Friday, September 30, 2011

Health and Family Festival to take place Saturday, October 1st at Belmont and East Fordham Road Intersection

There is a free health festival taking place tomorrow. Various medical exams will be made available to the public free of charge. The event is sponsored by NY State Senator Jeff Klein, MedAlliance and Affinity Health Plan. Anyone interested in the free screenings should review the information sent by Senator Klein’s office.

Senator Klein to Host Health Festival

BRONX, N.Y. – Senator Jeff Klein, (D-Bronx/ Westchester), will be holding a Free Health and Family Festival. The event will feature free screening for blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, lead and asthma, as well as free eye and diabetic foot exams. The event is co-sponsored by the MedAlliance and Affinity Health Plan.

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011, from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: The corner of Belmont Avenue and East Fordham Road in the Bronx.

Annual Senior Citizen Art Show at the Jeanne Jugan Residence in Throgs Neck Scheduled for Sunday, October 2nd

There is an art exhibit on Sunday at the Jeanne Jugan Residence in Throgs Neck. Anyone curious to see what master pieces are on display should check out the information below. The exhibition highlighting art created local seniors is sponsored by the Bronx Arts Ensemble with funding by Councilman Vacca.

Vacca to Visit Art Show at Throgs Neck Senior Residence

On Sunday, October 2, Council Member James Vacca will the visit the senior citizens at the Jeanne Jugan Residence in Throgs Neck for their annual art show. The exhibit is the culmination of an art program sponsored by the Bronx Arts Ensemble, which enables residents to create their own works of art. Vacca allocates City Council funding to the Bronx Arts Ensemble to support their work in the community.

Who: Council Member Vacca; Jeanne Jugan Residence seniors and staff; Bronx Arts
Ensemble staff
What: Senior citizen residents’ art show
When: Sunday, October 2 @ 2 PM
Where: Jeanne Jugan Residence, 2999 Schurz Avenue, Bronx

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Association of Progressive Dominicans (ACDP) Prepares for their 30th Anniversary Award Ceremony

For anyone interested in supporting a local grass roots organization with a 30 year track record of service to the community, please do read the e-mail sent earlier by community activist, Mrs. Kim Ramos. The ACDP is organizing their 30th Anniversary Awards Ceremony on October 20th. Please do feel free to log onto their web site to learn more about the organization and please do feel free to contact Ms. Ramos to find out how you can support the organizations continued success.


Friends - This year, Community Association of Progressive Dominicans (ACDP) celebrates 30 YEARS OF SERVICE to our community. We will be celebrating this achievement by honoring other outstanding community leaders who have made contributions to our community and excelled in their service.

Our 30th Anniversary Awards Ceremony will take place at The Malcolm X & Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center located at 3940 Broadway, the corner of 165th Street, on October 20, 2011 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. We expect more than 100 friends, supporters and other community leaders.

Our confirmed Honorees include:

Cira Angeles, LA Riverside Brokerage
Raysa Castillo, Esq., Castillo & Associates, P.C.
Michael Edelstein, Edelstein Properties
William Garcia, Esq., Garcia & Kalicharan
Ray Halbritter, Oneida Nation Representative & CEO
Dr. Carlos Molina, Vice President Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development
CUNY in the Heights-Hostos Community College

During this very difficult fiscal time, many community organizations have endured a reduction in financial support which has negatively impacted on the services they can provide to the community. Our 30th Anniversary Celebration is a great opportunity to honor the people who make our community better while raising much-needed funds to continue the programs and services that have defined ACDP's signature value to Northern Manhattan.

ACDP provides high quality programs and services to over 27,000 children and families each year focusing on Education, Youth Leadership, Public and Mental Health, Food, Nutrition, Immigration, Citizenship, and Housing. We encourage you to visit our website to learn more about our programs and services.

I sincerely hope you will join us in our efforts to support the social services, educational and recreational programs that benefit so many of our children and families.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me at 917-825-8642 or via email at

Senior Partnering with Artists Citywide (SPARC) Applications due Friday September 30th

Here is a reminder about the deadline tomorrow related to the Senior Citizen art program mentioned on an earlier post. If you’re a senior citizen interested in the art program please do review the information provided below.

This Friday, September 30 is the deadline for applications to SPARC: Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide, a community arts engagement program that places artists-in-residence at senior centers across the five boroughs of New York City. Applications should be sent to the local arts council in each borough. See below for more information, including links to SPARC applications.

August 31, 2011
Media Advisory for Listings

The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Announces
Call for Artists for SPARC: Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide

Competitive Residency Program will place up to 50 Artists in Senior Centers across the Five Boroughs

The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs today announced a Call for Artists for SPARC: Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide, a community arts engagement program that places artists-in-residence at senior centers across the five boroughs of New York City. The competitive program will provide selected artists with access to workspace in senior centers and a stipend in exchange for the creation and delivery of arts programming for seniors. Participating seniors will be engaged in an art project or series of cultural programs over the course of the residency, which will also include a public program component - a series of exhibits, open houses and other cultural interactions open to the surrounding community. This initiative seeks to connect artists with seniors in senior centers and positively impact the well-being of seniors through arts-based activities.

Artists will be selected for SPARC residencies through a competitive application process managed by the local arts councils in each borough– Brooklyn Arts Council, Bronx Council on the Arts, Council on the Arts and Humanities of Staten Island, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Queens Council on the Arts. Starting today, application materials and guidelines are available on the local arts council websites. The deadline for submissions is September 30th, 2011.

SPARC is a collaboration among the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Department for the Aging and the City's five local arts councils, and previously ran as a successful pilot called Space for Art. This initiative was developed as part of Age friendly NYC, a citywide effort to make the City more livable for seniors. The program is supported, in part, by funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant program.

For more information visit

First Friday’s Free Jazz Performances with Chris Washburne and the SYOTOS Band at the Bronx Museum of the Arts

FRIDAY OCTOBER 7, 6:00 - 10:00pm

There are two Jazz sets scheduled for next Friday at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Trombonist Chris Washburne and his Latin jazz group SYOTOS dish out sassy harmonies, smart arrangements, and tunes that make you want to dance. It won’t take you long to figure out why The New York Times calls him “one of the best trombonists in New York.” He’s performed with all-stars across a huge range of styles, from Tito Puente to Justin Timberlake and Marc Anthony. Both sets are free and great way to spend a Friday night. Kudos to Deutsche Bank and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs for sponsoring this and other First Friday events at our beautiful museum right here on the Grand Concourse.


Kingsbridge Heights Community Center, CB 8 and DOT Announce Bike Safety Seminary Scheduled for Friday, September 30th

There is another opportunity to enroll in a bike safety course and possible secure a free bike helmet for you or your loved ones who participate in tomorrows bike safety seminar. The Kingsbridge Heights Community Center in partnership with Community Board 8 and DOT will be handing out free bicycle helmets at their bicycle safety seminar. Please see the information taken from their press release sent.


