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Newsletter January 2020

NEBA 20th Anniversary          

By Mark Saplicki

In August 2000 the Northeast Bronx Association Corporation was formed to preserve and improve the quality of life and promote harmony within the community. We are a non-profit, volunteer-based organization consisting of concerned residents.  This was due to the vision of one man, Vinny Prezioso and the support of a handful of dedicated volunteers.

     Vinny retired from business in 1996 whereupon he became involved in community service.  He was appointed to Community Board #11 in 1996 and served as First Vice Chairman from 2000 to 2010.  He founded the Northeast Bronx Association in 2000 and continues as its President and Executive Director.  He also served as an officer of the 49th Precinct Community Council from 2001 to 2005. 

     As the driving force behind the Northeast Bronx Association (NEBA), Vinny has significantly improved the quality of life in the Pelham Gardens/Eastchester sections of the Bronx.  He developed a good rapport with every Commanding Officer of the 49th Precinct since 1996 and earned their respect and admiration.  One of the reasons for this was the establishment of the NEBA Civilian Mobile Patrol, which has been instrumental in providing information to the NYPD resulting in the arrest of those who would violate our neighborhood.

     NEBA has been the recipient of many awards under Vinny’s leadership including:  Awards for Excellence (Crime Fighting) from the NY State Attorney General; Certificates of Appreciation from 3 Bronx Borough Presidents; Citations and Certificates of Merit from various NY State Assembly Members; Community Service Award from the Jewish Community Council of Pelham Parkway; Certificates of Recognition from various NY State Senators; Certificate of Appreciation from the 49th Precinct Explorers; and various commendations from the NYPD.

     Due to Vinny’s foresight and oversight the following NEBA programs were established and continue to this day:  Food, Clothing and Toy drives for the needy; Seniors Day Out; Security for Holy Rosary Street Processions; Crime Alert Program; Youth Programs with the NY Yankees and Con Edison; Corporate Neighbor Program; Support for 49th Precinct Explorers; Support for the local Cub Scout Pack 162.  These programs could not exist without the support of our elected representatives, so Vinny made it his business to develop a good relationship with all of them, regardless of political affiliation, and to enlist their support for NEBA programs to benefit the community.

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

Guest Speaker:
Beatrice Rodriguez-Falu, Montefiore Diamond Care Managed Long Term Care Plan

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

     In addition, Vinny is always in the forefront of any issues facing our community.  Some of the concerns he has been involved with through NEBA include:  the disposition and security of the Gun Hill Road Mall and the struggle to bring a food market to it; the disposition of the Golf Range; School safety at IS 144; Home Depot dumping; IS 144 Playground protest and restoration; MTA bus violations; Burns Playground establishment and security; Beachwood Homes violations correction and storm damage issues; Blood Donations program; Shopping cart retrievals; Gun Hill Road & Subway safety concerns; School Bus violations; 911 Call center protest and monitoring; Home improvement scam exposed.

     It should be noted that you will never hear Vinny take personal credit for anything he accomplishes; rather he gives the credit to those who assist or support him in these endeavors.

     Vinny’s accomplishments with Community Board 11 would warrant a book.  Just a few of the projects he has been involved with include: Garbage dumping at Home Depot; Issues related to the conflict at Pelham Parkway Horse Stable; Rezoning to prevent developer abuses; Dirty water problems in Pelham Gardens; Abandoned homes on Seymour Ave; Fight to save Columbus HS; Water billing protests; Assisting homeowners after sewage backups; Rally to save Express Buses; Gun Hill Road Golf Center issues; and the resurrection of the 20 year old Pelham Parkway reconstruction project.

Eastchester Gardens Trailer Park?

Many residents of the Eastchester Gardens section have complained about the volume of tractor-trailers parked illegally overnight, especially within the vicinity of Eastchester and Gun Hill Roads.  Here is the link to the NYC Dept of Transportation regulations regarding Commercialvehicles:

Street storage of commercial vehicles prohibited

When parking is not otherwise restricted, no person shall park a commercial vehicle in any area, including a residential area, in excess of three hours.

Nighttime parking of commercial vehicles prohibited

No person shall park a commercial vehicle on a residential street, between the hours of 9 pm and 5 am In the case when a commercial vehicle is parked in violation of this rule, the burden of proof is placed on the person who received the summons, to prove that he or she was actively engaged in business at the time the summons was issued at a premises located within three City blocks of where the summons was issued. This paragraph shall not apply to vehicles owned or operated by gas or oil heat suppliers or gas or oil heat systems maintenance companies, the agents or employees thereof, or any public utility.

So now the question is:  What can WE do?  NEBA has already contacted Jeremy Warneke the District Manager of Community Board 11 and Frano Zagreda who sits on the transportation committee.  They have reached out to Vinny Allard the District Superintendent of the Dept of Sanitation, who has informed us that his team will be stepping up enforcement of these illegally parked trucks.  What can you do?  Report any illegally parked commercial vehicles to 3-1-1.  Try to get a plate number and the exact location.  Remember, the more complaints they receive the more likely it is we will get a response.

 ‘Twas the Season

NEBA Food Drive

As we have done every year, NEBA delivered fresh turkeys and coordinated a collection of non-perishable foods for the needy. 

