Friday, July 29, 2011

Dancing in the Streets and Casita Maria Center for the Arts and Education Present Hip Hop Generation Next '11 Block Party

There is a block party scheduled to take place Saturday, August 6th on Simpson Street between 163rd St and Barretto Street.

Organizers for the event include Dancing in the Streets and Casita Maria Center for the Arts and Education. The event will include free events and performances by the Abrazos Orchestra, Akwadaa Nyame, Emilio "Buddha Stretch", GrandWizard Theadore, Illstyle & Peace Productions, KR3TS, MAWU and others.

Besides the flyer posted below more information can be obtained by contacting Casita Maria at (718) 589-2230.



Here is more from the PAL Play Streets organizers. The program runs through August 19th. Even though listed below here is their web address for more information;



With the dog days of summer upon us, it is important to keep kids safe and active in their last month of summer vacation. The Police Athletic League’s (PAL) free Summer Play Streets Program provides safe, supervised places to play and learn for Bronx children, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, though August 19th. With a different lesson each week, PAL Play Streets provide important tips on how kids can handle different life situations from making the right decisions to saying no to drugs and the importance of taking time to read each day. Here are a few tips all Bronx youngsters can follow:

*Try to pick up as many healthy habits as you can! Unhealthy habits can drag you down.

*Always make sure to be aware of your situation: know who is there, what they are up to, and where you are.

*The best way to keep a misunderstanding from blowing up into a fight is to listen, respect, and let go of anger.

*Respect every culture and belief for it will give you wisdom and understanding.

*Take time each day to read, you will exercise your imagination, increase your vocabulary, and improve your writing.

*Say no to bullies and make your own choices.

*Lead a healthy life by saying no to drugs and exercise to feel good!

*Respect yourself and others and have fun!

The Police Athletic League Summer Play Streets Program began in 1914. Police Commissioner Arthur Woods had special concern for New York City children with no safe places to play. He organized a city-wide search for vacant lots which could be converted into playgrounds and set aside 29 blocks as playground blocks, where traffic was prohibited in the afternoons every day except Sunday. Public reaction to the development of Play Streets was overwhelmingly favorable. When Commissioner Woods inspected Play Streets, mothers rushed to thank him and children cheered his efforts. Each summer, Play Streets continue to be one of the agency’s most popular programs.

New York City’s Police Athletic League is the first and finest civilian-run PAL in the country. Founded in 1914, PAL has served the city’s young people for 97 years. PAL provides recreational, educational, cultural and social activities to over 50,000 boys and girls annually. It is also the city’s largest, independent, nonprofit youth organization. For more information, please visit

Thursday, July 28, 2011

U.S. Congressman Joseph Crowley Weighs in on Debt Ceiling and Deficit as the August 2nd Deadline Looms

As we watch our representatives "play chicken" with the Hegemony of the U.S. dollar, here is U.S. Congressman Crowley's stance on protecting Social Security and Medicare as well as where tax revenue should be raised to balance our budget. I am all for limited federal powers and balancing the budget but this showdown is truly reckless, much like the wanton spending that has been going on for years. I hope Republicans and Democrats come to their senses and a solution that does not damage our nation’s credit score or devastate the working class people of America is reached immediately. Here is more from a U.S. Congressman that represents swatches of the East Bronx.


July 27, 2011

Dear Gregory:

With negotiations over the debt ceiling and deficit in the news, I wanted to let you know that protecting Social Security and Medicare is my top priority. I am proud to continue the fight to preserve these essential programs for today's seniors and future generations.

Social Security and Medicare form the backbone of our nation's commitment to seniors. Over 44 million Americans receive health care coverage from Medicare and 54 million Americans receive income support from Social Security. Seniors earn these benefits by paying into the Medicare and Social Security programs over a lifetime of hard work.

Unfortunately, under the guise of balancing the budget and as a hostage in the debt-ceiling negotiations, these vital social safety nets are under attack by Republicans in Congress. Like all Americans, I am concerned about our nation's deficit. However, there are common sense solutions that will allow us to meet our financial obligations and do not include slashing support for Social Security and Medicare. For example, I believe we should end wasteful subsidies that benefit the nation's largest oil companies, close overseas tax loopholes and eliminate the Bush tax breaks for the wealthiest 2% of Americans – a move that would reduce our deficit by at least $700 billion.

You may also be interested to know that I recently introduced legislation to provide seniors with a one-time cost of living adjustment of $250 for 2011. My legislation would ensure that 2011 will not be the first time ever that two years have passed since retirees and other beneficiaries receive an automatic increase in their Social Security benefits to account for higher costs of living

After a lifetime of work and service, seniors deserve to retire with peace of mind and comfort in knowing that their hard earned benefits will be there for them. You can be sure I will keep up the fight to protect and preserve Social Security and Medicare for seniors today and future generations of Americans.

As always, please feel free to contact my office with any questions, comments or concerns.

Joseph Crowley
Member of Congress

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Teen Council Presents Teen Story Telling at the Bronx Museum of the Arts

Here is another youth event geared for teens who enjoy the spoken word.


Wednesday, August 3 · 6:00pm - 7:30pm

Location The Bronx Museum of the Arts
1040 Grand Concourse and 165th St.

Created By Teen Council

More Info Join us for an evening of storytelling, audio podcasts and comics created by teens from the Museum's Teen Summer Program!

After an intensive 3 weeks, the teens have been researching and exploring the exhibition Urban Archives: Emilio Sanchez in the Bronx. This event will conclude the program and an opportunity for the teens to share their original stories.

Directions to the Museum:

D OR B TRAINS to the 167 STREET/GRAND CONCOURSE STATION. Exit at rear of station, walk south along Grand Concourse two blocks.

PLEASE NOTE: D Train stops all times except rush hours peak direction (6:15 am - 9 am to Manhattan, 4 pm - 6:45 pm from Manhattan). Take B Train at 145 St. to 167th St. / Grand Concourse.

4 TRAIN to the 161 STREET/YANKEE STADIUM STATION. Walk east three blocks to the Grand Concourse, then, walk north four blocks along Grand Concourse to 165th St.

Bx1 or Bx2
to 165th St. and Grand Concourse

BxM4A / BxM4B
Express bus to and from Manhattan

T: (718) 681-6000

Councilwoman Annabel Palma Opines on Resignation of John Mattingly as Commissioner of ACS

It sounds like John Mattingly will be missed in his position leading ACS. Good luck to him on his future endeavors.


July 18, 2011

In response to the resignation of ACS Commissioner John Mattingly

“For the past 7 years, John Mattingly has worked tirelessly on behalf of the City’s children and their families. In my time as Chair of the General Welfare Committee, it has been a pleasure to work with him. The Commissioner has been especially thoughtful and forthcoming in addressing the child welfare issues we face as a city. While I am saddened to lose such a dedicated and passionate advocate for vulnerable children, I wish him all the very best in his next chapter."

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

BoogieDowner Real Estate Watch: 4017 Bell Avenue Sells for $335,000

(4017 Bell Avenue in the Bronx)

For all the BoogieDowners who keep track of Bronx real estate trends, here is a recent sale I closed last Thursday, July 21, 2011. The house is a one family Tudor style home on a double lot, located at 4017 Bell Avenue in the Wakefield Section of the Bronx. The house has great curb appeal but interior work is needed. Please see photos and additional statistics on the house.

Address: 4107 Bell Avenue
Bronx, NY 10466
1 Family Tudor Style Home
Home Sq footage: 1,559 sq. ft.
Lot Sq footage: 5,250 sq. ft. (50 x 105)

I represented the seller and buyer in the transaction as a "Seller’s Agent". Even though the loan process did take longer than usual, due to probate issues and a slow banking environment typical during the last few months, the rate was excellent. The 30 year fixed mortgage was locked in the low 4% range. The house has great potential and will make a great home for the purchasers.

Gregory Tsougranis
Associate Broker
Century 21 Metro-Star
2017 Williamsbridge Road
Bronx, NY 10469

Cell # (845) 304-5745
Office # (718) 794-2327
Fax # (646) 417-5593


Here is another free summer activity to keep the kids active this summer. The Rene Lacoste Foundation has teamed up with the City parks Foundation to provide free golf lessons. Please do review the press release below for more information and contact numbers to register your children.


