Saturday, August 13, 2016


City added 13,400 private-sector jobs, the second smallest increase in six years
The City’s economy grew 1.7%, the slowest rate in two years, but still outpaced the national economy
In 2015, average real wages grew 3.3 percent for employees in low-wage industries

   Weak economic indicators such as falling venture capital investment and disappointing job growth contributed to the first tangible signs of a potential slowdown of the City’s economy during the second quarter of 2016 according to a Quarterly Economy Report released today by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer. The report found that the City’s economy, while continuing to outpace the nation’s, grew an estimated 1.7 percent between April and June of this year – the slowest rate since the end of 2013.
“Our City’s economy is still growing – but in 2016 we’ve gone from a sprint to a jog,” Comptroller Stringer said. “For the first time in a number of years, several important economic indicators are pointing toward weaker growth. While the residential real estate market remains strong and the wage gap has narrowed, this report confirms that our recovery is no longer gaining steam.”
Released every quarter, the Comptroller’s Quarterly Economic Update examines a broad range of indicators that reflect the City’s current conditions in the national economic context.
Findings include:
The City’s overall economic growth slowed, but still outpaced the nation’s
  •   Real Gross City Product grew at an estimated annual rate of 1.7 percent in the second quarter of 2016, the slowest pace since the fourth quarter of 2013, but faster than national Gross Domestic Product growth of 1.2 percent.
  •   The U.S. economy was dragged down by the third consecutive quarter of contractions in business investment amid global economic uncertainties and decreased demand from businesses in the energy sector. Gross private domestic investment fell 9.7 percent, the biggest drop in seven years.
Private-sector job growth dropped significantly, but wages improved
  •   In the second quarter of 2016, the City added 13,400 private-sector jobs, a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 1.4 percent – a substantial drop from growth of 4.6 percent in the first quarter. Despite recent trends, the vast majority – 85 percent – of these jobs were in medium-wage industries such as hospitals, and arts, entertainment and recreation.
  •   Mirroring national increases in consumer spending, local industries like education and health services and leisure and hospitality saw the greatest private-sector job gains.
Wages in low-wage industries improved in 2015
  •   Reversing a six-year trend, the gap between low-wage, medium-wage, and high-wage earners shrank last year. In 2015, average wages, adjusted for inflation, grew 3.3 percent for low-wage industries, 3.1 percent for mid-wage industries, and fell 0.9 percent for high-wage industries.
  •   However, since the end of recession in 2009 through 2015, the average wage in low-wage industries is still flat in real terms.
Slower growth in personal income
  •   Year-over-year, personal income tax revenues fell 5.7 percent in the second quarter of 2016. Personal income taxes withheld from paychecks rose only 0.5 percent during that same time period.
  •   Estimated tax payments, which reflect trends in taxpayers’ non-wage income, including interest earned, rental income, and capital gains, fell 16 percent compared to quarterly collections from last year. In June alone, estimated taxes were down about 20 percent.
  •   The average hourly earnings of all private New York City employees fell to $33.48 in the second quarter – the first year-over-year decline in nearly seven years. National average hourly earnings, on the other hand, grew 2.8 percent during the same period, the biggest increase in seven years.
  •   The slight decline in average city private-sector earnings is in part due to a loss of high-paid jobs. In the second quarter the number of private-sector city jobs in high-wage industries shrank by 4 percent, equal to the loss of 500 jobs. Professional and business services lost 1,400 jobs, and the financial sector lost 1,100 jobs.
Labor force participation declined
  •   In the second quarter, unemployment in New York City fell to 5.2 percent, while the U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.9 percent.
  •   The decline in the City’s unemployment rate was due to a contraction of the City’s labor force by 34,200, the biggest quarterly decline on record. A shrinking labor force may signal that the City’s discouraged job seekers are leaving the labor market. However, the decline follows an unprecedented increase of 32,000 in the first quarter of this year.
Venture capital investment fell year over year
  •   Venture capital investment in the New York Metro Area experienced the first second quarter year-over-year decline since 2012. Investment fell to $1.4 billion from $2.4 billion in the second quarter of 2015.
  •   During this time period, total venture capital investment in the U.S. fell 12.2 percent as investment in Silicon Valley fell 9.6 percent.

Residential real estate remained strong, while commercial leasing showed signs of cooling
  •   Average housing prices continued to rise on a year-over-year basis, growing 8.4 percent in Manhattan to $2 million; 3.6 percent in Brooklyn to nearly $817,000; and 16.5 percent in Queens to $527,000.
  •   New commercial leasing in the second quarter of 2016 totaled seven million square feet, 15.6 percent lower than this time last year. The Manhattan office vacancy rate, however, stayed level at 8.8 percent.
“New York City’s economy continues to grow, but has begun to feel the impact of national and global uncertainty,” Stringer said. “My office will keep a close eye on the City and global economies as the year progresses.”

