Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Board of Elections Hearings-Is it a Big Waste of Money?

   We were at the hearings of the Board of Elections for the Bronx candidates that were either challenging their opponent or being challenged by their opponent. The hearings started on time at 10 AM however only 6 of the 10 commissioners were on hand when the hearings began. A quorum of 6 of the 10 commissioners is needed only to hold hearings and be able to vote on matters before the board. We were given the names of the missing commissioners by Ms. Valerie Vasquez (of the board) as Commissioners Dent (Bklyn Dem), Schacher (Bklyn Rep), Saunias (Man Dem), and Polonco (Bx Rep). We saw Commissioners Dent and Schacher arrive at 10:20AM, and Commissioner Polonco and Saunias arrived a short time later.

   We had a story (in our column in the Bronx News) two years ago at this time about "King Stanley" referring to one of (if not) the best election lawyers in the Bronx Mr. Stanley K. Schlein ESQ..King Stanley was magnificent in his arguments in trying to keep his (or should we say Bronx Democratic County) candidates on, while doing his best to knock off any opponents. While there remained a few "Renegade" (as king Stanley said) candidates that were kept on the ballot by the commissioners of the Board of Elections, those words "Similar Handwriting, Forgery, and Fraud" were said by King Stanley which means that those renegades would be taken to court to knock them off since the Board of Elections does not rule on those items.

   We saw one possible candidate for a city council seat in 2013 in the audience taking notes, and he probably wanted to see what he would be up against as a renegade candidate or would have on his side should the Bronx Democratic County organization endorse him. Mayor Bloomberg has said that the Board of Elections is "A waste of taxpayer money", and we might have to agree with the mayor. Nothing has changed at the Board of Elections, and there is no reason why the incumbent state legislatures would want to change a system that is tilted way in their favor. We also wondered how a commissioner appointed by the borough county organization (Democrat or Republican) could rule on a matter of their party in their borough. Below are a few photos of the hearings

Left - The hearings have started and there are some empty chairs.
Right - Commissioner Polonco is seated.

Left - King Stanley with his crew as they await the next challenge.
Right - King Stanley in action defending the petition of 78th A.D. Assemblyman Jose Rivera. It was Rivera that fired King Stanley during Rivera's tenure as Bronx Democratic County Chairman.



-         Festival will include free community events
-  Summer Music Series will feature all-star performances
   Once again, the summer sizzles in the Bronx as the 2nd Annual SalsaFest brings together some of the borough’s best salseros, dancing in the streets and on the sand. Produced by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and the Bronx Tourism Council and funded by NYC & Company, SalsaFest, which made its debut last year, begins on August 3 and will continue through to August 26, the last of the Summer Music Series Concerts at Orchard Beach.
“This is the borough that gave birth to what has become an international phenomenon, and it is only fitting that we celebrate ’El Condado de la Salsa‘ together with music, dancing, old-fashioned block parties and fun in the sun,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.   “I invite Bronxites and visitors alike to come and join me at Orchard Beach for another great summer of Salsa!”
“Music is a universal language spoken quite fluently around the world,” says Olga Luz Tirado, Executive Director of the Bronx Tourism Council. “Visitors will enjoy experiencing authentic Salsa music and dance in the borough where it all began.”
The entertainment begins on Friday, August 3, from 7 – 9 p.m. with a screening of "From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale," a documentary produced by City Lore and edited by Benh Zeitlin, the award-winning director of the current feature film, “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” Immediately following the screening will be a panel discussion with some of the musicians featured in the film, including Benny Bonilla, a percussionist who was part of Pete Rod­­­riguez's group on their hit, "I Like It Like That;” The Last Mambo King Orlando Marin, bandleader and timbalero, and Jorge "Popmaster Fabel" Pabon, choreographer, hip hop historian and Senior VP of the Rock Steady Crew. The panel will be moderated by the film's co-producer, Elena Martinez, and hosted by Pregones Theater, 571 Walton Avenue. This event is free but reservations are recommended by calling 718.590.3518.  
We continue with Dancing in the Streets 6th Annual Hip Hip Hop Generation Next Block Party, on Saturday, August 4, from 2-9 p.m. in the heart of Hunts Point. Salsa performances include Angel Rodriguez & the Abrazos Orchestra. Also, acclaimed mambo dancer Franck Muhel will perform and teach the mambo during a salsa set played by Orlando Marin, the Last Mambo King, and his Orchestra. Hosted by Dancing in the Streets in collaboration with Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education. This free block party takes place on Simpson Street, between Barretto and East 163rd street.
Also on Saturday, August 4, from 3 – 6:30 p.m., become part of an amazing musical experience when folklorist Elena Martinez leads a tour of musical greats interred at Woodlawn Cemetery. The tour, which includes visiting the gravesites of Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and Irene Castle, culminates in a Tribute to the Queen of Salsa, Celia Cruz, offering a rare opportunity to view the mausoleum of the Grammy-award winning Salsa star. Percussionists, led by multi-Grammy nominated bandleader Bobby Sanabria, will play at various graves including Celia's in tribute to the legendary performer.  Tours are free and begin at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., rain or shine. This event is hosted by Friends of Woodlawn Cemetery. Take the #4 train to the end of line, Woodlawn Station. At base of station, walk about ½ block. Jerome Avenue entrance is on the right. This event is free, but reservations are recommended by calling 718-920-1469.
The Free Summer Music Series at Orchard Beach officially begins on Sunday, August 12 at noon with Nelson Gonzalez and his All-Star Band. Lauded as one of the greatest “tres” guitar players, Gonzalez has toured with La India and Marc Anthony and was a member of the legendary Fania All-Stars. This event is co-sponsored by Latino Sports and Bronx Lebanon Hospital.
On Saturday, August 18th from noon to 6pm join the annual Morrison Avenue Festival where the community comes together to enjoy music, food, unity and the beautiful weather that the summer brings. Performers include: Nino Segarra, The CopaCabana Band, and Angelo y su Conjunto Modelo. The event takes place on Morrison Avenue and Westchester.

