Friday, April 29, 2011

Olympia Film Locations Inc. Principles Discuss Upcoming 1st Ever Bronx Week Film Festival on "Open" with Darien Jaime

For more information about the upcoming 1st Ever Bronx Week Film Festival please view the interview below of Olympia Film Locations Inc., Principles Laura Cicciu, Bobby Zouvelos and Gregory Tsougranis on BronxNets "Open” talk show with Darien Jaime. The live interview was filmed this past Wednesday. A schedule of movie screenings and free ticket information will be made available on the Olympia Film Locations web site (, once the final schedule is confirmed. Submissions are still being taken. Stayed tuned here for more information on the film festival and when tickets will be made available. Anyone interested in sponsorship opportunities for the event please e-mail you name and contact information to


NYC Councilman James Vacca to Join Bronx House to Kick Off Albanian Senior Program

Here is more on funding secured for our Borough by NYC Councilman James Vacca. For those interested in attending the Albanian Senior Program kick-off event please see the post below for more information.


Vacca to Join Bronx House to Kick Off Albanian Senior Program

This Monday morning at 10:00 A.M., Council Member James Vacca will join the Bronx House to kick off a new program aimed at senior citizens in the Albanian-American community. Through the use of City Council funds secured by Vacca, Bronx House has developed a social and cultural program that will operate twice a week and will more effectively engage the large Albanian-American population in the Pelham Parkway area.

WHO: Council Member Vacca, staff of Bronx House, Albanian-American senior citizens

WHAT: Albanian Senior Program kick-off event

WHEN: Monday, May 2, 2011 @ 10:00 A.M.

WHERE: Bronx House, 990 Pelham Parkway South, Bronx

Concrete Plant Park in the Bronx: Video of Before and After

Concrete Plant Park is located on Edgewater Road between Bruckner Blvd and Westchester Avenue along the beautiful Bronx River.

If anyone doubts the progress our beautiful borough has made please view the above video. It shows the transformation of an abandoned industrial lot into a great waterfront park enjoyed by may in our community. The accomplishment is a great example of what can be done when the community is united. Organizations mentioned in the effort include, Youth Ministries for Youth and Justice, The Point Community Development Corporation, NYC Parks & Recreation, and The Bronx River Alliance. In some ways the park, which includes elements from the industry that once existed there, is reminiscent of High Line in Manhattan. Kudos to everyone involved. Thank you for the hard work.


Bronx Museum of the Arts Receives Overwhelming Response to New Visual Arts Effort

Here is great news on a recent initiative launched by the Bronx Museum of the Arts. It's great to see one of our Bronx institutions prospering in its mission. Kudos to the entire staff at the Bronx Museum of the Arts..


Bronx Museum of the Arts Receives Overwhelming Response to New Visual Arts Effort

Nearly 1,000 visual artists from nearly all 50 states and United States’ territories are vying to be cultural ambassadors through the smARTpowerSM initiative, The Bronx Museum of the Arts and the U.S. Department of State announced today. Through smARTpower, an initiative created by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, 15 American visual artists are slated to travel to 15 countries, including China, Ecuador, Egypt, Ghana, India, Kosovo, Lebanon, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Venezuela. The artists, who will be selected and announced in May, will work with local communities to collaborate on works of art that may address local or global social issues, such as women’s empowerment, education, health, the environment, and civic engagement.

“We are excited by the tremendous response to the smARTpower initiative,” said Bronx Museum of the Arts Director Holly Block. “We had high expectations for the number of proposals we would receive, but the response far exceeded those expectations. This is an exceptional opportunity for U.S. artists to serve as cultural diplomats, strengthening ties with commmunities around the world and using the visual arts to reach across the barriers of language and cultural differences.”

The 15 American artists will be selected at the end of May by a distinguished panel of artists and leaders in the arts community, in consultation with the Bronx Museum of the Arts and the Department of State. Panelists are:
Tomie Arai – Visual Artist
Sandra D. Jackson-DuMont – Deputy Director of Education and Public Programs and Adjunct Curator at the Seattle Art Museum
Carin Kuoni – Vera List Center Director, Curator and Critic
Tumelo Mosaka – Curator of Contemporary Art at the Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Holly Block – Executive Director at the Bronx Museum of the Arts

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ smART Powersm initiative is a partnership with the Bronx Museum of the Arts, with additional financial support from the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation.

Open Forums Scheduled by NYC Council to Discuss and Review Pending NYC Rent Regulation Laws set to Expire on June 15th

RHere is a very important forum coming up to discuss New York's rent regulation laws set to expire on June 15th. The letter is an open invitation by various NYC City Council Chairs including Speaker Christine Quinn and our very own Bronx Councilwoman Helen Foster. It should be a great opportunity to express yourself and become informed on the latest pertaining to the estimated 1 million rent regulated apartments in NYC.

April 29, 2011

Dear New Yorker,

We wanted to alert you to some key dates important to NYC tenants.

First, as you may know, New York's rent regulation system is set to expire on June 15th.

On Monday, May 9, 2011, at 1 p.m. in the 16th Floor Committee Room at 250 Broadway in Lower Manhattan, the City Council's Housing and Buildings Committee will be holding a public hearing on the renewal of New York's rent regulation laws.

The Committee will also be discussing City Council Resolution No. 700, which calls on the NYS Legislature to renew and strengthen these critical protections covering more than a million rent-regulated apartments in NYC alone.

If you can't make it to our hearing on May 9th but would still like to weigh in on this critical issue, you may do so via our website by clicking on the link below:

On another related front, this past week the Rent Guidelines Board held the first in a series of meetings that will ultimately determine the fate of rents in NYC in the coming year. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 3rd. Details are listed below:

Tuesday, May 3rd, Preliminary Vote, Cooper Union, Great Hall, 7 East 7th Street (near Third Avenue) in Manhattan. Deliberations on rent increases set to begin at 5:30 p.m.

More meetings are scheduled to follow in June, culminating with a public meeting and final vote on Monday, June 27th, at Cooper Union. For additional information, please log on to

Thanks for allowing us to share this important news with you. We will continue to keep you updated on our rent reform efforts and alert you to any actions you may take.

In the meantime, please feel free to contact Carlos Carino in the Council's Community Outreach Unit if you have any tenant-related questions or concerns. He can be reached by telephone at (212) 788-9121 or by e-mail at

Christine C. Quinn
NYC Council

Erik Martin Dilan
Chair, Housing & Buildings Committee
NYC Council

Helen Diane Foster
Chair, State & Federal Legislation Committee
NYC Council

Margaret Chin
Council Member & Lead Sponsor of Resolution No. 700
NYC Council

Bronx Times Report Prints Article on Upcoming 1st Ever Bronx Week Film Festival

Here is some more press on the upcoming first ever Bronx Week Film Festival scheduled from Monday May 16th to Friday May 19th. The article was written by Patrick Roccio and printed in today’s Bronx Times Reporter. By early next week the schedule of movies to be shown with ticket availability will be posted on the Olympia Film Locations Inc. and the Bronx Tourism Council web site as well. Tickets will be made free to the public on a first come first serve basis. Please stay tunes right here on the BoogieDowner for more information.


Annual Bronx Week Launches First Borough Film Festival

By Patrick Rocchio
Friday, April 29, 2011 12:11 PM EDT

For the first time ever during the festivities surrounding Bronx Week, a film festival will be part of the festivities.

Around 12 to 15 movies filmed in the Bronx or made by local filmmakers will be screened in the First Annual Bronx Film Festival at the Bruckner Bar and Grill at 1 Bruckner Boulevard, as part of Bronx Week 2011, from Monday, May 16 to Thursday, May 19.

The film festival is being organized by Bobby Zouvelos and Greg Tsougranis on behalf of Olympia Film Locations, a location-scouting company that specializes in bringing filmmakers to spots around the borough.

A group of film enthusiasts and full-fledged filmmakers got support from the borough president, who would like to see more film and television production in the borough.

“The festival will attract a number of films made in the Bronx, by Bronx filmmakers or about the Bronx, and will help us promote our borough through their message,” Diaz said. “I’m looking forward to experiencing the creativity and talent of our residents, this time reflected in the big screen.”

Films that promote a positive message of the borough are what Diaz hopes to showcase, and one of his pet peeves are negative depictions of the Bronx, which he discussed at a meeting of the North East Bronx Community Association on Monday, April 25.

Sundance Film Festival entry ‘Gun Hill Road,’ made by filmmaker Rashaad Ernesto Green, was filmed at a locations scouted by Olympia, and should have a special screening.

The film stars Judy Reyes, an actress known for her work on the television series Scrubs and who has been enshrined in the Bronx Walk of Fame.

Films like ‘Gun Hill Road,’ made by and about people from the borough, are the ones that Greg Tsougranis, a co-owner of Olympia, hopes to make part of the festival.

“We have a good number of people in the Bronx who are taking it upon themselves to make films,” Tsougranis said. “The Bronx has got a lot of self made people who we do not yet know about, but who are making some great films without waiting for anyone to give them anything or do anything for them.”

