Saturday, November 13, 2021

NYPD Announces Independent RAND Corporation Community Survey


The NYPD shared results of an independent community survey conducted by the RAND Corporation, in partnership with the New York City Police Department and the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity.

In late 2018, RAND researchers began conducting an independent evaluation to measure the public's trust in police. One part of this evaluation involved two surveys that the RAND Corporation administered in November 2020 and May 2021. The surveys asked people in diverse communities to respond to more than 80 questions measuring three important elements of police-community relations: engagement, trustworthiness, and guardianship. This research is part of an ongoing evaluation on the NYPD’s Neighborhood Policing philosophy. There will be more information released on this evaluation in the coming months.

“These survey results show that most New Yorkers were satisfied with the NYPD and that we also have areas where we need to do some work,” said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. “Our goal in collecting this information is to better understand perspectives on the police in New York City’s neighborhoods, and to help guide our efforts to strengthen relationships with the communities we serve. We are grateful to the RAND Corporation for their critical work that will help the Department improve.”

“New York City is at its strongest when we are responsive to the voice of New Yorkers. This survey represents a powerful new tool for the NYPD to hear directly from residents, assess relationships with the communities it serves, and identify opportunities to enhance practices,” said Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity Executive Director Matthew Klein. “Our office works to build the City’s capacity to listen to, learn from, and meet the needs of New Yorkers. We are proud to support the NYPD in this effort to evaluate its operations and elevate community voice.”

“Since 2018, RAND has been evaluating the impacts of Neighborhood Policing on crime, public safety, and the public’s trust in the police. We are excited to release the results from the two community surveys and look forward to finalizing the results from the other data collection efforts in the next few months,” said RAND Principal Investigator Meagan Cahill.

“We appreciate the information gathered from individuals throughout the city and the collaboration with NYPD. We believe these results will inform the field of policing research, and will help the NYPD continue to improve Neighborhood Policing,” said RAND Co-Principal Investigator Melissa Labriola.

Key findings include:

  • About two-thirds of respondents report positive attitudes toward police in their neighborhoods.
  • In general, respondents who live in areas with lower violent crime agreed more often with positive statements about police than those who live in areas with higher violent crime.

Using data from both surveys, RAND identified 11 questions as the best measures of engagement, trustworthiness, and guardianship (the three key concepts describing police-community relationships). The maximum margin of error for citywide percentages, given the study design, is ±5.2%. Results on these 11 questions from the second survey (May 2021) are presented below.

Here is a link to the survey results on the NYPD website: RAND Corporation Community Survey

1: Engagement

Engagement PNG 1

Engagement PNG 2

Engagement PNG 3

2: Trustworthiness

Trust PNG 1

Trust PNG 2

Trust PNG 3

Trust PNG 4

Trust PNG 5

3: Guardianship

Guardianship PNG 1

Guardianship PNG 2

Guardianship PNG 3

Below is more information on the survey process:

RAND researchers surveyed New York City residents drawn from an existing online survey panel. Eligible respondents received either a text or an email notifying them that they were a candidate for a research study. Thousands of people were contacted, and more than 1,000 respondents participated in each round of the survey.

Results were analyzed by dividing New York City’s zip codes into groups representing four levels of violent crime, which allowed researchers to understand whether respondents experiencing different neighborhood conditions also vary in their perceptions of, engagement with, and trust in police:

  1. Low violent crime (rates in the lowest to the 50th percentile of zip codes, 45% of the City’s population age 18 and up);
  2. Moderate violent crime (rates between the 50th and 75th percentile of zip codes, 25% of the City’s population age 18 and up);
  3. High violent crime (rates between the 75th and 90th percentile of zip codes, 18% of the City’s population age 18 and up);
  4. Highest violent crime (rates above the 90th percentile of zip codes, 12% of the City’s population age 18 and up).

Governor Hochul Updates New Yorkers on State's Progress Combating COVID-19 - NOVEMBER 13, 2021


104,117 Vaccine Doses Administered Over Last 24 Hours

20 COVID-19 Deaths Statewide Yesterday

New State Website Providing Helpful Info About Child Vaccination

 Governor Kathy Hochul today updated New Yorkers on the state's progress combating COVID-19.  

"The vaccine is our way out of this pandemic once and for all — if you haven't gotten yours already, it's crucial that you do," Governor Hochul said. "The vaccine is proven effective and safe, and it's free. Everyone aged five and up can get it and doing so is the best way to keep your family safe."