Still Time to Sign-Up for CityParks Golf Program

Throughout August, young people can still take advantage of City Parks Foundation’s free golf lessons in parks throughout the Bronx. The second session of CityParks Golf presented by René Lacoste Foundation begins on August 1st and runs through August 26th at Pelham Bay Park and Haffen Park in the Bronx.
CityParks Golf presented by René Lacoste Foundation makes it fun and easy for boys and girls, ages six to 16, to learn to play golf. The free golf lessons and use of equipment, held in public parks and on citywide courses, makes the sport of golf accessible to kids of all skill levels throughout New York City. The goal of the program is not only to teach the basics of the sport, but also to develop self-esteem, discipline and sportsmanship. The program gives kids a chance to improve their skills and ultimately try out for the CityParks Intermediate Program and Junior Golf Academy–specialized programs for dedicated young golfers available at the CityParks Junior Golf Center, a facility in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn that also offers programming for new or first-time youth golfers from New York City.

For more information and to sign up for CityParks Golf Program, please call (718) 760-6999 or visit

CityParks Golf presented by René Lacoste Foundation is a part of City Parks Foundation’s 2011 Summer Sports Program, providing New York City children free tennis, golf, and track and field instruction including free use of equipment in over 45 locations citywide.

Founded in 1989, City Parks Foundation (CPF) is the only independent, nonprofit organization to offer park programs throughout the five boroughs of New York City. CPF works in over 750 parks citywide, presenting a broad range of free arts, sports, and education programs, and empowering citizens to support their parks on a local level. CPF’s programs and community building initiatives reach more than 600,000 people each year, contributing to the revitalization of neighborhoods throughout New York City. For more details, please visit

CityParks Golf presented by René Lacoste Foundation

Pelham Bay Park, Field 4
Bruckner Blvd. & Middleton Rd.
Tues & Thurs, 9:30 am-10:30 am (6-8 years), 10:30 am-12:00 pm (9-16 years)

Haffen Park
Hammersley Ave. & Gunther Ave.
Mon & Wed, 9:30 am-10:30 am (6-8 years), 10:30 am-12:00 pm (9-16 years)


In my capacity as a real estate broker, I can attest to the commitment Citibank has to the community. They are one of my preferred banks for mortgages when representing buyers or sellers. Their interest rates are competitive and they often provide credits to buyers when purchasing properties in the Bronx.

As stated in the press release below, Citibank will give $50,000 to the BOEDC so they can increase their speed when processing small business loans. Kudos to Citibank again for coming through for the Bronx.

For anyone out there seeking a mortgage pre-approval or mortgage information please feel free to reach out to a mortgage broker at Citibank that I use often. Here is his contact information;

Maxwell Rosa
Home Lending Specialist
Cell # 718-564-0187
Office # 718-320-3362
Fax # 866-840-1537



On Wednesday, July 27, the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC) will receive a $50,000 check from Citibank. This funding will be used to hire a credit analyst to facilitate the increase in lending BOEDC has seen with local small businesses. This funding will allow BOEDC to analyze a business’ credit worthiness in a shorter time, thus increasing the number of loans issued.

Last year, BOEDC leveraged almost $30 million in funding to local businesses, a 52 percent increase in lending over the previous year. In light of how difficult it has been for local businesses to borrow from local banks, BOEDC's participation in the lending process, in which they finance 50 percent of the loan, has allowed banks to continue to lend while minimizing risk.

Local businesses have also been able to receive loans at below market rates, thereby giving them the opportunity to put more of their profits back into their businesses.

WHEN: Wednesday, July 27
TIME: 9:00 am
WHERE: Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation
851 Grand Concourse, Room 123

Open Letter from NYS Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz to BOEDC President Marlene Cintron on the Kingsbridge Armory

NYS Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz must have read the same editorials from "Manhattan-based editorial writers that strongly supported the heavily subsidized mall" proposed for the Kingsbridge Armory. Below is what Assemblyman Dinowitz wrote to BOEDC President Marlene Cintron supporting the decision made by the Bronx Borough Presidents, and all but one member of the NYC City Council.

With all the “outside” propaganda that advocated for the mall, I think it's imperative to post the letter written and express my belief that the mall would not have been good for the Bronx. I also strongly believe the majority of Bronx residents, who are aware of the facts and have walked in the community at least once, agree with Dinowitz, Cintron, Diaz Jr. and the majority of the NY City Council. They should use the subsidies offered to developers to develop a project useful to the community. What’s wrong with a mixed use facility including a school and various sports arenas? The Bronx needs to support small businesses, not put them out of business with tax dollars subsidizing big box department stores that would have siphoned profits from the community through dividends to shareholder who have no stake in our Borough.

Please do read the letter written by Assemblyman Dinowitz. Again, I firmly believe he is right on target with his assessment of the situation and that he truly represents the best interest of the community.


July 25, 2011

Marlene Cintron, President
Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation
851 Grand Concourse, Room 123
Bronx, New York 10451

Dear Ms. Cintron:

I am pleased to learn that sports facilities, including those for ice skating and hockey,are among the possible uses being contemplated for the Kingsbridge Armory. Having grown up within a few blocks of the Armory and having lived there for nearly half my life, I have always been extremely interested in there being a top-notch plan for the site.

I opposed the proposal to construct a shopping mall in the Armory that would have
received tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies. Such a mall would undoubtedly have decimated the Fordham Road and Kingsbridge Road shopping districts and cost countless jobs. Some Manhattan-based editorial board writers that strongly supported the heavily-subsidized mall probably spend little or no time in the Bronx and undoubtedly had no concept of the impact of such a mall on the surrounding community. I am certain that Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. took the correct position for the Bronx on this matter and, as a result, we now have a golden opportunity to do something really special for the Bronx.

I have long believed that the Kingsbridge Armory should be used for the people of
the Bronx. I have seen the superb facility that has been developed at the armory at West 168th Street and Fort Washington Avenue in Manhattan. The Bronx deserves a great
facility as well. The possibilities are endless, including real ice skating rinks for the entire Bronx to enjoy, ice hockey, basketball, running tracks, community facilities, and finally giving the community what it has long demanded: new public schools outside the armory.

So, I would like to applaud the work of both BOEDC and the Borough President.
We’ve waited a long time for the right development of the Armory site. We dodged a bullet when we avoided the heavily-subsidized, job-killing shopping mall. Now we must redouble our efforts to develop the site for the best interests of Kingsbridge Heights and the entire Bronx. I look forward to working with you and being helpful in any way that I am able.


Jeffrey Dinowitz
Member of Assembly

Monday, July 25, 2011

New York City Parents File Lawsuit Against Separate and Unequal Charter Co-locations and Illegal Free Rent and Services to Charter Schools

We are constantly surrounded by well funded media blitzes hiding behind free market rhetoric, that in actuality are extensions of large cash rich corporations looking for their next hand out.

One prime example was the attempt to turn the Kingsbridge Armory into a big box department mall with BIG FAT GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES. They quoted job growth numbers that have no basis in the real world when considering the devastation the mall would have imposed on community businesses that are not subsidized by the government. Landowners, merchants and store employees who have been around for both good and bad times.

The following press release circulating is about a law suit filed by various educational organizations alleging possible fraud related to NYC Charter Schools. Can someone please explain the logic why a charter school, run by a private company, should pay $1 to rent valuable space? Is there something I am missing?

The true followers of free market principles that made this nation great can be found along the Fordham Road and Jerome Ave business districts that intersect at the Kingsbridge Armory. If we want a true free market educational system that is equitable, we should allow each parent a stipend to be allocated as they see fit to any accredited educational system that he, she or they choose weather it be public, charter, private or any hybrid society can think of. Put funding in the hands of the people, not government bureaucrats or private for profit corporations.

Please do review the allegations and issues discussed in the following law suit being filed against the NYC DOE. If it were not our tax dollars used for some private corporations gain it might be funny; but obviously it’s not.


New York City Parents File Lawsuit Against Separate and Unequal Charter Co-locations and Illegal Free Rent and Services to Charter Schools

July 25, 2011
Mona Davids, NYC Parents Union, (917) 340-8987
Leonie Haimson, Class Size Matters (917) 435-9329
Arthur Z. Schwartz, Esq., Advocates for Justice, (917) 923-8136

New York City Parents File Lawsuit Against Separate and Unequal Charter Co-locations and Illegal Free Rent and Services to Charter Schools

The New York City Parents Union, Class Size Matters and public school parents today filed a lawsuit charging the New York City Department of Education with creating a "separate and unequal" education system through the co-locations of charter schools in public school buildings.

