IT’S FAST AND SLICK
FOR STATE OF BOROUGH
All hail Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. - and his inner circle - for putting together a neat State of the Borough speech Tuesday at his old alma mater, James Monroe High School in Soundview.
Not only did it break a speed record (a flat out 50 minutes, including applause) – the fastest we’ve seen in almost 20 years of covering Bronx SOB’s – but he also managed to slide right through the white elephant in the room in the blink of an eye.
We’re talking about the Kingsbridge Armory, over which Ruben has little say in what appears to be some pretty intense behind-the-scenes hard bargaining over a community benefits agreement with the Kingsbridge National Ice Center folks. A deal was supposed to be announced in September.
Problem is the deal is racing the clock before Mayor Bloomberg leaves, since the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Process takes nine months.
Ruben deftly glossed over the issue in one sentence, saying “With local Councilman Fernando Cabrera and Mayor Bloomberg, we will bring responsible development to the Kingsbridge Armory.”
Scenes from an SOB:
•Ruben scoring media points with a proposal to create a gun crime registry, with reporting requirements similar to those as a sex offenders, including on-line listings of names.
•A phalanx of mayoral wannabe’s in the audience to show their props, including ex-BP/ex-Democrat Adolfo Carrion, now likely to be a Hispanic vote-drainer on the Independence Party line (see item below) and getting an extra blip or two on the applause meter from the audience.
• Soundview Councilwoman Annabel Palma joking she was holding an aisle seat for Congressman Eliot Engel to shake Ruben’s hand, “but he never showed up!”
•Ruben giving a shoutout to his longtime sweetheart and wife Hilda, married 24 years and both turning 40 this year.
•Facing off, with Ruben’s goatee trimmed down to a straight mustache. Hey, inquiring minds wanna know....
WIN/LOSE FOR ADOLFO
Until his expected endorsement late Wednesday by the Independence Party, it was an up/down week for ex-Bronx BP Adolfo Carrion.
First a Marist poll showed the 51-year-old mayoral wannabe only one percentage point (at 4%) above the bottom candidate in a mayoral race on the Republican line, with MTA head Joe Lhota at the top.
Then the Post’s (and ex-Riverdale Review reporter) Candice Giove broke the story that Adolfo had pushed Bronx Dems to nominate wife Linda Baldwin for a Civil Court judgeship shortly before he dropped his Democratic Party registration to go rogue.
HALF A LOAF
Melissa Mark-Viverito still “sorta grumbling” after the city Council Districting Commission restored a major chunk of E. Harlem to new proposed lines that take in most of Mott Haven.
Of course, many concerns remain about the new boundaries of the El Barrio/East Harlem section of District 8 -- 30 blocks are still being cut out, including several housing developments that have historically been a part of this district -- but the residents of East Harlem will ensure that these new lines do nothing to diminish our strength as a historic community of interest.
“I have been consistent throughout the redistricting process that I more than welcome the opportunity to represent more of the Bronx,” sayeth Melissa. “I stand fully prepared to represent this new district and I look forward to working with all of my Bronx colleagues and community leaders in the months and years to come to advance issues of importance for our communities.”
Mayor Bloomberg has reappointed retired longtime Boro Hall staffer Bob Nolan to a full five-year term to the board of the Health and Hospitals Corp. Bob, was first appointed in June 2011 to an interim term. He’s the only Bronxite serving on the board.
Senator Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj passing a joint resolution commemorating fifth anniversary on Feb. 17 of the Declaration of Independence of Kosova. This after American and NATO-led military intervention to end ethnic cleansing under Slobodan Milosevic. Many Kosovar nationals, Kosovar-Americans and Albanian-Americans from Kosova have made their home in New York - and especially the Bronx.
ELIOT PHONE HOME
Congressman Eliot Engel is back in his old digs at Co-op City, where he grew up.
He reopened his former office last week in Room 3 at 177 Dreiser Loop (718-320-2314). Originally his old office, it was taken over after redistricting ten years ago by Congressman Joe Crowley, and after the latest round of redistricting based on the 2010 Census, moved Engel back in.
“When I saw the new redistricting lines,” he said, “and saw I was representing Co-op City again, it was like I was coming home.”
Long-time Co-op City resident Maxine Sullivan will be Engel’s new staff assistant there to deal with constituent “problems and issues, great and small.”
And check out the birthday listings below....
To the family of Mickey Maye, a two-fisted walking hurricane out of 138th Street in the south Bronx, who became a two-time Golden Gloves champ and head of the Uniformed Firefighters Association. Died of a heart attack in Boynton Beach, Fla., on Friday, Feb. 15 at age 83. He earned his reputation as a fearless firefighter working out of Ladder 31 on Intervale Ave. during the Bronx is Burning years.
Feb. 18 - Congressman Eliot (aisle seat for one, please) Engel