Wednesday, October 31, 2012


    City Comptroller John C. Liu today released his Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for Fiscal Year 2012. The report shows that, despite difficult economic circumstances, for the 32nd consecutive year New York City completed its fiscal year with a General Fund surplus, as determined by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). The report is due on Oct. 31st each year, as required by the City Charter.

“We are pleased to present the city’s financial report on time, notwithstanding Hurricane Sandy,” said Comptroller Liu. “The City’s budget is balanced for fiscal 2012. We expect some economic and revenue growth over the next few years, but must be vigilant aboutlooming deficits, the cost impact of the hurricane, and the potentialfiscal cliff requiring Washington’s action.”

Among other important economic findings, the report contains updateson New York City’s finances, including:

City pension funds, which paid benefits totaling $11.5 billion duringfiscal year 2012 funded from the sale of investments. Employer andemployee contributions to the City pension funds were $9.1billion and$1.0 billion, respectively.

As of June 30, 2012, the City pension funds had aggregate investmentassets, excluding cash from the settlement of pending purchases andsales, of $122.1 billion representing an increase of $2.1 billion from the June 30, 2011 value of $119.9 billion. During the fiscal year, the market value of the assets ranged from a low of $108.1 billion to a high of $123.8 billion.

Notable securities litigation developments in fiscal year 2012 included the appointment on December 28, 2011 of the City pension funds as lead plaintiffs in the securities class action pending against Community Health Systems, Inc.; and a derivative lawsuit against officers and directors of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in connection with their alleged failure to properly investigate and remedy a reported bribery scheme in Mexico. In a securities class-action lawsuit against Wachovia Corp. in which the City pension funds were lead plaintiff, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted final approval on June 12, 2012 to a $75 million cash settlement of the action, which related to that company’s alleged failure to disclose problems with its residential mortgage loans.

In Fiscal Year 2012, the Comptroller’s Bureau of Audit issued 92 audits and special reports. Many of these audits focused on the effectiveness and service quality of City programs. Others focused on financial issues, identifying approximately $304.3 million in actual and potential revenue and savings. Reviews of claims filed against the City identified another $25.6 million in cost avoidance.

In fiscal year 2012, the City paid $588.6 million in settlements and judgments (tort and non-tort), representing a 3% increase from the prior year. These cases ranged from trip and fall to medical malpractice, police action, property damage, and contract claims.

In fiscal year 2012, the City and its Blended Component Units issued $10.10 billion of long-term bonds to finance the City’s capital needs and to refinance certain outstanding bonds for interest savings. The New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority (Water Authority) issued $3.51 billion of long-term bonds to finance the City’s capital plan and to refinance certain of its outstanding bonds for interest savings. Conditions were ideal for refinancing outstanding bond issues. The City issued a total of $4.28 billion of refunding bonds
through the General Obligation, New York City Transitional Finance Authority (TFA), and Water Authority credits. This accounted for 31% of the total issuance for these credits and generated a total of $523.88 million in present value savings.




The New York Blood Center (NYBC) has lost approximately 4500 units of blood due to cancellations Mon – Wed.  They anticipate that they will continue to be forced to cancel blood drives throughout the weekend and perhaps even into next week. 
Monday, 10/29, NYBC operated just 5 of 45 Sites (45 Operations - A  combination of Donor Centers and Community blood drives).
 Tuesday, 10/30, NYBC operated just 4 of 45 Sites (45 Operations - A   combination of Donor Centers and Community blood drives).
Wednesday 10/31, NYBC are operating just 10 of 45 Sites.
NYBC hopes to be at 50% of capacity Thursday and perhaps 75% by Friday and the weekend.
In all, NYBC will likely have lost 6000 or more donations, and types O-, B- and platelets are in extremely short supply.
Anything you can do to help would be really appreciated.

This FRIDAY, November 2nd, 2012
9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Bronx County Building
851 Grand Concourse-Veterans Memorial Hall -1st Floor Rotunda.


