Saturday, July 11, 2015

Castle Hill Family Day

   Hundreds of people came to today's 'Family Day in Castle Hill' provided by State Senator Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda. Also on hand were Congressman Jose Serrano, Female District Leader Julia Rodriguez, and many others. There was free hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorn, cotton candy, ices, snacks, juice, and water, along with other attractions such as a face painter, balloon clown, and many informative community tables set up as you will see in the photos below.

Above - Congressman Jose Serrano, Female District Leader Julia Rodriguez, Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda, and Female State Committeewoman Barbara Brown.
Below Assemblyman Sepulveda holds his son who wants to have some fun in the bouncy castle that was set up.

Above - Two representatives of Homebase explain some of the services offered which include Eviction Prevention Services, Paralegal and Financial Counseling, Case Management and Housing Placement/Retention Services, Job Training and Placement, and several other Advocacy services offered by Homebase which is located at 2155 Blackrock Avenue phone number 718-414-1050.
Below - Nick of A1 Food Distributors mans the grill as there were plenty of hamburgers and hot dogs given out. 

Above and Below - The Balloon clown at the Well Care table was fantastic, as he made different items out of balloons for the children. 

Free Fitness Class - by Seton Falls Park Coalition

As you see in the photo above there were a crowd of lovely ladies on hand for this mornings 'Free Fitness Class' at Seton Falls Park that was run by 'Tony the Trainer of 'Magic Fitness' These fitness classes will occur every Saturday morning there is good weather. Check in time is 9:45 AM, and the class runs for about one hour of fun, stretching, and exercise. Ms. Renee Paterson is the President of the Seton Falls Park Preservation Coalition, and can be reached at 917-544-8859 for more information about the fitness classes in Seton Falls Park located on Crawford Avenue just behind MS 142 in the Baychester section of the Bronx.

Another happy Fitness Class member with Tony the Trainer at the Seton Falls Park summer fitness classes on Saturday mornings.

8th Annual Allerton Food Festival Saturday, July 18th

We hope you can join us!

Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, Allerton Avenue Homeowners Tenants 
Association, and The Bronx Chamber of Commerce present the 8th 
Annual International Food Show happening on Saturday, July 18th from 
12 - 5 PM on Allerton Ave from Boston Road. This event will feature signature cuisines from all around the world. Free food sampling will be from 12 - 1 PM 

Attendees are welcome to enjoy free salsa lessons, balloon art,  
GIVEAWAYS and more! 
Bring your family and friends and enjoy this tasteful event


  Council Member Cohen will host a round table discussion regarding the City Council Budget for Fiscal Year 2016

   On Thursday, July 16th at 1:00 p.m. Council Member Andrew Cohen will host a round table discussion regarding the allocation of funds in the City Council Budget for fiscal year 2016 at the Kingsbridge Public Library.

The budget is the centerpiece of policy making in government. It is the single most important municipal document that affects the lives on New Yorkers. Members of the media in attendance will have the opportunity to discuss the budget and how it will affect New York City, as well as how it will impact the residents of District 11.

WHO:     Council Member Andrew Cohen
WHEN:   Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: Kingsbridge Public Library
              291 West 231st Street, Bronx, NY 10463