Helmets are available for all ages. You must be present to get a helmet
A parent or legal guardian must be present to sign a waiver for children under age 18
Adults over age 18 receiving a helmet must sign a waver

Date: Friday, September 30, 2011
Time: 3:30 PM-6:30 PM
Location: Kingsbridge Heights Youth market
Barn Hill Square, W. Kingsbridge Road & Reservoir Ave.
Bronx, NY 10468
Rain Site: Jerome Public Library
118 Eames Place (Near Kingsbridge Road)

Visit or call 311 for more information.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Woodlawn Cemetery Celebrates 147 Year Anniversary and National Historic Landmark Designation with Concerts and Walking Tours

Here is news about Woodlawn Cemetery in relation to their 147 years history and its designation as a National Landmark. Tours, concerts and a scavenger hunt are scheduled. From the short list mentioned below, the cemetery is home to many distinguished Americans.


The Woodlawn Cemetery will unveil its National Historic Landmark designation plaque on October 16 at 1:00pm. To celebrate this important milestone in the 147-year-old Cemetery’s history, Woodlawn is hosting a free open-house, featuring fall-foliage tours and the rare opportunity to go inside the mausoleums of some of the Cemetery’s most famous people. Tours begin at 2:00pm and there will be a special scavenger hunt for children ages 7-12. The Bardekova Ensemble—a woodwind quintet based in the Bronx will perform at 3:00. Among their repertory are works by some of Woodlawn’s famous musicians, including Duke Ellington and Miles Davis. All events are free of charge. Registration at or 718-920-1463 x500 is appreciated.

National Historic Landmark status is the highest recognition accorded to the nation’s most historically significant properties. Woodlawn is bring recognized for its outstanding landscape design and collection of art and architecture. The designation also recognizes Woodlawn’s significant role in memorializing and celebrating prominent Americans, who shaped American history and culture, including author Herman Melville, mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, composer Duke Ellington, musician Miles Davis, financier Jay Gould, entrepreneur Madame C.J. Walker, composer Irving Berlin, publisher Joseph Pulitzer, salsa singer Celia Cruz, artist and philanthropist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, and political cartoonist Thomas Nast, among many others.

Public Advocate Bill De Blasio Releases Report and Seeks Citizen Input on Cutting Red Tape in City Government

Do you have your own red tape horror story? If so our Public Advocate, Bill de Blasio, wants to hear about it. In an effort to streamline city government our Public Advocate wants your input on how NYC could increase its efficiency and save tax payer dollars by eliminating red tape. I am sure we have all been frustrated at times with how NYC works. Here is you opportunity to be heard, make NYC more efficient and help save NYC tax dollars.

Blasio recently released the first in a series of Red Tape Reports, aimed at eliminating needless bureaucracy. To view the first report and or submit your suggestions for future reductions of red tape please review the following web address.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Workman's Circle Muticare Center

Here is a photo of a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Workman's Circle Multicare Center. Kudos to all the representatives, staff and volunteers that made the renovation possible.


(Pictured with Assemblyman Dinowitz in the attached photo are Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, Community Board 12 District Manager Carmen Rosa, Assemblyman Carl Heastie, WCMCC CEO Soloman Rutenberg, State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, and Joe O'Brien representing Congressman Eliot Engel.)

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the opening of the newly renovated Workmen's Circle MultiCare Center. "This facility has served thousands and thousands of people over the past 60 years. As former Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Aging, I'm well aware of the excellent reputation of the Workmen's Circle MultiCare Center. I know that with this renovation, they will be able to provide even better services for the many people who reside there," said Assemblyman Dinowitz.

Friday, September 23, 2011

JeromeGun Hill B.I.D. Festival

Here is a reminder about tomorrows rain or shine festivities organized by the Jerome-Gun Hill B.I.D. For more information you can call the B.I.D. hotline at (718) 324-4946.

Enjoy and good luck to everyone who made the event possible.

Vacca Sponsors DOT Bike Helmet Giveaway for Cyclists of All Ages

On a lighter note, Councilman Vacca is sponsoring a Bike helmet and safety seminar tomorrow at the Pelham Bay library. For that bike enthusiast out there who have never been given anything, here is your chance to learn about bike safety and possible secure that new helmet you always wanted. It should be a great event for children to discuss safety issues when riding their bikes in the community.

Good Luck
Vacca Sponsors DOT Bike Helmet Giveaway for Cyclists of All Ages

On Saturday, September 24, Council Member James Vacca will sponsor a bicycle helmet giveaway for cyclists of all ages at Pelham Bay Library from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event, co-sponsored by the Department of Transportation, will include instructions on how to properly fit and wear a bicycle helmet. All participants will receive a free helmet while supplies last. Vacca will greet participants at approximately 12:15p.m.

WHO: Council Member James Vacca; Department of Transportation safety education staff; community residents

WHAT: Bike helmet giveaway and education event

WHEN: Saturday, September 24, 2011 @ 12:15 PM

WHERE: Pelham Bay Library, 3060 Middletown Road, Bronx


It seems unbelievable many 9/11 survivors suffering from cancer are being told their sickness is not connected to their exposure to toxins on 9/11. Councilman Koppell is leading a fight in the City Council to make sure this injustice is corrected.


At its meeting on Wednesday, September 21, 2011, the Council passed a Resolution, supported by Council Member Oliver Koppell, calling upon Dr. John Howard, Administrator of the World Trade Center Health Program, to examine new evidence indicating a link between exposure to Ground Zero toxins and cancer and reconsider adding coverage for cancers under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act (Zadroga Act).

The Zadroga Act provides for medical monitoring and treatment for damages to first responders, area residents, workers, students and others affected by the 9/11 terrorist attacks who suffer from illnesses on the list of approved World Trade Center-related health conditions

Cancer is not currently on the list of World Trade Center-related health conditions. However, in its Resolution, the Council cited evidence that city employees and others who were exposed to, and inhaled, cancer-causing toxins because of their presence at the World Trade Center on 9/11 or shortly thereafter were more likely to develop cancer than individuals in the general population.

The Resolution referenced A Case Series on Multiple Myeloma in the World Trade Center Responders that confirmed at least 16 cases of multiple myeloma, a cancer of the white blood cells, out of approximately 28,000 responders. On average, fewer than 7 cases per year are expected for every 100,000 people in the U.S. In addition, an unusual number of responder cases, occurred under the age of 45.

There is also information from the NYPD that the common denominator in the array of cancers contracted by 263 police officers since the attacks was their work related to 9/11. Another recently published study conducted by the NYC Fire Department showed that male firefighters who worked at Ground Zero had an elevated risk of melanoma, thyroid and prostate cancers and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“It is now clear from numerous studies and reports that those individuals who worked and volunteered at Ground Zero in rescue, recovery and rebuilding efforts were exposed to a higher risk of cancer. However, at the present time, those who develop cancer are not entitled to compensation under the $2.7 billion James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. It is imperative, therefore, that Dr. Howard examine the new evidence and reconsider adding coverage for cancers under the Act”, Koppell said.

Audit Uncovers $9 Million Held by the City’s Economic Development: Comptroller Calls for Money to be Invested in New Jobs Now or Returned to the City

Here is a news story that broke recently about the City's Economic Development Corporation sitting on funds that should have been used to help stimulate our economy. The idle funds were discovered during an audit performed by NYC Comptroller Liu's office. The link to the full report can be found below. In a time when so many people are unemployed we should make sure these funds are used for their intended purpose. Once again Kudos to Comptroller Liu’s office.