Also on August 18th, Lehman Center for the Performing Arts presents WILLIE COLÓN: La Historia. This concert which begins at 8pm marks the return of Bronx-born Willie Colón, renowned singer, trombonist, composer, producer and director after over a decade of absence from Lehman’s stage. Willie Colón has recorded 40 productions that have sold more than 30 million records worldwide.  His collaboration with Rubén Blades in the album Siembra, is the biggest selling album of all-time for the Salsa/Tropical genre.  Tickets: $50, $40, $30, www.lehmancenter.org

The excitement of live music continues on Sunday, August 19, at noon at Orchard Beach with the sounds of the Charanga All Stars. The band is led by Johnny Rodriguez, a Latin music veteran who throughout his 40-year music career has played with greats such as Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez and Eddie Palmieri. This event is sponsored by Bronx Lebanon Hospital.
Salseros won’t miss out on their last chance to dance salsa in the sand at Orchard Beach on Sunday, August 26, beginning at noon! Come and experience the rhythm of Jazz Master Papo Vázquez with his Pirates and Troubadors. This event is co-sponsored by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem and Bronx Lebanon Hospital. 
For information on more events taking place during Bronx SalsaFest, visit the Bronx Tourism Council’s website, www.ilovethebronx.com.
About the Bronx Tourism Council: Established in 1991, The Bronx Tourism Council is a subsidiary of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC), creating a cohesive and symbiotic relationship between arts and culture and economic development. The role of the Bronx Tourism Council is to promote the borough’s rich history, its institutions, and cultural diversity on a local, national, and international level.  

Monday, July 30, 2012


By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District, Bronx County, New York 

Celebrating John Orozco – And His Mother

You should know that many years ago when I was first elected to the New York City Council, John Orozco´s mother, Damaris, came to my office to ask my son, Ruben Diaz Jr., and myself for any assistance that we could offer.  She was determined to find a way for her Bronx family to afford to send John to a school where he could properly train in gymnastics.

We told her that we would do our best to help her and her family. As a City Councilmember and later as a New York State Senator, together with my son, who was a New York State Assemblyman we helped her family raise some money to send her son to train as a gymnast.

You should also know that as part of my outreach for help, I wrote to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to ask for any assistance he could offer.  Someone from Mayor Bloomberg's office did call me to ask what the letter was all about.  I explained that there was a poor family in my district who was reaching out for help for one of the children so that the child could have an opportunity that would never be possible without the generosity of others.  The Mayor's aide explained that the Mayor doesn't make personal donations and only gives to organizations or not-for-profit groups, but that he would see what he could do.

That was the last I heard about that.

Raising money was not easy, but John's mother never gave up.  Damaris Orozco is an incredibly determined and dedicated mother.  She made sure that her son would be able to achieve his goals.  When the residents of Harding Park held their Family Day, Damaris Orozco sold rice and beans to help raise money for John to attend gymnastics classes.  She drove him near and far so that he could train and so that his dream to compete in the Olympics could come true.

Now the world celebrates the achievements of Team USA Men’s Gymnastic Star John Orozco as he competes in the 2012 Olympics in London.  John’s mother must be very proud.  He certainly makes the Bronx proud, the United States proud – and he most definitely has made me proud!

Ladies and gentlemen, while I’m sorry that Mayor Bloomberg never came through with help for John Orozco, maybe it’s not too late. Maybe, just maybe, there is something Mayor Bloomberg can do to show his concern for John Orozco and his mother, and find ways to honor more families and individuals who also strive to achieve their dreams.

I am Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know.



Sunday, July 29, 2012

BP Diaz Helps Muslim Community Celebrate Ramadan

    On Thursday evening July 26th Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. helped the Muslim Community Break Fast that night during the religious observance of Ramadan. Ramadan which started on July 19th this year ends on August 19th, and is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. During the period of Ramadan it is custom to fast from early morning to sunset. 

    Even though there was a forecast of heavy rain and winds (that did occur) it did not stop the over 350 people who came from many parts of the 5 boroughs to Break Fast with BP Diaz. It was as if the rain and wind held up until the event started, and then ended before the event did. BP Diaz opened by thanking those who came, and said that this was the 4th time that he has done this in his tenure of 4 years. Diaz spoke of the diversity of the Bronx and of his office by saying that as an assemblyman he had Mr. Omar Basil on his staff, and now on his BP staff who made it clear to him of the customs of the Islamic people. 

