Saturday, November 26, 2016

Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj - Winter Health and Wellness Fair

Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj and Senator Jeffrey Klein 
in conjunction with 
Bronx House 
990 Pelham Parkway South
Bronx , NY 10461
Monday - December 12, 2016
5:30 - 8:30pm

Bronx Jewish Community Council - Breakfast This Wednesday.Nov 30th 8 AM

Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj and Senator Jeffrey Klein 
in conjunction with 
Bronx House 
990 Pelham Parkway South
Bronx , NY 10461
Monday - December 12, 2016
5:30 - 8:30pm

Holiday Lights in Riverdale Thanks to Senator Jeff Klein

Thursday, November 24, 2016

High School Teacher Arrested For Possessing And Receiving Child Pornography

Nicholas Pagliuca Downloaded Hundreds of Files Containing Images and Videos of Child Pornography

   Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Angel M. Melendez, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), and George P. Beach II, the Superintendent of the New York State Police (“NYSP”), announced the arrest of NICHOLAS PAGLIUCA, a teacher at a high school in the town of Mamaroneck, stemming from his possession and receipt of child pornography.  PAGLIUCA was arrested and will be presented today before United States Magistrate Judge Judith C. McCarthy in White Plains federal court. 
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said:  “As alleged, Nicholas Pagliuca, a teacher at a local high school, tapped into a website full of illegal child pornography to download images and videos.  Investigation and prosecution of these crimes are critical in protecting our children.”     
HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Angel Melendez said:  “Individuals who take pleasure in downloading videos and photos of young children being sexually exploited need to be brought to justice, especially those whose jobs give them access to children, as in this case.  HSI is putting child predators on notice that we will not stop tracking and arresting these depraved individuals until the threat to children is no more.” 
Superintendent George P. Beach II said:  “Anyone involved in child pornography, promoting the acts of child predators, or who performs predatory acts against children must understand that such crimes will not be tolerated. We will continue to work with our partners to thoroughly investigate and prosecute these illicit activities. Children must be protected, not preyed upon.”
According to the Complaint[1] filed today in federal court:
In October 2012, an individual who was later identified as PAGLIUCA registered for a 30-day subscription to a website that is a popular means for individuals to trade child pornography images and videos.  PAGLIUCA downloaded hundreds of files containing images and videos of child pornography, many of which depicted prepubescent children engaged in sexual activity with adults or other children.  Using the email address PAGLIUCA used to register with the website, agents with HSI and officers of the NYSP confirmed PAGLIUCA’s identity and his occupation as a teacher at a public high school in Mamaroneck, New York.  PAGLIUCA was arrested at his residence in Somers, New York.

NICHOLAS PAGLIUCA, 65, of Somers, New York, is charged with one count of possession of child pornography (Count One), which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and one count of receipt of child pornography (Count Two), which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Any individuals who believe they have information concerning NICHOLAS PAGLIUCA that may be relevant to the investigation should contact HSI at through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE; TTY for hearing impaired: (802) 872-6196. This hotline is staffed around-the-clock by investigators.
Mr. Bharara praised the efforts of HSI and the New York State Police in this investigation.  He added that the investigation is continuing.
This case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant United States Attorney Gillian Grossman is in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. 
[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint and the description of the Complaint set forth below constitute only allegations and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Arrest Of New Jersey Man For Selling Designer Drug Over The Internet In Violation Of The Federal Analogue Act

   Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Carl J. Kotowski, the Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division, announced today the arrest of ANDREW COOK on a charge of distributing and possessing with intent to distribute methoxetamine hydrochloride (“MXE”), an illegal analogue of the hallucinogenic drug. 
The defendant had an initial appearance in the District of New Hampshire today before Magistrate Judge Andrea K. Johnstone.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said:  “As alleged, Andrew Cook was the sole proprietor of an illegal online distributor of MXE, a dangerous hallucinogenic drug.  Thanks to the work of the DEA, Cook has been arrested and his illegal business taken offline.”
DEA Special Agent in Charge Carl J. Kotowski said:  “Today, the men and women of DEA have arrested a dangerous individual.  Mr. Cook was hiding behind the anonymity of his computer screen.  We will continue to pursue those peddling their drugs whether they are selling them on the street or via the internet.”
According to the Complaint[1] unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:
MXE, a designer drug, is an analogue of a controlled substance and has been “designed” to circumvent drug laws.  MXE belongs to the same class of drugs as ketamine, phenycyclidine (“PCP”), and PCE.  Drugs in this class produce dissociative anesthetic and hallucinogenic effects.        
COOK was the sole owner and operator of an internet business, called Downlow Labs, which shipped various drugs, including MXE, to individuals across the country.  COOK operated a drug manufacturing facility at his home in Long Branch, New Jersey.  A search of COOK’s residence uncovered, among other things, numerous baggies labeled “methoxetamine,” a pill press, masks, beakers, rubber gloves, shipping supplies, invoices, approximately $14,500 in cash, and approximately 395 grams of MXE.
COOK, 23, of Long Branch, New Jersey, was charged with one count of distributing and possessing with intent to distribute a controlled substance analogue, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  The maximum potential sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge. 
U.S. Attorney Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the DEA New Jersey Tactical Diversion Squad, the New Jersey State Police Hazardous Material Unit, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Long Branch Police Department, and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit.  Assistant United States Attorney Dina McLeod is in charge of the prosecution.
[1] As the introductory phase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint, and the description of the Complaint set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