Today's data is summarized briefly below:

  • Test Results Reported - 202,482
  • Total Positive - 6,477
  • Percent Positive - 3.20%
  • 7-Day Average Percent Positive - 3.12%
  • Patient Hospitalization - 1,869 (+15)
  • Patients Newly Admitted - 253
  • Patients in ICU - 374 (-2)
  • Patients in ICU with Intubation - 210 (0)
  • Total Discharges - 211,157 (+231)
  • New deaths reported by healthcare facilities through HERDS - 20
  • Total deaths reported by healthcare facilities through HERDS - 45,980

The Health Electronic Response Data System is a NYS DOH data source that collects confirmed daily death data as reported by hospitals, nursing homes and adult care facilities only.

  • Total deaths reported to and compiled by the CDC - 58,479

This daily COVID-19 provisional death certificate data reported by NYS DOH and NYC to the CDC includes those who died in any location, including hospitals, nursing homes, adult care facilities, at home, in hospice and other settings.

  • Total vaccine doses administered - 28,283,006
  • Total vaccine doses administered over past 24 hours - 104,117
  • Total vaccine doses administered over past 7 days - 651,544
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with at least one vaccine dose - 85.2%
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with completed vaccine series - 77.5%
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with at least one vaccine dose (CDC) - 88.8%
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with completed vaccine series (CDC) - 79.6%
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with at least one vaccine dose - 72.4%
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with completed vaccine series - 65.6%
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with at least one vaccine dose (CDC) - 75.5%
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with completed vaccine series (CDC) - 67.5%

Councilman Mark Gjonaj's NYC Moving Forward Week in Review - 11/12/2021


Dear Friends,

I hope you and your families are doing well as Fall is finally here with the multitude of colors, rain and chillier nights.

Honoring the sacrifices our veterans have made for our country in the name of freedom and democracy is the very foundation of Veterans Day. I was proud to partake in different ceremonies in the District from the Bronx Victory Memorial in Pelham Bay to the Rudy Macina Peace Plaza in Pelham Parkway. I saluted and thanked all the veterans who have served to protect our country and their families who supported them in their service. I look forward to the Veteran’s Parade on Sunday as well as the breakfast kicking off the parade that I am sponsoring.

Last weekend I was humbled to host a street co-naming ceremony in honor of Police Officer Patrick McGovern, a hero who did so much for our community. He courageously served over 19 years with the NYPD including the 49th Precinct. On September 11th, 2001, he responded to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, worked on rescue and recovery efforts and passed away after a two-year battle with cancer tied to his service.

This week at the NYC Council Stated meeting, I introduced two new bills, the feature bill would require food delivery apps to provide their couriers with commercial coverage. These couriers, a significant portion of whom are low-to-middle income, are faced with the tricky dilemma of either paying out-of-pocket for commercial insurance or forgoing it entirely when both their personal insurance and app do not cover delivery accidents. I look forward to urging this bill through the process to protect our delivery workers from financial catastrophes that can arise from costly accidents.

I was happy to continue co-sponsoring Spay and Neuter event for our furry friends on Pelham Parkway and other areas in the District in collaboration with the Animal Care Center of NY and Toby Project.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, as every year our office will be giving out turkeys to constituents in need in District 13. Please call our office to RSVP at 718-931-1721. First come, first serve while supplies last.

Please remember we are here for you, contact my office with issues or concerns at 718-931-1721 or email at


NYC Councilman Mark Gjonaj
District 13, Bronx

50 Days and Counting


With only fifty days left in office, should I try out for the Brooklyn Nets? They gave me this jersey with the lucky number 13 on it, and that was after I gave them millions an millions of dollars in tax breaks and other incentives to play in Brooklyn. 

I can always audition for a role on Sesame Street. The one that people have been calling me for years. Then again I don't have to work anymore right Charlene? we can just go to that offshore island an live off the land. Fifty more days.

Van Nest Veteran's Day Celebration

The Thursday afternoon sunshine complimented the Van Nest Veteran's Day event hosted by the East Bronx Historical Society and the Van Nest Neighborhood Alliance. Rich Vitacco of the East Bronx Historical Society opened this event giving the story of veterans day which began as a result of the treaty signed on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month ending World War One. The holiday was originally called Armistice Day until 1954 when it was changed to Veteran's Day to honor all veterans of wars who returned home. 