Veterans Recognition Luncheon!! Nov 5th!! MUST RSVP!!


NYC Business Assistance Programs for Businesses Affected by Hurricane Sandy

Attention Businesses Affected by Hurricane Sandy! 

New York City, including the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), is coordinating a set of services to assist small businesses in recovering from Hurricane Sandy. Below is an outline of available programs and relevant contact information.  

New York City Business Assistance Programs

For small- to mid-sized businesses that have experienced business interruption
A low-interest working capital bridge loan program will be available, patterned after similar programs deployed in past emergencies. Loans will be capped at $10,000. The application and intake process is still being determined. Please contact NYC Business Solutions staff as outlined below.

For mid- to large-sized businesses that need to undertake rebuilding
An emergency sales tax letter from New York City Industrial Development Authority (IDA) will be available allowing businesses to avoid payment of New York City and New York State sales taxes on materials purchased for rebuilding. IDA will also waive all fees and, while following State law, look to streamline its normal procedure. This program is expected to offer economic benefits to reconstruction projects costing $500,000 or more. Please contact Shin Mitsugi at for further information on this program.

For any business that is temporarily displaced from its space
Short-term "swing" office space at Brooklyn Army Terminal available free of charge for the next 30 days. NYCEDC has approximately 40,000 square feet of warehouse space at the Terminal that can be used for this purpose. Please contact NYC Business Solutions staff as outlined below. 

For any business in need of assistance
SBS will be the primary point of contact for all businesses seeking assistance - all of whom should call if they need help.

The SBS Business Outreach Team and Emergency Response Unit's Large Scale Response Team will be deployed after the storm to help all impacted small businesses. This team is currently on-call for any storm-related business inquiries and is closely coordinating with the NYC Office of Emergency Management. 

NYC Business Solutions Centers will coordinate with local community-based-organizations in severely affected areas to help businesses with the application process for the emergency loan program.

NYC Business Solutions contact information
For further information on the above programs, please contact NYC Business Solutions by filling out our Contact an Account Manager form or calling 311 and asking for "NYC Business Solutions."

Federal Aid Programs for State of New York Disaster Recovery

Loans are available up to $2 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance. Loans of up to $2 million are also available for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster's adverse economic impact. This loan in combination with a property loss loan cannot exceed a total of $2 million.

Those in the county designated for assistance to affected residents and business owners can begin the disaster application process by registering online at, by web enabled mobile device at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers are available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) Monday through Sunday until further notice.  Applicants registering for aid should be prepared to provide basic information about themselves (name, permanent address, phone number), insurance coverage and any other information to help substantiate losses.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Post Hurricane Sandy The Photos

     Some of the photos of the day after Hurricane Sandy in the Northwest Bronx. You can click on any photo to enlarge it.

Left - one of the many many trees that were uprooted by Hurricane Sandy. 
Right - One of the many scenes you may have encountered on a secondary street. 
Left- Water is almost touching the Amtrak Bridge 
Right - This track reported to be under water during Hurricane Sandy, looked fine to us.

Left - Northbound Diesel powered train goes through station to see conditions.
Right - You can see the rear of the train and debris on the track to the right of the train.
Left - Tree covers car on street. 
Right - Another car has (live ?) wires on it.
Left - Henry Hudson Bridge is closed by MTA Police. It opened after 1 PM.
Right - Department of Sanitation crew taking away a tree that fell across this road.

Left - Tree on Sedwick Avenue fell on power lines and two cars. Yes those are live wires next to the cars, I was told.
Right - Utility pole was taken down by the tree and lies in the middle of Sedwick Avenue guarded by a police officer from the 50th Precinct. I was told that the wires on the downed pole were still live, hence the need for the police officer.

