Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Bronx Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Banquet Thursday Feb, 26th


Wave Hill Events Jan 16–Jan 23

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, we explore symbols of peace related to nature. Discover some of the techniques used in African American quilts, and then make your own tapestry design, using cloth, yarn and felt to embellish your own personal dream of freedom. Free, and admission to the grounds is free until noon. 


Quiet like a mountain, moving like a river, Tai Chi is a sequence of gentle movements based on images found in nature. In this hour-long class, Irving Yee, a member of the William CC Chen Tai Chi School, introduces students to the internal martial arts and promotes an awareness of its benefits. Sessions are held indoors in winter. Session fee, which includes admission to the grounds: $25/$15 Wave Hill Member. Advance registration offered online only and includes a $2 discount. Online registration closes at 8AM on the day of the session. Drop-ins will be accommodated as the limited space permits. 



Venture through closed doors for a behind-the-scenes tour of Wave Hill’s horticulture facilities. Peek inside the potting shed, preview the South African bulbs getting ready for their dazzling Palm House debut and chat with a Wave Hill gardener to learn first-hand about their plans for the 2015 gardening season.  Free with admission to the grounds.

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, we explore symbols of peace related to nature. Discover some of the techniques used in African American quilts, and then make your own tapestry design, using cloth, yarn and felt to embellish your own personal dream of freedom. Free with admission to the grounds. 


Reduce stress and increase your energy by focusing on your posture, breath and mind/body/spirit. Classes are led by Yoga for Bliss Director Neem Dewji and other certified instructors, and last for an hour and a quarter. Ms. Dewji is certified in Hatha and Therapeutic Yoga from The Yoga for Health Foundation, England, and The Integral Yoga Institute, NYC. All levels welcome. Sessions are held indoors in winter. Session fee, which includes admission to the grounds: $25/$15 Wave Hill Member. Advance registration offered online only and includes a $2 discount. Online registration closes at 8AM on the day of the session. Drop-ins will be accommodated as the limited space permits. 


Let nature inspire you to find your center and reconnect with your true self using guided mindfulness and other meditation practices. Each session includes instruction in simple techniques, followed by guided meditations. Led by Yoga for Bliss director Neem Dewji and other qualified instructors. Sessions are held indoors. All levels welcome. Session fee, which includes admission to the grounds: $20/$10 Wave Hill Member. Advance registration offered online only and includes a $2 discount. Online registration closes at 8AM on the day of the session. Drop-ins will be accommodated as the limited space permits. 


Gongbi, a traditional style of Chinese painting, relies on highly detailed brushstrokes to produce a realistic image. Learn how Winter Workspace artist Fay Ku uses this style in her artwork and then explore introductory Gongbi techniques in the studio. Participants will be instructed in simple drawing exercises, ink handling and color methods. All workshops with Winter Workspace artists begin in their Glyndor Gallery studios with an introduction to their creative process. Unless otherwise noted, art materials are provided. Ages 10 and older welcome with an adult. $15/$5 Wave Hill Member per session. 


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

Closed to the public


This ongoing series is hosted by Wave Hill’s Friends of Horticulture Committee and is devoted to landscape design and the meaning of our interactions with plants and the natural world. When founding Director of Horticulture Marco Polo Stufano arrived at Wave Hill in 1967, not long after the property was donated to the City of New York, he found the property in a “sorry state”—with old greenhouses in ruins and paths eroded—and sorely in need of rethinking. The spectacular site and its potential proved so seductive that he devoted 34 years to it. This illustrated talk, the first of Wave Hill’s three 2015 Horticultural Lectures, offers a rare opportunity to hear him trace the evolution of the garden. Stufano retired from Wave Hill in 2001, though his presence is still deeply felt here and in other green spaces across New York City and beyond. The second in this series takes place February 18. Series: $60/48 Wave Hill Member, Student. Individual lectures:$25/$20 Wave Hill Member, Student. Reservations recommended, online or onsite at the Perkins Visitor Center. Sponsor and series tickets on sale starting November 12; individual tickets on sale starting December 10. 