    Ms. Maryam Hanifah Fofana (VP, The Islamic Support Foundation), Mr. Mohammad A. Jan (President, Madni Masjid of the Bronx), Maf Misbah Uddin (Treasurer of DC 37), and the Islamic Cultural Center (represented by Imam Abdulla Bajaha and Mr. Bakary Camara) were given awards  by BP Diaz for the outstanding work they do. You can see photos of the honorees and of New York City Comptroller John Liu below. Click on a photo to enlarge it.

Left - Ms. Maryam Hanifah Fofana and BP Diaz.       Right - Mr. Mohammad A. Jon and BP Diaz.

Left - Mr. Maf Misbah Uddin and BP Diaz.                    Right - Imam Abdullia Bajaha and Mr. Bakary Camara with BP DIAZ 

New York City Comptroller John Liu with good friend Mr. Ricardo Martinez 78th A.D. State Committeeman.

Bronx CAN (Changing Attitudes Now)Health Initiative

The Bronx CAN (Changing Attitudes Now)Health Initiative, an initiative of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr’s Office, brings together individuals, elected officials, government agencies, doctors and health providers, places of worship, community gardens and community centers, schools, civic-minded groups and physical fitness centers of all kinds to promote the types of behaviors that lead to healthy lifestyles.
The goal of the Bronx CAN Health Initiative is to have all members of our community – young and old alike – build healthier lives, free of ailments like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.
As part of the initiative community members are encouraged to set their own health goals, be it losing weight, exercising a few times a week or vowing to eat healthier through the
Bronx CAN Health Challenge
The Challenge check-in at Blink Fitness, located at 744 St.Ann’s Ave and East 156TH Street, on Saturday, August 11, from 10 a.m. - 12 noon, staff from Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center, a CAN partner, will be on site to register new and access current community residents, record their weight, body mass index and other measurements and screen for diabetes and high blood pressure. Blink Fitness will be extending free trials to all 18+ participants, and will have trainers on site to provide fitness tips. A final weigh-in will be hosted by Blink on SATURDAY, September 8, and they will be providing a complementary 6-month membership to the top male and female participants with the highest percentage of weight loss.

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The East 204th Street & Bainbridge Avenue Merchants Association Present Summer Streets 2012

The East 204th Street & Bainbridge Avenue Merchants Association (E204St & BAMA), in collaboration with the Mosholu Preservation Corporation and Bronx Community Board 7, is hosting its 2nd Summer Streets event series, a Department of Transportation (DOT)-sponsored "Temporary Pedestrian Street/Weekend Walks" program on two consecutive Sundays, July 29 and August 5, 2012 from 12PM - 5PM, along East 204th Street between Bainbridge and Decatur Avenues.

The intent of the program is to create a recurring, multi-block, pedestrian street to promote local businesses and organizations. The purpose of the Summer Streets 2012 events is to help stimulate the local neighborhood economy and bring community residents together.

We invite you to join us on these dates and enjoy fun-filled, family-friendly days in this vibrant community. 

On Sunday, July 29th, Summer Streets 2012 will feature:
·          Helmet Fittings by DOT   12PM - 4PM   In front of Leroy Pharmacy at 358 E. 204th St. (see flyer below for details)
·          Salsa Lessons with Steve Seda   2PM   In front of  Beso Lounge at 320 E. 204th St.  
·          Fitness Challenge Demos by Belin Sport & Fitness 
·          Basketball Tournament by Alpha Phi Alpha - Bronx Chapter
·          Outdoor Shopping 
·          Face Painting & More!

On Sunday, Aug. 5th, don't miss out on the Summer Streets 2012 Concert from 12-5PM, at E. 204th Street & Decatur Avenue, hosted by Anthony & Eileen of BronxNet's No Offense But... TV show!  
Highlights include Latin sensation Anayka, Italian Hip Hop Movement artist SALESE, new voice of music W.R.A.T.H, Hugga ROCKZ, Bachata singer El Happy High, Puerto Rican poet/singer/performer La Bruja and Latin Empire Entertainment artists, LoZoneros, a group born and raised in the Bronx bringing a whole new sound to the Latin urban movement, international recording artist Veronica Kole, and Salsa singer Arlene G! Also featuring special performances by ABADA-Capoeira Bronx, BHARATI Dance Academy, KR3TS Dance Company, Art of Stepping, and X Factor Drumline.  

The day will also feature:

- Fitness Challenge Demos by Belin Sport & Fitness 
- Outdoor Shopping  
- Face Painting & More! 


