Newsletter

March 2019

Welcome Jeremy Warneke!

It’s been a while since we’ve had a visit from the District Manager of Community Board 11, so we are glad that Jeremy Warneke will be with us this month.

Each Community Board has its own office, District Manager, and staff. The District Manager and the Board staff are hired by a Community Board and serve at the Board’s pleasure. The District Manager establishes an office, hires staff, and implements procedures to improve the delivery of City services to the district.

District Managers play many different roles. They are complaint takers, municipal managers, information sources, community organizers, mediators, advocates, and much more. The main responsibility of the District office is to receive and resolve complaints from community residents. They also process permits for block parties, street fairs, etc. In addition, the office handles special projects such as organizing tenants and merchants’ associations, coordinating neighborhood cleanup programs, publicizing special events, and more, depending on community needs.

Please come out to welcome Jeremy and bring any concerns you may have.

Next Meeting: Monday March 25, 7:30PM, Kings Harbor MultiCare Center, E. Gun Hill Road at Stillwell Ave – Use Main Entrance.

GUEST SPEAKER: Jeremy Warneke, District Manager Community Board 11.

Representatives from the 49th Pct. and NYS Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez and NYC Councilman Mark Gjonaj are usually present.

Metro-North Amtrak Deal

STATEMENT FROM BOROUGH PRESIDENT DIAZ

RE: East Bronx Metro-North/Amtrak Agreement

“This newly announced MOU between Amtrak, Empire State Development and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is incredibly welcome as it allows this universally supported, much-anticipated mass transit project to move forward without further delay.

“Amtrak’s willingness to negotiate with the MTA will put the East Bronx Metro-North expansion back on schedule and bring us one step closer to expanded commuter rail options in the communities that need them the most. This agreement would not have been possible without the dedicated efforts of my borough’s partners in elected office, including Governor Andrew Cuomo and Senator Charles Schumer, as well as the thousands of Bronx residents and commuters across the region who spoke up in recent months to demand delays cease and negotiations resume.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues to continue the planning process for the East Bronx Metro-North expansion and bring this project back on track,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Free Mammogram

On Wednesday April 3, the Mammogram Bus will be outside the office of Council Mark Gjonaj at 1478 Williamsbridge Road from 9am to 4:30pm.  For an appointment call 718-931-1721 or 800-628-9090.  Eligibility is for women 40-79 years of age; currently living in NYC; who have not had a mammogram in the last year.

Got Critters?

If you are a property owner whose property has been invaded by racoons or other wild animals, you can contact Community Board 11 at 718-892-6262 and they will send a specialized contractor out to investigate and if warranted remove them.  Please do NOT report a random siting – the inspectors are looking for the animals nesting places.  If the nests are on your property they will be removed without charge.

Free Tax Prep

As Tax Season 2019 begins, the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) wants to make sure that you and your constituents have information about NYC Free Tax Prep, which encourages New Yorkers who earned $66,000 or less to file their taxes for FREE!

 Services include online filing and in-person filing with an IRS certified VITA/TCE volunteer preparer at one of more than 200 NYC Free Tax Prep sites throughout the city. Details are at http://nyc.gov/taxprep or call DCA at (212) 639-9675.

Councilman Mark Gjonaj will be hosting this Free Tax Preparation on Friday April 5 at his office 1478 Williamsbridge Road.  Please call for appointment 718-931-1721.

Still Helping Crime Victims

Founded in 2005 Crime Victims Services of the North Bronx has been helping victims of crimes deal with their tragedies in many ways.

NYS CRIME VICTIMS COMPENSATION

Assistance with claim application including Completion, Filing, and Follow-up.

COUNSELING SERVICES

Referrals for individuals and groups

EMERGENCY SERVICES

Emergency Lock Repair for Crime Victims

SUPPORT GROUP AVAILABLE FOR HOMICIDE SURVIVORS

CRIME PREVENTION INFORMATION

For Senior Citizen Scams; Sexual Assault; Burglary; Theft; and Fraud

ELDER SUPPORT SERVICES

Elder Abuse and Referrals

COURT SERVICES

Court Accompaniment and Information.  Transportation Provided to Court Appointments

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICES

Including: Emergency Shelter Referrals; Advocacy with Police, Court, Department of Social Service, D.A.; Counseling Referral

All services are provided Free of charge, under a program funded by the NYS Crime Victims Board.  Spanish Speaking Services available.