Assemblyman Michael Blake - Join me in Martha's Vineyard next Wednesday

Please join us for a reception
in support of Michael Blake
Assemblyman of New York State’s 79th District


Time4:30pm - 7:00pm
DateWednesday, August 17th
Location: 9 Huntington Ave, Oaks Bluff
Have a question? Contact Britney Whaley at
Assemblyman Blake left out the state, that being Massachusetts..
Things to visit in Oak Bluff Massachusetts -
Yankee Stadium - NO
Bronx Borough Hall - NO
The Bronx Zoo, or Bronx Botanical Garden - NO
The Bronx Hub on 149th Street - NO
Anything Bronx - NO
But you can find  Lola's Martha's Vineyard, the Flying Horses Carousel,
The Ritz • Martha's Vineyard, The Barn, Bowl & Bistro, 
Sand Bar Martha's Vineyard to name a few.

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Bronx Chamber of Commerce invites you to enjoy a summer evening of Twilight Golf

Nutrition and Music Presentation by Sylvia Elbaz, MS, CNS on Aug. 24th

JASA Van Cortlandt Senior Center 
3880 Sedgwick Ave., First Floor 

Enjoy a delectable lunch at 12:15 PM followed by a nutrition talk and original music by Sylvia Elbaz, MS, CNS, host of Health’s Kitchen, a cable TV cooking show on Wed. Aug. 24th at 1:00 PM 

Ms. Elbaz, who has a Master degree in nutrition, has taught at Nassau Community College and Kingsborough Community College. An accomplished guitarist, she has composed many original songs, some of which she will share with us along with international selections.
Ms. Elbaz taught science courses for ten years in New York City Public Schools.  In addition to her private practice as a nutritional consultant, she lectures frequently at health clubs and for community organizations.

Menu: Beef Moussaka or Breaded Pollack Fillet, garden salad, roasted eggplant, orange. Refreshments will be served.

Recommended senior contribution is $2.00 for the meal and $1.00 for the event.  Non senior fee is $5.00 for the meal and $2.00 for the event.   Kindly call the senior center office: 718-549-4700 for meal reservations by Mon. Aug. 22nd


press pic.jpg

  Senator Jeff Klein hosted The Bronx Wanderers, as they performed their last Bronx show on Thursday night at Veterans Memorial Park. Hundreds of Bronx residents enjoyed an amazing concert and said farewell to The Bronx Wanderers before  their residency kicks off at Bally’s Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in the fall.

“We have been happy to enjoy The Bronx Wanderers for years, and as we send them off, I was thrilled to host one last performance. Bronx families came together to enjoy this farewell show, as part of my Summertime Symphonies series, and they did not disappoint. While we’ll miss them right here in The Bronx, I want to wish everyone’s favorite father-sons group a great stay in Las Vegas, said Senator Jeff Klein.

The home-grown group, a father with his two sons, has long rocked audiences with their blend of hand-picked oldies from the 50’s through the 70’s. Over the past 14 years, The Bronx Wanderers have performed in over 35 states.

“For me, it all started here, and as we are getting prepared to leave for an extended stay in Las Vegas, I can never thank Senator Jeff Klein and his entire staff for allowing us one final show for all of our friends from The Bronx and Westchester. We are thrilled to be coming home,” said Vinny Adinolfi, The Bronx Wanderers.

This free concert is part of Senator Klein’s Summertime Symphonies series. For more information on Senator Klein’s Summertime Series, please call Senator Klein’s office at (718)822-2049.

Croton Filter Plant - FMC Meeting is September 29, 2016

  Dear Croton Community,

For scheduling, the Croton Facility Monitoring Committee will next meet on Thursday, September 29, 2016 .  The meeting will begin at 6:30pm at DEP's community office, 3660 Jerome Ave, Bronx NY 10467.

