Saturday, July 29, 2017


  The New York City Department of Investigation (“DOI”) issued a Report today detailing its analysis of the Police Department’s (“NYPD”) U visa certification program. The U visa, also known as U nonimmigrant status, is a special visa granted to undocumented immigrants who are victims of crimes and who help law enforcement investigate and prosecute those crimes. A U visa provides undocumented crime victims with a pathway to legal permanent resident status, employment authorization, and other benefits. Although the U visa is provided by the federal government, a law enforcement agency like NYPD must first certify that the applicant was helpful in the investigation of a qualifying crime. Law enforcement agencies, like DOI, regularly rely on victim cooperation to identify suspects, investigate illegal activity, and prosecute criminals. The U visa program encourages members of this vulnerable community to bring perpetrators to justice, while helping to build community trust with the police. In light of recent federal policy shifts in immigration enforcement that have amplified fear in this community, the public safety value of the U visa program has taken added importance. In the past several years, NYPD has taken steps to improve its handling of the U visa process, as well as other actions to protect this community. The Report found NYPD has made positive chan ges to the administrative management of the U visa program, but needs to strengthen certain aspects of the certification process. A copy of the Report with recommendations is attached to this release and can be found at the following link:

  DOI Commissioner Mark G. Peters said, “Victim cooperation is critical to all law enforcement work. In the current environment, where the immigrant community has been the target of fear mongering and attacks, all of us in local law enforcement have been working to ensure that immigrants – documented or undocumented – are protected and feel safe stepping forward to report crimes. Strengthening NYPD’s U visa program helps New York City achieve that goal.” 

  DOI’s Inspector General for the NYPD Philip K. Eure said, “For undocumented people who are victims of crimes, fear of deportation often stands in the way of cooperation with law enforcement – a fact their abusers readily exploit. This Report demonstrates that NYPD’s U visa program has taken steps to improve and needs to go further, specifically strengthening its internal standards when reviewing these certifications. By making the NYPD’s U visa program more consistent and transparent, the Department can help protect immigrant communities and make the City safer.” 

  The number of certification requests made to NYPD has increased more than seven -fold in the last six years – from 87 in 2011 to 713 in 2016 – and NYPD receives the highest number of requests of any certifying City agency. DOI reviewed a random sample of more than 80% of applications denied by NYPD in 2015. DOI determined NYPD has taken numerous steps to improve its U visa policies and protect the immigrant community. In 2016, for instance, NYPD made adjustments to its administrative processing of U visa certification requests, including fixed timeframes for handling requests and new protocols governing appeals. However, DOI also found that several issues require additional attention.

  The report makes 10 recommendations in the areas of discretionary standards for certification, transparency, public information, and training. Recommendations include: 

 NYPD should develop concrete, written standards on how to conduct an assessment of an applicant’s criminal background and on the types of criteria that warrant denial of the certification request. 

 NYPD can do more to assess applicants who have a reasonable basis for not cooperating with an investigation. Specifically, NYPD should take affirmative steps to contact both the NYPD personnel who investigated the underlying incident and the party requesting the certification, and such steps should be documented. 

  NYPD should create and publish its complete standards for certification eligibility. 

 NYPD should develop written materials regarding the U visa program for dissemination at precincts and other locations where victims may encounter police. 

 NYPD should develop informational training on U visas for specialized NYPD units that frequently encounter immigrant communities.  

The New York City Department of Investigation (DOI) is one of the oldest law-enforcement agencies in the country and is New York City’s corruption watchdog. DOI investigations may involve any agency, officer, elected official, or employee of the City, as well as those who do business with or receive benefits from the City. DOI’s strategy attacks corruption comprehensively, through systemic investigations that lead to high-impact arrests, preventive internal controls, and operational reforms that improve the way the City runs. Bribery and Corruption are a Trap. Don’t Get Caught Up. Report It at 212-3-NYC-DOI. Learn more at

  DOI’s Office of the Inspector General for the NYPD (OIG-NYPD) is an oversight office charged with investigating, reviewing, studying, auditing, and making recommendations relating to the operations, policies, programs, and practices of the New York City Police Department (NYPD). The goals of OIG-NYPD are to enhance the effectiveness of the police department, increase public safety, protect civil liberties and civil rights, and increase the public's confidence in the police force, thus building stronger police-community relations. OIG-NYPD is part of the New York City Department of Investigation and is independent of the NYPD. Inspector General Eure reports to DOI Commissioner Peters.  