A.G. Schneiderman Issues Fraud Alert On Immigration Scams

Attorney General's Office, Immigration Groups Have Received An Increased Number Of Reported Scams In Recent Weeks
With Increased Anxiety In Immigrant Communities Due To Political Climate, Immigrants Should Be Aware Of Potential Scammers Offering Immigration Service
   In light of increased fear and anxiety in immigrant communities as a result of the current political climate, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today issued a fraud alert warning immigrants to be aware of potential scammers offering immigration services. Immigration fraud affects large segments of communities and involves individuals or companies who target vulnerable immigrants by providing unauthorized and fraudulent immigration services. In recent weeks, the Attorney General’s office and many legal aid organizations that work with immigrant communities have received an increased number of calls and reported scams.
“In the past two weeks, we’ve seen intense fear and anxiety in immigrant communities. New York has zero tolerance for anyone who would prey on that fear to defraud immigrants and their families,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “We will use all the tools at our disposal to bring to justice those who commit fraud against our immigrant communities.”
There has been a significant increase in the number of calls to immigration organizations, including regarding potential fraud. For example, since the election, the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights has received an 266% increase in number of daily calls and 250% increase in number of daily walk-ins; on November 10th alone, the organization received over 100 calls.
One of the most common scams right now is unsolicited calls from fake immigration officials. For example, one immigrant living in New York recently received a call that is the same as an official government immigration agency. The fraudster told him he was in the country illegally and must immediately pay $1,550. Federal authorities will never demand immediate payment, request personal sensitive information, or threaten you over the phone. If you receive a call like this, hang up immediately and report the possible fraud to our office.
To report complaints regarding immigration services, contact the Attorney General’s Immigration Services Fraud Unit Hotline at (866) 390-2992 or email Attorney General’s office will never ask for your immigration status or share immigration information with federal authorities if you contact the Immigration Services Fraud Unit Hotline.
Attorney General Schneiderman also highlighted key resources for New York’s immigrant communities to seek immigration and naturalization-related support.  Managed by Catholic Charities Community Services, the New Americans hotline is a toll-free, multi-lingual hotline that provides live assistance in receiving immigration and naturalization information and referrals, regardless of citizenship or documented status. All calls to the hotline are confidential and anonymous. Call 1-800-566-7636 (toll-free) anytime between 9:00am to 8:00pm Monday through Friday.
Attorney General Schneiderman also reminded all New Yorkers of commons forms of immigration fraud to protect them from becoming potential victims:
Unsolicited Calls From Fake Officials: One of the most common immigration services scams are unsolicited calls from someone claiming to be a government official or law enforcement officer that make threats such as deportation. Often times the number on caller ID may look like a legitimate government number. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will never request payment over the phone, so immigrants should be wary of scammers that ask for any sensitive or personal information, demand payment and threaten deportation if you do not comply.
Notario Fraud: In many Latin American countries a “notario” refers to someone who has the authority to render legal services. Unscrupulous “notaries” who are not attorneys often rely on this misunderstanding to exploit immigrants. They charge immigrants excessive application fees without ever submitting applications to the immigration authorities or may induce deportation by submitting applications for relief for which the immigrant is not eligible for or did not request.
Misrepresenting Legal Credentials: Individuals may falsely claim to be attorneys or wrongly suggest that they are able to appear before the immigration agencies or court. They take advantage of immigrants who will unknowingly pay exorbitant fees for their services. By misrepresenting their qualifications, these individuals can have a detrimental impact on the immigrants with whom they work. For example, immigrants who take advice from and work with these individuals may waive their right to obtain legal residency, be unnecessarily deported, or become subject to civil and/or criminal liability for the filing of false claims.
Fraudulent Promises to Expedite Process: This type of fraud concerns individuals who contend that they know employees at immigration offices who can expedite the processing of their clients applications. Accordingly, they request high fees for this special service, but fail to provide it.
Misinformation Fraud: Under this type of fraud, a provider will typically provide inaccurate or false information to the immigrant concerning his or her eligibility for an adjustment of status under a particular law. In these cases, the immigrant is usually not aware that they have been a victim of fraud until they receive a letter of ineligibility from immigration authorities. The provider knows the immigrant is not entitled to relief, or ineligible, but will file the application with immigration authorities regardless.
Immigration Affinity Fraud: Some providers target immigrants belonging to their same ethnic or racial group. Accordingly, they seek to gain advantage over other providers by claiming to identify with the ethnic, racial, national origin or community-based affiliations of the immigrant group.
Unauthorized Practice of the Law: Individuals may not be licensed to practice law but present themselves as attorneys or immigration law experts capable of providing legal advice and services.
Attorney General Schneiderman provided these key tips to avoid getting scammed:
  • Only work with a licensed lawyer or an authorized provider.
  • Never sign blank applications or documents you do not understand.
  • Do not make payments over the phone or via email.
Additional resources can be found on the Attorney General’s website, including Know Your Rights: Immigration Services Fraud and Don’t Be a Victim of Immigration Fraud brochure. All authorized attorneys will be registered with the New York State Court. To verify an attorney, see here.  
“New York City is committed to protecting immigrant New Yorkers from fraudulent and unscrupulous immigration services providers.  At a time when the uncertainty following the election can create fertile ground for fraudulent providers and fear among immigrant communities, we thank Attorney General Schneiderman for his vigilance.  I look forward to continuing our collaboration with his office, the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs, and our community partners to raise awareness about immigration services fraud and connect New Yorkers to safe, free immigration legal services,” said Commissioner Nisha Agarwal, Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs.
"DCA is deeply committed to working with partners to educate communities about how to avoid predatory immigration service providers and to identifying targets for enforcement,” said Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lorelei Salas. “I urge anyone who has paid their hard earned money to an immigration service provider or notario p├║blico to provide advice on or prepare immigration documents, to file a complaint—either anonymously or knowing their information is safe with the City—to file a complaint with us by calling 311.”
Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark said, “The Bronx is home to more than 300,000 immigrants, and we are here to protect them from those who use language barriers or citizenship status to exploit their fears and defraud them in the areas of employment, housing and immigration documentation services. We will vigorously prosecute anyone who preys on immigrants, and we encourage all victims—no matter their status—to seek help from our Immigrant Affairs Unit.”
Attorney General Schneiderman’s Civil Rights Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Lourdes Rosado and the Social Justice Division is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Alvin Bragg.

640 West 238th Street Construction on Thanksgiving Without any Safety Precautions to People Driving or Walking

   It's bad enough that there was a delivery to the construction site at 640 West 238th Street where an eight story building is going up any day, but on Thanksgiving?
   As you will see in the photos below the company doing the construction work are being their usual bad neighbors, but again are not following New York City Department of Transportation rules by having flag persons on both sides of the closed side of the street which curves around an island in the middle of the street. One photo has the site supervisor talking to the delivery driver as the truck completely blocks one side of street so traffic must go both ways on the other side of the island. NYCDOT requires that flag people be placed on both sides where traffic must travel when both directions of traffic use the same lane to travel. That of course would require holiday pay for the two flag people, is if they were union workers. Another photo has a woman and small child walking in the roadway with no guidance by the construction company as to their safety, especially with the sidewalk being closed where they would usually walk due to the blockage. Then there is the photo of a car being seen by the site supervisor who does nothing as it travels on the wrong lane of traffic around the island without and flag person to guide the car for its safety or any pedestrian who might be walking in the street rather than the blocked sidewalk. 