Post Hurricane UPDATE 5 PM

Its 5 PM and the #1,#2, #7, #10 and other buses are back on the road.
It is expected that subway service will not be restored for four days or until next week.
The water level in Lower Manhattan is slowly receding, but several areas are still flooded.
Power is still out to lower Manhattan below 40th Street, and may be out for several more days.
The Metropolitan area has been declared a disaster area.
Most bridges have reopened. The Battery Tunnel remains closed due to flooding.
4.5 million people are still without power in NYC, Long Island New Jersey and Connecticut.
18 people have been found dead in NYC with 3 more missing.
In the Far Rockaway several people have been arrested for looting.
Many trees are down and several bus routes will have to be detoured around them.

More later with photos.


Tuesday AM--


Lower Manhattan was under water.
The East Side was flooded to 1st Avenue.
The West side Highway was under Water.
Electricity below 40th Street in Manhattan was out Monday night continuing into today.
All roads on Long Island were closed.
All Subway and commuter railroads are still not running.
There are subway stations that are still flooded, and tunnels under the East River that are still under water.
A boat landed across Metro North Tracks on the Hudson line in Westchester County.
NYC schools will be closed on Wednesday.
Millions of people are still without power.
Fires ranged out of control in low lying areas that were flooded.
Downed power lines were everywhere.

More as details come in.

Monday, October 29, 2012


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

A Word or Three about Yellow Journalism
You should know that the Saturday, October 27th New York Post column “State Dems shaking off scandals in polls” used the photos of three minority Senate Democrats: Pedro Espada, Jr., Hiram Monserrate, and Shirley Huntley to highlight corruption in the State Senate.

The New York Post, apparently disappointed with recent polls showing that New Yorkers want the Democrats to take back control of the State Senate, pointed out how Black and Hispanic Democrats have been indicted, belong in jail, or are accused of corruption.  This New York Post article includes Senators Malcolm Smith, John Sampson and Eric Adams in their story, despite the fact that none of these Senators has ever been indicted of nor found guilty of anything – except being Black.

New York Post readers need to be wary because the Post somehow continues to overlook the corruption that is, has been, and continues to exist in the Republican Party by those Senate colleagues.

Lawmakers facing corruption charges are not exclusive to Democrats, nor are they exclusive to Black and Hispanic Senators, but the New York Post seems to make believe or ignore these facts.  It may be the case that they are using their paper to slant their story or lie to their readers.

There are many ways of lying.  You can lie by purposely ignoring the truth or speaking in half-truths.  You can lie by only releasing the part of the story that you want to release.  You can lie by making people believe that “this” is the whole truth while you knowingly hide the rest. You can lie by slanting the truth.

In this case, the New York Post exposes and accuses only Democratic Senators - highlighting Black and Hispanic Senators – while hiding the truth that there are at least as many among the ranks of the Republicans in the New York State Senate who have been accused of corruption and have been or may belong in jail.

Let’s start at the top.
Republican Senate Leader Joseph Bruno’s corruption was so egregious that it resulted in the Public Corruption Prevention and Enforcement Act.  (I have no recollection of any stronger piece of legislation that resulted from the scandalous acts of any Black or Hispanic Senate Democrat.)  Judge Gary L. Sharpe chastised Republican Senator Joseph Bruno during sentencing by telling the Republican Senate Leader:  “You trampled on the integrity of the State Legislature.”

Disgraced Republican Senator Guy Velella ended his political career in the New York State Senate after he was convicted of bribery and went to prison.

Republican Senator Vincent Leibell is a convicted felon, guilty of taking kickbacks from a charity he founded which was funded with millions of taxpayer dollars.  He pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and tax evasion.

Republican Senator Nick Spano pleaded guilty to tax evasion.  During his sentencing, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated: “When Nicholas Spano took the oath of office, he swore to uphold the law, and yet he did exactly the opposite. There is absolutely no place in government for lawbreakers, and we will continue to do everything within our power to prosecute and punish them.”

There are calls to investigate Republican Senate Deputy Majority Leader Tom Libous about a downstate law firm hiring his son, which, according to a witness in a recent federal corruption trial, was in exchange for the promise of more business.

