1932 Arthur Avenue, Room 709
Bronx, NY 10457
TEL: (718) 579-6990
FAX: (718) 579-6875
Meeting minutes of Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Jannie Armstrong, Virginia Bird, Evonne Capers, Leticia Cintron,
Claudette Coles, Diana Diaz, Margarita Espinosa, Maria Garcia, Robert
Holiday, Marie Howse, Sara N. Logan, Magdamari Marcano, Isabel Matias,
Floretta A. O’Brien, Rosa Peraza, Rev. Hiram Ratliff, Wendy Rodriguez,
Alexis Thorton, Lissette Torres and Perquida Williams.
John Colangelo, Annette de Jesus, Dior Doward, Frank J. Franz, Yesenia
Graciani, Dr. Helene Jones, Thomas J. Murray, and Denise Sleigh-Bradley.
Elected officials’ representatives
Aurea Mangual, representing Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.,
Katrina Asante, representing State Senator Gustavo Rivera
Helen Reyes Jacome, representing State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr.,
Rafael Moure Punnett, representing Council Member Ritchie Torres
I. CALL TO ORDER
The June 11, 2014 meeting of Bronx Community Board #6 was held at the
Fordham Towers Apartments, which are located at 480 East 188th Street,
Bronx, New York; and was called to order at approximately 6:40 p.m. by
Board Chairperson Wendy Rodriguez.
The meeting’s invocation was delivered by Rev. Hiram Ratliff, Bronx
Community Board #6 member and Senior Pastor of the New Tabernacle
Honorable Ritchie Torres, Honorable Maria del Carmen Arroyo,
City Council Member, 15th Council District City Council Member, 17th
III. COMMUNITY PERIOD
The following individuals requested to speak as part of the meeting’s
Ms. Confesora Castoire, representing Unique People Services
Ms. Castoire informed us that Unique People Services provides housing
and case management services to individuals with special needs,
including those who are living with HIV/AIDS. Additional information
about Unique People Services may be obtained by telephoning Ms. Castoire
at (718) 741-0600.
Mr. Paul Fortunato, representing the Crotona Center/Rosedale Center
Mr. Fortunato informed us that he represents a non-profit organization
that provides youths with low-cost tutoring and educational services.
The organization’s local office is located in our community at 843
Crotona Park North. Additional information about its services may be
obtained by telephoning Mr. Fortunato at (718) 861-1426.
Ms. Carmen Rivera, representing VIP Community Services
Ms. Rivera informed us about the new hours of operation for VIP’s health
services component at 1910 Arthur Avenue, Bronx, New York. Ms. Rivera
also announced that on July 16, 17th and 18th, VIP will accept
registrations for its evening GED, English as a Second Language, and
adult education classes. The classes will being in September 2014 and
will be provided in partnership with the Eagle Academy for Young Men
that is located in our community at Third Avenue and East 176th Street.
Mr. Carl Conde, representing SBH Health Systems (St. Barnabas Hospital)
Mr. Conde invited us to take advantage of SBH Health System free, health
promotion workshops. These workshops are provided on-site at the offices
of local community-based organizations for the benefit of their staffs
and clients. Mr. Conde also asked that we remember St. Barnabas Hospital
for all of our health care needs.
Ms. Cheryl Pfeiffer, representing the Bronx River Art Center
Ms. Pfeiffer invited us to attend the Bronx River Art Center’s
groundbreaking ceremony that will be held on Thursday, June 26, 2014 at
1087 East Tremont Avenue. Individuals interested in attending may RSVP
by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephoning (718) 589-5819.
Mr. Cliff Tucker, Esq, from The Law Office of Richard M. Henny
Mr. Tucker introduced himself as a personal injury and civil rights
attorney who is available to assist us on a wide range of community and
personal legal matters. Mr. Tucker may be contacted by telephone at
Ms. Sylvia Burnett Fordham Towers Tenants Association
Ms. Burnett announced that she recently turned 90 years old. She also
stated that she wishes to see the Fordham Plaza Mall cleaned more
frequently and thoroughly.
