Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Boogiedowner Real Estate: 2 Bedroom Co-op at 2199 Holland Avenue Only $135,000

Here is a great two bedroom one bath in excellent condition overlooking Pelham Parkway. It was just listed so please call if you want first dibs on it! Interest rates are low and prices are reduced in today's market. Besides the essentials below, I posted four photos for your review. My contact information can be found at the bottom of the post. This one will go quickly.

2199 Holland Avenue
Bronx, NY 10462
2 Bedrooms, 1 Bath
Maintenance: $835
Pet Friendly: Yes
Estimated Sq. footage: 850
Monthly Mortgage at full asking with 10% down and a 4.5% interest rate: $615.62
Monthly Mortgage at full asking with 20% down and a 4.5% interest rate: $547.22

MLS Listing # 3134892
"Sunny, pet friendly 2 bedroom co-op in well maintained elevator building. Unit overlooks Pelham Parkway. Trees outside every window! Walking distance to everything including #5/#2 subway lines, various NYC bus lines and Express Bus line for quick access to City. Great food shopping on Lydig Avenue and great commercial strip on White Plains Road. Spacious rooms with great hardwood floors and tall ceilings. Parking available but there is a wait list. High owner occupancy and good financials."

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

Cell # (845) 304-5745
web site:

Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Bronx County Building set for Thursday December 7th

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Invites you to join him at the annual
Holiday Tree Lighting
Thursday, December 8, 2011
5:00 pm
Bronx County Building
851 Grand Concourse (Corner of 161st Street)
Sing Christmas carols with Santa Claus

RSVP by Calling 718-590-3522 or email

In Partnership With

Fordham University Faculty, Students and Alumni Conduct first “99% Club” Meeting

For anyone wondering where the "Occupy Wall Street" movement is “going” please note news received from Boogiedowner readers about Fordham University's first 99% Club meeting. Over 30 people representing faculty, students and alumni were in attendance. Their planning on having their next meeting at a larger venue to accommodate a much larger anticipated attendance. There also advocating for “99% clubs” to spread world wide. I posted the goals the Fordham University arm expressed to date for everyone to see where this segment of the movement is going. If interested in attending their next meeting I am told they established their own facebook page.

I am curious to see if or how the movement will get involved in electoral politics. There are already interesting e-mails being sent related to this topic on both sides of the issue. What are your ideas on this issue?

Good Luck to all the activists.



99 Percent Clubs can be organized at your school, at your workplace, in your home, at your neighborhood community or senior center or in your church, synagogue or mosque, Here are four simple organizing principles for these clubs

1. To disseminate accurate information about the Occupy movements in the US and around the world.

2. To provide material support ( which may in the form of food and clothing, legal assistance, or pressure on elected officials) to the Occcupy movement in your own city and town

3. To organize around economic inequality issues and threats to freedom of expression where you live and/or where you work.

4. To create networks among people who support the Occupy movement that enable them to mobilze support for demonstrations organized by that movement.

The strength of these clubs is that they allow people a wide variety of situations , including those who are homebound or disabled, to participate in the Occupy movement.

Church of the Visitation Organizes Christmas Benefit Concert

Here is news on another free holiday event taking place in the Bronx. They will be accepting donations however, to help replace their organ.




An invitation to another Christmas concert . . .
A Festival of Lessons & Carols
Our campus candlelight Christmas celebration
Sunday, 4 December
at 4:30pm
in the Chapel of De La Salle & His Brothers
Manhattan College,
4513 Manhattan College Parkway
followed by the
Lighting of the Campus Christmas Tree
on the Quad
with a special appearance by
Santa & Mrs. Claus!

Christmas Concert on Sunday

This will be a lovely, short, concert, to raise money for the Church’s organ, which needs to be replaced.

“Christmas Illuminations”

A Benefit Concert
for the
Organ Fund of the Visitation Church

The Artists:
Everett Suttle, Tenor
Becilia Wong, Organ

Sunday, December 4, 2011 at 2:00 p.m.

Church of the Visitation
160 Van Cortlandt Park South

Admission is free, and the artists encourage donations to the Organ Fund for Visitation Church.

Community Groups Organize Free Intellectual Property Workshops

Here is news on free workshops that should help young artists and entrepreneurs. If you’re an artist or entrepreneur building or maintaining a web site the knowledge provided at the seminars should be extremely helpful.



The Bronx Council on the Arts, The Harlem Arts Alliance, and
The Community Development Project of the Legal Aid Society
A Free Two-Part Intellectual Property Workshop
Tuesday, December 6 & 13 / 6:00-8:00pm
at the Dwyer Cultural Center

The Bronx Council on the Arts (BCA), the Community Development Project of the Legal Aid Society and the Harlem Arts Alliance present a FREE two-part Intellectual Property Workshop for artists, arts organizations & small businesses on Tuesday, December 6 & 13, 6:00-8:00pm, at the Dwyer Cultural Center located at 258 Saint Nicholas Avenue #2 at West 123rd Street in NYC. Doors open at 5:45pm. Program begins promptly at 6:00pm. Light refreshments will be served. Admission is free and all are welcome.