Audit Uncovers $9 Million Held by the City’s Economic Development
Corporation, Untouched for Years; Comptroller Calls for Money to be Invested
in New Jobs Now or Returned to the City
NEW YORK, NY – City Comptroller John C. Liu today announced that an audit of the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) determined it has left millions of dollars untouched that were intended for public benefit projects. The audit identified $9.3 million in so-called Public Purpose Funds, managed by the EDC, in accounts that have seen no activity for years. The EDC received the money from private developers in exchange for tax breaks or other benefits.

The EDC received $8.9 million as part of a 1992 agreement in exchange for financial breaks for the Riverside South residential development led by Donald Trump. This Public Purpose Fund, earmarked from the beginning to benefit the Harlem River Rail Yard in the Bronx, was fully funded by 2005. Despite having 19 years to come up with a plan to use the money, the EDC has not disbursed any of it. The audit recommends the EDC find a way to use the money to benefit the Bronx and not wait another 19 years to do so.

“It makes little sense that millions intended for economic development remain unused for so long, especially in the Bronx where jobs are greatly needed,” Comptroller Liu said. “If the EDC can’t figure out how to put the capital to work then at least return the money to the City treasury.”

The EDC has rejected the audit’s recommendation, arguing that Public Purpose Funds cannot be redirected to a new local benefit without violating the agreements that they are based upon. The EDC, however, also concedes that these agreements can be amended and the money reassigned if it obtains approval from the City Council and City Planning Commission. The audit recommends that the EDC do just that.

The audit also discovered that EDC failed to collect $725,720 from energy company Keyspan, which was supposed to benefit the community near the company’s Long Island City power plant that went online in May 2004. The company was to hand over the money within five years. Despite disagreeing with this particular finding, the EDC collected $250,000 of this money in July after it was brought to their attention by auditors. A balance of $475,720 remains uncollected by EDC.

“This is not the first time the EDC has denied an audit finding only to recover the money once it has been pointed out to them,” said Deputy Comptroller for Audit Tina Kim.

In addition to the Harlem River Rail Yard, the audit identified three additional aging Public Purpose Funds that have remained unused since 2005:

§ $344,659 from a fund created in 1982 to improve Astoria Studios or public areas around the studios
§ $64,834 from Bear Stearns set aside in 1991 to fund job training, particularly for low income youth
§ $55,081 set aside in 2000 with no restricted purpose during the redevelopment of 75/85 East Broadway in Manhattan


An April 2010 audit of EDC operations identified $125 million it owed the City. Although it denied the findings, the EDC eventually agreed to return $120 million to the City, including $10.6 million left in a dormant Public Purpose Fund. Similarly, in November 2010, an audit found the EDC failed to collect more than $300,000 from the Staten Island Yankees owed to the City treasury. Despite initially disagreeing with the audit findings, the EDC has since sought to recoup the entire amount the team owed to the City.

The audit focused on transactions in Fiscal Year 2009 and Fiscal Year 2010.

Comptroller Liu credited Deputy Comptroller for Audit Tina Kim and the Audit Bureau for presenting the findings. The full report is available at

"Umberto E" by Bronx Film Maker Anton Evangelista Viewing Schedule

Bronx Film maker Anton Evangelista will be showing his film "Umberto E" at the following locations. For more about the film and scheduled showing please do view the information below.


A documentary film by
Anton Evangelista

This is an epic story of Umberto Evangelista, a dynamic and charming ninety-year-old Italian immigrant living in New York City.

A real-life Cinderella tale, "UMBERTO E" leads us along his path of personal triumphs over childhood abandonment, harsh treatment in orphanages and a rejecting stepmother. In spite of all of his adversities, Umberto chose love and forgiveness as his weapons of ‘revenge,’ which lead to finding the love of his life - his wife Luisa, and the new life they would have with their children in coming to America.

Running Time: 45 minutes

Italian American Museum
155 Mulberry Street (cor. Grand St.)
Thursday, September 29th
6:30 pm
Seating is limited. For reservations, please call 212.965.9000
Suggested Donation: $10

"UMBERTO E" will also screen at
John D. Calandra Italian American Institute
25 West 43rd Street, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10036
Thursday, October 6th
RSVP at: (212) 642-2094
Seating is limited
Admission: Free

"UMBERTO E" will screen as part of the
N.I.C.E. Film Festival (New Italian Cinema Events)
Friday, November 11th
9:30 pm
Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue (at 2nd St.)
New York, NY 10003
212.505.5181 (for tickets)

The New York Botanical Gardens Schedules Extensive List of Halloween Events for Adults and Children stating October 1st

Here is more Halloween fun taking place in the Bronx. The extensive list of scheduled activities sound like a lot of fun for both adults and children. The gardens should be beautiful this time of years. I hope everyone takes time to enjoy the events.

Enjoy Spooky Halloween Fun in The Haunted Pumpkin Garden
Hundreds of Creatively Carved Pumpkins, Pumpkin Parties, Giant Pumpkin Carving,
and More Await at The New York Botanical Garden

Saturday, October 1–Sunday, October 30, 2011
From Saturday, October 1, through Sunday, October 30, The Haunted Pumpkin Garden at The New York Botanical Garden will treat visitors to frightful Halloween fun. Pumpkin sculptures of spooky scarecrows, frightening spiders, sneaky snakes, and more await discovery at every turn in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden. Every day youngsters can play inside a “gourd-geous” Pumpkin House, put on a scary show at the Pumpkin Puppet Theater, look for wiggly worms under a rotting log, and join a Halloween Parade, while every weekend offers even more treats.

The brainchild of visual artist Michael Natiello, Creative Director for Historic Hudson Valley’s Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, the display includes more than 500 pumpkins intricately carved to create scarecrows, bugs and insects, bats,
spiders and snakes, and creepy nighttime trails through the Children’s Adventure Garden.

A list of all activities during October is below. For more
information, visit

Halloween Parades
Every day throughout October, Weekdays at 2 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 2 and
4 p.m. Kids of all ages are encouraged to wear costumes for parades through the
Adventure Garden.

Creepy Creatures Weekend
Ugh! Bugs!
Saturday, October 1, 1 and 3 p.m.
Get up close to creepy crawly insects such as Madagascar hissing cockroaches,
the emperor scorpion, the pink toe tarantula, crickets, and millipedes.
Gone Batty!

Sunday, October 2, 1 and 3 p.m.
Come face to face with a variety of bats, including the gigantic flying fox bat
from Malaysia, which has a wingspan of nearly six feet.

Spooktacular Pumpkin Party
October 8, 9, and 10, all day (Columbus Day Weekend)
Delight in the fantastical creations of master puppeteer Ralph Lee. Take part in spooky storytelling, puppet-making, and creepy hands-on fun for the entire family.

Giant Pumpkin Carving Weekends
Saturday & Sunday, October 22 & 23, all day
Watch master carver and two-time Food Network Challenge winner Ray Villafane
transform pumpkins into monsters!

Saturday & Sunday, October 29 & 30, all day
See Michael Natiello transform pumpkins into amazing sculptures, releasing the beast
from within!

Spooky Nighttime Adventure
Saturdays, Oct. 22 & 29, 6–7:30 p.m.
Grab a flashlight and explore the spooky sculptures of the Adventure Garden after dark.