DiNapoli: Dormitory Authority Overstated MWBE Contract Participation

Press Releases

DiNapoli: Dormitory Authority Overstated MWBE Contract Participation

The state Dormitory Authority (DASNY) for the past four years overstated the amount of business it did with minority- and women-owned business contractors (MWBE) and could not show how it determined the authority’s overall MWBE participation goals or industry-specific goals, according to a report released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.
“Ensuring MWBE opportunities with the state isn’t about being politically correct, it’s smart business. It’s about creating a more diverse, vibrant, and ultimately, more successful New York,” DiNapoli said. “My auditors found DASNY officials have not properly set annual participation goals for minority- and women-owned businesses and need to improve the accuracy of reporting program results.”
State law requires state agencies and public authorities to promote the participation of minority- and women-owned business enterprises in their contracts. The agencies and authorities are supposed to establish annual goals for MWBE, make a good faith effort to achieve those goals, and report quarterly on their MWBE participation to the Department of Economic Development (DED).
The law sets the state’s MWBE participation target at 28.92 percent. DASNY set an annual goal in each of the four fiscal years 2011-12 through 2014-15, ranging from 20 percent to 26 percent. While authorities may submit MWBE plans with participation goals that are less than the statewide goal; they must also include explanations as to why. DASNY did not do so.
DASNY officials told DiNapoli’s auditors that the goal of 28.92 percent participation was not achievable, due to certain unique circumstances faced by the authority. However, they provided no formal analysis to support that claim and could not demonstrate how they determined the authority’s overall MWBE participation goals.
According to DASNY:
  • For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012, it paid MWBEs $200.3 million out of $864.9 million in total contract payments, for a MWBE participation rate of 23.2 percent. 
  • For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013, it paid MWBEs $181.8 million out of $839.3 million in total contract payments, for a participation rate of 21.7 percent; and
  • For the nine months ended Dec. 31, 2013, it paid $166.2 million to MWBEs out of $591.4 million, for a participation rate of 28.1 percent.
DiNapoli’s auditors, however, determined that DASNY overstated these numbers. Auditors found that a sample of payments to prime contractors totaling $37.8 million was overstated by $9.2 million (24 percent), and a sample of payments to subcontractors totaling $25.9 million was overstated by $4 million (15 percent).
The law allows payments from MWBE prime contractors to MWBE subcontractors to be counted towards MWBE participation goals. However, in preparing reports to DED, DASNY did not make adjustments for such payments. 
For example, one prime contractor was paid $3,877,310. Out of that, sub-contractors were paid $1,103,868. DASNY, however, reported a total of $4,981,178 being paid to MWBEs.
DASNY also reported MWBE participation for two payments made to non-MWBE prime contractors. The payments of $1.5 million were sent to the prime contractor’s address, with a notation that they were “in care of” the MWBE vendor. However, there was no evidence that the MWBE vendor actually had any role in the procurements.
DiNapoli’s recommendations to DASNY include:
  • Develop and implement formal processes to properly establish annual MWBE participation goals.
  • Develop ways to assure data entered into the authority’s automated MWBE participation reporting system is correct; and
  • Develop processes to correct data-entry errors, including providing revised amounts and participation rates to DED and other stakeholders.
DASNY officials generally disagreed with the auditors’ observations and conclusions. However, officials also indicated the report provided useful observations about data management and they will formalize the authority’s process to establish annual MWBE participation goals.

Friday, July 10, 2015


Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has announced the slate of performers that will take part in the 2015 Bronx Summer Concert Series at Orchard Beach.

“The Bronx has been nurturing ground for the development of a lot of types of musical genres, and we want to keep that musical tradition alive,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “Whether it’s Hip Hop or Salsa, music is as much a part of our identity as Yankee Stadium or the Bronx Zoo. Our concert series helps add to that longstanding legacy of great music that comes out of our borough.”

The Bronx Summer Concert Series at Orchard Beach kicks off this Sunday, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., with Salsa legend Domingo Quinones.

The concert series is sponsored this year by Optimum, Macy’s, BronxCare, Latino Sports Ventures, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, The Bronx Tourism Council and NYC Parks.

This year’s concert series lineup, who will perform next to the Orchard Beach boardwalk at the main stage by Section 9, will feature acts such as:

·         Sunday, July 19: Conjunto Imagen & The Karl 
                                      Browne Band
·         Sunday, July 26: Julian Vazquez "El Diamanté de la 
                                      Salsa" & Music with a Message
·         Sunday, August 2: Tipica 73
·         Sunday, August 9: Nelson Gonzalez
·         Sunday, August 16: The Mambo Legends Orchestra
·         Sunday, August 23: CharanSalsa
·         Sunday, August 30: Luis Damon

“The summer season is a great time to celebrate the musical heritage of the borough,” said Olga Luz Tirado, Executive Director of The Bronx Tourism Council. “Not only are we the birthplace of Hip-Hop and Doo-Wop, but the borough was home to many Jazz greats and played a pivotal role in the global phenomenon we know as Salsa.”

Senator Jeff Klein Hosts 2 Events Thursday - Free Backpacks for Kids - New Peepholes for Seniors

  Klein secured $60,000 state grant to fund summer backpack giveaway for Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club and HELP Bronx homeless shelter

Local kids swing into summer with brand-new backpacks filled with books, jump ropes, sidewalk chalk and more

Above - The backpacks to be given out to the boys and girls at Kips Bay are lined up on the stage behind Senator Klein and Kips Bay Executive Director Daniel Quintero, who is speaking.
Below - Several children stand in front of Senator Klein, Kips Bay Executive Director Quintero, and Ed Doty of the Youth Services Opportunity Project.

