Saturday, February 6, 2016

100 PERCENT Saturday Feb. 6, 2016

By Robert Press

State of The City 

     Before I get into the State of The City speech by Mayor Bill de Blasio, we should find out just who will be running in the 17th City Council Special Election on Tuesday morning starting at 10 AM. That is when the Board of Elections will begin hearing arguments as to why or why not any of the 10 candidates that were challenged will remain on the ballot. As I said last week I expect no more than five candidates to remain on the ballot. It seems that unlike in past elections (the 2009 14th City Council race to be specific) the campaign manager of candidate Fernando Cabrera keep on the ballot candidate Yudelka Tapia who then took enough votes away from the incumbent Councilwoman Maria Baez to give candidate Fernando Cabrera the victory. In the 17th City Council Special Election it seems that the same Campaign Manager in this race for the Bronx Democratic County organization candidate Rafael Salamanca wants to knock off the ballot a certain candidate who could be the Yudelka Tapia in this race in 2016. Then again the campaign manager has gotten older, and lost a few elections since 2009. That was the reason I have called candidate Julio Pabon and not the Bronx Democratic County organization candidate the favorite to win the 17th City Council Special Election.  
   Speaking of the City Council they voted themselves a 38 percent pay raise yesterday, and while you may say that is to big a pay raise it has been ten years since the last pay raise for the council members. It is to bad that every other city employee did not get the same 38 percent pay raise over the last ten years, just ask any police officer. 
   As for the State of The City Speech by Mayor Bill deBlasio, was it just the luck of the Bronx that the mayor gave it at Lehman College, or was the mayor trying to send a message to Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. who has been named as a potential primary challenger to the mayor in 2017. I did not attend Mayor deBlasio's  State of The City Speech, as I was doing my duty as a member of Bronx Community Board #8 by attending a very important Land Use Committee meeting. By the way the Land Use Committee of CB 8 voted to reiterate its rejection of both the MIH and ZQA proposals submitted to the City Council, and urged the members of the city council to also reject both. There was discussion that the public and community boards do not have enough time to hold public hearing (such as before), and why the City Council which has fifty days to hold hearings is rushing the process in just one week. 
  As a member of Bronx Community Board #8 I am up for reappointment this year (my sixth year on BXCB 8), and have been told by two different supporters of 17th City Council candidate Rafael Salamanca who are members of the Bronx Democratic County organization that I had better watch what I write about the Bronx Democratic County organization candidate in the 17th City Council Special Election since I am up for reappointment to BXCB 8. 
   Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will be giving his State of The Borough Address on Thursday Feb. 18, 2016 starting at 11:30 AM, at Cardinal Hayes High School located at 650 Grand Concourse. You can call 718-590-6116 to reserve your seat as space is very limited.
   Lastly I dusted off my crystal ball for a Super Bowl prediction. My crystal ball had a victory by Carolina 27 - 13 over Denver.  
    If you have any political information (especially about the 17th City Council special election) 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 this blog, you can e-mail us at or call 718-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Statement from CM Cohen re: Compensation and Reforms Legislation

  “Today, the New York City Council passed an unprecedented package of reforms.  These reforms will significantly improve the transparency of the Council and ensure that we as Council Members focus solely on representing all 8.5 million New Yorkers.  As a New York City Council Member, I often work days, nights and weekends throughout my district and at City Hall.  I pledged as a candidate that I would not accept any lulus and that I would be a full-time Council Member.  I am proud to say that I have kept that promise.  I have never accepted a lulu in my capacity as the Chair of the Committee on Mental Health and I closed my law practice in order to dedicate myself fully to working for my constituents.   These historic reforms – including the official designation as ‘full time’ - will allow us as legislators to serve the public to the best of our ability.”

The Bronx Chamber of Commerce - African American Heritage Cocktail Reception

Attend  to Network and Salute the Honorees at the 2016 African american Heritage Cocktail Reception!

Take advantage of the Member 
and Early Reservations Discount!