WHAT: Summer Streets Weekend Walks 2012
WHO: East 204th Street & Bainbridge Ave. Merchants Association
DATE: Sundays, July 29 and August 5, 2012
TIME: 12PM – 5PM
LOCATION: E. 204th Street between Bainbridge & Decatur Avenues, Bronx, NY 10467

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Councilman Larry Seabrook Found Guilty on 9 of 12 Charges

   Bronx City Councilman Larry Seabrook has been found guilty on 9 of the 12 charges presented by the Federal Government in its retrial case against Councilman Seabrook. The first trial ended in a hung jury which left Seabrook a free man until today's trail ending, but Seabrook remains out on bail until he is sentenced on January 8, 2013 

    Seabrook in a Daily News Story here   has been canned from the City Council, and that a special election date has been set to fill his now vacant seat for the date of the general election November 6th. The Daily News story has it as the end of an era of "Cash and Carry Larry".

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.   had this to say after the verdict came back

“Today’s conviction of Council Member Seabrook will allow our borough to move forward, beyond his unfortunate actions.

“The Bronx, as well as the entire City of New York, deserves honest, corruption free government, and the actions of one individual should by no means cast a bad light on the hundreds of hardworking elected officials, in my borough and beyond, who work everyday to represent their constituents and solve problems for their communities. That is the level of service and commitment the public deserves, and I intend to work with my colleagues to rebuild and restore the public’s faith in government,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

John Sampson Car Accident Now Costing 70 Thousand, and Climbing

Just How much will this Accident cost New York State, or should we say you the taxpayer. The 2012 Ford Taurus valued at $35,491.00 was totaled in the crash, while other cars were damaged in the accident. More on this can be found at this link to Capital Tonight which goes into detail about the damages to each car that was involved in the accident. Capital Tonight also includes that the New York Post reports that the car has piled up 23 parking tickets over the past 30 months.

I Will Be a Bionic Man

By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District, Bronx County, New York 

I Will Be a Bionic Man
You should know that according to Doctor Louis Rose, MD, a well-known orthopedic surgeon located at 3058 East Tremont Avenue in the Bronx, who will be performing knee transplant surgery on my left knee, if everything goes according to plan, I will end up being a bionic man.

This Thursday, July 26th, I will be having a knee transplant.  (Unfortunately, I will not be able to make it to the Abrazo Dominicano celebration that I have scheduled for this coming Friday night.)

So, to all of my friends and to all my foes, you should know that I will be out of commission and out of sight for the next 5 – 6 weeks.

Meanwhile, I already know that it will be very hard for me to remain idle for that period of time because knowing  how impatient, hyperactive and  the demanding person that I am, this will be torture for me.  This is an election season and I am up for re-election.  This is going to be a hot summer.  There are a lot of things to do, a lot of constituents to assist, and a lot of people to help.  To all of them, I extend my sorrow, but I have to take care of my leg.

But I assure you that If Doctor Rose’s prediction is correct, “I’ll be back”!!…..stronger.... better…and faster!

I am State Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know. 

248396_Vesta Square


At the Public Hearing conducted by the Board of Health on July 24, 2012, Council Member Oliver Koppell opposed the proposed ban on the sale of sugary beverages over 16 ounces in all restaurants and theaters, food carts and sports arenas regulated by the Health Department. In his testimony, Koppell said, “The proposed regulation is an obstruction of the rights of New Yorkers to choose for themselves the size of the beverages they want to consume and is a clear overreaching of the government into people’s everyday lives.”
He pointed out that the regulation is arbitrary and capricious insofar as it does not apply to all stores and other outlets serving drinks and it does not cover all high sugar beverages, just a select few, not based on health criteria.  Only the size of the cup is regulated, enabling a customer to purchase two or more 16 ounce drinks. It does not prohibit free refills and does not limit the prohibition to minors who arguably do not have the maturity to make a sound choice.
Comparing this regulation to the ban on smoking in restaurants, Koppell said that tobacco is a much more dangerous substance and, furthermore, the rule was enacted after it was passed by the legislative body elected by the people and then signed by the Mayor.  He pointed out that the prohibition on the ban of oversize sugary beverages, which affects thousands of businesses and millions of consumers, will be promulgated only by the Board of Health, an agency whose members are solely appointed by the Mayor.  )

Koppell acknowledged that obesity is a serious issue in New York and across the country, but said, “This regulation is neither a proper nor effective way of addressing the problem.” People are concerned, he said, that this infringement on the rights of New Yorkers will expand to other areas, such as mandating vegetables at every meal, regulating the size of candy bars or pizza slices or prohibiting bars from serving more than two drinks a customer.

Many healthy and health-conscious New Yorkers consume sugary beverages as part of countless pastimes such as movies or sports exhibitions and most of the time it is not reflective of an unhealthy lifestyle,” Koppell said.  “Regulation of this consumption will be regarded by many as an intrusion on their individual freedom, an opinion with which I concur.”
In conclusion, he said, “Let the people choose for themselves how much soda they wish to consume.  There are more effective approaches to battling obesity.”

We will add other comments as they come in.

505198_120x60 Diamond Jubilee

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Description: statement.jpg

City Comptroller John C. Liu stated the following on the announcement that same-sex marriage has generated $259 million in economic activity:

“Thirteen months ago our legislators did the right thing and voted to make same-sex marriage a reality, ensuring that New York State was among the leaders in equality. Today’s announcement is simply the icing on the wedding cake.”


