Thursday, October 31, 2019


 “I’m excited to see the Council’s passage of commercial waste zoning legislation today, and I’d like to thank Council Member Antonio Reynoso and Speaker Corey Johnson for their hard work to get this bill passed. This victory would not have been possible without their visionary leadership and the support of labor and advocacy groups.

“The historic vote today has been years in the making. Back in 2015 when I joined this process as part of the OneNYC plan, I wanted to completely reform this industry by making it safer for New Yorkers, cleaner for the environment, and more fair for workers. This plan achieves all these goals. Intro 1574-A will cut more than 18 million truck miles per year from our streets, while also preserving customer choice and keeping costs down.

“With the passage of this legislation, we've all but realized these once-ambitious goals and made an impact on two major priorities: It’ll help us in our pursuit of Vision Zero, getting dangerous trucks off the street and reducing incentives to ignore traffic laws and endanger pedestrians. And it shows how we can tackle climate change and drastically reduce carbon emissions among commercial carters while protecting jobs with fair wages and strong labor standards. I’m excited to sign this bill into law and implement a new system that will make such a difference in the lives of New Yorkers.”


 “Congratulations to the Council on passage of this legislation, which will continue the City’s progress on Vision Zero, helping to make New York City’s streets even safer in the years and decades to come. Since the start of my administration, the City has built four times as many miles of on-street protected bike lanes as under every other mayor combined, and together with the Council we will continue to build infrastructure that will carry on the work that has brought down fatalities for the last five years.

“That work has recently continued under the ambitious commitments made this year in our Better Buses and Green Wave cycling plans, and we look forward to continuing work with elected officials and communities on creating new bus lanes and protected bike lanes in their districts even before this new Master Plan takes effect. I’m confident the City will continue to lay the critical groundwork that will firmly cement New York City’s reputation as the nation’s leader on street safety.”


A new contract between Nike and Major League Baseball has the potential to destroy the business district outside of Yankee Stadium

BP Diaz has written to MLB, Nike & the New York Yankees, urging them to protect Bronx businesses & allow local merchants to continue selling official merchandise

  Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is calling on Nike, Major League baseball and the New York Yankees to reverse a potentially ruinous decision that prevents merchants surrounding Yankee Stadium from selling official Yankee merchandise.

A new merchandising agreement between Major League Baseball and Nike set to go into effect in 2020 will prevent most official league merchandise—including New York Yankees merchandise—from being sold at locations that are not considered “premium distribution points” by Nike.

This decision means that eight family-owned Bronx businesses—Ballpark Sports, D & J Variety, Home Plate, Pinstripe Collectibles, Sammy’s, S & A Sports, Stadium Souvenirs and Stan’s Sports World—will no longer be able to sell official Yankees merchandise. Since Yankees merchandise represents between 70 and 80 percent of each store’s total business, these merchants would be forced to close. These businesses employ 100 people and represent millions of dollars in economic activity each year.

“If these eight businesses can no longer sell official Yankees merchandise they will be forced to close, and the area surrounding the stadium will be a ghost town,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “These eight businesses have been selling official merchandise for decades, and are the core of the business district surrounding the stadium. Preventing them from continuing to do just that devastate the economy in the area surrounding the stadium and put 100 people out of work. This is totally unacceptable.”

The full letter can be read at

Borough President Diaz also noted that roughly $1.2 billion in taxpayer funding was used to construct the new Yankee Stadium, and that a key argument supporting that construction was the economic development that the stadium would spur in the surrounding area. Borough President Diaz called on the Yankees to stay true to this promise and intervene on behalf of these eight businesses.

“Taxpayers spent a great deal of money building the Yankees their new stadium. It is incumbent on the team to intervene on behalf of these eight businesses and get them grandfathered in to this new agreement, given their long history of selling official merchandise,” said Borough President Diaz. “It is time for the New York Yankees to step up to the plate and be a good neighbor. Failing to do so will cloud the team’s relationship with the surrounding community for decades to come.”


The Third Avenue Business Improvement District echos the message of disappointment from our small business colleagues on the New York City Council's passage of Intro. 1574 on small business commercial carting and trash removal. The City Council has ignored the concerns of small business owners by hastily passing a commercial waste zone plan that limits competition and restricts consumer choice with the intention  to harm the small businesses that drive New York City's economy.  This plan puts politics above constituents.  