Plaques for their service in the countrys conflicts were given to six veterans. Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez, City Councilwoman Elect Marjorie Velazquez, VNNA President Bernadette Ferrera, and others spoke including Lieutenant Gerard Degate who honored former United State Secretary of State Colin Powell. 

Rich Vitacco of the East Bronx Historical Society opens the Van Nest Veteran' Day event.

VNNA President Bernadette Ferrera spoke about growing up during the Vietnam War, and how wars continue as the years go by. 

Councilwoman Elect Marjorie Velazquez thanks the former servicemen, saying her uncle and several cousins served in various armed forces.

Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez said more must be done for our veterans.

The ceremony ended with the bugler playing TAPS for those veterans who have passed away since World War One. 

Friday, November 12, 2021

Governor Hochul Updates New Yorkers on State's Progress Combating COVID-19 - NOVEMBER 12, 2021

 COVID-19 vaccine vial and syringe

96,655 Vaccine Doses Administered Over Last 24 Hours   

30 COVID-19 Deaths Statewide Yesterday

 Governor Kathy Hochul today updated New Yorkers on the state's progress combating COVID-19.

"Thank you to all the New Yorkers who are keeping their children, themselves and their other loved ones safe and healthy ahead of the holidays by getting the vaccine," Governor Hochul said. "Whether you are five or 50, getting vaccinated is quick, easy, and the most important thing you can do to protect your family from COVID-19 as we approach the holiday season."

Today's data is summarized briefly below:

  • Test Results Reported - 199,602
  • Total Positive - 6,151
  • Percent Positive - 3.08%
  • 7-Day Average Percent Positive - 3.00%
  • Patient Hospitalization - 1,854 (+18)
  • Patients Newly Admitted -  263
  • Patients in ICU - 376 (+2)
  • Patients in ICU with Intubation - 210 (-2)
  • Total Discharges - 210,926 (+226)
  • New deaths reported by healthcare facilities through HERDS - 30
  • Total deaths reported by healthcare facilities through HERDS - 45,960

The Health Electronic Response Data System is a NYS DOH data source that collects confirmed daily death data as reported by hospitals, nursing homes and adult care facilities only.

  • Total deaths reported to and compiled by the CDC - 58,479

This daily COVID-19 provisional death certificate data reported by NYS DOH and NYC to the CDC includes those who died in any location, including hospitals, nursing homes, adult care facilities, at home, in hospice and other settings.

  • Total vaccine doses administered - 28,178,889
  • Total vaccine doses administered over past 24 hours - 96,655
  • Total vaccine doses administered over past 7 days - 636,779
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with at least one vaccine dose - 85.1%
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with completed vaccine series - 77.4%
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with at least one vaccine dose (CDC) - 88.7%
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with completed vaccine series (CDC) - 79.5%
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with at least one vaccine dose - 72.3%
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with completed vaccine series - 65.5%
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with at least one vaccine dose (CDC) - 75.3%
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with completed vaccine series (CDC) - 67.3%

New York City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce - Our Honoree - 16th Annual Hispanic Business Award Banquet & Scholarship Ceremony


16th Annual Hispanic Business Award Banquet & Scholarship Ceremony

Wednesday, December 15th, 2021
Our Honoree

Junius J. Gonzales

As New York Tech’s provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, Junius J. Gonzales, M.D., M.B.A. leads the university’s programs in teaching, research, and service and is responsible for academic planning, new initiatives in teaching and learning, faculty and staff development, New York Tech's global programs, the libraries, as well as student engagement and development units (e.g., experiential education, career services, student life). He is an avid champion of student success and an enthusiastic supporter of New York’s innovative new programs that can reduce equity gaps for student achievement. He is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, most recent examples: named as one the NY State’s Responsible 100, Diversity in Business Award, Nassau County's Hispanic Education Advocate of the Year.

Gonzales has held high-level leadership roles across academia, government, and the private sector. He served as chief academic officer and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at the 17-campus University of North Carolina System from January 2015 to May 2018 and was interim president of the system from January to March 2016. As the UNC System's top academic officer, he was responsible for overseeing academic planning and budgeting, student affairs, sponsored programs and research, faculty support, licensure and institutional research, and analysis. Gonzales served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Texas at El Paso and held senior academic and administrative posts at the University of South Florida (founding dean of the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences) and Georgetown University, as well as leadership positions at the National Institute of Mental Health and as a principal investigator for Cambridge-based Abt Associates, a top-ranked research firm.