Let's not forget the story about Republican Senator Jim Alesi, who doesn't exactly make the Republican Party shine.  Senator Alesi trespassed on a homeowner's property, fell and broke his leg.  Although the owners declined to press charges against him, Senator Alesi proceeded to sue the building contractor, DiRisio Builders. The New York Daily News editorial “State Sen. James Alesi is suing constituents when he should be apologizing for acting like an idiot” began with the following: “Remember the old joke about the kid who murdered his parents, then pleaded for mercy on grounds of being an orphan?”

While there is so much more to share about the Republican Senate, I will stop here, for now.

I ask my readers to always keep in mind that just because something appears in a newspaper, in a tabloid, or on the internet doesn’t mean it’s true. I also ask my friends in the media to keep in mind that just because the majority of New Yorkers want to see Democrats control the New York State Senate doesn’t mean that the New York Post or anyone else should engage in the use ugly racial tactics to try to undercut these hopes.

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

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ben Franklin Club Celebrates Obama Pre-Victory

   In a gathering of almost 100 people the Ben Franklin Club had an early celebration of President Obama's win on election day at the home of City Council Candidate Andrew Cohen. In what has become one of the worst kept secrets, Mr. Cohen has said that he will make a decision after election day about running for term limited City Councilman G. Oliver Koppell's seat. Cohen was elected as a Vice-Chair of the Bronx Democratic County Committee, and has filed with the city's campaign Finance Board as a candidate.

   In attendance were Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, (Mayoral/Comptroller candidate), Congressman Eliot Engel, State Senators Jeff Klein and Gustavo Rivera, 81st A.D. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, Brooklyn Councilwoman Letitia James (candidate for Public Advocate in 2013).

   Councilman Koppell expressed his view that President Obama has a chance of loosing the popular vote, but winning the all important “Electoral College” that elects the president. Congressman Engel took a swipe at his Republican opponent on election day, by asking Assemblyman Dinowitz if it was the same person Dinowitz soundly defeated two years ago. Yes it is replied Dinowitz. Senator Gustavo Rivera standing near Councilman Koppell thanked him for his over 40 years of public service as an elected official. Senator Jeff Klein said that the election is important as it is between what is right and wrong. Klein added “we have to make sure programs continue, and are not cut or discontinued”. It was said that Councilman Koppell has been a member of the Ben Franklin Democratic Club since 1966. Back then the club was known as “The Ben Franklin Reform Democratic Club”. 
   Questions I asked – Manhattan BP Stringer – Is it true that you are going to run for Comptroller instead of mayor? Reply by Stringer, I have not made up my mind yet.
State Senator Jeff Klein – In 2016 if Gov. Cuomo runs for president and current Attorney General Eric Schniderman runs for governor, would you run for A.G. Reply by Klein – I don't know, it could be a possibility if what I said all happens, but that is to far away to think about now.
Councilwoman James – Are you afraid of facing Brooklyn Councilman Charles Barrons who has said he wants to run for Public Advocate also. Reply by James – Don't believe what Barrons is saying, he and his wife are going to try to swap positions in the council and assembly. An interesting note was that we both agreed that Bronx BP Ruben Diaz Jr. would not be running for citywide office next year. James said that Diaz Jr. is doing a fine job as Bronx BP, but still has to raise the image of the Bronx and himself more before considering citywide office. 

Left - Manhattan Borough President Stringer is flanked on his right by Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and left by City Council candidate Andrew Cohen.
Right - State Senators Jeff Klein and Gustave Rivera with Assemblyman Dinowitz.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Riverdale Temple Holiday Gift and Craft Sale

        “EARLY BIRD” SPECIALS!  Beat the holiday rush!
When:  SUNDAY - NOVEMBER 18, 2012
Time:   9:00 AM until 3:00 PM
            4545 Independence Ave.,Bronx, NY 10471
Great refreshments!  Kids’ activities!
**VENDOR SPACES AVAILABLE FOR THE DAY - First come, first served!
$ 60.00  PER  6’  TABLE  or  $ 80.00  PER  8’  TABLE- with your own table
$ 10.00 extra if you do not have your own table!

