Thursday, June 30, 2011

BoogieDowner Reminder: Fourth of July Festivities and Fireworks tonight at Orchard Beach

Here is a reminder about tonight’s festival and fireworks at Orchard Beach. It should be a beautiful summer night.


New York Celebrates America Fireworks Festival Hosted by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. & NYS Senator Jeff Klein

New York City’s Independence Day celebration starts early—and it starts in the Bronx. Head over to Orchard Beach for an evening of live music by Alive N Kickin’ followed by a spectacular fireworks show the whole family will love.

Admission: FREE
When: Thursday June 30th, 2011
Time: 6:30PM Festival begins.
Fireworks Show: 9PM

BoogieDowner Real Estate: Pelham Parkway South 1,400 sq. foot 3 Bedroom 1 Bath Co-op Only $189,900

Here is one of my recent listings that has been getting heavy traffic. My contact information can be found below for any readers looking for a large loft style co-op. Interest rates are still in the mid 4% range and market prices are very reasonable.

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

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

Mortgage calculation at full asking with 20% down:

Price: $189,900
20 % ( 37,980)
Mortgage Amount $151,920

Monthly mortgage expense at a 4.5% rate for a 30 Year Fixed mortgage = $ 769.76
Monthly Maintenance (heat, hot water, real estate taxes and gas included $ 944.00
Monthy expenses (mortgage and maintenance) $1,713.76

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

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

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

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

July 2 Kicks Off Fragrant and Food-related Summer Fun for Families at The New York Botanical Garden

When deciding what great children based activities to enjoy this summer in our Borough, make sure not to forget options provided by our world famous Botanical Garden. Please see below for more information related to events planned for this summer.


July 2 Kicks Off Fragrant and Food-related Summer Fun for Families at
The New York Botanical Garden

WHAT: Summer treats families to fragrant and food-related fun at The New York Botanical Garden starting July 2, 2011. A Sweet and Stinky theme shapes hands-on activities in the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden, where kids of all ages use their noses to discover garlic, onions, and more.

In the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, Flowers to Fruits presents nature exploration activities to teach kids about pollinators that help flowers become fruits, and Farm to Table introduces youngsters to the source of favorite foods through play.

Visit to purchase tickets.

Sweet and Stinky in the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden
Follow the “sweet and stinky” smells in the Family Garden to discover aromatic alliums such as onions and garlic and herbs such as basil and oregano ripe for summer. Savor the scents and tickle your taste buds at cooking demonstrations. Green your thumb by potting up an herb to take care of at home. Treat your nose to the delicious aromas of herbs and veggies growing in the new Mario Batali’s Edible Garden display beds also in the Family Garden.

Flowers to Fruits in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden
Make a Nature Field Notebook and set out to discover the amazing diversity of flowers and pollinators that inhabit the Adventure Garden during the summer months. Create a pollinator puppet, pot up a plant, and visit the pond to spot frogs, turtles, and other wetland wildlife.

Farm to Table in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden
Investigate the world around you using your imagination and creativity at this whimsical play-exhibit. Real plants under a “windmill” and a “barn” complete with hay make you feel like you’re on the farm! Pretend to harvest fruits and vegetables and use them to “cook” yummy recipes at the nearby “cafe.”

WHEN: Sweet and Stinky: July 2–August 5
Activities take place Tuesday–Sunday, 1:30–5:30 p.m.

Flowers to Fruits: July 2–September 2
Activities take place Tuesday–Friday, 1:30–5:30 p.m.;
Saturday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

Farm to Table: starting July 2
Open Tuesday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

WHERE: The New York Botanical Garden
Bronx River Parkway (Exit 7W) and Fordham Road
2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10458

BoogieDowner Job Hunt: Federal Aviation Association Call for Employment

The following was sent by a BoogieDown reader. It relates to FAA Traffic Traffic Controller positions. Please do review if seeking employemnt or forward to others who might be interested.

Good Luck to those interested.



If you have or know kids between the ages of 18-31 with a high school
diploma, the Federal Aviation Association is taking applications for Air
Traffic Controller School. We all have kids and know kids in the right
age group (under 31) and with some effort they could reach a Salary of
over $100,000 with benefits in about 3 years! You need only a high school
diploma to apply and credit is given for college on the Exam.

Fill out the application immediately - even if they don't know if they'd
want to attend immediately - it's the federal government and it
may take them months to call. The key is to apply NOW... There will be a
lot of retirements coming up rather quickly and they need to line up
training to accommodate these openings. It's my understanding that the
FAA rarely has an open application such as this and that the jobs are

This is a great opportunity and it should be noted that choosing a site
like Anchorage or Indianapolis to train is a likely acceptance
into the training program - after which you can transfer anywhere in the
country that has a tower. I hope you pass this information on to family &


Here is more information on the second leg of the 9th International Film Foundation scheduled for July 8th and 9th.



(Bronx, NY) The Bronx Stage & Film Company continues the 9th Bronx International Film Festival (BXFF) on July 8 and 9 at Lovinger Theatre/Lehman Stages (CUNY campus of Lehman College) with narrative and documentary films including three films with New York roots: "You Have the Right to an Attorney" about the Bronx Defenders, "Beatboxing - The Fifth Element of Hip Hop" and "Below New York." Join the Bronx International Film Festival on or to win free passes to screenings. Visit for developing festival information. The reservation line is 718.907.0079.

'You Have the Right to An Attorney is a documentary set in the offices of the Bronx Defenders, a non-profit organization in the South Bronx comprised of public defense attorneys, social workers and community organizers. The film gives a glimpse into the passion that motivates the defense lawyers and the seemingly never-ending caseloads they shoulder in their day-to-day work.

It was in the late 70s that a youth culture evolved in the poorer parts of New York which combined several disciplines under the name of Hip Hop. Apart from the four classic elements of Graffiti writing, DJing, Breakdancing, and Rapping, the musical side of this culture was enhanced by a fifth element called "Beatboxing". "Beatboxing: The Fifth Element of Hip Hop" aims at providing a full picture of this incredible art form starting with its genesis within Hip Hop Culture and continuing with its further developments and its use in various musical fields in several countries throughout the world.

"Below New York" is a unique and stylized look at some of New York City's finest subway performers, musicians and artists. Through a series of polished vignettes, the film draws the audience into the amazing lives these local performers lead, and how their quest for a venue and sustenance adds a truly wonderful aesthetic to one of the greatest cities in the world.

More films to be screened on July 8 and 9 include "Una Calle Sin Salida" (USA), "Rumbleseat" (Canada), "Achante" (Canada), "A Wake" (Canada) and "Between Floor" (USA).

General admission tickets are $5 per night. Lovinger Theatre/Lehman Stages is conveniently located on the CUNY campus of Lehman College at 250 Bedford Park Blvd West, Bronx, NY 10468 near the #4 and D lines and just minutes away from Westchester and the GW Bridge.

The Bronx International Film Festival is made possible with public funds from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the support of Lehman Stages and Bronx Council on the Arts.


Friends of Williamsbridge Oval Rally to Replace Stolen Piano

The pop-up piano provided by the Sing for Hope Foundation, which has given so much inspiration to the community, was stolen recently. Rather than feeling helpless the community organization, Friends of Williamsbridge Oval is taking the lead to replace the piano. Those interested in helping the effort can contact the organization by logging onto the facebook link below or email the organization at;

To view the organizations web site please log onto;


Main Bronx Post Office Located at 558 Grand Concourse Scheduled for Closure October 2011

Here is an internal memo sent by a reader about the on going battle to close the main Bronx post office at 558 Grand Concourse. For those that don't know, this is the main post office in our Borough, much like the Morgan post office on 8th Avenue and 33rd Street is the main post office in Manhattan. From the information found in the letter and on the web address below, the Bronx post office will be closed later this year. The operations at the Bronx facility are scheduled to be re-routed to the Morgan post office in Manhattan.

The U.S. Post service has unsuccessfully attempted to close the facility in the past. U.S. Congressman Serrano has been a vocal advocate in the past to keep the post office open. Once again, why does the Bronx need to get the short end of the deal? Why not close another facility in Manhattan and move their operations to the Bronx so the Bronx does not loose its main post office? The building truly is a beautiful landmark with grand columns on the outside and large murals in the interior. What will the facility house if it is not used as a post office? Are there plans for another multi-million dollar homeless shelter costing the taxpayers over $4,000 a bed that will be managed by a politically connected Manhattan non-profit? Can cost cutting measures be implemented without the Bronx loosing its main post office? Is there a reason why the decision needs to be between the main post office in Manhattan or the main post office in the Bronx? If any postal workers want to express themselves on the scheduled closing please do.


