Bronx Beat

When it comes to gerrymandering – OOPS! We MEAN redistricting -it is good to be the Rivera Bronx political clan – Jose, Joel and Naomi

Assemblywoman Naomi, known to readers of this column as Snooki (Hey, some electeds just wanna have fun) will see the large Morris Park chunk of her 80th Assembly District where she’s actually been known to stay 15 whole minutes at community meetings with the Unwashed, score a hat trick.

She’ll trade a number of white voters for Latinos, pick up a bunch of nursing homes as a trade-off for losing some hospitals (think campaign contributions) and see at least four past and future potential challengers – Irene Rukaj, Joe Thompson, Anthony Friedman and Rob Giuffre – as well as local civic leaders zoned out of her district,

Snooki has Bronx Dem Party Boss Carl Heastie’s backing, (we can’t wait to hear him praise her accomplishments), but she’ll still have to get off her culo to fight well-heeled Realtor Mark Gjonaj (jo-nigh). He’s counting on a heavy vote by the large Albanian-American community.

Meanwhile, assemblyman dad Jose made sure to keep his Fordham/Bedford Park 78th A.D. seat warm for term-limited Council majority leader hijo Joel.

Seems the legislature figured Papi Jose’s district would be better balanced if it stretched one block to take in Joel’s Pelham Parkway apartment building. It also drew a line around the apartment building of a potential Jose/Joel-in-the-future challenger, Bronx Democratic Party executive director Ischia Bravo, booting her over to Assemblyman Nelson Castro’s 86th A.D. in Morris Heights to the west.

Papi Jose is 75 and the guessing game is not IF, but how soon after getting reelected he’ll step down, with the committee on vacancy naming hijo Joel to fill out his term.

Surrogate Robes

Other than upcoming assembly contests, the hottest election in the Bronx this year is for Bronx Surrogate, whose office parcels out lucrative assignments to lawyers (Dem Party friendly, of course) to handle estates of persons who die without wills.

Bronx Surrogate Lee Holtzman, being probed by the state Office of Judicial Conduct for allegedly allowing very fat fees to lawyers, isn’t expected to run again. His former legal counsel, Mike Lippman, is under indictment by Bronx D.A. Rob Johnson.

We hear on good authority that Bronx Dem Party Boss Carl Heastie has already measured Darcel Clark for the new judical robes, with party backing.

An African-American Bronx state Supreme Court judge sitting in the criminal term, she and Bronx Civil Court Judge Nelida Malave recently received qualified ratings from the party’s independent judicial screening panel. But don’t expect a brawl from the party’s Latino faction, like the one that sparked the Rainbow Rebellion and toppled Jose Rivera as party boss over his backing a Latina judicial candidate. “It’s not their turn,” said one party insider.

A Left Hook-Ah

Funny case bubbled up in Bronx Criminal Court recently – assault with a hookah smoking pipe. Vic was in stitches – 27 of ‘em.

Fat Joe Ho’-Oh!

BP Ruben Diaz Jr. taking a beatdown from former Riverdale Press co-publisher Buddy Stein for choosing rapper Fat Joe for Bronx Week’s Walk of Fame.

Now a Hunter College journalism prof, Buddy b-slapped Hip-Hop fan Ruben in an editorial in the student-produced Hunts Point Express over Fat Joe’s lyrics demeaning women, which we, in our usual good taste, dasn’t repeat here.

Grand Master Ruben’s Spokes-b-boy John Desio argued Joe’s contributions outweigh his lyrics. Yo yo!

Pork Diem

Morrisania Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, who says he’s from the poorest district in the state, recently spanked in ink for pigging out on the taxpayers’ dime to the tune of $31,351 in food and lodging per diem in Albany.

Which brings to mind the time back at the Daily News in the 70s when a reporter covering the space program put in a rather ‘cherce’ expense account for a fancy dinner with one of the astronauts. Only problem was, the astronaut happened to be in space at the time….

Cop Corner

Deputy Chief Terry Monahan, exec officer over at Patrol Boro Bronx for a record nine years, trading places with Queens Patrol Boro North counterpart, Dep Chief Pat Conry. Terry’s big love in his early days was working narcotics – and being first one through the door. The best, pal.

Recent shakeups, with Morris Heights’ 4-6 Precinct Dep. Inspector Tim Bugge (Boo-shay) swung to Narcotics in The Kremlin (1 Police Plaza), replaced by D.I. John Hart…Longtime 4-6 detective squad Lt. John Gogarty now running the 5-0 squad for the Riverdale P.D., replaced by old Bronx hand Lt. Mike Ruzzi.

And big thanks to the 11,000-member metro area Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 100 for the Man of the Year award. Like I said, the toughest relationship in the world – OTHER than with my ex-wives – is between cops and reporters.


Bronx Beep Ruben Diaz Jr., April 26, and former BP Freddy Ferrer, April 30 (Both Taurus – “Determined Energy”).

And with that shaved head, we can’t tell if Ruben’s going gray, bald or both.

Proud Dad

Morris Park/Allerton real estate broker “Sonny” Vuksan Vataj on diaper doody with new son.

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