Trick-or-treat along the paths and decorate a pumpkin to take home. Kids of all ages:
Non-Member $20/Member $15. Advance tickets recommended

Visit to purchase tickets.
Get Set for Grown-Up Halloween Fun at the Garden

This year The New York Botanical Garden is offering a Halloween activity especially for adults. On Friday, October 28, from 7 to 9 p.m., Bugs and Brews thrills the kid in you with spooky fun while treating your adult side to bubbling artisanal beers and insect delicacies—if you dare! There will be live music and guided spooky walks. Non-Member $30/Member $20 (Adults 21 and over); includes complimentary beer. Advance tickets recommended Visit to purchase tickets.
# #

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ghosts, Goblins, Walking Dead and other Horrific Entities needed for 2011 City Island Haunted House

Here is a fun post for anyone interested in participating in this years haunted House on City Island.



This year, the City Island Theater Group is thrilled to partner with the City Island Community Center on their annual HAUNTED HOUSE. Since 1997, The HAUNTED HOUSE has been an annual tradition on City Island. People from all over the Bronx come to City Island to experience this scary good time. CITG is looking for volunteer actors to play scary characters in the HAUNTED HOUSE.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, September 21, at 8:00 p.m. there will be a meeting at the City Island Community Center for anyone who is interested in volunteering to be characters in the house.

The City Island Community Center is located at 190 Fordham Street.

Contact Person: Joe Burck

The HAUNTED HOUSE will be presented on the following days:

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30 (Halloween Eve)
MONDAY, OCTOBER 31 (Halloween Night)

The HAUNTED HOUSE will begin at 7:00 p.m. and finish at 9:00 p.m.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Gauchos Teamwork Foundation Conducts their 7th Annual Fundraising Gala Honoring NBA Star Dwayne “Pearl” Washington

“O King Philip, when he grows a little older, give your son over to a master of gymnastics to harden his body; and later I will come to undertake his soul”

-Aristotle to King Philip of Macedonia

Much like King Philip of Macedonia turned his son over to coach Leonidas of Epirus on Aristotle’s instruction to first develop young Alexander’s body, there is an organization in the South Bronx called Gauchos who in many ways has done the same for generations of youth from the Bronx and upper Manhattan.

The Gauchos Teamwork Foundation held their 7th annual fundraiser this past Wednesday night. Unlike previous years the event was held at their gym located at 478 Gerard Avenue. Dwayne “Pearl” Washington, one of the organizations many NBA stars was this year’s honoree. Conducting the charity event at the gym allowed everyone to feel the magic and history that permeates the Gauchos gymnasium which has provided countless young men and women scholarships opportunities to prestigious universities as well as producing multiple NBA legends.

In addition to the lavish tables, open bars, video screens and philanthropists that took the place of young men and women conducting basketball drills for an evening, banners of great NBA athletes, Gauchos coaches and the founding contributors could be found decorating from the gymnasium walls. Some of the Gaucho NBA legends granted banners included Mark Jackson, Stephon Marbury, Rod Strickland, Jamal Mashburn, Ed Pickney and this year’s honoree Dwayne “Pear” Washington. Additional banners identifying the founding contributors included Lou d’ Almeida and Ann L. Bronfman. Lou d’ Almeida was a central figure in the evenings festivities. In many ways I compared him to King Philip of Macedonia in relation to the comparison above. His banner read, * 1967 Founded New York Gauchos, *1980 Formed the Teamwork Foundation, * 1986 Opened Gauchos Gym. Much of his evening was spent giving and receiving hugs and kisses from everyone in the room. It was obvious he was the loved “King” who invested in the youth of the community with his time and money. If Lou d’ Almedia was the King I assume the banner of Ann Loeb Bronfman identified the Queen. Her banner read, * Founding Sponsor 1967, *All Time Outstanding Contributor 1967 – 2010, *Foundation Advisor and Mentor. As a side note for those who don’t know, the Bronfmans are one of NYC “Blue Blood” Banking and Real Estate families. Her father Francis Lehman Loeb was one of the founding fathers of Loeb, Rhoades and Company the predecessor of Shearson Lehman and American Express. Even though Ms. Bronfman is no longer with us, her philanthropy has guaranteed that her name and her families name will live on for ages to come. There was a photo of her posted in the gymnasium that intrigued me. I photographed and posted it for everyone to view below.

Overall the Fundraiser was a huge success. The gymnasium was packed with Gaucho executives, board members, coaches, proud parents, countless volunteers, future NBA stars and always much needed philanthropists. Each in their own special way helped make sure the 44 year Gaucho tradition of excellence continued steadfast and strong. I posted photos of the event below and provided a link for additional photos to be previewed as well. I also provided the Gauchos web address for anyone wishing to learn more about the organization. Besides the company the food which was catered by Mikes Deli of Arthur Avenue was delicious. It was truly an honor to be in the presence of this special community.

Official Gauchos Web Site:

Pictures posted to

2nd Annual “Progressives for Schneiderman” Rooftop Party" Scheduled for Monday September 26th

Here is news on a political fundraiser for our current NYS Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. Anyone interested in becoming a campaign contributor should us the contact information or web site address posted below.


2nd Annual “Progressives for Schneiderman” Rooftop Party

Please Join Us To Celebrate A True Leader Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

With Special Guest
Mark Ruffalo

Home of Virginia Davies and Willard Taylor
299 West 12th Street, Manhattan
Monday, September 26
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

In 2010, Eric Schneiderman proved that Democrats can run and win, while standing up for progressive values. As Attorney General, he has delivered real results for the people of New York.

Rooting out corruption by launching the Taxpayer Protection Bureau; appointing regional public integrity officers all over the state; and initiating a unique plan to crack down on fraud in earmarks, contracts, and other government spending through cooperation with the state Comptroller.

Protecting our environment by suing the federal government for failing to commit to a full environmental review of the proposed regulations that would allow natural gas drilling – including the potentially harmful "fracking" technique. The Attorney General has also fought to ensure safety protections at the Indian Point nuclear power plant, and filed multiple legal actions to protect the air New Yorkers breathe and the water they drink.

Fighting for equality by taking legal action to challenge the constitutionality of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and co-wrote a New York Daily News opinion piece in support of marriage equality with former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson.

TICKETS: $100 Advocate $250 Activist $500 Champion
Limited number of $50 Young Progressive tickets available as well
To Join the Host Committee or to RSVP Please Call David Mansur at 212-238-3270
Or Email at

web site log in address:

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Senator Klein, Community, Announce New Security Cameras At Van Nest Park: Cross-County Bank Funds Installation of Crime Deterring Devices

Even though I am against the push to have security cameras attached to a large majority of traffic lights through NYC, here is an instance where security cameras make perfect sense. Cross County Bank and Senator Kline made the security cameras a reality at Van Nest Park. Our parks need to be safe havens for our youth and seniors. NYC green space belongs to the hard working people of our great city. Kudos to both Cross-Country Bank, Senator Klien and the community activists who collectively made the security cameras a reality.


Senator Klein, Community, Announce New Security Cameras At Van Nest Park
Cross-County Bank Funds Installation of Crime Deterring Devices

VAN NEST, BRONX, N.Y. – Senator Jeffrey D. Klein, (D-Bronx/ Westchester), announced the installation of two new security cameras that will give police new tools to deter crime within Van Nest Park.

“This is about a community banding together and fighting for their neighborhood,” Senator Klein said. “I'm proud to have helped make these cameras a reality, and help Van Nest families take back the park that rightfully belongs to them.”