Please mark your calendar and plan on attending some of the following events:
February 11, 2016   Annual Valentine's Business Networking
                                Marriott Resident Inn 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
February 24, 2016  African American Heritage Cocktail Party
                                Tosca Marquee 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
March 9, 2016         Irish Heritage Luncheon
                                Rambling House 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
March 18, 2016       Women of Distinction Luncheon
                                Villa Barone Manor 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
April 13, 2016          Annual Gala
                          Marina del Rey Caterers 5:30 pm -10:30 pm

Nunzio Del Greco
President and CEO
Bronx Chamber of Commerce
"The Network for Business Success"
1200 Waters Place, Suite 106
Bronx, NY 10461

Statement from Assemblymember Michael A. Blake following the shooting of two officers at the Melrose Houses in the 79th Assembly District

  Our thoughts for recovery are with the two police officers who were shot last night (Thursday) at the Melrose Houses in our assembly district.  Yet again, this community has another tragic incident occur where police lights fill the nightsky.  It is time for a dramatic change to occur so that our young people don't turn to violence and death but rather are directed to opportunity and hope.  The two officers who were shot were doing their job on a patrol, serving honorably and were shot in a stairwell.  We are reminded that we need greater community and police relations, to get rid of these guns from our communities, provide economic opportunities so Bronxites don't go down the wrong path and ensure that violence is reduced while trust is gained.  We will continue to monitor the situation and provide more updates to our constituents.
A summary of the situation as of 10 p.m. EST:
At approximately 8 p.m. EST last night (Thursday), while three officers were conducting a vertical patrol in the sixth floor stairwell within the 320 East 156th St. building within the Melrose Housing development in our assembly district, they encountered two individuals, one of whom shot at the officers.
Two police officers were shot and wounded inside the stairwell.  The suspect then fled into an apartment onto the 7th floor.  Responding officers gained access to the apartment, where they discovered several individuals as well as the suspect who was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The officers are at Lincoln Hospital.  They have been on the force for two years and are both assigned to the housing bureau's Impact Response Team (IRT) within Police Service Area (PSA) 7 in our assembly district.
The second individual who the officers encountered as well as several other individuals have been taken to the 40th precinct for investigation.  
Just before 10 pm, I joined Mayor Bill de Blasio, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, 16th District City Councilwoman & Chairwoman of Public Safety Vanessa Gibson and Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark at a press conference at Lincoln Hospital in The Bronx where updates were provided.

Senator Klein to NFL: Tackle K2 Use

On Super Bowl Weekend Klein Urges Roger Goddell to test players for synthetics after rash of arrests and problems stemming from synthetic cannabinoid use

As the country heads into Super Bowl Sunday, State Senator Jeff Klein called NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to set a national example by expanding current drug testing of professional football players to include synthetic cannabinoids. In a letter to Goodell, Senator Klein pointed to the increasing problem of players using K2, because most drug screens fail to test for the chemical compounds.

“The NFL must tackle the problem of K2 use among its players who are role models to our youth and test for these drugs. Synthetic cannabinoids are dangerous, sometimes lethal, and have no place in professional sports and players are sending the wrong message to those who look up to them. The league must take a page out of the New York State Senate’s playbook. We just took serious steps to stop the scourge of synthetics that sent over 6,800 of our citizens to emergency rooms last year. We urge the NFL to do the right thing for the safety of of their players and those they inspire,” said Senator Klein.

Recent reports across the nation have detailed multiple arrests of professional football players for using drugs like synthetic marijuana, K2 or Spice, with other instances ending in trips to the hospital for the highly trained athletes.

In January, the hospitalization of the New England Patriots’ Chandler Jones was reported as a result of K2 use, while Seattle Seahawks player Derrick Coleman recently revealed that he had used K2 prior to committing a hit-and-run in October.

College athletic programs have already taken steps to incorporate synthetic marijuana into their banned substances and drug testing programs. The NCAA added it to its list of banned substances in 2011, and the National Center for Drug-Free Sport offers testing resources to combat this problem.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Bronx Democratic County Committee - Upcoming Events

Below is a list of upcoming events. Attached you will find flyers for each event.
Financial Literacy Workshops
When: Fri. 2/5/16 at 12 - 3p
Where: Justice Sonia Sotomayor Community Center - 1000 Rosedale Ave, Bronx, NY
The Office of Assemblyman Marcos A. Crespo in conjunction with State Farm, Intuit, and Experian present a Financial Literacy Workshop. 