Gonzales earned a bachelor’s degree from Brown University, an M.D. with honors from the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.B.A. with honors from the University of Maryland. A psychiatrist by training, he completed his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health.

Manhattan Man Who Identifies As An “Incel” Or “Involuntary Celibate” Pleads Guilty To Carrying Out Hoax Bomb Threat At Restaurant


 Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that MALIK SANCHEZ, a/k/a “Smooth Sanchez,” pled guilty to making a hoax threat to detonate a bomb at a restaurant in the Flatiron neighborhood in New York, New York, on or about February 13, 2021.  SANCHEZ pled guilty before United States Magistrate Judge Kevin N. Fox in Manhattan federal court.  The case is assigned to United States District Judge Colleen McMahon.

According to the Indictment, Complaint, and other public documents in the case, as well as statements made during the plea proceeding:

SANCHEZ self-identifies as an “Involuntary Celibate” or “Incel,” which refers to a group of individuals with an active online community, mostly men, who believe that society unjustly denies them sexual or romantic attention to which they are entitled.  Through online activity and in some instances violence, Incels target those who they believe are unjustly denying them sexual or romantic attention, which in most cases are women. 

SANCHEZ has posted multiple videos to social media accounts depicting SANCHEZ harassing, threatening, and in several instances harming individuals whom SANCHEZ encountered in Manhattan, while expressing support for Incel ideology, including for carrying out violence against women in the name of the group.

For example, on or about February 7, 2021, SANCHEZ posted online a video with a caption including “INCEL ARMY RISE UP.”  The video depicts SANCHEZ yelling at two women walking on a street in Manhattan that SANCHEZ has “Incel rage”; that he supports Incel’s unofficial founder, Elliot Rodger, who attacked a sorority house and pedestrians in California in 2014, killing six victims and injuring 14 others; and that Rodger’s victims “deserved to be run over and hit by a truck.  They deserved to be slaughtered.”[1]  On or about March 20, 2021, SANCHEZ posted another video filmed in Manhattan, which depicts SANCHEZ approaching multiple women at an outdoor seating area.  In the video, SANCHEZ again proclaimed his support for Incels and Elliot Rodger, while making hand gestures mimicking pointing a gun.  After multiple individuals attempted to get SANCHEZ to stop, SANCHEZ sprayed pepper spray in the face of one of those individuals.  SANCHEZ was arrested by responding law enforcement officers and charged with state offenses, and was thereafter released on bail.          

On or about February 13, 2021, SANCHEZ posted a video that depicts him perpetrating a hoax bomb threat at a restaurant in Manhattan’s Flatiron neighborhood.  The video shows SANCHEZ approaching an outdoor seating area in front of the restaurant and stating:  “Let’s enhance their meal.”  SANCHEZ then positioned himself close to two women seated at one of the tables, and conveyed that he was about to detonate a bomb. SANCHEZ loudly stated:  “Allahu Akbar.  Allahu Akbar.  Bomb detonation in two, in two minutes.  I take you with me and I kill all you.  I kill all you right now.  And I kill all you for Allah. . . .  I’m gonna do it.  I’m gonna fucking do it for Allah.  I’m gonna do it, for, Allah, Allah, Allahu Akbar, Come on.  I do it, bomb now, bomb now.”  The two women appeared startled, gathered their belongings, and went into the restaurant; approximately four other individuals in the seating area grabbed their belongings and ran away.  SANCHEZ then stated:  “Yo, all of them scattered” and “Holy shit boys.  That was fucking five stars.  That was five stars.”  At least one individual called 911 in connection with the bomb threat, and law enforcement responded to the scene.  By that point, SANCHEZ had left the area.

SANCHEZ, 19, of New York, New York, pled guilty to one count of conveying false and misleading information and hoaxes, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1038, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.  The maximum potential penalty is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by a judge.

SANCHEZ is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge McMahon on February 8, 2022, at 3:00 p.m.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, which consists of investigators and analysts from the FBI, the New York City Police Department, and over 50 other federal, state, and local agencies.

The case is being handled by the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit.  Assistant United States Attorney Kaylan E. Lasky is in charge of the prosecution, with assistance from Trial Attorney Elisabeth Poteat of the Counterterrorism Section of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division. 

[1] Statements discussed and quoted herein are described in substance and in part.