ADVERTISEMENTThe plots of the films to be screened range from everything from horror films to a documentary about how fanatical parents can become while watching their children play little league, Tsougranis said.

“We hope that this develops into a yearly thing,” said Jerry Landi, whose horror film ‘Krackoon’ is expected to be among those screened. “We looking to invite are inviting filmmakers and actors from all over the Bronx to participate.”

A special R.S.V.P., V.I.P. black tie event for filmmakers, celebrities, and elected officials is being planed for the evening of Thursday, May 19 at the Bronx Museum of the Arts.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

BoogieDowner Movie Watch: My Destiny an Albanian Love Story, by Roko Markolovic

Here is another movie selected to be show at the 1st ever Bronx Week Film Festival, running from Monday May 16th to Thursday May 19th. If you looking for a portal to view love and relationships in the tight knit Bronx Albanian community, this is it. Director Roko Markolovic along with his crew of actors definitely created a milestone film for the Albanian and non Albanians community to enjoy. Some have called it Romeo and Juliet, "Balkan style". May it be the first of many for Roko and the Albanian-American community.

For scheduling and ticket information please log onto the Olympia Film Locations Inc. web site. When the official schedule is posted a select number of tickets will be provided to the community free of charge through their web site. The web site address is;

Till then please enjoy the trailer.


U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Levying Charges Against a Private DOE Consultant for Stealing $3.6 Million

Here is NYC Comptroller Liu comments on the alleged theft of $3.6 million from the DOE. $3.6 million can keep dozens of NYC teachers employed. Please see the full press release below.


NEW YORK, NY – New York City Comptroller John C. Liu stated the following in response to questions about today's announcement by the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York levying charges against a private DOE consultant for stealing $3.6 million:

“Federal charges once again, that a consultant has stolen millions from the taxpayers are infuriating enough. Even more disconcerting, however, are indications that corporations with billions of dollars in City business have aided and abetted and profited from the scam. As with the CityTime scandal, oversight of subcontracting is acutely needed right now.”

Comptroller Liu has directed a review of contracts with vendors implicated by Special Commissioner of Investigation for the New York City School District, Richard Condon. The Comptroller’s Office is currently auditing a number of technology projects also involving some of the same vendors, including ARIS, Future Technology Associates, iZone, and E911.

Councilman Joel Rivera to Unveil New Street Sign

Here is a street sign unveiling for Thomas Lee Guess. Besides being a leader in various housing and senior issues, Mr. Guess was also known for his musical abilities. For anyone who new the man or benefited from him works, please see the time and place for the event.


Councilman Joel Rivera to Unveil New Street Sign
In Honor of Thomas Lee Guess

Bronx, New York – Council Member Joel Rivera will unveil new street sign for Thomas Lee Guess on Clinton Avenue and East 180th Street. Musical tribute will begin at 11am at the Thomas L. Guess Tremont Community Senior Center located on 2070 Clinton Avenue. Presentation of new street sign to the community will commence at 11:45am immediately after the tribute.

Thomas Lee Guess was a lifetime advocate for his community. One of his dreams became a reality and still stands today as the Tremont Community Senior Center. His vision continued when he organized and led the tenants from the obstacles through successfully saving 495 East 178th Street HDFC, which he later served as the first official President and Manager. As a board member of Bronx 2000, Mr. Guess along with member of Tremont United Methodist Church and representatives from former President Jimmy Carters’ Habitat for Humanity Northeast started restoring the entire borough of the Bronx and its subsidiaries. Mr. Guess was likewise active in the church where he additionally lent his musical talents. He not only developed a rich liturgical library of music for the church and the community but he also co-founded a monthly Artistic Vesper program that featured aspiring artists in the Bronx community.

“Mr. Guess put dreams into reality. Not only did he serve as Executive Director of the Tremont Community Senior Center for over 35 years he was also one of its founding fathers. His dedication was evident through his impassioned work with numerous organizations in the Bronx community as well as within the church. He is known as a beacon to all those that crossed his path, as he tirelessly campaigned for a better tomorrow,” states Councilman Joel Rivera.

The Bronx Council on the Arts Presents Cultural Trolley Saturdays and the 5th Annual Mott Haven Studio Tour

Here is another great event set for this Saturday April 30th.


The Bronx Council on the Arts
Culture Trolley Saturdays
The 5th Annual Mott Haven Open Studio Tour

BCA hopes to have a little something for everyone this Saturday, April 30th. From an artists' studio tour to a writing workshop to a jazz concert, BCA presents a variety of free events that are open to everyone.

The day starts at 12:00pm with the 5th Annual Mott Haven Open Studio Tour. Let the Bronx Culture Trolley take you to artists' studios not normally open to the public. This is an opportunity to meet artists, see how they work, and purchase their art. Catch the trolley at Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos at 450 Grand Concourse starting at noon, and hop on and off all day until 5:00pm.

At 2:30pm, you'll have the chance to hop off at "Write Your Life: A Memoir Writing Workshop" at the Mott Haven Library at 321 East 140th Street at Alexander Avenue. Sponsored by Bronx Writers Center, the workshop is for aspiring writers who want to write their life story. Learn techniques for recreating memories, writing for all senses and publishing your book. Click here to see other interesting stops throughout the day.

One event separate from the Culture Trolley is Jazz Guitar Duets with accomplished BxIndie artists Sheryl Bailey and Rale Micic. Together, Bailey and Micic have a chemistry and creativity that is fun, electrifying, and entertaining. See the pair perform at 2:30pm at the Mosholu Library at 285 East 205th Street near Perry Avenue.

This kind of BCA Saturday doesn't come around too often. We hope you can spend part of it with us!
For more information on these and other events and activities of the Bronx Council on the Arts, visit

For additional information via phone call (718) 931-9500. (Ext 33 on Thursday and Friday and Ext 31 on Saturday)

Clothing and Textile Recycling Day and Roosevelt Island Cherry Bloom Festival set for Saturday April 30th

Here are two great events co-sponsored by NYS Senator Serrano and Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer. The recycling event should help with spring cleaning in an eco-friendly manner. The Cherry Blossom Festival on Roosevelt Island should be a great way to enjoy one of NYC great outdoor spaces, while also helping to raise funds for the devastation in Japan. Kudos to Bx/Man. representative Serrano for co-sponsoring two great events.

Clothing & Textiles Recycling Day
Saturday, April 30, 2011
12 p.m. - 5 p.m
1590 Park Avenue (at 115th St.)

Senator Serrano will be co-sponsoring this recycling event, organized by Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer. Clean out your closets and bring your clean, unwanted clothing, paired shoes, coats, sheets, towels, blankets, scarves, belts, hats and handbags. Used clothes will be re-used, and torn and stained items will be recycled into new materials. Every donation receives a free energy-efficient CFL lightbulb! For more information please call the Manhattan Borough President's Office at (212) 669-2094.

Cherry Blossom Festival

Saturday, April 30, 2011
1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Western Seawall Cherry Walk
Roosevelt Island

This weekend, head to Roosevelt Island and enjoy the First Annual Cherry Blossom Festival, celebrating Japanese heritage and culture. The festival will feature cultural demonstrations, musical performances, and a photography contest. The Japanese cherry blossom tree, or sakura, symbolizes the cycle of human life. In honor of the lives lost during the heartbreaking natural disaster in Japan, this event will donate proceeds from the Roosevelt Island Residents Association benefit auction to the Japan efforts.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

SoBRO Receives Two Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) Program Grants to Revitalize Port Morris

Here is some positive news for the Port Morris section of the Bronx. Grant funds have been made available through SoBRO to help clean up the "Brownfield Sites". Please see the attached press release for more info.


SoBRO Receives Two Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) Program Grants to Revitalize Port Morris

April 25, 2011: The New York State Department of State awarded SoBRO two Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) Program grants for planning, analysis and predevelopment activities in the Port Morris neighborhood of the Bronx adjacent to the Harlem River and the East River. The awards will allow SoBRO to advance efforts to clean up “brownfield sites”—dormant and environmentally contaminated lots of land— for their eventual redevelopment into areas of commercial and/or residential use. SoBRO’s Harlem River and East River projects were among only four initiatives funded in New York City and 21 projects funded across New York State. The two awards, totaling $807,800, represent a major investment in the community revitalization of the South Bronx.

SoBRO’s first BOA project involves the completion of an Implementation Strategy for a 200-acre area containing 10 brownfield sites in Port Morris near the Harlem River. The project’s objectives include establishing development and financing plans to realize the removal of hazardous substances from former industrial properties, predevelopment efforts aimed at redeveloping the land into commercial and/or residential properties, and increasing waterfront access to the Harlem River.

For the second BOA project, SoBRO will complete an in-depth assessment and evaluation for a 145-acre area with approximately 20 brownfield sites located in Port Morris near the East River. The project will help identify strategies to remove environmentally hazardous substances and study the most effective ways to redevelop and reuse the land to energize the local economy. SoBRO was awarded $374,000 for this initiative.