This policy has failed when implemented elsewhere, and it is especially disheartening and shortsighted to see it implemented  in New York City when evidenced based alternatives are available. The Council should work with experts, community stakeholders, and businesses alike to strike a reasonable balance and achieve a smart, workable solution, not rush through a poorly-thought-out policy like this.  This policy was crafted by special interest and will lead to more garbage on our streets, shutter our largely immigrant owned businesses, and join a slew of other City policies that are passed on the backs of mom and pop shops.

"Our small business community has organized for over 2 years around what we thought was a fair bill that balanced small business choice with important safeguards that protect employee and public safety, and the environment" said Michael Brady, Executive Director of the Third Avenue BID, Southern Boulevard BID, and Bruckner Boulevard Commercial Corridor, "A balance that would not price gouge or price fix a major service industry in New York City or add new costs to have garbage removed.  It seems now that the New York City Council was swayed by special interest and forgot about the work we had been doing together for over two years.  This is very unfortunate and will have severe repercussions."

The business improvement districts will continue to work with local businesses to mitigate the damage of this legislation and will hold accountable those members of the Council that voted against their constituents. 

Wave Hill events Nov 14‒Nov 21

Thu, November 14

Garden Highlights Walk

Join a Wave Hill Garden Guide for a public tour of seasonal garden highlights. Free with admission to the grounds.

Meet at Perkins Visitor Center, 1PM

Fri, November 15

Garden Highlights Walk

Join a Wave Hill Garden Guide for a public tour of seasonal garden highlights. This is the last weekday Garden Highlights Walk until next spring. Sunday afternoon walks continue year-round. Free with admission to the grounds.

Meet at Perkins Visitor Center, 1PM

Sat, November 16

Family Art Project: Three Sisters Companion Planting 

Honor the indigenous wisdom of companion planting by sampling in crafts that use corn husks, winter squash, and climbing beans. Take time to better understand the history of Seneca women’s relationship to companion planting and imagine how you can use the wisdom of Three Sisters companion planting to forge a new relationship with harvest time. 
Free, and admission to the grounds is free until noon.

Wave Hill House, 10AM–1PM

Sat, November 16

Gallery Tour

Tour Glyndor Gallery with Wave Hill’s Curatorial Assistant or Gallery Greeter to get an insider’s view of current exhibitions. A flower’s life cycle of budding, blooming and pollinating, as well as its process of decay, strongly echoes the human condition. The exhibition Figuring the Floral features artists who apply this symbolism to their work—touching on race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, aging and other facets of identity. Participating artists are Derrick AdamsNicole AwaiBahar BehbahaniChristian Ruiz BermanSanford Biggers, Cecile ChongMax Colby, Abigail DeVilleValerie HegartyChristopher K. Ho and Kevin ZuckerDiana LozanoNatalia NakazawaEbony G. PattersonBundith PhunsombatlertLina PuertaSimonette QuaminaDavid Rios FerreiraAlexandria SmithKatherine ToukhyLina Iris ViktorWilliam Villalongo and Saya Woolfalk. Free with admission to the grounds.

Glyndor Gallery, 2PM

Sun, November 17

Family Art Project: Three Sisters Companion Planting 

Honor the indigenous wisdom of companion planting by sampling in crafts that use corn husks, winter squash, and climbing beans. Take time to better understand the history of Seneca women’s relationship to companion planting and imagine how you can use the wisdom of Three Sisters companion planting to forge a new relationship with harvest time. 
Free with admission to the grounds.

Wave Hill House, 10AM–1PM

Sun, November 17

Garden Highlights Walk

Join a Wave Hill Garden Guide for a public tour of seasonal garden highlights. Free with admission to the grounds.

Meet at Perkins Visitor Center, 2PM

Sun, November 17

Virtuoso pianists and Cuban brothers Orlay Alonso and Orlando Alonso return to perform a program scored expressly for two pianos. Their program brings to life Cuba’s rich musical heritage, with mambo, cha cha, salsa, bolero, son, donz√≥n, congo and more. Concerts begin at 2PM and last approximately one hour without intermission. Tickets: Adults: $28 (includes admission to the grounds). Wave Hill Members save 10%. $12 children ages 8 to 18, unless otherwise noted. Purchase tickets online at or onsite at the Perkins Visitor Center. To learn more, call 718.549.3200 x251.

Wave Hill House, 2PM

Mon, November 18

Wave Hill is closed.

