Saturday, October 24, 2015


State Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, Council Member Jimmy Vacca, the Pelham Parkway Neighborhood Association, The Allerton International Merchants and the White Plains Road BID, hosted the third annual Pelham Parkway Halloween Parade and Party.

The parade kicked off at the southeast corner of White Plains Road & Pelham Parkway South and traveled down White Plains Road to Brady Avenue. The party took place at P.S. 105 where children enjoyed face painting, games, carriage rides, music and more. All children took home a special treat bag filled with candy and coloring books courtesy of Senator Klein. See photos below.

Above - Before the Halloween Parade began on White Plains there were snacks given out to all by the White Plains Road Bid Executive Director Joe Thompson (left), who was assisted by two friends.
Below - Once Senator Klein and Assemblyman Gjonaj arrived the Halloween Parade down White Plains Road began.

Above and Below - The parade continues down White Plains Road.

Above - The parade passes CVS Drug Store.
Below - The parade passes the pumpkin patch set up by the supermarket.

Above - The parade arrives at P.S. 105, and you can see that the crowd of marchers goes for over two blocks.
Below - There were plenty of snacks and juice ready for the marchers in the lunchroom.

Above - Goody bags are lined up for the young marchers to have.
Below - Bouncy castles were set up for the enjoyment of the children.

Above and Below - The hit of the Halloween party was the hayride. 


BCPGS Banner
Please Join Us for Speak Up Fundraiser at The Bronx Beer Hall!!                                           
For over 20 years the Bronx Parks Speak Up has brought together 350+ people who care about Bronx Parks & Green Spaces.
The planning takes several months and the event, which is free, costs thousands of dollars to put together.
We'd love it if you could come to our first ever fundraiser on Wednesday, October 28 at 6:00 PM  at the Bronx Beer Hall.
                                            You can buy your tickets here
                                            If you can't attend, please use the link above to make a Tax-Deductible Donation.



By Robert Press

Build it Anyhow - CPC 

    The move for more affordable housing moves on in the Northwest Bronx. On Wednesday October 28th  Bronx Community Boards Seven and Eight will be holding public meetings on the City Planning Commission plan known as Land Use Review Application N160049ZRY. Explanation - The Department of City Planning is proposing a set of targeted changes to zoning regulations to support the creation of new affordable housing under the Mayor’s ten-year, five-borough Housing New York plan.  
    The Community Board seven meeting begins at 6:30 PM at the Sister Annunciata Bethel Senior Center located at 243 East 204th Street (between Valentine Avenue and Mosholu Parkway). Also on the agenda is the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing text amendment which will come first. If you plan to attend the Community Board seven meeting prepare for a long stay as this meeting should last for several hours. 
    The Community Board eight meeting begins at 7:30 PM at the Riverdale Jewish Center located at 3700 Independence Avenue at the corner of West 237th Street. Community Board eight has already held a meeting on the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing text amendment in which there were several questions that appeared to remain unanswered. I am sure the same will happen at the Community Board seven meeting. 
    The mayor was so proud that he had met his first year goal of achieving over twenty thousand units of affordable housing. With the recent Stuyvesant City agreement to save five-thousand more units of affordable housing this year, why then is the mayor pushing to have text amendments to the land use process for even more units when the goal is being met? Several community boards citywide have voiced their opposition to the proposed zoning text amendments, and there seems to be no good reason why Bronx Community Boards seven and eight will not be added to the list if not many more citywide. 
   Check the posting on this blog that Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has said that just under 100,000 more Bronxites are employed then when he took office in 2009. When BP Diaz took over in 2009 as the Borough's ranking elected official unemployment in the Bronx was in double digits. The Department of Labor has released the September 2015 unemployment rate for the Bronx to be at 6.6 percent down from 8.7 percent a year ago. 
    Speaking of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. - the Tour De Bronx will take off on Sunday from the Bronx Courthouse on East 161st Street at 10 AM, and riders are encouraged to get there by 9 AM to sign in. There is a 25 mile ride and a 40 mile ride that riders can take, and both rides end at the Bronx Botanical Garden with the festival beginning at 2 PM.     
    The race for Bronx District Attorney is all but over, however it will be official on election day in November, Current Justice Darcel Clark the Democratic candidate will be the winner and new Bronx District Attorney. Ms. Clark will replace Robert 'Why would I want to become a Judge' Johnson who should be elected a Bronx Supreme Court Justice. Some questions to be answered on election day include on which line will Ms. Clark's opponent receive more votes the Republican or the Conservative line since he is running on both lines against the new Bronx DA Darcel Clark. Another question is will Judge Johnson have no opposition as he has when he ran for Bronx DA where he had the Democratic, Republican, and Conservative lines? The last question to be answered on election day will be if those who were so angry at the way the events unfolded at the Bronx Democratic County Judicial Convention remember what went on? One has to agree with Bronx Democratic County Leader Marcos Crespo who said "You may not like the results, but the election law process was followed, and change it if you do not like it".
   The New York Post however reports that likely new Bronx DA Darcel Clark as Justice Darcel Clark presided over six of the thirty-one times Kalief Browder came to trial. Kalief Browder committed suicide while he was held in the Rikers Island jail for three years without ever having a trial, claiming that he was innocent and being held for a crime he never committed. Charges against Browder were dropped after his death due to what was reported as inmate abuse over the three years he was awaiting trial. Had there been a primary battle for Bronx DA this information could have been used to help by any challenger.   
    Speaking of elections, now that current Vice-President Joe Biden has removed himself from the Democratic presidential process as a candidate, it looks like Hilary Clinton should be the Democratic candidate for president next year. The next question will be who will she be facing on the Republican side, and who will she choose as her running mate for Vice-President?
    Finally on the subject of elections, there will be a new congressman in the 15th Congressional district now that Charlie Rangel is stepping down. Rangel has endorsed current Manhattan Democratic County Leader Assemblyman Keith Wright, and Wright has picked up the endorsement of the United Firefighters Union most recently. Others ion the race are Adam 'I am going to reclaim my father's seat' Clayton Powell, State Senator Bill Perkins, and now Clyde Williams a candidate who received ten percent of the vote in the last election has announced that he will be running again this year for Congressman Rangel's seat. As of now State Senator Adriano Espaillat who ran twice before against Rangel has not announced if he intends to run.
     If you have any political information that you want to share or have checked out, any comments about this column, or would like to have an event listed or covered in this column or on my blog you can e-mail us at or call 718-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press.