Van Nest residents have long complained about night time drug and gang activity in the park, which is supposed to close at dusk. The on going issues surrounding the park are what spurred neighbors to form the Van Nest Neighborhood Alliance. Senator Klein helped Alliance members secure the proper permits to get them installed, and arrange for police to have access to them.

"Van Nest Park used to be a big problem" said Shradhanand Pirtam of the Van Nest Neighborhood Alliance "It was a hotspot for drug transactions and other questionable activity after dark."

The $1,000 to fund the cameras was provided by Cross County Federal Savings Bank, which had recently opened a Van Nest branch.

“On behalf of Anthony Milone, President of Cross County Federal Savings and our Van Nest Branch, thank you for giving us the opportunity to support the community,” said Wendy Bermudez, Vice President/ Branch Coordinator for Cross County Federal Savings Bank.

"We're grateful to Senator Klein and Cross County Federal Savings Bank" said Bob Ruggerio of the Morris Park Merchants Alliance. "Cross County has shown to be very active in our community since they opened in June."

The Jerome–Gun Hill BID Festival Returns for its 10 Year Anniversary Reunion Celebration

Here is news on a Bronx Business Improvement District celebrating its 10th anniversary. The festivities are scheduled for next Saturday, September 24th. Congratulations to the Jerome-Gun Hill Bid for its 10 years of service to the community.


The Jerome–Gun Hill BID Festival Returns for its 10 Year Anniversary Reunion Celebration

September 16, 2011 (Bronx, NY) – The Jerome–Gun Hill BID is proud to announce that the 10 Year Anniversary Reunion Celebration of the Jerome–Gun Hill BID Street Festival will take place on Saturday, September 24, 2011 from 11am to 6pm. Located on Jerome Avenue between Gun Hill Road and Mosholu Parkway in the Norwood section of the Bronx, this is an annual celebration boasting over 30,000 festival-goers, 25 performance acts, children’s games and activities, merchandise vendors, and of course, lots of food.

A free event, created in 2002 to promote the businesses within the Jerome-Gun Hill BID and invite over 200 BID merchants, food & product vendors and corporations to showcase and sell their goods and services to Bronxites and fellow New Yorkers, the JGHB Festival has become one of the most anticipated annual events in the borough, focusing on neighborhood unity and drawing thousands of participants of all ages and backgrounds. The festival was also founded as a way to give back to the community and allow the community to celebrate the cultural diversity of the Norwood neighborhood and its rich historic past.

An Al Pizarro production, co-produced with Record Pool, Clearview Festival Productions and Marketing & Advertising Solutions (MAS) and through the generous sponsorship of the Jerome-Gun Hill Business Improvement District (BID), Healthfirst, The New York Daily News, Ridgewood Savings Bank, Radio Disney and many others, this year’s event will feature several live performances by hit artists such as Grammy Award winner and platinum recording artist Freedom Williams of C & C Music Factory, Grammy nominated New Swing Sextet, the Phony People Band, and Latin sensation Anayka. This incredible line up will be hosted by Ray Raimundi from News 12 The Bronx, longtime MC and Harlem Lanes’ most popular DJ, Krazy Rob, Artie of the Diamante Cable Show, and will feature DJ Jazzy Jay and DJ Cheeky Star.

Throughout the day, festival-goers will have the opportunity to enter and play in world tournaments of Chess and Dominos, and have a chance to watch a special "old school" rapper celebrity basketball game with special guests Hot Sauce of the And 1 Mixtape Tour and Rucker Playground Tournament, music producer D'Anthony, Ox from The Fushnickens rap group and Tony from Father MC. Bronx Sports and Eric Hicks of Game Over Gear will also be joining the festivities. The Disney Road Crew will be there all day with showtimes at 1pm and 4pm. Giveaways, prizes, clowns, face painting, a bounce house and much more is in store for this special 10th anniversary celebration.

Event: Jerome–Gun Hill BID Festival
Date: Saturday, September 24, 2011
Time: 11am – 6pm
Location: Jerome Avenue between Gun Hill Road and Mosholu Parkway
Admission: Free

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Comptroller Lui Releases Report on the Expected Impact of Obama Jobs Bill Act on NYC

NYC Comptroller Liu released a report analyzing the expected impact on NYC if the Obama Jobs Bill is passed in its present state. For those interested in the skinny or where additional information can be found, please do review the press release sent by the Comptrollers office earlier today.

Analysis of New Data Finds $9 Billion Boost to City
NEW YORK, NY – The White House recently released additional information on the American Jobs Act, which was proposed by President Obama on September 8, 2011. The Office of New York City Comptroller John C. Liu has taken into account this new information and updated its September 9th preliminary analysis of the President’s plan and the resulting benefits to New York City.

While the information provided by the White House is aggregated at the state level, the Comptroller’s Office conservatively estimated that New York City will receive approximately 40 percent of New York State’s total allocation.[1]

The updated analysis finds that the Act could add more than $9 billion to New York City’s economy and create or maintain over 50,000 jobs. Also noteworthy is the fact, that most of the Act’s benefits are designed to be realized immediately in 2012.

New Financial Impacts of Jobs Bill on NYC

§ Mortgage Refinancing (NYC Impact: $1.3 billion + 6,700 jobs)
The program to remove barriers for home owners to refinance their mortgages at today’s historically low interest rates could provide $1.3 billion to New York City homeowners, resulting in an average annual savings of more than $6,000 or average monthly savings of $500 per borrower. These savings would not only help reduce the risk of foreclosure but also help stimulate the local economy by creating or preserving up to 6,700 jobs during 2012.

§ Infrastructure Investments (NYC Impact: $2.3 billion + 17,000 jobs)
Over time, the plans to improve our country’s infrastructure could provide $2.3 billion in funds to help modernize the City’s transportation, school, and housing infrastructure, thus supporting over 17,000 jobs.[2]
§ Local Educational & First-Responder Aid (NYC Impact: $700 million)
The aid to prevent the layoffs of teachers and additional support for police officers and firefighters could provide over $700 million in funding to the City to help restore 3,700 teaching positions and maintain or increase uniformed Police and Fire headcounts.

Existing Impacts on NYC Outlined in September 9th Advisory

§ Employee Payroll Tax Cut (NYC Impact: $4.8 billion + 25,000 jobs)
The payroll tax cut could provide a total benefit of $4.8 billion to New York City workers and create or preserve 25,000 jobs during 2012. Benefits will vary depending on individual salaries. For example, a worker earning $25,000 would receive an annual tax cut of just $775, while a worker earning $100,000 would receive an annual tax cut of $3,100.

§ Extension of Emergency Unemployment Benefits
Extension of the emergency unemployment benefits would help a portion of the 190,000 City residents who have been unemployed for more than 26 weeks.

Other provisions are more difficult to precisely estimate and include:

§ Employer Payroll Tax Cut
The employer payroll tax cut will reduce the employer’s payroll tax on the first $5 million in payroll from 6.2 percent to 3.1 percent.

§ Payroll Tax Holiday for Added Workers or Increased Wages
The payroll tax holiday will eliminate the employer payroll tax on increased payroll from either additional hiring or wage increases.

Comptroller Liu’s preliminary analysis clearly indicates that the Act will significantly benefit the City's employees, businesses, and government. However, what is much less clear are which specific revenue strategies will be used to finance the tax cuts and spending measures.