Tue, November 19

Gallery Tour

Tour Glyndor Gallery with Wave Hill’s Curatorial Assistant or Gallery Greeter to get an insider’s view of current exhibitions. A flower’s life cycle of budding, blooming and pollinating, as well as its process of decay, strongly echoes the human condition. The exhibition Figuring the Floral features artists who apply this symbolism to their work—touching on race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, aging and other facets of identity. Participating artists are Derrick AdamsNicole AwaiBahar BehbahaniChristian Ruiz BermanSanford Biggers, Cecile ChongMax Colby, Abigail DeVilleValerie HegartyChristopher K. Ho and Kevin ZuckerDiana LozanoNatalia NakazawaEbony G. PattersonBundith PhunsombatlertLina PuertaSimonette QuaminaDavid Rios FerreiraAlexandria SmithKatherine ToukhyLina Iris ViktorWilliam Villalongo and Saya Woolfalk. Free with admission to the grounds.

Glyndor Gallery, 2PM

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, March 15–October 31. Closes 4:30PM, starting November 1.

ADMISSION – $10 adults, $6 students and seniors 65+, $4 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. 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

Read Along with Speaker Heastie and Senator Bailey

 The Eastchester Library on Gun Hill Road Wednesday morning was the place to be if you wanted to read a book with New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and State Senator Jamaal Bailey. Speaker Heastie read from the book Undefeated, While Senator Jamaal Bailey read from the book Crown. 

Both elected officials talked softly and slow to the children (a break from the normal Albany Chatter), while keeping the children interested in the books being read. This was a usual read-along that takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, but there were special guests to read to the children Jean Pomphile (Executive Director for the East Bronx Network)  said. He added  that about once a month or so a special guest may drop in to read to the children.

Above - Speaker Heastie reading from his book Undefeated.
Below - Senator Jamaal Bailey reading from his book Crown.  

The staff of the Eastchester Library with Speaker Hestie and Senator Bailey

Groundbreaking of the I.S.339 and I.S. 313 Community Playground.

Tuesday was the groundbreaking for a new Community Playground in the huge play area next to IS 339 and IS 313. The re is currently a play area for the students of both schools,but is in need of many repairs. 

In comes the the partnership of the Trust for Public Land,NYC Department of Education, NYC Department of Environmental Protection, NYC School Construction authority, and the New York Road Runners along with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and City Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson to provide the funding needed to renovate this dilapidated playground into a Community Playground of the future. Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson and state Senator Gustavo River were scheduled to appear, but had city and state business they could not get out of.

Above - A drawing of the finished Community Playground.
Below - Eighth Grade student Salyrah tells of her role on the Design Committee 

 Assemblyman Michael Blake in a race against members of the New York Road Runners comes in third as they cross the finish line.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Staten Island Man Sentenced To 12 Years For Illegally Distributing Oxycodone

 Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Vito Gallicchio, 50, a Staten Island resident, was sentenced yesterday to 144 months in prison for conspiring to distribute oxycodone.  GALLICCHIO was also ordered to forfeit $2,190,840 in drug proceeds he obtained during the period of the conspiracy.  GALLICCHIO pled guilty in Manhattan federal court on October 18, 2018, before United States District Judge Andrew L. Carter, who imposed GALLICCHIO’s sentence.    

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Vito Gallicchio sold hundreds of thousands of oxycodone pills on the streets of New York, and masterminded a ring of purported ‘patients’ who faked injuries to get pills.  As Gallicchio’s sentence makes clear, those who fuel the opioid epidemic face prosecution and stiff sentences.”
According to allegations in the Indictment and other documents filed in federal court, as well as statements made in public court proceedings:
Oxycodone is a highly addictive, narcotic opioid that is used to treat severe and chronic pain conditions.  Oxycodone prescriptions are in high demand and have significant cash value to drug dealers.  In fact, oxycodone tablets can be resold on the street for thousands of dollars.  For example, 30-milligram oxycodone tablets have a current street value of approximately $30 per tablet in New York City, with street prices even higher in other parts of the country. 
From at least approximately January 2012 until his arrest in 2017, GALLICCHIO obtained medically unnecessary oxycodone prescriptions from Dr. David Taylor, who operated a medical clinic in Staten Island, New York, and was subsequently convicted of conspiring to distribute oxycodone.  GALLICCHIO traded cash and other gifts, such as liquor, in exchange for Dr. Taylor writing prescriptions for GALLICCHIO and his crew.  During approximately the same period, GALLICCHIO filled the medically unnecessary prescriptions at a Staten Island pharmacy, and also purchased wholesale quantities of oxycodone from the pharmacist without prescriptions.  GALLICCHIO subsequently sold the oxycodone pills for millions of dollars in profit, which he used to make significant renovations on his home and purchase several expensive cars, including, a Corvette, a Lincoln Navigator, a Lincoln LS, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, and a Bentley. 
At the sentencing proceeding, Judge Carter found Gallicchio was responsible for distributing more than 180,000 30-milligram oxycodone pills and that he obstructed justice by seeking to intimidate at least two government witnesses.    
GALLICCHIO’s co-defendant, David Taylor, is scheduled to be sentenced on January 16, 2020.  
Mr. Berman praised the investigative work of the DEA Tactical Diversion Squad in New York, which comprises agents and officers from the DEA, the New York City Police Department, the New York State Police, Town of Orangetown Police Department, Rockland County Drug Task Force, Westchester County Police Department, and New York City Department of Investigation.  He also acknowledged the assistance of the Department of Health & Human Services. 

