Friday, January 30, 2015

Bronx News ( Top 4 Criminally Stupid Acts

Bronx News ( Top 4 Criminally Stupid Acts: Top 4 Criminally Stupid Acts #NYPD #CriminallyStupid By Dan Gesslein We all know that if criminals weren't dumb they wouldn't get ...

Top 4 Criminally Stupid Acts

Top 4 Criminally Stupid Acts
#NYPD #CriminallyStupid

By Dan Gesslein

We all know that if criminals weren't dumb they wouldn't get caught. But some crimes are so dumb you wonder how these criminal masterminds thought they would get away with it.

1. Striking the (Grand)MotherLoad.

If you are going to risk being seen on surveillance video committing a home invasion in a highly populated building during the holidays make sure it's worth it.

A trio of robbers conned their way into an 83-year-old woman's apartment by claiming to have a delivery for her.

They tied up the elderly woman with duct tape and searched for the treasure they thought the woman had stashed away. No this wasn't a doorman building on the Upper West Side where riches would surely be behind every apartment door. This was in a run down apartment building in the Tremont section of the Bronx.

The criminal masterminds made off with a whopping $5.

Honorable mention goes to another group of super villains who mugged a teenager for food stamps. These geniuses did not seem to care that the food stamps were on an EBT card with the victim’s parent’s name and could be easily tracked. 

2. The Tax Man Cometh

The only constants are death and taxes, so the old saying goes. Hollywood is littered with former A-listers who now star in any flaming turd to pay their tax bill because they thought they could cheat Uncle Sam. We're looking at you Nicholas Cage.

The owners of 3 Bronx steak houses allegedly thought they could slide one past the tax man. According to officials the owners collected 100,000 in taxes on sales in their restaurants but failed to pay the tax man.

The owners were charged with tax evasion.

3. Sheer Stupidity

Hey armed robbers need to look their best too. But don't rob your barber especially if you have a distinctive look.

A Bronx man with a drooping eye sat down for a haircut inside a Westchester Avenue barbershop.

After getting a trim the man pulled out a gun as he and his accomplices proceeded to rob the other customers, before fleeing down the street with the shop's cash register.

Cops were able to identify the suspect from the barbers' description and from the shop's surveillance video.

Guess he should have worried about wearing a disguise rather than sitting down for a trim.

4. Crime of Fashion

When you want to rob a bank the best thing to do is to keep a low profile. Wear something low key as to not draw attention to yourself. The last thing you want to do is look as if you were posing for a fashion catalog.

One man took a wrong turn in the Bay Plaza Mall and looked like he was heading for the Sean John department at Macy's. He was dressed with a luxuriously looking scarf and high-end shades and pea coat.

Instead the man was seen on surveillance video inside the Chase Bank passing the teller a note demanding cash. However, cops said he fled the bank without the cash.

Guess he couldn't go clothes shopping with his haul.

Honorable mention goes to the academic geniuses who decided to assault an NYPD lieutenant during a protest on the Brooklyn Bridge. Not only did one of the assailants, who turned to be a graduate student at Columbia, looked like she was posing for the Neiman Marcus winter catalog but she also failed to cover her face. She did not seem to care that when she hit the cop she was on the Brooklyn Bridge, which given the fact that is a huge potential terror target AND is near Police HQ there were a slew of cameras documenting the attack. 

Guess she needs to go back to fashion school because she certainly isn’t a grad from the School of Hard Knocks.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bronx News ( Phony Deliverymen Rob Elderly Woman of 5 Bucks

Bronx News ( Phony Deliverymen Rob Elderly Woman of 5 Bucks: Phony Deliverymen Rob Elderly Woman  of 5 Bucks  #NYPD #Deliverymen Tweet By Dan Gesslein  ...

Phony Deliverymen Rob Elderly Woman of 5 Bucks

Phony Deliverymen Rob Elderly Woman 
of 5 Bucks 

#NYPD #Deliverymen

By Dan Gesslein 

BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 29- Police are looking for a trio of robbers who conned their way into an elderly woman's home.