  An Agenda will be posted as soon as it is sent.
  If you have any questions you can contact Martha Holstein from DEP at , or 718 625 1005


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

You should know that the Morrison Avenue Festival will take place on Saturday, August 20, 2016 from 12:00 PM until 7:00 PM on Morrison Avenue between Westchester and Watson Avenues in Bronx County.
It is important for you to know that 15 years ago, then Assemblyman Ruben Diaz, Jr. created this Morrison Avenue Festival for families and children to gather and enjoy an outdoor day of music and live entertainment, free children’s games, and food sold by local vendors.
You should also know that when Assemblyman Marcos Crespo was elected to replace Ruben Diaz, Jr., Assemblyman Crespo continued the tradition of celebrating the Morrison Avenue Festival, which has grown to attract more than 10,000 people.
For the past several years, the Morrison Avenue Festival has been coordinated by Freddy Perez Entertainment, who this year, has contracted Tito Rojas "El Gallo" and Nayibe La Gitana among other attractions.
I look forward to another successful Morrison Avenue Festival, and to seeing our Bronx families and children enjoy this very special event.
I am Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj - Join us for International Family Day! Sat Aug. 13

Please join
Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj
NYC Councilman Andrew Cohen

for our annual 
International Family Day!
Saturday, August 13, 2016
East 205th Street Bainbridge Ave & 204th Street
      Kids Activities & Games/ClownsFace Painting/Balloon Art
Bounce House and Dunk Tank
Hayrides , Giveaways  
and much more!

We hope to see you there!
For more information, please contact Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj's office at (718) 409-0109

Gustavo Rivera Blasts Challenger Cabrera as a "Trump Trojan Horse" in Albany

  State Senator Gustavo Rivera today blasted his opponent Fernando Cabrera for getting massive support from a GOP-linked SuperPac when Democrats are poised to win the majority in the State Senate.  Recent filings with the New York State Board of Elections show that New Yorkers for Independent Action, the SuperPac supporting Cabrera, has received millions in contributions from established GOP donors, and is working with consultants linked to the Bush-Cheney campaign and Karl Rove as part of their effort to defeat Democrats like Gustavo Rivera. 
Among the donors to the SuperPac are Walmart Heiress Alice Walton, who has given $450,000; $150,000 from conservative activist Roger Hertog, and $75,000 from anti-choice, anti-LGBT hedge funder Sean Fieler.  The vendors to the SuperPac include Jeff Buley, a Republican attorney who worked for the Bush-Cheney campaign in Nevada in 2004 where the campaign was accused of voter suppression efforts; and Eagle Point Strategies, a firm whose principal, Claude Lavigna, has deep ties to the Senate Republicans and who was linked to a Karl Rove-backed effort in 2014 to support the NYS Senate Republicans.
"Cabrera is a Trump Trojan Horse, trying to get inside the State Senate to betray our progressive Democratic values," said Rivera.  "He has spent the majority of his life as a Republican, opposes equal rights for the LGBTQ community, opposes a woman's right to make her own health care decisions, and now we know that his campaign is being supported by people whose goal is to maintain a GOP majority in the State Senate."
In addition to the GOP-linked SuperPac that is supporting him, Cabrera received large campaign contributions from organizations including the Rent Stabilization Association, a landlord lobbying group dedicated to weakening the rent laws that protect Bronx tenants from unfair rent hikes and evictions, Rivera revealed.
"In public, Cabrera will stand in front of a microphone and say he opposes Trump," said Rivera.  "But behind closed doors, the same landlords, right-wing extremists, Wall Street millionaires and GOP operatives who are working to elect Trump are also plotting to get Cabrera to Albany so he can do their bidding.   It's shameful and dishonest, yet Mr. Cabrera has not said one word refuting their efforts."


It would be great to see Senator Rivera's opponent get all that cash, but he is not going to get as much money as Senator Rivera received in an influx of $250,000 from a SUPERPAC to win his seat. Gustavo - if you win by the SUPERPAC money, you better be ready to be beaten by other SUPERPAC money.

Both or should I say all three Bush's have said that they are not voting for or supporting Donald Trump. Maybe they are going to vote for Hillary Clinton like you are Senator Rivera.

News From Community Board 7

 1 -  Con Ed informed the community board 7 office that there has been service and partial power outages on East 194th Street and East 197th Street between Briggs Avenue and Valentine Avenue. This may have been due to several transforming overheating. There are approximately 300 customers currently affected. All emergency responders including Con Ed, FDNY and NYPD are on the scene and are actively working on resolving this issue. If you live in the approximate area and do not have power, please call 911 or 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633).

 2 - This morning there was a fire that occurred at a two story building located at 267 East 202nd Street Bronx, NY.  The cause is believed to be electrical but an investigation is underway to make a final conclusion. The District Manager personally met and worked with many of the victims through the West Bronx Housing Neighborhood Resource Center through CB 7 Board member, Andrew Laoisa. The understanding is that the Red Cross is providing temporary housing relocation services and some of the victims have decided to stay with friends and family members.  In the coming days and weeks, the district manager will be looking into helping to start a Go Fund Me drive effort to provide donations to the victims to move them into permanent housing. If anyone has any suggestions or recommendations in how to start this effort, please let Community Board 7 know by phone at  718-933-5650/51, e-mail the district manager at or stop into the board office at 229-A East 204th Street one block south of the Grand Concource.