Attorney General James Sues Trump Administration For Failing To Address Interstate Smog Pollution

Suit Seeks to Force EPA to Comply with the Clean Air Act, Protect New Yorkers’ Health by Requiring Sources of Smog Pollution in Upwind States to Further Cut Emissions

  New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced a lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failure to abide by its legal responsibility under the Clean Air Act (CAA) to ensure upwind sources of pollution do not continue to create unhealthy ground-level ozone pollution (commonly known as smog) in New York. 

The lawsuit, filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, follows the EPA’s denial of a petition filed by New York in March 2018, pursuant to the “Good Neighbor” obligations set forth under Section 126(b) of Clean Air Act. That section of the Act establishes EPA’s legal responsibility to ensure the control of upwind sources that contribute to non-attainment of federal air quality standards in downwind states. The petition asked EPA to make a finding that the emissions of approximately 350 sources in upwind states violated the good neighbor provision and, upon making such a finding, ensure that these emissions are reduced as necessary to allow New York to attain and maintain health standards for smog. The EPA officially denied New York’s petition on Friday, October 18, 2019. 
“More than two-thirds of New Yorkers regularly breathe unhealthy air due to interstate smog pollution, yet the EPA continues to ignore the Clean Air Act,” said Attorney General James. “We will not remain idle when a federal agency called the 'Environmental Protection Agency' routinely refuses to protect the environment or the health of millions of people. My office will use every legal tool at our disposal to force the EPA to do its job and reduce pollution.” 
“New York State is resolute and will do whatever it takes to protect our communities from air pollution coming from other states," said New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos. “DEC will continue to fight U.S. EPA’s refusal to safeguard our communities from ozone-causing emissions as EPA is—once again—bowing to the interests of polluters and abdicating its role to protect public health and the environment. By not doing its job and demanding that upwind states reduce their emissions, EPA is disregarding its own approved regulatory model and more importantly, EPA is failing to protect the American people.”     
On the worst air quality days this past summer, nearly 13 million New Yorkers—over 65 percent of our population—breathed air with unhealthy levels of smog. Nine New York counties are currently considered by the EPA to be out of compliance with federal health standards for smog. According to an American Lung Association analysis of 2015-2017 air quality data, millions of New Yorkers with lung disease—including nearly 250,000 children and almost 1,000,000 adults suffering from asthma—are placed at special risk by living in smog-polluted areas of the state. The Association ranks New York City as the tenth most polluted city in the nation for smog.   
Joining Attorney General James in today’s lawsuit is the Attorney General of New Jersey and the City of New York.   
Background on New York and National Air Quality Regulations   
Reducing smog levels is vital to protecting the health of New Yorkers. Elevated levels of smog can cause a host of significant health effects, including coughing, throat irritation, lung tissue damage, and the aggravation of existing medical conditions, such as asthma, bronchitis, heart disease, and emphysema. Exposure to ozone is also linked to premature mortality. Children, the elderly, and those with existing lung diseases, such as asthma, are more vulnerable to ozone’s harmful effects.   
New York has some of the strictest air quality regulations in the country. The emissions of the pollutants that cause smog—such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs)—are aggressively regulated from power plants, factories, motor vehicles, and other sources within the state. In fact, New York has among the lowest emissions of NOx and VOCs in the country. As a result of their regulation, major stationary sources in New York reduced annual NOx emissions by 43 percent between 2008 and 2014, and major power plants in the state reduced ozone-season NOx emissions by 73 percent between 2008 and 2017.   
Smog precursors, such as NOx emitted from power plants and other sources, can travel hundreds of miles after they are emitted. The federal Clean Air Act recognizes the regional nature of the smog, and that emission sources located in multiple upwind states contribute to downwind states’ smog problems. Because of downwind states cannot solve their smog problems on their own, the “Good Neighbor” provision of the Clean Air Act requires the EPA to step in and adopt plans to reduce interstate smog pollution when the actions of upwind states are not sufficient to ensure that federal smog health standards can be met and sustained in downwind states like New York. 
EPA’s obligation under the Act to adopt such plans—known as “Federal Implementation Plans” or “FIPs”—reflects the Agency’s unique position and authority, as a federal agency, to ensure that the individual efforts of multiple upwind states will be sufficient, in aggregate, to solve regional air pollution problems, such as smog.    
On October 2, 2019, the D.C. Circuit agreed with New York and other downwind states that EPA erred in issuing a regulation that rejected the need for upwind sources to reduce pollution that negatively impacts downwind areas. 