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August Events 2017

Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, Senator Jeff Klein 
& Assemblyman Michael Benedetto 
International Family Day 
August 26th,2017
12pm - 4pm
2551 Westchester Square 
Bronx, New York 10461

Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj & Senator Jeff Klein 
Invite you to attend the 
5th Annual Job Fair 

August 19th,2017
12:00PM - 3:00pm
990 Pelham Parkway S
Bronx, New York 10461

- Dress for Success, business attire

Explore your career choices, meet employers, gather information and apply for jobs on the spot. 

Abrazo Dominicano 2017

  As he always has throughout the year State Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz Sr. and TEAM DIAZ hold different events called Abrazo's for the different heritages of the people of the Bronx. Last night it was the Abrazo Dominicano, and as usual Maestro's Grand Ballroom was packed with happy people to help celebrate Abrazo Dominicano.

  Last night TEAM DIAZ members include State Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz Sr., Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda, Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, Assemblyman Victor Pichardo, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Councilman Rafael Salamanca, and last night included Councilman Fernando Cabrera. The event begins with picture taking with members of TEAM DIAZ, the national anthems of America and the country being honored, the invocation, one or two speeches, then the honorees are presented. Afterwards the real party begins, as the dance floor is opened up. 

  The honorees for last night's Abrazo Dominicano were, for State senator Ruben Diaz Sr. - Mr/ George Alvarez, Assemblyman Marcos Crespo - Ms. Luz Tavarez, Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda - Mr. Michael Levalle, Assemblyman Victor Pichardo - Ms. Venecia Fernandez, and Councilman Rafael Salamanca - Henry Garrido. Some photos of the event are below.

Above and Below - Photo ops with TEAM DIAZ members.

Above and Below - More photo ops as members of TEAM DIAZ arrived.

Above - Reverend Carmen Hernandez with the two elected officials who represent her.
Below - J.C. Polanco stopped in to say hello, and then left for another event in a different room at Mastro's.

Above - Two of the young dancers.
Below - Another photo op.

Above - Honoree Nr, George Alvarez dances his way up front when introduced.
Below - Mr. Alvarez joins Senator Diaz on the podium..

Founder And Leader Of “Bmb” Street Gang Pleads Guilty To Racketeering Conspiracy

  Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that NICO BURRELL, a/k/a “Zico Nico,” pled guilty today to racketeering conspiracy in connection with his leadership of the “Big Money Bosses” gang (“BMB”), a violent street gang founded by BURRELL that operated primarily on White Plains Road from 215th Street to 233rd Street in the Bronx.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said: “For far too long, under the leadership of Nico Burrell, the BMB street gang has terrorized citizens of the Bronx through violence, robberies, and drug dealing. With Burrell’s guilty plea today, the community around White Plains Road is safer.”
According to the Indictment and other documents filed in the case, as well as statements made during the plea proceedings:
BURRELL was a founder and leader of BMB, a subset of the “Young Bosses,” or “YBz” street gang, which operated throughout New York City. Between 2007 and 2016, members and associates of BMB committed numerous acts of violence against rival gang members in the Bronx—including murders, attempted murders, and armed robberies—and sold crack cocaine and marijuana. As part of his leadership of BMB, BURRELL attempted to shoot a rival gang member on February 11, 2009, but hit an innocent bystander instead. BURRELL also sold significant amounts of oxycodone and, during pretrial detention in this case, assaulted a witness.
BURRELL was arrested in this case as a result of a multi-year investigation by the New York City Police Department’s Bronx Gang Squad (the “Bronx Gang Squad”), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Violent Gang Unit (“HSI”), the New York Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), and the Joint Firearms Task Force of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”) into gang violence in the Northern Bronx. On April 27, 2016, the Indictment was unsealed, charging 63 members and associates of BMB with racketeering conspiracy, narcotics conspiracy, narcotics distribution, and/or firearms charges. To date, 55 of these defendants have pled guilty.
BURRELL, 25, of the Bronx, New York, was arrested on April 27, 2016. BURRELL pled guilty today to one count of racketeering conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Kim praised the outstanding work of the NYPD’s Bronx Gang Squad, HSI, DEA, and ATF.

