Friday, August 28, 2015

Movie on Riverdale Avenue

This is what you saw last night if you were on Riverdale Avenue between West 236th and West 238th Streets, the movie Jurassic Park. Hundreds of people came out with their favorite chairs to watch as Riverdale Avenue was closed to traffic northbound at West 236th Street, and Southbound at West 238th Street so the giant portable movie screen could be set up, and folding chairs put out by 6 PM. 

Once the sun went down the movie Jurassic Park began and ran until 10 PM when everyone who was left saw the last reptile killed, and the hero's of the movie reunited and safe. State Senator Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinosaur, joined Ms. Tracy Shelton of KRVC (the sponsor group of Movie Night) before the movie began to tell those in attendance what had to be done to get the 'Movie on the Avenue' accomplished. While some people coming home were inconvenienced a little by the closure of Riverdale Avenue there were enough police officers from the 50th PCT. to handle the street closure. 

The speeches by the elected officials had to be gotten in before the movie started, and as darkness arrived both State Senator Jeff Klein (speaking) and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinosaur both thank KRVC and its Executive Director Ms. Tracy Shelton for the 'Movie Night on the Avenue, and the movie Jurassic Park.

Above - The hero's of the movie are being chased by offspring from the reptiles in Jurassic Park.
Below - The movie is about to end as the hero's are reunited. 

Movie Night at the Soundview Park Amphitheatre

  It was Yogi Bear comes to the Bronx last night at the new Soundview Park Amphitheater Movie Night hosted by the New York City Parks Department, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., State Senator Jeff Klein, and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo. Before the movie began while it was still light out the new Amphitheater was officially opened by NYC Parks Commissioner Michael Silver, BP Diaz, State Senator Klein, and Assemblyman Crespo. 

Above - NYC Parks Commissioner Michael Silver (standing without his crutches) tells how wonderful it is to be at the new Soundview Park Amphitheater.
Below - Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. thanks Parks Commissioner Silver (who is behind the BP, now using crutches to help stand him up from a softball injury) for the completed park project that BP Diaz tells was started when he was the assemblyman from the Soundview area many years ago.

State Senator Jeff Klein tells the importance of what the new park amphitheater will mean to local residents many of whom are in Senator Klein's district. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Cablevision Putting System Underground

  First it was Con Edison which ripped up streets in the Bronx, and is still busy at work digging up many streets as they head down to the South Bronx area to install high pressure gas lines. Now it is Cablevision who is putting its new fiber optic cables underground, and following in Con Edison's path to help ruin our streets. As you have seen on this blog that some of the Con Edison street patchwork had to be redone, and I hope the same will not be true of the Cablevision underground wire work. However why would a company such as Cablevision be doing this work when by the time they are finished almost everything will become wireless, and Cablevision will become the latest victim of new technology. 

Above - A contractor (much like the ones used by Con Edison) is digging up the intersection of West 239th Street and Blackstone Avenue in the Riverdale section of the Northwest Bronx to lay new underground cables.
Below - The underground casing for the Cablevision wiring is sitting on the sidewalk.

In an unrelated story Waldo Avenue (several blocks from where Cablevision is digging up the street to lay new underground wires) is being milled and repaved. Con Edison put in high pressure gas lines in this street less than one year ago. Since the roadway became so bad after the Con Edison construction, could that be why the city is repaving this street now. Will the street have to be repaved again when Cablevision digs it up to lay their underground wires?

Above - The top few inches of asphalt is easily removed by this street grinder which is loading the old street surface into the back of the bin of the dump truck.
Below - You can see that Waldo Avenue (like many city streets) was once made of cobblestones.