December 6th’s session: You Made It Now Protect It: Trademarks and Copyright for Artists, Arts-Related Nonprofits and Small Businesses is geared for artists and cultural organizations, creating or commissioning a work of fine or practical art is just the beginning. To protect the ownership of the finished work, it is essential to learn about trademarks, copyrights, design patents, and work-for-hire agreements. An expert panel of intellectual property attorneys will explain these concepts using examples that will be familiar to artists and arts organizations. The concepts learned in this workshop will also be useful to nonprofits and small businesses that are not arts-related.

December 13th’s session: The Website Audit: Best Legal Practices on the Internet for Artists, Arts-Related Nonprofits and Small Businesses is for any individual, organization or small business that has a website or is thinking about starting one. Learn the essentials of website management, including: Protecting your trademarks and copyrights, terms of use, implementing a privacy policy, linking, and ownership of the website.

Both workshops will be facilitated by attorneys from Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper and Scinto and the Community Development Project of the Legal Aid Society.


The Dwyer Cultural Center is located at 258 St. Nicholas Avenue. Entrance is on West 123rd Street.Directions by Public Transit: Train: A, B, C or D to West 125th Street; Bus: M3, M10, M101, BX15, M60 to West 125th Street and Frederick Douglas Blvd. For additional directions, call 212-222-3060 or

For additional information on this workshop or other events presented by the Bronx Council on the Arts, call 718-931-9500, e-mail, or visit BCA’s web pages at

Here is news on free workshops that should help young artists and entreprenuers. If your an artist or web developer the knowledge provided at the seminars should be extremly helopfull.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Botanical Garden Turkeys make it through another Thanksgiving

Here are some turkeys that survived another Thanksgiving day in the Bronx. They can be found on the grounds at the New York Botanical Garden. I usually see them by the book/gift store as you enter the main entrance. It’s amazing to see what wild turkeys look like compared to the ones bread for eating. I bet these turkeys can actually fly a few feet.


Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

Victor Davila Wins 2011 Brower Youth Award

Hunts Point youth Victor Davila was one of seven winners of the 2011 Brower Youth Awards. He was honored for founding the environmental stewardship program called EcoRyders. His organization uses skateboarding to teach young people about environmental and health issues in the neighborhood. His attitude is truly exceptional. To review the full article click on the "Hunts Point Express" link on the right. Kudos to the exceptional young man.



Three classical music concerts are planned by the Bronx Arts Ensemble for the Holiday Season. Besides the quality concert anticipated, I am impressed with the locations selected. All three concerts will take place in historic homes located in the North Bronx and South Yonkers. The concerts should be both an acoustics and visual treat. To secure tickets please call the phone # below or just send a self addressed envelope with postage to the following address. Please note there is a 5 ticket limit per request.

Bronx Arts Ensemble
80 Van Cortlandt Park South, Suite D-1
Bronx, NY 10463

(Bronx, NY) - Bronx Arts Ensemble opens the holiday season with St. Nicholas Celebration concerts on Saturday, December 3 at 1 pm and 3 pm at Philipse Manor Hall at 29 Warburton Avenue at Dock Street, in Yonkers and Saturday, December 10 and Sunday, December 11 at 1 noon and 3 pm at the Bartow-Pell Mansion on Shore Road, Pelham Bay Park, near the Split Rock Golf Course.

The St. Nicholas Celebration by the BAE Singers and Double Reed Band (oboe, oboe d'amore, English horn and bassoon) describes in song and storytelling the arrival of the Dutch sinterklass, who brings candies and fruits to good children of colonial New Amsterdam, and lumps of coal to those who have misbehaved. Following the program, which includes many old Dutch carols, the audience will join with the group in singing holiday songs. Fun for the whole family!

Free tickets are available by calling the BAE at 718.601.7399. Orders are limited to 5 tickets per person, as seating is limited.

Visit for more information on upcoming events.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Western Beef Distributes 2,500 Free Turkeys to Bronx Households this Thanksgiving

Here is another Thanksgiving related post. Kudos to Western Beef for their generous contribution of 2,500 free turkeys to Bronx families this Thanksgiving.


On Monday, November 21, 2011, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. teamed up with Western Beef for the company’s annual giveaway of 2,500 free turkeys to Bronx families in need. Borough President Diaz participated in the turkey distribution at the corner of West Burnside Avenue and Grand Avenue, where more than 400 free turkeys were given away to residents. Borough President Diaz will give away hundreds of free turkeys as part of his annual turkey giveaway at various locations in the Bronx throughout this week.