Above - The site supervisor of the construction site at 640 West 238th Street is talking to the driver of a truck making a delivery on Thanksgiving.
Below - The site supervisor continues to talk as he is oblivious to anything that comes near him as he and the delivery truck block one side of the island in the street. Notice there are no barriers or flag people anywhere. 

Above - The site supervisor finally sees me as I am right near him.
Below - The site supervisor obviously did not see this woman and her child walking around the island in the street where there was no flag person to guide them. The line you see is not a lane divider as one may think, but the remnants of a cement truck after dropping off its load.

Here you can see a car coming down the wrong side of the island, as the site supervisor notices it, and me taking his photo as he does nothing for anybody's safety. The car proceeded one or two minutes after the woman and her child walked down on the same side of the island in the middle of the street. Had they been walking at the time the car came, it is possible that the driver may not have seen them since there was no one from the construction company controlling the traffic flow.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

As President-elect Trump Prepares to Take Office, Comptroller Stringer Releases Initial Analysis of Federal Funding to NYC

Over $7 billion annually could be at risk under a Trump Presidency

Eliminating even a small portion of Federal funding would have an extraordinary impact on New Yorkers in need

Record homelessness crisis could further worsen

  New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer today released an initial analysis of Federal funding for City programs to help identify what’s at stake for New Yorkers as President-Elect Trump prepares to take office. President-Elect Trump recently said that one of his first acts, within his first 100 days, will be to “cancel all Federal funding to Sanctuary Cities.” The Comptroller recently directed staff to explore the ramifications if that were to happen.

This initial breakdown demonstrates that cutting off all Federal funds would have a devastating impact on the City’s budget. The early analysis shows that Federal aid to New York City accounts for almost one out of every 10 operational dollars that the City spends, and many of those dollars go directly to the most vulnerable among us.
Some City agencies – and their respective programs and services – depend more heavily on Federal aid than others, and would be therefore be more vulnerable to cuts. A handful of agencies – eleven out of more than 40 mayoral agencies total – account for 59 percent of all City spending but receive 92 percent of all Federal grant aid. Those agencies include the Department of Homeless Services and the Administration for Children’s Services, among others. The NYPD budget for intelligence and counter-terrorism would also be at risk.
“What we know with absolute certainty is that any cuts in Federal aid to New York will have a devastating impact. We have a record homelessness crisis that will be made much more challenging with any decrease in funding. I urge President-elect Trump to remember that behind every Federal line item is a human face – a family in need, a victim of domestic violence, an AIDS patient, a hungry school child,” Comptroller Scott M. Stringer said. “We are a City that welcomes immigrants—we don’t turn people away based on where they’re from or what language they speak, and that must not change.”
The breakdown shows that the City’s homelessness crisis could worsen, the City could become less safe due to cuts to the NYPD, at-risk children would face cuts to critical programs, and more:
  • There are currently more than 39,000 households who benefit from Section 8 Housing Choice vouchers, which are fully funded by the Federal government. If Federal funding ended, the City would either have to cover the $482 million line item, or tens of thousands of New Yorkers might be without a home at a time when the City is already facing a record homelessness crisis.
  • The New York City Police Department receives 61 percent of its $380 million Intelligence and Counter-terrorism budget from the Federal government, providing equipment and training to continue to keep our City safe from terrorism.
  • Public Assistance Grants through the Human Resource Administration serve more than 600,000 New Yorkers. Of the $1.5 billion in grants, 38 percent is covered by the Federal government.
  • Child Protective Services, delivered by the Administration for Children’s Services, could see almost half of its $247 million budget slashed should Federal aid end tomorrow. That would put society’s most vulnerable children at even greater risk of abuse, neglect, and mistreatment.
  • The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment program – with a more than $194 million budget – is funded almost entirely by the Federal government. Eighty-six percent of patients enrolled in Ryan White-funded City programs receive an antiretroviral (ARV) prescription.
“We are going to remain vigilant, because these cuts could have devastating impacts to the heart and soul of our City. We are going to do everything possible to protect our most vulnerable,” Comptroller Stringer said.
To view the full analysis, click here.