The work on these BOA sites will enable future investments to flow into the South Bronx from both public and private realms. “The BOA program has been an instrumental tool in engaging property owners and the local community in a meaningful planning process that facilitates revitalization of underutilized lots in the historically underserved neighborhoods of the Bronx,” explained Phillip Morrow, SoBRO’s President and CEO. “Leveraging this program allows us to bring critical and sustainable economic development practices to address sites that are among the most challenging yet have tremendous potential for positive impact into our communities. We commend New York State for prioritizing this important program, and pledge to continue our efforts to bring Brownfield sites back to productive uses for the Bronx.”

The BOA program is sponsored by the New York State Department of State in partnership with the Department of Environmental Conservation. To date, more than 100 BOA revitalization strategies are underway, supported by over $32 million in New York State funds. For more information about this year’s BOA program, visit the Department of State’s website at For more information about SoBRO, visit or contact us directly with the information provided below.


Here is some community activism that should be appreciated. Kudos to everyone involved. The people need to know they do have a voice if organized and focused.


Unprecedented survey will reveal the extent of vacant property in NYC

Contact: Sam Miller, or Kendall Jackman, Housing Campaign Leader, Picture the Homeless (NYC), office: 646 314 6423, cell: (917) 407-2784 , email:, Homeless activists & other speakers will be available for interview on-site.

Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.—City Council Member Letitia James will join Picture the Homeless (PTH), and Hunter College’s Center for Community Planning and Development (HCCCPD) to announce the first-ever count of vacant buildings and
lots throughout the five boroughs. The survey, to be launched in June 2011, is the first of its kind and is unprecedented in scope. Launched from the historic John Wesley United Methodist Church in the heart of Bedford-Stuyvesant - the neighborhood with the highest density of vacant property, the initiative will unite labor leaders, faith communities, academics, and homeless people.

“My family settled in this community in 1915 and helped found this church,” said Kendall Jackman, a leader of the Picture the Homeless housing campaign. “I am a child of this community and of this church. I am proud that my church is taking a leading role in this endeavor. I remember this community as a bustling place, but today it has become a virtual wasteland in spots, a fractured community. It is our hope with this count that it will be the beginning of rebuilding this and other communities with truly affordable housing for all.”

“Brooklyn neighborhoods are plagued by vacant property and displacement,” said City Council Member Letitia James. “And we're
losing more and more of our people to the homeless shelter system. The city needs to do more. The data we gather with this count will help us create real solutions that benefit working-class New Yorkers.”

Tom Angotti, Ph.D., the Director of HCCCPD, reiterates the significance of this historic survey: “Our partnership with PTH will
help combine grassroots intelligence and university- based knowledge to create the conditions for improving and changing city housing policy so that it can serve those in greatest need.”

The survey is the latest development in Picture the Homeless’s multi-year campaign to document the extent of vacant property in NYC. PTH argues that vacancy inflates the cost of housing in the city and is a root cause of homelessness. Preliminary findings, available on Vacant NYC (, maps over 11,000 vacant buildings and lots, city wide: most of which were provided by city agency data.

Press Rendezvous: Meet at John Wesley United Methodist , 260 Quincy Street (at Nostrand),
11AM Tuesday, April 26th
For interviews with PTH members and Hunter College faculty, call Sam Miller. In addition, PTH will be tweeting updates from the press conference. Follow and hashtag #NYCvacancysurvey

Bronx Film Makers Give Back to Community Youth with Special EFX / Film Making Seminar at the Hunts Point Recreation Center

(Bronx based filmmaker, and special EFX creator Mark J. Makowski interacting with youth at a recent seminar on special EFX, and filmmaking at the Hunts Point Recreation Center Video Program on Manida St.)

Here is what it's all about. Kudos to all the Bronx Film makers that coordinated with the Hunts Point Recreation Center Video Program to organize the recent seminar for Bronx youth on special EFX and film making right here in the BoogieDown. I keep hearing great things about the program and hope to learn more about it. It looks like the children really enjoyed the seminar.


Sustainable South Bronx Promotes their 5th Annual Hunts Point Hustle 5K Run / Walk

The Hunts Point Hustle 5K Run/ Walk was created to promote physical activity in our community, bring awareness to the South Bronx Greenway
project and the local parks. The Hustle is Sustainable South Bronx's premier annual event.

5th Annual Hunts Point Hustle
5K Run/ Walk Race

Saturday, May 21st, 2011 · 9AM
Hunts Point Riverside Park

100-yard dash for the children
Goodie-bags with free admission tickets to the NY Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Bronx Zoo, and more....
FREE t-shirts

Trophies for 3 female and 3 male winners in each age category
Prizes from Timex, Patagonia, Footlocker, Sam's Club, BJ's,
& the Queens Botanical Garden, to name a few

$15 in advance; $20 on-site


Volunteer on the day of, or fundraise in advance, and I will be personally grateful. Please share this email with your networks to help make this the most successful Hustle yet!

We look forward to seeing you there!

-Milka Rodriguez, SSBx Active Living Coordinator
646.400.5432 or

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER NOW or copy+paste the following address into your web browser:


For Hustle updates, go to:

Sustainable South Bronx is a non-profit organization that champions hope and opportunity for our community and other urban communities with innovative programs that improve both our economy and our environment.

Monday, April 25, 2011

1St Annual Bronx Week Film Festival Gets Great Press in Daily News Article

I never cut and paste articles from other news papers but in this case please see the entire article about Rashaad Ernesto Green, the Director of "Gun Hill Road" and the first ever Bronx Week Film Festival taken from yesterdays Easter edition of the Daily News. Once we select the final theatre venue for the first ever showing of "Gun Hill Road" in the Bronx, expect to see the press city wide. Much gratitude to Tanyanika Samuels at the Daily News.


It's time for the Bronx's closeup: film festival shines spotlight on borough
BY Tanyanika Samuels

Monday, April 25th 2011, 4:00 AM

New York filmmaker Rashaad Ernesto Green's Sundance favorite, 'Gun Hill Road,' will screen at the Bronx Week Film Festival.

It started as an ambitious dream to showcase Bronx filmmakers and, in just a few short weeks, it's become real.

The First Annual Bronx Week Film Festival will debut during this year's Bronx Week celebration next month.

About a dozen full-length movies and documentaries will be screened, all with a connection to the borough.

"We are excited about it," said event organizer Gregory Tsougranis of Olympia Film Locations Inc. "I'm so proud that we have all these people in the Bronx who make their own movies."

The lineup features a range of genres from horror flicks to love stories. Among them are Sundance Film Fest hit drama "Gun Hill Road;" "Slime City Massacre" and "Krackoon;" the irreverent biopic, "Bronx Paradise: Diary of a Bottom Feeder;" the independent film, "My Destiny: An Albanian Love Story," and the documentary "New York MMA."

The concept for the film festival first took shape during last month's Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation meeting.

The goal was to shine a spotlight on the local film industry, and promote the borough through films made in or about the Bronx or produced by a Bronxite.

Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and BOEDC President Marlene Cintron approached Tsougranis, who helped scout locations for "Gun Hill Road."

A couple weeks later, in a meeting at the Bruckner Bar & Grill, Tsougranis and some local filmakers brought the idea to fruition.

"We are excited at the prospect of creating additional venues during Bronx Week that will draw more individuals to see what we have to offer in our wonderful borough," Diaz said.

"I'm looking forward to experiencing the creativity and talent of our residents, this time reflected in the big screen."

Local filmmaker Roko Markolovic agreed, saying that the film festival will highlight a little known side of the Bronx.

"The cultural aspect of the Bronx is not really known. No one knows that a lot of movies are being made here," said Markolovic, director of "My Destiny."

In addition to the movie screenings, the film festival is to include several workshops, guest appearances by movie directors and actors, and a gala event.

"This is good for the Bronx. It will bring a lot of attention to the [borough] and the filmmaking industry here," said Tsougranis, author of the BoogieDowner blog.

The First Annual Bronx Week Film Festival will run from May 16-19 at the Bruckner Bar & Grill, 1 Bruckner Blvd. in Port Morris.

To learn more, visit

BoogieDowner Movie Watch: Amuck Duck Films Signs Movie Distribution Deal with ITN Distribution for "Krackoon"

(Left to Right - Jerry Landi, Anthony De Bellis of Amuck Duck Films creators of Krackoon, Rich Rossi Vice President of ITN Distribution)

It's official, another Bronx film company signs world wide distribution deal. The photo above shows Jerry Landi and Anthony De Bellis of Amuck Duck Films signing final contracts with Rich Rossi, Vice-President of ITN Distribution. Pretty soon all of Hollywood will be coming to the Bronx to tap into our boroughs raw energy and talent.