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 15October 31.  
ADMISSION  $8 adults, $4 students and seniors 65+, $2 children 6–18. Free Saturday and Tuesday mornings untilnoon. Free to Wave Hill Members and children under 6.

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

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

DIRECTIONS – Getting here is easy! Located only 30 minutes from midtown Manhattan, Wave Hill’s free shuttle van transports you to and from our front gate and Metro-North’s Riverdale station, as well as the 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

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

NYC Clean Heat Program Helps Remaining Bronx Heavy Oil Buildings Meet June 2015 Deadline

Assemblyman Marcos A. Crespo (District 85) and various State & City colleagues today announced a New Year’s Resolution helping fellow Bronx constituents to better health and cleaner air by calling for building owners and managers to meet cleaner fuel requirements before the approaching June 30th, 2015 deadline.

“Harmful emissions from heating systems still burning heavy heating oils (No. 4 or 6) are associated with hundreds of premature deaths and thousands of ER visits and hospitalizations each year in New York City,” said Assemblyman Crespo. “In the Bronx alone, buildings still using heavy fuels emit approximately 75 tons of fine particulate matter annually. Until these building heating systems are converted to use cleaner fuels, the emissions from these buildings will contribute to health disparities for Bronx residents.”

"The need to protect our communities from the negative impacts of heavy heating oil is an environmental, economic, and moral imperative. Here in the Bronx, where asthma rates have reached epidemic proportions, we are especially vulnerable to the harmful emissions that result in thousands of hospital visits and hundreds of deaths each year," said Assemblyman Blake. "Dirty fuels increase energy consumption and result in higher heating costs, which isn't good for anybody. I stand here today with Assemblyman Crespo and my fellow colleagues to call upon building owners to make the switch from dirty oil to clean fuel for a better, healthier, and more efficient NYC."

“Historically, the Bronx has been disproportionately affected by various health and quality of life issues.  Our borough has one of the highest asthma rates in the country, and reducing our boroughs greenhouse gas emissions from residential and commercial building’s heating systems, will help improve our air quality. I support the Mayor’s NYC Clean Heat program to promote clean and efficient burning fuels and protect the health of our most vulnerable New Yorkers from harmful emissions,” said Councilmember Annabel Palma.

“All New Yorkers should have the right to breathe clean and healthy air that minimizes noxious toxins that are proven to increase the incidence of asthma, emphysema and other chronic illnesses that have long plagued much of the Bronx,” New York City Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson (D-Bronx, 16th CD) said. “By targeting air pollution at its source, the City’s Clean Heat program has had a major positive impact on air quality in the Bronx and today we are showing our support for these efforts, and encouraging landlords throughout the Borough to participate.”

"The NYC Clean Heat Program is intended to transition buildings to less harmful heating fuels and improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers by 2015," said Assemblymember Victor Pichardo. "It is important that we all do our part to make our environment cleaner and our air, pollution free."

“The cleaner fuel requirements are a win for Bronx residents, a win for public health and a win for our environment," said Council Member Andy King (12th CD, Bronx), Co-chair of Black, Latino & Asian Caucus of the City Council. "By promoting the NYC Clean Heat Program and cutting harmful emissions, we’re continuing to build on PlaNYC’s broader goal, of increasing energy efficiency in residential building, reducing pollution and improving air quality. The NYC Clean Heat program will help heavy oil building owners and managers meet cleaner fuel requirements. I encourage them to get with the program! Our residents are suffering and this program attacks this head on."