Defendant Will Register As Sex Offender Following Release 
  Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that a Bronx man has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for raping a woman who was waiting for a bus on Christmas morning of 2014.        
  District Attorney Clark said “This heinous act is even more tragic as it happened on a holiday of joy and peace. The defendant will now serve 13 years for his depravity and be under supervision for 20 years post-release, and his plea ensures he will be on the Sex Offender Registry.” 
  District Attorney Clark said the defendant, Jose Roys, 38, of 2155 Bolton Street, Bronx, was sentenced today before Bronx Supreme Court Justice Alvin Yearwood to 13 years in prison and 20 years post-release supervision. Roys pleaded guilty to an offer by the Judge to the top charge of first-degree Rape on October 25, 2016. 
  According to the investigation, on the early morning of December 25, 2014, Roys approached the woman, now 53 years old, who was waiting near a bus stop on Boston Road at Pelham Parkway and made small talk with her. Roys proceeded to point at something across the street and when the woman turned to look, he punched her in the face, causing her to fall. 
  According to the investigation, Roys told the woman, “Don’t look at me or scream or I’ll kill you.” He then dragged her to a secluded area, struck her, demanded she disrobe and sexually assaulted her. Before fleeing with her purse, Roys told the woman not to call the cops because “I know where you live” and “my brother is watching you.”


   Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that a Bronx politician and an aide have pleaded guilty for committing voter fraud in a 2014 New York State Assembly primary race and were sentenced to Conditional Discharge. 
   District Attorney Clark said, “The electoral process is an important part of any democracy and any actions attempting to undermine its integrity must and will be prosecuted by this office.”
   District Attorney Clark said Hector Ramirez, 61, who ran in several races for New York State Assembly, pleaded guilty today, November 22, 2016, before Bronx Supreme Court Justice Steven Barrett to second-degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument, a D Felony. Ana Cuevas, 57, pleaded guilty to Disorderly Conduct. Both defendants were sentenced to a Conditional Discharge and as a condition for his plea, Ramirez will not be permitted to seek public office for the three-year duration of his Conditional Discharge. 
    According to the investigation, during Ramirez’s 2014 run for State Assembly in the Bronx’s 86th District, Ramirez and members of his campaign went door-to-door and deceived potential voters into signing absentee ballot applications. The Ramirez team took the applications to the Board of Elections and retrieved ballots for the voters, and then voted for Ramirez without the voter’s knowledge.
   It was initially believed Ramirez had won the primary election over Assemblyman Victor Pichardo before a recount was enacted and Pichardo was declared the winner. 

Sunday December 4th Gift of Life Marrow Registry and Holiday Gift and Craft Sale at Riverdale Temple 11:00AM - 400PM

Get swabbed!
Join the Gift of Life Bone Marrow registry at Riverdale Temple, Sunday, December 4th.  Shop for your holiday gifts while you're there!

Perhaps you are the match for a person battling blood cancer:  leukemia, lymphoma, etc!   The Gift of Life Marrow Registry looks to swab the inside of a healthy person's cheeks and sends the swabs to a registry that tries to match donor cells with a recipient whose cells match.  This has proven to be incredibly successful!  More donors are needed from all different backgrounds!  In fact, there is a Moroccan Sephardic 31 year old man who desperately needs to find his match.  He has 3 young children and needs this transplant ASAP!

You can have your chance to be considered a donor!  If you're between the ages of 18 and 45, make sure to stop into Riverdale Temple's Holiday Gift and Craft Sale on Sunday from 11:00 AM until 4:00 PM and head to the GIFT OF LIFE Marrow Registry table.  You may make a monetary donation to the registry as well. The process is simple and quick.  Once you register at the desk, and have answered some simple health questions, you will be given a kit with 4 cotton swabs.  These will be used to collect saliva samples from 4 different area of the mouth.  The cotton swabs will be put back into the kit which is labeled with the donor 's registration ID and shipped out to be added to the database of potential donors. You will be contacted if there is a potential recipient who can benefit from your donation.

For more information check out the web site: 
                                                                         Community Engagement Coordinator:  Russell Lowe

See you on Sunday, December 4th between 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM to get screened by Gift of Life.  
Riverdale Temple, 4545 Independence Avenue, corner West 246th Street, and don't forget to get some holiday gifts as well!


