Monday, April 30, 2012

Serrano Helps Open Hell Gate Pathway on Randall's Island; Plans for a Pedestrian Bridge Connecting the South Bronx to Randall’s Island also Announced

Here is news on a ribbon cutting for a new pathway on Randall's Island that should eventfully lead to a pedestrian / cyclist bridge leading into the South Bronx. It looks like the Bx. can have the industry and jobs created by the Fresh Direct move to Port Morris, and a greenway with a bridge connecting the South Bronx to Randall’s Island.



On Friday, Congressman Serrano attended the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the new Hell's Gate Pathway on Randall's Island.  The pathway runs under the scenic arches of the Hell Gate Bridge and railroad trestle, connecting the Hell Gate to the southern end of Randall's Island Park. The next step in the plan is for the pathway to be connected to the South Bronx Greenway by building a bridge across the Bronx Kill. "I am happy to have worked with partners from city and state government, the Randall's Island Park Alliance, and partners from the private sector to create more than a mile of non-vehicular access along renovated and reclaimed parkland," said Serrano. "I look forward to crossing the Bronx Connector and using Randall’s Island along with people from my community in the very near future. It is a very exciting vision that is now coming to reality." The Ribbon Cutting was done with the help and participation of the Bike New York and children from P.S. 180.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mark Gjonaj Announces Run for 80th Assembly District

Here is an announcement related to a Mr. Mark Gjonaj running for the 80th Assembly District seat. From the candidates name I assume he is of Albanian descent. If elected he should be the first Bronx representative with Albanian heritage. The seat is presently held by Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera.



Dear Friends,

I share with you very exciting news. On Sunday, April 22, 2012, I will officially announce my candidacy for the New York State Assembly representing the proud 80th Assembly District of the amazing Borough of the Bronx. This district, which includes Mosholou Parkway, Pelham Gardens, Pelham Parkway, Allerton and Morris Park, is home to many humble and hard working people.

As a fellow Bronxite, I know the challenges we face raising a family and making an honest living. As your Assemblyman, I will stand up for you, your families, and our communities.

I invite you to join me at campaign headquarters located at 2134 Barnes Avenue (Corner of Lydig Avenue) Bronx, New York, this Sunday, as we begin this journey together.

I look forward to working hard, bringing a fresh perspective to the way government is run and being your choice for progress.

Thank you in advance for your time and support,


Mark Gjonaj

List of NY State Asseblymembers:

Vacca to Dedicate New Play Area at Loreto Playground

Here is more good news about our park space in the Bronx. Again Kudos to Vacca and all other parties involved for securing the funds and making the renovations a reality.



Renovations Completed After Funding Secured by Vacca

Tomorrow morning at 9:00 A.M., Council Member James Vacca, Parks Department Commissioner Adrian Benepe, and Parks Bronx Borough Commissioner Hector Aponte, will join community leaders for a ribbon cutting ceremony at Loreto Playground to celebrate the newly renovated play areas at the park.

The renovations, which began in March 2011 and were completed last month, were funded with $500,000 that Vacca was able to allocate through the City Council. The restorations include a reconstructed bocce court, a new play area for toddlers, wheelchair-accessible equipment, new planting beds, benches and fencing, game tables, and a new drainage system that relieved past flooding problems.

WHO: Council Member James Vacca

Adrian Benepe, New York City Parks and Recreation Commissioner

Hector Aponte , Bronx Parks Commissioner

Angela Deegan, St. Francis Xavier School Principal

Jeremy Warneke, Community Board 11 District Manager

Students of St. Francis Xavier and other community leaders

WHAT: Dedication of renovated play areas

WHEN: Friday, April 20, 2012 @ 9:00 A.M.

WHERE: Loreto Playground, Van Nest Avenue between Tomlinson and Haight avenues, the Bronx

Free Mammogram Screenings Available in Highbridge

Early Detection Saves Lives!

Senator José M. Serrano and Project Renewal Scan Van Program will be sponsoring a series of FREE Mammogram Screenings for the 28th District!

Free screenings will be available for women 40 years of age and older who have not had a mammogram in the past year.

Please RSVP to 1(800)-564-6868 for anappointment as space is limited.

See below for more information!