Scott Stringer is STILL Hurting the Homeless and the Needy

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

You should know that back on October 7, 2015, I wrote an article criticizing how NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer was putting many homeless families and children in horrible living conditions by denying payments and refusing to release the money and funding for homeless shelter contracts to provide good and necessary services at New York City shelters.  
From that time until now, conditions in the shelters have not changed, and New York City and Scott Stringer are still holding those funds and preventing them from being released to improve the lives of the homeless and the needy.
I am republishing that same article that I released almost one year ago:

Scott Stringer is Hurting the Homeless and the Needy
You should know that there is an article titled EXPERTS SAY STRINGER’S REJECTION OF HOMELESS SHELTER CONTRACTS IS ‘ILLEGAL’ written by Jeff Stein from New York NonProfit that appeared in the October 6, 2015 edition of “City and State.”  Mr. Stein wrote about how “the current standoff between Bill de Blasio and Scott Stringer over the registration of homeless shelter contracts is far from shocking.”
As a New York State Senator here in the South Bronx, and as the President of the New York Hispanic Clergy Organization, I must say that it is deplorable for families and children to languish in poverty and homelessness while New York City's Comptroller - who lives in a penthouse - delays and denies payments for New York City homeless shelter contracts.
I must also say that it is disreputable for Mr. Stringer to bolster his own public stature by refusing to sign contracts for homeless shelters while people are suffering, and organizations that rely upon City funding to serve the homeless are not even able to pay their bills.
You should already know that my ministers and I work hard to support the efforts of the multitude of organizations that serve homeless New Yorkers. We know that due to circumstances that are often outside of our control, any one of us could become homeless overnight.  Most of us know that it is our duty and obligation to take care of each other, and when someone or something becomes an obstruction, we have a responsibility to shine a light on that person and demand for him or her to be held accountable.
It is important to know that under the New York City Charter, the Comptroller’s authority mandates the registration of contracts unless: (1) there is not enough funding for the contract to be paid; (2) if the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services has not certified the contract; or (3) if there is reason to suspect corruption.
According to New York University School of Law Professor Roderick Hills: “Given that none of the homeless shelter contracts have been rejected on those grounds … For the comptroller to slow down or stop the mayor’s contracting policy is frankly illegal.”
We all know about Mr. Stringer’s personal ambition to become the Mayor of New York City; it’s no secret. We also know that Mr. Stringer has been extremely generous handing out lawsuit settlement checks for high profile cases against New York City, and has not missed any opportunity to glow in the media for each of our tax dollars he has doled out.
Mr. Stringer's refusal to sign contracts that the Mayor's office has approved shows that he is intentionally hurting the most needy, and making community organizations that deal with the homeless endure all kinds of problems.  Many of the organizations that are truly there for the homeless are being forced to borrow money from banks to pay their bills without knowing if Scott Stringer will ever sign their contract.
My dear reader, the homeless are suffering.  And the organizations that are fighting for the needy are paying the consequences because of Mr. Stringer's vicious refusal to sign their contracts.
Mr. Stringer should be trying to help the organizations that serve the homeless to work out technicalities and assist with any necessary paperwork - instead, he is beating them down and casting them aside.
I am calling on New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer to stop hurting the needy and to sign the contracts already approved by the Mayor to allow homeless service organizations to pay their bills and fulfill their obligations to serve the needy.
I am Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know.

Mayor de Blasio and Councilman Vacca Hold Town Hall Meeting

Above -  Mayor Bill de Blasio and Councilman Jimmy Vacca wait to be introduced at the Town Hall meeting last night at Villa Barone in Throggs Neck. 
Below - It was a packed house, but you had to have an invite to attend.

Above - Councilman Jimmy Vacca gave a history of his 37 years in public life, describing his large district, and introduced Mayor de Blasio.
Below - Mayor de Blasio spoke of improvements to the quality of life, and decreases im crime in Vacca's district.  

Above - The honor of the first question went to Ms. Lisa Soren. Of course it was about the Westchester Square BID.
Below - The mayor brought his commissioners and agency heads with him, as Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia answers a question. 