At around 10:20 a.m. On December 20, the trio struck inside a Prospect Avenue apartment building. Cops say a woman in her 20s knocked on an elderly woman's 

apartment door claiming she had a package. The 83-year-old opened her door as the three pushed their way inside.

Investigators say at least one of the suspects displayed a gun to the senior. They proceeded to bound the 83 year old with duct tape. It is unclear what the trio thought they could steal from the woman but all they made off with was $5 in cash.

Police released surveillance video of the alleged home invaders. The suspect who posed as the deliveryman is described as a Hispanic woman between the ages of 20 and 25. She is 5 foot 7 and weighs 160 pounds. She was last seen wearing a gray hoodie and pants, long braids, a blue cap, and black shoes. 

One of the male suspects is described as Hispanic between the ages of 20 and  25. He is 5 foot 8 and weighs 170 pounds. He was last seen wearing a dark gray hoodie, and blue jeans. 

The final suspect is a Hispanic male between the ages of 20 and 25. He is 5 foot 9 and weighs 150 pounds. He was last seen wearing a gray cap, gray shirt, a dark leather jacket, and dark pants. 

Anyone with information is urged to call CRIMESTOPPERS at (800) 577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
All calls are strictly confidential.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bronx News ( Bx. Woman Wins Nearly $200G at Empire Casino

Bronx News ( Bx. Woman Wins Nearly $200G at Empire Casino: Bx. Woman Wins Nearly $200G at Empire Casino #Jackpot #EmpireCity BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 27— A Bronx women hit a $191,023 jackpot at Emp...

Bx. Woman Wins Nearly $200G at Empire Casino

Bx. Woman Wins Nearly $200G at Empire Casino
#Jackpot #EmpireCity

BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 27—A Bronx women hit a $191,023 jackpot at Empire City Casino on January 24, the second six-figure score in January. There are still seven jackpots worth six-figures reading for the taking at the Yonkers casino.

The winner made a $6 wager at one of the popular Wheel of Fortune slots, and a life-changing $810,000 jackpot is still up for grabs, would-be record at Empire City.

Last November 14, Moosue Stefern of Bergenfield, New Jersey hit the record $509,121.96, more than double the previous record, and currently the largest in the eight-year history of Empire City (opened in 2006).

According to New York State Lottery reports, Empire City Casino returned nearly $7.2 billion to bettors in 2014.

Bronx News ( So Long Shelly,

Bronx News ( So Long Shelly,: So Long Shelly, Which Bx. Pol may profit from Silver’s Demise? #SheldonSilver #Politics #NYS 100 PERCENT By Robert Press BRONX, NEW YORK, ...

So Long Shelly,

So Long Shelly,
Which Bx. Pol may profit from Silver’s Demise?
#SheldonSilver #Politics #NYS

By Robert Press

BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 28- It looks like the end of the road for current New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who was taken into custody by the FBI last week. He was arrested and charged with using his position to gain over $4 million in bribes and kickbacks by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. The U,S, Attorney took over the investigation of the Moorland Commission which was set up by Governor Andrew Cuomo to root out corruption in Albany. Cuomo disbanded the Mooreland Commission over 18 months ago when the U.S. Attorney's office got hold of the information collected by the Mooreland Commission.

There are five charges pending against Speaker Silver dating back to 2000. Charges include Silver's association with the law firm of Weitz and Luxenberg, and another unnamed real estate firm. If found guilty Silver could face up to 20 years on each of the five counts in the complaint. You can go to my blog at archive on the lower left to the January 22nd listing titled New York State Assembly Speaker arrested to read more on these charges. Speaker Silver's court date is February 23rd, and he can continue to remain as speaker and an assemblyman until he is convicted.

As always with most powerful political leaders such as Silver has been, almost all of his colleagues in the assembly are standing with him, as is NYC Mayor Bill deBlasio. I spoke to several Bronx assembly members who all spoke off the record, but when it came to a new speaker only one mentioned the name of the current Bronx Democratic County Leader Assemblyman Carl Heastie, and it was not the first name.