Former Leader Of New York Chapter Of “United Gamefowl Breeders Association” Charged With Animal Welfare Offense For Cockfighting Venture

Thomas Carrano charged with conspiring to raise, train, and sell roosters for cockfighting

  Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Bethanne M. Dinkins, Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General (“USDA-OIG”), and James P. O’Neill, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced that THOMAS CARRANO self-surrendered today in connection with an indictment charging him with conspiring to possess, sell, and transport roosters for purposes of participation in animal fights around the United States. The defendant was arraigned today in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Katharine H. Parker and the case has been assigned to the Honorable Deborah A. Batts.

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said: “As alleged, Thomas Carrano masqueraded as a gamefowl enthusiast, going so far as to become the leader of an organization dedicated to protecting and promoting birds. But in fact, as alleged, Carrano was heavily involved in the cruel ‘sport’ of cockfighting. Thanks to the investigative work of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the NYPD, Carrano’s alleged inhumane practices are over.”
Special Agent-in-Charge Dinkins said: “The provisions of the Animal Welfare Act were designed to protect animals from being used in illegal fighting ventures, which often entail other forms of criminal activity involving drugs, firearms and gambling. Together with the Department of Justice, animal fighting is an investigative priority for USDA-OIG, and we will work with our law enforcement partners to investigate and assist in the criminal prosecution of those who participate in animal fighting ventures.”
According to the allegations in the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:[1]
Cockfighting is an activity in which two roosters are put forward to fight one another for sport and entertainment. The roosters typically have metal spurs, known as gaffs, or plastic spurs, known as “postiza,” affixed to their legs for use in the fight. The fights between roosters are ended when one rooster is dead or refuses to continue to fight. If not killed during the fight, the losing rooster is typically killed afterwards. Roosters involved in cockfighting will often be mutilated in preparation for fights, typically by cutting off the rooster’s comb and wattle and shaping the rooster’s spur.
From January 2012 up June 2017, THOMAS CARRANO, a member and former leader of the New York chapter of the United Gamefowl Breeders Association (“NYUGBA”), conspired with others—including a co-conspirator in the Bronx, New York—to buy, sell, transport, and receive roosters for cockfighting. CARRANO used two social media accounts—one in his own name, and one in the NYUGBA’s name —to communicate with co-conspirators, including members of the NYUGBA and others that were located in the Southern District of New York. In a 2014 newsletter to its members, the NYUGBA stated that “We DO NOT promote cockfighting in any way.” Yet in messages sent through these social media accounts, CARRANO discussed breeding and training roosters for cockfighting, the sale and purchase of gaffs and postizas for cockfighting, and CARRANO’s personal participation in cockfighting.
On May 23, 2017, law enforcement personnel executed a search warrant at CARRANO’s gamefowl farm in Ontario, New York. During the search, law enforcement officers discovered, among other things, gaffs, postizas, shears for dubbing roosters, a rooster sparring dummy, a specialized ladder used to train fighting roosters, steroids, and videos of roosters being trained for cockfights. In addition, law enforcement officers recovered approximately 104 chickens, including 19 adult roosters and 12 adolescent roosters. More than three-quarters of the male birds had their comb, wattles, and/or earlobes removed. In addition, more than a third of the roosters had at least one of their natural spurs altered.
CARRANO, 44, of Ontario, New York, is charged with one count of conspiring to sell, possess, and transport animals for purposes of participating in an animal fight, which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison. The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Kim praised the outstanding investigative work of the USDA-OIG and NYPD’s Animal Cruelty Investigations Squad, and thanked them for their ongoing support and assistance with the case. Mr. Kim also thanked the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for their assistance in this case.
The charges contained in the Indictment 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 Indictment, and the description of the Indictment set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens District Attorneys Announce Unprecedented Dismissal of Nearly 700,000 Open Summons Warrants

Staggering Backlog of Open Warrants, More Than 10 Years Old, to be Vacated Next Month Allowing Thousands of New Yorkers to Move on With Their Lives without Fear of Arrest Stemming from Low-Level Warrants Issued More Than a Decade Ago 

  Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark, Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, New York County District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., and Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown today announced that nearly 700,000 summons warrants that are 10 years or older will be vacated in the next few weeks. The warrants in question were issued for failure to pay a ticket for a minor infraction, subjecting individuals to arrest as well as carrying other negative consequences. 

  Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark said, “By asking the Court to purge these old warrants, we are removing a hindrance to many people’s lives. Those who committed minor offenses a decade ago or longer and have not been in trouble with the law pose no threat to public safety today. These warrants bog down the court system. As a judge, I handled these summonses and I dismissed many of them because they were legally insufficient. The Bronx was ground zero for summonses emanating from questionable stop-and-frisks, so purging the old warrants is a way to not only improve the lives of tens of thousands of Bronx residents but to restore the community’s trust in the criminal justice system.”

  Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Gonzalez said, “We have been working in Brooklyn to build trust between law enforcement and the community, and to focus our resources on violent crime. Dismissing these old warrants is an important step in advancing both of these goals. The bulk of these summonses have been issued to mostly poor, Black and Latino individuals, many of whom may not even be aware that they have become open warrants that could trigger an arrest for minor infractions dating back many years. Vacating these warrants enhances public safety and promotes fairness.”

  New York County District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., said, “We continually seek to strike the right balance between fairness and public safety and are confident we will be doing that when we collectively dismiss open summons warrants older than ten years en masse. In Manhattan alone, we estimate that approximately 240,000 summons warrants will be expunged through this effort, giving those New Yorkers a fresh start and a new chance to engage more fully in their communities. I applaud my colleagues in the Queens, Bronx, and Kings County DA’s Offices, as well as OCA, the NYPD, and the City Council, for their work on this issue.” 

  Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said, “The prosecution of thousands of ten year old and older summons part cases would pose serious factual and legal challenges. The NYPD has vetted the list and excluded the most flagrant violators who may still be prosecuted if apprehended. We believe the people of Queens County will be better served by focusing our resources on more serious offenses.”

  The dismissal of the warrants poses no risk to public safety as those individuals whose warrants are being dismissed have not been arrested in the past 10 years or their warrants would have been triggered. Furthermore, the warrants stem from summonses issued for minor infractions such as riding a bicycle on the sidewalk, drinking beer in public, disorderly conduct, and being in a park after dark.

There are approximately 1.5 million open summons warrants citywide. These summons warrants, when left unresolved, subject those who have them to an automatic arrest when questioned by police on the street or during a traffic stop. They may also carry a number of negative consequences, including impeding one’s ability to apply for citizenship, to secure employment or obtain public housing, and subject undocumented immigrants to deportation.

  Approximately 143,000 warrants will be dismissed in Brooklyn; 166,000 in the Bronx; 240,000 in Manhattan; and approximately 100,000 in Queens. 

  The warrants will be dismissed in court proceedings in each county next month. The large-scale dismissal of the warrant backlog comes following multiple warrant forgiveness events in Brooklyn (Begin Again); Manhattan (Clean Slate) and the Bronx (Another Chance).  

  The dismissals follow months of work with the Office of Court Administration, the New York City Police Department and the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.

Wave Hill Events Aug 10–Aug 17

Thu, August 10    Evening Garden Walk
Enjoy an evening stroll in the gardens with a Wave Hill Garden Guide. Free with admission to the grounds.

Thu, August 10    Evening Yoga
Enjoy yoga on the lawn select Thursday evenings. Participants should bring a mat, dress appropriately and expect to be outside unless precipitation or excessive humidity occurs. Classes are offered in partnership with Yoga Haven. All levels welcome. $25/$15 Wave Hill Member. Pre-registration recommended, online at or onsite at the Perkins Visitor Center.

Thu, August 10    Bat Walk: Creatures of the Night
Take an evening walk with naturalist Paul Keim to hear how bats, crickets, frogs and other creatures use sound to navigate the nighttime landscape. Use eyes and ears—and an echo-locator (electronic device)—to search for bats as they skim the evening sky in search of insects. Don’t forget your flashlight! Ages 10 and older welcome with an adult. $20/$10 Wave Hill Member. Advance registration required, online at or onsite at the Perkins Visitor Center.  

SAT, August 12    Family Art Project: Fishy Fun
Focus on friends with fins, especially those popular goldfish swimming in Wave Hill’s Aquatic Garden. Turn colorful paper bags into fantastic 3-D fish that can swim through the air and flutter home with you. Free, and admission to the grounds is free until noon

Sat, August 12    Garden Highlights Walk
Join us for an hour-long tour of seasonal garden highlights. Free, and admission to the grounds is free until noon.