Please contact:  
Rita: or call (718) 614-4932       
Deb:     (718) 548-3800 ext. 0 or 1

Wave Hill Events November 9–November 16

Print the Palisades/Impreciónes de la naturaleza
Spot the glowing leaves across the river and sketch the shapes and sizes of leaves and trees outdoors. Using the eye-popping colors of fall foliage, make bright and vibrant collage prints.  Free, and admission to the grounds is free until noon.

Join an exhibition interpreter for one of our regularly scheduled tours of Wave Hill’s fall exhibition Foregrounding the Palisades, sculptural installations by artists Isidro Blasco, Blane de St. Croix and Paula Winokur that focus on the cliffs across the Hudson River, a quintessential feature of Wave Hill’s vista—and history.  In the Sunroom, Gail Biederman suspends a net-like map of commercial and handmade felt reflecting local topography. Tours take place Tuesdays and Saturdays at 2PM. Free with admission to the grounds.

Naturalist Gabriel Willow contributes his extensive knowledge of bird species and behaviors on these walks through the gardens and woodlands of Wave Hill. Ages 10 and older welcome with an adult. Severe weather cancels. For weather-related updates, call 718.549.3200 x245 by 8AM the
day of the walk. Free with admission to the grounds. (NYC Audubon Members enjoy two-for-one admission.) Registration required, online at, by calling 718.549.3200 x305 or at the Perkins Visitor Center.

Print the Palisades/Impreciónes de la naturaleza
Spot the glowing leaves across the river and sketch the shapes and sizes of leaves and trees outdoors. Using the eye-popping colors of fall foliage, make bright and vibrant collage prints. Free with admission to the grounds.

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

Gail Biederman is interested in mapping, topography and patterns of growth, whether natural or artificial. For her Sunroom Project, Biederman creates a net-like map made of commercial and handmade felt that reflects the topography of the Bronx and is suspended from the ceiling. Referencing the local environment, the handmade felt incorporates natural elements, such as leaves, vines and sticks from Wave Hill’s gardens. The piece transforms the typical flatness of maps, altering the urban streets of the Bronx into a vibrant and evocative form. Free with admission to the grounds.

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

Join an exhibition interpreter for one of our regularly scheduled tours of Wave Hill’s fall exhibition Foregrounding the Palisades, sculptural installations by artists Isidro Blasco, Blane de St. Croix and Paula Winokur that focus on the cliffs across the Hudson River, a quintessential feature of Wave Hill’s vista—and history.  In the Sunroom, Gail Biederman suspends a net-like map of commercial and handmade felt reflecting local topography. Tours take place Tuesdays and Saturdays at 2PM. Free, and admission to the grounds is free all day.
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 until noon October Tuesdays, and all day Tuesdays in November. 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

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

Information at 718.549.3200. On the web at

Thursday, October 25, 2012

More Affordable Housing in the Bronx with Intervale Senior Residences Ribbon Cutting on November 2nd

Affordable Housing in the Bronx
Intervale Senior Residences Ribbon Cutting Scheduled for November 2, 2012 11:00 A.M. 1115 Intervale Avenue Bronx, NY
The project is comprised of one eight-story mid-rise residential building containing approximatel42,470-square-feet of gross buildinarea, with the residentiaspace divided into 47 rental apartments plus one unit reserved fosuperintendent.  Apartments at Intervale Senior Residences will be reserved for low-income households 55 years of age and older. The unit distribution will include 13 studios, and 35 one-bedroom apartments.  

The development also includes a rear garden, six parking spaces, laundry facilities and an approximately 2,200-square-foot cellar-level community facility space that provides gathering space for tenants and may also be used to provide supportive services.

