Spring has sprung!  I actually see green in my yard, buds on the trees and the crocus has begun to show itself.  Have you started Spring cleaning?  Nope, I haven’t either!  On Saturday, 3/28 from noon – 3:00, you will have a chance to Stop ‘N’ Swap at Christ Church in New Brighton at 76 Franklin Ave.  It is sponsored by GrowNYC.org/Swap, an outreach and education program of the Department of Sanitation.  So bring your clean, reusable, portable items such as clothing, house wares, electronics, books and toys that you no longer need.  And take home something new to you, FREE.  P.S. You don’t have to bring something to take something!  How is that for a deal?  I have a few bags already packed to swap.  For further information, call 212-788-0226 or email…

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The MTA's 2015 toll and fare hikes are back in action and will go into effect as of today, March 22, 2015. 

The Toll and Fare Hikes

The toll to cross the Verrazano Bridge will increase from $15 to $16.

The Express Bus fare will jump from $6 to $6.50.

The Subway and Local Bus fare will change from $2.50 to $2.75, which means a single ride ticket now costs $3.

Unlimited Weekly Metro Cards will jump from $30 to $31, and Unlimited Monthly Metro Cards will spike from $112 to $116.50.

You can read the full list of approved price changes here.

The Discounts

Although some of these prices may seem outrageous, the MTA has provided residents a few options that may help us save in the long run.

Verrazano Bridge Options

1. Staten Island…

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I accompanied my grandson to a special St. Patrick’s Day event at the Tottenville Branch of the New York Public Library on Tuesday.  Miss Amy, one of my grandson’s favorite librarians, read a number of books that featured “green” themes.  After reading, the children sang songs and then watched as Miss Amy turned a stuffed caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly.  Each child was given a chance to open the Velcro caterpillar and observe the transformation.  They were enchanted!  Afterwards, there were arts and crafts to color, decorate with glitter, cut out and bring home.  I always have a grand time watching the children and seeing their faces light up when they participate in reading and programs. 
Did you know there are activities and programs at the New…

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Just this past Friday, March 13th, the Staten Island Advance published another article that featured our real estate broker, and SIBOR president, Dil Gillani! 

The article gave detail about the annual agent day trade show coming up this Thursday, March 19th. This year, the show is being held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bloomfield. The awards breakfast starts at 8:30 a.m., followed by the trade show which starts at 10 a.m., and topped off with the cocktail reception which starts at 4 p.m. The breakfast is $35, but entry to the trade show is free for all SIBOR members. This years agent day will feature over 500 realtors and more than 90 vendors! 

The picture above was the one associated with the article. It's a wonderful picture of Assemblywoman…

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As the snow has melted this week, it brings to mind that spring and summer will soon arrive.  Have your teens started thinking about time off from school and hanging out with their friends OR perhaps obtaining a summer job?  Staten Island teens and young adults, ages 14-24, can now apply for summer jobs through the 2015 Summer Youth Employment Program. This program will provide young people with PAID summer employment for up to six weeks during July and August in a variety of entry level jobs.  Applicants must be able to provide working papers if under 18 as well as ID and documents.  Programs for disabled, foster care, runaway/homeless and court-involved youth are also available.  Contact DYCD Youth Connect at 1-800-246-4646 or e-mail…

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Recently, one of my fellow New Brightonites approached me regarding the notice from New York City Department of Finance regarding her new tax assessment.  She said that one of her neighbors received a statement that her house was worth so much more than last year.  My friend stated that her assessment went down and she was concerned and annoyed because her house was so much BETTER.  I asked her if she was planning on selling any time too soon.  Her response was, "No".  I told her not to worry.  Even though her assessment went down, her taxes willl MOST CERTAINLY INCREASE!  My personal home assessment went down $9,000.  I know for sure that my taxes will go up.  

As a real estate broker, I acknowledge that whatever is stated on your assessment does…

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As I watch the last snow fall of the season from my home office (yes, this is the last, hopefully), I dream sweet, pleasant dreams of warmer days, my garden and how much fun I’ll have digging in the soil, planting vegetables, new plants and flowers.  Positive thinking always chases the doldrums away!

This Saturday, 3/7, a blood drive will be held from 9-3 at the gymnasium of Our Lady Help of Christians R.C. Church, 23 Summit St. in memory of Firefighter John G. Chipura, who died a hero on September 11, 2001.  I met “Chippy” on a real estate showing a few days before 9/11.  His buddy was interested in buying a commercial building and accompanied him for a second opinion.  He told me he had been a police officer at the 72nd Pct. in Brooklyn; after a few…

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In this past Sunday's Staten Island Advance, our very own Dil Gillani said a brief few words to SI Advance writer Tracy Porpora and contributed to their article titled Baby Boomer housing bust: Will Staten Island Market Suffer?

The article talks about how all the baby boomers that kept the housing market alive for so long are now moving into retirement - and how the following two generations are in no way prepared to keep the housing market up and running like the baby boomers did. Generation X was hit hard by the recession, and the Millennials are swamped with student loans and credit card debt. 

As a result, the sales of higher end homes are suffering because most of them were previously owned by baby boomers. In the article Dil GIllani says "We…

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