Friday, October 23, 2015


Nearly 100K More Bronxites Working Today Than In May 2009

Bronx job statistics continued to improve this month, according to the latest numbers from the New York State Department of Labor.

The unemployment rate in The Bronx fell to 6.6 percent in September 2015, down from 7.3 percent in August 2015 and 8.7 percent in September 2014. Those same statistics show that the total number of Bronxites who are employed is 565.7 thousand, up from 468.8 thousand in May 2009 when Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. first took office, meaning that nearly 100,000 more borough residents have jobs today than did roughly six years ago.

“Our borough is in the midst of a tremendous revival, and these numbers bear that out,” said Borough President Diaz. “More Bronxites are employed today than at any point since they began keeping such statistics. We are bringing new businesses to our borough, helping our existing businesses expand, and fostering the right climate for growth and development. Those efforts are having a positive effect on our borough and its population, as is clear from these job numbers.”

“Bronx residents are a talented and committed work force that just needed the opportunity to work.  The Bronx businesses that have expanded recently and those that have moved into the borough in the past few years are contributing mightily to this collective effort.  I am gratified by this news,” said Marlene Cintron, President of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation.
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.


Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., in conjunction with The Bronx Tourism Council, Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, Montefiore Medical Center, St. Barnabas Hospital and Bronx Lebanon Medical Center, will host New York State’s Largest Free Bicycling Event, “Tour De Bronx.” Now in its 21styear, this special biking event attracts a record crowd of over 7,000 avid cyclists from throughout the tri-state area and beyond.

Cyclists will ride a 25-mile or 40-mile route.  The routes include attractions like the new extension to the Soundview Greenway, Starlight Park and Woodlawn Cemetery, plus historic districts, the waterfront and more.

Following the ride, cyclists are invited to the Tour de Bronx Festival at the New York Botanical Garden featuring live entertainment and refreshments.

WHEN:           Sunday, October 25, 2015

WHERE:        The Bronx County Building                                        851 Grand Concourse at East 161st Street 

TIME:            9:30 a.m.Cyclists arrive
                       10:30 a.m.Tour begins
                       2:00 p.m.Festival begins at NY Botanical Garden

Public Hearing | October 28, 2015 | Bronx CB7

• On September 21, 2015, the City Planning Commission referred for public review the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing text amendment. See the press release and the proposed zoning text.
• On September 21, 2015, the City Planning Commission referred for public review the Zoning for Quality and Affordability text amendment. See the press release.  Click here to download the entire text amendment as one file.