If you can't afford to heat your home, please review the following information sent by Councilman Koppell. There might be help available through the Federal Home Energy Assistance Program. Please forward this e-mail to anyone you know who might need the extra help to stay warm this winter.



Program Assists Eligible Individuals Pay For Winter Energy Bills

Council Member Oliver Koppell has announced that the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), a federally-funded program to assist people on low or fixed incomes pay for their winter energy bills, is now accepting applications for the 2011-12 season.

People are eligible for assistance if they meet the following criteria:

U.S. citizen or qualified alien;

Household income is at or below the current income guidelines for your household size: i.e. gross monthly income not to exceed $2, 146 for an individual; $2,806 for a couple; $4, 127 for a family of four;

Receiving Temporary Assistance (Safety Net or Family Assistance);

Receiving Code A Supplemental Security Income (SSI Living Alone);

.Receiving Food Stamps.

HEAP may help you pay for electricity, gas, oil coal, propane, wood/wood pellets, kerosene, corn and may be available even if your heat is included in your rent. You may also be eligible for a regular HEAP benefit even if you have money in the bank, stocks, bonds or other resources.

If you have an energy emergency such as a power shut-off or less than a quarter tank/ten day supply of heating fuel, you can apply for a HEAP emergency benefit. This is in addition to your regular HEAP benefit.

Applications for HEAP are available in Koppell’s district office, 3636 Waldo Avenue Bronx/ Riverdale. For more information, you may call the office at (718) 549-7300 or the Toll-Free Hot Line at 800-342-3009 or visit and click on “Resources for Working Families“.

I would like to encourage people who need help with their energy bills and believe they are eligible for the HEAP program to apply as soon as possible because funds are limited,” Koppell said.

President Obama Pardons White House Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Video of Police Pepper Spraying UC Davis Students while Peacefully Demonstrating

The following video has gone viral and been viewed over 1,690,000 times. If you have not already seen it on various local news stations please do take a moment to view it by clicking the play button below. The video shows a police force pepper spraying college students as if they were roaches while they peacefully protesting at UC Davis. Since when have police had the authority to spray chemical agents on peaceful college students during a demonstration? The officers in this video embarrassed themselves, their university and our nation. We were once seen as a nation that honored and protected civil rights. We were a worldwide symbol of justice. The police officers shown pepper spraying college youth and everyone that gave them the authorization must be held accountable. I understand police are in a difficult position but this is insanity and must be stopped! Thank God we don't have these clowns as our police force in NYC.

Bronx Elected Officials Join Verzon Workers on Picket Line

Various elected officials showed their support for unionized labor recently by joining Verizon workers at a rally. Elected officials present were Assemblyman Dinowitz, State Senator Gustavo Rivera, Council Member Fernando Cabrera, and Assemblyman Michael Benedetto.

2nd Annual South Bronx Folk Festival Scheduled for December 4th - 10th at the Casita Maria Center for the Arts and Education

Here is news on Latino cultural events coming up in early December. The events should be a great way to enjoy the holidays with family and friends without breaking the bank. Please make sure to log onto to the Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education web site listed below for additional information.


The 2nd Annual South Bronx Folk Festival
@ Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education

The Festival is open to the public. All events are FREE. There is a suggested donation of $5 for the Friday and Saturday performances. All proceeds will go towards next year's festival. Please contact the festival coordinator Ariel Quiñones at

South Bronx Folk Festival
December 4-10, 2011

With the goal of highlighting the cultural diversity of our community, while showcasing a shared folklore and tradition in performance, Diversity in Arts and Nations for Cultural Education, Inc. (DANCE), presents the second annual South Bronx Folk Festival - a week of cultural events open to the public at various venues in the South Bronx.

Featured Performers

Danza Fiesta
Danza Fiesta was created in 1998 by Hilda Rivera-Pantojas in New York City, with the idea of sharing Puerto Rican culture and folkloric traditions with
the rest of the world.

Caracumbe showcases a musical heritage of distinctive African roots found in a Peru mostly known for its Native American and European influences. Caracumbe showcases a musical heritage of distinctive African roots found in a Peru mostly known for its Native American and European influences.

Calpulli Mexican Dance
Calpulli celebrates the rich, regional dance traditions of Mexico’s diverse cultural history interpreted through its unique artistic vision. The fresh, vital repertoire honors Mexico’s past and immigrant life in the United States.

Bámbula's mission is to not only entertain as a musical group but to also help preserve the culture of the African traditions brought to the island of Puerto Rico by the Slave trade.

For additional information please log onto the organizations web site at;


The Albanian-American community is celebrating its 99th anniversary from Ottoman occupation on Saturday, November 26th. The following about their history and Saturday's event was sent by the Albanian-American Community Association. Kudos for their example on how we should all honor our heritage and keep our unique traditions alive.


