Monday, October 31, 2016

PSAL Playoff Kicks Off

Car Hops Curb, Injures 3

Weiner to Squeal to Feds

Could Weiner Save Himself by Cutting Deal with Feds? Report

Sunday, October 30, 2016

WeinerGate Could Land Trump in the White House

Trump Could Win Thanks to Slippery Weiner

By Robert Press

Dump Hillary for Kaine?

Will Clinton Drop Out Under FBI Probe?

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Riverdale News in Bronx Voice

The latest issue of the Bronx Voice is out.

Friday, October 28, 2016

What you need to know about Breast Cancer

Hillary Email Scandal Revisited by FBI

Riverdale Shelter Newbornbaby Death Being Investigated

Eating Out This Weekend

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Cycling Through the Bronx

Thousands Cycle in Tour DeBronx

Yankee Stadium- Yes. Apple Store- No?

Sports: Science Soccer Gets Bronx Bragging Rights

Sports Voice: Science Soccer Gets Bronx Bragging Rights: Bronx Science Finishes Regular Season Undefeated With Victory Over Clinton In Boys Soccer (Photos by Robert Cole) By Rob...

Apple Needs to Open Store in Bronx- Pols

Press on Politics: Apple Needs to Open Store in Bronx- Pols: iPhone Maker Urged to Open Apple Store in the Bronx (File Photo) BRONX NEWS - We have the Yankees why can’t the Br...

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Sports: Yanks to Host Playoffs for Soccer

Sports Voice: Yanks to Host Playoffs for Soccer: NYCFC to Host First Post Season Series in Bronx (Photos by Robert Cole) SPORTS NEWS- NYCFC clinched their First Round bye th...

Sports: David Villa Wins AT&T MLS Goal of the Week

Sports Voice: David Villa Wins AT&T MLS Goal of the Week: (Photo by Robert Cole) SPORTS NEWS- David Villa's late strike in the final game of the regular season has been voted by ...

Monday, October 24, 2016

Sports Voice: Fordham Beats Georgetown in Squeaker

Sports Voice: Fordham Beats Georgetown in Squeaker: Fordham Gets an Ugly Win (Photos by Gary Quintal) By Rich Mancuso SPORTS - There was another record almost set by Fordh...

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Friday, October 21, 2016

Homeless Being Housed in Riverdale?

(File Photo)

By Robert Press

BRONX- In a television interview last week, New York City Department of Human Resources and Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks said "We try to keep the homeless in the community where they live” when answering a question about thirty homeless men being housed in a hotel in Maspeth Queens. Commissioner Banks added that there are 250 homeless people in the Maspeth Queens area, and the neighborhood should do its part in housing the homeless. 

According to Commissioner Banks’ logic this would mean that the well to do neighborhood of Riverdale, where thirty single adult homeless males once were, and 30 homeless families are now being housed in a 'Hot Sheet Motel' must mean that Riverdale has hundreds of homeless people in its midst. That is an unlikely scenario since the last time a few homeless men were taken care of in a Riverdale community organization they had to be bused in from other areas of the city. This was amplified at a Community Board 8 Land Use meeting when the board was told by the Assistant Commissioner of HRSS that the children being housed in the motel would continue to go to the schools they presently attend outside of Riverdale when asked. Anyway, at its full board meeting last week CB 8 passed a resolution condemning the use of the Van Cortlandt Motel to house homeless families, and called for the firing of Commissioner Banks and his assistant commissioner. 

What should have been a brief Public Hearing on the Fiscal Year 2018 Community Board 8 Budget Priorities lasted for an hour an a half. It was not the fault of the new Budget Chair, but the leadership of CB 8 in guiding someone who did not have the time and skills needed to do the budget priority process correctly. I know this as the past CB 8 Budget Committee Chair, who had the time to attend all the preparatory meetings, committee meetings, go into the board office to do the planning, and I was able to hold the Budget Hearing in less than 10 minutes last year.  