Besides showing at the Bronx Week Film Festival I am sure both Amuck Duck Films and ITN Distribution will be represented at our Red Carpet Gala event set for Thursday evening May 19th from 7pm to 10pm at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. The museum gala event is were Bronx directors, film makers, actors, investors and political leaders, including our Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz Jr. will have an opportunity to celebrate the conclusion of the 1st ever Bronx Week Film Festival. The Bronx Museum of the Arts event room occupancy is only 175 so if anyone believes they should be present at the gala or knows someone who is, please do reach out to me at the following e-mail addresses;

We are looking for the strongest advocates to promote the emerging Bronx film industry. The Red Carpet Gala event is organized by Olympia Film Locations Inc. Prior to the gala we will be showing “Gun Hill Road” at a private screening with Director Rashaad Ernesto Green at a theatre to be disclosed.

For more information on the event please log on to the Boogiedowner daily. Information will also be made available via the Bronx Tourism Council and the Olympia Film Location web sites once made available to the public. Tickets to the screening will be free and open to the public due to sponsor contributions. Any individuals or corporations wishing to become sponsors of the event should contact me at either of the above e-mail as well.


More information on Amuck Duck Films and Krackoon can be found at;

More on ITN Distribution can be found at;

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Here is a press release from our Comptroller discussing “an ambitious infrastructure rebuilding plan" requiring billions to be raised in our capital markets”. From the statement I assume more Requests for Proposals (RFP) will be coming down the pipeline and that this is good news for construction and other building trade firms. As I receive information I will post. It seems as if our Comptroller has been doing his best to spread the wealth. Please see the below post for more information.


NEW YORK, NY – In response to questions about the Requests for Proposals (RFP) for a Financial Advisor, Pricing Advisor and Swap Advisor released jointly today by the Comptroller’s Office and the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget, Comptroller C. John Liu stated the following:

"New York City's ambitious infrastructure rebuilding plan requires billions to be raised in the capital markets. These RFPs will allow new as well as established firms to compete for the City's business, ensuring that our taxpayers get the best deal with lower borrowing costs. Moreover, opening the process up to competition may result in doing more business with firms owned by minorities, women and small NYC-based business, whereas continuing the same old non-competitive process guarantees the status quo.”

The existing Financial Advisor contracts had been extended multiple times without a new RFP being issued.

Deputy Comptroller for Public Finance Carol Kostik stated, “New York City benefits from a deep talent pool in financial services. We manage a large and complex financing program, so we want the best and the brightest on our financing teams. With these RFPs, firms can compete to earn a place on those teams.”

Two RFPs were issued today, one for Financial Advisor and Price Advisor, and one for Swap Advisor. The RFPs will be used to hire advisers for the City General Obligation bonds as well as for the New York City Transitional Finance Authority, the New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority, and the Hudson Yards Infrastructure Authority.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Street Vendors Needed for Bronx Week Festival on May 22nd

For vendors out there looking for some extra work, please review the e-mail below.



Street vendors are invited to take part in the Bronx Week Festival on Mosholu Parkway on Sunday, May 22, hosted by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. Food, arts & crafts, and an all-day concert draw thousands to the site for the grand finale of the Bronx Week celebration, which marks its 40th anniversary this year. For more information and an application, please contact Sonia Malave at 718-590-3989.

Spring Celebration Hosted by Friends of Brook Park this Sunday April 24th

Here is a fun event for the family taking place this Sunday at Brook Park. It includes face painting, egg dying, gardening and planting activities. I am sure the kids will love the activities. The park is located at 141st Street and Brook Avenue. For more information about the organization and its activities please call their main number at (646) 648-4362 or visit their web page posted below.


For anyone interested in viewing their web site please log on to the following web address;

NYC Council Members Discuss Green Initiatives Taken In Commemoration of Earth Day

It looks like our City Council has made the Environment a priority. Please see the letter sent by NYC Council members Quinn, Gennaro and James in conjunction with "Earth Day".


April 22, 2011

Dear New Yorker,

Happy Earth Day! As we celebrate our beautiful planet today, we wanted to take a moment to share with you some of the important actions that we have recently taken to help make New York a greener city and home.

City Council Passes Green Roof Legislation

This past month, the City Council passed a package of green roof bills. These bills are part of the Council's ongoing work with the Green Code Task Force and, when signed into law by the Mayor, will alter the Building Code to allow:

Builders to use roofing materials that are more reflective, absorbing less heat in the summer, as well as more emissive – emitting more heat when the air is cooler (Intro. No. 347-A);
Solar thermal and solar electric (photovoltaic) collectors or panels and their supporting equipment to be excluded completely from height limitations, making it less burdensome to install these systems on rooftops (Intro. No. 341-A); and
Combined heat and power systems to be added to the list of allowable rooftop structures, saving us precious fuel and energy (Intro. 358-A).

We'd like to thank the Green Code Task Force for their expertise and support in helping us find ways to green the laws and regulations that govern construction in New York City.

We'd also like to thank all of our colleagues, especially Council Members Erik Martin Dilan, Dan Garodnick and Diana Reyna, for their leadership and support in shepherding these bills through the Council.

For more information on these green roof bills, click here.

PlaNYC 2.0

Yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg released PlaNYC 2.0, a blueprint that will take our city's sustainability efforts to the next level.

Having partnered with the Bloomberg Administration to pass sweeping legislation to green our city's building code and to create the Office of Environmental remediation, the Council looks forward to continuing to collaborate on many of the initiatives in the Mayor's plan. We're especially proud that this plan for the first time incorporates food system sustainability – an issue that has long been a priority for the City Council. In fact, many of the food proposals outlined in PlaNYC 2.0 work in tandem with proposals from our FoodWorks plan for improving NYC's food system.

Finally, we're proud to say that as a result of discussions relating to the updated PlaNYC, the Council was able to negotiate a significant reversal to proposed budget changes relating to the city's Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP). At its core, the SWMP had a goal of relieving communities that were unfairly overburdened in handling the city's waste and achieving true borough equity in waste management. The Council remains committed to this goal, which is why we had serious concerns about the Administration's proposal to delay construction of four marine transfer stations by pushing funding for the projects as far back as Fiscal Year 2019.

As a result of our efforts, funding will not be delayed and the projects will move forward as planned. This is a big win for the environment, for New York's neighborhoods and for the future of our city.

City Council Promotes Locally-Grown Food & Reduced Food Packaging

You may recall, in February the Council's Contracts Committee held a hearing on a package of bills that would encourage city agencies to purchase food produced in New York State (Intro. 452) and urge vendors to cut down on packaging (Intro. 461).

To read more about this hearing, please click on the link below:

As part of our FoodWorks plan, the City Council is very proud to launch the first government-based community supported agriculture (CSA) program in New York City!

CSAs are a great, convenient way to directly connect to farmers and take home locally grown fruits and vegetables. We look forward to seeing our newly-selected farmer, Zaid, every week this summer with his fresh, organic produce from Norwich Meadow Farm and we hope the Council's CSA encourages other employers to start their own programs.

We will continue to look at these and other ways to increase the amount of locally-grown food purchased by the city.

City Council & Mayor Bloomberg Break Ground on First Brownfield Site

This past week, the City Council and Mayor Bloomberg broke ground for a new development in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, built on a brownfield site remediated by the City's brownfield incentive grant program.

In 2009, the City Council passed a bill, authored by Environmental Protection Chair Jim Gennaro, that created a comprehensive program for the remediation and reuse of brownfields: abandoned or underused industrial and commercial sites that are viable for re-use.

Thanks to this program, unused space in Williamsburg will now be turned into a wonderful development with retail shops and a place where New Yorkers can call home.

It's exactly this kind of transformation that we envisioned for these brownfields when we passed our legislation, and we'd like to thank the Mayor and his Administration for helping us put this innovative program into action.

City Council & GrowNYC Announce Composting Expansion

On March 4th, we joined GrowNYC to kick off a new pilot program that expanded household composting to six additional greenmarket locations around the city, for a total of 10 drop-off points citywide.

Sustainable waste management is a goal outlined in the Council's FoodWorks plan, and we're thrilled this expanded pilot program is transforming more of our food waste into fertile soil.

We'd like to thank GrowNYC and its community partners for all of their hard work putting this expansion program together.

To read more about these effort, click here. For a complete list of locations where you can drop off your food scraps, log on to

Addressing PCBs in NYC Public Schools

Nothing is more important to parents and guardians than knowing that their children are being educated in a safe and secure environment.

Earlier this month, the City Council held a hearing on PCBs in public schools. These man-made chemicals are found in old light fixtures in many of our city's schools, are considered probable carcinogens by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and are suspected of causing a number of critical health problems.

During our hearing, many parents, advocates, unions, and experts expressed their concerns that students, teachers, and other school workers were possibly being exposed to these PCBs through direct contact or inhalation.

We also heard from the Administration about its efforts to replace light fixtures containing PCBs as part of a comprehensive plan to increase energy efficiency and environmental quality in 772 public schools over the next 10 years.

While we were happy to hear that the City's plan will remove all PCB-containing lights from the city's schools and reduce major health risks associated with air pollution from dirty oil-burning boilers, we questioned the plan's timeframe, believing it to be too long.

