New York, NY – The New York City Council today approved Bronx Point, a dynamic mixed-used development that will feature over two acres of world-class public open spaces with a waterfront esplanade, up to 1,000 units of housing, a home for the Universal Hip-Hop Museum, a state-of-the-art multiplex theater, community space, educational programming, a neighborhood food hall and incubator and more. Today’s vote marks the final step in the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure process.
Bronx Point is a key component of a $194 million capital investment strategy for the Lower Concourse neighborhood, announced by the de Blasio Administration in 2015 and led by NYCEDC. The unprecedented capital investment into the South Bronx neighborhood’s assets was developed through a two-year community process led by NYCEDC that included interactive workshops and visioning sessions to engage the local community in prioritizing the area’s needs.
Major components of the strategy include the acquisition of private properties to develop a new 2.3-acre waterfront park at East 144th Street, a few blocks south of Bronx Point; new sewer infrastructure and a full reconstruction of Exterior Street including three large Vision Zero intersections; and installation of commercial-grade broadband access. All improvements are anticipated to be completed by 2022.
“Bronx Point represents an excellent opportunity to bring new housing units of all types, waterfront access and expanded park space, a new school and other much anticipated cultural and recreational amenities to our borough’s waterfront. I congratulate the City Council for moving this project forward, and I look forward to working with the NYCEDC, HPD, the Parks Department, L+M Development Partners and Type A Projects on this proposal’s forthcoming implementation,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. hosted the 15th annual DiVA Spa at the Bronx Museum of Arts. The event was designed to bring domestic violence awareness information to Bronx residents.
“While October is Domestic Violence awareness month, we are working year-round, across agencies to put an end to this epidemic. Domestic violence impacts all of us, and I am committed to providing survivors with the power and the resources to survive and thrive,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “It is my hope that our guests will leave feeling better about themselves and armed with the info and resources to prevent domestic violence or help a victim of domestic violence.”
This year’s event included a morning brunch and discussions on topics including domestic violence, financial literacy and career development. The brunch was followed by a yoga and meditation workshop, as well as free spa services for victims of domestic violence.
This year, DiVA Spa was sponsored by the New York Hispanic Cosmetology Chamber of Commerce, HBO and MetroPlus.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. hosted a press conference at Woodlawn Cemetery to encourage cyclists to participate in the upcoming Tour de Bronx, the largest free cycling event in New York State, which will take place on Sunday, October 22, 2017.
The Tour de Bronx was established in 1994 by the office of the Bronx Borough President and The Bronx Tourism Council as a means to promote a healthier lifestyle, encourage alternate modes of transportation and as a way to see the borough and its attractions.
“This is one of my favorite events of the year,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., who plans on participating in the event as he has done in the past. “The Tour De Bronx not only emphasizes maintaining a healthy lifestyle, complementing our ‘#Not62’ initiative to improve the overall health of our borough, but it also highlights our historical sites, beautiful waterfronts and vibrant neighborhoods, showcasing the best we have to offer to both our residents and visitors from around the world. We welcome riders from across the region and around the globe to see The Bronx as they have never seen it before.”
Log onto www.tourdebronx.com to register or for more information.
Brooklyn—Councilman David G. Greenfield has raised over $75,000 worth of donations for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico since announcing his collaboration with Masbia and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. on the project three weeks ago.
“I’m extremely humbled by this outpouring of support for hurricane victims. It's clear that my neighbors in Boro Park and Midwood care deeply when their fellow Americans are suffering, and they’ll do whatever they can to help,” Greenfield said.
The City of New York has its own donation program for Puerto Rico but no donation centers in Boro Park or Midwood, a fact that Masbia Executive Director Alexander Rapaport was quick to notice.
“I woke up Sunday morning in September, thinking I needed to do something, “ Rapaport said. “I wrote a letter in Yiddish asking people to go to Sunset Park,” the location of the nearest firehouse where the City was taking donations. “But how many people were actually going to drive all that way and do it?”
By that point, Greenfield was already aware of the location problem and decided his own office, in the heart of Boro Park on 16th Avenue, would make an ideal donation center. Within 24 hours, he was working with Rapaport to synchronize their relief efforts. Community Board Chairman Yidel Perlstein donated a truck from Lucky Truck Rental to help.
“I was very happy to find a partner in Councilman Greenfield who felt that what we as a community need to do something,” Rapaport said.
Within hours, Greenfield and Rapaport were hard at work promoting their efforts on social media. That only left one remaining problem: how would they get the donated goods from Boro Park to San Juan?
Enter Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., who was spearheading a local relief effort alongside Governor Andrew Cuomo and the rapper Fat Joe. They already had cargo planes ready, and Diaz was gracious enough to allow room on his Bronx containers for the Brooklyn donations.
“I am incredibly grateful to those individuals and organizations who have done what they can to assist in relief efforts on the island during this crisis,” Borough President Diaz said. “Council Member David Greenfield’s efforts to collect much-needed supplies are greatly appreciated and show the type of goodwill and spirit this city can generate when one of its communities is in need of help. I am proud to call Council Member Greenfield a friend, and I thank him for his work on behalf of the people of Puerto Rico."
The MTA advises customers that Metro-North Railroad’s new October 8 schedule includes permanently increased service levels at the Melrose and Tremont stations on the Harlem Line.
In an effort to build ridership and provide Bronx residents with more convenient travel options, on October 2, 2016, Metro-North implemented a pilot program that increased service at the Tremont and Melrose stations from a two-hour frequency to hourly frequency during off-peak and weekend travel times. The service day was also extended, with earlier inbound service on weekdays and significantly later outbound service on weekdays and weekends. During the pilot period, overall ridership at the two stations increased by 81%, with an increase in weekday ridership of 67% and an increase in weekend ridership of 101%.
With the success of the pilot program, and after a public hearing about the schedule change, the increased service at Melrose and Tremont is now permanent.
“Expanded service at the Melrose and Tremont Metro-North stations is not only a benefit for the commuters in the surrounding neighborhoods, but for the entire borough and, in fact, the entire region,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. “I am proud to support this expansion, and I am grateful to the MTA for listening to the numerous Bronxites who asked for this additional service at the recent public hearing.”
NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio announced today that a service center will open next week to support displaced individuals and families from Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands and other Caribbean islands following recent hurricanes. The center will be open starting on Thursday, October 19 at the Julia De Burgos Latino Cultural Center located at 1680 Lexington Avenue in Manhattan.
The City’s service center will offer in-person support and access to services to individuals affected by the hurricanes, and will be open from 9 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday, 10 AM to 4 PM on Saturday, and 1 PM to 5 PM on Sunday. The City of New York is urging individuals planning to visit the service centers to make an appointment beginning October 18 by visiting nyc.gov or call 311. (Note: the center will be closed Saturday, October 21.)
New York City government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and community-based organizations will be on-site to help connect families and individuals to critical services, including enrollment in public benefits and health insurance, food assistance, and mental health counseling.
Services provided at the center include but are not limited to:
“Those individuals and families affected by these natural disasters need our help, and that includes being prepared to assist those who decided to leave their homes and come to New York City. This service center will provide those seeking refuge from these disasters with a one-stop shop for critical services, and I appreciate Mayor de Blasio’s efforts to make life a little bit easier for those who are being forced from their homes due to these natural disasters,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Albany, NY - October 13, 2017 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that another major shipments of supplies, including more than 160,000 pounds of water, diapers, baby food and wipes has been delivered to Puerto Rico. The supplies -- donated by New Yorkers at collection sites across the state -- are being distributed to targeted communities across the island over the coming days in partnership with the Carlos Beltran Foundation. The supplies were delivered on a flight chartered by Major League Baseball that departed John F. Kennedy International Airport on Thursday. State Homeland Security Commissioner Roger Parrino remains on the ground overseeing operations and is ensuring all supplies reach communities in need.
Additionally, two flights donated by Delta will transport 50 State Troopers to the island to support ongoing recovery operations. Mission priorities include protecting commodities and fuel and securing the supply chains to ensure that the resources are distributed to people who need them most. These new Troopers will replace the existing team of 53 Troopers who have been on the ground for the past two weeks assisting with security operations.
"It is in times of tragedy the you find out what people are made of and the level generosity that New Yorkers have shown in support of Puerto Rico is nothing short of inspiring," Governor Cuomo said. "I want our brothers and sisters still recovering from Hurricane Maria to know that under no circumstances will New York abandon them. We are in this for the long haul and will continue to not only send supplies, but do whatever else we can to support them as they embark on this long and difficult recovery process."
As part of the Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort, Major League Baseball chartered a MD-11 cargo plane which carried more than 160,000 pounds of supplies to Puerto Rico on Thursday. The shipment included:
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said, "New York will continue to stand with Puerto Rico as they rebuild, and although there is a long road to recovery ahead, I know our families and friends on the island are rest assured that we will be with them every step of the way. Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, New York is delivering personnel, resources and food for the men and women of Puerto Rico, to keep them strong during these difficult times and provide the energy and help needed to build the island new again."
On Thursday, October 12, 2017, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. hosted his annual celebration of Italian-American Heritage & Culture Month, “Mese della Cultura Italiana,” at the Schiff Family Great Hall on the grounds of the Bronx Zoo.
This year’s honorees included City Council Member James Vacca, Hon. Frank Seddio, Esq., Chairman of the Brooklyn Democratic Party and an attorney with the law firm of Seddio & Associates; Maria Caruso, Director of Tourism at the City Island Chamber of Commerce and William Mayer, owner of Maestro’s Caterers in Morris Park.
“The Italian-American community has had an incredible impact on our borough, our city and our nation. I was proud to once again join so many of my colleagues and my constituents at this wonderful event to both recognize these four individuals for their outstanding achievements and pay tribute to our Italian-American population and its storied heritage and culture,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Gianna Gelosi of News 12 The Bronx served as the event’s emcee.
“President Trump’s threat to abandon the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico is absolutely despicable. I visited the island this past weekend, and I saw firsthand just how dire the situation is for the nearly 3.5 million Americans who make their home there. For the president to publicly consider removing federal help from the island in the midst of a humanitarian nightmare is disgusting.
“What is happening in Puerto Rico is not a game. The people of Puerto Rico need food, water, electricity and the basic essentials of life. They need a serious, sustained, long-term commitment from the federal government to provide relief for the island, to rebuild their infrastructure and to return life somewhere near to normal.
“They do not need half-cocked tweets and ridiculous threats,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that major shipments of supplies, including more than 425,000 pounds of water, diapers, baby food, wipes, canned goods, dry food, juice, and solar-powered lamps have been delivered to Puerto Rico. The supplies -- donated by New Yorkers at collection sites across the state -- are being distributed to targeted communities across the island over the coming days. The supplies were delivered on two cargo flights chartered by TIDAL and in the cargo hold of a JetBlue passenger flight. The Governor dispatched State Homeland Security Commissioner Roger Parrino to oversee the operation on the ground and ensure all supplies reach communities in need.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said, "Puerto Rico faces a long and arduous road ahead as they work to rebuild their lives from the ground up after Hurricane Maria left their communities ravaged. With this shipment of vital supplies, donated by generous New Yorkers in the Bronx and throughout the state, we are making clear that stand by the side of our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico. I sincerely thank Governor Cuomo for spearheading the relief effort from our state to provide aid and assistance to our Puerto Rican family."
On Saturday, September 30, 2017, the New York Hispanic Clergy Organization hosted a donation drive to help the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the earthquake in Mexico City.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., State Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz, New York State Assembly Members Marcos Crespo and Luis Sepulveda, City Council Member Rafael Salamanca participated in the event, which saw tons of critical supplies donated to be shipped to assist relief efforts in Puerto Rico and Mexico.
Throughout the day hundreds of volunteers helped to move and pack hundreds of thousands of pounds of goods to support relief efforts for Puerto Rico and Mexico, filling four shipping containers and more than two dozen trucks. So much material was donated at the event that it took two days to completely pack and move all items, and the National Guard was called in to help move donations off the street.
“No matter where we are from; whether it is here, the United States, or Mexico or Puerto Rico; today shows the spirit of what happens when we work together, as a community, to help those in their time of greatest need,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “The tragedies that have hurt our Mexican and Puerto Rican brothers and sisters will take years to repair and rebuild. Today shows that we are here for them, for the long-haul, to help in any possible way that is needed so that both Puerto Rico and Mexican stand tall again.”
“I want to thank everyone for their generosity and for showing their love and compassion for our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico and Mexico,” said New York State Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz.
Is during tragedies like this that all New Yorkers have an obligation to lend a helping hand of support. Because of the generosity of our residents and our institutions we are able to help so many people who need our assistance today.”
“With the leadership of the Diaz family, and the support from elected officials, clergy, and community residents across the Bronx, we were able to do something great here today," said New York State Assembly Member Marcos A. Crespo. "This effort is a testament to the power of people coming together and showing that, whether our families are here in the United States or in the impacted areas, we have each other's backs and that we're here for long term. The situation in Puerto Rico, Mexico, and in the Caribbean won't be resolved in one day, one week, or even a several months; but our community will continue to work hand in hand to get through the recovery and rebuilding together. Even in these tough times, I walk away extremely proud of our Bronx residents and their generosity.”
“I am deeply impressed and heartened by the response of my fellow Bronxites and how they have come together so quickly to answer the cry for help from our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico, suffering so terribly from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria. We can rightly call ourselves the borough with a heart,” said New York State Assembly Member Luis Sepulveda.
“Our friends and family in Puerto Rico are in need right now, and the Bronx is stepping up in big ways to support them. Thank you for all who came out to donation goods that will really make a difference for all of those in need.” said New York City Council Member Rafael Salamanca.
The event was made possible thanks to generous sponsorships from hip-hop legend Fat Joe, the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, Jetro RD, Nebraskaland, Classico Cleaning, Havana Café, Keller Williams, Debbie Medina, Fever Records, Pedro Zamorra Entertainment Group, Associated Supermarkets Group, A. Duie Pyle, 92.3 AMP Radio, Freshdirect, Urban Health Plan, Gino’s Pastry Shoppe, Glory of Christ Church, Sanitation Salvage, Metropolitan Transfer Station, Action Environmental, the West Haverstraw Fire Department, County Waste, Mid-Bronx Hauling Corp., AJ Recycling, Bronx Brewery, Tri-Boro Paper Fibers, H&R Block, India Beverage Corporation, HOT 97, Puerto Rico USA Import Corporation, the Mercy College School of Leadership, Joyce Coppin, Petronella Feaster, White Rose, Mary Ellen Hoffman, Esther and Mel Wermuth, Rose Rudnitski, Jimmy’s Café, Travesias, Made in Puerto Rico, Garden Gourmet Market, Vallone & Constantinople, Shavolian Builders and the Walison Corp., among others.
NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, today joined Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., City Councilmember James Vacca, the Friends of Pelham Bay Park and community members to cut the ribbon on an adult fitness area, fitness-oriented play equipment for kids, and a children’s nature walk at Pelham Bay Park.
The outdoor gym includes 13 pieces of exercise equipment, with six ADA-accessible pieces, allowing residents of all abilities to stay fit. Fitness-oriented play equipment has also been installed in the Playground for All Children. To connect children with nature, a wooden boardwalk has been built surrounding the seasonal pond within the playground, featuring two viewing areas. A new gravel path also stretches through meadow grasses and newly planted trees.
“We want all New Yorkers to lead a healthy lifestyle, not just those who can afford a gym membership,” said Commissioner Silver. “This fitness area gives the people of the Bronx a free, accessible way to stay healthy, combat obesity and even recover from an injury. Most importantly, much of the equipment is ADA-compatible, so New Yorkers of all abilities can stay in shape.”
“This new equipment is critical to the #Not62 campaign and our mission to create a healthier Bronx,” said Borough President Diaz Jr. “I am proud to have provided $200,000 in capital funding from my own budget to support its installation. I’d like to thank Mayor de Blasio, Commissioner Silver and the Parks Department, and Council member Vacca for their partnership on this wonderful new amenity for Pelham Bay Park.”
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the deployment of additional personnel and medical supplies to Puerto Rico through the Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort. The State deployed 72 Port Authority personnel this morning from the agency's Aviation, Port and Police departments, as well as the Office of Emergency Management, following an advance team of five that departed yesterday. Governor Cuomo also deployed 53 members of the State Police to assist with security operations and 10 additional experts from the New York Power Authority to aid the Puerto Rican government with its ongoing power restoration efforts, all of whom were transported on flights donated by Delta. In addition, a shipment of critical medication and supplies organized by New York State departed from Republic Airport bound for San Juan, Vieques, and Culebra.
These deployments are all part of the Governor's Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico.
"New York will continue to stand with the people of Puerto Rico during every step of their recovery, and these experts and resources will help our brothers and sisters rebuild and stay safe," Governor Cuomo said. "I am proud these fine New Yorkers have answered the call to help our fellow Americans in their moment of need, and I thank them for their service."
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said, "The delivery of these much-needed medical supplies to the people of Vieques is fantastic news. I want to thank GNYHA for the donation, the Afya Foundation for providing the flight and Governor Cuomo and his office for facilitating the delivery. Puerto Rico needs every bit of help it and get, and I greatly appreciate the support that has come from everywhere during the island's time of need."
Small Axe Peppers, the company behind “The Bronx Hot Sauce” and “Queens 7 Hot Sauce,” will donate all sales from this Sunday’s 25th Annual Chile Festival to assist Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Maria recovery efforts. Many of the urban farmers who grow pepper for The Bronx and Queens 7 Hot Sauce and grow peppers used to make these hot sauces are from Puerto Rico or have loved ones there. Both sauces use peppers grown in more than 40 community gardens throughout the two boroughs to make these hometown hot sauces. The award winning economic model strengthens community gardens by purchasing the peppers they grow for a premium price. The revenue raise helps fund the impactful work they do in their communities every day.
The Chili Festival will be held at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens featuring spicy wares from around the country along with live music and cold beer. Chile Pepper Festival, where visitors can enjoy outdoor performances by world music acts from around the globe alongside a marketplace to sample and buy an array of delicacies featuring chili peppers from nearly 50 food artisans.
“Puerto Rico has been devastated by Hurricane Maria, and she needs our help. Every donation helps, and I greatly appreciate the generosity of Small Axe Peppers on behalf of the people of The Bronx, who have a deep connection with the island and its people. Thank you for giving back,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
“Today the Bronx bore witness to an unfathomable incident. One student has died, another is clinging on to life and a third has committed a violent crime and forever altered his path at so young an age.
“This incident has also shined a spotlight on two major problems that face our school system. I have been a staunch opponent of age-inappropriate co-locations throughout my tenure as borough president. High school students should not be in the same building as kindergarteners, period. I have always opposed such co-locations. The culture of the high school halls is dramatically different than that of an elementary school, and small children should not be exposed to it.
“In addition, today’s incident shows us that the scourge of bullying that faces our children must be addressed in a more meaningful and effective way. While the Department of Education has done some admirable work on the issue to encourage students to treat one another in a respectful manner, it is clear that more needs to be done in that regard. This fatal incident tragically demonstrates the horror that can occur when someone is pushed to his or her limit. Reports indicate that the bullying that led to today’s incident had been ongoing for weeks. We must do a better job of training school staff to recognize the signs of bullying in order to intervene, long before the situation spirals violently out of control. A safe learning environment for all students must be our top priority.
“Today, our borough prays for the victims and their families—as well as the school communities at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife and P.S. 67—as they cope with the results of this horrible event,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
“Over the past week, President Trump has found the time to opine on the patriotism of the NFL and NASCAR, and to bring us to the brink of war with North Korea. At the same time, 3.5 million American citizens are facing a humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico. They do not have power, they lack basic necessities, and they are pleading for our assistance.
“Yet despite their dire circumstances they have not heard a word from the president, not even a Tweet. Millions of Americans are facing a desperate moment, and President Trump cannot even pretend to care. This is a dereliction of duty,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.