Mr. Cliff Guffey
American Postal Workers
1300 L Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005-4128

Certified Mail Tracking Number:
Fax: (202) 842-4297

Dear Cliff:

This is to inform you of the Postal Service's decision to consolidate all destinating mail processing operations at the following Northeast Area location:

• Bronx, New York Processing & Distribution Center (P&DC) into Morgan, New York P&DC

After review, it was decided that this consolidation is in the best interest of the Postal Service. Implementation of this AMP is expected to be completed by October 2011. Enclosed, per your request is a copy of the completed study.

The Postal Service must continually look to improve productivity and increase efficiency while maintaining excellent service. The decline in mail volume and revenues due to the economic downturn has only heightened the need for such improvements. These consolidations will allow us to accomplish this goal by making better use of excess space, staffing, and equipment, and to process mail more efficiently.

We have redacted information from the study in accordance with our standard practice. We have also redacted mailer names, companies, and titles that were notified of the study. The mailer names, companies, and titles do not appear to be relevant to the Union's representational responsibilities. Volume numbers associated with service standard changes have also been redacted. This data is commercially sensitive and could be advantageous to our competitors. In order to protect market share, the Postal Service must protect the confidentiality of this information.

It is projected that this consolidation will result in significant savings for the Postal Service. Some affected career employees may be reassigned to the gaining facility or to other vacant positions. Reassignments will be made in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement.

If you have questions, or need additional information, please contact Jacqueline Adona at (202) 268-3800.

Patrick M. Devine
Acting Manager
Contract Administration (APWU)


To review the full report her is the link.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kingsbridge Library Conducts Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on New Facility

(Ribbon Cutting)

(Green Roof)

The Kingsbridge Library had it's grand opening today. The new facility is located on the corner of 231st and Corlear Ave. Today's events included music, food, crafts and shows. The brand new 12,625-square-foot branch boasts state-of-the-art reading spaces for adults, teens and children, as well as an outdoor garden, a multipurpose room and NYPL’s first-ever green roof. It will hold over 20,000 books and nearly 40 computers with free internet access and wi-fi. Books, computers and green roofs; sound like a winner all around. Dignitaries present included Councilman Koppell and Assemblyman Dinowitz.


LIU: DEP BILLING PRACTICES DON’T HOLD WATER: Audit Finds Hotels Owed City $2.7 Million for Service

Here is another example of NYC Comptroller Liu and his department keeping a careful watch on tax revenue due New York City. 2.7 Million in savings sure can do a lot of good, especially in our present economic environment.


Audit Finds Hotels Owed City $2.7 Million for Service
NEW YORK, NY – New York City Comptroller John C. Liu announced that a recent audit determined that the City is owed nearly $2.7 million from approximately 70 hotels because the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) either did not properly bill them or failed to fully go after deadbeat customers.

“We’re pleased that DEP is finally collecting on this money we’ve identified,” said Comptroller Liu. “As water rates continue to soar and some residents are now threatened with lien sales because they can’t pay their bills, it’s only fair that DEP also collects from these major players.”

The hotels with outstanding balances were scattered across the City and included five-star luxury landmarks, downtown boutiques, airport chains, and single room occupancies. The unpaid bills fell into two categories:

Hotels that the DEP either did not bill or improperly billed;

Hotels that received bills and simply did not pay or did not abide by their payment agreements.

Category 1:

Auditors found 20 hotels owed an estimated $1.1 million either because the DEP failed to bill them or they received incorrect bills. These hotels included the W Hotel on Washington Street and the Ace Hotel.

The DEP itself generally does not identify new hotels subject to water and sewer billing, but relies on licensed plumbers to request and return DEP permits. Not all plumbers follow this rule. In these instances the DEP is left unaware of the new meter and cannot properly bill. Hotels can go years without receiving water and sewer usage bills if the plumber installing the meter never informs the DEP. In other cases, a plumber may install an incorrect meter and the DEP again cannot properly bill the hotel.

Some Category 1 hotels and their outstanding charges due the City include:

Lexington Marco LaGuardia Hotel 137-07 Northern Blvd. Queens $127,804
Ace Hotel 1186 Broadway, Manhattan $108,834
W Hotel 123 Washington Street, Manhattan $76,657
Ravel Hotel 8-08 Queens Blvd. South, Queens $41,815
Wyndham Garden Hotel Chelsea 37 W 24 ST, Manhattan $39,566
Hotel Le Jolie 235 Meeker Avenue, Brooklyn $30,815

Category 2:

Another 49 hotels owed approximately $1.6 million because they were behind on their water and sewer bills. The DEP did not take action against 21 of these hotels, which had not paid a dime in six months, until the audit brought them to the agency’s attention.


The agency agreed with four of the audit’s five recommendations, including:

§ The DEP should bill all hotels identified in the audit. The DEP has stated that it has billed all identified hotels as of June 8.

§ The DEP should coordinate with the Department of Buildings to investigate why the 20 hotels obtained a certificate of occupancy without proper water metering and ensure the problem does not reoccur.


The DEP maintains 834,000 accounts for water and sewer service. There are 1,049 hotels that hold 1,509 of these accounts, which comprise some of the DEP’s customers that make heaviest use of water and sewer services. The audit was launched in September 2010 in order to determine whether DEP properly billed hotels for water and sewer usage and collects on outstanding bills. This audit covered water and sewer usage fees billed and collected through calendar year 2010.

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

Commumnity Activist Group Gets Results: Assemblyman Dinowitz Office Confirms Williamsbridge Oval Park Will Open ASAP

The Friends of Williamsbridge Oval have been busy rallying to have their new park open in time for the summer season. Their success is proof that our voices can be heard and that our appointed and elected officials do listen when organized constructive criticism is expressed. The following was received by Eileen Markey who has sent multiple e-mails to the BoogieDowner related to the park. Kudos to all the community activists and Bronx Park Commissioner Hector Aponte that worked to make sure the park was open in time for everyone to enjoy the summer season. I look forward to receiving photos taken at the new park.


Sent by Eileen Markey;

"A staff member for Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz says Parks says the playground should be open this afternoon or tomorrow morning. This is wonderful. Once it is open let's call Aponte and Conti and thank them."

Monday, June 27, 2011

SummerStage Launches in the Bronx Featuring Special Commissioned Works for Music, Dance and Theater

This years City Parks Foundation SummerStage program includes over 100 performances throughout NYC. I encourage everyone to log onto the SummerStage festival web site to learn more about the great performances available free to the public.

As the SummerStage events in the Bronx come up, I will remind everyone with a post more specific to the event. Information on this Tuesdays and Wednesdays musical performances at Soundview Park can be found below. It’s great that the arts are provided to the public free of charge through the City Parks Foundation and SummerStage. Kudos to everyone that made the events possible.

Web site to check out;


City Parks Foundation proudly announces
Presented by AT&T

SummerStage Launches in the Bronx Featuring Special Commissioned Works for
Music, Dance and Theater

Summerstage is in the Bronx June 28 – July 19

New York, NY– City Parks Foundation SummerStage is New York’s largest free performing arts festival. The 2011 SummerStage season runs from June 7th to September 2nd and offers over 100 performances in 18 parks across the 5 boroughs.. The festival will be in the Bronx from June 28 to July 19th and will provide Bronx residents with a diverse range of free concerts, dance and theater performances in their community parks. SummerStage fills a vital niche in New York City’s summer arts festival landscape and has entertained more than six million people from New York City and around the world since its establishment 26 years ago.

Musical highlights from this season in the Bronx include a global cast of the best Latin musical artists including CHRIS ALFINEZ, TONY VEGA, RAY SEPULVEDA, the Afro-Caribbean group XCSTACY and hip-hop legends BLACK SHEEP, SLICK RICK and DJ BRUCIE B among other top notch artists.

Dance enthusiasts will be visually enthralled with flamenco, tap and African performances. The all-female flamenco company, PASIÓN Y ARTE celebrates their 10th anniversary. They will perform excerpts from four of their major works choreographed by Elba Hevia y Vaca and will include an introductory flamenco dance class. ON TAP will share the intrinsic artistry of tap dancing with audiences. OPUS DANCE THEATER and DANCE IQUAIL! will exemplify the universal language of dance through swift movements with works that confront issues like racism, substance abuse, poverty and promote the importance of family unity.

“Every year SummerStage consistently hosts a selection of high quality arts programming in various parks throughout the Bronx,” said James Burke, City Parks Foundation’s Director of Arts & Cultural Programming. “New Yorkers and visitors alike can now visit the Bronx to discover talent at SummerStage that is as artistically and culturally diverse as the neighborhoods themselves.”

This season, City Parks Foundation’s SummerStage has also commissioned a number of artists to create unique programs that will premiere at SummerStage. These programs span the worlds of music, dance and theater and feature some of the brightest rising stars as well as several critically acclaimed artists. These distinctive programs further SummerStage’s dedication to not only presenting the best artists from around the world but to also play an active role in promoting artistic creativity.