New York, November 20, 2011 – The history of the Albanian people is unique:
as direct descendants of the ancient Illyrians, Albanians are among the oldest civilizations of
Europe. The Albanian language constitutes its own branch of the Indo-European languages,
and Albanian cultural traditions are distinctive for their extraordinary emphasis on hospitality
and generosity (something that no doubt influenced the most famous Albanian of all –
Mother Teresa). Additionally, military historians and even American poets such as Henry
Wadsworth Longfellow tell of exceptional Albanian boldness and valor, as exemplified
by the Albanian national hero, Scanderbeg.

It was that same independence of spirit and desire for self-determination that led to
Albania’s declaration of independence nearly 100 years ago, on November 28th, 1912, from the
Ottoman Empire. On that day, the Albanian flag – a black double-headed eagle on a red
background – was raised, and over 500 years of foreign rule was ended.

This year, Albanians in the New York area will honor this historic event with a
commemorative flag raising in the Bronx, during which the Albanian flag will be raised to fly
next to the American flag. Albanians consider the United States its closest ally – from President
Woodrow Wilson’s support for Albanian independence a century ago through the more recent
American support of Kosova’s independence. As such, all Americans -- Albanian and non-
Albanian alike -- are invited to attend the flag raising in celebration of this special relationship,
and our shared ideals of freedom and liberty.

The flag raising will take place as outlined below:

Who: Albanian-American Community to Celebrate Albanian Independence
When: Saturday, November 26, 2011 @ 11:00 A.M.
Where: Arthur Ave Section of the Bronx
At the Intersection of East 187th Street, Crescent Ave and Cambreleng Ave
What: Flag Raising to celebrate the 99th anniversary of Albanian Independence.
Why: To preserve the proud Albanian culture in their new country, the United

Organized by Albanian American Community Association (AACA)
In addition to the flag raising, visuals will include
young Albanian-Americans dressed in traditional Albanian clothing.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fordham BID Holiday Lighting Ceremony set for Friday December 2nd

Friday, December 2, 2011
Time: 6:00pm until 8:00pm
Where: Bryan Park at East Fordham Road & East Kingsbridge Road, 305 East Fordham Road, Bronx, New York

The Fordham Road Business Improvement District (BID) is proud to announce that their Seventh Annual “Sparkling the Heart of Fordham” Holiday Lighting Ceremony will take place on Friday, December 2, 2011 from 6PM-8PM. The festivities will begin with their annual lighting ceremony in Bryan Park at East Fordham Road & East Kingsbridge Road. A musical performance a visit from Santa Claus, holiday music and free gifts for children will also be part of the festivities .


As our media becomes increasingly owned by big corporations, it's good to see that local investigative reporters are being awarded by organizations promoting investigative journalism. Kudos to New York Civic and the reporters honored by them.


The Capitol’s Laura Nahmias Receives New York Civic’s Mary Perot Nichols Award;
Brooklyn Paper’s Aaron Short is Runner-Up

The good government group New York Civic announced the winners of its inaugural investigative journalism fellowships today, selecting Laura Nahmias, a reporter for The Capitol and City Hall, as the first recipient of its Mary Perot Nichols Award.

Nahmias, who was chosen from dozens of applicants, won for her article “Boyland’s Magic Trick” in the September 26th, 2011, issue of the Capitol, which uncovered several instances where Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. claimed reimbursements for working in Albany, when in fact, as Nahmias proved, he was nowhere near the state capital at the time.

As the recipient of the Mary Perot Nichols Award, which is named in honor of the late muckraking Village Voice columnist and WNYC president in the Koch administration, Nahmias will receive $2,000 at a ceremony to be held later this month. Aaron Short, a staff reporter for The Brooklyn Paper, will also be honored with a $1,000 prize for his article titled “This is supposed to be a senior center. It’s actually Vito Lopez’s clubhouse”, which appeared in The Brooklyn Paper and The New York Post on October 30th, 2010, and is part of Short’s ongoing investigation into the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council nonprofit organization and its founder, Brooklyn Democratic Party boss Assemblyman Vito Lopez.

“In this age of media consolidation, it is more important than ever that we vigorously support and encourage investigative journalism,” said Henry J. Stern, founder and president of New York Civic. “Laura Nahmias and Aaron Short uphold the great tradition of the media acting as watchdogs to keep politicians honest and inform the public when they are not. New York Civic is proud to recognize these reporters’ outstanding work.”

Laura Nahmias, 27, has been a staff reporter for City Hall and The Capitol since July 2010. A graduate of Wesleyan University and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Nahmias began her career covering local government for The Island Packet, a community newspaper in Beaufort County, South Carolina. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Nahmias’s writings have covered a broad array of subjects, ranging from politics and history to pop music, golf, and alligators.

Aaron Short, 30, has been a staff reporter for the Community Newspaper Group-owned Brooklyn Paper, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, since November 2007. Originally from Storrs, Connecticut, Short graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania, before receiving his Masters in American History from Brown University. As well as writing for The Brooklyn Paper, he has contributed articles to the New York Post, Pennsylvania Gazette, and BushwickBK blog.