Sat, August 12    Gallery Tour
Wave Hill’s Curatorial Fellow leads a tour of the summer exhibitions in Glyndor Gallery. An exuberant counterpoint to Wave Hill’s lush summer gardens, Flora Fantastica! shows the work of four artists who share an interest in using pattern derived from cultural and botanical sources to create fantastic hybrid forms.Nancy BlumAmy Cheng and Elisabeth Condon each has an entire room for their paintings. Jill Parisi creates an installation for the entry foyer. In the Sunroom Project Space, Jan Mun combines digital and living media to explore the movement of plant species and the immigrant experience, while a window installation by David Rios Ferreira contains drawings and collages with cartoon-inspired characters, along with historical, cultural and contemporary pop references. Free with admission to the grounds.

Sun, August 13    Summer Birding
Naturalist Gabriel Willow contributes his extensive knowledge of diverse bird species and their behavior on these captivating walks through the gardens and woodlands. Observe the plants, insects and habitats at Wave Hill that make it an appealing destination for such a wide variety of birds. Birders of all levels welcome! Ages 10 and older welcome with an adult. Free with admission to the grounds. NYC Audubon Members enjoy two-for-one admission to the grounds.

Sun, August 13    Family Art Project: Fishy Fun
Focus on friends with fins, especially those popular goldfish swimming in Wave Hill’s Aquatic Garden. Turn colorful paper bags into fantastic 3-D fish that can swim through the air and flutter home with you. Free with admission to the grounds. 

Sun, August 13    Family Nature Walk
Join naturalist and educator Gabriel Willow on a family-friendly walk through the gardens or woodlands. No registration required. Children ages six and older welcome with an adult. Severe weather cancels. Free with admission to the grounds. 

Sun, August 13    Garden Highlights Walk
Join us for an hour-long tour of seasonal garden highlights. Free with admission to the grounds.

Mon, August 14    
Closed to the public.

Tue, August 15    Garden Highlights Walk
Join us for an hour-long tour of seasonal garden highlights. Free, and admission to the grounds is free until noon.

Tue, August 15    Gallery Tour
Wave Hill’s Curatorial Fellow leads a tour of the summer exhibitions in Glyndor Gallery. An exuberant counterpoint to Wave Hill’s lush summer gardens, Flora Fantastica! shows the work of four artists who share an interest in using pattern derived from cultural and botanical sources to create fantastic hybrid forms.Nancy BlumAmy Cheng and Elisabeth Condon each has an entire room for their paintings. Jill Parisi creates an installation for the entry foyer. In the Sunroom Project Space, Jan Mun combines digital and living media to explore the movement of plant species and the immigrant experience, while a window installation by David Rios Ferreira contains drawings and collages with cartoon-inspired characters, along with historical, cultural and contemporary pop references. Free with admission to the grounds.

Wed, August 16    Art Workshop: Mixed-Media Floral Abstractions
Practice abstracting the flowers and gardens of Wave Hill with artist Wennie Huang. Using pastel, collage and transfer techniques, reinvent your favorite flowers in a mixed-media artwork. This two-day workshop includes outdoor drawing, technical guidance from the instructor and a tour of the exhibition Flora Fantastica! Fee for this two-day workshop, which continues August 17. $170/$140 Wave Hill Member. Registration required, online at or onsite at the Perkins Visitor Center. 

A 28-acre public garden and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River  and Palisades, Wave Hill’s mission is to celebrate the artistry and legacy of its gardens and landscape, to preserve its magnificent views, and to explore human connections to the natural world through programs in horticulture, education and the arts.

HOURS  Open all year, Tuesday through Sunday and many major holidays: 9AM–5:30PM, starting March 15.  Closes 4:30PM, November 1–March 14.
ADMISSION  $8 adults, $4 students and seniors 65+, $2 children 6–18. Free Saturday and Tuesday mornings until noon. Free to Wave Hill Members and children under 6.

PROGRAM FEES  Programs are free with admission to the grounds unless otherwise noted.

Visitors to Wave Hill can take advantage of Metro-North’s one-day getaway offer. Purchase a discount round-trip rail far and discount admission to the gardens. More at

DIRECTIONS – Getting here is easy! Located only 30 minutes from midtown Manhattan, Wave Hill’s free shuttle van transports you to and from our front gate and Metro-North’s Riverdale station, as well as the W. 242nd Street stop on the #1 subway line. Limited onsite parking is available for $8 per vehicle. Free offsite parking is available nearby with continuous, complimentary shuttle service to and from the offsite lot and our front gate. Complete directions and shuttle bus schedule at

Information at 718.549.3200. On the web at

Friday, July 28, 2017

Community Board 8 Homeless Shelter Meeting

  It was a hot night with words being hurled at the assistant Commissioner of the Department of Homeless Services, and the CEO of Praxis who are going to run a homeless shelter at 5731 Broadway. The 83 unit building was built by Stagg Developers who when applying for a 421 A tax break stated that the building was going to be Market Rate rentals. Stagg Developers even said to Community Board 8 that the building was going to be market rate housing when CEO Mark Stagg appeared before the board for the boards support for the 421A status.