In New York City, charter schools are private non-profit education corporations which have contracts called "charters" with an authorizer such as the New York State Education Department or State University of New York to provide educational services. Charter schools are publicly funded but, to date, have usually been managed either by a for-profit corporation or by a non-profit corporation who has hired a for-profit corporation to assist with management. In these cases, a private entity is deriving a profit -- a profit that is not necessarily benefiting our children. The NYC Department of Education provides space and services to charter schools for $1 per year that according to state law should be charged “at cost”. Next year the amount of space and services provided by the city to co-located charters will be nearly $100 million per year. These are funds desperately needed by our public schools at a time of scarce resources and sharp budget cuts.

Arthur Z. Schwartz of Advocates for Justice, lead attorney in this litigation says: "For several years now the NYC Department of Education has done all that it can to promote charter schools, acting not only to bring them into existence, but providing them with resources far in excess of what children in non-charter schools receive. The most odious circumstances arise where schools are co-located. Today we are filing and serving a lawsuit which addresses the unlawful nature of the DOE's program. We are going far beyond a procedural challenge, alleging far more than that the DOE didn't follow the steps in the statutory process correctly. Today we raise three substantive challenges.

First, we are challenging to provision of free space and services to charter schools. There is no question that this action violates state law, providing an unlawful subsidy to co-located charter schools. It is a policy which allows them to spend their money on staff, supplies and equipment rather than rent and creates gross inequities between the charter schools and their building-mates, and between charter schools in their own facilities and co-located schools. We are also challenging the DOE on the impact of co-location on the education of the public school students in the building asserting that the co-locations will increase class size and undermine children's constitutional right to a sound and adequate education. Finally, we are challenging the co-location process, which is supposed to be a "meaningful public process" as being nothing of the sort: dominated by boilerplate documents, difficult for parents to understand, not properly translated, and issued beyond statutorily mandated deadlines. Parents’ views are solicited but ignored, and in the impact statements, inadequate attention is paid to children with disabilities and English language learners.

This is not an attack on charter schools. Our plaintiffs include charter school parents. It is an effort to force the NYC Department of Education to pay attention to the impact of its actions on public school students, and provide them with the education they have a right to."

Muba Yarofulani, Vice-President of New York City Parents Union and a parent plaintiff in the lawsuit, says: "Our public school children continue to be served in an educational system where quality and equal opportunity are not the norm. We will continue to fight to the end for equal access to a quality education for our public schoolchildren."

Leonie Haimson, Executive Director of Class Size Matters, a citywide parent advocacy group which is a plaintiff in the lawsuit, says: "The New York charter school law clearly states that if a district chooses to provide space and services to charter schools, it must do so at cost; and yet the NYC Department of Education provides this to charters for $1 per year. Using figures from the Independent Budget Office, we estimate that the space and services DOE will provide to charters next year are worth nearly $96 million. These are funds that our public schools desperately need and could be used to prevent devastating budget cuts, the loss of teachers and sharply increased class sizes next year. As it is, each student in a co-located charter receives nearly $1000 more in public funding on average compared to a district public school student, a situation that is highly inequitable and needs to stop."

She adds: "We also believe that the co-location policy pursued by DOE and imposed on our public schools is deeply wrongheaded; as educrats use every available inch of space to jam a new school into a building; without any regard to how this will increase class size or prevent schools from being able to reduce class size in the future, which the state’s highest court said is necessary for NYC public schoolchildren to receive their constitutional right to an adequate education. And yet these damaging effects are nowhere reflected in the DOE’s Educational Impact Statements – a critical and potentially illegal flaw."

Faye Hodge, a parent plaintiff of a child who attends a charter school in private space says: "It is not fair that charter schools located in private space receive nearly $1,000 less than co-located charter schools. My charter school does not have enough books, does not provide academic intervention services, and cannot renovate our cafeteria or gym because we have to pay for rent, utilities, insurance, food service and cleaning services, while co-located charters are illegally subsidized by the New York City Department of Education. That is not fair. "

Mona Davids, the President of the New York City Parents Union, the President of the NY Charter Parents Association and a charter parent says, “We believe all children must have equal access to a quality public education. We respect the choice a few families made in removing their children from the public education system and enrolling them in publicly funded, but privately managed charter schools. However, public education is a cornerstone of our democracy and will always serve all children including children with disabilities, English Language Learners, homeless children, low performing students, and new immigrants. We must ensure all these children receive a quality public education and their rights are not violated by a separate and unequal system created by the New York City Department of Education.”


Various PAL Summer Day Camp activities are occurring thought out the five boroughs. If any parents are interested in learning more about the PAL youth programs, their web site is listed below.



Photo 1: Youngsters participated in games at PAL’s Annual Summer Carnival.

On July 15, 2011, 800 youngsters from all five boroughs celebrated the Police Athletic League’s (PAL) Summer Day Camp with a fun-filled day of games, arts and crafts and circus acts at a Carnival extravaganza at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens. PAL transformed the city park into a summer oasis for Bronx children, ages five to seven from PAL’s New South Bronx Center, PAL’s Webster-Giannone Center in Fordham-Tremont and PS 48 in Hunts Point, with Nok Hockey, board games, carnival booths, face painting and more. Youngsters tested their strength on a High Striker, competed in potato sack races, enjoyed team-building carnival games and were treated to performances by clowns from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
“My favorite part of the day was seeing the clowns perform,” said six-year-old Samantha from PAL’s PS 48. “They were so funny and taught us magic tricks.”
The Summer Day Camp Carnival promoted cooperation, camaraderie, sportsmanship and self-esteem through a variety of fun and exciting activities. The Police Athletic League’s Summer Day Camp serves over 2,000 elementary school youth annually. It runs for eight weeks between July and August in 15 PAL Centers throughout the five boroughs, offering an alternative to families who can’t afford private camps or daycare services when school is out.
The Police Athletic League is an official legacy organization of the 2011 World Police & Fire Games. New York City’s Police Athletic League is the first, largest and finest civilian-run PAL in the country. Founded in 1914, PAL has served New York City’s young people for 97 years. PAL provides recreational, educational, cultural and social activities to over 50,000 boys and girls annually. It is also the city’s largest, independent, nonprofit youth organization. For more information, please visit

2011 Crotona Park Jams Scheduled for Thursday July 28th

Here is information that was sent related to a hip hop concert at Crotona Park. The concert is scheduled for this Thursday. Please see the press release sent for more information.

Good luck to all involved in the organization and planning. It truly is a beautiful park and the concert planed sounds like a lot of fun.


Thursday, July 28 · 5:00pm - 8:00pm

Location Crotona Park Amphitheater - Enter at Charlotte St & Crotona Park East Bronx NY Near Indian Lake.

Created By Teofilo Campeon

For Friends of Crotona Park

More Info The 2011 Tools of War True School NYC Summer Park Jams presented in assoc. with Rane + Serato + Scratch Live


Presented by the Friends of Crotona Park, Rane, Serato in assoc. with the Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz Jr., NYC Council Member Joel Rivera - http://www.friendsofcroton​/
Free! All Ages! 5pm-8pm - NEW TIMES!!

July 28: DJ Jazzy Jay, GrandWizzard Theodore and GrandMaster Caz!

schedule subject to change

Crotona Park
Charlotte St & Crotona Park East
Bronx NYC
2 or 5 train to 174 St.
OR Bx Buses 11, 15, 17 or 55
or try for best directions

Host: GrandMaster Caz

(Photo of Crotona Park)

Friday, July 22, 2011

U.S. Congressman Serrano Denounces 'Cut, Cap and Balance" Bill

Here is more on the debate looming over the August 2nd deadline from U.S. Congressman Serrano. Thank God we have representation from the Bronx that understands what is going on, tells it like it is and has not been bought by our military industry. I knew he would have something out there that spoke the truth. Please see our Congressman in action and his press release on our debt issues below. I don’t often come out as strong for elected officials however he is right on target. Cut war machine spending and provide quality employment opportunities for our youth.


Serrano Denounces 'Cut, Cap and Balance' Bill

This week, Congressman Serrano denounced a House Republican effort to impose an economically-devastating fiscal plan on the country through their so-called 'Cut, Cap and Balance' bill. Serrano called the ill-advised austerity package “a path to another recession” and the “wrong solution to our nation’s problems.”

“Our nation has run into fiscal problems for three reasons—none of which are addressed by the Republicans’ bill—they were primarily the Bush Tax Cuts, the foreign wars, and the recession,” said Congressman Serrano. “With the Republicans refusing to address the fiscally-disastrous tax cuts for the wealthy, refusing to end the costly foreign wars, and actively taking action that will make the economy weaker, we are left with few options but to denounce this backwards approach.”