Photo Credit: Mel Peffs

 Council Member Rory I. Lancman, Chairman of the Courts and Legal Services Committee, and Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, Chairman of the Housing and Buildings Committee, released the following joint statement after a crane collapse killed two construction workers today in Briarwood, Queens.

"We would like to offer our prayers of peace and comfort to the families of the workers who died. The tragic death of two construction workers at a non-union job site in Queens is a stark reminder of the dangerous conditions that workers face in our city. We cannot take a backseat role when it comes to the safety of our workers, especially during windy conditions like those today. What's most alarming is that a recent Crain's report showed a third of construction deaths last year were uncounted by the administration. The City must stay vigilant in preventing fatalities as well as monitoring sites - especially after a tragedy - so it can examine how to remedy safety breakdowns on that location and other sites.
"We cannot ignore safety just so we can keep up with the construction boom taking place in the city. While the City has made real efforts to improve safety on job sites, this tragic accident is evidence that much more needs to be done as soon as possible. We owe it to the workers."

Editor's Note: While this happened in Queens, it could of happened in the Bronx, and that is why this item has been posted on this blog.


  As a follow up to the posting where I was able to catch Bronx BP Ruben Diaz Jr. at one of his many turkey giveaways, BP Diaz also hosted other events which are listed below.

In advance of this year’s Thanksgiving holiday, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has partnered with numerous public and private institutions to give back to neighborhoods and families throughout the borough, and to help Bronxites who need our help.

“This Thanksgiving season, we have dedicated our time and resources to give back to The Bronx, distributing turkeys and food supplies to families around the borough,” said Borough President Diaz. “We want to make sure that as many families as we can possibly help will have a warm meal to share during this Thanksgiving season.”

On Wednesday, November 16, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. hosted his annual Thanksgiving luncheon for seniors at the Findlay House senior living complex. Almost 200 members were served a hot Thanksgiving meal by Borough President Diaz and Assembly Member Latoya Joyner, provided by Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill.

“Seeing the seniors laugh and enjoy a hot meal warms my soul,” said Borough President Diaz. “These men and women spent their entire lives serving others and providing for their families and today we are saying thank you and show them that we care for them during the holidays.”

On Friday, November 18, the Office of the Bronx Borough President distributed boxes full of canned and dry goods, generously provided by Goya Foods, to various churches and soup kitchens throughout the borough in order to help feed the community on Thanksgiving Day.

On Monday, November 21, Borough President Diaz spent the day at various locations, making multiple stops to distribute hundreds of turkeys and Thanksgiving meal supplies donated by Western Beef, Waste Management and Fresh Direct.

“Our residents and businesses are showing everyone that when we come together we can truly make a difference and serve each other,” said Borough President Diaz. “I am very thankful that I am able to make my way around the different communities and hand out turkeys and food supplies. I am especially grateful to our sponsors—Western Beef, Goya Foods, Fresh Direct, Waste Management and Golden Krust—for donating the food we needed to help brighten the holiday season for Bronxites who need it the most.”

Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez - Chair, Council Transportation Committee - What Comes Next for Citi Bike

What Comes Next for Citi Bike?

Dear Friends and Neighbors

Cycling in New York City has become one of the best ways to get around. With new bike lanes making cycling safer, cycling is one of the the easiest, most inexpensive, clean and efficient transportation options available to New Yorkers. This is especially true for all those who use and enjoy Citi Bike.

For communities like the one I represent however, while cycling remains popular, we are still waiting for those bright blue bike to make it further uptown. For us to be included in what is now the largest bike share network in the United States, we need to work hard to push the city to keep the expansion going.

That is why I write to invite you to a hearing on Monday, November 28th at 11 AM at City Hall in the Council Chambers, where we will discuss the successes, challenges and future of Citi Bike in NYC. As some of you may know, Citi Bike's plans for expansion will be completed next year unless creative measures are taken. As a major proponent for Citi Bike I believe its important that Citi Bike keep expanding further out, especially into areas of lower income New Yorkers, not often well served by public transit.

If you feel the same way, I hope you can make it on Monday and offer testimony about why you feel Citi Bike should be supported. This will be an ongoing effort we hope to form a strong coalition around as we head into the new year and the upcoming budget negotiations.

