Friday, August 22, 2014

Westchester Square News: Voters are Back From the Grave

Westchester Square News: Voters are Back From the Grave: Voters are Back From the Grave 100 PERCENT By Robert Press Voters are Back From the Grave #Politics BRONX, NEW YORK, AUG...

Voters are Back From the Grave

Voters are Back From the Grave
By Robert Press
Voters are Back From the Grave
BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 22- It appears now that you can have Derek Jeter and other famous names, or even names of those who have departed from the earth sign your petition you will get to stay on the ballot. 
This was the case last year in the infamous signature of Derek Jeter on a petition of a candidate for city council, and is the case this year of several people who departed (are dead), but signed a petition this year for a state senate candidate. 33rd State Senate candidate Fernado Cabrera was ruled on the ballot by Judge John Carter. It seems although the signatures of several dead people were not enough to have the Cabrera petition thrown out entirely, only those signatures of the departed were not allowed to be valid. So that 33rd State Senate primary between State Senator Gustavo Rivera and Councilman Fernando Cabrera is on. So why were you not at the Bronxtalk debate 33rd state senate candidate Fernando Cabrera? More in upcoming weeks.
Let me explain how a dead person may wind up signing a candidate's petition. It takes the Board of Elections two federal elections of non voting or up to 11 years that a person may be dead until the Board of Elections removes them from the active voting list. When getting signatures the assembly party enrollment book is usually used so petition witnesses know who is enrolled, and which names to look for that are active voters. Lists are normally given by address and those getting the signatures should have an easy time of finding registered voters. The other way to get signatures on a petition is to stand on a street and ask people to sign the petition. Street petitions are often unreliable as many people who are not registered voters or live out of the district will sign a street petition.
So how does someone who is dead sign a petition? You will have to ask the person who got the signature of the stiff, and I am sure that Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson will have his hands full after this primary day. I wonder who may get a call to come in by DA Johnson or even the U.S. Attorney.
You can check my blog at to see a photo of one of the many new signs that have been put up on Jerome Avenue. The signs say Jerome Avenue 'Slow Zone' 25 Miles Per Hour Speed Limit. It seems crazy that it took a car accident that claimed a life for this to happen, but if the driver was speeding way over the 30 MPH speed limit what would make anyone think that a sign 25 MPH will stop the speeding?
By the way the yellow line in the middle of Jerome Avenue from Fordham Road and up is gone just like many other traffic lines or markings. Why do these markings wear out so fast DOT?
The Committee of 100 Democrats will be hosting their 10th Annual Free Community Barbecue this Saturday, August 23rd from 12 – 6 p.m. on East 204th Street between Mosholu Parkway and the Grand Concourse. State Senate Co--Leader Jeff Klein is the Guest of Honor, and anybody can show up as has happened in the past. There will be free food and refreshments while supplies last, and lots of entertainment, which is still being added to the program.
State Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein just returned from a visit in Israel with Governor Cuomo, and because he was on this trip he missed his own standing room only concert in Loreto Park by Engelbert Humperdink. On hand however was Bronx BP Ruben Diaz Jr., State Senator Diane Savino (who mentioned that she was Senator Klein's girlfriend), Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, and about a thousand people who came out for the Klein Summertime Symphonies Series. Even Klein's September Democratic opponent Oliver Koppell and November Republican opponent Alekander Mici were at the concert. You can go to my blog archive on the lower left to Engelbert Humperdink for more and some photos, but none of Engelbert due to the lighting.
I was able to speak with Senator Klein the next day about his trip to Israel (his third one), and the senator said that he was able to meet with members of the Israeli Parliament and Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu. 
I changed subjects on Senator Klein asking him a question about the KRVDC Movie Night program he is co-sponsoring with the non-profit, and the charges by his opponent of using the non-profit. The words Oliver Koppell and crazy were heard, and Senator Klein laughed when I showed him a photo from 2010 of Oliver Koppell with the Executive Director of KRVDC showing a one-time Riverdale restaurant guide then Councilman Koppel had the non-profit do. Klein said that unlike his challenger he continues to fund groups that may not agree with him. I could see that the senator was tired from the trip, and reminded that I would see him at the Committee of 100 Democrats 10th Annual Free Community Barbecue on Saturday, August 23rd.
If you have an item that needs to be looked into further, have 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.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Westchester Square News: Why are Pols Silent on Anti-Semitism Rise?

