Friday, August 7, 2015

Inauguration of 2015 Executive Board & Board of Directors of the Bronx Chamber Of Commerce

  The place was the newest Jewel in the Bronx the new Marriott Hotel in the Hutchinson Metro Center for the inauguration of the 2015 Executive Board and Board of Directors of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce. 

Executive Officers

Chairman of the Board  --    Joseph Kelleher

President                               –      Lenny Caro

Vice Presidents               --    John Collazzi, Hon. June Eisland, Sandra Erickson
Dr. Stephen Jerome, April Horton, Anthony Mormile, Geri Sciortino, and Lisa Sorin/

Secretary                             --     Anthony Ross

Assistant Secretary       --     Barry Fitzgerald

Treasurer                          --      Anthony Mormile

Assistant Treasurer    --      Greg Gonzalez

Legal Counsel                  --      Jeffrey Underweiser

Executive Director       –       Michelle Dolgow Cristofaro

Above - State Senator Jeff Klein swears in the new Executive Board of the BCC.
Below - The elected officials in attendance stand with the new board.

Above - Speakers await their turn.
Below - So do State Senator Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj.

Above Left - BCC Chairman Joseph Kelleher
Above Right - BCC President Lenny Caro

Above - Bronx BCC businesses such as Mike's Deli brought samples of their delicious food.
Below - Latin Fusion providing some tasty Latin food samples.

Above - BCC President Lenny Caro samples some of the delicious Cuban food that Havana Cafe brought.
Below - BCC President Lenny Caro poses with the Inka Cola Ladies who were the hit of the event, food wise that is. 

STATEMENT FROM BP DIAZ RE: Legionnaires Outbreak/CDC Involvement

  “I want to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo and Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker for their quick response as we deal with the Legionnaires' outbreak affecting The Bronx, and for bringing the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to my borough to study this public health crisis.

“We need all hands on deck, and getting help from the CDC is a huge step in combating this disease that is hurting the South Bronx. Gov. Cuomo’s offer of free testing for building owners, the legislation that Council Member Vanessa Gibson and I have proposed to ensure that we are proactive against the further spread of the Legionnaires Disease, and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s push for testing buildings throughout the city are all positive steps forward in eliminating this problem while finding solutions to prevent yet another outbreak.

“I am happy to learn that we are seeing fewer new cases of this disease, and I look forward to continuing my work with the city and the state to mitigate this crisis and prevent future outbreaks. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those affected by this disease, and I wish them a speedy recovery,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Mother Teresa Food Drive Through August 25!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Citi Bike Share Program Will Expand Outside of the Five Boroughs for the First Time to Jersey City Next Month

  Next month the Citi Bike Share Program will be expanding outside of the five boroughs and across state lines to Jersey City. This has angered some city residents especially avid biker Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. who made the following statement. 

RE: Citi Bike Expansion to New Jersey

“It is deplorable that Citi Bike is expanding to New Jersey before the rest of the city. My borough deserves better, as do the parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island that are not currently served by our city’s official bike share program.

“Citi Bike is operated by NYC Bike Share. That ‘NYC’ should mean something,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Harlem State Senator Bill Perkins to run for Vacant Rangel Congressional Seat

  In what looked to be a two or three man race has turned into a six person race to replace Congressman Charles Rangel as Harlem State Senator Bill Perkins has told the New York Observer that he intends to run to represent the 15th Congressional District. Manhattan Democratic County Leader Assemblyman Keith Wright has already announced that he will seek to be Rangel's replacement, and Congressman Rangel even told me that he will be endorsing Assemblyman Keith Wright as Rangel had me take a photo posted on this blog posting May 29th at the renaming of East 205th Street in front of Bronx Science High School Bronx Science Boulevard. 

   Also declared for the 15th Congressional race is Adam Clayton Powell IV and  Reverend Suzanne Johnson Cook. East Harlem Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez and one other person from Washington Heights are possible candidates. State Senator Adriano Espaillat has made overtures as if he is a candidate for the third time having been beaten twice by incumbent Congressman Rangel twice, but Rangel is not running this year and the 15th Congressional seat will be an open seat. 

   You can find the entire New York Observer article on State Senator Bill Perkins HERE.

National Night Out in the 50th Precinct

  As you can see in the photo above new 50th Precinct commanding officer Terrance O'Toole has made a new friend in the name of Scooby Doo, as 50 Pct. Community Affairs officer Mindy Ramos, and Johnathan Soto of the mayors CAU unit look on. Hundreds of people and children took part in this National Night Out celebration that was held on West 228th Street in the Marble Hill section of the Bronx Community Board 8. 

Above - Captain O'Toole receives a citation for National Night Out from Mr. Soto of the mayors CAU unit.
Below - Scooby Doo meets his dancing partner Elmo from Sesame Street to dance with the kids. 

Above - Representatives from the Bronx District Attorney's office were on hand.
Below - Two nice ladies from the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) were also on hand to inform the child of what to do in case of emergencies. 

Mayor Updates Bronx on Legionnaire Disease Outbreak

  Yesterday Mayor Bill de Blasio updated Bronx residents on the developing Legionnaire Disease crisis in the South Bronx. With no real new hard facts the mayor reiterated what was said the night before at Town Hall meeting at the Bronx Museum.  DeBalsio tried to stress that the height of this epidemic was reached on July 30th and that new cases of Legionnaire Disease were now decreasing. There had been seven deaths with close to 100 total cases of Legionnaire Disease found. 