Co-Op City Residents Rally Against 2013 Transit Fare Hike

Co-Op City Residents to Rally Against 2013 Transit Fare Hike

Call For Restoration Of Local Bus Service And Access-A-Ride

Co-Op City residents are tired of being asked to pay more for less when it comes to public transit. To get almost anywhere in New York City, they must transfer from a bus to a subway or even worse, from a bus to another bus before making it to the subway. Since the 2010 service cuts, this has been a fact-of-life in the transit desert that is Co-Op City

The loss of the Bx26 and the Bx28 and unpredictable Access-A-Ride service make public transit unreliable in a neighborhood that is home to approximately 55,000 New Yorkers.

WHEN            July 25, 2012, 7 pm

WHERE          Section One Greenway
                      Co-Op City The Bronx, NY, 10475 

WHO             State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson
                       Assembly Member Michael Benedetto
                       Office of U.S. Representative Eliot Engel
                       Retirees of Dreiser Loop
                       Co-Op City Against MTA Cuts
                       Transportation Alternatives
                       Local transit riders

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Monday, July 23, 2012


By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District, Bronx County, New York 

New York State’s Highest Ranking African American Leader: John Sampson
You should know that Senator John Sampson serves as New York State’s highest ranking African American elected official.  While Congressman Charlie Rangel serves in the U.S. Congress, it is John Sampson who serves as New York State Senate Minority Leader and as such, he is officially the highest ranking African American leader.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the National Action Network founded by Rev. Al Sharpton, the National Rainbow Coalition founded by Rev. Jesse Jackson and many other national and local organizations were created with one purpose in common: to fight for, obtain, and protect political, educational, social, and economic equality for the African American community.

You should all know about heroes in that struggle such as Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others who gave their lives to ensure that the African American community would be respected and that the African American community would obtain their fair share in participating in America’s political process.

In regards to John Sampson maintaining his leadership, I have to question: where have these organizations all been?  It seems to me that John Sampson has been abandoned.

All of the previously mentioned African American organizations have allowed Governor Andrew Cuomo and the political establishment to abuse, to make a mockery of, and practically destroy John Sampson.

They have even allowed four “Independent” Democrats to disregard Senator Sampson’s leadership and form their own Committee, creating a force that has practically ignored and disregarded the official political achievements of African Americans and the minority community in the State of New York.

Rev. Al Sharpton and his National Action Network seem to have dedicated themselves to  raising their voices on civil rights issues by engaging in lawsuits whenever there is abuse in the community.  On the other hand, the NAACP seems to have shifted its purpose to using its resources and energy to align themselves with the gay marriage and abortion issues.

I can remember that from time to time, my mother used to give my father grief when he would be out spending time with his friends.  I remember how my father used to tell my mother: “My friends are my friends with their virtues and their defects.”

My humble suggestion to the NAACP, to Rev. Al Sharpton, and to Rev. Jesse Jackson is to wake up and smell the coffee.  It’s time to get behind Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson right now and make sure that the African American community takes action to ensure that he doesn’t lose his leadership in New York State.   I only hope it’s not too late to make them realize what they may have lost already.

Instead of bowing to Governor Andrew Cuomo and others who make a mockery of what the African American community has already achieved, now is the time for the African American leadership nationwide to take a stand and extend to John Sampson, New York State’s highest ranking African American leader, the support he needs.  It’s time to show him the courtesy and respect he deserves and give him everything he needs to maintain his leadership position.

Because ladies and gentlemen, like my father used to tell my mother about his friends, John Sampson with his virtues and defects, is still a friend.

I am Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know. 



RE: Shooting Death of Four-Year Old Lloyd Morgan

“I am deeply saddened by last night’s incident in Morrisania, where four-year old Lloyd Morgan fell victim to gun violence while playing at a playground where his family and neighbors were enjoying a basketball game and barbecue. My heart goes out to his family through this difficult time as we keep little Lloyd Morgan in our prayers.   These senseless acts being committed in our borough, and in fact across the City and nation must stop.  It is disappointing that our residents can’t relax on a Sunday without fearing their life will be taken by a thug’s bullet. My office will continue to work to take as many illegal guns off of our streets as we possibly can.

I urge all Bronxites with knowledge of illegal guns in their community to call 866-GUN-STOP to anonymously report those guns to the police, a program that my office continues to promote through our ‘Peace in our Streets’ campaign,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

More information on the 866-GUN-STOP program can be found at the following link:

Statement from Assemblyman Marcos A. Crespo

First and foremost I wish to convey my deepest condolences to the Morgan family for the tragic death of 4 year old Lloyd Morgan. While no words can erase their pain, we must come together as a community and stand together to comfort and support the Morgan family during this difficult time.

I hope that anyone with any information about the individuals or groups responsible for this tragedy come forward and help law enforcement in their efforts for a expeditious investigation and arrest. If anyone has information, I urge them to call 1800 577 TIPS (8477).

Lastly, as the media discusses this case in relation to the debate over stop and frisk policies, it is my hope that our continuous pleas for reform will not get distorted into something they are not. We must proactively use every tool to address illegal guns and criminal behavior in all communities, but tools must be used appropriately. The numbers related to stop and frisk do not support the theory that it has been used effectively or that it has deterred the use of illegal guns.