Governor Hochul Announces $25 Million to Provide Free Legal Assistance for Struggling Tenants


Federal Funding to Provide Legal Assistance to Low-Income Renters Facing Eviction in Areas Where Free Legal Services are Limited   

Expands Access to Publicly Funded, Free Legal Services for Tenants in 57 Counties Outside NYC  

New Applications for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program Will Be Suspended Sunday Night in Most Areas of the State 

 Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that $25 million in federal funding will be used to provide free legal assistance to low-income renters facing eviction in areas of the state outside of New York City where access to free legal aid is not available to meet the need of these renters. The legal assistance is aimed at helping both tenants and landlords resolve rent-related disputes and maintaining tenants' housing stability. The awardees of this funding will be announced on Monday.

"The pandemic has shown us that every New Yorker deserves the stability of a home," Governor Hochul said. "This critical funding will help struggling tenants access free legal assistance they can rely on to reach a resolution with their landlord and avoid the potential for eviction proceedings. We will continue to push for additional federal funding for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program to provide relief to renters." 

Earlier today, Governor Hochul announced that New York State has officially requested $996 million in additional federal funding from the U.S. Department of Treasury for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. The request for these funds would cover projected need over the next four months, based on already-submitted applications, as well as a portion of projected need for tenants living in publicly subsidized housing. 

New York State recently surpassed $1 billion in direct payments to landlords and has now fully obligated its $2.4 billion in funding — less than six months after first taking applications. Applications will continue to be accepted through Sunday, Nov. 14, until 10 p.m. The program will suspend accepting new applications at that time, except in the following areas, where allocations have not yet been exhausted, and where tenants are encouraged to apply: Dutchess County, Nassau County (not including the towns of Hempstead or Oyster Bay), Niagara County, Oneida County, Saratoga County, Suffolk County (not including the towns of Brookhaven or Islip), Westchester County (not including the city of Yonkers).

As part of the law, $25 million in federal funding was set aside to provide legal services to tenants facing eviction proceedings and to help them maintain housing stability in areas of the state where access to free legal assistance for such services is not readily available. Residents of New York City already have access to free legal representation in housing court to help avoid eviction.  
Barbara C. Guinn, Executive Deputy Commissioner of the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, which is administering the legal assistance grants, said, "Expanding the availability of legal assistance for tenants is essential to helping New York avoid a housing crisis as residents throughout the State continue to struggle to pay rental arrears that accumulated during the pandemic. This assistance will help individuals and families to work with their landlords to help them maintain stable housing. I applaud Governor Hochul for taking action to help renters and landlords resolve disputes and avoid evictions."  

Senator Biaggi's Week in Review: 11/8/21-11/12/21


Senator Alessandra Biaggi

Dear Community,

Last week, Congress passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a historic investment in our nation’s infrastructure and competitiveness. The bill will serve to rebuild our roads, bridges, and railroads, deliver clean water to all American families, tackle the climate crisis, ensure every American has access to high-speed internet, improve transportation options, and invest in our communities. The legislation also seeks to create good-paying union jobs and grow our economy. Visit here for more information on the legislation. 

The bill would bring billions of dollars to New York, allowing for important mass transit and infrastructure improvements. According to the White House, New York is expected to receive:

  • $11.6 billion for federal-aid highway apportioned programs and $1.9 billion for bridge replacement and repairs over five years.
  • $9.8 billion over five years to improve public transportation options across the state.
  • $175 million over five years to support the expansion of an EV charging network in the state. 
  • $100 million to help provide broadband coverage across the state, including providing access to the at least 186,754 New Yorkers who currently lack it. 
  • $34 million over five years to protect against wildfires and $28 million to protect against cyberattacks. New Yorkers will also benefit from the bill’s historic $3.5 billion national investment in weatherization which will reduce energy costs for families. 
  • $2.6 billion over five years to improve water infrastructure across the state and ensure that clean, safe drinking water is a right in all communities.
  • $685 million for infrastructure development for airports over five years.

Over the coming weeks, we expect to receive additional data and information on the impact of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act here in New York. This historic investment will improve the lives of millions of New York residents and create a generation of good-paying union jobs and economic growth. I look forward to the much needed improvements that this funding will bring to our state, and am grateful to our Congressional delegation for advocating for the best interests of New Yorkers. 

With Gratitude,

State Senator Alessandra Biaggi

51 Days and Counting


Here I am the spoiler in the governor's race. Who do I take out, or do I win to become your next governor of New York State. They love me in Brooklyn, They love me in Manhattan, They love me in Queen, and they love me in the Bronx. Who cares about Staten Island. 