Based on the testimony we received at our hearing and ongoing discussions with all involved parties, we have called for a five-year completion of this plan – a position also taken by the EPA. Although there are a number of important benefits to this five-year schedule, the most important, by far, is the health and safety of our city's children.

Help Give Back to the Planet!

Interested in volunteering on Earth Day? Click on the links below:

Earth Day NYC
Earth Day New York volunteers will help with setting up for the event, loading materials and equipment in and out, running our informational booths.

NYC Department of Parks and Recreation
Earth Day celebration at Rockaway Beach. Volunteers are needed to help with a special earth day celebration at Rockaway Beach. Assist children and their families with crafts, games and face painting.

Want to pitch in and help make New York a greener city? Log on to and

Looking Ahead

We're continuing to make great progress implementing our FoodWorks plan and creating a more sustainable future for our city. We still have a lot more work to do, though, and we promise to keep you updated on our progress and to alert you to any actions you can take going forward.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about how you can become involved in these efforts, please contact Danielle Porcaro in our Community Outreach Division at (212) 788-7300 or

Thanks and have a great Earth Day and a wonderful weekend!!!

Christine C. Quinn
NYC Council

James F. Gennaro
Chair, Environmental Protection Committee
NYC Council

Letitia James
Chair, Sanitation & Solid Waste Management Committee
NYC Council

Thursday, April 21, 2011

BoogieDowner Movie Watch: World Premier of "New York MMA” Selected for Screening at 1st ever Bronx Week Film Festival

Here is a promotional video for "New York MMA" which will have its World Premier at next months first ever "Bronx Week Film Festival". The film was produced by Kahleem Poole-Tejada and Stephen Koepfer documenting the struggle to legalize Mixed Martial Arts(MMA) through the lens of amateur fighter Bradley Desir. Besides a host of MMA Super Stars, our very own Bronx Councilman and NYC City Council Majority Leader Joel Rivera will be featured in the documentary. How could the combination of issues and film stars not lead to a sold out event?

The 1st ever Bronx Week Film Festival is scheduled to take place during Bronx Week which has a 40 year tradition of showcasing our beautiful borough. This years Bronx Week events will take place from May 12th to May 22nd. Olympia Film Locations Inc. was charged with the honor and responsibility to establish, coordinate and manage the film festival component at the behest of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC) and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. The “new” film festival component is part of the Borough Presidents emphasis on promoting the film industry in the Bronx to stimulate artistic expression and economic activity.

For more information on the 1st ever Bronx Week Film Festival, please log onto the Boogiedowner daily until the official Olympia Film Locations Inc. website is made available to the public. For more information on the film please do review the trailer and information below.


New York MMA- Feature Film Trailer from Kahleem on Vimeo.

New York MMA
(Kahl One Film Productions & The Coalition to Legalize MMA in NY, 2011)

New York MMA is an enthralling documentary that provides a back seat view of the grass roots struggle to legalize and regulate the professional sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) in New York State. New York is one of a handful of states in which MMA is still outlawed; sacrificing jobs and millions of dollars in revenue to neighboring states and countries since 1997. In his first feature length film, Bronx native, martial artist and filmmaker Kahleem Poole – Tejada presents an intimate account of the struggle to legalize MMA through the lens of one amateur fighter’s (Bradley Desir) quest to turn professional under the guidance of his coach (Stephen Koepfer). Viewers are offered a rare glimpse behind the curtain of the political, sometimes frightening, and always exciting world of mixed martial arts.

Kahleem Poole-Tejada

Stephen Koepfer

Bradley Desir
Stephen Koepfer

Josh Barnett
Gesias Calvacante
Fedor Emilianenko
Tara LaRosa
New York Assemblyman Dean Murray
Nestor Marte
New York City Councilman Joel Rivera
Bas Rutten
Frank Shamrock
Mike Straka
Dana White

60 minutes

Lehman College Art Gallery Panel Discussion: Artists from the exhibition New York Fiber in the 21st Century will discuss their work

Here is a great art event taking place at Lehman College set for next Thursday, April 28th.


Lehman College Art Gallery Panel Discussion:

Artists from the exhibition New York Fiber in the 21st Century
will discuss their work and the field of fiber arts.

Margaret Cusack, moderator
Gema Alava, Michael Cummings, and
Arlé Sklar-Weinstein

Thursday, April 28
3:30 PM Art Gallery Rotunda

Co-sponsored by The City and The Humanities
This exhibition and public programming is made possible with support from
the New York State Council on the Arts; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc., The Cowles Charitable Trust; and Webster Bank.

New York Fiber in the 21st Century
Through May 12, 2011

Gema Alava, Blanka Amezkua, Xenobia Bailey, Erika Baker, Michael Cummings, Lisa Curran,Margaret Cusack, Andrea Dezsö, Marilyn Henrion, Ai Kijima, Katherine Knauer,
Nancy Koenigsberg, Carole P. Kunstadt, Aristides Logothetis, Patricia Malarcher,
Ruth Marshall, Dindga McCannon, Norma Minkowitz, Leslie Pelino,
Don Porcella, Lina Puerta, Lacey Jane Roberts, Larry Schulte, Donna Sharrett, Ann Shostrom, John Sims, Vered Sivan, Arlé Sklar-Weinstein, Ludmila Uspenskaya, and Erma Martin Yost

Curated by Sandra Sider

An online catalogue is available at

Lehman College Art Gallery · Bedford Park Blvd West · Bronx, NY 10468 · 718-960-8731

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bronx Borough President Calling all Bronx Centenarians for Bronx Week Celebration in their Honor

As part of this year’s Bronx Week celebrations, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will be honoring Bronxites that are 100 years of age or older. If you or someone you know meet this criteria and would like to participate in this event, please contact Larcenia Walton at 718-590-6248 or for more information. The event is scheduled for Thursday May 12th from 11am to 3pm at Villa Barone Restaurant.


BoogieDowner Movie Watch: BRONX PARADISE, Diary of a Bottom Feeder by Wayne Gurman

Here is one of the movies collected for our 1St ever Bronx Week Film Festival coming up next month. In the last few days I have been able to view the films given to us at our last meeting at the Bruckner Bar and Grill and must repeat that there is a lot of raw energy and creativity amongst our film community in the Bronx.

I posted below a trailer from the movie "Bronx Paradise; Dairy of a Bottom Feeder" along with a quote taken from their web site and a link so you can log onto their “official movie web site” to learn more about the award winning movie.

As quoted from their site and posted below, “This is the most politically incorrect movie ever made”. It’s “no hold barred” and 100% in your face. It confronts every demon possessing American society today and by doing so diminishes any hold they have on society. It left me laughing and wondering, non-stop. In a society that often preaches social correctness but often practices social injustice, it’s a bold breath of fresh air to see a film that does the complete opposite. It’s obvious this film crew not only thinks outside the box but also hits you over the head with it when needed. For anyone that ever been angry at anything this is a must see. This movie is 100% Bronx.

Diary of a Bottom Feeder

Follow Wayne Gurman in the most politically incorrect movie of all time as he hilariously tears through the mean streets of the Bronx. Losing friends, making enemies and fighting against the odds to find Paradise.


"Chances are, you've never seen a movie like Bronx Paradise, and you've never seen a character like Wayne Gurman. Wayne, a small time hood, is an exercise in dichotomy: a brutal, bigoted, misogynist with an African-American wife and children at home he loves. From brutal reality to satire it often makes strong, bold, memorable stylistic choices. Based on Wayne's real life before he turned himself around. Strap on your seatbelt and ride along with Wayne as he stalks the Bronx bullying, beating and terrorizing a living out of populace, while desperately trying to steer clear of those who are even more brutal than he is."

Produced by Wayne Gurman and James McSherry.

Starring, Wayne Gurman, John Palumbo, Thomas Jefferson Byrd, Brea Cola, Biagio Tripodi, Dan Truman, Joe Diaz, Ralph Squillante, Tim Cinnante, Peter Bongiorno, Arthur Nascarella, and Karen Lynn Gorney

For more on the film please visit the official web site at:

Bronx Parents Witness Lottery at NYC Montessori Charter School

Here is news on the Montessori Charter School set to open in Mott Haven. For the 104 seats planned 238 applications were received.


Bronx parents witness lottery at NYC Montessori Charter School

Mott Haven, the Bronx: With good fortune implied in his last name and his mother’s dream of a better education for her son, kindergartener Wesley Lucks may land a coveted spot in the first Montessori Charter School in the Bronx. Wesley’s mother, Teashia Ruiz, sat with a group of anxious parents who observed the randomized lottery for slots in the New York City Montessori Charter School in kindergarten and first grade. “My niece goes to a charter school,” said Ruiz after Wesley’s name was placed on the wait list board, “and she is alert and so advanced in her academics. I wanted to give my Wesley the same opportunity.”