Bronx Mammogram Screening
Thursday, May 24, 2012
1:30 PM-4:00 PM
Highbridge House
1131 Ogden Avenue
Bronx, New York 10452
CLICK HERE for flyer

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Green Festival, a project of Green America and Global Exchange, is debuting in New York City, and the Bronx plans to make its mark!

Here is more good news about our borough and its involvement in an upcoming green festival.



On Friday, April 20th at 11am at Mothers on the Move (928 Intervale
Ave), the press and public are invited to preview demonstrations and
interview Bronxites who are preparing products and topics to showcase
to over 30,000 guests from across the city and the nation expected at
the April 21st and 22nd New York City Green Festival at the Jacob
Javits Center North on 11th Avenue between 39th and 40th Streets in
Manhattan. At NYC Green Festival, attendees will learn how to green
their homes, find a green job, hear inspiring speakers, participate in
workshops, see a film festival and the latest in eco-fashion, taste
delicious local foods, enjoy family activities and shop at the
nation’s largest green marketplace with over 250 businesses committed
to sustainable practices. Those who come on bicycle will get in

At 11am Saturday morning, Discovery High School students with their
teacher Steve Ritz will make juices and salads on stage with fruit and
vegetables grown from their own edible walls: vertical gardens that
are transforming their cafeteria and curriculum. Tanya Fields,
founder of the Blk Projek, will be featured on the Good Food Stage at
2pm on Saturday with her signature cooking demo, “Fab Food on a Food
Stamp Budget.” The Bronx Green Business Network will have a booth
showcasing small businesses such as those incubated by the Osborne
Association: Vertical Home Gardens, Karma Builders, and FarmCity

Also not to be missed is the DIY demo at 3pm on Saturday (Stage C) on
rainwater capture, kitchen composting, non-toxic cleansers and solar
power by Andre Rivera and Taleigh Smith, members of fledgling
cooperative “Concrete Green” along with their business partners Marlon
Castro, representing his South Bronx family-owned solar thermal
business “Pyropeg,” and Kimberly Beazer, of Beazer Gardens. Sunday at
3pm, Omar Freilla will present the newest Greenworker Cooperatives
cohort and discuss how cooperatives are an essential component of the
new green economy in the Bronx and beyond.

Bronx organizations and individuals have partnered with Green
Festival’s local host “UrbanGoGreen” to develop the “Green Economy
Jobs and Opportunity Expo.” Energy Efficient retrofits for residences
and businesses will be explained on the Green Economy Stage A on both
days, featuring Kate Shackford from the Bronx Overall Economic
Development Corporation, Cynthia Ngombe from Sustainable South Bronx,
and Taleigh Smith from the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy
Coalition. Also from NWBCCC, Yorman Nuñez will be featured as a
panelist at 4pm on Saturday speaking on “How CBOs and Faith Based
Organizations can Lead the Green Economy.” Saturday at 2pm, John
Valverde from the Osborne Association Green Career Center and Jameelah
Muhammad of Bronx Community College Center for Sustainable Energy will
present information on green trainings & certifications opportunities.

A complete listing of activities and presenters can be found online at

More information on participating organizations can be found here:,,,,,

Screening of "Caminando Aragon" at the Bronx Museum of the Arts

FRIDAY APRIL 20, 6:00 - 10:00pm
5th Annual Collaboration with the Havana Film Festival of New York

Screening: Caminando Aragon
The 72 year-old Orquesta Aragón, one of the jewels of Cuba’s musical heritage starts a musical journey. La Havana, Cienfuegos and New York are the main stages in this musical journey during two concerts in 2011. Well-known as the “Kings of Cha Cha Cha” in the 50’s, the Aragones enjoy sharing unforgettable moments with their fans as a classic group of popular Cuban music. Director Tané Martínez, 2012, 52 min

LIVE performance by Gerardo Cortino y sus Habaneros.
Additional music by DJ Asho.

Location: BxMA North Wing – 2nd Fl.
Admission: FREE

First Fridays! are made possible through the support of The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the Simón Bolívar Foundation. Beer has been lovingly provided by Brooklyn Brewery.

Community Organizations in the South Bronx Announce the Exciting Live Streaming of Red Tail Hawks Nesting

Here is news on three Bronx entities that united to make sure we all have an extra opportunity to connect with mother nature. They installed a video cam to provide live footage of a Red-tailed Hawk that calls the our borough home. Kudos to everyone that took the time to make the video stream a reality.