State Senator Jeff Klein and the Youth Service Opportunities Project (YSOP) donated summer backpacks to nearly 300 Bronx children from  the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club and the HELP Bronx Morris Avenue homeless shelter on Thursday.
“Today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders and ensuring that all students regardless of background have the tools they need to succeed is critically important. By providing Bronx children with summer backpacks filled with educational, fun and engaging activities, we are not only expanding their horizons, but equipping them for the future. I’m proud to have secured $60,000 in state funding for the Youth Service Opportunities Project and I look forward to working together for many years to come,” said Senator Klein.

“We are proud to partner with Senator Jeff Klein for this Kids Share Project.  Students from Prospect Hill Elementary School in Pelham were concerned about nearby children who might not have everything they need to enjoy their vacation.  By extending the simple but powerful act of sharing, hundreds of new students will be able to enjoy their summer through outdoor activities, fun games and at least one new book. We applaud Senator Klein for supporting this project and providing this vital funding to the Youth Service Opportunities Project,” said Ed Doty, Executive Director of Youth Service Opportunities Project.

“I want to thank Senator Klein for understanding the importance of lifting up our children. Unfortunately, all over the city, there are young people who don't receive the resources or attention they deserve. Today’s act of generosity and kindness for the children of the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club is an example all public officials should follow,” said Daniel Quintero, Executive Director of the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club.

The Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club has more than 10,000 members and works to improve the quality of life for children ages 6 - 18 who come from disadvantaged or underserved neighborhoods. HELP Bronx Morris Avenue is home to more than 200 families and provides transitional housing, health services, and early childhood education.

Shortly afterwards - Senator Klein was off to Evergreen Avenue.


Installations funded through $180,000 grant secured by Klein

New peepholes provide panoramic views of the outside; Improve access and functionality; Significantly boost safety & security for seniors and individuals with disabilities

“By improving safety and security in our neighborhoods, we are ensuring that our most vulnerable populations will continue to live both safely and comfortably in their homes for years to come. I’m proud to have secured $180,000 in state funding to boost crime prevention in our communities and I commend the Neighborhood Initiatives Development Corporation for their efforts to lift up and protect all residents of the 34th Senate District. I look forward to our continued partnership as we fight to build stronger, more resilient communities in the northeast Bronx and beyond,” said Senator Jeff Klein.

More than 150 households have already received new peepholes and an additional 75 will be installed this month. The peephole installation project is designed for seniors and disabled tenants who do not currently have a peephole, or whose current peephole does not meet their needs. The new and improved peepholes provide panoramic views of the outside, are installed directly at eye level and significantly improve functionality and visibility for residents.

“Seniors represent one of our most vulnerable populations. Keeping them safe in their homes is our main priority and the peephole initiative was created for that purpose. By installing peepholes at a more appropriate viewing level and with a better look at who is standing outside their door, residents have a better chance of not becoming victims of push-in robberies or assaults. We also provide our seniors with crime prevention information on safeguarding their homes, their cars and themselves. Thank you to Senator Klein for providing this essential funding and we look forward to working together now and into the future,” said Hazel Muira, Director of Housing and Community Development at NIDC.

The initiative is part of a larger effort by Senator Klein to boost safety and security in his district through partnerships like the Northeast Bronx Crime Prevention Project. In the last two years, Senator Klein has secured nearly $200,000 in state funding to keep Bronx neighborhoods safe and build cohesive communities that work together to enhance public safety.

Above - A worker is installing the new lower and better viewing peephole.
Below - The finished product is a more panoramic view for the tenant which is a safer view. 

Senator Klein in front of 950 Evergreen Avenue being interviewed as to why he is so involved in the communities that he represents.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Abrazo Dominicano 2015 Friday, July 24th 7:00 PM - 12:00 AM at Maestro's Caterers

Croton Facility Monitoring Committee - Task Force on Jerome Park Reservoir Access Meeting

  Here is the agenda for the CFMC Task Force on Jerome Park Reservoir Access meeting to be held Monday July 13th starting at 5 PM at the Van Cortlandt Jewish Center located at 3880 Sedgwick Avenue.


