Saturday, August 20, 2016

Morrison Avenue Festival

It was a slow start for the Morrison Avenue Festival with cloudy skies at times. Freddy Perez was the person who put together this event, an below are some of the early photos I was able to get before I left early.

Above - There were many food vendors.
Below - Francisco is carving the Gyro Meat.

Above - There were several Pina Colada tables set up.
Below - The early contingent of the Bronx Young Democrats of the Bronx are set up on the sunny side of the street.

Above - Bronx Democratic County Leader Assemblyman Marcos Crespo greets some of the people at the festival.
Below - 78th Assemblyman Jose Rivera is taking video of the crowd, with associate Aldo Perez.

At this point the event coordinator Mr. Freddie Perez went on stage and called up Assemblyman Marcos Crespo. Assemblyman Jose Rivera was allowed inside the metal barrier behind him, along with up to a dozen people. I asked to go inside the metal barrier since I had my NYPD Press photo identification on me, but was denied access by one of State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. staffers. I was told to wait even though almost the entire staff of State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. know me, and I was denied access inside to take photos at that time of Assemblyman Crespo and Mr. Freddie Perez on stage. Did the others have NYPD Press Identification you may ask? The answer is that I recognized only one reporter, and no one else had NYPD Press credentials on them as I did. When Mr. Freddy Perez came off stage I told him what happened, and he seemed not to be concerned about what just had happened. I left to come back a little later bringing his brother Mr. John Perez. It seemed now that other elected officials had come including State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. who were now on stage. It appeared that I was allowed then to go inside the metal barrier, and the photos are below.

Above - Mr. Freddie Perez thanks the crowd for coming, as he calls up the elected officials to come on stage.
Below - The original TEAM DIAZ. State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. between Assemblymen Marcos Crespo and Luis Sepulveda.

Above and Below - As things got going the crowd grew as you can see. 

Above - It looks like Assemblyman Jose Rivera is repeating those words to State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. when Rivera was the Bronx Democratic County Leader, as the current Bronx Democratic County Leader looks on.
Below - Mr. Freddie Perez has five-hundred dollars in his hand as a reward for the person who can answer correctly a question about a video of State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. 

Above - The first person got the answer wrong, but still received fifty dollars for her effort. Yes that is Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda with his son Julian in his arms.
Below - The Bronx Young Democrats moved to the shady side of the street, ans were joined by several other members including Mr. Anthony Perez (white shirt in the back row) who is the executive Director of the Bronx Democratic County organization.

Friday, August 19, 2016


 Also Pleads Guilty to Slashing Inmate in Rikers Island: Faces Up to 11 Years Bronx District 

  Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that a 35-year-old Bronx man has pleaded guilty to sex trafficking related to a prostitution business he operated with his cousin, as well as an assault that took place while he was jailed in Rikers Island. 

   District Attorney Clark said, “This defendant forced a runaway girl into prostitution on the streets of Hunts Point, and in Brooklyn and Queens, by instilling fear of physical injury. Sex trafficking is a despicable offense and this victim is slowly trying to recover from her exploitation. 

   “The defendant also pleaded guilty to slashing an inmate while he was incarcerated, contributing to the culture of brutality at Rikers Island that we have been battling for the last eight months.” 

  District Attorney Clark said the defendant, Shakiem Washington, 35, of 374 East 209th Street, pleaded guilty yesterday, August 15, 2016, to Sex Trafficking and second degree Assault before Bronx Supreme Court Justice Alvin Yearwood. Washington faces 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison for Sex Trafficking, and four years for Assault, to run consecutively, when he is sentenced on September 1, 2016. He will also be designated a sex offender and receive three years post-release supervision.

   According to the investigation, Washington’s cousin Daniel Washington found the girl, then 18 years old, in early 2011 in Atlantic City, where another pimp had abandoned her. Daniel Washington handed her over to Washington, who forced her to work as a prostitute until June, 2011. An investigation was conducted by Bronx Vice Detective Rose Muckenthaler.

  On August 10, 2015, while in the George R. Vierno Center on Rikers Island, Washington participated in an attack with three other inmates on another inmate, slashing him in the face with a sharp object.  