There are now questions of why governor Cuomo shut down the Mooreland Commission. Was the commission getting too close to what the U. S. Attorney has found, because it was legislatures like Speaker Silver who were balking at the inquires of the commission? Could it have been that Governor Cuomo when he ended the Mooreland Commission in mid 2013 did not want any bad publicity or even worse arrests, such as has happened to Speaker Silver and whomever might be next including the governor himself possibly? Or was it that Governor Cuomo shut the Mooreland Commission down because he had an arraignment with the U.S. Attorney's office to continue what the governor did not want to do, that being arrest his fellow colleagues in Albany?

State Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblyman Mike Benedetto, Councilman Jimmy Vacca, Several Community Board 10 members, and local Ferry Point community residents last Friday protested the use of the closed Capri Motel located at 555 Hutchinson River Parkway (just before the Whitestone Bridge) to house two known level 2 and 3 sexual predators in with the 200 people and children at the city shelter. All said that they were not against the shelter, which the city did not communicate with the community on, but the lack of screening that has allowed the at least 2 sexual predators to live in the 94-unit former motel with children. You can go to my blog to read more and see photos of the elected official, and the old Capri Motel in the background that is now a homeless shelter.

Finally, with the primary for the 15th Congressional seat a little over a year away, former Harlem Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell (and previous candidate) has announced that he will be going for the soon to be vacated seat by current Congressman Charles Rangel, which Adam's father held before Congressman Rangel. Take this for what it is, as we don't believe this will be the last term for Congressman Rangel, especially with the possibility of the speaker's position opening up in the state assembly. Manhattan Assemblyman Keith Wright was a front runner for Rangel's seat, but he is also a front runner to replace current Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver should Silver have to leave office from his charges of corruption by the U.S. Attorney's office. I believe should Assemblyman Wright become the speaker of the assembly that Congressman Rangel will run for at least one more term.

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

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Bronx News ( Blizzard Overblown

Bronx News ( Blizzard Overblown: Blizzard Overblown ‘Historic’ Screwup Shuts City Down #Blizzard #Cuomo #MayordeBlasio Photo by David Greene By Dan Gesslein BRONX, NEW Y...

Blizzard Overblown

Blizzard Overblown
‘Historic’ Screwup Shuts City Down
#Blizzard #Cuomo #MayordeBlasio
Photo by David Greene

By Dan Gesslein

BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 27- You call that a Blizzard? Bronxites awoke to find the Storm of the Century was anything but as the city received half to three times less snow than was forecast.

Yesterday Mayor Bill deBlasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo urged residents to stay in their homes because of the massive historical snowfall heading for New York City. Planes were grounded. The subways were shut down and the highways and roads were banned of all traffic except for emergency vehicles. Drivers breaking the ban were threatened with tickets costing up to $300.

The true effect on local restaurants is unknown since the mayor grounded takeout deliveries. The ban on non-

(Fear the snow. Gov. Cuomo told residents to stay home because of the "historic" blizzard)
emergency vehicles was extended to bicycles and scooters leaving restaurants to only deliver takeout by foot.

Instead of the big dig, Bronxites woke up to a mere 
sprinkling of the most 12 inches of snow not the 24 to 36 inches that were forecast. Many residents breathed a sigh of relief and were happy that the cleanup would go quickly.

There were no major outages reported throughout the borough by Con Edison.

(Road conditions the day BEFORE the blizzard were far worse than the blizzard itself. -Photo by Dan Gesslein)

“As of 11:30 am Tuesday I am getting reports that asphalt can be seen on main thoroughfares and that the Sanitation Dept. is well on its way to addressing side streets,” said Councilman James Vacca. "The fact that this storm was not as bad as anticipated will certainly mean a quicker snow cleanup on the week ahead."

Travel was worse the day before the storm with limited plowing and salting on the Hutch and I-95 which snarled the rush hour traffic home. Those who raced back from work to get home before the supposed massive storm were instead forced to brave snow and ice covered roads of the traffic snarled I-95 and Hutchinson River Parkway. Riders jammed subways before being stuck in the city.

As for the hysteria caused by the build up to the snowstorm, the reaction among officials was simply “My Bad.” The massive press conferences at a sanitation garage declaring the state of emergency by deBlasio was replaced with a simple one sentence statement issued this morning by the mayor’s stating that the roads were reopened. 