   I was able to get two questions in at the Press conference. My first question was to the mayor, asking him if he could assure the fans who would be attending the Yankee game since Legionnaire Disease is an airborne disease. I stated that one of the cooling tower sites found to be contaminated was only four blocks from Yankee Stadium. Mayor de Blasio tried to side step the question by saying that all contaminated cooling towers were found and all five were cleaned and decontaminated. My second question was to the Executive director of Lincoln Hospital one of the five sites whose cooling tower was found to have the Legionnaire Disease bacteria. I asked when the cooling tower was last cleaned and was told that OSHA rules require the cooling towers to be cleaned every six months, and that the Lincoln Hospital cooling tower was cleaned on March 15th 2015. 

  The mayor during the Press conference stated that he will be working with the city council to get new legislation passed to further address the inspection and cleaning of cooling towers in the future. That was my question to City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito the night of the Town Hall meeting at the Bronx museum. 

STATEMENT FROM BP DIAZ RE: Mayoral Support for Legislation on Legionnaires' Disease

“It is encouraging that Mayor de Blasio has joined my call for new legislation in response to this current outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease.

“As the scope and depth of the outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease in the South Bronx came into focus last week, I proposed new legislation that would allow the city to be proactive—and not reactive—to such outbreaks. Together, with Council Member Vanessa Gibson, we are introducing legislation creating an inspection mechanism for those systems where Legionnaires' Disease can thrive and to ensure appropriate follow-up inspections so that the disease does not return.

“It is the responsibility of government to protect the health and well-being of the public, and this common sense proposal will help do just that. It cannot be forgotten that seven Bronx residents have died during this outbreak. An appropriate inspection mechanism could have saved lives,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Legionnaire Disease Town Hall Meeting

   Monday night there was a Town Hall meeting on the recent outbreak of Legionnaire Disease in the Bronx. In the above photo are NYC Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett i\was joined by Dr. Jay Varma Deputy Commissioner for Disease Control, Milton Nunez Executive Director of Lincoln Hospital, Andrew D'Amora Chief of Staff of the NYC Office of Emergency Management, and Anne Bone of the New York State Nurses Association.   
  Each gave a brief speech about Legionnaire Disease trying to calm the packed room at the Bronx Museum which included Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr,. Public Advocate Letitia James, Congressman Jose Serrano, State Senators Jose M. Serrano and Gustavo Rivera, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson who coordinated the Town Hall meeting. 
  De. Bassett explained that Legionnaire Disease can only be gotten by inhaling contaminated water vapor from cooling towers, and can not be transmitted from person to person. It was explained that in the very hot weather if not properly cleaned and maintained the cooling towers on top of buildings can become breeding grounds for the Legionnaire Disease bacteria. It was stressed that there the NYC water supply was in no danger from the bacteria, because it is only found in the cooling towers that evaporate the heat in buildings to water vapor. 
  Dr. Bassett stressed that there was an incubation period of 2 - 10 days for Legionnaire Disease, and that is why we still see new cases. as of Tuesday morning there were seven deaths, and 81 cases of Legionnaire Disease recorded. She stressed that if you think you may have Legionnaire Disease to seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms are fever, cough, chills, and muscle aches. People who smoke or have lung disease, the elderly, and people with diabetes are of the highest risk of catching Legionnaire Disease. 5 percent of all cases of Legionnaire Disease result in death, and that there are 250 - 300 reported cases of Legionnaire Disease each year. This year there have been 256 cases of Legionnaire Disease reported so far. 
  This recent outbreak of Legionnaire Disease in the bronx started on July 12th, Since then 22 buildings were visited, 17 cooling towers in all were inspected, and 5 cooling towers were found to be contaminated and have been disinfected already by the city. The health commissioner said that there could be any one of many reasons for Legionnaire Disease bacteria to grow, and that the city council would be looking into legislation to address the matter. 
  There were many people who lined up to ask questions, and got little if any other information that was already said. People wanted to know why this happens over and over, and why do people have to die from it. I was able to question City Council Speaker Melissa Mark=Viverito on her way out and ask her what the city council plans to do as per what the city health commissioner had said.. Speaker Mark-Viverito said that the council will work with the Mayor and Health Department to come up with legislation that will address the problem of Legionnaire Disease. Exactly what she could not say, but she did say that the matter will be investigated, and whatever legislation that is needed will be put into place.   

Above - You can see on the wall that 22 buildings were visited, 17 cooling towers inspected, and 5 cooling towers tested positive for Legionnaire Disease.
Below - You can see the packed room, and long line of people with questions.

Above - Bronx BP Diaz had afew questions of his own after he tried to calm the audience.
Below - BP Diaz is joined by Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson, Deputy BP Greene, Public Advocate James, and out of the photo are Congressman Serrano and State Senator Jose M. Serrano along with City Council Speaker Melissa Mark- Viverito. 


Before the Town Hall meeting BP Diaz greeting and thanked many of the people on the long line for coming to the Town Hall meeting ad you see here.