In response to Ms. Burnett’s latter statement, District Manager Ivine
Galarza reported that the Department of Transportation has contracted
with a vendor who is responsible for cleaning the plaza mall every
Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
IV. BRONX BOROUGH PRESIDENT’S REPORT
Copies of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.’s report were
distributed by his community liaison, Ms. Aurea Mangual. She then
summarized key portions of the report, including the following:
● Borough President Diaz’s has completed the 2014 community board member
appointment process. He thanks those former members who chose not to
reapply for membership for their past service to their respective
● Bronx Week and the Bronx Week Walk of Fame induction ceremony was a
● Borough President Diaz recently joined Assemblyman Jeffery Dinowitz
and State Senator Jeff Klein at a ceremony where the two of them
announced plans to introduce state legislation that, if enacted, will
result in Jerome Park being officially designated as parkland.
● The Hunts Point Resilience Plan has been awarded $20 million dollars
in funding through the department “Rebuild by Design” competition.
● New York State will direct up to $46.5 million dollars of community
development block grant disaster relief funds to a project that will
strengthen Roberto Clemente State Park’s waterfront and protect parts of
the Morris Heights neighborhood from future disasters such as Super
● Borough President Diaz will celebrate Old School Game Day on Saturday
June 14, 2014; Caribbean Heritage Month on Thursday, June 19, 2014; and
LGBTQ Pride Month on Wednesday, June 25, 2014.
V. ELECTED OFFICIALS’ REPORTS
State Senator Gustavo Rivera
Senator Rivera was represented by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Ms. Katrina
Asante, who announced that on June 25, 2014 the senator will sponsor a
“clinic” for small businesses. Additional information about the “clinic”
may be obtained by telephoning the senator’s office at (718) 933-2034.
City Council Member Ritchie Torres
Council Member Torres was represented by Mr. Rafael Moure Punnett who
informed us that the New York City Council recently adopted a resolution
calling upon the New York legislature to change the law so that youth as
young at 16 year to age will be eligible to be appointed to their
respective community board.
Mr. Punnett also informed us that Council Member Torres will sponsor a
housing forum on June 18, 2014 at the Bronx Library Center where
representatives of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation
and Development and the New York State Division of Housing and Community
Renewal will be present to answer our questions on current housing and
tenants’ rights issues.
Lastly, Council Member Torres will attend a rally at City Hall on June
12, 2014 in order to lobby for funds for New York City Housing Authority
State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr.
Senator Diaz was represented by Ms. Helen Reyes Jacome who invited us to
contact the senator’s office with our concerns at (718) 991-3161. Ms.
Jacome may be contacted directly by email at
VI. DISTRICT MANAGER’S REPORT: Ms. Ivine Galarza
Ms. Galarza’s district manager report included the following
● The community board’s district office has received numerous noise
complaints against Ruguva Restaurant, which is located at 621 Crescent
Avenue. These complaints have been referred to the police department and
the New York State Liquor Authority. Ruguva has received 29 violations.
● The community board is working closely with the New York City
Department of Parks and Recreation regarding security issues at our
local parks. We are asking the department to ensure that all of our
parks are closed daily at dusk.
● Board member Virginia Bird, Ms. Galarza and representatives from
Operation Green Thumb recently toured all of our local green thumb
community gardens. We continue to monitor and work with the gardens’
caretakers in order to insure that they gardens are well maintained and
in compliance with applicable rules and regulations.
● Fire hydrant spay caps may be obtained from a local fire house by
anyone over 18 year of age. Opening and closing of the hydrants will be
performed each day by workers from the city’s Department of
● St Thomas Aquinas Church will conduct a “Family Day” event from 12
noon to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 14, 2014.
VII. ROLL CALL ATTENDANCE
A roll call attendance was taken, verifying the presence of a quorum of
twenty (20) members.
VIII. COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARDS PRESENTATION
Ms. Rodriguez and Ms. Galarza then presented Bronx Community Board #6
Community Service Awards to board members Claudette Coles, Sara Logan,
Jannie Armstrong, Marie Howse and Robert Holiday for having maintained a
perfect attendance record for all of the community board’s monthly
general meetings that were held during the period of September 2013 to
A community service award was also given to Ms. Sylvia Burnett in
special recognition of her advocacy on behalf of our community.
IX. COMMITTEE REPORTS
Law Enforcement Committee: Ms. Claudette Coles, Committee Chair
Ms. Coles reported on the business that was conducted at the May 20,
2014 meeting of the 48th Police Precinct’s community council. At that
meeting, the council was provided with our community’s updated crimes
statistics. The council was informed that overall crime in our community
has diminished during the past year.