“When the fiscal situation of the government was better, I warned that their spending on tax cuts and foreign wars would cause fiscal problems which they would then balance on the backs of social programs. I warned that my constituents, who work hard for their families, would be the victims of the wasteful, reckless Bush fiscal policies. But when the times were good, Republicans ignored these valid concerns—saying that ‘tax cuts pay for themselves’ and famously ‘deficits don’t matter.’ They were wrong and working families are suffering.

“Now we get the perverse reasoning that by cutting government jobs and spending, you will create jobs and revive the economy. This logic is so backwards as to be laughable. Good, stable government jobs and stimulus spending is precisely what the economy needs to begin to grow again.

“They claim that businesses need ‘confidence’ and tax incentives to begin hiring. The truth is that businesses first must have customers in order to need new employees. Big corporations are sitting on piles of cash, and tax incentives will do little to change their lack of customers. We can create demand in the economy through stimulus spending—not through severe fiscal austerity plans.

“My constituents never got the benefits of the Bush bubble. They worked the jobs that were available and paid taxes. They did their fair share. Now the jobs are evaporating, and the social safety net that they paid into during the better times is under severe threat.

“I will vote against this bill on behalf of my constituents, and the people like them across the nation. I am casting a vote for fairness and economic growth. I am casting a vote against the Bush policies that the Republicans’ are seeking to extend. I am voting for a better future for our children, despite what Republicans claim about the debt.

"Our nation became great by making investments in our people and infrastructure. It became great by creating a stable middle class and a robust social safety net. It became great through Americans supporting one another and paying their fair share of the taxes. Today we watch as the Republicans continue to turn their backs on that history and continue their ideological push towards a ‘me-first’ economic system. I want no part of that bleak future, nor should our nation.”

Assemblyman Dinowitz Calls on President Obama to Stand Up to Tea Party Republicans

To my surprise when browsing the Standard and Poor's ranking of the 126 Sovereign nations it monitors, seventeen nations already have a higher credit score than the United States. America's credit score is listed as AAA/Negative/A-1+.

The following nations have a higher credit rating of AAA/Stable/A-1+;

8-Isle of Man
12-New Zealand
17-The United Kingdom

For anyone interested in reviewing the complete list, here is the web site address;

I am sure everyone agrees spending must be controlled, however I also strongly agree with Assemblyman Dinowitz that Social Security must not be on the negotiating table.

Our cuts should be in military spending. Instead of offering our youth wars to go fight, we need to provide them with industries that allow them to make a living and contribute to our GNP. Hands off Social Security, which is a promise to our elders, and cut spending on the war machine that only feeds the rich. It is a travesty when we discuss cuts to our senior citizens and not to a military industry that consumes much of our budget.

For more on Assemblyman Dinowitz position and his charge to President Obama please see his press release below.

Assemblyman Dinowitz Calls on President Obama to Stand Up to Tea Party Republicans

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz is calling on President Obama to stand up against extremist Republicans in the battle raging over the national debt ceiling. The national debt limit, which will be reached by August 2, must be raised or the United States will go into default. In the past, raising the ceiling on the national debt has been a relatively routine matter, but this year Tea Party Republicans have demanded trillions of dollars in cuts to federal programs as the price for voting to raise the ceiling on the national debt.

“I strongly urge President Obama to stand firm and not succumb to the extortionist tactics of the Republican Party in this monumental fight over the national debt. The Democrats must not allow the decimation of crucial programs, including Social Security and Medicare, to be the price for their votes in raising the national debt limit,” said Assemblyman Dinowitz.

“We should permanently eliminate the Bush tax cuts on income in excess of a million dollars and we must end special tax loopholes and giveaways for big oil and other corporate interests. That alone could generate trillions. The idea that there should be three dollars in cuts for every dollar of revenue increase, or worse yet no revenue increases at all, is outrageous. The Republicans have wanted to destroy Social Security and Medicare for decades. They are putting the U.S. economy in jeopardy and risking throwing the U.S. into a double-dip recession in order to carry out their right wing agenda. We need the President to stop them.

“The Democratic Party is the party that gave Americans Social Security, the most successful program ever, and Medicare. Now the Democratic Party must stop the Republicans from destroying these programs – and the President should lead the way.”

Community Activist Eileen Markey Fights for Her Community Park: Sing for Hope piano was thrown away by city agency, not stolen

Here is my support for a community activist fighting to improve her neighborhood by reminding city official that we the citizens pay their salaries and will not tolerate substandard services, even if we live in the Bronx. Eileen is a member of an organization called Friends of Williamsbridge Oval.

Please do read her letter sent to NYC Parks Commissioners Mr. Aponte and Ms. Martell. It clearly and respectfully explains short comings and outright disappointments in services provided by the NYC Parks Department. Most ridiculous is the recent throwing away of the Sing for Hope piano, by I assume the NYC Department of Sanitation. What’s next? Will the Sanitation or Parks Department start throwing away the kids who play on the piano daily? Were any apologies made for the “black eye” given to the community by reinforcing negative Bronx stereotypes?

Good Luck to Eileen Markey, her organization and all the city sanitation and parks department workers that do the right thing daily. I look forward to hearing all the issues were resolved at the next meeting with Commissioners Aponte and Martell and the Friends of Williambridge Oval.


Eileen Markey

FYI, I sent the email below to Bx Comisssioner Aponte and his deputy on Wednesday.
Hello Commissioner and Ms. Martell,

"We were delighted and looking forward to meeting with the commissioner and elected officials last week and disappointed that the meeting needed to be cancelled. I hope you are feeling better.

When are you available this week? I know the electeds are anxious to reschedule.

In addition to the issue of the bad reputation our neighborhood got in the press when the Parks garbage crew failed to come forward and explain that the Sing for Hope piano was thrown away, not stolen, we have a number of other topics to discuss.
These are namely a.) the basketball courts, b.) the Rec Center, c.) garbage.

When will the courts be finished? Has Conti yet repaired to proper standards?

When will the Rec Center be open? Is that contractor performing up to standard? Why has it been so long since any work was done inside or out? We haven't seen trucks in weeks.

Finally, we need signs throughout the park, but especially in the new playground begging people not to litter. Haranguing them not to litter. Threatening capital punishment for littering? No, really, litter in the new, gorgeous playground is a huge problem. I know signs don't solve everything but they do help a little. There are none now.

Another contributing factor with the litter is that we don't have enough barrels in the new playground and the barrels around the top ring of the Oval have been removed. I realize these are picayune concerns to take to your level, but we've talked to our district manager about them and he's not fixing the problem. On the lack of barrels throughout the park he said the district is assessing where to put them district -wide and says it is an issue of limited resources. For the love of God, Parks can't afford barrels?

Fine, Friends of will pay for some but we need assurances that they won't be removed by the parks department. (And we need to know who a vendor is for wire or oil-drum style barrels).

As to the barrels in the new playground, which I think were provided by Conti as part of their design, Gal said they couldn't be placed inside the play area because that makes them too hard for the garbage crew to get to them. Come on. They hoisted a 500 pound piano covered in stickers that said Sing for Hope into a garbage truck (and then didn't tell anyone about it) they can roll a few barrels a 100 feet. Having barrels inside the playground area, near the benches would be very helpful. When I go to the park in the morning I spend about 45 minutes picking up trash. A lot of it is because people have no respect for their neighborhood, but a lot of the trash is piled right near the benches- where a barrel should be. I teach my kid to put garbage in his pocket if he can't find a barrel, but not everyone does that and it is harder to make a case against littering when barrels are far away.
The ones we have are overflowing by 4 or 5 pm- leaving nowhere for people who visit after work to put garbage. Please, more barrels! Or permission for us to acquire some and promises that they will not be removed.

Looking forward to meeting with you in person. Hopefully this week or next.

Best, Eileen

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Boogiedowner Real Estate: 1 Bedroom Co-op at 2187 Holland Ave (#5H) only $79,000 !

Here is a very reasonable 1 Bedroom co-op I just listed in the Pelham Parkway South section of the Bronx. There is no other 1 bedroom co-op in the neighborhood offered for less.

