the second season of this hit series from Syfy and Universal Cable Productions.
Moderator: Brian Quinn/Impractical Jokers

The Expanse:

Screening, Q&A and Panel:  4:00 PM – 5:20 PM – (Room 1A06)
Hailing from the writers of Children of Men and Iron Man and the director of Breaking BadThe Expanse is set 200 years in the future after mankind has colonized the solar system. The show is based on The New York Times bestselling book series of the same name. Join executive producers Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, along with series stars Thomas Jane, Steven Strait and Florence Faivre for a screening of the first episode and Q&A in anticipation of the series’December 14th premiere.
Moderator: Aaron Sagers/Blastr


Panel:  5:30 PM -6:30 PM (Room 1A06)
When the wife of a Baltimore FBI agent disappears, the search to find her leads to a secret government unit dedicated to hunting terrorists. The terrorists, however, are unlike any others, and might not even be of this world. Based on Whitley Strieber's best-selling novel Alien Hunter. Join Executive Producers Gale Anne Hurd (The Walking Dead) and Natalie Chaidez (12 Monkeys), series lead Britne Oldford and prosthetics creator Justin Dix for a Q&A and to get a first look at Syfy’s newest thriller, set to air in 2016. 
Moderator: Eric Goldman / IGN

Saturday, October 10th

The Magicians:

Panel:  4:00 PM – 5:00 PM (Room 1A06)
Sex, drugs and…magic? Life takes an interesting twist when a group of grad students  in New York find out that not only is magic real, but that they are in possession of powers beyond their wildest imagination. Based on author Lev Grossman's hit fantasy trilogy. Join executive producers John McNamara and Sera Gamble, along with cast members Jason Ralph, Stella Maeve, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Hale Appleman, Arjun Gupta and Summer Bishil for a Q&A and to get a first look at this all-new drama.
Moderator: Laura Prudom /Variety.