As discussions continue in Washington and more details emerge, Comptroller Liu will update New Yorkers accordingly.

The full analysis can be found at:

Artist Patricia Cronin set to Unveil her Latest Work "Memorial to Marriage" on September 20th at Woodlawn Cemetery

A bronze art piece by Patricia Cronin entitled "Memorial to Marriage" will be unveiled September 20th at Woodlawn Cemetery. Kudos to Patricia and all the artists out there.


On September 20, 2011 at Woodlawn Cemetery, artist Patricia Cronin will install a bronze, larger-than-life version of her sculpture Memorial to a Marriage. Nearly a decade ago, artist Patricia Cronin unveiled a marble version of this neoclassically-inspired nude sculpture, which depicts her and her partner, now wife, artist Deborah Kass, in bed. While her marriage may not have been legally recognized, she was intent on celebrating her love for eternity.

The installation of the new, bronze version comes just months after the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York and Cronin and Kass’s July 24 marriage. Time has changed the context and meaning of Cronin’s work, without making it any less powerful. Its permanent home at Woodlawn Cemetery, which has an outstanding collection of funerary art and architecture, speaks to its vital importance and lasting meaning.

Transportation Chair James Vacca Responds to DOT Bike-Share Announcement

There is a new plan to increase bike use in NYC. Bronx Councilman James Vacca who Chairs the Transportation committee issued the following statement in relation to the proposed bike-share program. If thought out and implemented properly it should be a constructive program for NYC. Other major cities have already had success with similar programs. In addition to the obvious environmental benefits, I also read that the funds for the program will be secured by corporate sponsors.


Transportation Chair James Vacca Responds to DOT Bike-Share Announcement

BRONX ― New York City Council Transportation Chair James Vacca of the Bronx today released the following statement upon news that the NYC DOT announced an RFP winner for the city’s Bike-Share program:

“With 600 stations and 10,000 bikes, Bike-Share may open up an innovative new transit option for New Yorkers. However, the rubber will only hit the road if DOT is totally committed to working with local neighborhoods and Council Members in the siting and implementation of Bike-Share, because these stations are going to take up valuable real estate on our public streets and sidewalks. Communities will now be looking for specifics on this plan, and I have been assured the process will be transparent and responsive. I intend to work with the city and my colleagues on the rollout of Bike-Share.”

Statement by Council General Welfare Chair Annabel Palma on Judicial Decision Related to the Work Advantage Program

From the e-mail just sent by Welfare Chair Annabel Palma, we can safely assume a decision related to the abrupt termination of the Work Advantage Program has been rendered by our judicial system. I look forward to reviewing the official verdict since it has major ramifications for individuals in the shelter system, those trying to get out of it and the landlords that believed a contract with the city meant something.

This is a serious issue that has gone virtually unnoticed by the main stream media, even though the article I wrote back in March of 2011 has become the highest read and commented article ever in the four year existence of the BoogieDowner blog. The article received 3,140 hits to date with 63 comments posted mostly by landlords and people trying to exit the NYC shelter system. Much of what needed to be said has already been said so I will not repeat myself, even though I can write pages on this topic related to the devastation and opportunity it will create. Unfortunately the opportunity will be made on the backs of those trying to exit the shelter system and landlords who purchased properties and rented to tenants who were given the rent voucher backed by NYC. Anyone interested is welcomed to review the original article, with reader comments, posted on 3/18/2011. I firmly believe this decisions related to the termination of the Work Advantage Program will have a significant gentrifying impact on many of the poorest neighborhoods in the South Bronx and push many more home owners who believed in the Bronx into foreclosure. If anyone wanted confirmation that the pen is mightier than the sword, I think this is a prime example.

Statement by Council General Welfare Chair Annabel Palma on Judicial Decision Related to the Work Advantagge Program

In Response to the Recent Judicial Decision on the Advantage Program
The recent court decision regarding the Advantage program is extremely disappointing for the nearly 12,000 families who have relied on the program and will now likely be facing eviction and a possible return to the shelter system. This decision will not only have a devastating effect on these families, but will also hurt the landlords who contracted with the City and will likely inundate housing courts with a rush of eviction proceedings. All parties suffer from the ripple effect of this decision.
The Advantage program, which provided two years of rental assistance for the formerly homeless, was the only program to transition individuals from the shelter system into permanent housing. The elimination of the Advantage program leaves a serious void in the City’s homeless policy. It is my sincere hope that the administration will do the right thing and find a way to honor the commitment it made to these individuals in spite of this decision. Nonetheless, it is clear that the City needs to create an adequate long-term homeless policy and I look forward to working with all stakeholders towards this end.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Boogiedowner Real Estate: 1 Bedroom Co-op at 1010 Sherman Avenue only $74,900

(front entrance)

If you're looking for a great deal on a renovated 1BR unit in an elevator building, this is it! Walking distance to Yankee Stadium and minutes to NYC via B,D and #4 subway line. The unit sports rooms that are freshly painted and spacious, stainless steel appliances, modern closets with sliding doors, underground parking, storage units, updated laundry room video security and more. The monthly maintenance is only $458 which includes heat, hot water, real estate taxes and cooking gas. Unlimited electric is also provided for a quarterly fee of $25 per quarter. There is an additional $34/month assessment until 9/2012 for new the fence and green space recently installed. This unit truly is a great opportunity for someone seeking a quiet, well maintained co-op to call home.

Here are the numbers with 20% down at full asking;

Asking: $ 74,900
20% down payment (14,900)
Mortgage Amount $ 60,000

Monthy Mortgage at a 4.5% rate $ 304
Monthly Maintenance $ 458
Monthly Electric Surcharge $ 8
Monthly Assesment - new fence and green space $ 34 ends Sept/2012
Total Monthly living expense $ 804

As you can see the $804 monthly expense figure to own is much less then renting in almost any NYC neighborhood. In addition the co-op owner occupancy rate is high and the financials are strong. If interested please fell free to contact me using the following information.

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

Cell # (845) 304-5745

(living room)

(kitchen Area)


Vacca Announces $250,000 to Modernize 45th Precinct: Open-ended rehab to usher stationhouse into the 21st Century

Kudos to Councilman Vacca for securing funds to modernize the 45th Precinct. More on the modernization can be found below.


Vacca Announces $250,000 to Modernize 45th Precinct
Open-ended rehab to usher stationhouse into the 21st Century

Caption: (l-r) 45th Precinct Community Council vice president Joe Boiko, president Bob Bieder, Councilman Vacca, and Capt. Green at the funding announcement

BRONX, N.Y. ― Council Member James Vacca has secured $250,000 in New York City Council funds to renovate the 45th Precinct stationhouse at 2877 Barkley Avenue. Vacca announced the allocation at the 45th Precinct Community Council meeting on September 8, where he was joined by Capt. Russell Green, commanding officer of the 45th Precinct, and Bob Bieder, president of the Community Council.

“No one works harder to keep our streets safe and livable than the men and women of the 45th Precinct, and they deserve to have a home base that is equipped with modern technology, modern conveniences, and a modern design,” Vacca said. “When Captain Green approached me and asked if I could set aside funds for a modernization, I immediately went to work seeking the funding. I am eager to see work begin in the near future.”