Ydanis Rodriguez - Come join us for a campaign kickoff!

Please join us to help kickoff the campaign to send Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez to Congress!

I hope you can join us on:

Sunday, November 3rd

Grand Slam Hall
478 E. Tremont Ave.
Bronx, NY 10457

To RSVP, please email

Tuesday, October 29, 2019


  Mayor Bill de Blasio, Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and NYPD officials today launched the City’s fourth annual Dusk and Darkness campaign with a citywide “Day of Awareness” to draw attention to the increased risks to pedestrians and cyclists during the fall and winter. The campaign is part of the Vision Zero initiative.

“Fall and winter continue to be the most dangerous times of year for pedestrians and cyclists, but darker days don’t have to be darker times on our streets,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “For the past few years, we’ve seen that the Dusk and Darkness campaign works, and bringing back a proven, effective tool will help us step up our Vison Zero initiative and ensure that New York City streets become even safer.”

“As a cycling commuter, I can attest there is no better time of year to travel by bike than in the fall,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “However, after clocks fall back, the evening hours become especially dangerous for both pedestrians and cyclists. People on bikes should of course prepare for the seasonal changes in their evening commute, but this year’s Dusk and Darkness campaign is expanding our messaging to remind drivers about both pedestrians and cyclists – who are also on our roads year-round.”

“Judicious enforcement of traffic laws and regulations always serves as a major and necessary component of any traffic safety campaign,” said Thomas Chan, the NYPD’s Chief of Transportation. “During the Dusk and Darkness initiative, the NYPD will be stepping up its efforts to protect pedestrians and cyclists by taking appropriate action against those violations by motorists that are most likely to result in collisions, such as failure to yield.”

After daylight saving time ends—as it will at 2 a.m. this coming Sunday—crashes involving pedestrians historically have dramatically increased, especially during evening hours. Cyclists are also at increased risk during evening and nighttime hours. 

Part of the Vision Zero initiative, the “Dusk and Darkness” campaign launched today at a press conference with DOT officials includes the following elements:

 ·         “Day of Awareness”: NYPD and DOT street teams will today be educating and engaging drivers and other New Yorkers at different Vision Zero priority areas from 3:30-6:30 p.m. in all five boroughs, including: The Whitehall Ferry Terminal, Penn Station, Grand Central Station, and Canal Street & 6th Avenue in Manhattan; Barclays Center, Bushwick Avenue & Flushing Avenue, and Bay Parkway & 86th Street in Brooklyn; Parsons Blvd & Archer Avenue, and Northern Blvd & Broadway in Queens; W 225th Street and Broadway in the Bronx.

·         Increased Evening/Nighttime Enforcement: As it has the last three years, NYPD will this week begin focusing enforcement resources on the most hazardous violations (speeding and failure-to-yield to pedestrians), with precincts increasing their on-street presence around sunset hours when data show serious pedestrian crashes increase. NYPD will also focus resources on drunk-driving efforts, as the incidence of DWI have historically increased during evening and nighttime hours in the fall and winter.

·         Daylight Saving Awareness:  DOT statistics from 2010-2014 show that serious collisions increase by approximately 40 percent in darker early evenings. This year, Daylight Savings Time will end at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 3, when clocks “fall back.” As with previous years, DOT will run radio ads during the evening commute, alerting drivers to the dangers of lower visibility and encouraging them to follow the 25 MPH citywide speed limit and to yield to pedestrians and cyclists. Ads are running through December 15 on fourteen stations.