  Land Use Chair Charles Moerdler who has fought hard over the years to keep CB 8 the way it is, questioned 1sr Deputy Commissioner of DHS Jackie Bray, and Praxis CEO Sween Jorgenson on how this situation has come about, when he said that there has been a mis representation by someone of the building status. 

 The mayor has a new plan to house homeless people as close to where they said they have come from, and Ms. Bray said that CB 8 has 360 homeless people some are at the Van Cortlandt Motel currently which would close at the end of this year, while others are scattered throughout the city. Praxis as a non-profit runs scatter site homeless services and two buildings, and have answered the RFP to run another. The question then came up as to how Praxis was obtaining 5731 Broadway, and what type of people would be housed there. Ms. Bray mentioned six year old children, but later would admit that it would also be adult males. 

  Mr. Jorgenson said that he had a contract with Stagg Developers, but when Mr. Moerdler asked to see it Mr. Jorgenson said it was a verbal agreement. When asked when this verbal agreement was made the answer was in April of 2017 with Stagg Vice-President Adolfo Carrion Jr. (Mr. Carrion Jr. is a past Bronx Borough President). The next answer seemed to be once DHS approves the Praxis contract would there be a written agreement with Stagg. 

  The site is to be a Tier Two Transitional housing, and that brought out many more questions as to why it is not going to be permanent housing. Moerdler said that people in the board area are humaine, and not against helping people, but would want to see permanent housing rather than a come and go situation as proposed. He said it is the people who make money off the homeless such as CEO's of non profits then asking the salary of Mr. Jorgenson who refused to answer the question. 

  Mr. Moerdler then asked for a copy of the latest draft between Praxis and Stagg, a copy of the draft letter between the city and Praxis, and a ledger of salaries for the non profit Praxis. In essence Mr. Moerdler wants to know how much money Praxis and Stagg Developers (who were not present) are making off this deal with the city to house the homeless.

Above - Praxis CEO (left) Sween Jorgenson with other Praxis and DHS people sitting at the table.
Below - 1sr Deputy Commissioner of DHS Jackie Bray tries to answer one of the many questions board members had.

Above - The mayor's Community Affairs spokesperson tried to answer a question directed at the mayor.
Below - Part of the packed room of over 200 people in attendance had their own opinion of who to blame.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Senator Jeff Klein holds groundbreaking ceremony at Pelham Parkway Houses for $2.1 million lighting project

   Senator Jeff Klein, along with Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, NYCHA General Manager Michael Kelly and other NYCHA staff members, held a groundbreaking ceremony for his $2.1 million lighting improvement project at the Pelham Parkway Houses. The outdoor lighting enhancements represent the latest project aimed at improving safety at the Pelham Parkway Houses following two tragic homicides just months apart in the summer of 2012.

Today is an exciting day for the Pelham Parkway Houses community. This $2.1 million project is a long time coming, and I’m thrilled that this summer we broke ground. We’re now well on our way to improving safety for all residents of the Pelham Parkway Houses,” said Senator Klein.

“Increasing public safety is a top priority of mine, and this project does exactly that. I commend Senator Jeff Klein for this $2.1 million funding allocation, which is a tremendous step towards a safer Pelham Parkway Houses Community,” said Assemblyman Gjonaj.

The commitment from our local elected officials is vital in achieving our NextGen goal to provide safe, clean and connected communities for all NYCHA residents,” said NYCHA General Manager Michael Kelly. “These new lights will mean safer homes and improved quality of life for the more than 2,500 Pelham Parkway residents.”

New outdoor lights will go up throughout the entire development as a result the state funding secured by Senator Klein. The project includes the installation of 93 lighting poles with LED lights. The majority of the new fixtures will be park-like poles installed in locations that previously lacked efficient lighting.

Above - State Senator Jeff Klein with Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj and NYCHA General Manager Michael Kelly behind the senator. You can see the open trench and the wire to the new light pole on the lower left.
Below - The traditional first shovel of dirt to cover the new wiring to the pole on the right which is blocking one NYCHA official.