Funding provided by:
New York City Housing and Development Corporation
NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development

Capital funds provided by:
Bronx Borough Presidents Office
City Councilmember Maria Del Carmen Arroyo

Azimuth Development
SEBCO Development
Ron Shulman

Project Consulting:
Best Development 

General Contractor:
Joy Construction

Architecture and Planning:
Aufgang Subotovsky

Kathy Zamechansky, KZA Realty Group - Represented Azimuth Development
David Simone, Masey Knackel Broker – Seller

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


     City Comptroller John C. Liu released the following statement on the $1 billion lawsuit filed by the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan against Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) for fraudulent mortgage practices:
“We support the U.S. Attorney’s efforts to hold Bank of America accountable for its questionable mortgage practices.  It is truly unfortunate and damaging for homeowners, investors, and the general public that it has come to this,” Comptroller Liu said.  “Every foreclosure is not only a family losing a home, but also a dent in our City’s economy.  Moreover, as investors, my office and our City Pension Funds have repeatedly requested since 2010 that the bank correct systemic flaws in its mortgage and foreclosure procedures.  At each turn, the bank has rebuffed shareowners.  Bank of America and others are required to enact reforms under their settlement with the state Attorneys General, but as shareowners we remain concerned that Bank of America’s board has yet to correct the flaws in its mortgage pipeline.”

The City Comptroller serves as the investment advisor to, custodian, and trustee of the $122 billion New York City Pension Funds.  The NYC Pension Funds own 27,412,938 shares of Bank of America valued at $256,585,099.68.

Links to shareowner proposal efforts:

March 14, 2011, SEC ruling against bank’s attempt to block shareowners’ proposal:


RE: New York Islanders Moving to Brooklyn

“This is great news for our City, and shows that ice sports have tremendous room for growth in the five boroughs—demonstrating yet again that the right choice for the Kingsbridge Armory is the Kingsbridge National Ice Center.

“The KNIC proposal will bring nine rinks and a 5,000 seat arena to the Northwest Bronx, dramatically increasing the amount of available ice in our City while providing ‘living wage’ jobs and education opportunities for the people of the Bronx. Today’s announcement that the New York Islanders are coming to Brooklyn shows us the great potential for success KNIC will have at the Kingsbridge Armory, and I continue to be proud to support that project.

“I congratulate Mayor Bloomberg, Borough President Markowitz, the Islanders and the Barclays Center management on today’s announcement, and I look forward to working with our partners to expand ice sports to the Northwest Bronx,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

News From Assemblymember Marcos A. Crespo

Latino College Fair / Feria De Estudios Universitarios Para Latinos

$500 Scholarship Drawing for High School Seniors*

WHAT: The fifth annual Latino College Fair for high school students and their families, organized by the Albany, NY-based Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU). Students and parents/guardians will be able to meet and talk with more than 50+ independent college and university admission and financial aid representatives. The purpose of the workshop and fair is to assist students and families in preparing for the college admissions process. The fair is free and open to the public.

WHO: Nearly 1,000 high school students and their families; admissions representatives from more than 50 independent colleges and universities in New York State.

WHEN: Date/ Fecha: Saturday, October 27, 2012 / 27 de Octubre, 2012
Time/Hora: 11:30 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.

WHERE: Location/ Lugar: Fordham University, Rose Hill Campus; 441 East
Fordham Road; Bronx, NY 10458
(If driving, use GPS directions: 2853 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10458)


11:30 a.m. Registration opens (Keating Hall)

12:00 - 2:00 p.m. Welcome Remarks; Planning and Paying for College Workshop
(simultaneous Spanish translation available)

*Note: The $500 Scholarship drawing for high school seniors will be held during the workshop. The Sallie Mae Fund Scholarship drawing is for high school seniors only. Parents may enter for their students but the student or parent must be present to win.

1:00 – 3:45 p.m. Financial Aid “Ask the Expert” tables (McGinley Center)

2:00 – 3:45 p.m. College Fair featuring campus information tables and discussions with admissions and financial aid representatives from 50+private, not-for-profit colleges and universities (McGinley Center)

Participating Colleges and Universities (as of October 9):
Adelphi University, Bard College, Barnard College, Boricua College, Bramson ORT College, Canisius College, Clarkson University, Colgate University, College of Mount Saint Vincent, The College of New Rochelle, College of Saint Rose, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dominican College, Dorothea Hopfer School of Nursing, Elmira College, Eugene Lang The New School for Liberal Arts, Fordham University, Iona College, Ithaca College, Le Moyne College, Long Island University Brooklyn HEOP, Long Island University C.W. Post, Manhattan College, Manhattanville College, Marist College, Marymount Manhattan College,
Mercy College, Metropolitan College of New York, Molloy College, Nazareth College, The New School, New York Institute of Technology, New York Institute of Technology – NYCOM, New York University, Niagara University, Nyack College, Pace University, Phillips Beth Israel School of Nursing, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, The Sage Colleges, Sarah Lawrence, Siena College, Skidmore College, St. Bonaventure University, St. John Fisher College, St. John's University, St. Joseph's College, St. Lawrence University, St. Thomas Aquinas College, Syracuse University, Touro College – New York School of Career and Applied Studies, Union College, University of Rochester, Utica College, Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology, and Wells College.

Twitter hashtag: #LatinoFair12


Monday, October 22, 2012

Bedford Mosholu Community Association Clean Up

     This past Saturday Ms. Barbara Stronzer and her troops from the Bedford Mosholu Community Association took on the fallen leaves in the park and on the nearby sidewalk. The flaking paint on the fence posts around the the park was taken care of by new 80th Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj (as you will see in the photos below), and his team of helpers from the family. Ms. Stronzer even was able to plant some flowers in the base of a huge tree that was knocked down during the last hurricane. 

Left - You can see part of the huge tree stump that dwarfs the people in the photo. It was the bed of this tree stump that flowers were planted.
Right - Youngsters Eleeyah Marroro & Ganimete Mujaj flank Ms. Stronzer and Ejlo Zagreda (Mark Gjonaj's 87 year old grandfather).

Left - New Assemblyman Mark Gjaonaj painting part of the wall on Mosholu Parkway. 
Right - Assemblyman Gjonaj is surrounded by family.

Left - Four generations of the Gjonal family were on hand to help. Assemblyman Gjonaj has his arms around his wife Roberta & mother Rosa, who are flanked by Marks grandfather and sons Nicholas & Joseph whose  cousins round out the group.
Right - Ms. Stronzer and others join in for this photo.

Cirque Chinois - U.S. Premiere - Nov. 4

 Direct from Beijing! Inaugural U.S. Tour!
The National Circus of
The People's Republic Of China Performing
Sunday, November 4, 2012 at 4pm
Bronx, NY – Lehman Center for the Performing Arts proudly presents one of China’s most acclaimed and influential circus troupes introducing Cirque Chinois, a spectacular new production for its inaugural North American tour. For nearly six decades, The National Circus of the People’s Republic of China has been performing its unique style of circus, making it one of the longest running and most distinguished circus troupes in China. They offer a one-of-a-kind experience that has mesmerized and astounded audiences of all ages. The company’s New York City debut is on Sunday, November 4, 2012 at 4pm at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY.
The National Circus of the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1953, making it one of the longest running and most distinguished circus troupes in China which has travelled the world. It’s especially acclaimed because of its unique acts such as Grand Flying Trapeze, Group Contortion, and many other outstanding acts. The artists in the troupe have won international awards and the company has won over twenty gold and silver medals and awards at international circus festivals including the Monte Carlo International Circus Festival, Cirque de Demain, and China National Acrobatic Competition. During the 1980’s, the company changed the concept of the “animal circus” to a new style of “non-animal circus” which influenced the pioneers of “Cirque du Soleil” who invited many coaches from the company to teach them the acts. The company’s Flying Trapeze troupe was invited to perform in the U.S. with the “Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus” in 1999 and with the “UniverSoul Circus” in 2007.  
Special ticket price for children 12 and under, $10 any seat
The performance of THE NATIONAL CIRCUS OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA takes place on Sunday, November 4 at 4pm.  Lehman Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall is located at 250 Bedford Park Blvd. W. on the campus of Lehman College in the Bronx.  Tickets cost $45, $40 and $25, and for children 12 and under, $10 any seat.  Tickets can be purchased through 24 hour online access at or by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718-960-8833 open Monday & Wednesday-Friday 10am-5pm (closed on Tuesdays) and beginning at 12 noon on the day of the concert.  Lehman Center is accessible by #4 or D train to Bedford Park Blvd., and is right off several major highways, including the Henry Hudson Parkway, the Saw Mill River Parkway and Major Deegan Expressway.  Low-cost on-site parking available for $5.
Lehman Center is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council.  The 2012-2013 season is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, JPMorgan Chase, and through corporations, foundations and private donations.  Special $10 tickets for children are underwritten by Con Edison.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Vote of No Confidence For CB 8 Chairman