They love me on Long Island, They love me on this side of the Tappen Zee Bridge, and that is where the majority of the votes are the lower metro area. If I can make it here I can make it anywhere New York, New York....

Veteran's Day at Peace Plaza


It was a beautiful Thursday afternoon at Peace Plaza located on Williamsbridge Road and Pelham Parkway North. Veterans Gene DeFrancis and Joseph Rondo were the co-hosts of this event. Gene De Francis mentioned that on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 a treaty was signed that ended what was known as World War One. That day was known as Armistice Day until 1954 when it was changed to Veterans Day to honor those who served in all wars the United States became involved in. This was a day to honor veterans who have returned home alive, while Memorial Day is for those who have lost their lives in battle. 

Several veterans were called up to say a few words to the usual crowd of close to one hundred people. Councilman Mark Gjonaj was the first elected official called up, and he deferred to the elder, and statewide elected official Assemblyman Michael Benedetto who said that each year the crowd seems to get a little smaller, and he could not understand that since there were more and more veterans each year. Councilman Gjonaj thanked Mr. Silvio Mazzella the organizer of the Veterans day and Memorial Day event at Peace Plaza. Gjonaj thanked Silvio's wife for attending in his place. 

Veteran Gene DeFrancis opened the 2021 Peace Plaza Veterans Day event, and turned the microphone over to Veteran Joseph Rondo.

Deputy Inspector Andrew Natiw said that while he has faced many different battle like scenes as a veteran police officer, that he never served in the Armed Forces, and he salutes those who have served. 

Assemblyman Michael Benedetto thanked the veterans and those who attended this event, but wondered with more veterans coming out of the Armed Forces, why does this crowd get smaller each year that goes by.

Outgoing Councilman Mark Gjonaj thanked the organizer of the Veterans Day and Memorial Day events Mr. silvio Mazzella who has been unable to attend the past two event due to health problems. Gjonaj thanked Silvio's wife for sitting in for him. 

Bronx Park East Community Association Pelham Parkway Construction Meeting


This meeting came about as one of the leaders of the Bronx Park East Community Association, Ms. Diana Finch was a member of the former Pelham Parkway Task Force that was disbanded by Community Board 11 in early 2021. The District Service Cabinet meeting minutes in April show that the District Manager said that there were many questions asking the consultant on the massive project if the Task Force should be reinstated. The consultant answered. no there is no need for a task force, that she would answer all questions, and meet with neighborhood organizations if they wanted more information. 

Wednesday night Ms. Joanna Rojas the consultant on the Pelham Parkway reconstruction, water distribution and sewer replacement project addressed the sparsely attended BPECA meeting that was held in PS 96. Ms. Finch directed a few questions at Ms. Rojas, which were only about the Boston Road area in BPECA, and then it was open to questions from the audience, where Ms. Rojas mentioned that the lowest bidder is selected for the project, and that the DDC had no knowledge that Con Edison was going to put a thirty inch gas line across the Pelham Parkway cutting a six foot gap in the newly reconstructed parkway foundation. 

The truth of how a contractor is chosen, is that low bidders are looked at, that a ten percent bond of the total cost must be put up by the contractor, and that three examples of similar projects must be provided for the DDC to assess the work quality. Cost overrun will also drive up a winning bid as the project is being done as is the case on the Pelham Parkway project. Ms. Rojas was wrong about not knowing that Con Edison was going to cut through the parkway if it was to be reconstructed before the anticipated gas line from the Mount Vernon city line to Hunts Point was put in first. In fact the DDC said that there was a short window of opportunity to lay the new parkway foundation, or it would have to be delayed until next year. 

It was also mentioned that the Department of Investigation has been asked to investigate why there is no community oversight through the proper city agency, the local community board. An investigation of why the project is costing so much, with many huge cost overruns, and construction that were not on the original plans. The DDC knew that Con Edison was going through the parkway with a thirty inch gas line and cutting a six foot gap in the concrete foundation leaving only sand underneath which shifts over time, and reconstructed the roadbed knowing what Con Edison was going to do. 

Ms. Finch welcomes those who came out to the meeting at PS 96.

Ms. Finch led the questioning of Ms. Rojas, the consultant on the project.

Ms. Rojas took questions from the audience.

One problem is the cracks in the asphalt and concrete sidewalk from all the drilling through the rock.

Here you can see how electric lines and other wires are tied together in the empty hole.

Then there is this storage area where trees once were at Pelham Parkway and Boston Road.