Since the public is asked to comment on the budget proposals, I went into the CB 8 office the morning of this Budget Hearing to view what was going to be presented to the public so, with my knowledge of the process, I could give expert comments. I was shocked to hear the answer that I could not view the Capital and Expense Budget priorities to be presented for public comment later in the evening. At the public hearing that night when the CB 8 Chair Dan Padernacht asked for public comment I said, "How can I comment on something that I asked to see earlier in the day at the board office and was told that I could not see it?”

Mr. Padernacht then asked me if I would like to see it now and comment? I replied to him that it should have been able to be viewed in advance, and that I could not read everything to give reliable comments in such a short time. It seems that my comments were repeated by many board members who said that this was the first time that they were seeing the documents, and that many wanted to lay the matter over to the next meeting. The response from the board chair was that the budget proposals had to be voted on at the meeting, and if changes had to be made they had to be done at the meeting.

At this point Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and Councilman Andrew Cohen left for fear that the process would take too long. I am not going to go into details, but there was discussion back and forth with items being changed in rankings almost like a football game where players go into and come out of the game often. The budget priorities for FY 2018 were finally passed after ninety minutes of discussion and changes. Last year this process took less than ten minutes.

Another item on the CB 8 agenda was the now vacant position of the office of Treasurer. During the 2015 CB 8 by-law revision the part about the duties of the Treasurer were not defined, because CBs no longer have checking accounts. The now former Treasurer of CB 8 resigned the position over differences with the board chair leaving the board having to elect a new Treasurer.

The Chair of the Law Rules and Ethics Committee mentioned the 2015 by-law change in the position of the Treasurer, and proposed to the board a resolution to amend the boards by-laws about the current way monetary issues are handled by electronic payments from the city. After discussion, and members asking about the process the board will check with the borough presidents office to see if the wording is correct. The resolution passed, but will have to be voted on and passed again at the next full board meeting in order to amend the by-laws. 

Saturday morning was the unveiling of Grace Belkin Way at the corner of West 246th Street and the Henry Hudson Parkway West. Over 100 people gathered to honor the former CB 8 District Manager, including family members, current and past elected officials, current and past Community Board 8 members and friends and others who knew Ms. Grace Belkin. All who spoke had only kind words for a wonderful woman. You can go to my blog at to see photos of the street renaming for Ms. Grace Belkin.

If you have any comments about this column or would like to have an event listed or covered in this column or on my blog you can e-mail me at or call 718-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press.    

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Bronx Voice is online

The latest  issue of the Bronx Voice is online

Friday, October 14, 2016

Remembrance of a Great Woman

Riverdale Voice: Remembrance of a Great Woman: By Robert Press RIVERDALE - Saturday October 15th is the dedication of the corner of West 246th Street and the Henry Hudson Parkway ...

Remembrance of a Great Woman

By Robert Press

RIVERDALE- Saturday October 15th is the dedication of the corner of West 246th Street and the Henry Hudson Parkway West Service Road to Ms. Grace Belkin. Grace Belkin was the District Manager of Community Board 8, and unlike other Bronx Community Boards Ms. Belkin held the position of District Manager for 29 years until her health forced her to retire in 2006. Ms. Belkin regrettably passed away in June of 2013. 

According to the custom of Community Board 8, a person must have passed away for at least two years before a street can be named for said person. The process then goes to the City Council for approval, and must finally be signed into law by the mayor. It is hoped for good weather so many of Ms. Grace Belkins friends and admirers will be in attendance. 

Speaking of Community Board 8, on this Thursday there will be a public hearing on the Budget Priorities for Fiscal Year 2018, which will begin at 7 pm at the Riverdale YM/YWHA located at 5625 Arlington Avenue. The full board meeting will take place after the Budget hearing. One resolution on the agenda which should prove to be amusing has a paragraph in which the community board asks for the firing of Deputy Commissioner of Homeless Services Matthew Borden, and anyone else who has allowed homeless families to be placed at the Van Cortlandt Motel. 