If you wish to testify, please RSVP with my Chief of Staff Russell Murphy ( Looking forward to great turnout for each. 

Thank you and have a wonderful holiday with your family and friends.


Ydanis Rodriguez
Chair, Council Transportation Committee

  With Thanksgiving approaching, State Senator Jeff Klein, and Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj distributed hundreds of turkeys to local organizations, senior centers, community groups, and residents.  Senator Klein and Assemblyman Gjonaj began the distribution on Monday and brought holiday cheer to many people in need.
“Thanksgiving is a reminder that we must continue to give back to those in need and also be grateful for our friends and family that we hold dear.  Over the past few days, we have brought much joy to many families.  I hope that everyone has a happy, healthy, and safe Thanksgiving,” said Senator Jeff Klein.
“It is always a pleasure and a privilege to be able to give back to our community during this time of year. We look forward to the hundreds of happy families and their smiling faces when receiving our turkey donation,” said Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj.
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Tuesday, November 22, 2016


   Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark and New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark G. Peters today announced that two New York City Department of Correction Officers have been indicted for filing false reports to cover up an assault on a Rikers Island inmate by one of the officers. 
   District Attorney Clark said, “We trust Correction Officers to be the front line of security in the jails, and we will not tolerate any officer who uses excessive force or covers it up. The crimes these officers are accused of only add to the culture of brutality and corruption that we are trying to transform.”
   Commissioner Peters said, “DOI and the Bronx District Attorney are arresting Rikers Correction Officers for both breaking the law and lying about it to cover up, according to the indictment. These are the 35th and 36th arrests of DOC staff since DOI started its broad investigation into violence and corruption at Rikers and we will continue until the problem is brought under control.” 
  District Attorney Clark said the defendants, Sean Smith, 41, a Correction Officer since 2001, and Velma Rogers, 55, a Correction Officer since 2013, were indicted for first-degree Falsifying Business Records, first-degree Offering a False Instrument for Filing and Official Misconduct; Smith also was charged with third-degree Assault and second-degree Harassment.
  They were arraigned today, November 22, 2016, before Bronx Supreme Court Justice Steven Barrett. They are due back in court on January 31, 2017. If convicted of the top charge, they could face up to 1 1/3 to four years in prison.
  According to the investigation, on March 23, 2014, in the Rose M. Singer Center on Rikers Island, inmate Shonda Brown was on suicide watch and had changed into the smock given to such inmates for their safety. 
  According to the investigation, Brown had removed the smock, put it in a bag, and threw it at Correction Officer Smith. He allegedly grabbed Brown by the hair and punched her repeatedly in the head while Rogers stood nearby watching. Neither Smith nor Rogers filed a Use of Force report during that shift.
  When Brown made an allegation that she was assaulted, the Department of Correction investigated the incident and instructed the officers to file an allegation report as part of its investigation. The officers allegedly filed reports that did not mention Smith striking the inmate. Video from a surveillance camera showed Smith pummeling the inmate. 
  The DOI investigated and referred to the case to the Bronx District Attorney’s Office.
  The case was investigated and prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Petersen of the Public Integrity Bureau, under the supervision of Omer Wiczyk, Deputy Chief of the Public Integrity Bureau, and Wanda Perez-Maldonado, Chief of the Public Integrity Bureau, under the overall supervision of Stuart Levy, Deputy Chief of the Investigations Division and Jean T. Walsh, Chief of the Investigations Division. 
   District Attorney Clark thanked DOI's Office of the Inspector General for the New York City Department of Correction for their assistance in the investigation, specifically Inspector General Jennifer Sculco, Assistant Inspector General Whitney Matthews and Investigator Dylan Kress, as well as DOC’s Investigations Division. 
  An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

Bronx Jewish Community Council Breakfast Right Around the Corner Wednesday November 30th


Don't keep them waiting in 
line any longer!

Help support our food pantry, the 4th 
largest in the Bronx, at this year's 

Tickets for the breakfast can be purchased 
at our NY Charities Page. We need your 
journal ads ASAP! 

We're up on Amazon Smile. Select "Bronx 
Jewish Community Council" in your account. 
Every $ matters.  

Looking forward to seeing you on 
November 30. 
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