“Yogi Bear” Will Be Shown on Thursday at the Soundview Park Ampitheater

This Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 6PM the elected officials who represent the area – including Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., Assemblyman Marcos Crespo and State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. – will join together for an official Ribbon Cutting for the Soundview Park Amphitheater.  
The Soundview Amphitheater will be used as a stage for live music, entertainment and outdoor movies where families and children can join together for special times in Soundview Park.
It is also important for you to know that right after this Thursday’s event with the Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and other elected officials there will be a Free Movie Night where “Yogi Bear” will be shown for our children and families to enjoy.
So come out and have a nice, decent and marvelous night out with your families in Soundview Park.  Soundview Park is located at the end of the Bronx River Parkway South, and the entrance is located at Rosedale Avenue and Lacombe Avenue in Bronx County.

Jorge Ramos Makes the Case for Donald Trump

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

You should know that last night, during Donald Trump’s press conference in Dubuque, Iowa there was a confrontation between Univision reporter Jorge Ramos and US Presidential Candidate Donald Trump. 

After watching that interview, I believe that Jorge Ramos’ actions were an embarrassment to Hispanics, immigrants, reporters and to Univision. 

We all know that Donald Trump has become #1 in the polls because when he talks about immigration, he stirs a sentiment that resonates with many Americans who think that immigrants come here to take cover, be macho men, and enjoy the rights without respect, and do whatever they want to do. 

Jorge Ramos’s responsibilities were to wait until he was called upon like every other reporter, and to ask his question when called upon – not to grandstand about his views on immigration before he was called to even ask a question.  It was embarrassing to watch Jorge Ramos conduct himself they way he did last night.  He did not wait for his turn to ask a question, and he was not respectful when he did ask. 
Even when he was allowed to return to the press room, Jorge Ramos started to ask his question with his own opinion: "Here's the problem with your immigration plan. It's full of empty promises." 

Jorge Ramos’ preamble to his question for Donald Trump showed us all how he was trying to engage in debate with Donald Trump – not to be an objective news reporter.  He tried to tell Donald Trump what he can do and what he cannot do. 

You should know that there is a reporter by the name of Gerson Borrero who has disagreed with me on many occasions, but when he interviews me, he asks direct questions and allows me to answer his questions. He does not inject his personal views into any of his questions. THAT is the job of a reporter. 

With last night’s behavior of Jorge Ramos, he made the case for many of Donald Trump’s followers and other Americans who reject immigrants, thinking that we came here to take over without regard for any rules. I have to say that I believe Jorge Ramos’ behavior may have helped Donald Trump’s poll numbers to rise. 

I am State Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Citi Bike Thefts Up This Year Vs. Last Year

  In a New York 1 Story the NYPD is reported as saying that 476 Citi Bikes have been stolen this year, compared to only 300 in all of last year. The story states that there was a 100 percent increase in Citi Bike thefts in Manhattan, and that the $1,200 price tag for one Citi Bike may be the responsibility of the rider if the bike is not found or returned. Citi Bike is quoted as saying that most of the missing bikes are found or returned within 24 hours, and that the bikes are taken when riders fail to properly dock or leave them unattended. To read the entire New York One article complete with video HERE. 

Editors Note:
Maybe this is why the Bronx has no Citi Bike locations? 
Could it be that Citi Bike still believes in the 'Bad Ole Bronx Days', and not the 'New Bronx'?

Assemblyman Dinowitz: John F. Kennedy Gas Explosion

Statement from Assemblyman Dinowitz regarding the John F. Kennedy High School Gas Explosion

  “I and our other elected officials continue to work for the least disruptive outcome while repairs are made on the John F. Kennedy High School building.  In my conversations with the Department of Education I urged that work be done around the clock to ensure that repairs and reconstruction at JFK be completed quickly.  It is most unfortunate that the education of thousands of students will be disrupted as a result of the gas explosion.  The DOE must relocate the various schools from the JFK campus at other locations temporarily, but I reminded the DOE that a significant percentage of the students at JFK are from Manhattan and therefore the DOE needs to look at relocation sites in Manhattan and not just the Bronx. In addition, we all hope the injured workers make a speedy recovery from the horrific explosion that took place at the school, but the City must ascertain whether or not all workers on the site met all necessary qualifications for the job.”