Croton Facility Monitoring Committee Meeting

Task Force on Jerome Park Reservoir Access

Monday, July 13, 2015 – 5:00 PM

Van Cortlandt Jewish Center

3880 Sedgwick Avenue, Bronx New York 10463

I. Call to Order 

II. Election of Chair of Task Force on Jerome Park Reservoir Access 

III. Discussion - New Business

IV. Set Date of Next Meeting of Task Force 

V. Adjourn


Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. 

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz

Gary Axelbank

Father Richard Gorman

Dan Padernacht

CFMC Task Force on Jerome Park Reservoir Access members. 

Mayor's OneNYC Plan Leaves Many Out of the Process

   Mayor Bill de Blasio's OneNYC Plan according to Capital One which promised an unprecedented outreach effort from every corner of the city has many Community Board leaders questioning 'What Outreach'? Capital One quotes Bronx Community Board 12 Chairman Father Richard Gorman as saying "No one called here", meaning the Community Board 12 office. 

   OneNYC Plan is a legally four year mandatory updated version of the then Mayor Bloomberg PlaNYC. According to the story, Capital One contacted all 59 citywide Community Boards to find out how many were involved in the community outreach process. Of the 31 responses, 22 CB leaders said that they had no input in the One NYC Plan, and added that some still have not been contacted even though it is more than two months since the OneNYC Plan was rolled out by the de Blasio administration. 

   While the Capital One story says that there were some community meetings, others were not held or hard copies of the OneNYC Plan were not made available. It is also said that the same consultants that were used to make up the PlaNYC for Mayor Bloomberg were used by the de Blasio administration. Also mentioned is that City Hall spokeswoman Amy Spitalnick said it was never the mayor's intention to have meetings with all 59 community boards. In response to being shown an e-mail that said city officials planned to meet with all 59 Community Boards, she replied that it was "A Typo." Go to the link at the beginning of this posting to read the entire Capital One article titled 'De Blasio planning process skips many community boards.  


Monday, July 6, 2015

Will Mayor Bill de Blasio face a 2017 Democratic Primary

  The talk on The Daily News 'Daily Politics' Blog is of a war between the mayor and governor Sparks talk of Primaries  The Story starts off saying that Mayor Bill de Blasio is up fro re-election in 2017. Since there has been a war of words of recent between the mayor and governor that several names are being floated as a possible Democratic primary challenger to Mayor de Blasio in 2017. Those names include City Controller Scott Stringer, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and Brooklyn Congressman Hakeem Jeffries. 

   I have mentioned Controller Stringer as a possible candidate in 2017 for mayor, which would then mean that there could be a race to fill Stringer's Controller seat. I also have mentioned Bronx Borough President ruben Diaz Jr. as one of those who might run for City Comptroller should the current City Comptroller Scott Stringer run for mayor in 2017. 

  Getting back to the Daily News item, they say that it is unlikely that Governor Cuomo would get directly involved in backing a challenger to a sitting NYC Democratic Mayor, but there could be other ways for the governor to help a de Blasio challenger. Labor is likely to be behind the incumbent mayor, but there could be one or more major unions that would go with a challenger. 

   The Daily News ends by saying that there is also the possibility of a primary challenge to Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2018, but that a Cuomo aide dismissed talking about a primary that is three years away. You can read the entire Daily Politics article at the link at the start of this story.   

Silvercup Studios Expands in the Bronx

  Lights, Camera, Action in the Bronx!

Silvercup North to open next year

Silvercup Studios expanding with a new Bronx film and television production facility; $35M project brings hundreds of well-paying jobs

 To help meet the growing needs of New York’s booming film and television production industry, Silvercup Studios, the Northeast’s leading independent film and television production studio facility, announced plans today that it is expanding with a new studio complex to open at 295 Locust Avenue in the Port Morris section of the Bronx. The $35 million project will bring hundreds of well-paying jobs as well as millions of dollars in tax revenue to the borough. With the expansion to its third location, Silvercup Studios will operate more than 500,000 square feet of studio space citywide.

Silvercup will transform an existing modern warehouse into a 115,000-square-foot full service production facility.  Silvercup North will feature four production studios with 50-foot-high ceilings. The four studios to be built at 295 Locust Avenue will have the highest ceilings of any film/TV production studio in New York City and can easily accommodate two-story sets. A full complement of shops, offices and other support space essential to support film and television production will be provided on-site.

The project will bring an estimated 80 to 100 construction jobs. The new studio space and the film and television productions that will occupy them will create an estimated 400 well-paying production-industry jobs, in addition to injecting money in the local community for materials, and other goods and services to support the productions. 