As part of PlaNYC’s goal to achieve the cleanest air of any large U.S. city, The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability launched the NYC Clean Heat program to provide resources to owners, managers, and tenants of buildings that are required to stop burning heavy heating oils, and to encourage those conversions to the cleanest fuels possible. The NYC Clean Heat team provides assistance directly to building decision makers at no cost to help make the switch to cleaner heating fuels. Switching to the cleanest fuels improves the air and the bottom line. Getting off of heavy heating oils can increase the energy efficiency of a building and also ensure that the building does not incur any permit violations. NYC Clean Heat helps buildings make the best choices for their financial situation and the air quality of New York City.

NYC Clean Heat has already reduced over 50 percent of the fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) emissions from buildings burning heavy oil. NYC Clean Heat’s achievements have contributed to the City’s overall pollution reductions. Since 2008, the levels of sulfur dioxide (SOx) in the air have dropped by 69 percent and since 2007 the level of PM 2.5 pollution has dropped by 23 percent.  The cleaner air enjoyed by New Yorkers today is preventing 800 deaths and 2,000 emergency room visits and hospitalizations from lung and cardiovascular diseases annually, compared to 2008.

Nilda Mesa, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, confirms that “when buildings switch to cleaner fuels, we get a twofer – we reduce the particulate emissions that trigger asthma, and we cut greenhouse gas emissions. Asthma kills too many of vulnerable New Yorkers, often in low-income neighborhoods.” Additional pollution reduction will result in additional lives saved.

“There has been a significant reduction in heavy oil use since the NYC Clean Heat Program began” continued the Assemblyman. “But in the Bronx, over 240 buildings using No.6 oil remain in operation, and over 1,100 use No.4 oil. I am strongly encouraging building owners and managers to utilize the NYC Clean Heat team and deliver cleaner air throughout the Bronx while meeting their fuel compliance requirements.”


Jerome Park Reservoir Update by Gary Axelbank

3880 Sedgwick Ave. (next to library)


Sunday, January 11, 2015 at 10:00am 

Speaker: Gary Axelbank (Host of BronxTalk) 

Topic: Jerome Park Reservoir Update 

BronxTalk host Gary Axelbank will provide an informative update on the Jerome Park Reservoir. A lifelong resident of the neighborhood and VCJC member, Mr. Axelbank has been following the developments around this historic facility for years and  is prepared to give attendees insights into the city's plans, available updates on construction, and most importantly, the community's interest in greater access to thereservoir and how that might be achieved.

BronxTalk is seen Monday nights at 9:00pm
on BronxNet channel 67 and Fios 33 and is streamed live at

Free admission. 

Breakfast will be served at 10am followed by the lecture at 10:30am.

For more information call 718-884-6105

Wow! Governor Andrew Cuomo Mentioned My Name in His Book!

What You Should Know 
By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District 

Wow! Governor Andrew Cuomo Mentioned My Name in His Book! 

You should know that in his book titled "All Things Possible," New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo makes reference to me by name several times. 

You should know that in his book, Chapter 10 is titled "33."  "33" is devoted to the fight to pass same-sex marriage and the struggle to get 33 Senators to vote YES in favor of his promise to the gay community to have New York State legalize same-sex marriage.  In "33" the Governor gave me the honor of mentioning me by name on pages 382, 289, 400 and 402. 

On page 382 the Governor mentioned me by name by stating: 

"We needed thirty-two votes. We knew that one Democrat, Ruben Diaz, a senator from the Bronx, was a no-go. A Pentecostal minister, he could not be moved to change his mind. That meant we had to lock in the remaining twenty-nine Democrats and sway three Republicans. Difficult? Yes."

On page 389, recounting his wheeling and dealing with Republican Leader Senator Dean Skelos, the Governor wrote: 

"In June, Majority Leader Skelos made a clever move that transferred all of the pressure from his team to ours. A skillful tactician, he announced that he wouldn't let the bill go to the floor unless we had all the Democrats with us except Ruben Diaz, the Pentecostal minister who we both knew was unshakable."