For more information, contact Assemblyman Crespo's district office at 718-893-0202.
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Bronx Dems' Winter Reception
Thurs. 2/18/16 from 6:30 - 9:30pm
Michaelangelo's - 2477 Arthur Avenue, Bronx, NY

You are cordially invited to join Hon. Marcos A. Crespo & the Bronx Democratic County Committee for a Winter Reception.

To RSVP or for more information, please call347-281-9759 or

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Black History Month Celebration: Keeping Our Communities Healthy
When: Sat. 2/6/16 from 12 - 2p
Where: Claremont Neighborhood Center - 8489 E. 169 Street

Join State Senator Gustavo Rivera, Councilmember Vanessa Gibson, and Assemblymember Michael Blake in a celebration of Black History Month. There will be live musical performances, health screenings and information, awards, raffles, and complimentary food.

RSVP by sending your name, address, and telephone number
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Black History Month Celebration
When: Fri. 2/26/16 at 5:30p
Where: Bronx Museum of the Arts - 1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY
Join State Senator Jose M. Serrano, Councilmember Vanessa Gibson, and Assemblymember Latoya Joyner for a night of award presenations, entertainment, giveaways, and refreshments. 

RSVP by contacting Councilmember Gibson's District Office at 718-588-7500 or by
Click to Enlarge

In solidarity,
Hon. Marcos A. Crespo, Chair
The Bronx Democratic County Committee
1640 Eastchester Rd.

Bronx Borough President - You're Invited to Celebrate....

Dominican Heritage Month

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Cordially Invites You To
The 2016 Dominican Heritage Month Celebration
Thursday, February 25, 2016
12:00 pm
Mistress of Ceremonies
Victoria Sosa
Weather Anchor Noticiero Telemundo 47
Fiesta Deluxe Catering Hall
2341 Hoffman Street
Bronx, New York
For information & to RSVP call 718-590-3989 o r email


2016 Lunar New Year Events Around New York City

  The 2016 Lunar New Year begins on February 8 and ends on March 5, and New York City will celebrate with festivities taking place throughout the five boroughs this February. In addition to the traditional celebrations of the Lunar New Year in Flushing, Queens, Sunset Park, Brooklyn and Chinatown, Manhattan, events will take place on Madison Avenue, at the Javits Center North, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rudin Museum, Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) and many more locations around New York City.

  For the first time ever, the City will welcome the "Madison Street to Madison Avenue,” onFebruary 6, where the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations will extend from Chinatown to the Upper East Side. Held the week preceding the traditional Chinatown parade in New York City, the activities will include traditional Chinese lion dancers and dragons traveling from Chinatown to the Upper East Side in a decorated double decker bus. The celebrations will continue at the Harman Store and 527 Madison and will include family-friendly entertainment such as Chinese face painting, calligraphy, and a themed photo booth. Special performances will take place throughout the day from New York Eastern Chamber Orchestra conducted by Dr. Fei Fang and Peng Li, who will showcase the Chinese art of face mask changing.

Additional Lunar New Year celebrations and events taking place in the five boroughs include:

Lunar New Year is a time for families. Join the Rudin Museum for an afternoon of art, crafts, and music to celebrate Losar, the Himalayan New Year. Learn about traditional celebrations, go on a family tour of the galleries, listen to traditional music, and make auspicious crafts to take home.

Asia Society rings in the Year of the Monkey with performances and craft activities inspired by Lunar New Year traditions across Asia. Guests will enjoy a Lion Dance, kung fu demonstration, musical performances, and more.

The five-day-long Fantastic Art China: International Creative Festival marking the Lunar New Year holiday will be held Feb. 6-10 at iconic locations across the city and headlined by the Fantastic Art China exhibition at Javits Center North. The festival programs, events, and activities – all free and open to the public – will not only highlight Chinese arts and culture but also environmental conservation for monkeys in China. The festivities are presented by the China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA).

Gung Hay Fat Choy – Happy New Year!  Learn about the history of this ancient celebration and the symbolism of the Monkey.  Create fun crafts and enjoy traditional snacks at the Greenbelt Nature Center.