Interest rates are low and the current economic and banking environment during the last few months has not helped. Qualified buyers can get great deals like this where monthly expenses to own are less than renting with 10% or 20% down. Here are the numbers;

Asking Price: $79,0000

20% down $ 15,800
Mortgage amount $ 63,200

Monthly mortgage at 4.5% rate = $ 320.23

*Monthly Maintenance $ 713.00
Monthly mortgage and maintenance $ 1,033.00

**NYC HPD rent for a 1BR were tenant pays for gas and electric only = $ 1,316 as of Oct 1, 2010

(* Monthly maintenance includes heat, hot water and R/E/ taxes)
(**Recent rent stabilized apartment increase not factored in)

Extremely well priced 1 Bedroom co-op in located in the Pelham Parkway section of the Bronx. ONLY $79,000. Pre-war well maintained elevator building. Quick access to city via the #2 and #5 line. Express and City bus stops also conveniently located near by. Pelham Parkway is footsteps away. Great shopping on Lydig Ave as well. Minor cosmetic work needed. Great opportunity to purchase a new home at below market prices. Will not last. High Owner Occupancy.

For more information call m at the following #

Gregory Tsougranis
Associate Broker
Century 21 Metro-Star
2017 Williamsbridge Road
Bronx, NY 10461

Cell # (845) 304-5745
Office # (718) 794-2327



There are a few hours left if you are planning on getting married on July 24th and want to guarantee that a judge will be available to officiate your wedding ceremony. Please see more information below on the lottery system put in place and what documents are required. Record turnouts are expected city wide.

Extra kudos to NYC Clerk McSweeney!!!! Besides making government adapt to the needs of the public, as shown with the extra effort this coming Sunday, the above shows his jovial smile after officiating a recent wedding. It’s a good sign when the boss gets in the trenches every know and then and makes himself available to the people.



Data Collected Since July 5th Shows Number of Couples Seeking to Marry on Sunday Could be Four Times More than the All-Time Single Day High in New York City

Lottery System Ensures Couples who Arrive on Sunday are not Denied Access

Number of Couples Married on Sunday will be Highest in City History

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and City Clerk Michael McSweeney today announced that due to high demand for marriage services on Sunday, July 24, 2011 – the first day New York State's recently passed marriage equality law takes effect – the City will conduct a public lottery for any couple wishing to marry on July 24th. The lottery will guarantee access to one of the City Clerk's five offices for 764 couples – opposite sex or same sex – on July 24th. Couples wishing to marry on July 24th must register for the lottery by going to the City Clerk's website at or by calling 311. The lottery will open for entries at noon on July 19th and will close to entries at noon on July 21st. There is no advantage to registering quickly for the lottery – all applicants who register in time will have an equal opportunity to be randomly selected. There will be a separate lottery for each of the City Clerk's five borough offices and lottery applicants must specify one – and only one – office where they wish to marry. Winners of the lottery will be notified via e-mail or phone on Friday, July 22nd by noon. Couples who already have pre-registered for a marriage license must enter the lottery if they wish to marry on July 24th. All couples selected through the lottery will be guaranteed access to all services at their selected Clerk's Office on Sunday. Couples selected in the lottery are encouraged to arrive in the morning and must arrive no later than 3:45 PM on Sunday. Couples who were not selected through the lottery process should plan on visiting a Clerk's office location at a future date. The Mayor, Speaker and Clerk made the announcement in the Blue Room of City Hall.

"We are going to make history on Sunday, with the eyes of the nation once again turning to New York City," said Mayor Bloomberg. "We've done our homework, and it's clear that the number of couples who want to marry on Sunday is more than the City Clerk's offices could possibly handle. And the last thing we want is for couples to wait on line for hours and hours, only to walk away upset on what was supposed to be the happiest day of their lives. The fairest way to determine who gets the chance to wed on Sunday and ensure everyone can properly plan for their own big day is through an even-handed lottery system. Nobody puts on big events like New York and we will be ready on Sunday for what will no doubt be an historic and unforgettable moment."

"The City of New York will make history on July 24th and we will honor this day in the most meaningful and respectful way possible," said Speaker Quinn. "This efficient and effective process for managing the first day of marriage equality in the five boroughs will maximize the excitement and dignity for all. I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg, City Clerk McSweeney, and everyone on their teams for working so hard to prepare for this momentous occasion. We wish everyone luck in this lottery, and more importantly we wish everyone a lucky, healthy, happy marriage."

"In partnership with Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn, my office has spent the past few weeks preparing for this historic day in New York City," said City Clerk McSweeney. "My colleagues and I are committed to making sure that all couples will be treated fairly and with dignity on this momentous occasion."

In advance of July 24th, the City invited same sex couples to begin the marriage license application process online starting on July 5th. This allowed the City to collect data to gauge the number of couples possibly interested in marrying during the first days of marriage equality.

As of this morning, the City Clerk's Office had received 2,661 online applications since July 5th, of which the Clerk has estimated that 1,728 are from same-sex couples. Data collected by the City showed that 54 percent of the online applicants planned to visit the Clerk's Office on July 24th for their marriage license; and that 50 percent of the applicants planned to get married at the Clerk's Office that day.

However, the data collected does not account for the significant number of applicants who typically arrive at a Clerk's Office locations without pre-registering and apply using paper applications on the day they plan to receive their license. Nearly half of all couples seeking a marriage license are not pre-registered on a typical day.

The data indicated that every couple who was interested in getting their marriage license or married on July 24th could not be accommodated and an organized lottery system would prevent couples from potentially traveling to a New York City Clerk's Office and being denied access to services.

The 764 couples expected to be married on July 24th will be the most on any single day in City history. The previous highs were 621 marriages on Valentine's Day in 2003 and 610 marriages on August 8, 2008 (8/8/08). On both of those occasions, most couples who were married had already obtained their marriage licenses before arriving at the Clerk's Offices and did not need a judge to waive the 24-hour marriage waiting period normally required under State law. On Sunday, officials will have to process potentially all three steps for each couple – the license issuance, the hearing for a judicial waiver and the marriage ceremony – while exceeding the previous record for most couples married in a single day by more than 20 percent.

Lottery participants will be required to enter the name of each spouse, contact number, email address, and the borough where they would like to marry on July 24th. The name used by applicants for the lottery must match the name used on the final marriage certificate – to prevent couples from giving or selling their spots to other couples. All couples selected in the lottery will be required to present official proof of identification to take advantage of a guaranteed spot at the Clerk's office on Sunday, July 24th.

Lottery slots available by borough:

400 Manhattan City Clerk's Office
112 Brooklyn City Clerk's Office
112 Queens City Clerk's Office
98 Bronx City Clerk's Office
42 Staten Island City Clerk's Office

The numbers for the slots available are proportional to the number of marriages performed at the City Clerk's offices on a normal day.

More than 60 judges from the New York State court system have volunteered to work on Sunday to review requests to waive the 24-hour marriage waiting period normally required under State law and to perform marriage ceremonies for eligible couples. Judges will be on hand in all five boroughs throughout the day.

Lottery winners will be able to get married at their designated Clerk's office on Sunday July 24th between 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM. Couples must bring a valid, government-issued identification. The following types of identification are acceptable:

Driver's license, non-driver identification card, or learner's permit, with photograph, from any state or United States territory;
Active United States Military Identification Card;
Valid passport;
United States Certificate of Naturalization (less than ten years old);
United States Alien Registration Card; or
United States Employment Authorization Card.

In addition to proper identification, all couples will be required to have a witness with proper identification. The witness must be at least 18 years of age. The fee for a New York City Marriage License is $35, with an additional fee of $25 for a marriage ceremony.

Couples not selected in the public lottery will be able to receive marriage services any day following Sunday, July 24th at the Clerk's Offices, which will be open for extended hours – 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM – from Monday, July 25th through Friday, July 29th. Couples are encouraged to begin the marriage license application process online by going to

On July 6th, Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Quinn and City Clerk McSweeney announced New York City Clerk's offices in all five boroughs would be open for a full day of business on Sunday, July 24th and fully prepared to implement New York State's new Marriage Equality Law for all couples.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Here is more information on Summermusic 2011 concerts planned for this weekend.



(BRONX, NY) - BAE's Electronic Mosholu Crash takes the stage on Friday, July 29 and Sunday, July 31 to play popular '60 hits at BAE's SummerMusic 2011 performance titled "Here Comes the Sun and Strawberry Fields Forever" featuring the music of The Beatles, Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash, The Kinks, Herman's Hermits, Ray Charles and more! The July 29 concert is scheduled for 6 pm in Pelham Bay Park at Middletown Road and Stadium Avenue. The Sunday, July 31 concerts are at 2 pm at Rockwood Drive Circle, Van Cortlandt Park, near Broadway and Mosholu Avenue in Riverdale and at 4 pm in McGinley Center at Fordham University, on the Bronx Rose Hill Campus at Southern Boulevard.

