Saturday, October 3, 2015

Candid Speed Camera and/or Candid Red Light Camera Returns to PS 81

  I exposed that while the speed limit was lowered to 25 miles per hour in New York City on Friday November 7th the speed limit sign in front of PS 81 remained at 30 MPH into the first week of December. The photo above appeared on this blog December 3, 2014  

  On May 27th 2015 I caught this Speed Camera Car in front of PS 81 on Riverdale Avenue North between West 254th and West 256th Streets. It seemed that when this was exposed in my Riverdale Report column in the Bronx News the Speed Camera Car disappeared.  

Above Left -It appears there has been a stationary speed and/or red light camera placed where the speed car once parked, and this is what you will see as you drive up Riverdale Avenue past West 254th Street. 
Above Right - As you pass this speed and/or red light camera this is what you see in your rear view mirror.  If it is a speed camera and you are speeding or if it is a red light camera and you go through the red light at the corner of West 256th Street the sensors will detect it, and the camera will take a photo of your licence plate. In about a week a $50.00 ticket will arrive in the owner of the vehicle's mailbox, no questions asked. If the fine is not paid within 30 days the fine will increase which could lead to additional fines and penalties. The reason for the question of the camera is explained below   

 An interesting note as you see the information on the side, this camera is identified as a TraffiStar SR391 type of camera. It appears that this type of camera was made in 2009. There is no more information about this camera on the Internet. Prove me wrong, but I spent hours looking for it and only found that the camera was made by a company called Jenoptik AG a multi industrial and civil orientated company which manufactures optical and laser technology for business and traffic solutions for local governments such as cities and towns. The latest version is a SR 590 camera which is a combined speed and red light enforcement camera system. The SR 580 is a non invasive speed enforcement camera. This camera is neither of the two latest versions. fell free to comment if you have already received a summons from this camera, and please include what type of summons it was. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Klein & Gjonaj's Rx for Legionnaires' Disease: Free screenings & treatment at local urgent care clinic for seniors and the uninsured

  State Senator Jeff Klein, and Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj announced a partnership with ProHealth Urgent Care in Morris Park for free Legionnaires' disease evaluations and treatment for seniors and uninsured residents.
"Legionnaires' disease is completely treatable with antibiotics and I do not want any resident of Morris Park who is elderly or uninsured to avoid seeking health care if they believe they might have Legionnaires' symptoms. Our partnership with ProHealth Urgent Care will ensure that everyone can receive the treatment they need for free. I applaud the doctors at this community clinic for working with elected officials and caring for its neighbors during this time," said Senator Klein.
"Morris Park residents should not panic, but if they have any of the symptoms of Legionnaires' disease and don't have insurance or are elderly they have a place to go for medical care. Please do not wait to seek medical help. ProHealth Urgent Care is showing it's a real part of this community by offering free evaluations and treatment of Legionnaires' disease to the uninsured and our seniors. I applaud their partnership with myself and Senator Klein to make this happen," said Assemblyman Gjonaj.
The announcement comes after a Legionnaires' disease Town Hall this evening at Maestro's Caterers, 1703 Bronxdale Avenue at 8 p.m.
ProHealth Urgent Care, located at 1049 Morris Park Avenue, will start offering evaluations and treatment from October 2, until Sunday, October 11 . Senior citizens and uninsured residents who live within the 10461 or 10462 zip codes can walk in if they experience Legionnaires' disease symptoms. Co-pays will be waived.