For more information call 718-823-4925 or visit them at 1138 Neill Ave, Bronx NY 10461.

Calls from Social Security?

Courtesy of the Federal Trade Commission

Probably not. At least, not from the real SSA. But how many of you have gotten calls from someone who said they were the Social Security Administration? And maybe showed the real SSA phone number (1-800-772-1213) or a number close to it on your caller ID? Lots, right?

We’ve seen a spike in the number of people reporting those fake SSA calls to us. Since January 2018, we’ve gotten more than 63,000 reports of this scam. Three percent of those people reported a loss – and they lost $16.6 million (with a median loss of $1,484).

You can hear what the scam sounds like here. The caller usually says your Social Security number (SSN) has been suspended because of suspicious activity, or because it’s been involved in a crime. Sometimes, the scammer wants you to confirm your SSN to reactivate it. Sometimes, he says your bank account is about to be seized – but if you go put your money on gift cards and then give him the codes, SSA can help keep it safe. (Of course, you never want to do that, because then your money is just gone.)

To report this scam, go to ftc.gov/complaint. But if you already gave one of these callers your SSN and you’re worried about identity theft, visit IdentityTheft.gov/ssa. And if you get one of these calls, remember:

Your Social Security number is not about to be suspended. Your bank account is not about to be seized.  The real SSA will never call to threaten your benefits or tell you to wire money, send cash, or put money on gift cards.

You can’t believe the numbers on your caller ID. Scammers can easily fake those. But if you’re worried, call the real SSA at 1-800-772-1213. You can trust that number if you dial it yourself – just not on your caller ID.

Never give your SSN, credit card or bank account number to anyone who contacts you. Ever.

Transit Authority Updates

From the NYC Transit Authority

Thanks to the Subway Action Plan, launched at the direction of Governor Cuomo and jointly funded by the Governor, State Legislature, and City in 2017, significant subway performance improvements have been achieved.  Evidenced by recently-released statistics, the months-long trend of improvements includes the best on-time performance and the fewest number of delays that the system has seen in four years.

Continued efforts to safely increase subway speed limits in order to move our customers more quickly throughout the system are having an impact. Since summer of last year, an internal safety committee has approved increases to speed limits at 68 locations, and the agency has implemented 24 to date.  In addition, the agency has identified roughly 320 inaccurate timer signals, and recalibrated 59. 

At a public meeting, hosted by NYC Transit’s recently-established Systemwide Accessibility Office, Senior Advisor Alex Elegudin provided an update on current ADA projects (25 of which are in progress), and led a borough-by-borough discussion on the various options available to meet NYC Transit’s Fast Forward goal of ensuring that all subway riders are no more than two stops away from an accessible station within the next five years.  During this forum, we announced the formation of the Advisory Committee for Transit Accessibility (ACTA). ACTA will be comprised of a voluntary group of New Yorkers who are committed to working with NYC Transit on a broad range of accessibility issues.  The application period for ACTA is now open and closes on March 31, 2019.

In recent weeks, you may have seen new technology appear on turnstiles and buses throughout our system.  This equipment represents the first physical sign of our new contactless fare payment system, a project that is on track for an initial public launch in May 2019.  It also represents a major step in modernizing the transit experience for our customers.  The new system, known as One Metro New York (OMNY), is scheduled to undergo final testing in preparation for a seamless public launch of OMNY that will begin in May 2019. The final subway system test and the initial public launch will encompass existing turnstiles at 16 stations along the 456 lines between Grand Central-42 St and Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr.  Final bus system testing will be on the SIM30 express bus route on Staten Island, and the public launch will include all Staten Island local and express bus routes.

In consultation with riders, community boards, and elected representatives of the Bronx, we’re continuing to take a holistic examination of bus service in the Bronx—which has routes that have not substantially changed in decades, despite rapid change and development in the borough. The Bronx is served by 57 routes with bus speeds averaging 6.9 miles per hour, the second slowest bus speed in the City.  As congestion has worsened, bus speeds have slowed.  Our goal is to significantly improve the quality of bus service in this busy borough, and to get people back on our buses again.