Who is to blame for shutting down the city? Well one weather forecaster took to Twitter to voice his mistake.

“My deepest apologies to many key decision makers and so many members of the general public,” tweeted National Weather Service meteorologist Gary Szatkowski. “This is a big forecast miss.”

Many took the screw up in stride but were not sure how this could be such a miss.

“They do realize that we get snow storms in January right?” asked one frustrated commuter. “This is the Bronx. A few flakes is not the end of the world.”

"I do not criticize forecasters," Gov. Cuomo said at a news conference after the storm. The governor said he would rather be "safe than sorry."

Monday, January 26, 2015


Roads to Close
Schools Closed
#SnowStorm #Blizzard 

Already slow going

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Find more about Weather in Bronx, NY

Click for weather forecast

BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 26- Mayor de Blasio today updated New Yorkers on the approaching winter storm, warning people to refrain from travel as the storm’s intensity worsens this afternoon and through Tuesday. The mayor will issue a local Winter Weather Emergency Declaration restricting travel in all cases except emergencies beginning at 11 PM Monday. The latest forecasts anticipate approximately two feet of snow and near-blizzard conditions across New York City.

“Our message to New Yorkers is to not underestimate this storm. Make preparations to get home this afternoon before the worst of the storm hits. The combination of heavy snow and wind will make travel dangerous. We need cars off the road so that our equipment can do its work and keep streets passable for emergency vehicles. This will be mandatory at 11 PM tonight,” said Mayor de Blasio.

Latest Forecast
A blizzard warning will be in effect from 1 PM today (January 26) through Tuesday night (January 27). Snow accumulations between 20 and 30 inches are anticipated, with the heaviest snowfall occurring late Monday night into Tuesday morning. Heavy winds, with gusts reach up to 65 miles per hour, will severely reduce visibility.

A Coastal Flood Warning has been issued for parts of Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx during overnight hours. A Coastal Flood Advisory is also in effect for parts of Manhattan and Staten Island overnight as well. 

Streets and highways will be closed to all but emergency vehicle travel at 11 PM Monday night until further notice. Only vehicles related to emergency services, vital City services and delivery of vital supplies will be permitted on streets until the order is lifted. New Yorkers are also urged not to walk or venture outside once the worst of the storm hits this evening.

Schools are open today but will be closed on Tuesday (January 27). Regents exams scheduled for Tuesday will be rescheduled for Thursday. After-school programs, adult education programs and PSAL activities are canceled today and tomorrow.

Snow Removal
The Department of Sanitation has 12-hour shifts of 2,400 workers each on duty, with 1,800 collection trucks outfitted with plows (up from usual 1,500) and another 500 salt spreaders, also outfitted with plows. City agencies have dedicated a further 250 pieces of equipment, for a total of 2,550 vehicles now dedicated to the effort. Plowing progress can be followed via the PlowNYC feature at

Parking and Trash Collection
Alternate side parking and garbage/recycling collection are suspended Monday (January 26), Tuesday (January 27) and Wednesday (January 28) to facilitate snow removal. Parking meters remain in effect.

Emergency Response
911 should only be used in case of emergencies. All other snow related inquiries and reports should be made to 311. FDNY has added 110 additional ambulances to its operations this afternoon—bringing its total to 380 on duty. The agency is also adding a fifth firefighter to each engine company. More than 500 additional personnel will support operations over the next 24 hours.

City parks will close at 6 PM Monday and remain closed until further notice, to avert danger from falling tree branches weighed down
with snow.

Ferry Service
Staten Island and East River Ferry service are operating on a normal schedule until further notice, but modified service is possible as conditions worsen.

Heat and Hot Water
Any tenant lacking heat and hot water should immediately call 311. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development has crews responding.

Homeless Services
Code Blue protocols are in effect. No one seeking shelter in New York City will be denied. Anyone who sees a homeless individual or family out in the cold should call 311 immediately and an outreach team will be dispatched to assist them.

