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NorthEast Bronx Association Inc.

 'neighbors watching out for neighbors'

 February 2017


Next Meeting:  Monday February 27, 7:30PM, Kings Harbor MultiCare Center, 2000 E Gun Hill Rd (at Stillwell Ave).  

Guest Speaker:  Mr John Fratta, Assistant District Manager, Community Board 11

Representatives from the 49th Pct; NYS Senator Klein; NYS Assemblyman Gjonaj; and NYC Councilman Vacca will be present.  Guest Speaker:  ConED representative to discuss power outages in Pelham Gardens area.

Thank You District Attorney Clark!






By Mark Saplicki &Vincent Prezioso

We were honored to have Bronx District Attorney Darcel D Clark as the guest speaker at our last meeting! DA Clark was accompanied by her Community Affair Coordinator Raeshawn Horry, who will be keeping us abreast of events at the DA’s office that will be of interest to the community.  Bottom Line:  Ms. Clark is not only Bronx-bred, but she is bringing her office into the 21st Century with energetic focus and flare.  She is the first women in that position and the first African-American woman to serve as DA in the State of NY.  She has an extensive background in criminal justice, beginning in the DA’s Office in 1986 and including 16 years as a Criminal Court judge, and NYS Supreme Court Justice.

She informed us that she has totally revamped the operations and functionality of her organization, and received the appropriate funding from the City Council to do so.  By the way did you know that the DA’s office is the second largest employer in the Bronx?  And there are jobs available!  DA Clark spoke about the current heroin epidemic and her efforts to fight it.  She urged all citizens to remain engaged the process of law enforcement because working together we can have a safer Bronx.  Ms Clark also warned people not to avoid jury duty, as there may be serious consequences.  Besides, when you serve on a jury you are guaranteeing a jury of your peers.  The DA expressed her appreciation to Captain Thomas Alps for his support, and that of the NYPD in general. We are all proud to have a DA of the character and quality of Darcel D Clark, and we wish her every success in her efforts to make the Bronx even a better place to live!

District Attorney Clark's Message

The word “vista” calls to mind many things. When one embarks upon a new task, a “vista” is what lies ahead – a view of the future. To me, the word “VISTA” embodies both the excitement of the task that lies before me, and a program of reforms that I have announced to breathe new life into the Bronx District Attorney’s Office.

The VISTA program involves five basic steps: Vertical Prosecution, Internal Controls, Standing Up to Corruption, Time-Sensitive Prosecutions, and Active Investigations.  Each of these five steps will lead to more rapid and fairer trials.  The result will be what everyone desires: swift and sure justice for victims and defendants.

Vertical Prosecution: The prosecutor who starts a case will remain with it until it’s resolved.   This will eliminate confusion and frustration that arises when a case gets passed from prosecutor to prosecutor at each stage of a criminal proceeding, reduces unnecessary delays as each assistant becomes familiar with reassigned cases, and eliminates the risk of missing documents.

Internal Controls:  Every prosecutor will be fully accountable for each of their cases.  There will be a standardized CompStat-style reporting structure and a periodic review of evidence for all cases within each Bureau, and a mid-level reporting structure within the Trial and Investigations Divisions, ending with Bureau and Division Chiefs reporting to the Chief Assistant and the District Attorney herself.

Standing Up to Corruption: No stone will be left unturned in ferreting out those who abuse the People’s trust or treat public money as their personal piggy bank.  Our assistants will be encouraged to use their legal talents to prosecute corruption to the fullest extent of the law.


Next Meeting

Next Meeting: Monday February 27, 7:30PM, Kings Harbor MultiCare Center, E. Gun Hill Road at Stillwell Ave – Use Main Entrance.

Guest Speaker: John Fratta, Assistant District Manager of Community board 11.

Representatives from the 49th Pct; NYS Senator Klein; NYS Assemblyman Gjonaj; and NYC Councilman Vacca will be present.


Time-Sensitive Prosecutions:  We will reduce the existing backlog of felony and misdemeanor cases by implementing an intensive program through which the District Attorney and her Executives will review the oldest pending cases every week, with an emphasis on advancing those cases involving incarcerated defendants. We will also endeavor to speed up prosecutions in general by viewing our discovery obligations in an expansive way to eliminate unnecessary adjournments.

Active Investigations:  “Active” will be the watchword of the Bronx D.A.’s Investigations Division with vital goals for this important unit of the Office, objectives that will be expressed through the creation and work of our Public Integrity Bureau, our Rikers Island Prosecution Bureau with prosecutors on-site, our Immigrant Affairs Unit, and our Conviction Integrity Unit. We are also strengthening the Bureau that houses the Forensics Computer Lab Unit, the DNA Unit, the Crime Strategies & Case Enhancement Unit, and the Cybercrime and ID Theft Unit.

As always, the Bronx D.A.’s Office stands ready to represent and serve the People of the Bronx, the People of our fine city, and the People of the State of New York.

Captain Alps…Crime is Down!

We were also privileged to have the Commanding Officer of the 49th Precinct, Captain Thomas Alps at our meeting.  Although the Captain has only been here a few months, he said he was very impressed with the outpouring of support from the community and the high level of involvement from them.  This, he said, is how to keep crime down and the quality of life up.  Captain Alps comes from the NYPD Intelligence sector and strongly believes in “Intelligence Policing”.  He believes that policing works better when the residents inform the police what they need.  The Captain is a strong advocate of the NCO program (Neighborhood Coordination Officers), which would place two officers in each sector of the precinct to work closely with community groups, identify problems, develop intelligence about crime, and lead problem solving and crime fighting efforts.  His goal is to make the 49th Precinct an NCO command by the end of 2017.