With funding officially earmarked for the precinct renovation, the project now enters the design phase, during which Capt. Green and Vacca’s Office will work with the New York Police Department to determine the specific scope of the improvements. Priorities include structural repairs and a computer system upgrade.

Watchdog Education Groups Rally to Stop Charter Schools Free Ride

There is a battle brewing related to the Board of Education policy to give away or rent space to Charter Schools at drastically discounted rents. Various watchdog education groups have organized a press conference for this Thursday to help get the word out. Please do review the e-mail sent to see their point of view or to participate in the event. The basic question seems to be; why are our tax dollars funding charter schools which are often for profit entities?????

Join us for our press conference before our court hearing demanding education corporations which operate charter schools, comply with NY State Law and pay rent. Although, publicly funded with YOUR taxes, charter schools are privately managed educations corporations governed by their private board of directors. The "charter" is simply the name of the contract between the education corporation and the NY State Education Department.

Mayor Bloomberg gives away public school space to these private education corporations for FREE, violating NY State Law.

Each year, Mr. Bloomberg gives away approximately $100 million in FREE rent and recently allocated another $200 million dollars to help them build their own buildings, while seeking to layoff public school staff workers, cutting childcare services and slashing public school budgets.

WHO: New York City Parents Union, Class Size Matters, parents and supporters of quality public education for all children.

WHAT: Press conference followed by court hearing demanding education corporations pay rent for public school space.

WHEN: Thursday, September 15, 2011

TIME: 9:00AM

WHERE: New York State Supreme Court
60 Centre Street

Take 4/5/6 to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall; 2/3 to Park Place; N/R to City Hall; A/C/E to Chambers Street

Free VIN Etching Sponsored by Assemblyman Dinowitz, State Senator Klein, and the 50th Police Precinct

On Thursday free VIN Etching will be available to the public.

Free VIN Etching Sponsored by Assemblyman Dinowitz, State Senator Klein, and the 50th Police Precinct

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, State Senator Jeffrey Klein, and the 50th Police Precinct are sponsoring free VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) etching for tire rims and windshields. VIN etching is a safe, fast, and simple way to protect cars from theft. VIN etching allows law enforcement to track stolen vehicle parts and can deter the theft of those parts.

State Senator Klein and Assemblyman Dinowitz are the sponsors of legislation that would require that vehicle identification numbers be engraved on the wheels of all motor vehicles sold in New York.

WHO: State Senator Jeffrey Klein, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, and the 50th Police Precinct

WHAT: Free VIN etching
WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 15, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Media event at 6 p.m.
WHERE: Riverdale Neighborhood House
5521 Mosholu Avenue
Bronx, NY 10471

Monday, September 12, 2011

BoogieDowner Photos from the Community: 9/11 Weekend Block Party on Young Avenue

Much to my belly's delight, I stumbled on a block party this Saturday in the Pelham Parkway Section of the Bronx. The residents on the block organized an international pot luck food festival as the children enjoyed various play stations and flags representing their diverse background flew overhead. In a time when Americans could have chosen to let their diversity divide them, they chose to make it a strength. Kudos to the residents on Young Avenue between Astor Avenue and Pelham Parkway North. Hopefully our world leaders can learn from their example. The timing could not have been better.



Here is a press release sent by NYC Comptroller Liu related to the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

NEW YORK, NY – "Ten years later, memories of September 11th remain as frightening and painful as ever. We will never forget those who perished, especially our FDNY, NYPD, and PAPD heroes who so selflessly ran towards the burning World Trade Center. Our world changed forever that day, the devastation leaving emotional scars on us all. In the aftermath of the attacks, the best of our humanity emerged, in the heroism of the first responders, in the outpouring of fellowship even among strangers, and in our steadfast resolve to recover and rebuild. Today, we continue to remember the victims of Sept 11 and remind ourselves of our humanity, knowing that the best is yet to come."

KOPPELL OFFICE OBTAINS VACATE ORDER ON BAILEY AVENUE FIRE TRAP: Introduced Legislation to Reduce Illegal Residential Conversions

Here is a measure that not only protects communities against illegal SRO's (Single Room Occupancies) but also our fire fighters. I very rarely advocate for any additional fines or penalties; however the legislation presented is much needed. Kudos to Councilman Koppell again.


Introduced Legislation to Reduce Illegal Residential Conversions

In response to Council Member Oliver Koppell’s demands, the Department of Buildings (DOB) issued a full vacate order for 3835, Bailey Avenue, a single-family home that had been illegally converted. Koppell learned that there had been 14 complaints of illegal conversions at 3835 Bailey Avenue since January, 2010, including one from a neighbor who said that the single-family home had been divided into 10 units. Although HPD had given the owner seven violations for illegally converted units and DOB had issued a partial vacate order, there were still people living in the single-family home under dangerous conditions similar to those that were the cause of recent fires that killed five people at two illegally converted buildings in the Bronx and Brooklyn..

On August 31, 2011, the Department of Buildings issued a full vacate order, forcing the residents to evacuate the building. Koppell said, “Although I understand the problem tenants are facing at being dislocated, I am grateful that another potential tragedy has been averted, and my office will do whatever we can to help the residents relocate.”

Legislation to Reduce Illegal Conversions Introduced
Concerned that the Department of Buildings abandoned its attempts to inspect residential buildings where there had been a complaint of illegal conversion after two unsuccessful attempts at entry, Koppell introduced legislation requiring the DOB to obtain a court order to enter and inspect the building to determine whether an illegal conversion has taken place.

Koppell is also the co-sponsor of a bill that would allow the DOB or any other law enforcement agency to issue a summons or notice of violation for illegal residential conversions based on readily observable circumstantial evidence, which may include multiple mailboxes, a large number of operational utility meters or multiple doorbells.

“New York City has seen a proliferation of dangerous illegal residential conversions,” Koppell said. “These bills will make it easier for the city to reduce the number of these chopped up units.”

BoogieDowner Photos from the Community: 9/11 Weekend Music and Prayer Celebration

Here are some photos taken while driving on Southern Boulevard this Saturday, on September 10th. The celebration consisted of the community coming out and enjoying a musical performance while various stations with Christian themes were set up to offer guidance or just a friendly smile. By the banner above the band, I assume the church who sponsored the event was Iglesia De Dios. If anyone knows more please tell.

It was uplifting to see the community out on the day before the tenth anniversary of September 11th enjoying life. It was a joyous vibrant event where faith in tomorrow and love prevailed. Please do enjoy the photos.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lt. Clesse 5K Run Commemorating 9/11 Held Earlier Today on Pelham Parkway

Anyone traveling earlier today along Pelham Parkway, was sure to run into the annual Lt. Thomas Clesse 5K run. The event has been conducted annually since 2002 in honor of Lt. Clesse of the 49th Precinct. He was a local first responder who lost his life due to cancer after exposure to toxins during the 9/11 terrorist attack. Over 80 participants ran along Pelham Parkway in honor of our local hero and all other 9/11 first responders who risked their lives to save others. Kudos to everyone who helped keeps the tradition alive.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Barilla's Summer of Italy Promotional Campaign Distributing Bocelli Concert Tickets in the Bronx

Here is an e-mail sent about a promotion giving away Andrea Bocelli Concert tickets. The concert is in Manhattan but they will be coming up to the Bronx on various occasions to give away tickets. Please do review the e-mail sent below for more information.