We welcome and are always willing to partner with law enforcement to eradicate criminal behavior and put an end to this violence. But we will achieve nothing with a war of words and no real discussion. Our communities remain desperate for resources and services to offer alternatives to violence for our youth, and not addressing this very real need serves no one. The loss of after school programs, resources for local volunteer groups, and little education and job placement services must be discussed as part of the answer to go along with law enforcement.

As I stated to Ms. Morgan, I will do my part to support her family, and strongly encourage any witnesses to come forward with information that will lead to the arrest of those responsible.

Statemant from Senator Rev Ruben Diaz:
“I wish I could find a way to offer some comfort to the family and neighbors of 4 year Lloyd Morgan.  My thoughts and prayers are with them. We cannot allow  the killing to continue.  We cannot allow the violence to continue. We cannot continue to tell parents of innocent victims “I’m sorry and I feel your pain,”  while practically giving criminals and thugs a carte blanche to continue with these shootings.

I understand that there are many people that will not go along with my decision to support the Stop and Frisk Policy but if the Stop and Frisk policy can make a difference, then we need to realize that it’s time to support Stop and Frisk,  and that a life such as Little Lloyd Morgan is worth more than  anyone feeling discomfort by being stopped and searched by the police.   

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Movie in Seton Park

   The Kingsbridge Riverdale Van Cortlandt Development Corporation presented the movie "Back to the Future" in Seton Park on Saturday July 21st. You can see in the photos below how the event was set up, the pre movie warm up, and as it got darker only the movie. About 250 people and their children attended with many saying how great it was to see a movie in the park, and for free. The list of commercial  sponsors however was read before the movie started, and KRVDC also had a stand set up to sell snacks and merchandise or sign up people to some of the sponsors services. There were also a few giveaways provided by some of the sponsors. 

   Before the movie the Riverdale Children's Theatre put on a performance of three songs from upcoming events that they are having. The song "Everybody Wants to be an Aristocat" by "The Aristocats Kids" was sung first by the younger children in the group, who will be presenting on Monday July 30 and Tuesday July31 Disney's "Aristocats". Next was the theme song from "Legally Blond"  (the musical) to be presented Sunday August 5th (1 & 5 PM), Monday August 6th at 7 PM, and on Tuesday August 7th also at 7 PM. The third song was "Seasons of Love" from the Broadway play "Rent". For more information RCT, location, and any admission charges you can go to www.RIVERDALETHEATRE.ORG..

Left - The movie projector is being set up.  Right - The KRVDC stand.

Left - The RiverDale Children's Theatre get ready to sing.  Right are the children performing before the movie.

Left - some of the crowd.     Right - The movie "Back to the Future" begins.

Left - as the sun goes down it becomes better to view the movie.     Right - The sun is completely down.

Click on any photo to enlarge it.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Bronx Democratic County Committee Dinner

    On Thursday July 19th The Bronx Democratic County Committee held their annual dinner. The room at Marina Del Ray was filled with Loyal Bronx Democrats as those Bronx Democrats who are challenging current Bronx Democratic County organization supported candidates were told "Do Not Attend". Even though their names were read at the dinner at least two State Committee members were not at the dinner as they are either running against or running with candidates that are challenging incumbents assembly members that are being backed by the Bronx Democratic County organization. It was said over and over who the Bronx Democratic County organization is endorsing, but not why, only because they are incumbents. Several people at the dinner told me that they were not happy that people were told not to come to a dinner that is suppose to be inclusive to all democrats. 
    While the room may have been filed we did not see several elected officials such as all three or four (depending on how you count them) members of congress that represent one part of the Bronx or another. We will say however that Congress was in session so all were in Washington, and had staff members standing in for them. We saw only State Senator Gustavo Rivera who stayed for a while, but no other state senators such as Senators Ruth Hassel-Thompson, Jeff Klein, Adriano Espaillat, Jose Marcos Serrano, and Ruben Diaz Sr. We also did not see some Bronx City Council and State Assembly members who may have come and gone quickly. We will say that we saw former Governor David Paterson and former Bronx Borough President Adolpho Carrion, and Bronx DA Robert Johnson.
   The honorees were Mr. Simon Bergson (President and C.E.O., Manhattan Beer), Mr. Fernando Brinn (President, Nandicarm Ltd.). Ms Marlene Cintron (President, BOEDC), Mr. Gregory Floyd (President Teamsters Local 237), Mr. Ernest Logan (President of the CSA), and Ms. Kathryn Wylde (President and C.E.O., Partnership for NYC). It was Mr. Ernest Logan who may of had the best line of the night when he said "Do not let people who know nothing about your children educate and make decisions for them" referring to Mayor Bloomberg and the Department of Education.
   Other highlights were the announcement by Chairman Heastie that he and the BDCC were supporting assembly candidate Luis Supelveda in the open 87th A.D. race. Bronx BP Ruben Diaz Jr. said that the Bronx is getting one of the only five new Macy's Department stores to be built in the country, Fresh Direct coming to the Bronx, Donald Trumps new golf course in the Bronx, the debate for a "Living Wage" began and ended in the Bronx, and that outer borough taxi's happened because of Chairman Heastie and the Bronx delegation. Diaz then predicted that the Yankees would win again, in 2013 the Bronx will have a say in the elections that year, Gillabrand and Obama will be re-elected, and that all Bronx incumbents will be re-elected, 
  With the Yankees having a huge lead, the race for president at almost 50/50, some Bronx incumbents having what looks like very tough races, and with City Council Speaker Quinn and Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio (two of the top candidates for mayor in 2013) not in attendance we wonder if BP Diaz should leave the predicting to us. However we do agree with BP Diaz on three of his predictions. Below are a few photos of the event, and if the photos appear a little dark that is due to the low lighting in most of the room.