The Walking Dead, Doctor Who and More at New NYCC Venue

New York Comic Con - NYCC
 GUESTS        EVENTS           THE FLOOR           ABOUT







5676 Riverdale Avenue, Suite 100 • Bronx, New York 10471-2194
Telephone: 718-884- 3959 • Fax: 718-796- 2763



DATE: Thursday, August 25, 2016

TIME: 7:00 PM

PLACE: 50th Police Precinct

3450 Kingsbridge Avenue


1. Introduction of Committee Members and Guests

2. Approval of Public Safety Committee minutes for July, 2016

3. Fire Report

4. NEW Applications Liquor License or Beer/Wine License:

    1 - Doppio Toro, LLC, 3625 Kingsbridge Avenue

    2 -  A1 & J1 Rest. Inc., 5977 Broadway

RENEWAL Applications Liquor License or Beer/Wine License:

Five Kids Five Inc. DBA Riverdale City Grill, 3541 Riverdale Avenue

5. Miscellaneous Business

Joseph O’Brien, Chair,  Public Safety Committee


  Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, Deputy Leader, and Council Member I. Daneek Miller, Chair of the Committee on Civil Service & Labor, released the following joint statement after 47-year-old Angel Sagardia and his wife Samantha Sagardia, 50, were run down by a dollar van driver in a Ford Omnibus on Aug. 13. The hit-and-run took place on Flatbush Ave., near Kings Plaza mall in Marine Park. 


"First, I'd like to offer prayers of peace and comfort to the family of the victim. Losing a loved one is never easy, especially when their death is tragic and unexpected.

"Once again, we have seen an unnecessary death caused by an illegal commuter van. These drivers continue to create unsafe conditions for residents in areas who are forced to use this unregulated industry because they lack other transportation options. 
"This is an example of what can happen when rogue drivers are left unchecked and unregulated. Incidents like this tarnish the perception of the commuter van industry. Commuter vans provide a valuable service to communities throughout the city, who are starved of reliable transit options. We are calling for stepped up enforcement not only for the family of Sagardia, who were so tragically affected by this accident, but also for the families of those affected by incidents that have happened before in Brookyln and in Queens. 
"We are committed to passing legislation that will make sure rogue drivers are taken off the street and allow room for the good acting members of this industry to operate in a safe, fair and regulated space. The Commuter Van Act will encourage drivers who are licensed by TLC, and discourage those who are unlicensed. 

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families in their time of mourning and we urge the City Council to pass our legislation that would regulate drivers who are operating illegally and look at ways which will enhance the quality of life for residents living in transportation deserts.

"It is only through these measures and enforcement that we will be able to minimize the number of senseless tragedies like the one that claimed the life of Angel Sargadia."

Queens Councilman - You Can't Take Away a Parking Lot in My District For Affordable Housing

Jimmy Van Bramer

Hi, My name is Jimmy Van Bramer. I am the Democratic Majority Leader in the City Council. There is a proposal to take away a 230 space parking lot in my council district for Phipps Houses to build a 209 unit affordable housing building, which will have 200 parking spaces as reported.  

I am opposed to the project as proposed, and will either not have it not be built or changes will be made that I approve. My fellow council member Ydanis Rodriguez stopped a similar proposal in Upper Manhattan., so why can't I do the same thing here in Queens. Councilman Rodriguez is only the Transportation Committee Chair, while I am the Democratic Majority Leader.


  FY 2017 Funding Includes $10 Million Towards Renovation of Historic Orchard Beach Pavilion

  Today, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. announced that his office has invested over $14.3 million in FY 2017 capital funds to improve parks throughout The Bronx, including $10 million to restore the historic Orchard Beach pavilion and upgrades to playgrounds and recreation spaces all over the borough.

"As we work to build a healthier Bronx through our ‘#Not62 campaign,’ we must make sure that our shared recreation spaces are in good condition and inviting to the public, so that more and more Bronxites of all ages will take advantage of them,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “I am proud to have provided so much of my capital funding—50 percent—to worthy park projects all over The Bronx this year.”

Borough President Diaz has allocated $500,000 towards improvements at Roberto Clemente State Park; which will soon be home to a baseball academy operated in conjunction with Major League Baseball (MLB), the Major League Baseball Players Association and Harlem RBI; as well as $500,000 for the reconstruction of Garrison Playground, which lies adjacent to the former site of P.S. 31 in Mott Haven. 

Other projects included in the borough president’s capital allocations for FY 2017 are $500,000 for the reconstruction of the basketball courts, including new fencing, backboards, benches, paving, landscaping, adult fitness equipment and general site work at Bridge Playground in Highbridge; $500,000 for the reconstruction of Kossuth Playground on Mosholu Parkway and $500,000 for the reconstruction of Waring Playground on Bronx Park East, which will be used to add new equipment, as well as the addition of safety surfacing, spray shower, fencing, benches and landscaping.