Commissioned Works Performed in The Bronx
By Mando Alvardo
Directed by Jerry Ruiz
Adapted from BLOOD WEDDING by Federico García Lorca
SummerStage Theater presented by Time Warner
July 8 – 9 at St. Mary’s Park, BX
July 15 – 16 at Crotona Park, BX
“Sangre” is a special theater commission that explores the effects of violence within the community. A gritty, raw, intense perspective into modern urban culture and how men’s choices affect loved ones and the community at large, this powerful theater piece is playwright’s Mando Alvarado spirited interpretation of famed Spanish playwright, Frederico Garcia Lorca’s seminal work, “Blood Wedding.”

The complete SummerStage schedule for the Bronx follows. For the most up-to-date scheduling and line-up for all SummerStage programming, follow SummerStage via the below links and visit for festival information.

Twitter: @SummerStage

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


DJ Kid Capri, Black Sheep, and Peter Gunz
When: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 at 7:00PM
Where: Soundview Park

Presented in Association with Globe Star Media.

Black Sheep is a hip-hop duo from Queens, NY comprised of Andres "Dres" Titus and William "Mista Lawnge" McLean. The group was a part of Native Tounges, a collective of rising hip-hop stars headed by Afrika Bambata and also including A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul, among many others. They debuted in 1991 with the hit song “Flavor of the Month” and later released the full album “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing,” which sold close to 900,000 copies, gaining them acclaim in the hip-hop community. The popular song from the album, “The Choice is Yours” spent 16 weeks on the Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart.

Peter Gunz was a member of the 90s hip-hop duo, “Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz.” The duo released their only album in 1998 entitled, “Make It Reign.” The album peaked at #38 on the Billboard 200 and #8 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and featured collaborations with Big Pun, Fat Joe and Cam'ron among others.

Bronx native David Anthony Love, also known by his stage name as DJ Kid Capri started dropping beats at the ripe age of 8. As a teen he already had a solid gig at famed nightclub studio 54 where he developed a grassroots following from selling mix tapes. Since then Kid Capri has grown to be one of the most recognizable djs in the world. He performed on the popular show Russell Simmons Def Comedy Jams for 7 seasons and has toured with artists such as Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, L.L. Cool J, and many more. This ambitious turntable veteran is sure to have audiences dancing anywhere he performs.


Larry Harlow and The Latin Legends Band
When: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at 7:00PM
Where: Soundview Park

With over 40 years in the music industry, Larry Harlow has made significant contributions to Afro-Cuban music, taking instruments and rhythms and infusing them with his personal musical style.

At the famed Latin music label, Fania Records, he became one of the leading Latin music producers in the world, producing over 300 CDs and garnering several Grammy nominations.

With his group, Larry Harlow and The Latin Legends Band, they have spread the infectious rhythm of Latin music to audiences around the world. The group has a famed, “thick sound” composed of high pitches from the horn section mingled with the fast, steady beats of a variety of percussions, the harmonic voice of a piano and the vocals of four or five musicians. Larry Harlow and The Latin Legends moves audiences with their music, especially “when the energy builds, the riffs, the singing, the solos, the percussion all lock in…moving at different times but for the same purpose,” according to The New York Times.

(212) 360-2777

Vacca, Harvest Home to Kick Off Jacobi Market with ‘Senior Day’ Giveaway, Health SCREENING

Here is information on another farmers market in the Bronx. This year’s kick off of the 2011 season will include various health screenings for local seniors.


Vacca, Harvest Home to Kick Off Jacobi Market with ‘Senior Day’ Giveaway, Health SCREENING

Tomorrow at 11 A.M., New York City Council Member James Vacca of the Bronx, Maritza Wellington Owens, founder and CEO of Harvest Home Farmers Market, and Jacobi Medical Center officials will officially kick off the 2011 season of the Jacobi Market with a giveaway for local senior citizens and a health screening for local residents.

Members of three local senior centers — Bronx House, RAIN Boston Road, and Sue Ginsberg — will survey the market’s array of fresh fruits and vegetables, while Jacobi staff provide information on smoking cessation, hypertension screening, women’s health, asthma, and nutrition.

The Jacobi Market is open every Tuesday, 8 A.M. to 4 P.M., through December. Fresh produce is sold directly by Trapani Farms, Glebocki Farms, S&SO, and Simply Valley. To accommodate low-income and elderly shoppers, the market accepts EBT, WIC, and Senior Farmers Market coupons.

WHO: Council Member James Vacca of the Bronx
Maritza Wellington Owens, Founder, Harvest Home Farmers Market
Representatives from Jacobi Medical Center, co-sponsor of the market
Local senior citizens and other fresh-food shoppers

WHERE: 1400 Pelham Parkway South, in front of Jacobi Medical Center Bronx, New York

WHEN: Tuesday, June 28, 2011, at 11 A.M.

Borough Cook-off Gives 4th of July Weekend a Sizzling Start: Competition Pits Borough Against Borough to Find Hottest Chef

For anyone who likes barbeques, here is a fun event sponsored by Fairway Market and the Daily News. The event is scheduled for July 4th.


Borough Cook-off Gives 4th of July Weekend a Sizzling Start:
Competition Pits Borough Against Borough to Find Hottest Chef

WHAT: New York’s best homegrown barbeque chefs will compete in the BBQ in the Boroughs Cook-off presented by Fairway Market and the Daily News to determine who will be named the hottest borough chef. The five borough culinary competition brings together different flavors and many ways to prepare your favorite summertime barbeque foods. Residents of the five boroughs submitted their recipes and Daily News readers voted online to pick the top 25 finalists. The recipes of the 25 finalists were featured in a special section in the Daily News on June 16th. The top 25 will face-off at the BBQ in the Boroughs Cook-off on Thursday, June 30, in the parking lot of the Harlem Fairway Market. The overall winner will be awarded a $2,000 gift card to Fairway Market, BBQ in the Boroughs trophy and a $1,000 Weber Genesis Gas Grill from EBA Appliances. The second-place winner will receive a $1,000 Fairway gift card and the third-place winner a $500 gift card. Residents from the 5 boroughs are invited to attend and support the top chefs from their borough.

The competition will be judged by: Sara Gore, co-host of LX New York; Amanda Sidman, Daily News Writer and “Best of” Columnist; Ray Venezia, Fairway Markets Meat Director; Steve Jenkins, Specialty Food Buyer at Fairway Markets; and Alan Riesenberger, Fairway Executive Chef.

WHEN: Thursday, June 30, 2011
11:00 AM- 2:00 PM
1:00 PM-Judging Begins

WHERE: Fairway Market
2328 12th Avenue at 130th Street, Parking Lot

Governor Cuomo Announces Passage of Marriage Equality Act

This weekend’s big news was the passage of the Marriage Equality Act in NYS. Please see below news footage and the official press release from Governor Cuomo's web site.


Governor Cuomo Announces Passage of Marriage Equality Act
Albany, NY (June 24, 2011)

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced passage of the Marriage Equality Act, granting same-sex couples the freedom to marry under the law, as well as hundreds of rights, benefits, and protections that have been limited to married couples of the opposite sex.

"New York has finally torn down the barrier that has prevented same-sex couples from exercising the freedom to marry and from receiving the fundamental protections that so many couples and families take for granted," Governor Cuomo said. "With the world watching, the Legislature, by a bipartisan vote, has said that all New Yorkers are equal under the law. With this vote, marriage equality will become a reality in our state, delivering long overdue fairness and legal security to thousands of New Yorkers."

"I commend Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Minority Leader John Sampson for their leadership and Senator Tom Duane for his lifetime commitment to fighting for equality for all New Yorkers," Governor Cuomo continued. "I also thank Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell for ushering this measure through their chamber."

The Marriage Equality Act amends New York's Domestic Relations Law to state:

A marriage that is otherwise valid shall be valid regardless of whether the parties to the marriage are of the same or different sex
No government treatment or legal status, effect, right, benefit, privilege, protection or responsibility relating to marriage shall differ based on the parties to the marriage being the same sex or a different sex
No application for a marriage license shall be denied on the ground that the parties are of the same or a different sex

The Marriage Equality Act was amended to include protections for religious organizations. The Act states that no religious entity, benevolent organization or not-for-profit corporation that is operated, supervised or controlled by a religious entity, or their employees can be required to perform marriage ceremonies or provide their facilities for marriage ceremonies, consistent with their religious principles. In addition, religious entities will not be subject to any legal action for refusing marriage ceremonies. The Act will grant equal access to the government-created legal institution of civil marriage while leaving the religious institution of marriage to its own separate and fully autonomous sphere. Additionally, the Act was amended to include a clause that states that if any part is deemed invalid through the judicial process and after all appeals in the courts, the entire Act would be considered invalid.