The South Bronx, N.Y. – A new nest camera in an undisclosed location in the South Bronx is streaming up-close, high-definition views of a Red-tailed Hawk nest <> thanks to a partnership of local organizations.

The new video stream puts viewers seven stories off the ground and right beside the nest, where they can watch the hawks arrive, see them taking turns feeding the recent hatchlings the eggs, and compare notes on the birds.

The Female, who delivered three eggs has not been named yet. Visitors to the “BirdCam” site can vote on what to call all the hawks.

To watch, go to:

BronxWorks Executive Director Carolyn Executive Director said, “BronxWorks is thrilled to host this nest of three wonderful red tailed hawk chicks. We salute the Bronx groups who have worked over the years to heighten the environmental awareness of the people of the Bronx and to make the Bronx more environmental friendly.”

“I was so pleased to hear that yet another family of wild creatures has taken up residence in the Bronx,” said Congressman José E. Serrano who represents the area and has been known as a vocal supporter of environmental initiatives, and even has a beaver in the Bronx River named after him to recognize his support for it’s revitalization. “It seems that all the new green spaces we’ve created over the years are attractive to humans and wildlife. I look forward to checking in on the nest on the HawkCam, and watching them grow and thrive.”

It is believed that these are the same two parents that have nested young here for at least the past three years.

On the weekend of the 14th of April the first eggs hatched. The last of the three hatched this morning it is believed. (The typical clutch size for Red-tailed hawks is two to three eggs.) It has been about four weeks since the eggs were laid.

The nest should be active for at least the next two months.

To make sure no one misses a moment of the early stages of this Red-tailed Hawk story, BronxWorks and Friends of Brook Park created a temporary BirdCam website for the world to watch these magnificent birds.

Friends of Brook Park are no strangers to the local raptors. Their team was credited with rescuing a Red Tail Hawk in 2010 that was later released in Central Park.
See here for that story:

Daniel Chervoni, Head Gardener with Friends of Brook Park and avid Bird Watcher often walking around the neighborhood with his binoculars and camera said, “We are always trying to help restore Nature around here. This shows you why we need to preserve all the community gardens we have now, and create more open space, especially on our waterfront.”

Candido Nieves, a local resident and volunteer with Friends of Brook Park who also helped rescue the hawk in 2010 said,”I am so happy to see our hawks coming back again. I hope some of the local schools will use this as a resource in their classroom to inspire the next generation to protect the environment.”

See some of Mr. Chervoni’s footage of a hawk landing in the nest from street level here:

More on BronxWorks here:
BronxWorks helps individuals and families improve their economic and social well-being. From toddlers to seniors, we feed, shelter, teach, and support our neighbors to build a stronger community.

More on Friends of Brook Park here:
Friends of Brook Park is a leading environmental organization in the South Bronx, working to cultivate community gardens and food justice, and for the revitalization of our waterfront with green jobs and public access.

Congress Member Serrano of the 16th District:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bronx Community Supported Agriculture Starts it's 2nd Season on June 19th

Here is news on another CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program maturing in the Boogiedown. This group is active in the West Side of the Bronx. If you live along the Grand Concourse and are interested in buying into a CSA that delivers fresh, organically grown, pesticide free food, please do review the press release below.



Fresh and Affordable Produce Back in the Bronx this Summer

Farm Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Shares Available through a Community Supported
Agriculture Program for Families of All Incomes Levels – Food Stamps Accepted

The second season of the Bronx Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) will begin Tuesday June 19, 2012, and continue every Tuesday through November 13, 2012. “Our CSA’s mission is to ‘make fresh, healthy produce, direct from the farmer available and accessible to any Bronx resident, regardless of economic status’”, said Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger. In addition to fresh, pesticide-free, affordable vegetables, this year the Bronx CSA will be offering an optional fruit share to its members.

Each member receives a “share” of vegetables: a full share will feed 3-4 people and a half- share will feed 1-2 people depending on your typical diet. We only have a limited amount of shares available for everyone, so don’t wait to purchase your share. To ensure that our shares are affordable for everyone, we offer flexible payment options for low-income households, and SNAP (formerly known as “Food Stamps”) benefits are also accepted to purchase vegetable and fruit shares.