FREE Outdoor Movie on the Avenue THIS Thursday!

 Movie on the Avenue!

We were able to reschedule
our Movie on the Avenue for
THIS Thursday, August 27th!
Event will feature a bounce house, face painting, a performance by Riverdale Children's Theatre and see below for more! 

Bronx Back To School Literacy & Health Fair 2015


  Music icon to ‘twist’ the night away with hundreds of Bronxites

State Senator Jeff Klein, together with hundreds of community members, will host the ‘King of The Twist,’ Chubby Checker, at Loreto Park on Wednesday, August 26 at 7:00 p.m.

Chubby Checker rose to national prominence in 1959 with his debut record, The Class. The following year, Checker released his smash hit, “The Twist,” which quickly rose to number one on the Billboard pop chart. Nearly 50 years later, Billboard Magazine named “The Twist,” the number one song of the Billboard Hot 100’s first 50 years. Today, Checker is celebrating the 55th anniversary of the hit song touring the country and dancing the night away with countless fans.

WHO: Senator Jeff Klein
Chubby Checker
Community members

WHAT: Senator Klein to host the legendary Chubby Checker at Loreto Park

WHERE: Morris Park Avenue, between Haight & Tomlinson avenues, Morris Park

WHEN: Wednesday, August 26 at 7:00 p.m.

Monday, August 24, 2015


Community comes together to celebrate success of the Stand Up to Violence program

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SUV Peace March & Rally: Senator Jeff Klein, Pastor Jay Gooding, 49th Precinct Council President Joe Thompson, Jacobi Hospital Associate Director of Public Affairs John Doyle, SUV volunteers.  

State Senator Jeff Klein held the Stand Up to Violence 1st Anniversary Peace March and Rally on Saturday. The special event concluded with a Family Day celebration at the Pelham Parkway Houses.

Stand Up to Violence (SUV) is a unique, innovative violence prevention program which deploys ‘credible messengers’ to targeted high-crime areas in The Bronx. The model relies on dedicated ‘violence interrupters’ to reach high-risk individuals and mediate conflict in the community.

Three years ago, when I first introduced the SUV Program here in the Bronx, we were facing an epidemic of violence in our streets, our backyards and our communities,” said Senator Klein. “In just three short years, this program has made a significant impact on guns and gang violence and reduced the incidence of shootings in targeted areas by approximately 40 percent. I’m proud to announce SUV’s recent expansion into Soundview and I look forward to continuing the fight to keep our streets safe for children and families.”

The SUV Peace March began on East 229th Street and White Plains Road at 10:00 a.m. A rally was held shortly after on East Gun Hill Road and White Plains Road. The day culminated with a fun-filled family event at Pelham Parkway Houses. Volunteers and outreach workers enjoyed hot dogs and hamburgers, as well as an array of games and activities for both kids and adults.

“As we celebrate the one year anniversary of the SUV program, I am deeply proud to have been a part of this program initiated by Senator Klein. We are thankful to our members, outreach workers and families who have helped us to reduce shootings by 40 percent in our target zones,” said Pastor Jay Gooding. “I am grateful to see this program flourish in the community where I grew up in and I hope within the next year we will see an even greater reduction.”

“It’s critical that we work to keep residents safe, be on the lookout for crime and report incidents of violence as quickly as possible to our local precincts. The SUV program is a proactive program that is cleaning up our streets and keeping our families safe. I’m thankful shootings have been reduced in the community and look forward to further reductions in the future,” said Wanda Hayes, resident of the Pelham Parkway Houses.

Since 2012, Senator Jeff Klein has secured nearly $1 million in state funding for the SUV program. The SUV program is administered in partnership with Jacobi Medical Center and Fellowship Tabernacle Church.

For more information on SUV, please visit or call (718) 822-2049.

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Pelham Parkway Houses Family Day: Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, SUV volunteers, children and families.