Westchester Square News: Why are Pols Silent on Anti-Semitism Rise?: Why are Pols Silent on Anti-Semitism Rise? By Rabbi Harry Hertzberg Temple Hatikva Spiritual Leader More than 70 years ...

Why are Pols Silent on Anti-Semitism Rise?

Why are Pols Silent on Anti-Semitism Rise?
By Rabbi Harry Hertzberg
Temple Hatikva Spiritual Leader

More than 70 years ago, the Jewish community in the United States maintained a strange silence while the Holocaust was burning throughout Europe. Six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis, yet American Jews had virtually no voice and applied little public pressure to stop this atrocity.

Today, we again have a government who chooses to ignore the murderous and vicious entity known as Hamas. Even 

though Hamas has been recognized as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union, they are somehow not held morally responsible for their actions – but rather, are granted the status of being “morally equivalent” to Israel.

The charter of Hamas, simply states that Jews must be eradicated and Israel destroyed.  Much to their credit, Hamas does not try to hide their intentions – but instead, is proud of its’ goal to destroy Israel and the entire Jewish population.

Yet, even when confronted with their rockets firing at Israel indiscriminately, or their tunnels meant to wreak havoc and murder upon the Jews, our leaders are strangely silent concerning the actions of our government.
It is of particular note that our President hails from the Democratic party as do the vast majority of our elected representatives in the Bronx. Yet, not one elected official has taken the President to task for his obvious lack of support for Israel – the only democracy in the Middle East and our only ally.

Congressman Eliot Engle serves as the ranking member of the foreign affairs committee of the United States House of Representatives, but has not issued one statement criticizing the actions of the executive branch of the government in this situation. While the President and Secretary of State do all in their power to weaken Israel and protect Hamas, we have not heard one objection from our Congressman.

Recently, our State Senator, Jeff Klein, went to Israel with a star-studded group that included Governor Andrew Cuomo. This trip was ostensibly to show solidarity with Israel and support for Israel. Yet, upon their return, the Governor and State Senator were not critical of our President or Secretary of State, nor did they take them to task for the obvious lack of support for Israel.

It is embarrassing to note that the leaders of the Jewish community-at-large have also taken the silent approach to dealing with this situation. Rather than speak up and demand executive branch support for Israel, Jewish communal leaders have acted as cowards – afraid that by speaking up they would damage their own access to the seats of power.

We have long known that those that do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Anti-semitism in Europe is at an all-time high. A rabbi in Miami was murdered on his way to synagogue. Jewish schools and museums are the targets of hate. It is way past the time to speak up. It is time to speak out and take action – even if that means voting against those who have represented us for many years.

It is not enough to feel bad for Israel. It is not enough to silently support Israeli actions. The time has come for public displays of support for Israel and to hold our elected officials accountable for their actions. There is no excuse for silence in the face of such evil and horror. There is no excuse for silence in the face of such danger and hatred. And, there is no excuse for silence in the face of anti-semitism.

It is time for each and every one of us, Jew and Gentile alike, to speak out and demand that our country support Israel and that we make a bold statement against anti-semitism. It is time to tell the world that we will not stand idly by while Jew-hatred pervades Europe while planting the seeds of another Holocaust. And finally, it is time to stand up and demand that our elected officials really represent us, rather than run scared.

If we choose silence over action or choose to look away rather than meet the problem head-on, then shame on us. We will truly get what we deserve.

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Westchester Square News: Yankees, Victoria’s Secret Opening in Bay Plaza

Westchester Square News: Yankees, Victoria’s Secret Opening in Bay Plaza: Yankees, Victoria’s Secret Opening in Bay Plaza By Michael Horowitz BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 15-  The Bay Plaza shopping center’s ne...