Borough President Diaz has also provided $10 million towards renovations at the historic Orchard Beach pavilion in Pelham Bay Park, an allocation he first announced in his “State of the Borough” address in February. 

“Orchard Beach is one of the jewels of our borough, and it has the potential to be an even greater tourist attraction, drawing in visitors from all over the region if not the world. Orchard Beach is not just a Bronx beach. Orchard Beach is for the entire city. And it could be so much more. It could be an economic engine for our borough and a destination point for visitors across the region. I am hopeful that my $10 million capital commitment will spark considerable interest in this grand vision for a new Orchard Beach from both the public and private sectors,” said Borough President Diaz.

#Not62 The Campaign for a Healthy Bronx
 Background The 2014 Robert Wood Johnson County Health Ranking Report ranked the Bronx 62 out of the New York State’s 62 counties. #Not62 is a collaborative effort led by Bronx Health REACH, the Bronx Borough President’s Office, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Bronx District Public Health Office, Montefiore Medical Center, and the CUNY Institute for Health Equity at Lehman College, in response to that finding.    Mission: The goal of #Not62 is to improve strategic health outcomes for Bronx residents by 2020, around positive health behaviors, access to clinical care, social/economic factors, and the physical environment. This initiative builds on two previous efforts- the Bronx CAN (Changing Attitudes Now) Health Initiative, and the Bronx-wide Campaign to Reduce and Prevent Obesity. 
 Strategies #Not62 will bring together stakeholders from across multiple sectors within City government, the business community, healthcare providers and community-based/faith based organizations to address the determinants of health. In the next 5 years #Not62 will:  Guide key decision makers with interests in the Bronx on ways to integrate a public health framework into existing work; 
 Obtain pledges from all those who live, work, pray, and play in the Bronx i.e. residents, schools, community and faith -based organizations, corporations, public agencies, etc. to sign on to the #Not62 Pledge: “I (entity) pledge to live, work, play and pray in a manner that improves the overall health of Bronx county...” 
 Support related public outreach/public awareness campaigns: 
1 - Produce and disseminate RWJ County Health Ranking video – completed October 2014 2  - “We CAN” bus shelter campaign – launched October 2014 
3 - Bronx Week – May 2015    
4 - Bronx Changing Attitudes Now (Bronx CAN) – an ongoing borough wide initiative of the Bronx Borough President to engage Bronx residents to embrace a healthy lifestyle 
5 - Present We All Want Healthy Children to staff and client base 
6 - Social Media Campaign 
If you are interested in learning more about #Not62, please go to the website of any of the partners listed below: 
Bronx Borough President 
The Institute for Family Health/Bronx Health REACH 
Montefiore Medical Center 
Bronx District Public Office 
CUNY Institute for Health Equity at Lehman College

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Three Gang Members Charged In Federal Court With Racketeering Offenses, Including Murder And Firearm Offenses

  Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Diego Rodriguez, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and William J. Bratton, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced today the charges against three members of the Sex Money Murder gang (“SMM”),  COREY BROWN, a/k/a “CB,” JOSNEL RODRIGUEZ, a/k/a “DO,” and  CHRISTOPHER CANADA, a/k/a “Brabs,” with racketeering and firearms charges, including the gang-related murder of Vincent Davis on July 15, 2012.The case has been assigned to United States District Judge Denise L. Cote.  RODRIGUEZ was presented before Judge Cote yesterday; BROWN was presented before Judge Cote today. 
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “The Sex, Money, Murder gang has terrorized residents of the Bronx for years with drug dealing, gang violence, and even murder.  Today’s charges against three alleged members of this notoriously violent gang – possible only because of the work of the FBI and the NYPD – is another step toward keeping our communities free from drugs and gang violence.”   
FBI Assistant Director in Charge Diego Rodriguez said: “The drugs these inner city gangs push end up on the streets everywhere in our cities and communities, not just in the areas they control.  As long as there is a market for their products, these gangs will continue to commit crimes to maintain control.  Unfortunately in this case, murder has become the normal course of their business day.  The FBI New York Metro Safe Streets Task Force will continue to go after the heads of these gangs in the hope that one day the demand for their drugs will go away.”
As alleged in the Indictment and in other court papers[1]:
SMM is a criminal enterprise that operates mainly in and around several housing developments in the Bronx, New York.  From 2011 up to and including 2016, members and associates of SMM enriched themselves by selling drugs, such as crack cocaine, cocaine, and heroin, and engaged in acts of violence, including murder and attempted murder of rival gang members, rival drug traffickers, and fellow gang members.
On July 15, 2012, SMM members BROWN and RODRIGUEZ participated in the murder of Vincent Davis, in the vicinity of 566 Pugsley Avenue, Bronx, New York, in order to maintain and increase their standing within SMM.  CANADA later assisted his fellow SMM members avoid arrest by disposing of the murder weapon after Davis was shot. 
Count One charges BROWN, RODRIGUEZ, and CANADA with participating in a racketeering conspiracy for their involvement in the SMM gang, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. 
Count Two charges BROWN and RODRIGUEZ with murder in aid of a racketeering conspiracy, in connection with the murder of Davis, which carries a maximum sentence of death, or life in prison.   
Count Three charges BROWN and RODRIGUEZ with conspiracy to commit murder in aid of a racketeering conspiracy, in connection with the murder of Davis, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Count Four charges BROWN and RODRIGUEZ with murder through the use of a firearm, in connection with the murder of Davis, which carries a maximum sentence of death, or life in prison. 
Count Five charges CANADA with being an accessory after the fact to murder in aid of a racketeering conspiracy, in connection with the murder of Davis, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment.    
Mr. Bharara thanked the FBI and the NYPD, in particular, the New York Metro Safe Streets Task Force, as well as the Criminal Investigators at the United States Attorney’s Office for their work on the investigation.
RODRIGUEZ, 26, of the Bronx, New York, and BROWN, 37, of the Bronx, New York, were taken into custody yesterday.  CANADA, 27, of Bronx, New York, remains at large. 
The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brooke Cucinella, Rebekah Donaleski, and Margaret Graham are in charge of the prosecution. 
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment constitutes only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Managing Director Of Investment Bank Found Guilty Of Insider Trading Charges

  Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that SEAN STEWART, a former Managing Director at an investment advisory firm headquartered in Manhattan, was found guilty of providing inside information to trade and cause another to trade in the securities of five different health care companies, the acquisitions of which were announced between 2011 and 2014.  He was convicted after trial before U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain.                                                
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said:  “Another insider trading defendant stands convicted after trial by jury.  Time and time again, Sean Stewart took his clients’ most sensitive corporate secrets and fed them to his father on a silver platter for quick and illegal profits.  Insider trading rigs the securities markets in favor of cheaters, and we will continue to investigate and prosecute this crime aggressively.”           
According to the allegations contained in the Indictment as well as the evidence presented during trial:
In early 2011, SEAN STEWART, who at the time held the position of Vice President in the Healthcare Investment Banking Group of a global bank headquartered in Manhattan (“Investment Bank A”), began tipping his father, Robert Stewart, with material nonpublic information about upcoming mergers and acquisitions, including with the names of the companies that were acquisition targets, both when the target was an Investment Bank A client and when the bank represented the acquirer, as well as with information that indicated the likely timing of an upcoming deal. 
The first of these deals involved the acquisition of Kendle International Inc. by INC Research, LLC, which was announced publicly on May 4, 2011.  SEAN STEWART worked on the deal, representing Kendle.  Robert Stewart made about $7,900 in profits on purchases of Kendle stock executed in February and March of 2011.  When questioned by the Securities and Exchange Commission about his Kendle trades in May 2013, Robert Stewart reported that he used the proceeds of those trades to pay expenses related to SEAN STEWART’s June 2011 wedding.    
The second deal about which SEAN STEWART tipped Robert Stewart was the acquisition of Kinetic Concepts, Inc. (“KCI”) by Apax Partners, announced on July 13, 2011.  Although Robert Stewart purchased some stock in KCI based on SEAN STEWART’s tip, he sold that stock before the acquisition was announced, around the same time that SEAN STEWART learned the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) was conducting an inquiry into Robert Stewart’s Kendle trading. 
Also around this time, in the spring of 2011, Robert Stewart expressed a concern to co-conspirator Richard Cunniffe that Robert Stewart was “too close to the source” to be trading in KCI stock his own account, and asked Cunniffe to make purchases of KCI call options for Robert Stewart in Cunniffe’s brokerage account.  Cunniffe agreed to do so, and also mirrored for his own benefit the KCI trades that Robert Stewart was directing.
In connection with the FINRA inquiry, FINRA prepared a list of persons and entities that had traded in advance of the Kendle deal.  The list included Robert Stewart’s name.  When Investment Bank-A asked SEAN STEWART whether he knew anyone on the list, he initially denied recognizing the name of his father; later, when confronted by lawyers from Investment Bank-A, SEAN STEWART acknowledged that his father was on the list but told a series of lies designed to make it seem as if Robert Stewart had independently decided to invest in Kendle.  SEAN STEWART told these lies one day after meeting with his father to apprise his father of the FINRA inquiry and to get their stories straight. 
When the KCI/Apax Partners deal was announced, Robert Stewart and Cunniffe reaped profits totaling approximately $107,790.  At around this time, Robert Stewart told Cunniffe that the source of the KCI tip and the earlier Kendle tip had been Robert’s son.  Later, around the spring of 2012, Robert Stewart clarified for Cunniffe that the son in question was SEAN STEWART, who worked on the “sell side” on Wall Street.
In October 2011, SEAN STEWART left Investment Bank A.  A few months later, he joined an investment banking advisory firm headquartered in Manhattan (“Investment Bank B”) as a Managing Director.
During SEAN STEWART’s tenure with Investment Bank B, based on tips concerning nonpublic acquisition-related information supplied by SEAN STEWART, Robert Stewart had Cunniffe conduct options trading in advance of the public announcements of three more deals: (1) the acquisition of Gen-Probe Inc. by Hologic, Inc., announced on April 30, 2012; (2) the acquisition, by tender offer, of Lincare Holdings Inc. by Linde AG, announced on July 1, 2012; and (3) the acquisition of CareFusion Corp. by Becton, Dickinson & Co. (“Becton”), announced on October 5, 2014.  Investment Bank B represented Hologic in connection with its acquisition of Gen-Probe; Linde in connection with its acquisition of Lincare; and CareFusion in connection with its acquisition by Becton.  The profits that Robert Stewart and Cunniffe reaped from illegal insider trading in advance of the announcements of these three deals totaled over $1 million.  
During the course of the scheme, SEAN STEWART because aware that his father was having financial problems.  Rather than loan his father money, SEAN STEWART gave his father stock tips, the proceeds of which Robert Stewart used to benefit himself and his son.
In March and April of 2015, Cunniffe, who was then cooperating with the Government, recorded meetings he had with Robert Stewart.  During one such meeting, Robert Stewart accepted a payment of $2,500 cash from Cunniffe, which was the balance of the proceeds owed to Robert Stewart for profitable trading executed in Cunniffe’s account in advance of the CareFusion acquisition announcement.  Also during this meeting, Robert Stewart admitted that SEAN STEWART once chastised him for failing to make use of a tip, saying, “I can’t believe I handed you this on a silver platter and you didn’t invest in it.”              
SEAN STEWART, 35, of New York, New York, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and fraud in connection with a tender offer, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, six counts of securities fraud, and one count of fraud in connection with a tender offer.  The securities fraud, tender offer fraud, and wire fraud conspiracy charges each carries a maximum prison term of 20 years.  The charge of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and tender offer fraud carries a maximum prison term of five years.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by a judge. 
Robert Stewart pled guilty on August 12, 2015, to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and fraud in connection with a tender offer and was sentenced to four years’ probation, with the first year to be served in home detention, and $150,000 in forfeiture.
Richard Cunniffe pled guilty on May 12, 2015, to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and fraud in connection with a tender offer, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, three counts of securities fraud, and one count of fraud in connection with a tender offer.
Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the FBI and also thanked the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The charges were brought in connection with the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.  The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes.  With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices, and state and local partners, it is the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud.  Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets; and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations.  Since fiscal year 2009, the Justice Department has filed over 18,000 financial fraud cases against more than 25,000 defendants.  

A.G. Schneiderman Announces $1.1 Million Settlement With A Minnesota Pillow Retailer For Failing To Collect New York Sales Taxes