BAE's Electronic Mosholu Crash includes Lily Claire Nudsbaum - vocals, Dave Brandwein - guitar and vocals, Andrei Matorin - violin, Brian Kesley - bass and Jovol Bell - drums.

In case of rain, the Friday, July 29 concert will be moved to the Knights of Columbus at 3243 Ampere Avenue and the 2pm Van Cortlandt concert on Sunday, July 31 to Vladeck Hall in the Amalgamated Houses at Hillman Avenue and Van Cortlandt Park South. Limited free parking is available at Pelham Bay Park. The audience is asked to bring a blanket or folding chair to enjoy the Pelham Bay concert. Seating is provided in Van Cortlandt Park but the audience is also urged to bring folding chairs.

INFORMATION: 718.601.7399 or

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, NYC Dept of Parks & Recreation, New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation, Fordham University Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, Councilman James Vacca, Councilman Joel Rivera, Councilwoman Helen Foster, State Senator Jeffrey D. Klein and Bronx Borough President Rubén Diaz Jr.

Bainbridge Avenue & E. 204th Street Merchants Present Summer Streets Weekend Walks 2011

Instead of taxpayer subsidized malls that compete against Bronx small businesses, as proposed at the Kingsbridge Armory, here is an initiative that if done right can breath new life into one our business districts in the Bronx. NYC and the Bronx are and should always be about neighborhoods and small business.

Please see more related to the pedestrian streets plan to promote foot traffic and commerce along the Bainbridge Avenue / E. 204th Street commercial district.


Bainbridge Avenue & E. 204th Street Merchants Present Summer Streets Weekend Walks 2011

July 19, 2011: On Sundays, July 24, 2011, July 31, and August 7, from 12-5PM, The Bainbridge Avenue & E. 204th Street Merchants group in conjunction with Bronx Community Board 7 and Mosholu Preservation Corporation will participate in the Department of Transportation (DOT)-sponsored “Temporary Pedestrian Street/Summer Street” program along East 204th Street between Bainbridge and Hull Avenues.

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

The events will feature various activities such as merchants who’s storefronts will be extended to curbside for a unique outdoor shopping experience, face painting, FDNY Smoke House, a farmers market, cooking demos by Just Food, games, entertainment and giveaways.


WHAT: Summer Streets Weekend Walks 2011
WHO: Bronx Community Board 7 and Bainbridge Ave. & E.
204th Street Merchants
DATE: Sundays, July 24, July 31, and August 7, 2011
TIME: 12PM – 5PM
LOCATION: E. 204th Street between Bainbridge & Hull Avenues,
Bronx, NY 10458

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

City Island Theater Group Conducts Free Kid's Workshop this Saturday, July 23 2011

Here is another workshop free to local youth.



City Island Theater Group
PO Box 45
Bronx, NY 10464


Join Professional Broadway Teaching Artist Braddon Mehrten for a fun-filled, free outdoor theater workshop for children and families.

When: Saturday, July 23 (rain or shine)
Where: Grace Church front yard
Time: 2:00 p.m.

All ages Welcome!
Fun for everyone!

Email for more info!

Senator Serrano's Bronx Constituent Hours tomorrow Wednesday July 20th, 2011

Here is some information for anyone with issues they want to address with State Senator Serrano.


Senator Serrano's Bronx Constituent Hours TOMORROW!

Senator Serrano's staff will be providing Constituent Services in the Bronx tomorrow. Bronx Constituent Hours take place in different locations each month, aside from regular office hours in Senator Serrano's District Office.*

Wednesday, July 20th 2011
4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Where: River Park Towers Offices
15 Richman Plaza

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact our office at (212) 828-5829. We look forward to meeting with you!

*Constituent Services are also available Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm, in Senator Serrano's District Office at 157 East 104th Street.


Here is a seminar organized by Councilman Cabrera to educate tenants on their rights. Please see below for more information.



WHO: NYC Council Member Fernando Cabrera, Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)

WHAT: Councilman Cabrera will host a tenant forum with HPD and other agencies.

WHEN: Wednesday, July 20th

WHERE: Monroe College
2430 Jerome Ave, Bronx NY 10468

“Tenants are facing tough times,” said Councilman Cabrera. “During these difficult economic times, many of the issues that tenants face are magnified so there is no better time to inform the community of their rights and resources available to them than now,” the Councilman continued.

In partnership with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development this forum will give tenants an opportunity to get information on issues such as getting repairs, housing court, rent subsidies, housing benefits for seniors, NYCHA housing, Section 8, dealing with bedbugs, tenants’ rights and more.

“I want to empower the community with the knowledge and resources they need to live in the best conditions possible,” said Councilman Cabrera. “I have personally visited buildings in my district where tenants weren’t getting their needs adequately met and my office was able to help. This forum is another step towards serving their needs and ensuring that our communities take advantage of the resources available to them.”

New York Botanical Garden Accepting Applications for its Horticulture Program

Here is some information sent by the School of Professional Horticulture at the NY Botaniical Gardens. Those interested should review the letter and web sites listed below.



Dear Gregory,

The nation’s leading horticulture career training program, the School of Professional Horticulture at The New York Botanical Garden is accepting applications now through August 15, 2011. This two-year, full-time horticulture program in New York City offers students high-quality academics with hands-on practical training. Current students and alumni are excelling in the field. Monet’s Garden at Giverny and U.S. National Arboretum are among internship sites for current students. A recent alumnus and manager of Verdant Gardens Design in Brooklyn is just one of many career changers successfully employed in horticulture business. Prospective students may apply at

Access the online press release with full details here:

Learn more about the School by reading this backgrounder:

Monday, July 18, 2011

No One You Know Productions and Bronx Underground Host STS Festival 2011 on Thursday July 21st

For those interested in checking out the Bronx rock scene, please check out the festivities planned for Thursday July 21st.


NYC Council Speaker Quinn and Health Committee Chair Maria Del Carmen Arroy Issue 1st Ever NYC Health Report: BigAppleRx Discount Card Made Available

From the long list of legislation and accomplishments, including a new discount prescription card made available called "BigAppleRx", it is obvious Speaker Quinn and Health Committee Chair, Councilwoman Maria Del Carmen Arroyo have been working overtime to make NYC a healthier city.

Please do reviews the information below and please do forward to anyone you know that might need some assistance when purchasing pharmaceutical products.


July 15, 2011

Dear New Yorker,

We're very pleased to share our first-ever NYC Council Health Report with you.

In this report you'll find important information about some of the work the City Council has been doing together with our many partners in the community to help make New York a healthier city and home. Our goal with these reports, which we aim to issue on a regular basis, is to keep you and our constituents better updated and involved in these efforts as we continue to work together to address the important health issues facing our city today.

If you have any questions about the initiatives described below, please feel free to contact Joe Mancino in the Council's Human Services Division at (212) 341-0357 or

Thanks and have a great weekend and a healthy, enjoyable summer!

Christine C. Quinn
NYC Council

M. C. Arroyo
Chair, Health Committee
NYC Council

Prescription Drug Discount Cards – ­Now Available

As a result of legislation passed by the City Council, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) has developed a new prescription drug discount card program called BigAppleRx.

Cards are now available for FREE to all residents, regardless of age, income, or immigration and health insurance coverage status, and can be used to purchase eligible prescription drugs at a reduced price from thousands of pharmacies around the city and country. (It cannot, however, be used in conjunction with another type of prescription drug discount or other insurance coverage for the same transaction.)

HealthTrans Access, one of the nation's largest discount drug programs, is helping to administer the program at more than 2,000 pharmacies in NYC and more than 58,000 pharmacies nationwide.

To get your very own free BigAppleRx discount card, go to If you don't have access to a printer, you can write your card number down or have the information texted to your mobile phone. Cards can also be picked up at many local businesses, community organizations, city agencies, and City Council offices around the five boroughs. For a list of locations, click here.

Information about prescriptions and drug prices can also be found on the BigAppleRX website. To locate a pharmacy near you that accepts this card, use the BigAppleRx pharmacy locator tool at You can also call 311 or 1-800-697-6974 to speak to a customer representative who will help you locate a pharmacy closest to you. The BigAppleRx card also has an i-Phone application that allows consumers to use the card right from their phone by locating the nearest participating pharmacy.

Extension of City's Ban on Smoking Goes into Effect

Our extension of the City's ban on smoking went into effect last month – just in time for the summer!

Thanks to Local Law 11 2011, sponsored by Council Member Gale Brewer, New Yorkers and their families can now enjoy more smoke-free parts of the City, including parks, beaches, pools and many other designated outdoor areas.