The Act was made a reality thanks largely to New Yorkers United for Marriage, a coalition of leading New York LGBT rights organizations who have fought so that all couples in New York have the freedom to marry. The partners include Empire State Pride Agenda, Freedom to Marry, Human Rights Campaign, Marriage Equality New York, and Log Cabin Republicans.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Transportation Chair James Vacca Calls on Assembly to Pass ‘Transit Lockbox’ Bill

Here is another bill introduced by Councilman Vacca to protect our transit system.


Transportation Chair James Vacca Calls on Assembly to Pass ‘Transit Lockbox’ Bill

CITY HALL ― New York City Council Transportation Chair James Vacca today released the following statement calling on the New York State Assembly to pass A.6766C, which would prohibit the Governor from diverting dedicated transit tax revenue from the MTA and require the State Legislature, prior to reducing transit funding, to document the full impact on fares and service. The State Senate approved a companion bill, S.4257C, yesterday afternoon.

“I am calling on the State Assembly to do the right thing today and approve the “transit lockbox” bill unanimously approved by the State Senate yesterday. New Yorkers are still reeling from the devastating bus and subway cuts imposed last year after the State diverted over $140 million that was specifically set aside for the MTA. We lose credibility when we charge New Yorkers additional taxes and fees to support mass transit and then rob those funds for other purposes. The New York metropolitan region relies on its world-class transit system to remain attractive to residents and businesses, and our transit system relies on state support. The lockbox bill is essential to protecting straphangers from service cuts and fare hikes in the future.”


Here is another fun summer event taking place on the 4th of July.



(Bronx, NY) The Bronx Arts Ensemble Jazz and Dixieland Band opens the BAE SUMMERMUSIC 2011 Series with A Salute to George M. Cohan, Irving Berlin, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Max Roach, Lionel Hampton and more at a FREE concert in Van Cortlandt Park at Rockwood Drive Circle, near Mosholu Avenue and Broadway on Monday, July 4 at 2 pm in celebration of Independence Day. Trombonist and bandleader Jack Gale, who has arranged music for numerous Broadway theatres, commercials and concerts, will arrange all music for the July 4th performance. Seating is provided but the audience is urged to bring folding chairs.

In the event of rain, the concert will be moved to Vladeck Hall in the Amalgamated Houses at the corner of Hillman Avenue and Van Cortlandt Park South. Please contact the BAE office after 11 am on the day of the performance.

SUMMERMUSIC 2011 schedule includes REVELS WITHOUT A CAUSE on Sunday, July 17, ROMANTIC STRINGS on Sunday, July 24, HERE COMES THE SUN AND STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER on Sunday, July 31, LET'S TANGO! on Sunday, August 7 and WOODWIND DESSERTS on Sunday, August 14.

For more information, visit or call 718.601.7399.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Here is another great youth program sent to the BoogieDowner for distribution to the community. Please do forward to families with children. Their web site is listed in the press release below if additional information is needed.



The Police Athletic League (PAL) launches its 2011 Summer Play Streets Program in the Bronx on Tuesday, July 5th. New York City youngsters play traditional sidewalk games, develop their creativity through the arts, and learn from a wide range of educational, recreational and cultural arts specialists.

PAL’s Summer Play Streets Program closes off streets and utilizes other public areas, such as playgrounds and parks, throughout New York City to provide children with safe, supervised places to enjoy outdoor summer activities. Play Streets are open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through August 19th, and are free to all New York City children. Play Streets offer sports, arts and crafts, games, music and dance. Featured activities include Double Dutch jump rope, Hopscotch, Nok Hockey and basketball. PAL is operating 48 Play Streets throughout the five boroughs this summer, in addition to offering Cops & Kids teams and day camps.

New York City’s Police Athletic League is the first, largest and finest civilian-run PAL in the country. Founded in 1914, PAL has served New York City’s young people for 97 years. PAL provides recreational, educational, cultural and social activities to over 56,000 boys and girls annually. It is also the city’s largest, independent, nonprofit youth organization. Following is a list of Play Streets in the Bronx. For more information, please visit

Play Street Location Zip Code

196th Street Between Briggs & Bainbridge Avenues 10458

Gates Place Between Moshulu Parkway S. & Gun Hill Road 10458

141st Street Between Brook & St. Ann’s Avenues 10454

Castle Hill Playground Castle Hill Ave between Parker & St. Raymonds Avenue 10473

Mott Playground Morris to College Avenues between E.166th & 167th Streets 10456

Slattery Playground University Avenue between W. Tremont Avenue and W 174th Street10457

Claremont Park Clay Avenue & Claremont Parkway 10456

Parque de los Niños Morrison Avenue & Watson Avenue 10472

Space Time Playground Between Lafayette & Bolton Avenues 10474

Wakefield Playground E 240th between Matilda Street & Carpenter Avenue 10466

I.S. 229 275 Harlem River Park Bridge 10453

Eastchester Heights 3480 Seymour Ave between Boston Road and Hicks Street 10469

Theresa Haven 1975 Creston Avenue 10453

University Family Shelter 1041 University Avenue Residence corner of 167th Street 10452

Police Athletic League’s Summer Play Streets Program

BoogieDowner Photos from the Community: Mystery Piano in the Park

I have been receiving photos from various BoogieDowner readers about a piano placed in a Bronx park for youth and others to enjoy.

I don’t know much about the who, when or how it got there, but there is a lot of excitement from our readers and I do enjoy the idea and photos sent. The piano seems to be associations with the Friends of Williamsbridge Oval and a not for profit called Sing for Hope. Anyone out there who does know more please about the piano please do educate us via a comment. Kudos to everyone who made the idea a reality. Are there more than one pop-up pianos out there?

Below is information taken from the web site address found on the piano stool photographed above.

“Founded by opera singers with a desire to lift their voices for social change, Sing for Hope is a non-profit organization that mobilizes professional artists – from classical musicians to photographers to Broadway performers – in volunteer service programs that benefit schools, hospitals, and communities.”

More information about the non-profit can be found at;

A special thanks for Judith Frias, Eileen Markey and Elizabeth Von Uhl for photos sent.



Here is news on another great summer youth program. If you have kids or know of any youth that would enjoy tennis camp, please do forward. It sounds like a lot of fun and a great way to learn or improve individual tennis skills.



Council Member Oliver Koppell announced today that the New York Junior Tennis League (NYJTL), the most acclaimed scholastic tennis program in the United States,
is offering FREE tennis lessons this summer, provided by professional tennis instructors, to beginners and intermediate players 6-18 years of age. The program will take place on the John F. Kennedy Campus, 99 Terrace View Avenue, Bronx from 9:00 a.m.- 12:00 noon starting on July 5, 2011. The free tennis program is funded by the City Council.

The program is open to all community residents. Racquets and balls are supplied at no cost to the participants. Supervised practice, tournaments and contests are also scheduled. Registration is on-going and will take place at the site during program hours.

“As a tennis enthusiast, I would like to encourage young people to take advantage of this opportunity to have fun, make friends and learn a new skill that will provide lifelong enjoyment, ” Koppell said.

For more information, call the New York Junior Tennis League, (718) 786-7110 or visit

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

NYC Council Transportation Committee Conducting Public Hearing on Various Bills Related to Parking in NYC on Wednesday June 22nd

For everyone out there who has ever been frustrated by parking tickets policies in NYC, here is your opportunity to speak up. The NYC Transportation committee will hold a public meeting on Wednesday June 22, to discuss a slew of proposals designed to improve NYC's parking situation. The following letter was sent by NYC Speaker Quinn and NYC Councilman Vacca.


June 20, 2011

Dear New Yorker,

We hope everyone found the City Council's spring transportation report to be helpful and informative. A number of residents wrote back to share their input and feedback, all of which was very instructive and will be forwarded to the staff of our Transportation Committee for further review. If you didn't receive the report but would like to, please let us know and we'll be sure to forward you a copy.

This Wednesday, June 22nd, our Transportation Committee will be holding a public hearing on a package of bills aimed at improving parking across the five boroughs.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in the 14th Floor Committee Room at 250 Broadway in Lower Manhattan and will cover the following bills:

Proposed Int. No. 44-A: Co-sponsored by Council Members Jessica Lappin and Brad Lander, this bill would create one-day temporary parking permits. That way, for example, the next time you move into a new apartment, you'd be able to park your truck in the parking lane where parking or standing is otherwise be prohibited and not have to worry about getting a ticket.

Proposed Int. No. 231-A: Sponsored by Council Member James Vacca, this bill would require photographs to be included with certain notices of violation for parking violations.

Int. No. 301: Sponsored by Council Member Dan Garodnick, this bill would require the NYC Department of Finance to dismiss parking violations issued for the failure to display a muni-meter receipt if the driver provides a valid receipt from the time the ticket was issued.