In addition to providing more fresh produce for consumers, CSAs also support local farmers. The Bronx CSA will once again partner with the Fresh Radish Farm a small 9-acre family farm located in Goshen, New York, for its vegetable share. The newly added fruit share will be provided by Hepworth Farms, a 7th generation family owned farm located in Milton, New York on the banks of the Hudson River. Each week, Hepworth Farms will provide a selection of locally grown fruits that is cultivated using practices as close to organic as possible in this region.

The farmers will bring the harvest every Tuesday for 22 consecutive weeks from June 19 through November 13 to the Seventh Day Adventist Temple at 1275 Grand Concourse. Members will be able to pick up their shares from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The deadline to purchase shares is Wednesday, May 23rd. There will be opportunities to sign up in person every Tuesday from April 20th through Tuesday May 22nd at 5 p.m. at the Seventh Day Adventist Temple at 1275 Grand Concourse. Please contact us at or at (212) 825-0028 for a membership agreement. You can also visit our website at to download the agreement. In addition to fresh, pesticide-free food, there are also opportunities for cooking and nutrition workshops, farm visits, and food policy and advocacy information.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Nine Innings of Bronx Baseball Exhibition at the Bronx Museum of the Arts

Here is a whole list of great events for and about our borough. There is a lot being offered so I hope the community finds time to take advantage of the programs planned.



April 13 - May 13, 2012
Baseball in the Bronx
Nine Innings of Bronx Baseball
Opening Reception: Friday April 13, 5-8pm

Baseball has played a central role in the lives of Bronx residents for generations. People of all ages and backgrounds call the Bronx home and embrace the game. The sport and the borough grew simultaneously and both continue to evolve in the twenty-first century. Each of nine “innings” that make up the Baseball in the Bronx exhibition portrays a different aspect of the game. It begins with the Unions, who played in Morrisania in the 19th Century, and with Esteban Bellan, the first professional Latin American baseball player who was a student at Fordham University in 1863. The exhibit also includes material about:

• Bronx Little League teams from Hunts Point, Crotona, Riverdale and Van Nest
• College baseball at Fordham and NYU
• Baseball alumni from the Bronx
• The ninth and final inning of the exhibit features family photographs from the 1950s to the present day, submitted by the public through an open call.

Starting April 13, a TROLLEY will run from the businesses along River Avenue and across 161 St to the Bronx Museum, and back to Yankee Stadium - courtesy of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation and SBS’ Avenue NYC program.

Sunday, April 15, 3 PM
Talk and book signing with Arlene Howard and Ralph Wimbish, coauthors of the memoir Elston and Me: The Story of the First Black Yankee, University of Missouri, 2001. New York City Councilwoman Helen Foster will be on hand to open the event.

Monday, April 16, 3 PM
Talk and book signing with Kostya Kennedy, sportswriter and author of the book 56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports, Sports Illustrated, 2011. New York City Councilman James Vacca will open the event.

Tuesday, April 17, 3 PM
Talk and book signing with New York Times sports columnist George Vecsey, author of Stan Musial: An American Life, ESPN, 2011.

Wednesday, April 18, 5 PM
Talk and book signing with ESPN senior writer Howard Bryant, The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron, Pantheon, 2010. Howie Evans, Sports Editor at the NY Amsterdam News, will participate in the event.

Thursday, April 19, 5 PM
Historian Dr. George Kirsch of Manhattan College and Bronx Borough Historian Lloyd Ultan will speak about the history of Bronx baseball.

Saturday, April 21, 11 AM
Locked Out of the Locker Room, a talk by Melissa Ludtke, formerly of Sports Illustrated. NY State Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson will be on hand to open the event.

Friday, April 27, 3 PM
Actor Angelis Perez Soto will introduce the film Sugar, Sony Pictures Classics, 2008. NY State Senator Adriano Espaillat will open the event.

Monday, April 30, 3 PM
Talk and book signing with New York Times sports journalist Bob Lipsyte, An Accidental Sportswriter: A Memoir, Ecco, 2011.

Baseball in the Bronx: Nine Innings of Bronx Baseball featured in Arts Beat section of the New York Times

This exhibit is produced by the 161 Street Business Improvement District and The Bronx Museum of the Arts.

Baseball in the Bronx is generously supported by The NYC Department of Small Business Services' Avenue NYC Program, the New York Yankees Foundation, The Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, and Sparrow Construction.