In addition to the Mary Perot Nichols Investigative Journalism Award for New York State Reporters and Bloggers, New York Civic had also intended to present the Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Investigative Journalism Award for New York State Undergraduate Students and Murray Kempton Investigative Journalism Award for New York State Graduate Students, however, after reviewing all of the student entries, New York Civic determined that there were not any submissions worthy of the prizes. As a result, New York Civic will take the $3,000 allocated for student prizes and apply it to next year’s awards.

“The dearth of quality submissions by students for New York Civic’s investigative journalism fellowships is alarming to those concerned for the future of substantive reporting in our state,” said Stern. “We hope that our decision not to award these fellowships will help alert journalism professors across New York State to the importance of teaching the craft of investigative reporting to their students.”

Founded in 2002, New York Civic is a nonprofit, nonpartisan good government group that aims to advance political reform in the city and state of New York through education, community outreach, social networking, and grassroots activism. For more information about New York Civic, go to

BoogieDowner Food Spot: Lloyds Carrot Cake Shop

With Thanksgiving around the corner everyone should know about a bakery that makes exceptional cakes. Lloyd's Carrot Cake bakery is “a must go to spot”. All their cakes are made from scratch. If you want something special on your table during the upcoming holidays, I suggest you seek out this Bronx landmark. Everything they make is delicious and it's always served with a smile.

I posted their web site address and text taken from it.


"You have to get them to taste it. Once they taste it we're in." That was believed to be the key strategy to the success of Lloyd's Carrot Cake, according to the late owner and founder, Lloyd Adams. For over 25 years, the quaint but very well-known bakery has supplied the most delicious baked goods made from scratch, to numerous patrons in the tri-state area. Initially starting with a recipe given to him by his mother, Lloyd toyed around with the ingredients in his Harlem apartment; tweaking the recipe to his liking. After much trial and error, he finally made a recipe that was promising for success. In 1985, he had enough money saved up to open a store front in the quiet Riverdale section of the Bronx.

Since then, Lloyd's has become a staple in the neighborhood and beyond, providing thousands of customers with some of the best homemade cakes, pies,and muffins in the city. The wholesome ingredients help provide an indescribable rich flavor that cannot be found anywhere else. Best-known for its carrot cake topped with its signature cream- cheese frosting, Lloyd's has also won customers with its red velvet, german-chocolate, and pineapple-coconut cakes; as well as its delectable sweet potato, pumpkin, and apple pies.

After Lloyd's passing in 2007, his wife Betty continues to strengthen his legacy. With the help of their two children, Brandon and Lilka, and the tremendous dedication of their friendly staff, Lloyd's has never missed a beat.

"I've always had the social-science view that I could change the world. To walk into a restaurant where a customer is eating a slice of cake and hear, 'Wow, who made this carrot cake?' That's what turns me on."

- Lloyd Adams, The New Yorker 1987

6087 Broadway
Bronx, New York, 10471
Tel. 718-548-9020
Store Hours:
9:30am - 8:30pm, Mon, Wed & Thurs
9:30am - 7pm, Tues & Fri
10am - 6pm, Sat
10am - 4pm, Sun

Bronx Students Occupy Public Education, Release 10-Point Plan

The Occupy Wall Street movement has sparked Bronx students to start an organization called The Dream Yard A.C.T.I.O.N. They created a list of demands which were e-mailed to the BoogieDowner.

Their demands should spark discussion and then positive change in the NYC Public School system. It's good to know grass roots efforts are organizing to protect our public schools system. Hopefully the public will be more vigilant and prevent abuses like the latest fiasco where legislators classified pizza as a vegetable to increase pizza sales to public school. And then we wonder why we have an obesity problem in America!!!!

Good luck to the student activists.


By Jorge Rivas
A group of young activists from the Bronx called say they’re being deprived of a quality education, and they’re prepared to fight for something better. The Resistance, which was formed through a youth arts organization called The DreamYard A.C.T.I.O.N Project, have developed a 10-point education platform for New York City public schools. The group has also launched a Facebook page to support their efforts. They’re demanding the following reforms:

1. We demand free quality education as a right guaranteed by the US Constitution.
2. We demand the dismantling of Bloomberg’s Panel for Educational Policy. We demand a new 13 member community board to run our public schools (comprised of parents, educators, education experts, community members, and a minimum of 5 student representatives).
3. We demand quality instruction. Teachers should ethnically, culturally, and racially reflect the student body. We demand experienced teachers who have a history of teaching students well. Teacher training should be intensive and include an apprenticeship with master teachers as well as experiences with the communities where the school is located.
4. We demand stronger extra-curricular activities to help stimulate and spark interest in students. Students should have options, opportunities, and choice in their education.
5. We demand a healthy, safe environment that does not expect our failure or anticipate our criminality. We demand a school culture that acknowledges our humanity (free of metal detectors, untrained and underpaid security guards, and abusive tactics).
6. We demand that all NYC public school communities foster structured and programmatic community building so that students, teachers, and staff learn in an environment that is respectful and safe for all.
7. We demand small classes. Class sizes should be humane and productive. We demand that the student to teacher ratio for a mainstream classroom should be no more than 15:1.
8. We demand student assessments and evaluations that reflect the variety of ways that we learn and think (portfolio assessments, thesis defenses, anecdotal evaluations, written exams). Student success should not depend solely on high stakes testing.
9. We demand a stop to the attack on our schools. If a school is deemed “failing”, we demand a team of qualified and diverse experts to assess how such schools can improve and the resources to improve them.
10. We demand fiscal equity for NYC public schools: as stated in the Education Budget and Reform Act of 2007 by the NYS Legislature, NYC public schools have been inadequately and inequitably funded. We demand the legislatively mandated $7 billion dollars in increased annual state education aid to be delivered to our schools now!

Friday, November 18, 2011

FilmBuff and Urban Latino Magazine Present "Big Pun The Legacy" at The Point

There is a free screening tomorrow of the documentary Big Pun The Legacy. FilmBuff and Urban Latino Magazine will co-host the event at The Point Cultural Center in Hunts Point. Their goal is to celebrate Big Pun’s incredible impact on hip hop and on the Puerto Rican community in the Bronx. The film follows Big Pun’s life in the Bronx, his rise to fame and finally his sudden death leaving countless fans at a loss. The film also features today’s biggest hip hop stars, including Snoop Dog, Method Man and DMX The filmmakers will be in attendance and will answer questions from the audience.

Vacca to Host Community Health Fair Saturday, November 19th, 2011

There is health fare tomorrow at the Kips Bay Boys club. If your elderly or one of America's uninsured, please do review the services available tomorrow.

For anyone who has children, tomorrows events will be a great opportunity to visit and inspect the Kips Boy Boys Club. It truly is one of our boroughs success stories. Much of my youth was spent at the complex. They had a great swim program.



On Saturday, November 19, Council Member James Vacca will sponsor a community health fair at the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club Throggs Neck Unit located at 550 Balcom Ave (between Dewey & Schley Aves) from 11 AM to 2 PM. The event will feature free flu shots (first-come, first-served for adults 18 & over), blood pressure screenings, visions screenings, karate and Zumba demonstrations, entertainment, as well as enrollment information for Food Stamps, Medicaid, and WIC and much more. The event is co-sponsored by the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club Throggs Neck Unit.

WHO: Councilman Vacca, Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club Throggs Neck Unit staff, community partners, and local residents

WHAT: Community Health Fair

WHEN: Saturday, November 19, 2011 @ 11 AM to 2 PM (Media availability at 12:00 PM)

WHERE: Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club Throggs Neck Unit, 550 Balcom Ave (between Dewey & Schley Aves), the Bronx

Bronx Zoo Winter Activities Scheduled for the Holidays

There is a great list of activities planned for the holidays at the Bronx Zoo. The events are either free of charge or reasonable priced. I assume the Kudos go to Pepsi since they are sponsoring the event. I hope everyone finds time to enjoy the holidays and take advantage of the activities made available

Presented by Pepsi:
Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo
Features Wildlife Themed Activities
Throughout the Holiday Season

Ice carving competition, demonstrations, and play area;
Clydesdale horse and carriage rides;
theatrical performances;
and presents to the animals
included in this year’s holiday fun

Bronx, NY – Nov. 17, 2011 – Winter is always a magical time in New York City and the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo will be the highlight of the holiday season with family activities every weekend and throughout the week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo special events and activities winter 2011:

Hess Clydesdale-Drawn Carriage Rides
Guests of WCS’s Bronx Zoo can enjoy a nostalgic horse-drawn carriage ride around the zoo’s historic Astor Court.
Cost: $3 members; $5 non-members
Dates: Weekends - Nov. 19 – 20, 25 – 27, Dec. 3 – 4, 10 – 11, 17 – 18,
Week between Christmas and New Year’s Day – Dec. 24, 26 – 31
Times: 11:30 am- 3:30 pm

Ice Sculpting Demonstrations
Guests of WCS’s Bronx Zoo will have the unique opportunity to watch as artists turn blocks of ice into glistening statues of a variety of animals.
Cost: Free with admission
Dates: December 26-28, 30
Times: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Salute to Wildlife Ice Carving Competition
Guests of WCS’s Bronx Zoo will watch as ice carvers test their skills in a competition of creativity as they sculpt various animals out of blocks of ice.
Cost: Free with admission
Date: December 29
Times: TBD

Ice Sculpture Play Area
Giant Ice Throne and Display - This giant chair makes for the perfect photo opportunity for guests as they sit on the giant polar bear-themed throne and play among the mountains and ice burgs surrounding them.
Cost: Free with admission
Dates: Dec. 27-30
Time: 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. at Dancing Crane Pavilion
Note: This activity is weather-dependent and may close prior to December 30