The good news is that overall, crime is down in the City, and in the Bronx, and in our Sector G crime accounted for only 6% of the total crime in the 49th Precinct.

Captain Alps was accompanied by our perennial favorite, Detective Jay Sturdivant, head of Community Relations, and by Officer Tyrone Mederos, our Crime Prevention Officer.  Tyrone indicated that although there was essentially no major crime in our area, we still need to vigilant about the petty crimes we experience, such as vehicle break-ins, mail thefts, scams and crimes against the elderly.

We continue to be proud of the fine officers of the 49th Precinct and appreciate their involvement and support for our community!

Speak Up For A Better Bronx!

We are all concerned about the consequences to our community if a new proposed shopping development (Baychester Square) is approved for the property along Gun Hill Road (which previously hosted the Golf Range).  It will mean thousands of additional vehicles from other areas clogging our already congested roads and intersections.  Do we need yet another shopping center?  We think not!  What we do need is more affordable housing for seniors and more park space for our young people.  We were fortunate to have Ms. Tatiana Constantinople from Speak Up For a Better Bronx at our last meeting, along with Melissa and Shawn, who explained the problem and their concerted efforts to oppose this plan.  This is NOT a done deal yet, so we are asking everyone in this area to let their voices be heard.  You can do so by signing the petition posted at: https://www.change.org/p/speak-up-for-a-better-bronx-oppose-the-rezoning-of-baychester-square-protect-our-community.

To date Ms Constantinople’s organization has:

·         More than 60,000 signed petitions opposing the proposed retail development

·         More than 70 local businesses have signed up to support Speak Up for a Better Bronx. Storeowners, managers and employees all fear that additional traffic will negatively impact their businesses and lead to the loss of jobs. Customers will be blocked from reaching the stores and employees will be delayed during their commute to work as well as negatively impact other quality of life issues such as air quality.

·         More than 150 volunteers and counting have signed up to be a part of the organization.

·         After hearing the concerns of many citizens, Speak Up is advocating for more sustainable and better uses of the Baychester Square property such as additional housing (affordable or senior), a community or recreation center and park space.

We applaud the efforts of Speak Up For a Better Bronx and encourage all residents to get involved.  For our community this will not be an easy battle, as the property involved is NOT within our Community Board 11, but it is directly on our border and directly affects all of us.

From Da Prez…

By Vincent Prezioso

I wish to thank all of you for your concern and well wishes as I recuperate from knee replacement surgery.  I am hopeful to be able to make an appearance at the upcoming meeting!

Please attend our upcoming meeting to receive updates on various community concerns, which are cannot be disseminated easily in this newsletter.

Fire Prevention & Safety

We are grateful to Firefighter Timothy Boyle, liaison for the FDNY Office of Community Affairs for sending two of his officers to our meeting last month to talk about Fire Prevention and Safety.

The most important point made was that every home needs to have a working smoke and CO2 detector.  If you cannot afford one, you can get it FREE from the Red Cross & FDNY by calling 877-733-2767.  Also you should be aware that the old style removable battery type alarms are being phased out (by law), in favor of sealed units that will last ten years. 

In addition you need to have working Fire Extinguishers and be familiar with how to use them; Know how to put out a kitchen fire; Make an escape plan and practice it; Know if you live in a fireproof or non-fireproof building. Call 911 immediately if you have a fire (even a small one)

More info: www.fdnysmart.org/safetytips, or call 718-281-3870.

Senior News

Now in its second year, approximately 16,000 New York City residents have received services through the NY Connects program, which the Department for the Aging administers in the five boroughs.

Through a no-wrong-door approach, people of all ages and income levels gain assistance when seeking long-term care. Help is a phone call or walk-in visit away at five community-based sites – one in each borough. Bronx: Neighborhood SHOPP, 953 Southern Blvd., 347-862-5200.

If you dread being passed from organization to organization, NY Connects can help make those connections to the right resource to meet the long-term needs of loved ones. NY Connects provides assistance through trained specialists who help people navigate the maze of providers in health and non-medical services.

Services are available in many languages, and employees may even make home visits. For more information, call 311.

The Bronx Salad!

Finally a salad for Da Bronx!  Through the efforts of various Bronx organizations and chefs, a green dish has been created to represent the borough for NYC Restaurant Week.  The Bronx Salad was developed by Chef King Phonjanakong and contains: black beans, mango, red peppers, avocado, corn, red onions, black olives, plantain chips, tomatoes, cilantro, lettuce and kale.  You may be interested in viewing a video of the salad at: http://pix11.com/2016/10/05/bronx-chef-looks-to-bring-healthy-eating-to-restaurants-with-signature-salad/.

NYBG Events

Our Botanical Gardens has just published their calendar of events for this Spring and Summer, and it looks amazing!  There is something for everyone including: Orchid Show; Art/Glass in Nature; Antique Garden Furniture; Mother’s Day Party; Opera; Biodiversity, Climate & Humanity; Various Family Programs; Classes & Lectures; Shopping and foods.  And if you wish to have a really classy private event the NYBG has just the place! For more information, tickets or to receive a copy of the booklet call 718-817-8700 or visit www.nybg.org