Assemblymember Pichardo and the City of New York Department of Housing Preservation & Development to host Tenant Resource Fair


What: Assemblymember Victor M. Pichardo (D-Bronx) will host
a tenant resource fair which is an opportunity to provide information 
to individuals on issues related to rent protection for seniors and 
the disabled, new HPD housing lotteries, rights of leasees of 
rent-regulated units, housing discrimination, harassment, and 
Housing Court.

When: Monday, Oct. 26
            6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Where: P.S. 33, The Timothy Dwight School, Cafeteria
              2424 Jerome Avenue

Trains: #4, B, D to the Fordham Road Station

Invitees include: New York State Homes and Community 
Renewal (NYSHCR), NYC Housing Preservation and Development 
(HPD), NYC Department of Finance, NYC Human Resources 
Administration (HRA) – Tenant Support Unit, Bronx Legal 
Services, Housing Court Answers, Community Action for Safe 
Apartments (CASA), Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy 
Coalition (Northwest Bronx CCC) & Urban Homesteading 
Assistance Board (UHAB)


   Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez joined by the Rojas Alou family and local leaders will rename a local Inwood Street after Matty Alou to honor his legacy and celebrate the human rights legacy of the Alou Brothers. While playing, the Alou brothers achieved many firsts including being the first three brothers to play in major league game in the same outfield and bat in the same half inning. 
After the Street Conaming the family and others will participate in a memorial baseball game in his honor.

Matty Alou was among the most successful and first Dominican Americans in Major League Baseball. He played for six major league baseball teams. He entered the big-league at the end of the 1960 season with the Giants and was later traded to Pittsburgh ending his baseball career in 1974. The Alou brothers were the first three brothers to play in a major league game in the same outfield. In 1966, he became the National League batting champion with the Pittsburgh Pirates, hitting .342. He was a .307 hitter with 31 home runs, 427 runs batted in, 1,777 hits and 236 doubles in 15 major league seasons. Matty Alou was born on December 22, 1938 in Bajos de Haina, San Cristobal, Dominican Republic. He died on November 3, 20011 in Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, and is buried in the Jardin Memorial, Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional. 

The Alou brothers were also prominent human rights activists donating and leading many important causes for the Dominican community. 

WHO: NYC Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez
Former 3x MLB All-Star Felipe Alou
Former 2x World Series Champion Jesus Alou
Senator Adriano Espaillat
Assemblyman Guillermo Linares
Dominican Consul General Eduardo Selman
Representatives from the Inwood Little League
Baseball Players of Old Glory 

WHEN: Saturday, October 24th at 12pm

Intersection of Isham Street and Seaman Avenue

Thursday, October 22, 2015


Women’s wellness program aims to provide older adults with access to affordable, holistic healthcare

State Senator Jeff Klein announced $100,000 in state funding for the Riverdale Senior Services Women’s Wellness Plan on Wednesday. The announcement came at the group’s monthly Women’s Circle meeting.

“Growing up with my grandparents in Morris Park, I learned the importance of caring for our elders and giving back to those who have given us so much. The Riverdale Senior Services Women’s Wellness program provides participants with free access to wellness services and helps seniors cultivate and maintain both a sound mind and body. I’m proud to have secured $100,000 in funding for the Women’s Wellness Program and I look forward to continuing to work with Riverdale Senior Services to ensure our seniors lead long, healthy and happy lives,” said Senator Klein.

“Healthy and purposeful aging is really the key focus of the Riverdale Senior Services Women’s Wellness Program. Being able to age well in-place and to be independent for as long as possible requires one to be health literate, to have access to resources and to practice preventive strategies. Riverdale Senior Services provides not only a forum for women to gather, but also participate in wellness programs that contribute to health literacy and living a well and balanced full life,” said Andria L├ęger Cassidy, RN, Deputy and Community  Health Services Director at Riverdale Senior Services.

"All of my life I didn't have strength in my arms. Now, thanks to the Riverdale Senior Services Women’s Wellness program, I exercise regularly and best of all I can open my own jars! I am very grateful to Senator Klein for funding this program and Riverdale Senior Services for offering support to women in the community,” said Elvina Lenz, participant in the Women’s Wellness Program and Riverdale resident.