Further Notifications

For information and updates related to weather and travel conditions, visit New Yorkers are also encouraged to sign up for Notify NYC, the City’s free emergency notification system. Through Notify NYC, New Yorkers can receive phone calls, text messages, and/or emails alerts about traffic and transit disruptions and other emergencies. To sign up for Notify NYC, call 311,, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bronx News ( Ban sex offenders from shelters-pols demand

Bronx News ( Ban sex offenders from shelters-pols demand: Ban sex offenders from shelters-pols demand #SexOffenders #Homeless #Shelters BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 25- State Senator and Independent D...

Ban sex offenders from shelters-pols demand

Ban sex offenders from shelters-pols demand
#SexOffenders #Homeless #Shelters #NYPD

BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 25- State Senator and Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein), together with Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, Councilman James Vacca, members of Community Board 10, the Ferry Point Park Civic Association and Friends of Ferry Point Park called on the New York City Department of Homeless Services to ban level two and level three sex offenders from temporary emergency housing and homeless shelters used to house families with children.

“Allowing high-level sex offenders to stay in family shelters where vulnerable women and children are trying to get back on their feet is not only troublesome but dangerous. With more than 60,000 homeless New Yorkers sleeping in New York City shelters and thousands more out on the street, we need to take every measure to protect those in our care,” said Senator Klein. “That’s why I have introduced legislation in the State Senate that would prohibit the NYC Department of Homeless Services from placing these risky offenders in shelters housing women and children. This is a critical measure in ensuring the safety and security of all homeless New Yorkers and I look forward to working with my partners in Albany to see this important piece of legislation passed in the coming weeks and months.”

The renewed call comes in response to shocking revelations and widespread press reports that two male sex offenders currently reside at the Crystal Family Residence, a new 95-room family shelter and former location of the controversial Capri Whitestone Motel in the Throggs Neck section of the Bronx. Curtis Bolden, a 58-year-old male, convicted on two counts of rape in the first degree and released from prison in 2010, was found to be living at the shelter on January 15th. One week later, James Bryant, a 50-year-old male convicted of molesting a 7-year-old child, was also found to be living at the family shelter.  

Senator Klein’s legislation would prevent harmful predators, including level two and level three sex offenders, from being housed in family shelters and require by law that they be placed in adult-only shelters or shelters without children. This important legislation would bring the shelter system up to speed with current social services law that bars level two and level three sex offenders from living in public housing.

“The Department of Homeless services had acted with arrogance when they forced this shelter upon our community and refused to work with with elected leaders in finding an alternative site,” said Assemblyman Benedetto. “Now they have apparently shown incompetence in selecting a managing agent who doesn’t bother checking whether they are putting sex offenders in a shelter where young children are being housed. This is intolerable.”

“Our shelters are safe havens for families and children experiencing the most difficult of hardships,” said Bronx Councilman Vacca. “We cannot, in good conscience, accept the risk of allowing sex offenders to live in close quarters with these already vulnerable families.”

“We fully support this positive change directed at the safety and welfare of residents at the Crystal Family Residence. This is a significant first step in making New York City shelters safer for the women and children who reside there, but there is still work to be done,” said Martin Prince, Board Chair of Community Board 10. “The homeless population in New York has increased astronomically in recent years. Making sure that each and every person who needs a home is provided with the safe haven they so deserve is of the utmost importance.” 

“As we try to adjust to this ‘surprise’ homeless shelter that was placed about 200 ft. away from our very populated park, with no security cameras and or Parks Enforcement Patrol we are now shocked by the knowledge that sex offenders imported from other areas are also living among the families without their knowledge,” said Dorthea Poggi, President of the Friends of Ferry Point Park Organization and member of the Citizens Advice Board for the Crystal Family Residence. "This is unacceptable by any responsible standards.” 

“In our opinion, while it’s nice to provide shelter to those in need, it is not without consequences. It has been brought to our attention that there are registered sex offenders residing at the former Capri Motel, now known as the Crystal Family Residence. The proximity to Msgr. Scanlan High School, Ferry Point Park and the newly developed Target location, as well as residents and homeowners of Ferry Point, is questionable,” said Jo Anne Sohmers, President of the Ferry Point Civic Association. “Furthermore, sex offenders should not be placed in a home that clearly houses women and children. We fully support Senator Klein's efforts to pass a bill which would ban registered sex offenders from residing in any family homeless shelter.”