Housing & Land Use Committee: Ms. Sara N. Logan, Committee Chair
Ms. Logan reported on the Housing & Land Use Committee’s meeting of June
5, 2014. At that time the committee met with representatives of
Comunilife and received an update on the organization’s construction the
El Rio Residence, a senior citizens supportive housing project located
at 2064 Boston Road.
Parks & Recreation Committee: Ms. Margareta Espinosa, Committee Chair
Ms. Espinosa urged us to be vigilant when visiting our community’s
parks, and reminded us that the parks close at dusk.
Transportation Committee: Ms. Magdamari Marcano, Committee Chair
Ms. Marcano reported on the Transportation Committee’s meeting that was
held on June 5, 2014. At that meeting, the committee received a
presentation from representatives of the New York City Department of
Design and Construction (DDC) regarding the city’s plan to reconstruct
East 177th Street and Devoe Avenue, and to make improvements to that
area’s infrastructure (DDC Project # HWPXP2007).
Ms. Marcano informed us that although DDC wished the committee to
recommend that the community board issue a letter in support of the
project, the committee was of the opinion that the department should
return to make a presentation to the full community board and the West
Farms community before the possibility of issuing a support letter is
Youth and Education Committee: Ms. Perquida Williams, Committee Chair
Ms. Williams invited us to attend the Youth and Education Committee’s
upcoming karaoke event that is to be held on Thursday, June 12, 2014 at
the Belmont Branch Library, which is located at 610 East 186th Street,
Bronx, New York
X. ELECTION OF BRONX COMMUNITY BOARD #6’S EXECUTIVE OFFICERS FOR THE
TWO-YEAR TERM OF OFFICE BEGINNING JULY 1, 2014 AND ENDING JUNE 30, 2016
PURSUANT TO ARTICLE V, SECTIONS 1 AND 2 OF THE COMMUNITY BOARD’S BY
At this point an election for the community board’s executive officers
for the two year term of office that begins July 1, 2014 and concludes
on June 30, 2016 was held and produced the following results
Board Chair…………....Wendy Rodriguez
1st Vice Chair…………..Sara N. Logan
2nd Vice Chair…………..Claudette Coles
Treasurer……………….Thomas J. Murray
XI. ADOPTION OF MOTIONS
1. A motion to adopt the minutes of Bronx Community Board #6’s meeting
of May 14, 2014 was made by Ms. Virginia Bird, seconded by Ms. Williams,
and unanimously adopted by acclamation.
2. A motion to table the matter of issuing a letter in support of New
York City Department of Design and Construction project # HWXP2007 until
such time as the department presents the project to full community board
was made by Ms. Floretta O’Brien, seconded by Ms. Diana Diaz, and
adopted by a vote of twenty (20) in favor, zero (0) opposed, and zero
DDC Project HWXP2007 includes the reconstruction and re-alignment of
portions of Devoe Avenue, East 177th Street, and East Tremont Avenue as
part of the Bronx Greenway Project. The project will also improve the
area’s traffic flow and pedestrian safety. Water mains, storm sewers,
traffic signals, street lighting and signage in the project area will
also be updated.
3. A motion to issue a letter acknowledging receipt of VIP Community
Services’ letter of May 22, 2014 informing the community board of its
22.5 million dollar New York State funded capital project consisting of
a new building that is to be constructed at an existing VIP site
currently located at 770 East 176th Street was made by Ms. Maria Garcia,
seconded by Ms. Espinosa, and adopted by a vote of nineteen (19) in
favor, zero (0) opposed, and zero (0) abstentions. Ms. Bird was not
eligible to vote on this motion due to her affiliation with VIP.
The letter is to also acknowledge that VIP Community Services made a
presentation on this matter to the community board’s Health and Human
Services Committee on June 4, 2014.
4. A motion to issue a letter reiterating the community board support
for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (the Bronx Zoo) Intermodal
Transportation Facility was made by Ms. Espinosa, seconded by Ms.
Marcano, and adopted by a vote of twenty (20) in favor, zero (0)
opposed, and zero (0) abstentions.
Ms. Evonne Capers, Bronx Community Board #6 member
Ms. Capers invited us to attend a hearing of the Rent Guideline Board on
Thursday, June 12, 2014 at Hostos Community College.
There being no other business to discuss, the June 11, 2014 meeting of
Bronx Community Board #6 was adjourned at approximately 9:00 p.m.
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