The wellness program, targeted at women over 60, is comprised of five distinct parts: a physical fitness and nutrition class, health management services, a wellness tracking card and monthly women’s group that meets to discuss important issues facing seniors today.

  • Women’s Support Group: Helps women to cope with physical, mental and emotional changes in their daily routine due to aging; provides assistance with caregiving issues; and offers support to those dealing with the loss of a loved one or widowhood. The women’s support group meets every Monday at 11:00 a.m.
  • Strong, Healthy and Energized (S.H.E.): A ten-week fitness class designed to integrate exercise, nutrition and stress reduction into women’s daily lives. The health and wellness class is held at the Schervier Apartment Complex on Thursdays from 11:00 – 12:30 p.m.

  • Health Management Services: Women participating in any one of the wellness programs can take advantage of health-management services provided by a registered nurse. This includes blood pressure monitoring, health referrals and health counseling services with a focus on nutrition, medications, weight management, chronic illness and more.
  • Wellness Wheel Tracking Card: A tool to help women take responsibility for achieving balance in their lives by focusing on six dimensions of wellness. Women can use the card to track and develop activities in the following areas: social, physical, vocational, emotional, spiritual and intellectual health.

  • Women’s Circle: Launched this year, the Women’s Circle helps women over 60 to lead a better, more balanced life. The circle provides a forum where women can gather together to gain information, network and enjoy each other’s company. The circle focuses on maintaining wellness and building a community of women with common interests and goals. The Women’s Circle gathers once per month to hold discussion groups.

For more information on the Women’s Wellness Program at Riverdale Senior Services, please contact Senator Klein’s office at 718-822-2049.

Above - State Senator Jeff Klein explains the importance of the Women's Wellness program, and why he supports it.
Below - Many of the Seniors in the Women's Wellness Program at Riverdale Senior Services were happy to pose with their favorite State Senator, Jeff Klein.

STATEMENT FROM BP DIAZ RE: President Obama’s Proposal on Puerto Rico’s Debt

  “I commend President Obama for taking action and putting forward a proposal that supports the future economic growth of Puerto Rico and prevents a financial catastrophe for our fellow Americans who call Puerto Rico their home. For several months, I have been pushing for common sense solutions to Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis, which undoubtedly would negatively impact New York and other states. This includes leading a coalition of elected officials from across the nation in a push for federal legislation that would allow the commonwealth to declare bankruptcy, restructure its debt and fundamentally change how Puerto Rico engages in commerce.
 This latest proposal is a strong step forward for the financial health and well-being of Puerto Rico, and it is now up to Congress to act quickly to prevent what some have described as a looming humanitarian crisis in the commonwealth. I look forward to strategizing with my colleagues in government, including Assembly Member Marcos Crespo, Chair of the New York State Assembly’s Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force; Congress Members Nydia Velazquez and Jose Serrano, and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito on moving forward federal legislation when we meet at the Somos El Futuro conference in Puerto Rico next month,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
In August, Borough President Diaz issued a letter, in conjunction with over 100 elected officials from across the nation, demanding immediate action from Congress to enact legislation that will allow the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to enter bankruptcy. Read the letter here

Uniformed Firefighters Association Endorses Keith Wright for Congress

Keith Wright: Democrat for Congress

Uniformed Firefighters Association Endorses Keith Wright for Congress

October 22, 2015

The Uniformed Firefighters Association (UFA) representing more than 8,000 New York City Firefighters today endorsed Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright for election to New York’s 13th Congressional district. The UFA is the largest firefighters union local in the world.

In making the endorsement UFA leaders cited Assemblyman Wright’s pledge to support the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act and his longstanding fight for improved staffing levels at fire companies throughout the City of New York.

“As a leader in Albany and in the city, Keith Wright has stood with the community and with New York City Firefighters in opposition firehouse closures and staffing cuts that threatened the lives of New Yorkers and our firefighters. He has long expressed a steadfast support for the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act, which is necessary to continue protecting the health of thousands who are sick from responding in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks on our nation” said Steve Cassidy, UFA President.

“Keith Wright has demonstrated a tremendous respect for the sacrifices of first responders and clearly understands what is needed to keep New Yorkers safe. That is why New York City firefighters and the UFA is proud to endorse Keith Wright to be the next congressman to represent the citizens of the 13th district.”