While we hope smokers will respect the law and not light up in these public areas, Parks Department officials are authorized to enforce the law and may issue fines of $50 per violation.

To report a violation, please flag the nearest parks officer or call 311.

City Council Holds Hearing on Two Bills to Improve the Health & Wellbeing of NYers

This past month, the City Council held a public hearing on two important bills that will contribute to the health, equity, and economic and environmental well-being of all New Yorkers.

One of the bills, Proposed Intro. 248-A, sponsored by Council Member Lewis Fidler, would create a free, searchable, public database of city-owned property and features of that property, including whether it's suitable for urban gardens.

The other bill, sponsored by Council Member Inez Dickens, would require city agencies to report a comprehensive set of metrics related to the City's food system. This data will help us measure progress on the 12 goals outlined in our FoodWorks plan for improving NYC's food system.

New Tools in Fight Against Bed Bugs

We are continuing our efforts to stamp out bed bugs in NYC.

This past March, the City Council and the Bloomberg Administration unveiled a new web-based bed bug tool to provide New Yorkers with accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date information on how to prevent, recognize, and treat beg bug infestations.

This new website ( came out of recommendations from our Bed Bug Advisory Board, which found that the lack of educational materials and dissemination of inconsistent information were impeding safe and effective ways to prevent and control bed bugs.

Additionally, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) have created a comprehensive new model for responding to bed bug complaints in residential properties. Under this new protocol, landlords of buildings where persistent bed bug infestations are found will be required to hire a licensed exterminator to inspect and treat the infested unit and surrounding apartments.

If your landlord refuses to address a possible bed bug infestation inside your home, please call 311 immediately to schedule an inspection with HPD.

City Council Adopts Fiscal Year 2012 Budget

Finally, this past month the City Council and Mayor Bloomberg reached an agreement on the City's budget for Fiscal Year 2012 (July 1, 2011 - June 30, 2012).

While we had to make some extremely tough choices this year, we were able to pass a responsible budget on time – one that protects funding for the most vital services without jeopardizing our city's future.

A few highlights are listed below:

Education - Thanks to an agreement between the Council, the City, and the UFT, there will be no teacher layoffs in the upcoming fiscal year.

Public Safety - This year's budget agreement not only keeps fire companies open, but it also protects funding for our city's most recent class of police recruits, who were officially sworn in this past month as the newest additions to New York's Finest.

Childcare - Substantial restorations were made to childcare and after-school programs.

Libraries – We successfully restored $61 million in funding to the New York, Brooklyn and Queens library systems. This should prevent any closures and lay-offs and ensure that most, if not all, branches remain open at least five days of week.

Parks - Public pools will remain open all summer as a result of restorations to the City's Parks Department.

Health - We also provided substantial funding for a number of important health and mental health initiatives around the City, including asthma control; screening and education for breast, colon and ovarian cancer; child health clinics; family planning; rapid HIV testing; obesity prevention; autism awareness; and mental health services for older adults.

Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who took part in this year's budget process. All of the phone calls, letters, petitions and rallies truly paid off.

You can read more about this year's budget agreement on the Council's website at

Addressing PCBs in NYC Public Schools

Earlier this year, the City Council held a hearing on PCBs in public schools.

These man-made chemicals, which are found in old light fixtures inside many of our city's schools, are considered probable carcinogens by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency and are suspected of causing a number of critical health problems.

As part of our ongoing effort to keep students safe and healthy, we're very pleased to report that this year's budget agreement with Mayor Bloomberg also includes $30 million in capital funding over the next three years to help speed up the removal of PCB's from city schools. This funding will allow us to more quickly eliminate the effects of PCBs in city schools, keeping our students safe and reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the five boroughs.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Tri-State Skateboard Park Directory launched: Mullaly, River Avenue and Throgs Neck Skateboard Parks Located in the Bronx Listed

(Mullaly Skateboard Park, Bronx NYC)

Here is a letter received from a skateboard activist related to a skateboard park directory he developed. The web site lists skateboard parks through New York, New Jersey, Long Island and Connecticut.

The Bronx sports three skateboard parks that are listed on the website. Please do use the resource if interested in finding out more about Mullaly, River Avenue or the Throgs Neck Skateboard parks in our Borough.



check out the all new

I am writing to help spread the word about a new web directory covering all the skateboard parks in the New York City area: After discovering how hard it was to track down info on all the new skateparks popping up in and around the city, I decided to create a directory that hosts park information like location, hours, cost and weather or not helmets are required. I also have been aggregating news, photos and videos from all of our region’s parks. The site includes parks in Manhattan and all five boros, North New Jersey, Long Island, Southern Connecticut and upstate New York.

But I need your help. In order for the directory to serve it’s purpose it needs to rank well on Google’s search results. The best way to help search rankings is with a link from another site (as you may know). Please link to and help us out. I will gladly return the favor with a return link on our site’s link page:

My goal is not to sell ads, steal content or step on the toes of any of the other great New York skate and spot directory sites out there (like,,,, etc.) but instead provide a simple resource for New Yorkers and visitors who want to get out and skate a little transition at one of the many new skateparks in the area. The site is new and may be missing some information. If you see any incorrect info or have any comments. Please let me know.

Thanks for yr links!


BoogieDowner Job Hunt: Staff Icons Seeks Beer/Popcorn/Soda Servers for U2 Concert at the Meadowlands

Here is some part time work that might be of interest to a BoogieDown reader. If interested please contact the Dawn Foster at Staff Icons, LLC. Their information is listed below.


Hi U2 Fans!!!

I have 75 openings for Beer/Popcorn/Soda Servers for the U2 Concert at the Meadowlands this Wednesday, 7/20! It pays $10 an hour plus tips! The shift starts at 3pm until 12:00am! You get to eat and drink for free while you work!! The job entails walking up and down steps during the concert selling to the audience watching the concert!!

It’s a great opportunity to watch the U2 Concert for free and get paid for it!!!

If you are interested, I would need you to contact me asap in my office at Staff Icons at 201-986-7888 or e-mail me at with your contact information and I will have one of my Recruiters call you to get you registered to work the event. It is first come first serve so you need to confirm with me asap to confirm a spot to work the event. Once you are registered with my agency and work this event you will then be on call to work future events at the Meadowlands such as Giant and Jets games and various concerts….

Please spread the word and gather all your friends as this event will be a fun one to work!!


Dawn Foster
Staff Icons, LLC
1 Kalisa Way
Unit 309
Paramus, NJ 07652
201-986-7888 O
845-321-0777 C
201-986-7444 F <- Please Link In to me on LinkedIn

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Here is another great SummerMusic 2011 event scheduled for Sunday, July 24th.


(Bronx, NY) - The Bronx Arts Ensemble will present its SummerMusic 2011 Romantic Strings concert featuring RHEINBERGER’s String Quinent, Op. 82 and MARTINU’s Quintet on Sunday, July 24. Concerts are scheduled for 2 pm at Rockwood Drive Circle, Van Cortlandt Park (enter at Mosholu Avenue and Broadway) and 4 pm at Fordham University’s McGinley Center. BAE musicians will include Jorge Ávila and Francisca Mendoza on violins, Joel Rudin and Julie Goodale on violas and Bruce Wang on cello.

In case of rain, the first concert will be moved to Vladeck Hall in the Amalgamated Houses at Hillman Avenue and Van Cortlandt Park South. Seating is provided in Van Cortlandt Park but the audience is urged to bring folding chairs if possible.

For more information, call 718.601.7399 or visit

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, NYC Dept of Parks & Recreation, New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation, Fordham University Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, Councilman James Vacca, Councilman Joel Rivera, Councilwoman Helen Foster, State Senator Jeffrey D. Klein and Bronx Borough President Rubén Diaz Jr.

The Bronx’s premier music performance ensemble serving the borough since 1972, the Bronx Arts Ensemble is a not-for-profit organization enriching the cultural environment of the Bronx with a year-round schedule of concerts, special programs for families and a full music and arts-in-education program for schools.

North Bronx Thinktank and Bronx for Change Host Political Event at the Marina Del Ray

North Bronx Thinktank is teaming up with Bronx for Change to conduct a gathering geared to enacting political reform in the Bronx. The event will take place on Thursday July 14th at the Marina Del Ray catering hall. The event starts at 5pm. Any one curious in reviewing their agenda can to log onto their blog site listed below. They seem to be the “Young Turks” of Bronx Politics. Ephraim Cruz of Bronx for Change can be contacted at (520) 227-3756 for additional information. (The atttached ppress release was sent by Anthony Rivieccio.)