Int. No. 372: Sponsored by Council Member Stephen Levin, this bill would suspend alternate side of the street parking rules on blocks adjacent to where film crews are shooting.

Int. No. 465: Sponsored by Council Member Dan Garodnick, this bill would require parking placards to have a barcode so that traffic enforcement agents can confirm their validity;

Int. No. 609: Sponsored by Council Member Joel Rivera, this bill would allow for an electronic signature for persons who contest a parking ticket online. That way, motorists who decide to contest a parking ticket online would not be required to appear in person before the Parking Violations Bureau simply to submit a signature.

Int. No. 610: When a parking ticket is upheld by an Administrative Judge, the violation can begin to accumulate additional fines after seven days. Under this bill, sponsored by Council Member James Sanders, additional penalties would not accumulate until 30 days after parking ticket has been upheld by an Administrative Judge.

If you're interested in testifying and/or have any stories that relate to these bills that that you'd like to share with us, please feel free to contact Nivardo Lopez in the NYC Council Human Services Division at (212) 788-9087/ You can also email your comments and stories to us at, and we'll be sure to forward them to the Committee's staff to be included in the official record for Wednesday's hearing.

Again, we hope everyone found our spring transportation report to be helpful. We're planning to issue a second report at the end of the summer but will definitely keep everyone up-to-date on any new transportation-related developments or initiatives that happen before then.

Thanks so much and have a wonderful week.

Christine C. Quinn
NYC Council

James Vacca
Chair, Transportation Committee
NYC Council


Here is a City Parks Foundation program that deserves a special mention. The Seeds to Trees program has allowed approximately 18,000 city school children to explore our environment since 1992. For any NYC educator that has not heard of the program, the City Parks Foundation web site is listed below.


Photo Caption:
Young people participate in City Parks Foundation’s Seeds to Trees Program.


From collecting water samples at Van Cortlandt Park learning about the decomposition process at landfills to exploring forest ecology, Seeds to Trees, City Parks Foundation’s (CPF) flagship education program, introduced science and nature in the urban environment to children from MS 424 in Hunts Point, MS 229 in Morris Heights, PS 15X in University Heights and PS 161X and PS 5X in Morrisania. The Seeds to Trees program offered classroom activities and hands-on field experiences, from October through June, to over 1770 students and 76 teachers from 20 elementary and middle schools throughout the city, while teaching the importance of caring for city parks.

Young people and their teachers enhanced indoor classroom lessons by visiting parks in all boroughs including Marine Park in Brooklyn, Forest Park in Queens, Inwood Park in Manhattan, Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx and Clove Lake Park on Staten Island. By incorporating these outings into the learning environment young students were able to experience wild life in its natural habitat.

“Throughout the school year, City Parks Foundation’s Seeds to Trees program supported academic objectives by presenting lessons that relate to mandated curricula and scope and sequence, while training teachers to use city parks as extensions of their classrooms,” said Claudia DeMegret, Director of Education, City Parks Foundation. “Each year our program continues to be in constant demand from school principals, attesting to its relevance and impact of providing science learning and teaching in our most under-resourced schools.”

Since 1992, Seeds to Trees has reached over 18,000 public school children and 800 teachers in underserved communities. The program is designed for Elementary Schools, first through fourth grades, and Middle Schools, sixth and seventh grades.
“In addition to reaching students in lower-income areas in the five boroughs, we target schools that are located in more remote areas of the city, such as Far Rockaway, Queens and East New York, Brooklyn, where few other organizations are partnering with these communities,” CPF Director of Education Claudia DeMegret explained.

Founded in 1989, City Parks Foundation provides free park programs throughout the five boroughs of New York City. Reaching more than 600,000 people a year, CPF works in over 750 parks, presenting a broad range of free arts, sports and education programs, and helping citizens support their parks on a local level. For more details, please check out the website at

Photo Caption:

Young people participate in City Parks Foundation’s Seeds to Trees Program.

Monday, June 20, 2011

City Island Theatre Group Announces Auditions for Peggy the Pint Sized Pirate

For all the actors wishing to join the upcoming cast of Peggy the Pint Sized Pirate, please see below. Good luck to those auditioning. We look forward to the up coming shows.


CITG announces auditions for Peggy the Pint Sized Pirate by D. M. Bocaz-Larson.

Peggy is a little pirate who wants to sail the seas but is always picked last for a crew. But when the other pirates are captured by a sea monster, it's up to Peggy to save the day.


PEGGY - a small pirate who sets out to rescue the pirates from a sea monster

SCUMMY - young pirate who says mean things to PEGGY

BOB - the Brave can be either gender (Bob can be short for Roberta). One of the mean pirates who pick on PEGGY.

SUE - the Smelly can be changed to Sam. Another mean pirate.



GRUNT - wise old pirate who speaks mysteriously

MERMAID - helps PEGGY find the sea monster

WILLY the whale - someone who knows the way to the sea monster

BARNEY the barnacle - attached to the whale and mocks the whale constantly

PEARL the oyster - a game show host




Thursday, June23 @ 7:00pm.
Grace Church Hall
116 City Island Avenue

Peggy the Pint Sized Pirate will be performed outside on the Grace Church lawn on the afternoon of Saturday July 23rd.

Contact for more info.


Public Advocate Bill De Blasio has taken the lead organizing and campaigning against teacher layoffs. Please do see the video below where De Blasio and his wife discuss the importance of class size and the need for educational models that support and protect our teachers. To join the grass roots campaign and have your voice heard, please do log onto the web site listed below. Hopefully the voice of the people will be listened to.


Parents Speak Out: Meet Bill & Chirlane from Joel Clark on Vimeo.

Delivers petitions, testimonials and resolutions as parents stage call-a-thon opposing teacher cuts


NEW YORK – Public Advocate Bill de Blasio capped off a month of parent activism and outreach against teacher layoffs by delivering to City Hall over 7,000 parent petition signatures, dozens of video and audio testimonials from parents, and 18 resolutions from Community Education Councils, Community Boards and the Chancellor’s Parent Advisory Council. The package represents enormous parent opposition to the administration’s plans that will shed more than 6,000 teachers as part of budget cuts.

See all the parent actions delivered today at:

“The parents of this city are speaking loudly if City Hall is willing to listen. Classroom teachers—not technology, not consultants, not office furniture—are parents’ number-one priority in education,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. “From community board resolutions in Brooklyn to signing petitions at afternoon dismissals in Harlem to online video testimonials from Queens, parents are standing up against these cuts and demanding we find the will to keep teachers in front of our classrooms.”

In addition to delivering parent messages to City Hall, parent volunteers will hit the phones at the Public Advocate de Blasio’s office on Tuesday night, calling thousands of fellow parents across the five boroughs and urging them to register their opposition to teacher cuts through 311.

The efforts include:

7,177 petition signatures from parents who oppose teacher layoffs.

63 audio, video and written testimonials, including one from Public Advocate de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray.

18 resolutions opposing teacher layoffs from:
· Chancellor's Citywide Parent Advisory Council
· Community Education Council 18, Brooklyn
· Community Education Council 15, Brooklyn
· Community Education Council 25, Queens
· Community Education Council 11, Bronx
· Community Education Council 12, Bronx
· Community Education Council 14, Brooklyn
· Community Education Council 9, Bronx
· Community Education Council 17, Brooklyn
· Community Education Council 3, Manhattan
· Community Education Council 30, Queens
· Community Education Council 1, Manhattan
· Community Education Council 6, Manhattan
· Community Education Council 31, Staten Island
· Community Education Council 7, Bronx
· Manhattan Community Board 7
· Manhattan Community Board 10
· Bronx Community Board 14


Even though I do enjoy professional graffiti pieces in our borough, I do detest the mindless tagging. Kudos to all the individuals and organizations fighting to eradicate the blight from our borough. Kudos to Councilwoman Annabel Palma for taking the lead in the Castle Hill business district.



On Tuesday, representatives from the Office of Council Member Annabel Palma will be joined by CitySolve, the Bronx Business Alliance and local merchants at a press conference highlighting the beginning of a new graffiti removal campaign along Castle Hill Avenue. The press conference will take place in front of Mason Pharmacy on the corners of Castle Hill Avenue and Newbold Avenue and is part of a continuing campaign to beautify the Castle Hill Avenue commercial corridor.

When: 11:00-12:00 p.m.
Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Where: Mason Pharmacy
1255 Castle Hill Avenue
(Corner of Castle Hill Avenue and Newbold Avenue)

Who: Representatives of Council Member Annabel Palma
Bruce Pienky, CitySolve Margaret Arrighi, Bronx Business Alliance
Local merchants and community leaders


CitySolve has already conducted surveys around the community and, starting with the kick-off event, will begin to remove graffiti from store fronts, gates, and brick walls along Castle Hill Avenue. Additionally, CitySolve will follow-up on each location where graffiti was removed to ensure there is no return of the eyesores. The program was made possible by a grant from Council Member Palma.