Baseball in the Bronx owes an enormous debt of gratitude to Ricky Martinez and Mrs. Arlene Howard. They have generously shared their private collections of Negro League and Major League artworks, artifacts, autographs, photos and a film.

Vacca, Phipps Community Development Corporation Rally to Protest Proposed Beacon Cuts at I.S. 192

Here is another press release from CM Vacca's office related to cuts to after school programs.



On Monday April 16, Council Member James Vacca will join community and school leaders at the I.S. 192 Piagentini and Jones Beacon Campus to protest the proposed Department of Youth and Community Development cuts to vital city afterschool programs.

The Beacon Program at I.S. 192, which is operated by the Phipps Community Development Corporation, is one of seven Beacon Programs throughout the city scheduled for closure at the end of the school year. The afterschool program at I.S. 192 currently employs 16 staff members and serves over 1,300 students, adults, and seniors, providing them with an opportunity to improve education and skills. These students and their families will lose these critical services if the Mayor does not restore the funding in his Fiscal 2013 Executive Budget.

WHO: Council Member James Vacca

Dianne Morales, Executive Director/CEO of Phipps CDC

Sharon Williams, Managing Director of Youth Services

Monique De La Oz, I.S. 192 Beacon Program Director

Members of The Campaign for Children

WHERE: I.S. 192 Piagentini and Jones Beacon Campus, 650 Hollywood Avenue

WHEN: Monday, April 16th at 5:30 p.m.

Friday, April 13, 2012

MTA Announces Rehabilitation of Five Bronx Pelham Line Stations

Here is news on the funds secured to make much needed renovations to Bronx subway stations.



Major Renovations to Begin in Early 2013

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Council Member James Vacca announced that major renovations are expected to begin early next year at the Pelham Bay Park, Buhre Avenue, Middletown Road, Zerega Avenue, and Castle Hill Avenue IRT 6 Pelham Line train stations.

These upcoming station restorations will join the recently renovated Pelham Line stations at Whitlock Avenue, Elder Avenue, Morrison Avenue-Soundview, St. Lawrence Avenue, and Parkchester. The designs for the repairs are expected to be completed in the fall, followed by the construction award being issued this winter. Renovations are projected to begin early next year and are expected to be complete in 2015.

The general repairs that will be made at the Buhre Avenue, Middletown Road, Zerega Avenue, and Castle Hill Avenue stations include renovations of station mezzanines, including floors, walls, and ceilings; replacement of station mezzanine roofs; replacement of platform and street stairs including enclosures; new platform edges and rubbing boards, which prevent trains from coming into direct contact with the platform; new ADA boarding areas; repair and/or replacement of concrete platforms and windscreens; replacement of platform and street stairs canopies; repair of railings and corroded steel; painting of stations; new mezzanine lighting; bird deterrent systems; and the incorporation of artwork throughout stations.

The general renovations that will be made at the Pelham Bay Park Station include the repair of the bridge over the tracks; a new rubbing board and tactile warning strip; painting of the exterior of the control building and station mezzanine; new platform canopies; painting of platform windscreens; and a bird deterrent system.

“Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s leadership, funding for the next three years of the Capital Plan has been secured and MTA New York City Transit can now continue rolling out our station renewal program to five more stations in the Bronx,” said NYC Transit President Tom Prendergast. “When our work is completed at these five stations, our customers will enjoy newly painted stations and other improvements that will enhance their experience.”

“It is great news that these five stations will be receiving much needed repairs and renovations beginning early next year,” said Council Member Vacca, Chair of the City Council Committee on Transportation. “These stations have a combined average daily ridership of over 20,000 people who commute throughout the Bronx and into the other boroughs. It is important that these stations are updated frequently for the safety of riders. I look forward to these restorations, and I thank the MTA for bringing their attention to these vital stations in the Bronx.”

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

No Longer Empty and Lehman College Art Gallery Sponsor Free Tango Lessons in the Bronx on April 19th

Here is another great program taking place in the Bronx.


In collaboration with No Longer Empty's
exhibition This Side of Paradise

Lehman College Art Gallery

invites you to join us for

with Anabella Lenzu

Thursday, April 19, 2012 at 12:30pm
at the Lehman College Art Gallery


* Bring shoes that allow you to pivot. High heels for women, leather sole shoes for men are recommended.

For more information on our programs visit: