Saturday, August 18, 2012

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Ex-beau bombshell: Bx. pol Rivera handed me 75G gig and looted nonprofit $$(NYP) Bronx Democratic Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera allegedly used a taxpayer-funded nonprofit as her personal piggy bank, installed her unqualified lover as the group’s leader — and then helped him get a fat raise so he could take her on nice dates. “I had no background in nonprofits,” said former boyfriend Vincent Pinela, who detailed the shocking arrangement to The Post.The NY Post keeps the heat on Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera, finding a former boyfriend who says she established him as the head of a nonprofit he was unqualified to run and then used it as her personal piggybank.

Romantic dinners and meals were paid for on the taxpayers’ dime. In one instance, she told him to pay for a dinner with her and her father, Assemblyman José Rivera, and “charge it to the Bronx Council” as a business meeting, Pinela said.   The Bronx Council for Economic Development was founded in 1995 by former Bronx party boss Roberto Ramirez. In 2002, Ramirez handed the Bronx Democratic Party reins to José Rivera, and the Riveras became the most powerful political family in the borough. n 2006, political strategist Luis Miranda, who runs a consulting firm with Ramirez, sat on the board. Serafin Mariel, a politically connected business man, replaced him on the board when he left that year. Angel Cruz, an attorney, served as board secretary while his wife, Lumarie Maldanado, worked as Naomi River’s counsel part time in 2008, records show.  Since 2006, Naomi has steered hundreds of thousand of dollars in capital grants and member items to the group, according to records. He said he tried to make the group a reputable organization and felt uncomfortable about “improper” and “questionable” requests his lawmaker lover made — so he tried to get out of the relationship.

Organized Crime Politics in the Bronx
The Rivera political dynasty
The most politically powerful family in The Bronx, the Riveras are key Democratic players in Albany and New York City.
* José Rivera, 74
The father, an assemblyman representing Fordham since 2000. He was the Bronx Democratic Party boss until his ouster in 2008 over charges of nepotism.
* Joel Rivera, 33
Naomi’s brother, the City Council majority leader. He became the youngest person ever elected to the council when, at age 22, he replaced his father, José, who vacated in a special election in 2000.
* Rodney Rivera, 42
Naomi’s brother. He owns Kameleon, an event consulting group that was given at least $40,000 by the nonprofit Naomi funds. He works for the state as a $74,000-a-year special assistant at the Environmental Conservation Department.
* Roberto Ramirez, 62
Former Bronx party boss. He helped make José party boss after stepping down in 2002 to focus on his consulting firm. Ramirez founded the Bronx Council for Economic Development, the nonprofit the Riveras fund and control.
* Antonio Rodriguez, 44
Naomi’s ex-husband. In 2006, when they were still married, Christine Quinn gave him a $95,000-a-year job with the City Council as a favor to José, who had backed her election as speaker. In 2011, Rodriguez made $109,000 as senior graphic designer for the council.

Flashback We Really Do Miss the Village Voice and Barrett (2003) . . .  Meet David Keisman the Nussbaum of the Bronx
Miranda Y Mas is a consulting firm owned by Luis Miranda, the onetime chair of the city's Health and Hospitals Corporation, and Northeast Bronx is owned by John Collazi and David Keisman, publishers of the Bronx Times and Times-Reporter. Miranda is a partner of Ramirez's in Mirram Group, another consulting firm that was initially incorporated on May 18, 1998, the same day as Miranda Y Mas. Miranda Y Mas was paid $977,943 by Ferrer and $246,619 by Carrion, spending $499,000 of its Ferrer funds on television and radio ads in the Latin media.
Though the Ferrer ads were principally produced by another consultant, David Axelrod, Miranda received the commissions. Northeast's owners, Collazi and Keisman, are also partners with Ramirez and Miranda in the Manhattan Times, a Washington Heights-based weekly that Miranda calls a "sister publication" of the Bronx Times. The papers are so linked that they share the same business phone number, as well as advertising and production staffs, with the salaries paid by the Bronx Times, according to Keisman. Northeast, a non-union printer, does both papers. Though the Manhattan Times began in 1999, Miranda says Ramirez did not become a partner until 2002True News: A Takeover Of Journalism by Lobbyist and Politicians * In 2006, the Community Newspaper Group (CNG), an affiliate of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, purchased the Bronx Times-Reporter.* After 10 years in Manhattan, the Bronx is our new frontier(Manhattan Times) The few weekly newspapers covering the Heights when we first published have all disappeared. We haven’t. Founding publishers David Keisman, Luis Miranda and Roberto Ramirez knew that in order for neighborhoods to reach maturity and stability, they needed a community newspaper.Sister paper Bronx Free Press

Liu's Payback
Update Is There A Tavern Scandal?
City Comptroller John Liu is investigating the connection between a former deputy mayor and the winning Tavern on the Green bidder.  Liu starts Tavern bid probe(NYP) * NYC Comptroller Is Probing Tavern On The Green's Winning Bid (Gothamist)

Tavern in the Green Family
Play to Pay Sheekey is All in the Family
Winning eatery bidders have connections to top Mayor adviser Sheekey(NYP)One of the owners is the brother-in-law of former Deputy Mayor Kevin Sheekey. Officials confirmed yesterday that Jim Caiola, who runs the Philadelphia-based Emerald Green Group with partner David Salama, is the brother of Sheekey’s wife, Robin. 

Milking Street Fairs
‘Nonprofit’ milks fairs(NYP Ed) Edward Juarez is raking in the cash like a sausage seller at a street fair. Despite being accused of fraud by the attorney general — and admitting his International Immigrants Foundation was being “reorganized” — he’s the beneficiary of thousands of dollars raised at a 2011 street fair. And he’s about to get even more money from a Sept. 16 fair slated to close 15 blocks on Eighth Avenue.


Hold EDC accountable over Willets development (Times Ledger)Pinsky’s EDC disbursed city funds to another local development corporation set up by Shulman, which was likewise prohibited from lobbying for legislation. EDC deliberately assigned specific tasks to Shulman’s LDC. For its part, Shulman’s LDC lobbied but filed none of the required registrations or disclosure reports for 18 months — until the city clerk finally interceded, holding Shulman’s LDC liable to pay a record $59,090 penalty. s it any wonder that city Comptroller John Liu has since called this “EDC’s culture of lawlessness” or that Pinsky now wants to start a friendly dialogue with a newspaper on other topics? If any other company well-known to the public had shown the same disregard for law and contracts as has EDC, the shareholders would demand the immediate resignations of its president and board of directors.


Messer Softee
As he campaigns and registers voters challenger John Messer who is challenging Toby Stavisky gives out free ice cream to the district residence. There is no truth to the rumor that Toby's son Evan is giving out some of his government pork in a pork truck.

Campaign 2012 Welcome, New York Voters(NYT Ed) At a time when some other states are throwing up obstacles to voters, New York’s governor is trying to make voting easier by allowing online registration.* Mayor Faults Moves to Ease Health Fines(WSJ) * Candidates Vie For Seabrook's Open Seat(NY1)
* THE PEREZ NOTES: Dominican Community Fractured on the day of the Parade El Diario NY: *De Blasio’s bike warpathPublic advocate rips ‘radical’ Sadik-Khan * Shortfall in local hiring at Aqueduct racino sparks war of words between state Senate candidates (NYDN) Challenger Eric Ulrich says incumbent Joe Addabbo Jr. is more concerned with campaign contributions than holding the racino to its word* Michael Goodwin is excited about Bill de Blasio’s recent pro-business moves.* Mike Simanowitz said Jimmy Meng shouldn’t reflect on his daughter’s congressional campaign, but he admitted, “You know how it is in politics, baggage is baggage.” * Simcha Felder isn’t a fan of the term “super Jewish district,” saying on Dov Hikind’s radio show, “They never called a district – The super Catholic district, Super Muslim..anything. You never see that by anything.”* Former NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson is keeping a low profile in the 2013 NYC mayor’s race, but that doesn’t mean he’s not in the hunt.* The New York Times touted Cuomo’s on-line registration effort, but would like to see him “coax the Legislature into purging or modernizing some of the state’s outdated voting laws.”


Grimm Money Men Arrested

Donn Esmonde is outraged that state legislators are lobbying for a pay raise.


City Ends School Lunch Program That Used Professional Chefs
(NYT) A well-regarded program does not meet new federal nutrition standards, the New York City Department of Education said.



Taxi to Brooklyn Its Back to Forgetaboutit
disability question NOT an issue in this case - simply cartel vs. service in other boros. 

Judge puts the brakes on Bloomberg's street-hail livery cab plan(NYP) * Court Nixes Taxi Plan(WSJ) * Court Overturns Law Expanding Taxi Service(NYT) * State Judge Rejects Five-Borough Taxi Plan(NY1) * Hail, No! Judge kayoes Mayor Bloomberg’s plan  to let livery (NYDN) * Judge Blocks Outer-Borough Taxi Plan(NY Mag) * Livery Drivers In Washington Heights Frustrated By Ruling (NY1)

Another Shoe Drops on the NYC Budget

The Budget Will Have to Cut At  Least Over $700 Million From Next's Year Budget, 1.4 Billion Total
Channeling Ross Perot: That "giant sucking sound" you hear is the huge hole in NYC's budget. Here come the PEG letters.

Summer of Shootings Continues
6 Shooting Last Night 
Man shot dead outside restaurant in Rosedale(NYDN) * Cab passenger shot during Brooklyn robbery attempt: An armed man was trying to rob the driver when his gun wen(WABC)  * Summer Of Violence Continues With Pair Of Shootings In Brooklyn(WCBS) * * * Restaurant manager shot dead in front of workplace in Queens(NYP) * Livery-Cab Passenger Is Shot in the Head in Brooklyn (NYT) * Police: Man, woman brought gun to a Staten Island burgl (SI Advance)

Passenger shot in head during attempted robbery in Brooklyn(NYP) * * Livery cab passenger shot in head during attempted robbery(NYP) * Two Overnight Shootings Take Place In Brooklyn Neighborhood(NY1)Queens buyback gets 504 guns off streetsQueens buyback gets 504 guns off streets(NYP) *Community Leaders Occupy Street Corners (NY1)*  Judge Bars Testimony by Expert in Frisk Suit(NYT) The judge said that the city had “no evidence” to make the deterrence claim, and called the argument “too speculative” to be admitted in a suit challenging the tactic’s constitutionality. *Officials unveil plan to curb gun violence (Queens Courier) * Queens buyback gets 509 guns off streets - including an AK 47 and tec-9(NYP)
Thug shoots taxi passenger in the head in botched B'klyn robberyThug shoots taxi passenger in the head in botched B'klyn robbery(NYP) * 15-Year-Old Arraigned In Connection With Brownsville Shooting(NY1)
* Who’s watching the kids in Brownsville? Many play on streets(NYDN) * 509 guns turned in at church (NYDN) * Qns. eatery boss shot dead at work(NYP) * Local Leaders Call For More Cops As Gun Violence Surges(Huff Post) * Man Being Questioned In Two Weekend Shootings In Brooklyn (CBS)
* Rash of crimes sparks Queens peace rally (WABC)

Bloomberg Casinos ‘in every borough’(NYP)

Mike's Flat Tires 
        ‘Spoke’ too soon – NY bike-share delay‘Spoke’ too soon – NY bike-share delay(NYP) * Mike’s flat tires(NYP Ed) New York pedestrians just won a six-month reprieve from City Hall’s latest bicycle boondoggle. After weeks of secrecy — and a flatly disingenuous denial of a Post story reporting ongoing problems — Mayor Bloomberg has suspended his bike-sharing program. * Bike-Share Racked as Tech Woes Continue(WSJ) * Tech Glitch Again Delays City Bike Share Launch(NY1)* Citi Bikes share program delayed again(NYDN)

Reduced Teachers Tenured
Many New York City Teachers Denied Tenure in Policy Shift(NYT) * Fewer City Teachers Get School Tenure(WSJ)   * DOE: Teacher Tenure Rate Hits New Low(NY1) * NYC teacher-tenure rate falls again(NYDN) * Just Over Half of Eligible Teachers Receive Tenure (WNYC) * Teacher tenure must be earned by quality educators(NYDN Ed)  Longevity on the job is no reason to grant workplace protection

Waiting for Daily News excellent investigative reporting on NYCHA to reveal role of Dennis Walcott. NYCHA was part of the X DM's portfolio.* City's Housing Authority Big On Shortcomings, Report Finds(NY1)

School Fraud Is Alleged(WSJ) Two men have been charged with defrauding New York City schools by billing for $1.5 million in sign-language services that investigators said were never provided nor needed to begin with, according to a complaint. * Race Gap Persists at NYC's Elite High Schools(NBC)

City Oversight of Builders in Housing Program Criticized(NYT)

Wonder Where the NY Senator Found Time to Repeal Glass–Steagall Act
This sweet, funny story does more good for Chuck Schumer's image than 1,000 Sunday AM press conferences


Savoring the Illicit Thrill of a Glass of Something, Outside (NYT)The law against consumption of alcohol in front of your apartment is enforced at police officers’ discretion, but the practice endures around the city.





How Management Killed “The Village Voice” (Buzz Feed) Mike Lacey figured out sex ads on the Internet, but little else. The paper edges toward collapse.
If you're of a certain age and place, this plight of the (Village) Voice will sadden you.

NY1 Online: Author Examines Williamsburg’s Transformation

Repair Costs Could Bring Down a Popular Pier(NYT) With Pier 40’s roof falling in and the pilings underneath it deteriorating, the pier has turned into a drain on Hudson River Park’s finances.

 Food stamp program in crisis(NYDN)

500 Million Already Spent On the Campaign More Than the Entire 2008 Presidential Campaign
  Campaign gets flyin’ with RyanCampaign gets flyin’ with Ryan(NYP) 10 Million collected online in one week * Obama Lags on Judicial Picks, Limiting His Mark(NYT) * After First Week on Trail, Ryan Looks Ahead(NYT) * Ryan Tax Returns Show 20 Percent Rate in 2011(NYT) * Bill Maher: Obama May Lose The Election Because He Never Thanked His Big Donors * Pres Obama has campaign rallies today in WIndham and Rochester, NH to spotlight his middle class tax cuts and charge Romney will raise them.* Having made a risky pick, GOP presidential contender Romney wants running mate Ryan to play it safe: (AP) *Paul Ryan’s Favorite Band Would Rather Not Be(Race Against the Machine) * Romney: Obama 'raided' Medicare to fund 'takeover of the healthcare system'(The Hill) *Paul Ryan as GOP veep: One week on (The Hill) * Romney hits Obama on Medicare in podcast(CNN) * Republican strategists believe there is just one way to win the Medicare message wars(Politico) * * VP Biden taking the weekend off. He's back on the campaign trail Tuesday and Wednesday in Minnesota and Michigan.
Paul Ryan defends Medicare proposal with his mother, who's on program(NYP) * Paul Ryan doing a campaign rally today in The Villages, one of Florida's top retirement communities, where Medicare is a top issue.* Mitt Romney in New England today too. He's doing fundraisers on Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod and Nantucket.* A big setback for Pennsylvania voter registration efforts (Huff Post)* Obama renews call for Congress to help save teachers' jobs after report finds larger class sizes: (AP)* Who’s Better Qualified to Serve as President? 42% Say , 40% * The Bizarro Medicare Debate - Jonathan Cohn, The New Republic * ObamaCare at Center Stage - Jeffrey Anderson, Weekly Standard * Van Hollen: Romney-Ryan Plan Raises Medicare Costs - Ezra Klein, WP *  After First Week on Trail, Ryan Looks Ahead - Trip Gabriel, NY Times * Recovery Summer 3: Unemployment Up in 44 States - John Merline, IBD * Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac: The Walking Dead - Deborah Solomon, Bloomberg * The Washington, D.C. Bubble - Robert Tracinski, RealClearMarkets* Mideast Order Is Rapidly Eroding - Jim Hoagland, Washington Post * Egypt's Military and the Arab Spring - Andrew McCarthy, National Review * Dark Road to the White House - Charles Blow, New York Times * Ryan Plan Coming Back to Haunt Obama - Mark McKinnon, Daily Beast * Paul Antoinette Ryan - Roger Bybee, The Progressive * Time for "Democrats for Romney" - Jerry Della Femina, New York Post *  Voter ID Laws Boost Democracy - Stephan & Abigail Thernstrom, Boston Hld * Paul Ryan enlists mom in Medicare fight (CBS) * 300,000 education jobs lost, White House urges investmen(CNN)  * compares national and Wisconsin local media coverage of the Paul Ryan VP pick: * Paul Ryan campaigns with mom in Florida, reports (NBC) * Pres Obama slams Romney/Ryan tax plan as "trickle down snake oil." Advance text said he would call it "trickle down fairy dust." Upgrade.* Meet Paul Ryan’s mom(Politico)

Obama’s Gotta Go (Newsweek) Why does Paul Ryan scare the president so much? Because Obama has broken his promises, and it’s clear that the GOP ticket’s path to prosperity is our only hope. * President Obama, in New Hampshire, Calls Romney-Ryan Budget Plans 'Snake Oil'(NYT)  * Pelosi's one word for Ryan? 'Medicare Killer' (Wash Post) *Mitt Romney’s Enigmatic Backstory: Why Won’t He Reveal Anything About His Life?(Vanity Fair) * Tom Morello: 'Paul Ryan Is the Embodiment of the Machine Our Music Rages Against'(Rolling Stone) * Political Ads: Overpriced, Inefficient, Essential(Rolling Stone) * Paul Ryan’s Fatherr(New Yorker) * Paul Ryan's Taxes Are Pretty Normal (The Atlantic) * Medicare, Paul Ryan, and beyond: a primer (CJR) * To Gain Edge on Medicare, a Personal Tale(NYT) * The Boston Globe is calling for Joe Biden to apologize for his 'chains' comment: (Politico) * Rachel Maddow Says Politico Is ‘Effectively’ The Romney Campaign’s ‘Campaign Newsletter’ (VIDEO) * Ryan is currently preparing for two key moments: the debate and his convention speech.

Sunday Update 
*Both Campaigns Seize Role of Medicare Defender(NYT) * Ryan’s mama vs. Obama on Medicare (NYP) * O cranks out ‘stimulus’ before election(NYP) * Courtship Between Romney and Ryan Goes Back Years(NYT) * Truth and Lies About Medicare(NYDN Ed) Both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are implying that the Affordable Care Act would eviscerate Medicare when in fact the law should shore up the program. * Paul Ryan's Mom Doesn't Seem to Have a Problem with His Medicare Plan(NY Mag) * Why Paul Ryan Matters - William Kristol, Weekly Standard * Beware Ryan's Beautiful Calm - Maureen Dowd, New York Times *  The Incredible Lightness of Biden - John Podhoretz, New York Post * Obama's (Perceived) Transformation - Ta-Nehisi Coates, New York Times * Obama Remains a Mystery - David Shribman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette * What Does Obama Really Believe In? - Paul Tough, NY Times Magazine *  Nevada Holds Promise for Mitt, but Obama Has Edge - Erin McPike, RCP *  Where's the Outrage Over Plouffe's Speech Fees? - Phil Mushnick, NY Post * Both Campaigns Seize Role of Medicare Defender - Gabriel & Cooper, NYT * Mediscare Campaign Will Backfire on Dems - Jack Kelly, Pittsburgh PG * Why Obama-Biden Should Win in a Landslide - Gary Hart, Huffington Post * Who Lost Egypt? - Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post*  In Veep Battle, Ryan Wins By a Knockout - Rex Murphy, National Post * The Bizarro Medicare Debate - Jonathan Cohn, The New Republic * Gibbs spars with Wallace over Medicare: (Politico)* Mitt Romney declares war on Big Bird(Huff Post) * * What Paul Ryan's tax returns reveal(Wash Post) *Obama Advisor To CNN: Entertainment Media ‘Equally Important’ As Political Media * Ann Coulter On Female Vote: ‘Single Women Look For Gov’t To Be Their Husbands’ * Gibbs: Romney Can’t Criticize Obama Tone When Supported By ‘Right-Wing Nutjob Donald Trump’ * Ryan being targeted on women’s issues in particular.*Romneys Open Church Doors to the Media(NYT) * Before the G.O.P. Convention, a Romney To-Do List(NYT) * McLaughlin Group Debate Over Paul Ryan Descends Into Chaotic Shout Fest * Wall Street Turncoats: The Money Guys Loved Obama in ’08—This Year, Romney’s Their Man (Daily Beast) * Extreme Convention Makeover(Daily Beast) * Peggy Noonan: If Biden Were Republican Meet the Press's Topic Would Be 'How Stupid Is This Person?' *

Not Part of the Campaign the Wars
Slain L.I. Marine’s Family Speaks Out After Another Deadly Incident Carried Out By Afghan Recruit (WCBS) Lance Cpl. Greg Buckley Jr.'s Dad On Recent Incidents: 'We Need To Wake Up'

Not Part of the Discussion of the Dreams Discussion How Putting So Many Workers In the Jobs Market Will Hurt Those Who Can't Find A Jop, Including Vets
Long Lines and Big Dreams(NYT Ed)  The new policy that gives young illegal immigrants a reprieve from deportation and a chance to work is an application of common sense.* Funeral for LI Marine Killed in Afghanistan(NBC)

Russian punk trio Pussy Riot gets two years in prison, igniting protests worldwide(NYP)  * Putin’s punishment of Pussy Riot a self-inflicted defeat(NYP) * New Yorkers Embrace Jailed Russian Punk Band(WSJ) * * Watch: Protests over Russia punk verdict spread (CBS) * How Three Young Punks Made Putin Blink - Julia Ioffe, The New Republic * When Putin's Thugs Came for Me - Garry Kasparov, Wall Street Journal  * Pussy Riot's Final Statements - The Economist* Why Pussy Riot is Big in America, But Not Russia * Madonna Slams Pussy Riot Guilty Verdict  * Pussy Riot: Putin vs. Punk - The Guardian

NBC’s ‘Tonight Show’ Cuts Budget and Staff(NYT) The late night talk show is reducing costs by laying off employees and reducing the pay of its host, Jay Leno.

Law and Order
Bass butler gets 20 years in ‘virus’ extortion(NYP) *Wife-slay horror(NYP) *Rooftop potheads(NYP)* Suit Against NYPD Officer Accused Of Refusing Care Postponed(NY1) * Patrol cops in deadly bike crash taken off duty(NYDN) * Family sues NYPD and cop over death of asthmatic girl(WABC) * UPS Truck Drivers Arrested in Alleged Pot Transport(NBC) * Man Sought For Alleged Brooklyn Bodega Slashing (NY1) *Cops Searching For Man Who Allegedly Ran Down Three Police (WCBS) * Grenade found in vet’s aptartment(NYDN) * Hunt for suspect in Queens cop assaults(NYDN) * Suspect wanted for assaulting and robbing subway riders(Fox5) *  Brooklyn Man Stabbed to Death Outside Tompkins Houses - DNAinfo  *Pizzeria worker fatally stabbed in heart in Bx. parking lot(NYP)

Judge targets ‘piece of s---’ lawyer with bullseye poster(NYDN)Supreme Court Justice Arthur Schack — who has been hailed nationwide as a hero for standing up for the little guy in foreclosure cases — drew a red bull’s eye on McDonough’s photo and told the lawyer to give it to his partner .
Parks worker’s $15M suit over noose (NYDN)

Police Looking For Group Of Subway Train Robbers(NYDN)

NYPD releases surveillance photo of Brooklyn bodega sla(NYDN)
UPS drivers caught delivering 30 lbs. of pot(NYDN)