On Thursday October 20th the Public Safety Committee of Community Board 8 will meet at the 50th Precinct located next to McDonalds on Kingsbridge Avenue starting at 7 pm. On the full agenda is a discussion of the current situation with the Van Cortlandt Motel. There are three liquor license applications to be heard. A new application for Novelty Nachos located on West 231st Street right next to the new charter school on the corner. According to the State Liquor Authority there is what is called the 200 foot rule of not granting a new liquor license to any establishment within 200 feet of a school or house of worship. Novelty Nachos opened up after the charter school was built, and is not transferring a current valid license from the previous owner. 

There are two renewals of current liquor licenses also. Barcelona Bites (Ibeza Lounge) located at 220 West 242nd Street, and El Economico located at 5589 Broadway. Also on the agenda is a discussion of the incident which occurred on Broadway by Parrilla Latina located at 5523 Broadway. It has been said that Parrilla Latina is not observing the state law of a 4 am closing, and that there have been times when the police department had to be called. I don't envy Rookie CB 8 Public Safety Chair Joe O'Brien, having been a former member of the board and its Public Safety Committee. 

One has to question, however, the rash of Street Activity Permits (SAPO), and the hearing of a liquor license by other committees of CB 8, rather than the Traffic and Transportation committee for SAPO, and the Public Safety Committee for liquor licenses. This past Wednesday the Executive Committee heard for the second time this year street closure requests. The Traffic and Transportation Committee chair said that he was to blame for the two SAPO applications that had to be heard at last Wednesday's Executive Committee meeting. When the first SAPO application was heard, the board chair asked if there was any comment from the Executive Board members, and as he was about to call for a vote I requested to speak to the SAPO application. At first CB 8 Chair Dan Padernacht said that only Executive Board members could speak, but when I reminded him that this was a public SAPO application in which public input is requested Mr. Padernacht reversed his decision saying that I was correct, and let me speak on the SAPO application even though it was being heard in the boards Executive Committee meeting. 

One does not have to look very far to see why attendance by the community has dropped sharply over the past two years, especially when the community does not know what Community Board 8 is doing except in the rare case of special items such as the homeless issue and alike. 

Perhaps as I suggested six years ago when I was appointed to Bronx Community Board 8 that the Bronx Borough President's office look into how each of the 12 Bronx community boards have different sets of governing rules, and how each Bronx community board does its own thing. At the time I was told to shut up and not give the BP's office any more work. Perhaps now is the time for me to ask the same question since I am no longer on Bronx Community Board 8. 

To be better informed you can check my blog at for more on Community Board 8, its meetings, and other items that are happening in and around the Riverdale/Kingsbridge community.

If you have any comments about this column or would like to have an event listed in this column or on my blog you can e-mail me at or call 718-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Gas Leak at Wells Fargo Bank

Gas Leak at Wells Fargo Bank on Riverdale Avenue

(Photo by Robert Press)

By Robert Press

It is not a good sign when you see firemen outside a bank unless they are going in to make a deposit, withdrawal, or use the ATM machine. 

The Wells Fargo bank on Riverdale Avenue between West 236th and West 238th Streets, however, had the two local firehouses respond to a gas leak just after 10 am on October 5. The fire department went to other stores and even on to the roof of the bank to try to find out where the odor of gas was coming from. 

The gas leak appeared to be coming from the AC/heating unit on the roof which spread the odor of the gas throughout the bank and nearby. Firefighters said this had happened at the same time last year when the unit was converted from an air conditioner to a heating unit. The gas was never lit to heat the bank, and was flowing through the ventilation system. 

Con Edison arrived a short time after the company which installed the AC/heating unit. Holes were drilled into the sidewalk in front of the building to check for the odor of gas, which was not found, and the bank was reopened later in the afternoon after it was properly ventilated and the heating unit fixed.

The gas leak comes a week after a Kingsbridge house exploded killing Fire Chief Michael Fahy.