THURSDAY'S Legionnaires' Town Hall Meeting in Morris Park

  It was cold and rainy outside, but inside the room was packed for the Morris Park Town Hall meeting on the 'Legionnaire Disease Cluster'. People came, had questions, and got little answers from city officials who showed up. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. asked , ' Why is Legionnaire's Disease only in the Bronx? Why if the cooling towers were cleaned weeks ago do we not know where it is coming from? Finally, is the city doing all that can be done.
  The answers BP Diaz received from Dr. Mary Bassett the NYC Department of Health Commissioner were -  Legionnaire's Disease has been around for many years now, we have identified the contaminated cooling towers, and we have wad them cleaned. As to Diaz's question of why only is Legionnaire's Disease found in the Bronx Dr. Bassett said it is found in other boroughs also starting with Coop-City and there was a roar since Coop-City is in the Bronx. She then went on to say there was a cluster in Queens and in mid-town Manhattan. When asked why of the 250 - 300 cases projected for 2015 more than half are coming from the Bronx there was no answer, just statistics to move away from the question. 
  New York City Public Advocate Leticia James said - We need answers from the commissioner on the start date of September 21st, and what is the source of this cluster? Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj may of had the best question of the night however when he asked - If the city started investigating this cluster on September 21st, why then were the elected officials (like himself) who represent the Morris Park area not told on September 21st, but instead learned about it one week later from news reports. Why did the city not inform the elected officials? Gjonaj stopped short there, saying that constituents were calling his office, and he (or any other elected official) could not give them any answers until the city went public with the information a week later. State Senator Jeff Klein wanted to know if state laws need to be instituted to handle the matter which the city can not. 
  Councilman Jimmy Vacca questioned the inspection process, while Assemblyman Michael Benedetto said it is a time to be calm and rational. However Benedetto said that he was not feeling well the past few days and was going to have himself checked out tomorrow for Legionnaire's Disease. Dr. Bassett spoke after the elected officials saying that all questions would be answered, Legionnaire's Disease is treatable if caught in the early stages, and that this time the city had a listing of where the cooling towers were so they could be quickly inspected. She added that there were 13 cases of Legionnaire's Disease, one death, 4 people released from the hospitals with 8 still admitted. The incubation period of 2 - 11 days from September 21st will soon to be over. so she expects no new cases of Legionnaire's Disease in the Morris Park cluster. 
  In the first outbreak of Legionnaire's Disease in the South Bronx Lincoln Hospital (a city hospital) was a focal point for the Legionnaire's Disease outbreak with a contaminated cooling tower, but it was determined by the city not to be the cause of the outbreak. In the Morris Park Legionnaire's Disease cluster Jacobi Hospital (a city hospital) had a contaminated cooling tower as did Lehman High School (a city public high school). there were 13 other cooling towers found to be contaminated in the Morris Park area, and I am sure one of those other 13 cooling towers will get the blame for this cluster. Mind you that all cooling towers in New York City had to be cleaned and inspected as of August 6th by the order of the Health Commissioner and the City Council. The Department of Education representative said that all Department of Education cooling towers are treated (not tested) every two weeks. When questions from the audience who lined up first in the middle of the room, which was then divided into two line at each end of the room. the meeting lasted for over two and a half hours with many people still shaking their heads as to their safety. State Senator Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj have arraigned with Prohealth Urgent Care, located at 1049 Morris Park Avenue to offer evaluations and treatment starting Friday October 2nd through Sunday October 11th . Co-pays are going to be waived for this time period. 

Above  Left - BP Diaz leads the questioning of city officials.
Above Right - Public Advocate James has the next question.
Below Left - State Senator Jeff Klein wants some answers.
Below Right - Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj wants to know what took so long to tell the local elected officials.

Above - The panel of city officials which included NYC Department of Health Commissioner of Health Dr. Mary Bassett, her Deputy Commissioner, representatives of the Department of Education, and other city agencies.  
Below - Two of the several slides that were projected about the Legionnaire's Disease cluster in Morris Park.

 The line of attendees on hand in the center of the room who had questions was so long that it had to be made into two shorter lines on each side of the room.




  The Bronx economy continues to grow and improve, according to recently released numbers from the New York State Department of Labor.

The unemployment rate in The Bronx fell to 7.3 percent in August 2015, down from 7.7 percent in July 2015 and 9.5 percent in August 2014. In January 2010, the borough’s unemployment rate hit an all-time high of 14.1 percent.