Tax Whistleblower Uncovers Failure By “My Pillow” To Collect Sales Tax On Millions Of Dollars In Sales To New York State Customers
   Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced a $1.1 million dollar settlement resolving a whistleblower case against My Pillow, Inc., a Minnesota corporation that sells pillows and other sleep-related products. The lawsuit alleged that My Pillow knowingly failed to collect and remit New York sales taxes on sales made to New York customers through its website and over the telephone. 
The action began when a whistleblower filed a complaint in state Supreme Court in Manhattan. Based on its investigation of the whistleblower’s allegations, the Attorney General’s Office contends that from 2011-2015, My Pillow failed to collect and remit approximately $537,000 in sales taxes on taxable sales made over the phone and through the Internet to New Yorkers. My Pillow was required to collect and remit sales taxes because the company sold products at trade shows in New York through independent contractors and other representatives, among other reasons.  The Attorney General’s Office claims that My Pillow knowingly made false records or statements concerning the sales taxes it was required to collect and remit. 
“Out-of-state companies like My Pillow cannot shirk their obligations to New York. Companies that fail to collect and remit applicable sales taxes harm the State and local governments—something that cannot be tolerated,” said Attorney General Schneiderman
This settlement is the latest tax-related recovery resulting from an action filed under the New York False Claims Act.  The Act is one of the state’s most powerful civil fraud enforcement tools because it allows whistleblowers and prosecutors to take legal action against companies or individuals that defraud the government.  Persons found liable under the False Claims Act must pay treble damages, penalties and attorneys’ fees.  Under the False Claims Act, whistleblowers may be eligible to receive up to 30 percent of any money recovered by the government as a result of information they provide.  The whistleblower in this action will receive $221,800.00 from the settlement proceeds. 
Attorney General Schneiderman expresses his thanks to the whistleblower and its attorneys, and to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, for their assistance in bringing this case to resolution.


One large park in each borough to receive major capital upgrades like new soccer fields, comfort stations, running tracks, hiking trails

750,000 New Yorkers live within walking distance of these five major parks

   Today at St. Mary’s Park in the Bronx, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito, and NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver announced that the City will fund $150 million in major improvements at five large parks under the new Anchor Parks initiative. More than 750,000 New Yorkers live within walking distance of the five Anchor Parks, and the new investment will fuel the kind of major amenities needed more in these bigger parks, like new soccer fields, comfort stations, running tracks and hiking trails.

The Mayor and Speaker made the announcement at Saint Mary’s Park in the South Bronx, and were joined by Council Members from the four other anchor parks: Highbridge Park in Manhattan, Betsy Head Park in Brooklyn, Astoria Park in Queens and Freshkills Park on Staten Island.

“New Yorkers deserve to have the greatest parks in the world steps from their homes. That’s why our administration is focused on park equity, which brings fair access to and development of parks across the city. The Anchor Parks program, joined with the Community Parks Initiative and Parks Without Borders, marks another major step in advancing park equity for all New Yorkers,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“I am proud to be part of a team announcing $150 million in capital improvements coming to parks in all five boroughs,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “Outdoor spaces like St. Mary’s Park are great equalizers for our city, and this funding makes it clear that every New Yorker, in every neighborhood, deserves access to quality outdoor spaces. I thank Mayor de Blasio and Council Members Mark Levine and Julissa Ferreras-Copeland for their engaged and collaborative work on the Anchor Parks Initiative and look forward to our continued partnership as we work to ensure every New Yorker in every neighborhood in our City has access to quality, open spaces.”
“We call these sites Anchor Parks because they provide a stabilizing, centering force for the communities they serve by offering larger and more diverse resources than smaller community parks. Now, New Yorkers in all boroughs have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make their older parks new again,” said Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP.

Each of the Anchor Parks is slated for $30 million in major improvements. Each was selected based on historical underinvestment, high surrounding population and potential for park development. The Parks Department will commence community outreach beginning this fall to determine which improvements to pursue in each park.

These improvements to larger parks compliment the de Blasio Administration’s Community Parks Initiative, which has targeted more than 60 small neighborhood parks with improvements like new playground equipment, benches, plantings and resurfaced playing courts.

“Many happy hours have been spent playing in Betsy Head Park, enjoying this invaluable recreational space for the children and families of my beloved home of Brownsville,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “Unfortunately, this treasured open space – once a crown jewel of the New Deal-era parks renovated in New York City – has been shamefully allowed to deteriorate, depriving underserved families of a safe, comfortable place to play and enjoy the outdoors. Long-awaited capital improvements will dramatically improve the quality of life for Betsy Head Park’s patrons and visitors, many of whom cannot travel elsewhere for recreation, as well as will support my administration’s ongoing efforts to invest resources in neighborhood parks that have historically been neglected.”


   State Senator Gustavo Rivera will host the second of three Back to School events on Friday, August 19th at Tremont Park. The last Back to School event will be held on Friday, August 26th at St. James Park. This event is co-sponsored by Assembly Member Victor M. Pichardo and Council Member Ritchie Torres

This event, which is part of Senator Rivera's Bronx CAN Health Initiative, will have 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) What: Back To School Event

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

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

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

2) What: Back To School Event

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

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

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