Yankees, Victoria’s Secret Opening in Bay Plaza

Yankees, Victoria’s Secret Opening in Bay Plaza

By Michael Horowitz

BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 15- The Bay Plaza shopping center’s new wing, which has been in the planning stage for years, opened on Thursday morning.

Portions of the new mall, including its spanking new Macy’s, were still under construction by the middle of this week. Portions of the new mall will not be completed until next year.

The new mall, when it is fully completed, will be anchored by Macy’s at one end and a pre-existing JC Penney’s department store at the other end. 

Stores in the new mall will ultimately include Victoria Secret Express, Swarovski Crystals, H&M, Michael Kors, and the Yankee Clubhouse.

Other chains that have signed leases to be at Bay Plaza include Zales Jewelers, Kay Jewelers, Matthew’s Jewelers, Cohen Optical, Bath & Body, Charlotte Rousse, Champs, Footlocker, Lid’s Hats, Joe’s Crab Shack, the Olive Garden, Red Robin, American Eagle Aeropostale, and Sprint.

The new Macy’s, which will be an anchor store for Bay Plaza’s new, enclosed mall, will comprise 160,000 square feet on its own.
The 780,000-square foot extension of Bay Plaza will mean that the shopping center, which is on the outskirts of Co-op City, will comprise close to two million square feet.

The price tag for the extension of the Bay Plaza mall is expected to approach $300 million. The new mall is expected to create 1,700 permanent jobs and to have parking for up 2,300 cars.

The extension of Bay Plaza’s new wing will be connected to the existing JC Penney store at Bay Plaza.

In recent months, those living in Co-op City and those driving by the community have seen the new wing of the shopping center rising on its southern end of the Bay Plaza shopping center. 

The shopping center’s developers and elected officials have stressed that the impending of Bay Plaza’s new wing is an exciting development for the Bronx and Westchester.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., among others, have touted the development of Bay Plaza’s new wing as a sign of progress in the Bronx and in the city as a whole. 

Bay Plaza, which first opened in the mid-1980s and spans 1.3 million square feet, is already the largest mall in the Bronx.

When the new mall is completed, it will be attached to the current shopping center. The entire mall will be enclosed, making it the first mall of this kind in the Bronx.

“We are talking to all the major chains about coming to Bay Plaza,” Sam Shalem, CEO of Prestige Properties (the shopping center’s developer), has stressed. “This is just the kind of suburban mall this area needs.”

Shalem has said that he is confident that the enlarged mall will have major appeal to the more than four million people who live in close proximity to Co-op City.

Shalem has stated that he expects the new shopping center to attract those living in Westchester and southern Connecticut, as well as those living in neighborhoods through the Bronx.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Westchester Square News: Bay Plaza

Westchester Square News: Bay Plaza: Bay Plaza’s Open for Business BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 14- Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. was the very first customer at th...

Bay Plaza

Bay Plaza’s Open for Business

BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 14- Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. was the very first customer at the new Macy's near Co-op City, which officially opened as part of the new Mall at Bay Plaza—a facility which has 780,000 square feet of retail space and is the first enclosed fashion mall in the New York City area in almost 40 years. 
To fill 1,800 new job spots, Governor Andrew Cuomo's Unemployment Strikeforce partnered with Borough President 
Diaz and the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation to help match candidates with the positions.
“To all the Macy’s family, on behalf of 1.4 million Bronxites, I want to say thank you,” Diaz said. “This is truly a partnership between the community, community leaders, people like Marlene Cintron, who is the president of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation; and, of course, government.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I just want to say this: of all of the brands that are being sold at Macy’s, in all seriousness, the number one brand, the most important brand that is being sold here today is that of the ‘New Bronx.’
“When Macy’s makes a decision to go somewhere, they don’t make that decision lightly. And so to invest in our borough, to give our residents better and more pleasant shopping opportunities, to give employment to our borough…but also to send a message across the nation that they’re coming to The Bronx, and they’re here in The Bronx, it shows that something good is happening right here.
“So for that, we all want to say thank you, God bless you, and let’s continue to move forward.”
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