  Today, Council Member Vanessa Gibson, Chair of the Council's Committee on Public Safety, and Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, Deputy Leader and Co-Chair of the Council's Task Force to Combat Gun Violence, released the following statement after a high number of shootings occurred last weekend throughout the five boroughs. 

   "Our prayers for peace and comfort go out to the friends and loved ones of all of those impacted by the high number of shootings that took place throughout the city and the country this weekend. The assault on Mayor de Blasio's security detail has been a stark reminder to us all that in a climate where such violence becomes the norm, everyone is put at risk. A large number of major cities saw similar spikes in gun violence last weekend, including a high number of shootings in Chicago and Indianapolis. We must stay strong in the face of this continued assault on our quality of life and recognize that each of us has a role and responsibility to help reduce the senseless violence in our city and nation.

"Gun violence is a systemic disease which must be treated holistically. The frustrating reality is that although overall crime is down in New York City, we too frequently experience weekends filled with shootings. Although our city has begun to incorporate new policing tactics to combat violence, families will continue to lose loved ones if we don't take extra steps to holistically address violent behavior at its root cause. We must first severely limit the supply of guns in our city while still honoring the second amendment. Simultaneously, it is imperative that we get to the heart of the significant structural deficits that exist in many communities, often driving the need for violence that can result in fatal actions.

"As elected officials who have fought to improve our city's public safety, we are resolved to address this violence at every level and ask all New Yorkers to refuse to accept violence as an answer. With a combined community response and real, concerted efforts, we will stop seeing incidents like those we saw last weekend."

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Annual Bronx Democratic County Organization Barbecue, Baseball Games, and Family Day

  It was the Annual Bronx Democratic County organization Barbecue, Baseball Games, and Family Day, as in the photo above is Bronx Democratic County Leader Assemblyman Marcos Crespo with his lovely wife and two darling daughters.
  Instead of the usual barbecue as was the practice in the past new county leader Assemblyman Marcos Crespo wanted to show the teamwork of the Bronx Democratic County organization, and what better way then to have not one, but two baseball games. 

Above - Former County Leader and now Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie knocks one to the outfield during batting practice. Heastie would be the player coach of Heastie's Hitters.
Below - You can see that current County Leader Marcos Crespo has swung and missed as the ball is about to be caught by Assemblyman Victor Pichardo. Crespo was the player coach of Crespo's Crusaders. 

 Above - Before the first game there was a show of unity with starting from the right is a past County Leader Assemblyman Jose Rivera, his replacement as County Leader Assemblyman Carl Heastie, the current County Leader Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, and the man who has been with all three and some of those before them Election and County Lawyer Stanley Schlein. 
Below - Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson and Assemblyman Michael Benedetto pose with County Leader Crespo.

Above - While Heastie's Hitters went out to a 3 - 0 lead in the first inning, Crespo's Crusaders wound up winning the game 4 - 3 in extra innings, as they celebrate their victory. 
Below - City Comptroller Scott Stringer arrived as the first game ended. Assembly Speaker Heastie was my vote for MVP of the game even if his team did not win as Heastie played third base better than most current major league players while also hitting better than most of them.

Above - Congressman Jose Serrano who caught the six inning game for Heastie's Hitters lets everyone know how he feels, and not on the Iran Nuclear deal. Also in the photo is State Senator Jeff Klein (who did not play), Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz who was proud of his .333 batting average, but not so proud of his 3 errors at first base, and City Comptroller Scott Stringer. 
Below - BDCC Executive Director Anthony Perez talks with former Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera, with 78th A.D. Committee of 100 Democrats Chairman Ricky Martinez also in the photo.

Above - For the second game Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. led the BP's Bombers, against the second team of Crespo's Crusaders who this time had last games MVP Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.
Below - BP Diaz tells Speaker Heastie that he is making a mistake by going to the other team, and that the BP's Bombers will score more than both teams did in game one.

Above - BP Diaz is up to bat in the top of the first inning getting a base hit, where the BP Dombers batted around scoring 9 runs. 
Below - BP Diaz flashed the leather at first base as the game shortly ended with the BP Bombers winning 9 - 2. 

