Tag Archives: Ruben Diaz Jr.

Hunts Point Express: BP Should Not Add Rapper Fat Joe to Bronx Walk of Fame

26 Apr

Bernard Stein, editor of the Hunts Point Express, has published an editorial taking Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. to task for planning to induct the Bronx-born rapper Fat Joe into the borough Walk of Fame next month.

It was the Florida-based rapper’s lyrics drew Stein’s attention. He included a few of them from Fat Joe’s song “Porn Star”:

I never seen an ass like that
no I never seen seen an ass so fat (tat, tat, tat)
I’mma beat it til tomorrow
And all I keep telling her is “shut up bitch, swallow”
Your legs is shaking
I won’t hurt you
Now you can be the star of that new commercial

Calling the rapper “an outstanding citizen and role model to countless Bronxites,” Diaz issued a press release announcing the impending induction earlier this week. Stein’s piece was reprinted in The Riverdale Press this week.

We asked the borough president’s office if they’d like to comment on the issues raised in the Express piece but we haven’t heard back yet.

—Jordan Moss

Peter Rivera’s New Job and the Race He Leaves Behind

25 Mar

By Bob Kappstatter

The long national nightmare, as they say, for Bronx Assemblyman Peter Rivera finally ended on Saturday when Gov. Cuomo named him new state labor commissioner.

Assemblyman Peter Rivera

The announcement came at the annual Somos El Futuro winter conference of the state Assembly/Senate Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force, where Rivera is an elder statesman whose appointment can’t but help Cuomo solidify his Latino support.

Rivera, according to all reports, has pretty much been searching for a new paycheck outside the state Assembly for a number of years now, while still hedging his bets over running for another term or for a judgeship.

Before his new state gig, Rivera’s last hope was reported to be a run for the plum job of Bronx Surrogate, whose office doles out assignments (and fancy fees) to party-faithful lawyers to handle the estates of persons who die without wills.

Although Rivera was saying as late as Friday that he was weighing a run for Surrogate, that dream pretty much crashed and burned recently when the Bronx Democratic Party’s non-partisan judicial screening panel put the kibosh on it, labeling the attorney and former assistant Bronx D.A. “unqualified.”

Not that he would have received party backing in the judicial primary (Dem Party Boss Carl Heastie reportedly already has a favorite candidate) or might have survived his next Assembly primary race, with the opposing candidate already backed by a powerful local state senator.

Although baseball and politics ain’t over ’til it’s over, a number of Bronx political insiders say attorney and party operative Luis Sepulveda now holds the winning edge to fill Rivera’s 76th Assembly District seat in Parkchester/Castle Hill/West Farms/Van Nest.

His nearest challenger in the Democratic primary is Rivera’s longtime chief of staff, Danny Figueroa, who only recently began to plow the district for votes – and name recognition.

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Back on Road to Armory Redevelopment?

20 Mar

The Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition will be rallying once again to bring good jobs and community uses to the Armory. (Photo by J. Moss)

Yet another chapter is beginning in the two-decade old development saga at the Kingsbridge Armory. Proposals for the facility are due in later this week and whether this latest try at reimagining the landmark will stick and work is anyone’s guess. The Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, which has been laying down its visions for the Armory since the late 1990s is holding a rally there tomorrow night at 6 p.m (corner of Kingsbridge Road and Reservoir Avenue). They’re calling again for living wage jobs and also for community space, opportunities for small businesses and no big-box retail. All that stuff got a little buried in the push last time around for what ended up mainly as a living wage campaign. That fight successfully buried the mayor’s proposal for a Related shopping mall at the Armory (a la Gateway near Yankee Stadium) as a new borough president, Ruben Diaz, Jr. got in front of an organized, union-backed campaign. The Council defeated the mayor’s plan handily, which is a real rarity in land use issues.

I’ll have a lot more to say about this as I’ve been covering the Armory since 1993 when District 10 Superintendent John Rehill wanted to see a massive complex of public schools there right after the National Guard handed over the keys of the head house and drill hall to the city. In the meantime, if you’re interested, here’s a link to a bunch of stories (67 actually) about the Armory that I and other wrote for the Norwood News, and my detailed take on what was going on at the time the Council defeated the mall plan.

—Jordan Moss

Morning Matters — 3/9/12

9 Mar

Good morning. Here’s a little bit of what’s going on in our borough of 1.4 million people.

Bronx open space advocates will unveil their plans and seek community input on a Harlem River Greenway in meetings later this month. While a chunk of the plans are only on the drawing board, some of the work is already under way.

Fordham students rallied last night to call for policy changes on how bias incidents are addressed.

After a two-year hiatus, the Philharmonic will return to Van Cortlandt Park for a summer concert.

This year the annual Armory show features a Bronx Day that will highlight art exhibits in the south Bronx.

The borough president is trying to find out whether he can meet up with his digital Facebook friends in person. A recent gathering at G-Bar showed that it’s a bit of a challenge.

Which mayoral aspirant would be the best transit candidate?

The Fired Department is giving away free batteries for smoke detectors today in the Bronx.

The Norwood Food Co-op is ramping up for another year and looking for new members.

Borough President Diaz Discusses Fresh Direct and More on BronxTalk

2 Mar

In case you missed it earlier this week, Gary Axelbank interviewed Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. on BronxTalk. They discussed the controversial Fresh Direct deal, the Kingsbridge Armory, the police shooting of Ramarley Graham and more. Check it out.

Morning Matters — 3/1/12

1 Mar

Good Morning Readers – Thanks for checking out Bronx Matters. I’m going to try to post links to a few Bronx things that matter every morning, say by 11 a.m. or so. So, here we go!

Visitors to the Point CDC take a look at an interactive model of the Sheridan Expressway and its surroundings. (Photo: Kimberly Devi Milner/Hunts Point Express)

It’s long been the dream of many activists, citizens and environmentalists in Hunts Point (that’s in the southeast Bronx for those of you reading this beyond the borough) to decommission the 1.25-mile Sheridan Expressway in order to make way for parkland, affordable housing and more waterfront access. With a federal Department of Transportation grant of $1.5 million, city agencies are studying the future of the Expressway and surrounding arteries. Hunts Point Express reports that an interactive model of the Expressway is making its way through the borough to engage citizens in planning for its future. For more background on the community’s efforts to eliminate the Sheridan, and an illustration of what could replace it, check out this Express article from last year.

The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development targets 200 crumbling buildings a year in its Alternative Enforcement Program, and it has just added another batch of them with 56 in the Bronx, reported Dan Beekman in yesterday’s Daily News. Through the program, HPD makes emergency repairs and bills the landlords who neglected the critical work in the first place. Want to find out what HPD has on record for the condition of your building? Just plug in your address at HPD Online and you’ll find out that and a lot more.

The battle over Congressional lines is heating up, pitting Bronx Democratic chief Carl Heastie (who represents the northeast Bronx in the Assembly) against fellow lawmaker Keith Wright, of Manhattan, who wants a chunk of the Bronx for Charlie Rangel’s district. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. issued a statement yesterday placing himself firmly in Heastie’s corner and arguing against the use of the Bronx as spare parts for Manhattan’s legislative districts. “We will not stand for any plan that would slice the Bronx into many small pieces,” Diaz said. “For decades, the Bronx has had at least one Congressional district entirely within its borders, and this should not change.” The district he is referring to is Jose Serrano’s.

—Jordan Moss