You may have heard of the Andrea Bocelli Concert taking place on September 15th in Central Park. Tickets sold out in a few hours, but are still available through Barilla’s Summer of Italy and the “Road to Casa Barilla!”

Through September 12, five Barilla-branded FIAT cars will zip all over the five boroughs (and Hoboken!) visiting hidden Italian treasures around the city, stopping at gelato shops, Italian-style pizzerias and even Italian-influenced parks and green spaces. Thursday, 9/8 we will be at an “Italian treasure” in the Bronx! The address and timing is only announced the day of via @BarillaUS on Twitter and Barilla’s Facebook page.

The first five people to unlock our Foursquare Special by checking in at select venues will be rewarded with a pair of VIP vouchers to Andrea Bocelli: Live in Central Park, to be redeemed for tickets inside Casa Barilla™ by noon Wednesday, September 14th. In addition, drivers and brand ambassadors will be passing out tickets to Casa Barilla during the stops.

Please feel free to pass along to your readers. If you are interested, I’ll forward you the actual location tomorrow morning as a sneak peak for your readers.

More information about Casa Barilla and the “Road to Casa Barilla” can be found on


Since my last post about the controversy surrounding Mayor Bloomberg’s decision not to include prayer at this years September 11th ceremony, NYC Councilman Fernando Cabrera has secured over 60,000 signatures advocating for prayer to be reinstated. He will present the signatures tomorrow at the steps of City Hall.

I have always advocated for the open expression of faith on the Boogiedowner. It's part of who we are and a powerful force in uplifting mankind. We already tried social experiments in "god less" societies. Is the former Soviet Union our new model?

I commend Councilman Cabrera for his steadfastness in attempting to promote prayer on September 11th and other occasions. I am sure we can find text agreeable to all religious groups. Please do give us your opinion on the topic and please do review the press release sent by his office.


WHO: NYC Council Member Fernando Cabrera, Community Leaders, and Clergy Members
WHAT: Councilman Cabrera, along with representatives of the faith community, will call on the Mayor to reconsider his position to not allow prayer at this year’s 9/11 Ceremony

WHEN: Thursday, September 8th 12:00pm
WHERE: City Hall Steps

“During 9/11, the faith community served as pillars for many New Yorker’s coping with the tragedy. As a pastor during the tumultuous aftermath, I know first hand that it was a time where people were searching for meaning and things bigger than themselves,” said Councilman Cabrera. “People’s Faith helped fill this void and continue to serve as spiritual and emotional support.”

Councilman Cabrera has spoken nationally on FOX, CNN, the Associated Press, and various nationally syndicated radio stations in support of prayer inclusion during the 9/11 Ceremony. Many groups have joined the efforts, adding over 60,000 names to the petitions to be delivered to the Mayor.

“While many of the voices in this effort have divergent views on a wide-range of issues, I believe that we can put our differences aside to call for the uniting force of prayer,” said Councilman Cabrera. “I sincerely hope that the Mayor will allow prayer in this year’s ceremony as we remember and honor the victims of a tragedy that is still being felt today.”


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

BoogieDowner Real Estate Watch: $10,000 Price Reduction for 1,400 sq. ft 3BR Co-o at 2199 Holland Ave

Here is one of listings that was just reduces by $10,000. The present asking on the 1,400 sq. ft. 3 bedroom co-op is only $179,900!!!! My contact information can be found below for any readers looking for a large loft style co-op in the Pelham Parkway Section of the Bronx. Interest rates are STILL in the mid 4% range and market prices are GREAT.

2199 Holland Ave, #2E
Loft style 3 Bedroom, 1 Bath
Maintenance: $944, (included heat, hot water, real estate taxes and gas)

Here is the MLS discription;
"1,400 sq. ft. sun drenched loft style 3 bedroom co-op with 10 large windows. Pet friendly, pre-war, elevator building. Walk to Pelham Parkway, Lydig Ave shopping district and the Botanical Gardens. Quick access to city via the 2 & 5 subway line. Express bus service and BX12 also accessible. Recently refinished original hardwood floors throughout. All new appliances, including Bosch dishwasher. 6 large closets. Live in super and porter. High owner occupancy and strong financials. Gas include!!!"

Mortgage calculation at full asking with 20% down:

Price: $179,900
20 % ( 35,980)
Mortgage Amount $143,920

Monthly mortgage expense at a 4.5% rate for a 30 Year Fixed mortgage = $ 729
Monthly Maintenance (heat, hot water, real estate taxes and gas included $ 944
Monthy expenses (mortgage and maintenance) $ 1,673

NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development, standard rental
cost for a 3 bedroom unit including gas as of October 2010 = $1,829.00
(not adjusted for recent rent hike increase)

As you can see the Bronx makes sense due to purchasing opportunities costing less than average rents for similar rental units. For further information or to set up a showing contact please call or e-mail.

Gregory Tsougranis
Associate Broker
Century 21 Metro-Star
2017 Williamsbridge Road
Bronx, NY 10461
(845) 304-5745

Speaker Quinn and Councilman James Vacca to Visit P.S. 105 Faculty to Demonstrate SMART Board technology

Here is a press release related to technology in Bronx public schools.


Speaker Quinn, CM Vacca to Visit P.S. 105 Faculty to demonstrate importance of SMART Board technology in the classroom Tomorrow morning at 11:30 A.M.

Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Council Member James Vacca will join Principal Christopher Eustace and several teachers at P.S. 105 in Pelham Parkway South for a pre-school year visit and tour. Vacca and Quinn will meet with school leaders and tour the building, followed by a teacher demonstration of how SMART Board technology is used in the classroom. P.S. 105 is slated to have a SMART Board installed in every classroom by January 2012 as a result of capital funding allocated by the City Council and the School Construction Authority.

WHO: Council Speaker Christine Quinn; Council Member James Vacca; Mr. Christopher Eustace, Principal of P.S. 105
WHAT: Pre-school year tour and SMART Board technology demonstration
WHEN: Tuesday, September 7, 2011 @ 11:30 A.M.
WHERE: P.S. 105, 725 Brady Avenue, Bronx

11th Annual Hugs from Pun Foundation School Supply Give Away a Hugh Success

(Nicole Rodriguez in front of “Big Pun” mural after this Saturdays Hugs From Pun Foundation school supply give away)

This Saturday I had the honor to meet up with the main organizers of the Hugs from Pun Foundation after their eleventh year of distributing free school supplies to youth in the South Bronx. The organization, lead by his sister Nicole Rodriguez above, distributed 547 school supply packages to local youth as they prepared for their first day of school.

Murals of "Big Pun" can be found often when driving around the South Bronx. Besides creating music many loved, he also was loved by the community due to his philanthropy. His early death caused by weight issues, ended a carrier that would have exploded making him legendary, much like many of the artists he collaborated with. During his life time he earned the honor of being the first Latino Hip-hop artists to go platinum.

Speaking to his sister Nicole made me wonder why we have yet to see this iconic figure on the “Big Screen”. Much like Brooklyn has “Biggie Smalls” the South Bronx has “Big Pun”. Is it time for a film about this great entrepreneur and community philanthropist? Everyone I asked in the Bronx has been enthusiastic about the idea. Please do let me know your thoughts on the question.

(Left and Right Shot of Mural Dedicated to Big Pun on Rogers Pl and 163rd)

Official Big Pun web site;