You should know that as the chapter continues, the Governor explains all of the roadblocks and troubles he had to bypass, and the negotiations he went through to get the same-sex marriage bill approved. He wrote about the chaos that ensued on the night of the vote, and how they prevented me and stopped me from speaking on the bill.  On pages 399-400, he mentioned an important negotiation he had with Senator John Sampson: 

"Republicans had asked for one concession.  "We don't want long speeches," Skelos told us. They didn't want political rhetoric to inflame the already nervous senators. The Senate Minority Leader, a Democrat, John Sampson, who represented parts of Brooklyn including Crown Heights and East Flatbush, assured us he will keep the Democrats' comments to a minimum. The plan was: Get the legislation on the floor.  Do a rolling voice vote. Go home. 

... Sampson had previewed with both Skelos and Steve that the only speech from one of their members will be from Senator Diaz, the sole opponent on the Democrats’ side, who would speak for two minutes. Diaz, used to speeches from the pulpit, led with, "God, not Albany, has settled the definition of marriage a long time ago." And he kept going. When Lieutenant Governor Bob Duffy cut him off he said, "Senator, Senator, I know you want to go on but we have twenty-three people who want to speak on the bill." 

Twenty-three people?

The proceedings ground to a halt as Diaz and his allies complained that he had been cut off, and the Republicans approached Steve and Myland warning them that is exactly what was not supposed to happen."

The Governor continues explaining on page 402 how he managed to get things under control - and after the vote was taken and the gay marriage legislation was approved - how he decided to come to the Senate Floor to thank the senators.  He stated that when he got to the Senate Floor: 

"Almost all of the Republicans and Ruben Diaz, who'd voted against marriage equality were all gone."

In "All Things Possible," New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo is telling the whole world that he and only he is responsible for achieving what he and only he is able to achieve.  Maybe, just maybe, he'd like the gay community to consider him to be their Number 1 Candidate for U.S. President. 

On my behalf, I am honored that the Governor mentioned me by name in his book, and let the whole world know about my principled stand against his gay marriage legislation. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I purchased Governor Andrew Cuomo's book, and I look forward to the Governor signing my copy. 

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

Monday, December 29, 2014


On Saturday, January 3rd, 2015, State Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz, along with Assembly Members Luis Sepulveda, Marcos Crespo, and The New York Hispanic Clergy Organization, will be celebrating the visit of the Three Kings to the Bronx.  During these activities, children between the ages of 1- 9 years old, will receive a toy and a book bag with school supplies. “Live music and entertainment will also be provided for the children,” stated Senator Díaz. 
The Three Kings Day visit to the Bronx will take place on this Saturday, January 3, 2015, at 12:00 pm, in Public School #5 located at 564 Jackson Avenue (corner of 149th St.).

Note: Children must be present in order to receive a free toy.
For more information, please contact Ms. Leila Martinez, Senator Diaz’s Director of Operations at 718-991-3161.


NYC Council Member Andy King and The Safety Net ‘Project will host their second in a series of “Know Your Rights” trainings on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015, at 9:30 a.m. at Bay Eden Senior Center, 1220 East 229th St., Bronx.

The session will focus on issues and safety net programs critical to many Bronx residents in District 12.   Legal staff will be on hand to answer questions regarding NYCHA tenant rights, accessing SNAP (food stamp) benefits and public assistance.

Residents are invited to meet with advocates and attorneys from the Safety Net Project to discuss any issues they may be experiencing regarding a denial, sanction or reduction in their public assistance and /or food stamps case. In addition, attorneys will be available to answer questions for NYCHA residents interested in seeking advice as to recertification, succession rights and how to obtain repairs. All legal services are free.

The Safety Net Project is New York City’s advocate for economic justice, protecting the rights of low- and no-income New Yorkers through direct legal services, litigation, research, and policymaking. It ensures access to the safety net, ensuring government accountability for vital programs that lift families out of poverty.

“This event is open to everyone in the community. In these tough economic times, there are people in need of assistance for food and housing. This forum is geared to help all those in need,” said Council Member King.