Those same statistics show that the borough’s labor force participation rate grew by 7,000 since August 2014, with about 19,600 more Bronxites employed and roughly 12,600 residents of Bronx County coming off the unemployment rolls.

“We are creating new jobs in The Bronx, and we are making sure that Bronxites are getting those jobs,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “Together, in partnership with our elected officials, business community, non-profit sector and others, we have cut unemployment nearly in half since 2010, and we are continuing to attract new companies of all kinds to The Bronx. We have more work to do, but our efforts to improve the borough’s economy are certainly bearing fruit.”

Earlier this month, Borough President Diaz co-hosted a job fair with the New York State Department of Labor and the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation. The event featured representatives of 23 companies offering 1,000 jobs, and was attended by hundreds of individuals.

Also in September, Borough President Diaz cut the ribbon at the new home of tech firm Doran Jones in Port Morris. The company’s new Urban Development Center will bring hundreds of high-­tech jobs and millions in economic development to the South Bronx.

“We are building a diverse economy in The Bronx, and we are creating new jobs in a variety of fields. From our nascent tech sector, to our new retail hubs, to our burgeoning industrial and manufacturing concerns to the bedrock of our healthcare industry, we are creating jobs for all Bronxites,” said Borough President Diaz. 

The Department of Labor’s complete release can be found at

Since Borough President Diaz took office in 2009, The Bronx has seen more than $7 billion in total development, which has led to the creation of over 15,000 new jobs. In addition, a new partnership announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in August between the New York State Department of Labor and the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, as part of the “NY Works,” program is placing Bronx residents in these jobs, helping to ensure that new development here benefits everyone, especially Bronxites.

FREE Domestic Violence Informative Workshop - October 13, 2015 at CB #12 - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m

  October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month: In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Office of the Bronx District Attorney in collaboration with Community Board 12, NYPD and the Family Justice Center is offering a FREE informative workshop on: Domestic Violence. Date: Tuesday, October 13, 2015 – Time 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. – Location Community Board 12, Carriage House, 4101 White Plains Road, Bronx, New York 10466. To RSVP contact Raeshawn Horry, Program Coordinator at 718.838.7461 or 718.590.2272 or


  IDC Leader Klein travels to Washington, DC; touts progressive accomplishments in New York

State Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein visited the White House on Wednesday to meet with President Obama and senior White House officials to discuss New York State and national priorities for 2016. More than 60 legislators from across the country joined Senator Klein for the discussion, which centered on moving forward progressive legislation like paid family leave, college affordability, raising the minimum wage, enacting criminal justice reform and more.

“Paid family leave has been one of my signature policy issues. It’s imperative that workers receive 12-weeks to take care of a newborn or a loved-one without having to sacrifice their paycheck. I’m honored that President Obama has offered his administration’s assistance to help push forward this important policy so that no one in New York will have to choose between what’s in their bank account and what’s in their heart,” said Senator Klein.

“I was tremendously proud to share with legislators the key to passing full-day universal pre-K, as I did in New York. Helping other states provide free education to their four-year-olds is a priority for the Obama administration and I hope my guidance helps other leaders launch fully-funded UPK programs in their states,” Senator Klein added.

Senior White House officials opened the day with an overview of President Obama’s national priorities and their efforts to support state houses across the country on progressive legislation.

The administration pledged to provide resources, data and send cabinet members to states to support important bills like Senator Klein’s paid family leave legislation currently before the New York State Senate and Assembly.

White House officials and state delegates focused round-table discussions on strategies for 2016. Senator Klein provided insight and advice to other states on New York’s monumental passage of Universal Pre-Kindergarten and his efforts to raise the minimum wage statewide.

The day also provided the opportunity for legislators to connect with colleagues at the state level and build partnerships for the future. Senator Klein met with President Obama and the president pledged his full support for Senator Klein’s paid family leave legislation. Other issues discussed included raising the minimum wage and helping to make college more affordable for students across the country.

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.”