The Crystal Family Residence is a family homeless shelter located at 555 Hutchinson River Parkway in the Bronx. The new residence was converted from the former hot-sheet hotel, the Capri Whitestone, in September, 2015. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Bronx News ( Restaurant Owners Busted for Tax Evasion

Bronx News ( Restaurant Owners Busted for Tax Evasion: Restaurant Owners Busted for Tax Evasion  #Taxes #NYPD #Restaurant BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 23-  The New York State Department of Taxat...

Restaurant Owners Busted for Tax Evasion

Restaurant Owners Busted for Tax Evasion 
#Taxes #NYPD #Restaurant
BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 23- The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance announced that the co-owners of three restaurants in the Bronx have been arrested for sales tax evasion.
The defendants were identified as Marlon J. Muentes, 58, of Allerton Ave., the Bronx, and Teodoro Mosaurieta, 67, of Woodhaven, NY, and their three equally co-owned Bronx-based restaurants, which have previously closed: King Steak Corp. at 500 East 149th St., 463 Willis Ave. Corp. at 463 Willis Ave., and 849 Castle Hill Corp., located at 849 Castle Hill Ave.
The defendants were charged on January 20 with multiple felonies, including grand larceny and criminal tax fraud.  They allegedly collected $100,000 in sales tax from customers at the three restaurants but failed to remit those funds to the State as required by law.
The next court date has not been set. The defendants, if convicted, could serve from 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison.
The case was investigated by the Tax Department's Criminal Investigations Division and will be prosecuted by the Bronx County District Attorney's office.
A criminal complaint is an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Each year, New York State businesses collect more than $25 billion in sales tax from their customers. The vast majority of the funds (97%) are remitted voluntarily by businesses to the Tax Department for state programs and distribution to local governments.

Taxpayers who believe a business hasn't collected the proper sales tax, or has collected it but failed to remit the funds, can report tax evasion and fraudonline at the Tax Department's Web site or by calling 518-457-0578. The information is kept confidential.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bronx News ( Teen Charged with Kicking Mom Holding Baby

Bronx News ( Teen Charged with Kicking Mom Holding Baby: Teen Charged with Kicking Mom Holding Baby  #NYPD #Kick #Mom #CellPhone BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 22- District Attorney Robert Johnson anno...

Teen Charged with Kicking Mom Holding Baby

Teen Charged with Kicking Mom Holding Baby 
#NYPD #Kick #Mom #CellPhone

BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 22- District Attorney Robert Johnson announces that 18-year-old Alonzo Brown, accused of taking a “flying drop kick” at a mother and baby in order to steal her cell phone, has been arraigned on robbery and other charges for the November 28, 2014 incident on East Tremont near Bronx Park Avenue.

Odilia Orozco had her three-month-old son strapped to her chest as she was walking down the street with her cell phone in hand. Walking in the opposite direction, Brown is accused of going past, then turning around and running after the woman, kicking her in her back and knocking her to the sidewalk, baby and all. He then allegedly grabbed the mom’s phone and ran.

During Brown’s Supreme Court Arraignment, Justice George Villegas referred to the incident as a “flying drop kick” – and granted the Bronx D.A.’s request for an increase in bail, to $50,000 cash/$50,000 bond.  

The entire incident was caught on surveillance video.

ALONZO BROWN is charged with:

Robbery in the second degree (C-level Felony)
Robbery in the third degree (D-level Felony)
Grand Larceny in the fourth degree (E-level Felony)
Endangering the welfare of a child (A-level Misdemeanor)
Reckless endangerment in the first degree

If convicted of the charges, Brown could face three-and-a-half to 15 years behind bars. The case has been adjourned until April 14, 2015 in Part 77.

The charges contained in the indictment are allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Bronx News ( Workers Paradise Screwed Over Workers?

Bronx News ( Workers Paradise Screwed Over Workers?: Workers Paradise Screwed Over Workers? Fiscal Crisis Could Lead to Layoffs, Residents Getting Slapped with New Fees Community Needs to Pay...

Workers Paradise Screwed Over Workers?

Workers Paradise Screwed Over Workers?

Fiscal Crisis Could Lead to Layoffs, Residents Getting Slapped with New Fees

Community Needs to Pay $6.25M Worker Settlement
#CoopCity #Riverbay #Lawsuit #Legionnaires

By Michael Horowitz

BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 22- Riverbay president Cleve Taylor, blaming Herbert Freedman and Marion Scott Real Estate, Inc., for Co-op City’s latest crisis, said the community’s board of directors is considering the possibility of imposing a onetime assessment of $128 per room to pay the $6.25-million settlement of the labor case that management’s workers brought against Riverbay in April 2013 and other immediate expenses that must be met over the next five months.

The immediate expenses that must be paid amount to $9 million, Taylor noted. These expenses, the Riverbay president include, in addition to the labor-case settlement, $500,000 for legal expenses in conjunction with the labor case, $1 million to $2 million in costs relating to Co-op City’s recent cases of Legionnaires’ Disease, $300,000 for a litigation and contingency reserve fund, and $1 million for a general reserve fund.

The Riverbay president said that Wells Fargo Bank, which holds Co-op City’s current $621.5-million mortgage, has told Riverbay Corporation representatives that Co-op City can not touch a $45-million reserve fund, set up to pay for specifically designated capital improvements, to pay the expenses that Riverbay now confronts.

Taylor, in a telephone interview, said, “We, as shareholders, are being forced to pay for the mistakes of Marion Scott. It pains me that the community’s shareholders, many of whom are already having trouble paying their monthly carrying charges, are now being forced to pay for 15 years of mismanagement by Herbert Freedman and Marion Scott.”

In addition to the $128-per-room assessment that is being weighed, Taylor noted that the members of the board are also considering an increase in carrying charges of 3 to 4 percent “to rectify the mess that Marion Scott has left for us.”

Taylor noted that the opinions of shareholders on how to proceed in conjunction with the crisis that Co-op City now confronts will be sought at town-hall meetings that will be held in the community in February.

The options, the Riverbay president noted, include suing the Scott firm in conjunction with the $6.25-million settlement of the labor case and suing Scott Trivella, Co-op City’s long-time labor attorney, for malpractice in connection with his advice that it was okay for the Riverbay Corporation to give workers compensating time in lieu of overtime pay.

Informed sources, who wished to remain unidentified, indicated, this week, that both of these possible lawsuits would be difficult to pursue successfully.

Another option for the Riverbay Corporation would be to significantly reduce Co-op City’s corporate expenses --- an option that Taylor thinks would bear little fruit, but Riverbay vice president Daryl Johnson believes could save Co-op City $20 million per year.

Taylor, for his part, stressed, “Even without the need for $9 million within the next five months, it is clear that the Riverbay Corporation cannot continue to operate the way it has been operating. It is unconscionable that Herbert Freedman and Marion Scott depleted our reserve funds to the point that we need to consider drastic measures to meet our immediate expenses and to get by in the years to come. At this point, we have almost no cash on hand to meet contingencies, like the ones we are now facing with reserve funds that are now virtually nonexistent.”

Riverbay president Cleve Taylor said, this week, that a layoff of some of Co-op City’s 1,100 workers has to be considered as one of the options in the desperate fiscal crisis that the community now confronts.

“All options have to be on the table at this point,” Taylor stressed, in a telephone interview on Monday. “The long and the short of it is that we have to increase expenses and/or reduce costs to come up with the $9 million we are going to need over the next five months.”

The Riverbay president noted that within the context of the current crisis, reducing the hours that Co-op City’s employees work and a temporary or permanent layoff of some of Riverbay’s employees have to be considered.

Civic activist Frank Belcher, reflecting on the possibility of laying off Co-op City workers, noted, “I am convinced that we could lay off 10 percent of our workforce without affecting the delivery of services to the shareholders. It has been obvious to me, for years, that we could easily cut the workforce if the Riverbay Corporation changed its culture of corporate waste. We can do more with less if the housing company finally insists on an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.”