The NYC Montessori Charter School, the first Montessori public school in the city, held the lottery at the JCCA Auditorium on April 13 in compliance with charter law. The law requires that applicants’ names must be drawn at random for admission, through a lottery. Charter schools are also required by the State Board of Regents to give preference to applicants who reside in the district where the school is located, District 7 in this case. Applicants’ names must be drawn at random for admission. Siblings are also given preference; once a child is selected, a sibling is automatically given the next spot on the list.

According to Gina Sardi, founder and Principal of the NYC Montessori Charter School, a total of 238 applications were received, of which 171 were in-district applicants and 67 were out-of-district. If an applicant selected for admission lives in District 7, “the name will be placed in the next slot on the lottery board specifically for in-district applicants,” said Sardi. “The names of applicants who live outside District 7 will be placed on a wait list in the first available slot for out-of-district applicants.” During the drawing of the students’ names, Sardi was assisted by Robin Urquhart, the school’s Director of Instruction. Neil Pariser and Dr. Denise Clay of the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp. (SoBRO), the school’s institutional partner, verified the randomly drawn names for accuracy. Alex Gurvich, a Montessori Board member and Treasurer, as well as Jill Resnick of the Montessori Charter School, served as additional validators.

“This large volume of applications from the Bronx community clearly indicates a vote of confidence in the Montessori model of individual-centered teaching,” said Nilza Oyola, SoBRO Senior Vice President for Education. “Only 104 seats are allotted for the school’s first year – two classes for Kindergarten and two classes for first grade students – and that is why there is a wait list for slots.” SoBRO’s Denise Clay, who also chairs the school’s Board of Trustees, added that parents clamor for seats in Montessori classrooms “because the typical class size is small – there will be 26 students per class – and every class will have two adult instructors instead of one. More attention can, therefore, be paid to students’ development based on their individual learning styles and abilities.”

SoBRO’s Mario Bodden, Assistant Vice President of Community and Economic Development and SoBRO architect David Jang, with the support of retired Senior Vice President Neil Pariser, facilitated the extensive search for the new school’s location for three months. “After a suitability analysis of 16 possible sites, we are negotiating a lease for a space.” said Jang. “We are looking at a Mott Haven location that will be adequate for the school’s first year. But as enrollment grows each year, reaching 300 students from Kindergarten to fifth grade, a larger permanent space of about 30,000 square feet will have to be found.”

Neil Pariser was optimistic about the ongoing search for a permanent location. “Fortunately, District 7 in the South Bronx offers many appealing real estate options including structurally sound buildings with significance for historical preservation,” said Pariser. “Coupled with SoBRO’s robust partnerships with developers and city agencies, we are confident about securing an ideal site that will support and even enhance the Montessori education model.”

Kadiatou Diallo, a recent immigrant, shared this optimism. The mother of twins Alseny and Alhassane waited for nearly two hours as applicants’ names were mixed in a basket, drawn and posted on the board. Even in halting English, Mrs. Diallo left no doubt on why she and other Bronx parents were at the NYC Montessori Charter School lottery: “It is a better school.”

Results will be mailed to all applicants within a week of the lottery. For Kadiatou Diallo and Teashia Ruiz, the chance for their children to be Montessori students is worth the wait.

Vacca, HPD to Hold ‘Green’ Homeowners Night

Here is an event educating homeowners how they can make their homes "greener" and cut down on expenses.


Vacca, HPD to Hold ‘Green’ Homeowners Night
Residents to Learn How to Make Homes More Eco-Friendly

Tomorrow evening from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM, Council Member James Vacca will join the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development to present a “Green” Homeowners Night at M.S. 144 (2545 Gunther Avenue, at Allerton Ave). All area homeowners are encouraged to come and learn about various ways they can make their homes more environmentally friendly and save money on their bills at the same time. Homeowners will be able to get information on such issues as green financing, water and energy conservation, recycling, weatherization, and utility incentives.

WHO: Council Member Vacca, staff from HPD and other City agencies and non-profits

WHAT: “Green” Homeowners Night

WHEN: Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM (Remarks by CM Vacca at approximately 7:30 PM)

WHERE: M.S. 144, 2545 Gunther Avenue (at Allerton Ave), Bronx

Contact: Jonathan Masserano, (718) 931-1721 / (347) 621-8726


The following was sent to me by a publicist for sucessful musician who has settled down in the BooogieDown. In addition to the information sent about his tour I also posted a clip I found on YouTube. The music video is called "Mother Said, Father Said". It's refressing to see world renoun artists settling down in our beautiful borough. I have not yet found out what neighborhood in the Bronx he calls home.


(Pop singer-songwriter available for interviews in advance of show)

Jann Klose will be performing at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2, 196 Allen Street, New York, NY, at 7:30 PM, on April 29. The club is between Houston and Stanton Streets, and near the F and V Subway 2nd Ave Stop. Admission is $10. There will be very special guests, including Grammy-nominated songwriter and composer Gary Lucas and Jann Klose fan David Zlotchew. The venue phone is 212-477-4155, and the web site is

Gary Lucas has over 20 solo albums to his credit, and is releasing a new album with his band, Gods and Monsters (with Billy Ficca and Ernie Brooks) on May 7. Mentored by the late Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart), Gary has also collaborated with an array of musicians, including Leonard Bernstein, David Johanson, Iggy Pop, Matthew Sweet, Bob Weir, Warren Haynes, Chris Cornell, Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye, Bryan Ferry, and Jeff Buckley. Jann met Gary when he included him in the Jeff Buckley Tribute at Brooklyn's Knitting Factory this March.

David Zlotchew is also a very special guest for this show. He gave a $300 pledge to Jann's album fundraising campaign at for the fan exclusive to sing with Jann in concert. (There are over 40 other fan exclusives available at the site).

A citizen of the world, Jann's lived on three continents, making his home in the melting pot that is the Bronx. Before coming to the United States as an exchange student in Cleveland, Ohio, he lived in Germany, Kenya, and South Africa. As a singer/songwriter, his music reflects this lyrically, melodically, rhythmically and in his choice of eclectic instruments and musicians.

Jann's most recent recordings, REVERIE (2008) and SACRIFICE EP (2010), have earned him respect as a singer, musician, songwriter, and someone with a new and viable slant on the music business at a time when the industry threatens to collapse under its own weight. Jann's approach to fan sourcing of production money and concerts in areas as diverse as Chicago and Germany is creating a “cottage industry” out of popular music. REVERIE was made largely with fan support.

It also shows in the people who choose to work with him. Jann has worked live or in the studio with artists ranging from pioneers like Pete Seeger and Les Paul, classic rockers Annie (Renaissance) Haslam, Roger (The Byrds) McGuinn, and major country stars like Rosanne Cash and Marty Stuart. WGN-Chicago Radio's Steve & Johnnie, Rock Hall inductee Joey Reynolds and Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson have all personally lent a helping hand in his career. Jann is now an eligible artist for the 2011 New York Music Awards, listed right between "Carole King" and "Lady Gaga" at

Jann's music has also been featured on the GRAMMY-nominated album, HEALTHY FOOD FOR THOUGHT, MTV's Cribs, the soundtrack to the Paul Sorvino film Dead Broke (Warner Bros). He's performed in touring companies of Broadway shows The Who's Tommy, Jekyll & Hyde, and Jesus Christ Superstar. He also has released three albums and two EPs, which can be heard around the world, on over 140 FM stations and Sirius XM in the U.S., the BBC in England to Prambors Radio in Indonesia. In less than three months thousands have viewed (and reposted) Jann's remarkable video for DOING TIME, now featured on indoorDIRECT's Restaurant Entertainment Network and AOL/Spinner. Watch the video at

The Washington Post writes, “Klose wins over the listener with his soaring voice, which may well be a staple of chamber pop for a long time to come.” Time Out New York writes, “Jann Klose writes warm, hooky pop music.” The Advance Wire Service states: “The first thing that's totally unmistakable about Jann Klose is that voice - which is just light years beyond that of the typical singer-songwriter … a sound that is classy, distinctive and often irresistible.”


May 13: CLUB CAFE w/ Colter Harper and Preach Freedom, Pittsburgh, PA
May 15: THE LEMON GROVE, Youngstown, OH
May 17: INDY STYLE TV 8, Indianapolis, IN
May 17: BIRDY'S, w/ Jenn Cristy and Chad Mills, Indianapolis, IN
May 18: BEATNIK'S CAFE, Marion, IN
May 20: WGN MIDDAY NEWS, WGN Superstation, Chicago, IL
May 20: SKOKIE THEATRE, w/ Emily Hurd, Skokie, IL
May 21: THE WINCHESTER w/ Cuda, Renko, Cuda, Cleveland, OH
May 27: MAYFAIR FESTIVAL, Allentown, PA
June 17: GODFREY DANIELS, w/ Cliff Eberhardt, Bethlehem, PA
August 11: MUSIKFEST 2011, Bethlehem, PA
October 26: IRON HORSE w/ Shawn Phillips, Northampton, MA

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Nation’s First Medal-awarding International Exhibition of Botanical Art Opens at The New York Botanical Garden, April 20th

Here is some news on a new exhibit starting tomorrow at the New York Botanical Gardens. I drive around the garden daily and am jealous of everyone who finds the time to take a walk through the beautiful grounds. The trees in blossom should be beautiful. For those who do have the time please see the information sent.


