Thursday, October 2, 2014

Kennedy Campus Goes Solar

Riverdale Report
By Robert Press

Kennedy Campus Goes Solar

BRONX, NEW YORK, OCTOBER 2- Mayor Bill de Blasio came to the Kennedy campus last Tuesday to announce Plan 2050. This is a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by the year 2050 on city owned buildings. The Kennedy campus is one of nine current schools that have had solar panels (500 here) installed. Fiften more schools will bring the total to 24 schools that will have solar panels installed for 6.4 MW of solar power. This will be the equivalent of taking over 600 cars off the road every year.

More city and private buildings will have solar panels Mayor de Blasio said. He went as far to say that the entire globe will be participating in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Congressman Engel who was present had to say that the Republicans in Congress are against President Obama's energy program, but that the president made it happen through an executive order. It was a great day for the Kennedy Campus even if there was a fight in one school yard that had to be broken up by over a dozen School Safety officers, and a fire drill where many other students were disruptive before the mayor came out.

Questions were asked on topic and were answered. One percent of all city buildings have solar panels, 100 megawatts of solar power in the next 10 years by the city, and 250 from private use. A 5 million dollar grant from NYSERTA, and the Department of Buildings is in charge of this project.

On off solar questions, I asked about stagnant student performance the past 12 years, and what the mayor is doing to improve overall student performance. Since Chancellor Carmen Farina was not present Mayor de Blasio said that there will be many things to come in struggling schools, and the mayor even came back to my question later saying that many parts of the school system are not working, and have to change. Without any mention of how or what he wants to change the mayor said that he is devoted to the public school system.

There were questions about the ground hog's death, and if the mayor was going to pick it up this coming year, which the mayor answered that is up to the zoo. About possible legislation for letter grades on nail salons proposed by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. the mayor said that he has not seen the proposal. The mayor was also asked about the recent pedestrian deaths during his Vision Zero program. The mayor said that it is up to individual behavior, but with the deterrents like speed zones and cameras that he thinks peoples behavioral patterns can be changed for the better.

At the last Community Board 8 Parks Committee meeting the public got to meet the new concessionaire of the Riverdale Stables at Van Cortlandt Park, Mr. Scott Tarter and his wife who own another stable in Westchester County. Also on hand was Ms. Kathleen O'Daly the Director of concessions for the Department of Parks. Both were asked many questions by the committee members and public in attendance, who seemed to be pleased with the Tarters as the new concessionaire. I asked Ms. O'Daly about the ice skating rink at Van Cortlandt Park, having spoken to the concessionaire of the rink at the end of the past years season. I said that I was told there were major problems with the chillers, and that it would take a lot of money to either buy new chillers or even try to repair the old ones. Ms. O'Daly said that the concessionaire Ice Rink Events had decided not to return for a third season since last year was a much poorer attendance and other problems arose. She said that a new Request For Proposal would be sent out by the Parks Department, but it may be a season with no ice skating in Van Cortlandt Park.

Other Community Board 8 committee meetings of note are – Thursday October 2nd Land Use 7:30 p.m. at the Riverdale Y. there is no discussion of the Montefiore or Self-help buildings on the agenda. Monday October 6th – Public Safety 7 p.m at the 50th Pct. Tuesday October 7 – Economic Development 7:30 at the board office 5676 Riverdale Avenue. Thursday October 9th – 4 p.m the Self-help working group of the community board. The full board meeting will be held on Tuesday October 14th at a place to be determined.

Also the KRVC Greenway Gala will be held on Sunday October 19th at the Hebrew Home of Riverdale. The gathering begins at 5 p.m with dinner and the presentations starting at 6:30 p.m. You can go to my blog at archive on the lower left to KRVC or go to for more.

If you have any comments about this column, would like to have an event listed here or covered on my blog, or have any news that you want to share, you can e-mail us at or call 718-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press. 

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