Belcher added, “Before the board starts considering imposing a $128-per-room assessment, the members of the board need to sharpen their pencils and reduce costs. It’s clear to me, and it should be clear to the members of the board, that laying off workers is a much better option than imposing an onerous assessment that many of the shareholders can’t afford to pay.”

Riverbay vice president Daryl Johnson, saying that it was premature to reflect on a possible layoff of Co-op City’s workers at this time, has repeatedly stated that the estimated $700,000 in overtime pay that Riverbay employees take home on an annual basis could be eliminated or be severely cut without significantly affecting the level of services in the local community.

A possible layoff of workers would be difficult for many shareholders in the community to swallow because of their backgrounds with unions and their support for working people.

However, in the final analysis, laying off workers may be the only reasonable option for shareholders trying to avoid an assessment of $128 per room, which would have to be paid over a five-month period.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bronx News ( DeBlasio Promotes Traffic Changes Here

Bronx News ( DeBlasio Promotes Traffic Changes Here: DeBlasio Promotes Traffic Changes Here #DeBlasio #VisionZero 100 PERCENT By Robert Press BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 21- Last Wednesday Mayor...

DeBlasio Promotes Traffic Changes Here

DeBlasio Promotes Traffic Changes Here
#DeBlasio #VisionZero

By Robert Press

BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 21- Last Wednesday Mayor Bill deBlasio came to the Bronx to tout his Vision Zero Program. It was the 50th finished Vision Zero project at the intersection of East Tremont Avenue and Silver Street.

The mayor held a press conference at the old DOP traffic court building on Williamsbridge Road a few blocks away from the intersection. The mayor said through lowering the speed limit to 25 MPH, new speed camera enforcement, redesign of intersections and roadways, and the installation of over 400 speed bumps citywide the lowest number of pedestrian fatalities has been accomplished since the statistic was first charted back to 1911. Mayor deBlasio said that in 2014 there were only 134 pedestrian fatalities.

NYC Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg was with the mayor to echo his words as were Councilman Jimmy Vacca and Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda (whose districts East Tremont Avenue and Silver Street is located). Councilman Vacca the former City Council Transportation Committee chair said that he would like to see a speed bump on every street to help lower the number even more. You can go to my blog at to read more, and see photos of the mayor, NYC Transportation Commissioner Trottenberg, Councilman Vacca, Assemblyman Sepulveda, and the intersections of East Tremont Avenue and Silver Street, as well as Broadway and 96th Street, and one Hudson Street intersection in Manhattan before and after the Vision Zero upgrade.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is leading a delegation of Latinos to the country of Israel. The aim of the trip is to discover what Israel has to offer, learn why Israel's strength is important, and the growing relationship between the people of Israel and Latinos. The BP mentions that at one time there were more people of Jewish faith in the Bronx than the country of Israel. You can read the entire 'Why I am Visiting Israel' by Bronx BP Diaz on my blog.

Speaking of taking trips, Governor Andrew Cuomo will soon be going to visit Cuba now that President Obama has removed travel and trade restrictions on Cuba. The trip to Cuba by Governor Cuomo is being billed as a 'Trade Mission to Cuba', as part of the governor's 'Global Initiative’.

While on the subject of Governor Andrew Cuomo, former City Council Speaker and failed mayoral candidate Christine Quinn will become a special adviser to the governor in April after she finishes up classes. Quinn was the head of the Woman's Equality Party movement for the governor that helped him win re-election, and form a new ballot line for the next four years at least.

Finally, after keeping his position as District Manager of Community Board 9 by 2 votes in December 2013, Francisco Gonzalez has been relieved of his position of District Manager at the January 15th Community Board 9 meeting. The vote went 17 for dismissal, 2 against, and 2 CB 9 members abstaining. CB 9 will now begin a search for a new district manager. Go to my blog for the official statement by Community Board 9, and the possible reason why.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr, is accepting applications to become a member of one of the 12 Bronx community boards. You can go to to find out more and to download the 2015 Bronx Community Board application. The deadline is February 6th 2015. Only New York City residents, who either live, have a business, or other significant interest in the community district, are eligible to be considered for membership on a local community board.

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