Good Day

Since our birth 10 years ago, we are very proud of our work: cleaning up North Bronx Parks, like Mosholu Parkway. Safeguarding children from domestic Abuse in Kingsbridge. Re-sproucing economic development on Bedford Park Blvd @ 204th /Bainbridge but maybe our proudest , through our affilate; Northwest Bronx Democrats is the work with Gov Andrew Cuomo for: Same Sex marriage @ Bronx Political Reform with Bronx For Change

Please feel free to go to our North Bronx Thinktank Blog
( to learn about our many sucesses and help us with our newest one on Thursday Night At Marina Del Ray, courtesy of one of our partners, Bronx For Change. Learn more st our blog



Caribbean-American Heritage Night Sponsored by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.; Celebration Scheduled for Tuesday July 19th, 2011

Someone save me some curry goat!!!!

Everyone looking for a celebration should consider festivities planned for Caribbean-American Heritage Night. Please see the press release below for more information and contact information. Congratulations to our Caribbean-American community and all the sponsors that made the event possible.


Caribbean-American Heritage Night

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
In conjunction with
Virgin Islanders United Inc.

Invites you to join them for an evening of live entertainment and
refreshments at

The Bronx Museum of the Arts
1040 Grand Concourse at 165th Street

Tuesday, July 19, 2011
5:30 PM

Admission is free, but seating is limited.
Please RSVP 718-590-3522
or email

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

NY City Clerk Expands Services to Accommodate Increase in Marriages Expected

Here is another informational letter sent for distribution pertaining to helping couples navigate their marriages requirements with the City Clerks office. Resources have been expanded due to the expected increased in marriages, due to the passing of same sex marriage legislation earlier this month.

The letter was sent by Councilwoman Christine Quinn who according to today's New York Daily News article has the largest war chest of any Mayoral candidate. Here are the statistics listed in today’s paper;

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn: $4 Million
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer: $2.5 Million
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio: $1 Million

Any feedback on who the winner will be come the next election? Who else would you consider a candidate? How important will support for same sex marriage legislation be in the next Mayor election?

July 13, 2011

Dear New Yorker,

New York State's Marriage Equality Law was signed into law by Governor Cuomo on June 24, 2011, allowing same-sex couples to marry legally in New York for the first time.

Many of us have waited a lifetime for this to happen and we want to make sure everyone who wants to get married here has the information they need to get a marriage license and have a successful wedding.

The New York City Clerk will begin issuing marriage licenses and performing civil marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples starting on Sunday, July 24, 2011, and has put together a list of questions and answers for couples to help guide them through the application process. To access, please click here. Additional information about the application process is also available on the City Clerk's website at

Finally, for anyone interested in volunteering in the City Clerk's office and helping out in this extraordinary effort, please contact Carlos Menchaca in my office at (212) 788-5646 or

We look forward to welcoming all couples and their families who wanted to get married in New York City!

Christine C. Quinn
NYC Council

Turner School of Construction Management Offers Free Program in Cooperation with SoBRO and other Non-profit Leaders

Here is information on a free educational program geared to professionals in the building trade industry. Please do use the contact information provided below to inquire about the program or sign up.


Good Afternoon.

The South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Turner Construction are pleased to announce an innovative partnership that will bring the Turner School of Construction Management Certificate Program to the Bronx. It is the first time in 4 years and we are pleased to announce its return to SoBRO.
The Turner School of Construction Management Certificate Program will begin with a kick-off reception for attendees on August 25th at 555 Bergen Avenue, Bronx NY 10455 on the 3rd Floor. Classes will be held at the same location on subsequent Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:00PM to 9:00PM. The program will run for eight weeks, with a total of 16 classes. Please note that class schedules are subject to change due to inclement weather and other unanticipated events.

The registration deadline is August 16, 2011. The flyer and registration form for our upcoming Turner School 8 week certificate class on Construction Management is attached. The registration form should be filled out and returned to as soon as possible. Due to limited space, registration is on a “first come first served” basis. The program is FREE to all individuals in the building industry with at least three years of experience.
This is an exciting opportunity to grow your skills or those of your key personnel and we hope you will take advantage of this opportunity. Also, please feel free to forward this information to anyone you think may benefit from attending this program.


Rogina Coar-Smith, Director
Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)
South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (SoBRO)
T: 718-732-7540 / F: 718-292-6645

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Here is more on the PAL 2011 Play Streets Program. Please forward to any youth looking for ways to enjoy their summer. For anyone interested in more information on the program the web site related to the program is listed at the very end of the press release.



Children cool off under a fire hydrant at the opening ceremony of PAL’s Summer Play Streets Program.

The Police Athletic League (PAL) kicked off the 2011 Summer Play Streets Program on July 6, 2011, at the PAL Harlem Center, on Manhattan Avenue at 119th Street, with hundreds of PAL youngsters playing Skelly, Double Dutch jump rope, Nok Hockey, Hopscotch, Jacks, Tug-of-War and other traditional city sidewalk games.

Bronx children participated in the opening ceremonies and cooled off under a fire hydrant opened by PAL Board Member and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., PAL Vice Chairman Robert J. McGuire, NYPD Community Affairs Inspector David Colon and PAL Acting Executive Director Alana Sweeny. PAL Honorary President and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly also visited the children and participated in the celebration.

“We are excited to open the 2011 PAL Play Streets season today. Thanks to our many generous supporters, our kids can have a safe, stimulating and enjoyable experience throughout the summer months,” said Alana Sweeny, PAL’s Acting Executive Director.

Bronx youngsters from PAL’s New South Bronx Center and PS 48 in Hunts Point competed in Tug-of-War with members of the NYPD Liaison Unit. In addition, the New York National Guard Counterdrug Task Force provided a portable rock climbing wall, along with drug prevention information. The 2011 World Police & Fire Games also participated in the opening, as the Police Athletic League is an official legacy organization for the games that will take place from August 26th to September 5th in New York City. There was a booth about the upcoming games and free giveaways through Bronx Toys.

“This is my third summer coming to PAL,” said 11-year-old Kay’on McKnight from PS 48 in the Bronx. “I love getting to see my friends from last summer, making new friends and having fun with all the activities we do.”

During the summer, PAL closes off streets and other public areas throughout New York City to give children safe, supervised places to play. PAL Play Streets offer sports, arts, games, crafts, music and dance. PAL is operating throughout the five boroughs this summer, providing Play Streets, sports leagues including Cops & Kids teams and day camps. Approximately 7,500 children will be served on 50 Play Streets in all five boroughs.

Children develop their creativity through arts, and learn from a wide range of educational, recreational and cultural arts specialists. Play Streets, which include organized play areas in playgrounds, schools or on city streets, will operate for a total of seven weeks. Locations are open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and are free to all New York City children. This year, MetLife Foundation, the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Daniel Rose, the New York City Council and the Mayor’s Office of the Criminal Justice Coordinator are sponsoring the PAL Play Streets Program.

New York City’s Police Athletic League is the first, largest and finest civilian-run PAL in the country. Founded in 1914, PAL has served New York City’s young people for 97 years. PAL provides recreational, educational, cultural and social activities to over 50,000 boys and girls annually. It is also the city’s largest, independent, nonprofit youth organization. For more information, please visit


There is homeowners fair set for tomorrow that could be helpful in saving money or preventing foreclosures in our borough. Please see below for more information.



WHO: NYC Council Member Fernando Cabrera and University Neighborhood Housing Program

WHAT: Councilman Cabrera is co-sponsoring a resource fair for homeowners in his district looking to lower their energy costs, get help with their water bills, and learn about foreclosure prevention options.

WHEN: July 13th, 2011
6:30-8:30 PM

WHERE: Davidson Community Center
2038 Davidson Ave (corner of Burnside Ave)
Bronx, NY 10453

“There are upwards of 2,000 homeowners in my district,” says Council Member Cabrera. “And through these tough economic times, our residents need all the resources they can get to help manage what has in some cases, become unmanageable,” he continued.

Councilman Fernando Cabrera is working together with the Department of Environmental Protection and University Neighborhood Housing Program to meet individually with homeowners having trouble with their water bills and other issues with their properties.

“If people have trouble paying their high water bills in this unstable fiscal climate, it sometimes serves an indicator for potential foreclosure issues in the near future,” says Councilman Cabrera. “This resource fair is an attempt to help the constituents in my district before it gets to that point.”