Opening Reception for Green Currency: Plants in the Economy is
Wednesday, April 20, 6–8 p.m., in the Ross Gallery

WHAT: The New York Botanical Garden and presenting partner, the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) will host the opening reception for a new juried botanical art show Green Currency: Plants in the Economy on Wednesday, April 20, from 6 to 8 p.m. Green Currency is the first medal-awarding international exhibition of botanical art in the United States and is the first juried botanical art exhibition hosted by The New York Botanical Garden.

The Green Currency exhibition, accompanying catalog, and audio tour feature 43 works depicting plants used in medicine, food, clothing, and shelter. The exhibition will be on view in the Arthur and Janet Ross Gallery from Wednesday, April 20 through Sunday, July 31, 2011 and includes artwork by instructors and alumni of the Botanical Garden’s renowned Botanical Art Certificate program. For more information about the Garden’s Botanical Art program, please visit

WHO: Renowned botanical art patron and author Shirley Sherwood, Chair of the Awards Jury, will be on hand for the presentation of the gold, silver, and bronze medals for excellence.
Many of the artists featured in Green Currency also will be on hand to discuss their work.

WHEN: Green Currency: Plants in the Economy Opening Reception:
Wednesday, April 20, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Green Currency: Plants in the Economy Exhibition:
On view Wednesday, April 20 through Sunday, July 31, 2011

WHERE: The New York Botanical Garden
Arthur and Janet Ross Gallery
Bronx River Parkway (Exit 7W) at Fordham Road
Bronx, New York

BoogieDowner Art Watch: Cellist Elizabeth Glushko

It takes many arts forms and artists to make a film. When screening the film "Krackoon" I came across a soundtrack that not only was perfect for the film, it also made me wonder who was producing the angelic sounds. It reminded me of the scene in the Odyssey when Odysseus had his crew tie him to the ships mast in order to hear the sirens signing, but not be tempted to steer to close to the island and be crushed in the rocky waters. Yes, it is that good.

The master symphony Cellist is Elizabeth Glushko. Elizabeth is a Bronx resident and a member of our very own Bronx Symphony Orchestra.

Elizabeth Glushko is a member of the Bronx Symphony Orchestra. For more information the orchestra please visit their web site below

Monday, April 18, 2011


Here is a little recognition for someone who has been providing a service to our library system for over 15 years. We often talk about our teachers but what about our librarians? Congratulations to Ms. Liana Acevedo.



WHO: NYC Council Member Fernando Cabrera

WHAT: Councilman Cabrera will honor local librarian for years of service to the community.

WHEN: April 19th, 2011

WHERE: Jerome Park Library
118 Eames Place
Bronx, NY 10468

“It is my pleasure to honor this upstanding member of the community that exemplifies hard work, dedication, and service of excellence. Liana’s service has spanned over almost two decades and she deserves to be honored for her commitment to better her community for as long as she has,” said Councilman Cabrera.

Councilman Fernando Cabrera will be honoring Liana Acevedo, a librarian who has served the New York Public Library since 1995 and who currently works at the Jerome Park Library. She has provided mentorship, guidance, and service to many residents in the district, especially the youth.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bronx Councilman James Vacca gives Donald Trump a Real Bronx Cheer Regarding Recent Statement

Here is an interesting press release just sent by NYC Councilman James Vacca “getting into it” with Donald Trump. Keep in mind this press release was sent to me late on a Sunday evening. Looks like Vacca is the first in the NYC Council to make sure no one, not even the Donald, gets a free pass when making derogatory statements about NYC’s transportation system.


Council Member Vacca Issues Statement on Donald Trump's DerogatoryRemarks on New York City BRONX, NY --

New York City Council Member James Vacca of the Bronx, Chair of the Committee on Transportation, today took undeclared presidential candidate Donald Trump to task for remarks he made on national television comparing LaGuardia Airport to a "third-worldcountry."

"Donald Trump's comments were at best a cheap shot at New York City and at worst an insensitive knock on the diversity that makes our city great," Vacca said. "Donald Trump has lived in New York his wholelife. He has done very well in New York. If he thinks he's going to ride to the White House by picking on New York, he has another thing coming."

Vacca further took exception to Trump's remark that the United States is a "laughingstock" to the world and his insinuation that the United States has not built a major bridge in recent memory.

"Mr. Trump is free to come to my borough and look at the new Willis Avenue Bridge, completed just last year. His statement is really amazing as it shows a complete lack of knowledge about what is going on in his own city."

Call for Participation in the “1st Annual Bronx Week Film Festival“ Draws Unexpected High Number of Bronx Film Makers, Producers and Directors

What I assume started the idea of a “Bronx Week Film Festival” was a statement by the Bronx Borough President, Mr. Ruben Diaz Jr. at a recent BOEDC meeting. I assume the statement went something like this: “See if the guy who helped make the movie “Gun Hill Road” can get the director to come back for a film related event or screening during Bronx Week”. In the mean time, this has turned into the “1st Annual Bronx Week Film Festival”. Since my partners and I at Olympia Film Locations Inc, (the official and authorized Producers of the Film Festival) took on the charge, the news of the event has spread like wild fire. The results have been overwhelming. The responses and submissions are nothing short of the best in film and cinema the Bronx has to offer.

Firstly, let me confirm that Rashaad Ernest Green, the producers and the distributor who purchased the rights to the movie “Gun Hill Road” have all vouched their support for the Film Festival. They were adamant that “Gun Hill Road” be filmed 100% in the Bronx and are adamant that they come back to the Bronx to help when needed. Rashaad plans to be present at the screening of his movie at the Film Festival and at the Gala event on Friday May 20th where we are attracting producers, directors, actors, new networks, TV stations, studios, paparazzi, political figures and high net worth individuals all who will join us in showcasing the Bronx as a primary film making destination.

At first glance our goal in holding a successful Bronx Week Film Festival so quickly might have seemed a pipe dream unless of course you consider what Bronx People can do once they are united and have their mind set on a specific goal. We are a population accustomed to doing more even though provided less. Therefore it should have been no surprise when we packed a room with Bronx directors, producers, actors and one symphony cello player, many with award winning films and or signed deals for distribution. The energy and entrepreneurship was amazing. The back room of the Bruckner Bar and Grill this past Thursday was filed with confident “SELF MADE” Bronx film makers who cared about the Bronx, its people and the development of their craft in the Bronx. To top it all off, serendipitously Michael Max Knobbe the Executive Director of BronxNet just happened to be having dinner at the Bruckner with friends. It was a great opportunity to bring him into our master plan as well. As always he was a gentleman.

At our first meeting we had two directors and a band who I posted a blog about last Tuesday. Since there were only two producers, I was able to post links to their sites and discuss basics about their films. This Thursdays meeting consisted of many more films makers and films. I will only list their names and some of the movies they represent. Each film maker and movie submitted will receive the individual attention they deserve over the next week or two via unique posts on this site. Anything less would not show the proper respect due to both the film maker and the movies they produced and or directed.

Film makers and Directors present at this Thursday’s meeting at the Bruckner Bar and Grill were Robert Gadero, James McSherry, Iris Montalvo, Marc Anthony Seda, Diego Mack, Roko Markolovic (with Diana), Joe Mileto, Wayne Gurman, Elizabeth Glushko, Chris Raffaele and Troy Reed. Some of the movies represented that night included ‘Bronx Paradise’, ‘My Destiny’ an Albanian Love Story, ‘Quentine Fortune’, ‘Poetry Man’, ‘Guido Monologues’, ‘Grasslands’ and ‘Baby Bomber’.

We still wish to collect additional full length films and shorts in and about the Bronx. If there is a Bronx connection we want to see it. For any film makers interested in attending this weeks 7 pm meeting at the Bruckner Bar and Grill on April 21st, please do send me an e-mail at the BoogieDowner. My e-mail address is

In addition to full length movies discussed above we hope to collect shorts and present awards for shorts in the following categories at our Gala event on May 20th;


We look forward to receiving and viewing your entries. Please do send submissions to the After reviewing what you send, I will forward the information to my colleagues at Olympia.


Here are some photos taken before and after the meeting.
14April (LtoR) Peter Matsis(Olympia),Peter Zotis(Olympia),Laura Cicciu(Olympia),Michael Max Knobbe(BronxNet), Bobby Zouvelos (Olympia)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

NYC Public Advocate Writes an Open Letter on Behalf of Public School Parents to Chancellor Derrick Walcott

Here is an open letter to our new Chancellor written and circulated by our Public Advocate Bill De Blasio. The issue of who Mayor Bloomberg appoints as NYC Chancellor, just keeps coming back. For more on our Public Advocates opinion please see below.