St Lucy’s Food Pantry

As he has consistently done in the past, our long-time friend Joe McManus contributed to feed the needy, by donating a large quantity of fresh turkeys this Thanksgiving. I would be remiss not to mention that his wife Debbie is the driving force behind this. (See Debbie, Joe is not such a turkey after all!)  Many thanks to our friend Frank Restagno who delivers the turkeys to the food pantry. May God bless them and their families!

Oblate Sisters of the Blessed Trinity

We are grateful to our NYS Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez for donating fresh turkeys for distribution to those in need by the Oblate Sisters.

Although the AARP group has disbanded, those who were members continue to support this program with generous donations of non-perishable food items, coordinated by Louise Restagno and Janice Shapiro and distributed by Oblate Sisters of the Blessed Trinity. And how fortunate it is that the seniors club of Holy Rosary Church has partnered with NEBA in this effort.  The seniors give generously every year to this cause.  The sisters’ apostolic mission is working with the poor and homeless and evangelization. NEBA is grateful and humbled by the charity shown by all involved in this project.  May God bless you all!

NEBA Toy Drive

The Northeast Bronx Association and Einstein Hospital again sponsored Toys for Tots to benefit the Einstein Children’s Evaluation & Rehabilitation Center and the Department of Psychiatry’s Wellness Center.  We appealed to everyone to donate unwrapped toys for children ages infant to 12 years old, who might not otherwise receive such gifts. NEBA collected the gifts through our Seniors groups. Einstein and its young patients are grateful for the toy donations received from the previous members of the AARP seniors club and the seniors club of Holy Rosary church. We are also thankful for Igino (Eugene) DiPaolo who makes significant contributions to this program every year. The children are our future, so we thank all who contributed.

Note: If you are a senior who wishes to join the Seniors Club of Holy Rosary Church, please contact Mary Ann Piti or (718) 653-4222.

Puerto Rico Relief

Our NYS Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez is coordinating Earthquake Relief for our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico.  Please contact Forhad Rahman O: (718) 409-0109; F: (718) 409-0431.

     The deadline for dropping off supplies at their office 2018 Williamsbridge Road is Friday JANUARY 24.

     Please pay attention to the specific supplies being requested (Feminine hygiene, diapers, baby formula, non-perishable canned goods, bottle water, batteries, tents, sleeping bags, NO CLOTHING.)

     You may also wish to donate to for Earthquake relief.

     May God bless and watch over all those affected by this tragedy and may He inspire others to reach out to help them, amen.

From Da Prez…

By Vincent Prezioso

We Are Grateful For Our Supporters

     On Saturday December 14, the Northeast Bronx Association held its annual volunteer appreciation luncheon at Fratelli Restaurant. The food and service were wonderful, and everyone enjoyed themselves.  We gather to give thanks to the active members of NEBA for their efforts.  They give their time in order to make this organization a success, by regularly attend our meetings and bring various concerns to our attention in the true spirit of ‘neighbors watching out for neighbors’.  Our members also assist NEBA in helping the needy, by consistently donating food for the needy and toys for children who might not otherwise receive gifts at Christmas or Chanukah.

     On behalf of our entire organization and in the spirit of the New Year, we would once again like to give thanks to our key financial supporters.  Thank you, Councilman Mark Gjonaj, and thank you Borough President Ruben Diaz!  They are the reason we can produce our programs and not charge dues to our members.  Thanks to our State Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez for donating turkeys for the poor on Thanksgiving.

     We are also fortunate to have wonderful corporate neighbors. Kings Harbor MultiCare Center has been a sponsor for NEBA since our inception, thanks to Morris Tanenbaum, and Alexander Stern. We are also grateful for the District Manager of our Community Board 11, Jeremy Warnake, and his wonderful staff.

     The quality of life in our community is a direct result of the constant commitment and hard work of the men and woman of the 49th precinct, under the leadership of Captain Andrew Natiw. They have maintained our community as one of the safest in the City.  Special mention to our Community Affairs Officer Detective Jay Sturdivant; Crime Prevention Officer Tyrone Mederos; who attend our monthly meetings.  It proves that when we all work together to find solutions to our problems, everybody wins.

     We are truly blessed to have such wonderful supporters and we wish all a Happy New Year!

New Year Resolution?

The Northeast Bronx Association was formed to preserve and improve the quality of life and promote harmony within the community. We are a non-profit, volunteer-based organization consisting of concerned residents.  It costs you nothing to join, however the benefits can be significant.  You will become more aware concerns that affect our quality of life and have input on community affairs.  All you need to do is attend our monthly meetings.   Our motto is ‘neighbors watching out for neighbors’ – shouldn’t it be your motto as well?

2020 NEBA Meeting Schedule

The Northeast Bronx Association sponsors meetings open to all residents of our community.  The meetings are scheduled for the last Monday of each month, (unless there is a holiday). The location al all meetings is Kings Harbor MultiCare Center 2000 East Gun Hill Road (at Stillwell Ave) and begin at 7:30PM. 

Here is the meeting schedule for 2020:  Monday January 27; Monday February 24; Monday March 30; Monday April 27; Monday May 18  (because the last Monday is Memorial Day); Monday June 29; No meeting or newsletter in July; No meeting or newsletter in August; Monday September 28; Monday October 26; Monday November 30; No meeting or newsletter in December.  Members are notified of meetings during the week prior to the meeting by copy of this newsletter via USPS and/or by the email address you provide us. If a meeting is cancelled, we will notify you by email or text message or phone call (if you provided us with that information).