Blast off into the New Year at the Better Chinatown Society's Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival at Sara D. Roosevelt Park at Grand Street. Activities start at 11:00 a.m., with the fireworks scheduled for 12:00 p.m. 

Celebrate the Year of the Monkey with the New York Philharmonic. The festive Chinese New Year Concert features violinist Maxim Vengerov plus Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women by Tan Dun (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), in which ethereal harp and film projection draw you into the rarely seen, intimate world of a secret language created by Hunan women.

Celebrate the Lunar New Year with the sounds of the bamboo flute performed by renowned artist Han Chung Eun and his band Forest. Well known for his genre-crossing performances from jazz and classical music to K-pop, Han creates a uniquely beautiful and energetic program that celebrates Flushing’s colorful and rich cultural heritage through the fusion of sound and rhythm with Korean, Nordic, Celtic and American roots.

Kick off the Year of the Monkey with a free lion dance and kung fu performance in front of our new space at 100 Washington Street. Following the lion dance, enter the China Institute for traditional food and New Year-themed workshops and activities including dumpling making, paper cutting, and a special Year of the Monkey craft.

February 13th Lunar New Year Parade
Downtown Flushing is the site of Queens' main Lunar New Year celebration. Meet up with marchers beforehand at the Chamber of Commerce  and then head to 37th Avenue and Union Street for the parade's 11:00 a.m. start. Expect music, floats, food and fun. If you're looking for a meal afterward, consider these spots

February 14th - Lunar New Year Celebration
Find a spot along Sunset Park's Eighth Avenue to watch singers and dancers ring in the Lunar New Year. The parade begins at 11:00 a.m. at 50th Street and heads north; it's a lively neighborhood affair sponsored by the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association. While in the neighborhood, be sure to enjoy a banquet or dim sum.

Check out Chinatown's annual Lunar New Year celebration for stunning visuals, tantalizing treats, and impressive performances. This street party features all sorts of vendors, food, and festivities for all ages to welcome the Year of the Monkey. The parade goes through the main streets of Little Italy and Chinatown, and festivities start at 1:00 p.m.

February 20th -21st – Lunar New Year at the Queens Zoo
What better of a place to celebrate the year of the monkey than at a zoo? Activities each day include a Lunar New Year zodiac scavenger hunt, crafts, Chinese theatre works performances, tea, fortune cookies, and sea lion feedings.

February 21st Calligraphy on Silk Fan
Welcome the Year of the Monkey with a calligraphy workshop led by Asian arts specialist Dr. Hsing-Lih Chou. Learn basic calligraphy to write wishes for the new year. Participants will begin by writing on paper and then write their messages of good fortune on Chinese silk fans. Every time you wave your fan you’ll be spreading your positive message into the New Year!

February 27th -28th – Lunar New Year at the Prospect Park Zoo
Ring in the new year at the Prospect Park Zoo with the Hao Bang Ah Monkey puppet show, monkey treats, Lunar New Year Zodiac scavenger hunt, calligraphy, Lunar New Year crafts, Discovery Center introduction to zodiac animals and sea lion feedings.

Visitors of all ages are invited to celebrate Chinese and Chinese American traditions and folk arts! Enjoy an awe-inspiring lion dance, create zodiac themed crafts, embark on storytelling journeys, and sway along with Chinatown's Red Silk Dancers – and much more family fun at MOCA.

In this creative and engaging workshop, children will discover the beauty of Korean culture while crafting and dancing. After a brief introduction about Tal Chum (Korean traditional mask dance), children can make their own Monkey Tal to celebrate the Year of the Monkey and learn Tal Chum moves. This workshop will stimulate your child’s eye-hand coordination, movement skills, and most importantly, curiosity about new cultures.

In celebration of the Year of the Monkey—as per the Chinese Zodiac—the Metropolitan Museum of Art presents this exhibition that highlights artistic representations of monkeys in a variety of media, including ceramics, metal work, painting and jade carving. Some of the most coveted pieces are a 12th-century painting of three monkey's raiding an egret's nest, along with a porcelain plate that depicts monkeys and deer under a tree.