Dusk and Darkness 4.0
At today’s event, officials cited the encouraging fatality statistics from Dusk and Darkness campaigns over the previous two years. In the five years before the campaign began, New York City averaged 63.4 traffic fatalities in the period between November 1 and March 15—many of them in the evening hours. In the first year of Dusk and Darkness, the overall fatality number declined from 67 to 51; in the second year, fatalities declined further to 44.

However, during the past year, pedestrian fatalities during the same period rose to 59. Over 20% of this year’s cyclist fatalities have occurred after sundown.

“Bicycling and walking are healthy and sustainable ways to get around our city,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “With fewer hours of daylight in the fall and winter months, drivers need to slow down and be aware of fellow New Yorkers who are also using the road. The Health Department is committed to reducing traffic fatalities and injuries in New York City, working together with sister agencies to advance road safety for all.”   

“As evenings get darker earlier, the Dusk and Darkness campaign offers an important reminder to drivers to be extra cautious when sharing the road with cyclists and pedestrians,” said Lisette Camilo, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services. “This campaign and the City’s broader focus on outreach and enforcement efforts will help keep New Yorkers safe during the fall and winter months.”

“We remind our 130,000+ licensed drivers that safety is and must always be at the heart of what they do, especially now as we approach the end of Daylight Saving Time and the added risks to cyclists and pedestrians that it brings,” said Acting TLC Commissioner Bill Heinzen.  “Having just honored a record high number of drivers with a place on the TLC’s Vision Zero Safety Honor Roll, we are again inspired by the commitment they and their fellow drivers have made to sharing our roads safely.”


The plan for Rockaway Beach calls for a composite seawall/dune from Beach 9th Street to Beach 149th Street, an increased beach berm, the extension of five groins already in place, and the construction of 13 new groins

 The de Blasio Administration and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) New York District today announce that they are in the process of receiving final approval for the East Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay General Revaluation Report. Pending final approval, construction on the first elements of the project, focusing on groins that will prevent beach erosion, is expected to begin in 2020.

The full plan for Rockaway Beach calls for a reinforced seawall/dune that will stretch from Beach 9th Street to Beach 149th Street, an increased beach berm width with 1.6 million cubic yards of sand for initial placement, the extension of five groins already in place and the construction of 13 new groins – all designed to help reduce the risk from future coastal storms and provide additional resiliency for the residents of this community. Subsequently, the Army Corps plans to advance additional flood prevention projects, including High Frequency Flooding Risk Reduction Features (HFFRRF), on the Bay Side of the peninsula.

“We are moving rapidly to lock in the final approvals and get this vital resiliency project underway,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “For years, residents in the Rockaways have called for these measures to protect against future storms. We are closing in on the final steps needed to make them a reality, and give these communities the safety and the peace of mind they deserve. The Army Corps has been a tremendous partner, and we are grateful to the Corps, our federal officials and everyone who has fought to bring the Rockaways back after Sandy.”

“We’re making significant progress toward getting the approvals necessary to begin construction as soon as possible,” said Col. Tom Asbery, Commander, USACE, New York District. “This project will enable us to provide additional flood risk reduction measures for the residents of the Rockaway community and continue the Corps’ mission to provide real world solutions to the toughest challenges in the nation. I’d like to thank our partners at the local, state and federal levels for their tremendous support.”

“Since Hurricane Sandy, we have worked diligently with the Army Corps of Engineers to fortify our shores and prevent damage from future storms. Now we are on the final steps of confirming that resilience project to build dunes and groins that can prevent erosion, flooding, and the damage we’ve seen in the past. I thank the Mayor and the Corps for their continued cooperation, and look forward to seeing the project fully underway so all the families and businesses along Rockaway can rest assured that our shore is protected,” said Congressman Gregory Meeks.

“These vital protections will make communities across the Rockaway peninsula safer and more resilient,” said Jainey Bavishi, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Resiliency. “We’re partnering closely with the Army Corps to advance this effort as quickly as possible and expect to sign a Project Partnership Agreement by this winter.”    

In August 2019, Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, USACE Commanding General, signed the Chief’s Report for the Atlantic Coast of New York East Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay Hurricane Sandy Reformulation Study. The report transmitted the Corps of Engineers' recommendation to the Assistant Secretary for the Army for Civil Works for review and final approval.