Here are some great summer activities for youth looking to take advantage of free outdoor sporting activities. Please do forward to any youth you believe would enjoy the activities offered.


Programs include Tennis, Golf, and Track & Field Instruction

On July 5th, in parks throughout the Bronx, City Parks Foundation kicks off its 2011 Summer Sports Program for young people. Throughout the summer, City Parks Foundation provides New York City children free tennis, golf, and track and field instruction including free use of equipment in over 45 locations citywide. This summer, City Parks Foundation’s Sports programs will be taking place in Haffen Park, Mill Pond Park, Pelham Bay Park, St. Mary’s Park, St. James Rec Center, Van Cortlandt Park, Williamsbridge Oval, Woodlawn Park and Macombs Dam Park in the Bronx.
CityParks Tennis presented by Chase provides free tennis lessons to more than 7,000 children, ages five to 16, each year in more than 38 parks throughout the five boroughs. The program promotes physical fitness while building self-confidence and is designed to make the sport of tennis freely available to those who want to learn the game in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. CityParks Tennis runs through August 16th and concludes with an exciting tournament for beginners held at the Central Park Tennis Center and the JP Morgan Chase Aces Tournament for intermediates held at Flushing Meadows Tennis Center in mid-August.
CityParks Golf presented by René Lacoste Foundation makes it fun and easy for boys and girls, ages six to 16, to learn to play golf. The free golf lessons and use of equipment, held in public parks and on citywide courses, makes the sport of golf accessible to kids of all skill levels throughout New York City. The emphasis of the program is not only on learning the basics of the sport, but also on developing self-esteem, discipline and sportsmanship. The program gives kids a chance to improve their skills and ultimately try out for the CityParks Intermediate Program and Junior Golf Academy–specialized programs for dedicated young golfers available at the CityParks Junior Golf Center, a facility in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn that also offers programming for new or first-time youth golfers from New York City. CityParks Golf will be held in two sessions, running from July 5th through July 29th and from August 1st through August 26th.
CityParks Track & Field gives New York City kids, ages five to 16, the chance to learn the basics of the sport, from hurdles and relay races, to long jump, shot put and javelin throw. All participating youngsters have the opportunity to display the basic skills learned at the end of the season at an organized track meet held at Icahn Stadium, the world class sports complex on Randall’s Island on August 17th.
For more information and a full list of City Parks Foundation’s 2010 kids programs, please visit
Founded in 1989, City Parks Foundation (CPF) is the only independent, nonprofit organization to offer park programs throughout the five boroughs of New York City. CPF works in over 750 parks citywide, presenting a broad range of free arts, sports, and education programs, and empowering citizens to support their parks on a local level. CPF’s programs and community building initiatives reach more than 600,000 people each year, contributing to the revitalization of neighborhoods throughout New York City. For more details, please visit

2011 City Parks Foundation’s Sports Schedule in the Bronx

CityParks Tennis presented by Chase
Haffen Park
Hammersley Ave. & Gunther Ave.
Mon & Wed, 1:00 pm-4:00 pm

Mill Pond Park
Gateway Center Blvd. & East 150th St.
Mon & Wed, 1:00 pm-4:00 pm

Pelham Bay Park
Bruckner Blvd. & Middleton Rd.
Tues & Thurs, 1:00 pm-4:00 pm

St. Mary’s Park
145th St. & St. Ann’s Ave.
Mon & Wed, 1:00 pm-4:00 pm

St. James Rec Center
Jerome Ave & 193rd St.
Tues & Thurs, 1:00 pm-4:00 pm

Van Cortlandt Park
246th St. & Broadway
Mon & Wed, 9:00 am-11:00 am (intermediates only)
Tues & Thurs, 9:00 am-12:00 pm

Williamsbridge Oval
208th St. & Bainbridge Ave.
Mon & Wed, 9:00 am-12:00 pm

Woodlawn Park
233rd St. & Jerome Ave.
Tues & Thurs, 9:00 am-12:00 pm

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

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

CityParks Track & Field
Pelham Bay Park
Middletown & Stadium Aves.
Mon & Wed, 9:30 am-10:30 am (5-7 years), 10:30 am-12:00 pm (8-16 years)

Macombs Dam Park
161st St. between River & Jerome Aves.
Tues & Thurs, 9:30 am-10:30 am (5-7 years), 10:30 am-12:00 pm (8-16 years)

Additional Support for CityParks Tennis provided by:
Reebok International, Ltd.; The Barclays/Nets Community Alliance; Aviation Development Council; USTA Eastern Metro Region Board of Directors; USTA Junior Tennis Foundation, Eastern Region; USTA Tennis Recreational Grants; New York City Council under the leadership of Christine C. Quinn; NYC Council Member Vincent Gentile; NYC Council Member Letitia James; NYC Council Member Darlene Mealy; NYC Council Member Domenic M. Recchia, Jr.; NYC Council Member Deborah Rose.

Additional Support for CityParks Golf provided by:
J. Ira and Nicki Harris Foundation; Ann and Andrew Tisch; Lori, David, Jami and Nicholas Moore; The Troubh-Belsky-Doyle-Polikoff Family; The Barclays/Nets Community Alliance; New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund; Golf Course Builders Association of America and National Recreation and Park Association; New York City Council under the leadership of Christine C. Quinn; NYC Council Member Julissa Ferreras; NYC Council Member Deborah Rose.

Additional Support for CityParks Track & Field provided by:
J.E. and Z.B. Butler Foundation; The Barclays/Nets Community Alliance; New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund, Inc.; Aviation Development Council; CVS Caremark; USA Track & Field Foundation; New York City Council under the leadership of Christine C. Quinn; NYC Council Member Darlene Mealy; NYC Council Member Domenic M. Recchia, Jr.

Subway Sponsors Free Community Outreach Program

Here is an interesting press release sent by Subway. For companies interested, they offer various free health related services and seminars.


Subway has sponsored a free community outreach program as part of a national goodwill publicity campaign. A volunteer doctor who specializes in nutrition & stress management will come on-site to your company and give a 30-minute presentation during a complimentary catered Subway breakfast or lunch. All you need to do is register at and you will be contacted by an event coordinator. Also remember to ask about our free health screenings (blood pressure, self defense, yoga, massage etc.). For any questions or concerns please contact us.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

BronxTalk Tackles Public Education and Recently Released Independent Film, "The Inconvenient Truth about Waiting for Superman"

Here is a heads up about Monday night’s topic on BronxTalk. For those that do not have access to BronxNet please do note, BronxTalk episodes are available via their web site. For anyone interested in having their voice heard their call in number is provided below.


This Monday night BronxTalk will present a stirring dialogue about public education, including a look at a new indepedent film, The Inconvenient Truth about Waiting for Superman. Produced by a grassroots organization comprised of teachers and parents, The Inconvenient Truth... presents an alternative view of education than the one depicted in the Hollywood blockbuster.

Beginning at 9:00pm, BronxTalk host Gary Axelbank will interview a teacher and parent about the film and public education. Viewers can call in at 718-960-7150.

One of New York City's longest running TV talk shows now in its 17th year, BronxTalk is seen each Monday night at 9:00pm on Bronxnet's Cablevision channel 67. It's also on Verizon Fios channel 33 and streamed live at Hosted by Gary Axelbank and produced by Jane Folloro, BronxTalk is repeated each day at 9:30am, 3:30pm, and 9:00pm. Archives are available here: BronxTalk archives

Friday, June 17, 2011

Community Health Day at Saint James Park Scheduled for Saturday, June 18th

Community Health Day, co-sponsored by Council Member Fernando Cabrera, is scheduled to take place at Saint James Park tomorrow. Free health tests are available.


Morris Heights Health Center will provide screenings for:
• Blood Pressure • HIV Testing • Glucose & Diabetes

Date: Saturday, June 18, 2011
Time: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Place: Saint James Park192 Street, Jerome AvenueBronx, NY 10468

For more information about Healthfirst, call: 1-866-GO-FOR-HF (1-866-463-6743)
TTY 1-800-662-1220 (for the hearing or speech impaired)
Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Institute of Urban Design For the City / By the City Design Competition

For any urban design junkies or anyone who believes they have design ideas that can make NYC a better place, please review the following press release sent by the Institute of Urban Design. Besides announcing their new jury addition to the "By the City / For the City” design competition, the press release also discusses how you can submit your design ideas for the competition.

Hopefully someone in our borough will submit a winning design to improve our beautiful borough or city. Also provided below and on the web site listed, is information about upcoming Urban Design Week beginning on September 15th 2011.

Congratulations to Ms. Janette Sadike-Kahn and her appointment as a juror.


Institute for Urban Design welcomes the Commissioner of the NYC Department of Transportation to the panel of jurors for its By the City / For the City design competition.