Tropical-Themed Ice Play Area with Marine Animal-Themed Ice Slide –
The ice slide kids will enjoy sliding down the 25-foot long slide carved out of solid ice through the sculptures of waves, palm trees, sea lions and dolphins.
Cost: Free with admission
Dates: 27 – 30
Times: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Island pieces and tunnels (for ages 4 to 6 years) – Younger kids will enjoy navigating the small tunnels, a miniature slide, and a small maze all carved from ice.
Cost: Free with admission
Dates: Dec. 27-30
Times: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Special Performances
Making Books Sing
Performance of If You Really Loved Polar Bears. Making Books Sing uses music, puppetry, and comedy to tell the story of a little boy who loves polar bears and the role we all can play in helping to protect them.
Cost: Free with admission
Dates: Saturday, Dec. 17
Times: 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm

Appearance by Sprout TV’s Super Why Character
Kids can meet Super WHY and his friend Alpha Pig from the hit television series on Sprout.
Cost: Free with admission
Dates: Tuesday Dec. 27
Times: 1:30 pm

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays, 5:30 p.m. weekends from April to October; 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m November to March. Adult admission is $16, children (3-12 years old) $12, children under 3 are free, seniors (65+) are $14. Parking is $13 for cars and $16 for buses. The Bronx Zoo is conveniently located off the Bronx River Parkway at Exit 6; by train via the #2 or #5 or by bus via the #9, #12, #19, #22, MetroNorth, or BxM11 Express Bus service (from Manhattan that stops just outside the gate.) To plan your trip, visit or call 718-367-1010.

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

NYC Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez Arrested At Zuccotti Park Eviction

While home last night watching one sold out news correspondent after the other propagating ideas that destroy the American middle class, I came across an episode of Countdown with Keith Olbermann that was in all regards exceptional. In addition to the 80 plus grandmother who was pepper sprayed and arrested at a West Coast Occupy rally he also aired the following clip with Ydanis Rodriguez were the NYC Councilman discussed his arrest, alleged beat down and 17 hour detention by the NYPD. If you did not see the clip here it is. When I locate the grandmothers interview I will post as well.

Kudos to Keith Olbermann and MOXNEWS. Were fortunate to have them as an alternative media source.



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Professor Mark Naison: What Occupy Wall Street Has Accomplished in Two Short Months

Mark Naison of Fordham University recently forwarded the following about the accomplishments of the Occupy Wall Street movement to date. With all the misinformation and propaganda against the movement I consider it a must read.



What Occupy Wall Street Has Accomplished in Two Short Months

Mark Naison
Fordham University

Many people in the media, as well as many citizens, complain that Occupy Wall Street has no leaders and no goals. While Occupy Wall Street and its spinoffs around the nation have certainly not developed “leaders” who articulate its goals to the media or negotiate with public officials, it has already registered a formidable list of accomplishments for a movement this young

Here is my list of some of the important things this movement has done, with more to come as it grows and matures

1 Put the question of economic inequality in the center of national discourse for the first time since the 1960’s, even though such inequality has been growing dramatically for the last 20 years. The vocabulary the movement has developed to describe this inequality “ the 1 % and the 99%” have become a permanent part of our political discourse and has focused great attention on how the mal distribution of wealth has undermined democracy and eroded the living standards of the great majority of Americans

2 Called attention to the stifling impact of student loan debt on young college, professional and trade school graduates who face the double whammy of a stagnant job market and crippling debt. The attention given this issue inspired President Obama to marginally ease the loan burden of current recipients. In the future, it might well prompt a radical reconfiguration of the debt or a major program of loan forgiveness

3. Created political pressures that prompted the postponement of a decision by President Obama to begin construction of the controversial Keystone XL natural gas pipeline

4 Inspired a wide variety of actions to prevent foreclosures and evictions and to bring relief to beleaguered home owners and tenants

5. Put the undemocratic character of many education reform policies, particularly school closings, under much greater scrutiny, creating pressures on policy makers that will make these closings much more difficult to implement them without more consultation and input from parents, students, teachers and community members

6. Given the labor movement a new vocabulary to challenge attacks on collective bargaining and union recognition, providing added ammunition to the successful campaign to defeat an anti-collective bargaining bill in the state of Ohio.

7 Focused attention on the issue of police brutality and the militarization of urban police forces in ways that reinforces longstanding complaints of police misconduct and abuse in Black and Latino communities

This would be an impressive list of accomplishment for a movement that has lasted two years. But Occupy Wall Street has only been with us for two months!

November 16, 2011

Mark D Naison
Professor of African American Studies and History
Principal Investigator
Bronx African American History Project
640 Dealy Hall
Fordham University
Bronx, NY 10458

Medicare Rights & Enrollment Event Scheduled for Thursday, November 17th at 3:00 p.m.