Above - The mayor is given a question on the reconstruction of Pelham Parkway pedestrian areas, or as it was said lack of work on the project.
Below - The mayor has Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver answer the question since the project is being done by the Parks Department

Above - State Senator Jeff Klein, and Below Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark spoke briefly, as the only other elected official present was Public Advocate Letitia James, who also spoke. 

Above - Community Board 10 resident John Cerini brings up the subject of making East Tremont Avenue one lane each way from its current two lanes of traffic each way. He states that the community board voted against the project by DOT. A loud cheer was heard from the audience. 
Below - The mayor has DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg explain that only painted lines will be put on East Tremont Avenue below Bruckner Blvd. and no concrete islands are to be put in as a Vision Zero safety project. The debate went on for a few minutes until Councilman Vacca cut off the community board member. 

Above - Community Board 10 Chair Martin Prince asks a question on the subject of more police for the 45th Precinct which covers Throggs Neck. The mayor responded that over 2,000 police officers have been added to the force under him, and all police precincts will be getting their fair share of the officers. As the Town Hall meeting winds down after almost three hours of questions to the mayor he thanks everyone who attended and his friend Councilman Jimmy Vacca.

Matt Smith and Karen Gillan Appear Thursday and Friday at NYCC

Matt Smith and Karen Gillan 
Thursday and Friday at NYCC
October 6 - 9, 2016 | Javits CenterBUY NOW
Sara Pichelli-Spider Man
James Tynion IV-Detective Comics
Brian Buccellato-The Flash
Fabian Nicieza- Co Creator of Deadpool
Declan Shalvey-Injection
Dustin Nguyen-Descender
Star Trek-The Starfleet Academy ExperiencespacerSign up for the exclusive NYCC Nerd Block
Buy your Thursday tickets before the ticket mailing deadline. Deadline is August 26 11:59 PM EDTspacerStar Wars Night 
Palisades Credit Union Park
August 12 @ 5:30 PM
Star Trek Mission New York
September 2-4
Javits Center NYC

Buy tickets before the ticket mailing deadline tonight!

BP Diaz & StudentsFirstNY Host Community Conversation on Building Better Schools


State Senator Gustavo Rivera will host three Back to School events onFriday, August 12th, Friday, August 19th and Friday, August 26th at Crotona Park, Tremont Park and Saint James Park respectively. 

These events, which are part of Senator Rivera's Bronx CAN Health Initiative, will offer members of the community a backpack giveaway, fun activities and free health screenings in an effort to help celebrate a healthy start to the upcoming school year. A limited number of backpacks will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Children between 5 and 13 years old need to be accompanied by an adult while youths between 14 and 18, do not need a parent present.


1)  First Back To School Event

    State Senator Gustavo Rivera, Assembly Member Michael Blake and Council       Member Vanessa L. Gibson

    Friday, August 12, 2016 - 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

    Crotona Park (Bathgate Playground on E 173rd Street and Fulton Avenue)

2) Second Back To School Event

    State Senator Gustavo Rivera, Assembly Member Victor M. Pichardo and Council Member Ritchie Torres.

    Friday, August 19, 2016 - 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

    Tremont Park (corner of E Tremont Avenue and Arthur Avenue)

3) Third Back To School Event

    State Senator Gustavo Rivera and Assembly Member Victor M. Pichardo.

    Friday, August 26, 2016 - 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

    St. James Park (entrance on Jerome Avenue and W 192nd Street)

**This event is free and open to the public. Organizations that either are donating backpacks or are participating in the event include Hispanic Federation, Kars for Kids, Metroplus, Union Community Health Center, Morris Heights Health Center, Essen Medical Associates, Fresh Direct, Monroe College, VIP Community Services, Bronx Lebanon Hospital, Community Healthcare Network, NYU Dentistry, North Central Bronx Hospital and Puerto Rican Family Institute, Bronx Zoo, FDNY, NYPD, Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs (IDNYC), Department of Consumer Affairs, UPK, OACE, ConEdison, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, St. Barnabas Hospital, United Health Care, Healthy Families and to the office of the Public Advocate Letitia James.

Assemblymember Michael Blake - Upcoming Events

There are a lot of great free events happening in the district this weekend! Here are a few:

Afro Cultural Parade and Festival
10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Crotona Park, Bronx, NY

Stop the Violence Event
10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
St. Augustine Church, 1512 Webster Ave, Bronx, NY

Union Grove Baptist Church Back to School and Health Fair
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
1488 Hoe Ave, Bronx, NY

Community Board 2 Back to School Giveaway Day
12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education, 928 Simpson St, Bronx, NY

Hope to see you this Saturday!