WHAT: The IfUD is thrilled to announce the addition of Janette Sadik-Kahn to the jury for the By the City / For the City design competition. Ms. Sadik-Kahn will join Kate Ascher, Barry Bergdoll, Ned Cramer, Toni L. Griffin, Thom Mayne, Denise Scott Brown, and Claire Weisz in evaluating competition entries based on how they address five conditions: accessibility, beauty, connectivity, enjoyment, and social equity.

WHO: Janette Sadik-Khan has served as the Commissioner of the NYC Department of Transportation since her appointment by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in April of 2007. Beginning with Sustainable Streets, DOT’s first strategic plan published in 2008, Sadik-Khan has implemented a series of innovative projects: the creation of Broadway Boulevard, the installation of 18 plazas, the addition of more than 250 miles of on-street bike lanes, and a new Street Design Manual requiring higher quality street designs for New York City. Sadik-Khan is President of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), Chair of the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) Committee on Transportation Issues in Major U.S. Cities, and was appointed to the Energy Secretary’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Advisory Committee (ERAC).

WHY: The By the City / For the City design competition is the centerpiece of Urban Design Week, a new public festival created to celebrate the streets, sidewalks, and public spaces at the heart of city life. The competition is an open call for designers, architects, and urbanists to create proposals to address one or more of the 500+ ideas that New Yorkers shared for improving their city earlier this spring. The results will be shared in An Atlas of Opportunity for the Future of New York.

WHERE: Designers can learn more about the competition, including submission requirements, jury bios, and registration information, at

WHEN: Competition entries may be submitted up until midnight on Thursday, July 14th, 2011. The jury will select ten exemplary proposals, one in each of the five boroughs and five more at their discretion, which will be announced at the opening event of Urban Design Week on Thursday, September 15th, 2011.

About the IfUDThe Institute for Urban Design is dedicated to expanding the public dialogue about urban planning, development, and design. Since its founding in 1979, the Institute has served as an important platform for debate among architects, planners, policy-makers, developers, academics, journalists, and urbanists. We operate as a think tank and advocacy group, drawing on the collected experience and knowledge of our international membership to bring pressing urban design issues into wider public debate.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Here is more on the heroic effort by Bronx volunteers to help the Joplin Tornado victims.



Volunteer Corps effort made possible by generosity of local residents, businesses

BRONX, NY ― New York City Council Member James Vacca today announced that an entire truckload of baby supplies, children’s toys, bottled water, and other essential items is on its way to tornado victims in Joplin, Missouri, thanks to a group of super-volunteers and generous businesses. Wednesday morning, volunteers filled a box truck supplied by Baldor Specialty Foods with dozens of bags and boxes of donated goods during pick-ups at the Locust Point Civic Association and the Bronx campus of Mercy College. The pickups marked the culmination of a two-week collection drive organized by the Vacca Volunteer Corps that included donations from residents throughout the district and companies including Baldor, Manhattan Beer Distributors, and Penguin Books.

“It has truly been an inspiration to see so many people come forth and offer to help people halfway across the country,” Council Member Vacca said. “This has been a volunteer-led effort from start to finish, and it proves once again that all it takes is a little bit of will and dedication to make a big difference in other people’s lives.” Longtime Locust Point resident Gloria Lagalante, who led the collection at the Civic Association, also arranged for the Hunts Point-based Baldor Foods to donate one of its trucks to pick up the donations. Antoinette Acosta volunteered to lead the effort at Mercy College, where she is a sophomore. Assisting Acosta was Mercy career counselor Kathy Finneran. Baldor is arranging the delivery to Joplin through a Missouri-based supplier. Wednesday’s collection was hardly the end of the local donation drive. Lagalante and Baldor are planning another pickup next month, and Patricia Madsen of City Island, who inspired the Volunteer Corps effort by leading her own donation drive for Mississippi tornado victims in May, continues to accept donations.

Madsen is currently searching for a truck company that would be willing to deliver an 18-wheeler’s worth of clothes and other donations to either Joplin or disaster-ravaged regions of the South. Anyone with information that could help that search should contact Vacca’s office at (718) 931-1721.

Kmart coupon codes can help save on donations.

The First Annual Van Cortlandt Park July 4th Marathon Organized

For all the runners out there looking for an event to participate in, please see the following sent related to the first ever July 4th Marathon organized in Van Cortlandt Park. Additional information can be found on the following web site;


The first annual July 4th Marathon will take place at 9:00AM on Monday, July 4th,

2011 in Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx, New York City!

This is a free, fee-less event. There are no official organizers or sponsors. There are no cut off times or qualifications.

Just show up and run!
Shorter distance runner’s are welcome too!
Half Marathon
Marathon Relay
10km runner’s
This is a trail course!

The July 4th Marathon course is the only trail marathon inside New York City! The course is challenging, beautiful and scenic, a true adventure!

Please join us for a wonderful run in the deep Bronx woods!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tenth Annual Farmers Market Returns to The New York Botanical Gardens: June 15th - November 23rd

Here is another healthy food options offered by local farmers and food merchants in conjunction with The New York Botanical Gardens. The Greenmarket at the NY Botanical Gardens runs from June 15th - November 15th. Admission to the garden is free when the farmers market is open for business. It’s a great opportunity to shop for fresh food and enjoy the great nature available at the NY Botanical Gardens. Please see information sent by the Botanical Gardens for additional details. Kudos to the MetLife Foundation for their financial support in making the Greenmarket programs a reality city wide.


Tenth Annual Farmers Market Returns toThe New York Botanical Garden
Greenmarket will be open every Wednesday, June 15–November 23, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.

The New York Botanical Garden’s popular farmers market returns on Wednesday, June 15, for its tenth year, bringing affordable, locally grown produce and fresh, nutritious baked goods to the Bronx. The market will be open every Wednesday, at the base of Library Allée inside the Garden’s Mosholu Gate entrance, from June 15 through November 23, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.

“With the return of the Greenmarket to The New York Botanical Garden, vendors from the HudsonValley region and beyond will offer a wide array of seasonal produce,” said Jennifer Rothman, AssociateVice President for Children’s and Public Education at the Botanical Garden.

“The market gives New Yorkers access to fresh, nutritional, and delicious food produced by New York farmers.”

Visitors to the Greenmarket can:

*Talk to the farmers to learn more about the nutritional and health benefits of gardening and eating locally. Learn how to use produce from the market to make easy, nutritional meals and find out aboutcomposting, recycling, growing vegetables, and more at special demonstrations throughout theseasons.

*Hear “What’s in Season” at the market each week by calling 718.362.9561 and pressing 406#.

*Enjoy self-guided walking tours of the Garden.

*The Greenmarket attracts lovers of some of the tastiest and healthiest products New York has to offer. Overflowing stands greet shoppers with a cornucopia of just-picked, orchard-grown goods, including:peaches, pears, and apples; ripe raspberries and cherries; a wide selection of seasonal vegetables,including heirloom tomatoes, corn, squash, and eggplant; fragrant herbs and assorted greens; and sweetcider, honey, and homemade old-fashioned donuts, pies, and breads.

The market accepts food stamps, EBT cards, FMNP/WIC and Senior coupons, so more visitors can takeadvantage of the amazing bounty of produce at the Greenmarket at The New York Botanical Garden.

There is free admission to The New York Botanical Garden grounds on Wednesday, allowing visitors to explore many of the Garden’s other offerings such as the ever-changing flowers and plant collections in the award-winning, sustainable Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, Jane Watson Irwin Perennial Garden,and inspiring Home Gardening Center.

Featured vendors this year include:

*Gajeski Produce, Riverhead, N.Y.–A wide variety of vegetables, including carrots, potatoes,onions, peppers, cucumber, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, and eggs from

*FeatherRidge Farm in Elizaville, N.Y.Migliorelli Farm, Tivoli, N.Y.–An array of greens, beets, turnips, and tomatoes, and summer and fall fruit from a third-generation farmer. Also cider donuts and apple cider at the end of theseason.

*The Little Bake Shop, Valley Cottage, N.Y.–Small quiches, pies, cookies, pastries, and healthbreads.

*Bread Alone, Boiceville, N.Y.–(Organic certified) Crusty breads, rolls, and small pastries.

*Red Jacket Orchard, Waterloo, N.Y.– Heirloom apples and mixed orchard fruit juices, jams, and apple butter.