Hurricane Sandy caused significant damage across the Tri-State area. Thousands of homes and an estimated 250,000 vehicles were destroyed during the storm, and the economic losses in New York City were estimated to be roughly $19 billion with an estimated $32.8 billion required for restoration across the state. Rockaway was one of the hardest hit areas. Residents had their homes destroyed, dealt with significant fires, and extended power loss that went on for weeks at a time in some cases. Since then, USACE has placed over 3 million cubic yards of sand to repair beaches, fortify dunes and increase resiliency.

The Atlantic Coast of New York East Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay Study is a partnership between the Army Corps and the non-Federal Sponsor, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and in cooperation with New York City.

The $600 million project is authorized for construction using the P.L. 113-2 (Sandy) funding at 100 percent full Federal cost. Pending approval by the Assistant Secretary for the Army for Civil Works, construction is currently scheduled to begin in 2020.

Once the report has been approved, USACE will move forward with the first contract related to this project. That contract is expected to consist of a comprehensive erosion control package that will include the construction of the additional stone groins and refurbishments to the existing groins, among other features.

Taken From the CB 10 Monthly Full Board Meeting Minutes - Who Didn't Vote on the Public Hearing? 30 Attended 29 Votes

Bronx Community Board 10



October 17, 2019 at 7:00 P.M.
Riverbay Corporation
2049 Bartow Avenue, Room 31
Bronx, New York 10475

PRESENT: T. Accomando, R. Baez, R. Barbarelli, R. Bieder, P. Cantillo, M. Caruso, T. Chambers, Col. W. Chin, A. Chirico, L. Council, M. Davila, T. Franklin, I. Guanill, D. Krynicki, J. Marano, M. Morris, D. Noble, L. Popovic, J. Robert, J. Russo, T. Smith, J. Thomas, M. Velazquez,
(total # present = 30)

ABSENT: H. Acampora, D. Hunt, M. Johnson, J. McQuade, M.J. Musano, J. Onwu, C. Papastefanou, N. Rosario, N. Sala, A. Salimbene, P. Sullivan, S. Woods (total # absent 12 =)

Chairman Joseph Russo began the meeting at 7:00 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance.

A PUBLIC HEARING on 2021 CAPITAL AND EXPENSE BUDGET PRIORITIES (CEBP) was held. Members of the Bronx Community Board #10 community were encouraged to bring forth ideas/suggestions for the Board's 2021 Capital and Expense Budget Priorities and present them at this public hearing.

“ the recommendation of the Executive Board of Bronx Community Board #10 that the District Manager submit the annual District Needs Statement for Fiscal Year 2021 to the Mayor of the City of New York and Department of City Planning as part of our annual Charter requirement and that this be forwarded to the Full Board for its approval.”

A motion to accept the Resolution was made by Mr. Bieder, seconded by Mr. Accomando with the following vote: unanimous by all (29) members present. The Resolution passed.this be forwarded to the Full Board for its approval.”


First, the minutes make mention of thirty members being present, but only twenty-nine voting on the resolution. Which members voted for the resolution, and which member did not vote or was not present? A listing of those who voted should be a part of the minutes.

Having been a community board Budget Committee Chair that made up a District Needs Statement, I went into the CB 10 office on Tuesday October 15th 2019 and asked to view the CB 10 District Needs Statement for Fiscal Year 2021. Less than two days before the meeting I was told that the district manager had not made it up yet, and if I wanted to talk to the district manager by the very helpful associate in the office. 

I decided the best thing to do was to look at the Land Use Item also to be voted on at the full board meeting in less than two days. While I was looking at the zoning change from C7 to C82 the district manager left the office, did not say a word to me, and did not return until after I was finished.

I sent this to Mr. Tom Lucania Director of Community Boards for Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. I said it takes time to make up a District Needs Statement, (having done so myself), and I questioned how one could be done in less than thirty-six hours. 

I received back from Mr. Lucania that the district manager offered to talk to me, and I declined. I sent back to Mr. Lucania that it was the associate in the office that suggested I speak to the district manager, who at no time said anything to me even as he passed by me as he left the office.

With no Fiscal Year 2021 District Needs Statement the Fiscal Year 2020 District Needs Statement was sent out first thing the next morning, one day before the public hearing.

Is this any way to run a Community Board CB 10 Chair Joseph Russo?