Here is information sent by State Senator Serrano related to an upcoming Medicare seminar. The seminar should be a great way to get informed. If you’re uninsured or a senior citizen, I highly recommend you enquire or attend the seminar.



Medicare Rights & Enrollment Event Scheduled for Thursday, November 17th at 3:00 p.m.

Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center

415 E. 93rd Street (at First Avenue)

Join us to learn about the many changes to Medicare taking place in 2012. Get connected to

programs that help pay the costs associated with Medicare.

 Medicare 2012 Update by the Medicare Rights Center

 Medicare Savings Programs and Extra Help for the Part D Prescription Drug Benefit

by the Medicare Rights Center

 Preventive Care Benefits by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

 Home Energy Assistance Program and the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption

program by the NYC Department for the Aging (DFTA)

Co-Sponsored by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Manhattan Borough President Scott

Stringer, State Senator Jose M. Serrano, State Senator Liz Krueger, Assembly Member Dan Quart,

Assembly Member Micah Kellner, and Council Member Jessica Lappin.

If you have any questions, please call Genevieve Michel in the office of Council Member Garodnick at 212-818-0580

Community Leaders, Launch Blight-Fighting 'Best Of Morris Park' Mural Contest

Here is another small effort made by local community leaders that will make a large impact on our community. The Bronx Council on the Arts, State Senator Klein and Amtrack have joined forces to transform a graffiti riddles overpass into a canvas for emerging artists. If interested in submitting your idea for the overpass please do read on. Please note there is a January 6th deadline.



MORRIS PARK, BRONX, N.Y. – State Senator Jeffrey D. Klein, (D-Bronx/ Westchester), was joined by community leaders and educators in the Morris Park community today to announce an exciting new beautification initiative that will transform blighted railroad bridge abutments into an entryway into the community.

The initiative will launch as a call for students to submit artwork through local schools before January 6th 2011. Students will be asked to submit their artwork with a short paragraph describing their vision for the bridge abutments at the intersection of Bronxdale and East Tremont Avenues. Senator Klein and a panel of distinguished community, educational and artistic leaders will select four winning entries that will be recreated on the overpass walls during the spring.

“Together, we're going to replace this eyesore with a source of community pride,” Senator Klein said. “I can't think of a better way to show the creativity and vibrancy of the Morris Park community than to have this entryway decorated by our youth.”

For years, this area has at has been a hotspot for graffiti vandalism, sending a poor message to those entering the Morris Park community.

Recently, Senator Klein's office contacted Amtrak, which owns the overpass. The rail line agreed to allow the wall abutments to be cleaned by Senator Klein's graffiti removal program and decorated with the winning murals.

"Amtrak is happy to assist local communities remove the blight of graffiti from their neighborhoods and is pleased to cooperate with this effort to paint over our bridge abutments." said Peter Cohen of Amtrak Government Affairs, New York

I think it will bring tremendous pride to Morris Park residents to have this visual welcoming them into our community.” said Al D’Angelo of the Morris Park Community Association

It will be a great project to get children involved in, it will also provide an opportunity for them to learn more about the community.” said Robert Ruggiero of the Morris Park Merchant Alliance

"The Bronx Council on the Arts is proud to help Senator Klein's office with this beautification project. As the arts and culture agency of the Bronx we value his partnership in engaging artists and the public to improve the quality of life for the borough. The arts are a major tool and resource that helps to make that happen." Said Deirdre Scott, Executive Director of the Bronx Council of the Arts.”

Posters can be submitted to participating schools or to Senator Jeff Klein’s District Office at 1250 Waters Place, Suite 1202, Bronx, NY, 10461.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Get your Free Trees Tomorrow, November 16th, at the NY Botanical Garden

If you’re considering planting a new tree in your back yard, here is a great opportunity get one for free!!! The opportunity stems from NYC's desire to plant more trees in order to beautify our city and help keep our air as clean as possible. The tree give away will take place tomorrow and conditions do apply. If interested please do read on.



November 16, 2011 (9AM - 3PM)

Tree Give-Away at New York Botanical Garden
NYBG Green Market (Mosholu Pkwy entrance)

Tree Give-Away at the New York Botanical Garden

Wednesday, November 16th from 9AM to 3PM

Take home a free tree!!

The Alliance in partnership with New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, New York Restoration Project, and Million Trees, have teamed up to offer free trees in the Bronx.

Trees will be made available for individuals to take home to plant on private propety. Trees must be planted within the five boroughs and cannot be planted in containers, on rooftops, or along the street.

The following trees will be given away:
  • Cornelian Cherry Dogwood
  • Yellow Wood
  • Japanese Snowbell
  • Sour Gum/Black Tupelo

For more information please call (718) 430-4665 or email Valerie Francis

To view flyer please click here;