“I am so grateful to have the support of the Uniformed Firefighters Association. The members of the UFA are the everyday heroes who have long played a critical role in the safety of our communities,” said Assemblyman Wright. “Whether it’s improved working conditions, ensuring access to top of the line equipment and technology, or supporting the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act, I look forward to advancing the needs of firefighters and the New Yorkers they protect, as a strong voice in Congress.”

The 13th Congressional District, currently represented by U.S. Representative Charles B. Rangel, encompasses the neighborhoods of Harlem, Inwood, Marble Hill, East Harlem, Washington Heights, Morningside Heights and parts of the Upper West Side. For more information on Democrat Keith Wright’s campaign for Congress, please visit

Citizen Preparedness Training Tuesday, October 27th Bronx House 1:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M.

October 26th NYC Fundraiser for Assemblyman Michael Blake


Bronx Chamber of Commerce - Upcoming Events

Please join the 
Bronx Chamber of Commerce 
for our 
upcoming events 

Registration Required !

Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business Workshop
Monday, Oct.26th
Veterans Brunch
Wednesday, November 18, 2015

For More Information Please Email:

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

BP Diaz and PACE to Host Gifted & Talented Open House

  FOR the second year in a row, the Office of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and PACE (Parents' Alliance for Citywide Education) will co-host a Gifted & Talented Education Open House providing information about New York City's Citywide Gifted & Talented (G&T) elementary schools, Bronx district G&T programs and other accelerated education options. The groups will hold two events on Thursday, October 29that the Bronx Library Center – one at 10-11:30 a.m. and another at 6-7p.m.

Each event features drop-in sessions related to G&T education as well as a presentation on the public school G&T testing process by expert consultants. PACE and Bronx Borough President representatives will be on hand, and current parents at Citywide G&T schools and district G&T programs will be available for informal Q&A.  Representatives from other local educational groups will provide information and a representative from the NYC Department of Education will also be available to answer questions specific to the public school G&T process.

In addition to gathering information on educational options, attendees can sign up on site for the free G&T test offered by the DOE.

Among the five boroughs of New York City, Bronx children are tested at the lowest rate per capita, according to DOE statistics. This can change with better outreach to all Bronx communities. In fact, after last year’s Open House at which scores of parents signed up for the G&T test on site, the number of Bronx children taking the G&T test for entry to Kindergarten increased by over 13 percent whereas in other boroughs the testing rate stayed flat or even decreased.  The PACE group believes if more parents have their children tested, the demand for accelerated programs will grow in The Bronx.

“As a borough we continue to push for educational excellence and options for all of our students,” says Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “When looking at the gifted and talented students in The Bronx, we know we have to do the work of educating and supporting parents to make informed decisions about the educational trajectory of their children.

We are working with Bronx parents who have gone through the G&T process and can offer their experiences and knowledge to assist parents, especially when signing up for the free G&T test with the Department of Education; to answer questions parents and caregivers may have about the G&T process and schools; and with organizations that provide further educational options for parents of gifted and talented children.”

Borough President Diaz added, “Supporting students is a priority of my office and I look forward to continuing these collaborative efforts to open as many doors of excellence to our parents and gifted and talented Bronx students.” 

PACE is an organization founded by parent volunteers who represent each of New York City's Citywide G&T schools and programs: The Anderson School on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Brooklyn School of Inquiry, NEST+m on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, STEM Academy at PS 85Q (grades 2-5 in 2015/16) and The 30th Avenue School (Q300) (grades K-2, 6 & 7 in 2015/16) in Queens, & TAG Young Scholars in East Harlem, Manhattan. More information can be found at their website,

PACE seeks to advance G&T education through advocacy, outreach, and coalition building. PACE’s activities include:

    •    Monitoring relevant education policy and issues,
    •    Educating elected officials and other community leaders about Citywide gifted and talented programs,
    •    Advocating for existing and new Citywide G&T schools and programs, and
    •    Sharing experience, learning, and practices among parents at Citywide gifted and talented schools and programs.

Citywide schools are gifted and talented schools which accept applicants from any of NYC's five boroughs based on results of the NYC Department of Education’s Gifted and Talented testing.


When:             Thursday, October 2910-11:30 a.m. and 6-7 p.m.    
Free and Open to the Public, Refreshments Served and Children Welcome
Location:        Bronx Library Center, 310 E. Kingsbridge Road, Bronx, NY
Questions:      Contact Willow Lawson, Parents’ Alliance for Citywide Education,