To Chancellor Walcott:
For the past nine years our schools have been run by a top-down bureaucracy that too often alienates public school parents. To your great credit, you have said that you want to engage parents and communities more than in the past. But you have also said that you plan to stay the course on the Bloomberg administration's education policies and practices. I believe you have the background and experience to finally bring parents into our school system, but I know you will not be able to do it by maintaining the status quo.
I am a public school parent and I have talked with parents all over our city who are tired of the Department of Education treating them like problems instead of partners. They are looking for a chancellor who has the independence to bring real change to our school system. To accomplish this goal, I believe you must immediately take on three pressing issues facing our schools today: reforming the DOE's closed off, bureaucratic process for closing and co-locating schools; fully supporting the parents of students with disabilities; and most importantly, saving the over 4,600 teachers who will be fired under Mayor Bloomberg's budget.
As our growing student population has required more and more schools to share space through co-locations, the DOE has resisted listening to parents' concerns and suggestions at every turn. Last year my office produced a report exposing how the DOE's top-down policies completely left parents out of the process, an approach that can result in critical school spaces being lost and students being squeezed into disjointed schedules. The DOE initially agreed to adopt several of our recommended reforms, including engaging more thoroughly with parents and community members when a school is being considered for co-location or closure, but so far they have not fully followed through. The Brandeis complex on the Upper West Side houses four schools, including the Frank McCourt high school, which was brought in by the community this past September. Now the DOE is threatening this progress by forcing a new school into the building, a decision that could cost Frank McCourt students their science labs, classroom space and music programs. Going forward, you should be willing to adjust the DOE plans based on legitimate concerns on the ground, including finding alternate locations when a co-location simply does not work.
Every year the DOE closes and co-locates dozens of schools, upending educational environments for thousands of students. Far too often these major decisions are conducted in a vacuum, where the views of parents are treated as an obstacle to implementing policy decisions, instead of important feedback worth serious consideration. The DOE nearly shut down P.S. 114 in Brooklyn after failing to remove its principal, Maria Peñaherrera, who had driven the school into debt and reduced its academic performance. Led by PTA President Crystal King, the parents fought back, joining local elected officials and my office, which produced a report tracing the DOE's history of ignoring concerns from parents about Principal Peñaherrera for years. At the eleventh hour the school was saved, but this last-minute reversal would never have been necessary if the DOE had just been willing to listen to the P.S. 114 community from the start. Continuing a policy of closing schools first and asking questions later will only widen the gap between your agency and parents. Instead, I urge you as chancellor to use closure as a last resort, following a real effort to give struggling schools support, including teacher training.
There are over 165,000 students with disabilities in public schools. Their parents face greater challenges than many others, but instead of being helped by the DOE they too are often forced to fight against its bureaucracy. Elisa Gravitch from Staten Island has a ten year-old son named Kyle who is on the autism spectrum. At his elementary school, Kyle was in an Autism Spectrum Disorder NEST program, which creates a balanced and supportive learning environment. As his elementary education came to an end, Elisa wanted the DOE to put Kyle in a middle school that would provide the same educational and social supports. But for over a year the DOE repeatedly ignored or dismissed requests from Elisa and other parents with children in the program. It took public intervention by local officials and my office for the DOE to finally hear these parents out and put their children in the school that best fit their needs. With everything parents of students with disabilities already have to deal with, it should not take a year-long lobbying campaign for their voices to be heard. Under your leadership, the DOE will be implementing an important reform effort to make all community schools more inclusive to students with disabilities. In order to make these reforms work, you must be more supportive than your predecessor of parents of students with disabilities and willing to take their input.
Finally, the most immediate issue facing our school system today is the mayor's proposal to fire over 4,600 teachers. This threat is not a new one; this is the second budget cycle that the mayor has threatened to eliminate thousands of teachers, and then changed his mind seconds before the clock ran out. But while this year's budget dynamics make the prospect of serious layoffs far more real, the mayor has made it abundantly clear that his agenda puts the repeal of Last In/First Out before everything else. I believe we need a new system for evaluating teachers that accounts for student performance, but prioritizing this political fight over keeping teachers in the classroom is too great a risk to take. You need to show independence from City Hall by working first to stop thousands of teachers from being laid off instead of pursuing the mayor's political agenda.
You will most likely be the last DOE Chancellor of this administration. This is a real opportunity to improve upon Mayor Bloomberg's education legacy and to finally end the history of tension between parents and our school system. Giving parents a real voice in policy decisions, providing them with the support they need and asking them to contribute to their children's education will make our schools better. I hope you will join me in working with parents and all education stakeholders to make this vision a reality.
Bill de Blasio is Public Advocate for the City of New York.

U.S. Congressman Serrano Weighs in on Mayor Bloombergs Backtracking on 2006 Waste Management Agreement

The Bronx, specifically Hunts Point, handles substantially more than its fair share of NYC’s solid waste, leading to increased truck traffic and poor air quality. As Hunts Point becomes a destination for prime commercial space and residents in the community demand better living conditions, these health concerns become a major issue for a Congressman that is deeply entrenched in the neighborhood. U.S. Congressman Serrano recently wrote a letter to Mayor Bloomberg, which I posted below. The letter discusses issues and the need for the 2006 waste management agreement to be honored. Other boroughs need to handle their fair share of solid waste management and the promise for new marine transfer stations should be honored by NYC, without further delay. I am sure if the trucks were driving by Gracie Mansion daily, it would not be an issue.


April 13, 2011

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
City Hall
New York, NY 10007

Dear Mayor Bloomberg:

It is my understanding that in your proposed budget you are backtracking from the carefully negotiated agreement reached in 2006 that provided for greater equity among the City’s boroughs in how our waste would be handled. I supported that agreement, because finally there was recognition that the Bronx would no longer be the City’s principal site for the City’s waste stream.

The Solid Waste Management Plan, finalized in 2006, was an important step in recognizing the negative public health impact of placing the majority of the City’s waste transfer stations in the South Bronx and Brooklyn. The vital component of this plan was the construction of several new marine transfer facilities which would limit the impact of truck traffic in neighborhoods like those I represent in the Bronx. A five to eight year delay in the construction of many of these facilities, as your budget proposes, essentially renders this agreement worthless by putting off the goal of waste equity into an uncertain future.

If a disproportionate share of waste transfer stations continue to be located in the Bronx, it means that the associated problems of pollution causing truck traffic and degraded air quality will also remain centered in the Bronx. This is not acceptable. All of the boroughs produce the trash and all should have an equal responsibility to share in the burdens of how we dispose of this trash.

The Bronx cannot afford to wait any longer for the City to move forward with the promised implementation of this equitable and shared solution to New York City’s waste. I am requesting the immediate restoration of this critical funding in your budget. Our Bronx community will not accept budget shortfalls as a reason to tolerate any further delays in achieving the improvements to our environment that we deserve and were promised. I hope that your amended budget, which will be released in May, rectifies this serious problem.


José E. Serrano
Member of Congress

Friday, April 15, 2011

Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education in Partnership with Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana Presents: A Tour of the Boros

Please see the notice sent by the new Arts Director of Casita Maria Center for the Arts, Mr. Joe McCarthy. For the Flamenco lovers out there make sure to save the date.


Hello! I'm sending this email both as an introduction and invitation. My name is Joe McCarthy, and I'm the new Arts Director at Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education in the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx. I would like to invite you to a performance that will be held at our facilities on Cinco de Mayo!

Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education
in partnership with
Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana
A Tour of the Boros

May 5, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Intense speed, sensual partnering, and stiletto movement are the trademarks of the nationally recognized Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana Company, presenting its third annual Tour of the Boros, which will be making a stop in the Bronx at Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education for the second year running. This event will feature dancers and musicians from the US and Spain, who will all will perform at Casita’s state-of-the-art facility on Cinco de Mayo!

Thursday, May 5th, 7:00 pm
Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education
928 Simpson Street Bronx, NY 10459

This performance is FREE and open to the public.

To reserve FREE tickets: email (specify # of tickets) or call 718.589.2230

About Flamenco Vivo: Founded in 1983, Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana is a flourishing Spanish dance company known for its innovative performance works, extensive domestic touring and high quality arts education programs. The company’s mission is to: foster the recognition of Flamenco as an integral part of the Hispanic heritage; to create quality dance and arts programs; to enhance education, and to nurture the next generation of Spanish dance artists and educators. Throughout its 28-year history, Flamenco Vivo has maintained its status as the leading Flamenco Company in the Nation.
For additional information visit: or call 212-736-4499

About Casita Maria: Casita Maria is a 75 year old organization with a new arts and education facility located in the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx. Its mission is to empower youth and their families by creating a culture of learning through high quality social, cultural, and educational opportunities.
More information about Casita Maria is available at

Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana thank the following for their support of the Boro Tour: New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, The Office of the Manhattan Borough President, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Open Society Foundation and the Fund for the City of New York and the Metlife Foundation.

Please direct all inquiries to Joe McCarthy (718.589.2230 x6055) –

I hope to see you all there and have a chance to speak with you about all of the exciting things we plan to do in the upcoming season at Casita Maria!

Take care,
Joe McCarthy