(This was taken from my column "Riverdale Report" in the "Bronx News this past week)

   It appears that current Community Board # 8 Chairman Robert Fanuzzi has lost not only control of CB 8, but also the support of a majority of the boards members. During the Economic Development Committee report an issue came up about the proposed street festival on Riverdale Avenue for the date of December 2nd. In discussing the festival the head of the committee made a motion for the approval and support of the full board of the street festival. An issue of an amendment to the motion came up where as the chairman of the board Mr. Fanuzzi ruled that the amendment was out of order. The ruling was then challenged by the Chair of the Law and Ethics Committee and put to a vote of the full board. The result of the full board vote was that the members voted to overrule Chairman Fanuzzi on his ruling, and things went downhill again for the second straight month. CB 8 Chairman Fanuzzi refused to recognize several board members and ruled them out of order when they tried to speak. Fanuzzi however did recognize one member who then made a motion to table the whole matter, which passed. Chairman Fanuzzi also allowed that same member to continue on with a tirade on another member without attempting to stop it or rule it out of order until the tirade was over. 
   In doing some research the Street Activity Permit process has changed as of December 2011, and apparently Fanuzzi was trying to push something through that he knew or should have known was wrong. In the past 125 signatures from the neighborhood had to be collected to show support for an event, and then the community board chair or District Manager could just sign off on these street permits. The permit process now needs review by the full community board. One would have to assume that since over 125 signatures were collected and presented at the Economic Development Committee meeting. CB 8 Chairman Fanuzzi must have wanted to keep this quiet since the Kingsbridge Riverdale Van Cortlandt Development Corporation was involved in the application process, and announced 11th City Council candidate Cliff Stanton is the Treasurer of KRVDC. Since Riverdale Avenue is a major street and emergency route this should have been taken up in the Traffic and Transportation Committee. 
   This was the case last month when CB 8 Chairman Fanuzzi had appointed a Youth Committee Chair over the summer that was struck down when it finally became known that the agreement between Community Board 8 and the Department of Youth Services became voided in 1996 (over 12 years ago) when the Department of Youth Services was merged into the Department of Youth and Community Development that also deals with matters other than just youth issues. Fanuzzi had the board appoint a special committee of four members of his choosing (which included himself) to come up with an interim youth committee and by-law change. 
   Also made know by the Treasurer of Community Board 8 was the fact that Mayor Bloombergs proposed first round of budget cuts would leave CB 8 in a defect of several thousands of dollars over the allocations of two of the three council members who cover CB 8. With the budget cuts to other areas in their districts these two council members may also have to stop their generosity to CB 8.. Several years ago CB 8 had to let go of one of its excellent staffers in a budget cut since the current District Manager of CB 8 was hired at one of (if not the) highest pay scales in the city. The previous DM worked part time hours with additional staff members, and CB 8 may be forced to let go or cut back on the two remaining staff members or the District Manager of the board. 
   If you have any comments about this column or would like to have an event listed or covered in this column or on my blog at you can e-mail us at or call 718-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press.