Left - State Comptroller Tom Di Napoli with 85th A.D. Marcos Crespo.   Left City Comptroler (and candidate for mayor in 2013) John Liu addresses the crowd while Chairman Heastie looks on.

Left - Ms. Marlene Cintron of BOEDC.   Right - Former Bronx BP Adolpho Carrion. 


Friday, July 20, 2012

Colorado Movie Theater Shooting

Below are statements that are coming in about the Colorodo Movie Theater Shooting
(More will be added as they come in.)


“I, along with all 1.4 million residents of the Bronx, would like to extend our most heartfelt condolences to the victims of last night’s deadly movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado.  It is absolutely shocking that someone would look to hurt hard working individuals who wanted to do nothing more than relax and watch a movie with friends and family. 
“I and the residents of the Bronx will keep the victims of this devastating event, as well as the entire state of Colorado, in our prayers,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. 

Mayor Bloomberg has stepped up security by stationing NYC police officers at theaters where the Dark Night movie is being shown in New York City. Bloomberg has also called for stricter gun laws, and for both presidential candidates to make gun control a major issue in the presidential election.

From 87th A.D. Assembly candidate Luis Sepulveda  
“Whether it occurs on the streets of the Bronx, or in a crowded movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, the scourge of violence perpetrated by guns is an egregious affront to a civilized society. In solidarity with the victims and their families of last night’s mass shooting, I extend my heartfelt condolences. Hopefully, we can take something away from this, so that the untimely deaths of these people will not be in vain.”

As more statements come in we will add them to these. feel free to add your comment.

Klein, Dinowitz, Koppell, and BP Diaz Applaud MTA Decision to Return Bx34 Bus Service to Woodlawn

Group Ride Vehicle Will Continue Serving Residents Until Bx34 is Back Online

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, State Senator Jeff Klein, and New York City Council Member Oliver Koppell are pleased to announce restoration of weekend services to the Bx34 bus line, which services parts of Norwood, Woodlawn and Van Cortlandt Village.

The MTA is restoring weekend service for the Bx34 from East 242nd Street to Fordham Road via Bainbridge Avenue as part of a $29 million service investment throughout New York City.  These services were originally reduced as part of the MTA’s 2009-2010 budget-balancing cuts.  The implementation of the service investments will begin in October and continue into the spring of 2013.

"I am extremely pleased that the MTA has listened to the community and its elected officials by restoring Bx34 bus service,” said Assemblyman Dinowitz. “The Bx34 bus is extremely important for the Woodlawn community, and the previous service cutbacks caused extreme inconvenience for many people in that neighborhood. Woodlawn, like other communities in the North Bronx, deserves top notch public transportation services, and this restoration will go a long way towards that goal. I thank the MTA and Board Member Charles Moerdler for this important restoration, and I praise the many Woodlawn residents who spoke loudly and clearly in favor of restoring Bx34 bus services."

“This is a great day for Woodlawn.  When the MTA cut Bx34 service two years ago it was a real blow to the community,” Senator Klein said. “This restoration of service is a true testament to the power of both community organizing and legislative teamwork.”

Senator Klein also noted the positive impact of the Woodlawn Group Ride Vehicle, a transportation alternative launched earlier this year by Senator Klein and Assemblyman Dinowitz, in conjunction with the Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky and the van’s operator, Carl Gomes.

“The group ride vehicle was a great success, not only in transporting residents, but in showing the MTA that there was a real need for Bx34 service,” Senator Klein said. “We applaud the MTA’s decision to restore service and look forward to a swift implementation. In the meantime, Assemblyman Dinowitz and I will ensure that the group ride vehicle continues to serve the residents of Woodlawn.”

“I am pleased that the MTA has heard our concerns and the pleas of the community, who were left stranded by the loss of overnight and weekend Bx34 bus service,” said Council Member Koppell.

Borough President Diaz also thanked MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph Lhota as well as the borough’s two representatives on the MTA Board of Directors—Fernando Ferrer and Charles Moerdler—for their work to make these service expansions possible. He also thanked those elected officials and community organizations that worked together with his office and each other to advocate for these new and restored services, including City Council Transportation Committee Chairman James Vacca, State Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, and City Council Member G. Oliver Koppell.