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Return Of Additional $4.5 Million To 15,000 Citi Customers For Fee Overcharges

Schneiderman’s Investigation Will Return More Than $20.5 Million In Total Reimbursement To More Than 46,000 Overcharged Customers
Schneiderman: Discovery Of Additional Overcharges Reflects Citi’sCONTINUEDEffort To Identify And Fully Repay All Overcharged Customers
        Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced that as a result of an interim agreement with Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. (CGMI), a subsidiary of Citigroup, more than 15,000 CGMI customers who were overcharged fees on their investmentACCOUNTSwill receive reimbursements totaling more than $4.5 million. Customers were overcharged when CGMI failed to rebate certain customers’ accounts after periods of inactivity when fees should not have been charged, but were. CGMI identified the overcharges as part of an internal review conducted in cooperation with the Attorney General’s investigation of CGMI fees. The investigation previously led to $16 million in principal and interest going back to 31,000 CGMI customers, and now thousands more customers are eligible to get money back.
“My office will work with any financial institution that identifies and wants to correct an error that harmed its customers. In this case, Citi’s cooperation with our investigation will result in $20.5 million being refunded to tens of thousands of Citi customers in New York and elsewhere,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “I want to thank Citi for itsCONTINUED cooperation with our investigation, which has ensured that Citi customers are getting back the money they deserve.”
For certain types of investment accounts, CGMI charges fees prospectively, for example, assessing fees at the beginning of a quarter for account management during the upcoming quarter. For a variety of reasons, a CGMI customer’s account may be ‘frozen’ during a particular period of inactivity. In some cases, customers should not be charged fees during that period. CGMI’s review revealed that if a customer requested a refund of prospectively paid fees that covered a period when the customer’s account was frozen, CGMI sometimes rebated the fees to the customer. However, CGMI’s review revealed that thousands of customers who were overcharged fees during frozen periods were not allocated rebates they should have received, either because they did not request a rebate, or because CGMI did not have policies and procedures in place to determine when rebates were appropriate. As a result, CGMI overcharged more than 15,000 accounts. CGMI will repay its customers for the overcharges, a total of more than $4.5 million in principal and interest. More than 2,700 New York customers are set to receive a total of approximately $657,000.
The Attorney General’s investigation of CGMI began in 2012 after a complaint from a Westchester resident led the Attorney General to investigate fee overcharge issues at CGMI. The investigation has proceeded with CGMI’s cooperation, and will result in theREPAYMENTof more than $20 million in principal and interest for fees CGMI overcharged its customers. Due to the Attorney General’s investigation, CGMI initially identified more than 31,000 customers who were charged higher advisory fees than they negotiated on so-called “TRAK” accounts. In an October 22, 2014 interim agreement between CGMI and the Attorney General, CGMI agreed to reimburse its customers for those overcharges. CGMI also agreed toCONTINUE to cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation and conduct a wider review of other types of accounts to ensure that anyACCOUNT holders who were overcharged would also be paid restitution. Citi has continued to cooperate since the October 2014 agreement, and its wider review of customer accounts identified the additional 15,430 Citi customer accounts that were overcharged fees during frozen periods.
As a result of the Attorney General’s investigation and Citi’s cooperation, more than $20.5 million will be repaid to more than 46,000 customers, including approximately $2 million to more than 5,600 customers in New York. The Attorney General will continue to oversee CGMI’s review and remediation efforts.
The investigation into Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. is led by Katherine Milgram, Deputy Chief of the InvestorPROTECTION Bureau, and Assistant Attorney General Dhawal Sharma.  Gary Brown, Assistant Attorney General-in-Charge of the Westchester Regional Office, has also contributed to the investigation. Karla G. Sanchez is the Executive Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice. The Westchester Office is part of the Division of Regional Affairs led by Executive Deputy Attorney General for Regional Affairs Marty Mack.