According to Denise M. Miranda, Esq., Managing Director of the Safety Project at the Urban Justice Center, “District 12 is home to five NYCHA development and countless families that rely on safety net programs. There is an urgent need for NYCHA residents and low-income families to have access to free, high-quality legal services and we are proud to partner with CM King to fill this void.”

The Safety Net Project is committed to protecting due process rights and providing direct legal services for low and no-income New Yorkers while engaging the greater community in casting a wider, finer safety net for economic justice and human dignity. For further information, visit

For more information dial 646-602-5640.

Community Interfaith Service for Dr. Martin Luther King Day

"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant."
     Martin Luther King Jr.   

Trinity Baptist Church
Rev. Naomi Tyler-Lloyd, Senior Pastor
In Conjunction With
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Invites You to
Remember the Legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
A Community Interfaith Service
Monday, January 19, 2015
Trinity Baptist Church
 808 East 224th Street
   Bronx, NY
   (Between Barnes & Bronxwood Avenues)

Please RSVP to 718-590-3989

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from the Editor 
and a few elected officials.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Dear Friend,

My staff and I would like to wish you and your family a 
very happy and healthy holiday season and a happy new year

Ruben Diaz Jr.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Dear Friend,
I would like to wish you and your family a safe and 
happy holiday season.  It brings me great joy to see 
many of you at the various holiday events that occur 
during this time of the year before I must head back
to Albany in January.
As 2014 comes to a close, I would like to say thank you
for all that this community has given me throughout the
year. I am honored that you have given me the privilege 
to continue to serve as your Assemblyman in the 
87th Assembly District.
Once again, I wish you a wonderful winter holiday and 
a joyous New Year!
Your Assemblyman,
Luis R. Sepulveda

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


  I want to thank everyone for gathering together. It's a time of pain for our city. It's a time of mourning for two good families, and it's so important that we all stand in solidarity with them. I want to thank everyone here at City Hall, and everyone throughout this city, who in a moment will participate in a moment of silence for Officer Ramos and for Officer Liu. 

Chirlane and I visited their families yesterday, and they're going through so much. And they deserve our support, and our solidarity. They need to be first in our thoughts. 

Officer Ramos and Officer Liu believed in something – they believed in making this world better, they believed in making this city better. They gave their lives for the belief that we could do better, that we could come together, that we could keep people safe. 

Talking to the families, hearing what motivated these good young men to serve is a reminder to us all – it's humbling. It reminds us that we have to keep serving. We have to keep working for something better. 

But there's a lot of pain right now. We have to work our way through that pain. We have to keep working to bring police and community closer together. We have to work for that more perfect union. We have to put the divisions of the past behind us. They were left to all of us in this generation, and we have to overcome them. 

We need to protect and respect our police just as our police protect and respect our communities. We can strike that balance. We must. 

Right now, I want everyone to focus on these families, on their pain. Put yourselves in their shoes. Be there for them, and be there for the extended family of the NYPD, because every police officer is hurting right now, and the family of every police officer is hurting right now. We have to be there for them. We have to keep them in our prayers, and move forward together. 

It's never easy to overcome this kind of loss. The families – this will be with them for their entire lives, and we will support them for all their lives ahead. We've made that clear to both families. And the NYPD has a rich strong history of supporting families in their hour of need, and then never letting them go. These children will always know the support that they will no longer have from their fathers who have fallen. We'll make sure of that – all of us together. 

So, I just want everyone to think, what can we do to help those families? What can we do to move forward together?

It feels tremendously painful right now. But it's always darkest before the dawn. These families want a city filled with peace and unity. It's our job – all of us – to create that, to support them and work for a better day.

I want to ask everyone assembled here, and everyone who is watching or listening – all throughout New York City, all throughout our nation – to now bow our heads in memory of Officer Ramos and Officer Liu.

[Mayor de Blasio observes moment of silence]

Thank you, everyone. God bless you all, and please embrace those around you as a symbol of our belief that we will move forward together. Thank you.