The MTA announced the creation of new bus service for western Hunts Point and Barretto Point Park, a project that has been a high priority for Borough President Diaz for several years. The MTA also announced that they would extend the Bx13 bus line to the Gateway Center Mall, the restoration of weekend service on the Bx34 that serves Woodlawn, Norwood, Bedford Park and Fordham, and expanded service on the three Metro North lines that serve the Bronx.


Wave Hill Events August 3–August 10

This one-hour class is taught by Lisa Ferraro, an instructor at Yoga for Bliss. Please wear loose, comfortable clothing and bring a mat if possible. Recommended for ages 2–5. Sessions are held outdoors only and are weather dependent. Call 718.549.3200 x245 by 8AM on the day of the class for weather updates. Session fee: $15 Member/$23 Non-member. Session fee includes one adult and one child, Registration opens onsite at 9:30AM.

Short and long form classes are led by Irving Yee, an active member of the William CC Chen Tai Chi School. Sessions are held outdoors only and are weather dependent. Call 718.549.3200 x245 by 8AM on the day of the class for weather updates. Session fee: $15 Member/$23 Non-member. Registration opens onsite at 9:30AM.
ON THE GROUNDS, 10AM Beginners, 11AM Intermediates

Spray a Garden/Jardines de acuarelas
Free, and admission to the grounds is free until noon.

The one-hour tour begins in Glyndor Gallery. Free with admission to the grounds.

Provided by Assistant Director of Public Programs Laurel Rimmer and a chef from Wave Hill exclusive caterer Great Performances. Free with admission to the grounds.

Classes are led by Neem Dewji, certified in Hatha and Therapeutic Yoga from The Yoga for Health Foundation in Bedfordshire, England, and The Integral Yoga Institute in NYC. Participants should bring a mat, dress in loosely fitting clothing and come to class with breakfast well digested. All levels welcomed. Sessions are held outdoors only and are weather dependent. Call 718.549.3200 x245 by 8AM on the day of the class for weather updates. Session fee: $15 Member/$23 Non-member. Registration opens onsite at 9:30AM.

Spray a Garden/Jardines de acuarelas
Free with admission to the grounds.

Led b poet Todd Shalom, Director of Elastic City. No previous poetry-writing experience necessary. $20 Member/$30 Non-member each session. Registration recommended; drop-ins welcome as space allows. Register online at www.wavehill.org, by calling 718.549.3200 x305 or at the Perkins Visitor Center.

Join us for an hour-long tour of seasonal garden highlights. Free with admission to the grounds.

Closed to the public

Sessions are held outdoors only and are weather dependent. Ideal for ages 3 and up and their adult companions. Free, and admission to the grounds is free all day.

Tours take place Tuesdays and Saturdays at 2PM, through August 18. Free, and admission to the grounds is free all day.

Gardens open until 8:30PM. Glyndor Gallery, Perkins Visitor Center, The Shop at Wave Hill and Food Service open until 8PM. Check www.wavehill.org/visit for the schedule for Sunset Wednesdays free shuttle service to and from Metro-North and the #1 subway. All events are free with admission to the grounds with the exception of yoga.

Sunset Wednesday sessions are taught by Yoga for Bliss instructor Joanne Salome. Participants should bring a mat if possible, dress in loosely fitting clothing and come to class with their latest meal well digested.  All levels welcomed. Sessions are held outdoors only and are weather dependent. Call 718.549.3200 x245 by 8AM on the day of the class for weather updates. Session fee: $15 Member/$23 Non-member. Registration onsite day-of.

Free with admission to the grounds.

WED, AUGUST 8    BxINDIE MUSIC AT SUNSET—JAZZ TRIOTonight, the Joe Farnsworth Trio, with Mike DiRubbo on sax, Joe Farnsworth on drums and John Webber on bass, offer an evening of jazz.  Free with admission to the grounds.

Wave Hill provides easels and boards, and you bring art-making materials and paper or canvas. All levels welcome; new artists encouraged! Facilitated group critique at the end of each session. Weather dependent. Session fee: $10 Member/$18 Non-member. Registration day-of at Perkins Visitor Center starting at 9:30AM. Meet on the grounds for critiques. This weekly series continues through August.

Free with admission to the grounds.

This one-hour class is taught by Lisa Ferraro, an instructor at Yoga for Bliss. Please wear loose, comfortable clothing and bring a mat if possible. Recommended for ages 2–5. Sessions are held outdoors only and are weather dependent. Call 718.549.3200 x245 by 8AM on the day of the class for weather updates. Session fee: $15 Member/$23 Non-member. Session fee includes one adult and one child, Registration opens onsite at 9:30AM.


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—4:30PM. Closes 5:30PM, March 15—October 31.  
ADMISSION  $8 adults, $4 students and seniors 65+, $2 children 6—18. Free Saturday mornings until noon. Free all day on August Tuesdays.  Free to Wave Hill Members and children under 6.

PROGRAM FEES  Program s 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 http://mta.info/mnr/html/getaways/outbound_wavehill.htm

DIRECTIONS – Getting here is easy! Located only 3o 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 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 www.wavehill.org/visit/.

Information at 718.549.3200. On the web at www.wavehill.org.