Find out “What’s in Season” each week by using the Audio Tour sponsored by Bloomberg. On Web site, you can also find weekly featured items, delicious recipes using products from the Greenmarket, nutritional information about eating fresh foods, and blogs by our farmers for ideas about what is going on in the field at

The Greenmarket has become increasingly important to help people live healthier lives, while supporting New York businesses. The farmers market is organized in conjunction with Greenmarket, the largest andmost successful open-air farmers market program in the country which since 1976 has been working to promote regional agriculture, preserve farmland and ensure a continuing supply of fresh, local produce forall New Yorkers. Greenmarket is a program of GrowNYC. For over 30 years, GrowNYC’s Greenmarketstaff, volunteers and farmers have been working together to promote regional agriculture, preserve farmland and ensure a continuing supply of fresh, local produce for all New Yorkers. To learn more aboutGrowNYC’s Greenmarket, gardening, recycling and education programs, visit

For more information, visit
The Heart Smart Program, a part of the MetLife Healthy Families Program at The New York Botanical Garden, is made possible through the generous support of MetLife Foundation.

NYC Comptroller Liu Applauds U.S. Attorney General on CityTime Project Criminal Investigation: $28 Million Recovered to Date

Here is a statement released by the NYC Comptrollers office related to the U.S. Attorney’s criminal investigation of the CityTime project. Kudos to the Comptroller and the U.S. Attorney for retrieving our funds. I am sure $28 million can do allot of good for our school system.


NEW YORK, NY – Comptroller John C. Liu issued the following statement today:

“My office’s review of the CityTime project, which defrauded taxpayers of millions of dollars, has not interfered with the ongoing criminal investigation, nor have we been informed that it has. We applaud the U.S. Attorney for charging seven people and recovering $28 million to date. We are committed to working cooperatively with all law enforcement agencies.” ###

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

NYC Council Passes Resolution No. 700 Encouraging State Legislators to Renew and Strengthen New York City Rent Laws Expiring June 15th

It truly is amazing that over a million NYC residents are left hanging, related to rent regulation laws set to expire tomorrow (June 15th). Please see the latest sent by the NYC Council and their attempts to encourage NY State legislators to renew and strengthen NY rent laws.


Dear New Yorker,

We wanted to share some important news for New York City tenants.

Fighting to Renew and Strengthen New York's Rent Laws

This past month a delegation of Council Members traveled to Albany to urge the State Legislature to renew and strengthen New York's rent laws. During our meetings with state legislators, we discussed how important it is to renew these critical protections before they vanish forever on June 15th. We also spoke about a number of key enhancements that are needed to help keep our communities affordable and stable. Shortly afterwards, we passed Resolution No. 700, calling on the State Legislature to renew and strengthen the laws protecting tenants who reside in regulated housing. Because while renewing our rent laws is critical, it is not enough. If New York is to remain a livable place, we must strengthen these laws as well by repealing vacancy decontrol and extending protections to buildings leaving the Section 8 and Mitchell Lama programs. The vacancy bonus should also be eliminated or, at the very least, be reduced from 20% to 10%, and the Rent Guidelines Board shouldn't have the authority to adjust the vacancy bonus level as part of their annual rent adjustment determinations.

With our rent laws on the verge of expiring in less than two days, it's more important than ever to keep up the pressure. To learn more about what you can do to help ensure that these laws are renewed and strengthened before the June 15th deadline, please email or call 347-541-3339.

Upcoming Rent Guidelines Board Hearings The NYC Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) has proposed renewal lease guidelines for rent-stabilized apartments that would increase rent from 3 to 5.75% for a 1-year lease, 6 to 9% for a 2-year lease, and add a 1% surcharge for buildings with oil heat.

The RGB will be holding public meetings on these proposed guidelines in the upcoming days. At these meetings, the public will have the opportunity to share their concerns about the proposed hikes. Details are listed below:

Thursday, June 16th Public Hearing (Public Testimony)
Location: NYC College of Technology,
Kiltgord Auditorium,
285 Jay Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Time: 4:30 p.m. Monday, June 20thPublic Hearing (Public Testimony)
The Great Hall at Cooper Union,
7 East 7th Street at the corner of Third Ave.,
New York, NY 10003
Time: 10:00 a.m.

Monday, June 27th Public Meeting (Final Vote on Rent Guidelines)
The Great Hall at Cooper Union,
7 East 7th Street at the corner of Third Ave.,
(lower-level), New York, NY 10003
Time: 5:30 p.m.

As noted, two hearing dates are reserved for public testimony. For additional information, please log on to We will continue to keep you updated on our fight to protect tenants and alert you to any additional actions you can take to help support these critical efforts. In the meantime, if you have any tenant-related questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Carlos Carino in the Council's Community Outreach Unit at (212) 788-9121 or Sincerely, Christine C. Quinn SpeakerNYC Council Erik Martin DilanChair, Housing & Buildings CommitteeNYC Council Helen Diane FosterChair, State & Federal Legislation CommitteeNYC Council Margaret Chin Council Member & Lead Sponsor of Resolution No. 700 NYC Council

Book Launching in the BoogieDown: "As Bad As They Say?", by Janet Mayer

I am happy to see "our" educators writing about their experiences teaching Bronx youth. Kudos to Janet Mayer and “Books in the Hood”. I have heard much about the independent book store, but have not yet had the time to visit. Finally educators with classroom experience speaking up. Hopefully the bureaucrats will listen.


Janet Mayer, Author AS BAD AS THEY SAY?
Three Decades of Teaching in the Bronx
Published by Fordham University Press

Join us for a
June 25, 2011
3:00-6:00 pm
Books in the Hood
815 Westchester AvenueBronx, NY

“A brilliant and badly need answer to business minded 'educational reformers' who think that nothing good happened in American education before they took over... it shows that the love of teachers for their students is the true transformative force in American education, not mindless imposition of standardized tests.” -Mark Naison, author of White Boy and The Rat That Got Away

"Bravo for Janet Mayer for asking the obvious, but unasked, question and providing us with a different way of answering it..."-Deborah Meier, author of Playing for Keeps: Life and Learning on a Public School Playground"

Janet Mayer's critical take on No Child Left Behind and the testing mania it's brought into our schools is right on target and is badly needed. But it's the stories of her students in the Bronx…that make this book so moving and so powerful."-Jonathan Kozol, author of Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools

"Mayer's love for her students burns through every page."-Dan Brown, The Great Expectations School: A Rookie Year in the New Black board Jungle

Book Launching for Janet Mayer’s “As Bad As They Say?”
June 25, 2011 3:00-6:00 PM
Books in the Hood Bookstore
815 Westchester Avenue, Bronx, N.Y.

Bronx Borough Hall Greenmarket Reopens on Tuesday, June 14th

I am all for healthy eating and promoting local farmers. Please see information related to the re-opening of the Bronx Borough Hall Greenmarket.


Bronx Borough Hall Greenmarket Reopens on Tuesday, June 14th

This bustling market serves neighborhood residents, employees and visitors to Bronx Borough Hall. Located alongside the beautifully renovated Joyce Kilmer Park, shoppers can use cash or Food Stamps/EBT to shop for any of this market's great selection of fresh vegetables, fruit, and baked goods. The Bronx Borough Hall Greenmarket is located at 161st and 162nd Street, Bronx, and open every Tuesday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. from June 14-December 27, 2011.
EBT/Food Stamps (June - November) and WIC & Senior FMNP Coupons Accepted. EBT/Debit/Credit accepted 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.Starting in July, for every 5 EBT dollars spent, customers receive a $2 Health Buck coupon to purchase additional produce.

Farmers:Ballard's Honey: Honey from Delaware County
NY.Migliorelli Farm: Vegetables and orchard fruit from Dutchess County
NY. Morgiewicz Produce: Vegetables from Orange County,
NY.Not Just Rugelach: Baked goods from Hudson County, NJ.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Vacca to Join Community to Unveil ‘Rocco Miano Way’

Here is an event honoring Mr. Roccio Miano, who was a local leader in the Morris Park community. For those wishing to show their respect and attend the event please see the information posted below.


Vacca to Join Community to Unveil ‘Rocco Miano Way’

Family, friends gather to honor Morris Park icon’s legacy Council Member James Vacca will join local community leaders and friends and family members of Rocco Miano on Saturday, June 11, at the intersection of Morris Park Avenue and Hone Avenue, to unveil an honorary street sign marking “Rocco Miano Way.”

The street name honor was approved by the City Council in December 2010 at Vacca’s request to honor Miano’s decades of community involvement and activism. Miano was born and raised in Morris Park and served over three decades as a volunteer in his community. He was a founding member of the Morris Park Community Patrol, which he served for nearly thirty years and also served as the Vice President of the Morris Park Community Association for ten years and as a member for over thirty-five years. He was an usher at St. Clare’s Church for over ten years and was an active member of the St. Clare’s Father’s Club and Parish Council.

Who: Councilman Vacca, Members of Bronx Community Board #11, Members of Morris Park Community Association, friends and family of Rocco Miano

What: Dedication of “Rocco Miano Way”

When: Saturday, June 11, 2011 @ 10:30 AM Where: Intersection of Morris Park Avenue and Hone Avenue, Bronx