“The film and television industries have historically offered good jobs with pathways to success for New Yorkers, and the expansion of this thriving industry will be hugely meaningful for Bronxites,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Every year the production industry injects over $7.1 billion to our local economy and creates over 130,000 jobs in New York City, and thanks to Silvercup’s new studio, the Bronx will now receive its piece of this pie.”

“My office has been working to expand the film industry in The Bronx for several years, and we are thrilled to welcome Silvercup Studios to the mainland and their new home in Port Morris,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “This expansion will not only bring new jobs and economic development to our borough, it will also help us continue to rebrand our borough and showcase the transformative development we have seen over the past decade. The Bronx and Silvercup Studios will be great partners, and I look forward to working with them on this expansion, and to make this project work for all Bronxites.”

“The film and television industry is a key component of New York State’s economic development strategy that injects billions of dollars into the economy and creates thousands of industry jobs for New Yorkers,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “New York has become the premiere destination for filming, and Silvercup Studios’ expansion to the Bronx further supports the industry’s staggering growth as this iconic production studio continues to attract more films and televisions shows to the Empire State.”

“Silvercup’s expansion to the Bronx is indicative of the thriving creative industry that the City of New York has created and supported throughout the five boroughs,” said Commissioner Cynthia López, Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. “This new facility in the Bronx will not only increase stage options for the production industry, but it will also bring new jobs and business opportunities to the borough. We want the entertainment industry to experience everything the Bronx has to offer, and we applaud Silvercup on this new endeavor.”

With its iconic sign visible from the East River, Silvercup Studios has been home to famed television productions including HBO's Sex and the City and The Sopranos30 Rock, Gossip Girl, dozens of major motion pictures includingWhen Harry Met Sally and The Devil Wears Prada, and hundreds of commercials. Current productions at Silvercup’s Queens facilities include GirlsElementary, Madam Secretary, Mister RobotThe Mysteries of Laura, and Person of Interest.Silvercup North is slated to be completed by June 2016.

“For more than 30 years, Silvercup Studios has been an integral part of New York’s film and television production industry, which has never been more active than it is today,” said Silvercup CEO Alan Suna. “The Bronx is undergoing a tremendous revitalization right now. We’re excited to expand our studios here as the industry continues to grow and to bring with it high quality production jobs and the resulting benefits from having this production work remain in New York.”

Silvercup North will benefit from proximity to the Bruckner Expressway, the Major Deegan Expressway, the RFK Bridge and the number 6 subway line providing easy access to Manhattan, Queens, Westchester and Long Island. In addition, the building’s location offers access to a large skilled labor pool.

Free Fitness Class - by Seton Falls Park Coalition

Seton Falls Park Coalition


2nd Fitness in the Park


Saturday July 11, 2015

Seton Falls Park Stars & Stripes Playground 

(Behind MS 142) Entrance on Crawford 

& Palmer Avenues Bronx

9:45 am Registration

Get active more often on Saturday 

mornings in our Beautiful Park. 


Bridget     347-692-5417

Renee       917-544-8859

Suzette     646-363-3550


Sunday, July 5, 2015

New Development at 640 West 238th Street

Demolition of a one family house at 640 West 238th Street took place. West 238th Street in front of 649 West 238th Street has an island in the middle of the street that divides the road into east and west roadways. These roadways are very narrow as you will see in the photos below, and that the demolition vehicles had to go on to the island to maneuver in such a tight area, and the resulting damage to the island.

Above -Demolition truck is blocking West 238th Street in front of a one story house that has been torn down to make way for a 27 unit (or larger) building.
Below - Demolition truck has very little room to maneuver in front of 640 West 238th Street. 

Above - What the corner of the Island in the middle of West 238th Street looks like after the demolition of the one family house at 640 West 238th Street. 
Below - A head on photo of just how little room there is to maneuver large demolition or even building equipment in front of 640 West 238th Street. Note that only one panel truck can be parked on the sidewalk in front of 640 West 238th Street.

Above - You can see that this truck is right next to the homes to the east of 640 West 238th Street in the tiny lot that was a one family home.
Below - You can see the very same truck and driver, and now see how little room is on the other side to the west which is adjacent to the Bonnie House Coop where a one story building once stood..

One last photo to show how small the lot is at 640 West 238th Street, and the problems with the size of the lot.