YONKERS WATCHDOG.

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LEGISLATOR PEREZ VOTES AGAINST YOUTH PROGRAMS.

 

At the Westchester County Board of Legislators meeting on June 15th Legislator Virginia Perez again joined with the Republicans on the County Board to deny funding to agencies shut out by the Astorino administration’s bungling of youth funding.

 

Piedad Abreu, candidate for the 17th County Legislative District said, “the people of Yonkers deserve a County Legislator who will advocate for these critical programs that provide essential services to at-risk youth.  Ms. Perez has again sided with the Astorino administration in cutting services and increasing costs to families in the 17th District.”

 

Perez has been silent while the Astorino administration hijacked the transparent process for distributing over 2 million dollars appropriated to Invest in Kids.  Long standing programs were unceremoniously swept away and requests for information on the selections made have been denied.

 

“Sunshine is the best cleanser, and I will make sure that the people understand how decisions were made with public money.  Thousands of Westchester’s youth will not be served because of Ms. Perez’s vote”, said Abreu

 

 

 

We will discuss the Political Landscape in our City, as we head toward the beginning of Election 2015.

Next radio show: –  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yonkers-insider

Show from Saturday Night: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yonkers-insider/2015/06/20/yonkers-watchdog

Show from Tuesday Night: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yonkers-insider/2015/06/16/yonkers-watchdog

Show from Sunday Night: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yonkers-insider/2015/06/14/yonkers-watchdog

Show from Saturday Night:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yonkers-insider/2015/06/13/yonkers-watchdog-1

Show from Thursday Night: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yonkers-insider/2015/05/28/yonkers-watchdog-1

Show from Tuesday Night: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yonkers-insider/2015/05/12/yonkers-watchdog-3

Show from Monday Night: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yonkers-insider/2015/05/11/yonkers-watchdog-3

Show from Saturday Night: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yonkers-insider/2015/05/09/yonkers-watchdog-9

Time: 6:30 PM of show on Blog Talk Radio on everyday except for Friday and Sunday.

Show on Friday is at 11:00 PM.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yonkers-insider/2014/11/20/yonkers-insider-online-radio-show

Barry McGoey was my guest on November 20, 2014.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yonkers-insider/2014/11/24/yonkers-insider-online-radio-show

Jeffrey Deskovic, Criminal Justice Advocate; Exoneree and also head of the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice was my guest on December 8, 2014.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yonkers-insider/2014/12/08/yonkers-insider-online-radio-show

 

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN TO DISTRIBUTE MORE THAN $1 MILLION IN RESTITUTION TO NYS ENERGY CUSTOMERS PROMISED LOWER RATES 

Consumers Were Falsely Promised Lower Prices And Enrolled By Monsey, N.Y., Company Without Their Consent; Can Now Receive Partial Refunds 

Schneiderman: Deceptive Business Practices Will Not Be Tolerated

NEW YORK—As part of a wider investigation into energy service companies, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that claim forms have been sent to more than 25,000 current and former New York customers of HIKO Energy, LLC who purchased HIKO energy products between June 1, 2011 to October 1, 2014.  An investigation by the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Bureau found that the energy service company lured consumers with false promises of lower rates, and then fleeced customers with much higher bills; enrolled new customers without their knowledge or consent; and made it difficult for customers to cancel their enrollments in a timely manner. The Attorney General secured the refunds for customers as part of a settlement that also imposes new restrictions on HIKO’s marketing practices to prevent future frauds.

“Thousands of New Yorkers were lured by HIKO’s false promises for huge savings, only to be stuck with more expensive energy bills. I am pleased to return more than $1 million to consumers who lost money to this company,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “These are difficult economic times, and companies that exploit New Yorkers looking to save their hard-earned money will be held accountable. These kinds of consumer frauds will not be tolerated.”

The Attorney General’s ongoing investigation into energy service companies (or ESCOs) has returned millions to consumers, including, most recently, nearly $2 million to customers of Columbia Utilities Power LLC pursuant to a 2011 settlement.

The Attorney General’s investigation found that HIKO’s marketers falsely promised savings of 10 to 15 percent on consumers’ energy bills. Customers who enrolled were hit with rates that were frequently much higher than those offered by their local utilities. Energy service companies purchase energy on the open market and then sell it to consumers. Utilities still deliver the energy to consumers, but consumers can choose to purchase their energy directly from the utility or through an ESCO. HIKO used its status as an ESCO to charge its customers much higher prices than they would have paid if they purchased energy from their utilities.

HIKO engaged in telemarketing and door-to-door sales. The investigation found that, in addition to promising lower costs, the company’s marketers enrolled consumers as customers without their knowledge or consent. They used a number of deceptive practices in order to do this, including tricking consumers into providing their account numbers which HIKO then used to transfer their accounts; falsely claiming that they represented consumers’ utilities; and obtaining consent to switch from individuals who were not authorized to provide such consent. 

The settlement between the Attorney General’s office and HIKO required that HIKO pay $1.25 million to the Attorney General’s office for use in a restitution program as well as penalties and fees. The claims process will be handled by the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan New York. The settlement also requires HIKO to take measures to prevent deceptive practices in the future, including adequate training of sales representatives, recording of communications between customers and customer service representatives, recordings of communications between customers and sales representatives that result in a sale, regular monitoring of sales recordings, and appropriate disciplinary procedures for violations of the law.

If you bought electricity or natural gas from HIKO before October 2014 and do not receive a claim form by mail, you may still be eligible for a refund if you were subject to certain deceptive practices.  You can submit a claim online at go.bbb.org/ny-hiko, or call 212-358-2857 to have a claim form sent to you that you can submit by mail.

ALL CLAIMS MUST BE RECEIVED BY AUGUST 15, 2015

Consumers can protect themselves from unscrupulous ESCOs by remembering the following tips:

  • If you receive an offer for energy services, make sure you understand whether the offer is from your utility or an ESCO.
  • You do not have to choose an ESCO to supply your gas or electricity.  You may choose to use your utility as your direct supplier.
  • Make sure you understand whether an ESCO contract involves an early termination fee and, if so, the fee amount and the length of your contract commitment.
  • Before accepting any offer, ask the ESCO to show you how its rates have compared with your utility’s rates during each month in the past year.  This can help you judge how competitive the ESCO’s rates may be in the future.
  • Remember that you have the right to cancel an ESCO contract with no obligation within three days if you change your mind.
  • If you are uncomfortable with how a marketer behaves, end the conversation with a request to look over their offer in writing so you can get back to them when you have made a decision free of any pressure.
  • If you receive a notice that your service is being switched to an ESCO and you did not authorize the switch, contact the utility and the ESCO immediately to tell them to halt the switch. If you are unable to get an ESCO switch cancelled, contact the New York Public Service Commission at 1-888-697-7728.

The HIKO investigation was handled by Assistant Attorneys General Jeanna E. Hussey and Kate Matuschak, Deputy Bureau Chief Laura J. Levine and Bureau Chief Jane Azia all of the Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau, and Executive Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice Karla G. Sanchez.

STATEMENT BY A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN IN RESPONSE TO U.S. SUPREME COURT RULING UPHOLDING DISPARATE IMPACT CLAIMS UNDER FEDERAL FAIR HOUSING ACT

NEW YORK –Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued the following statement in response to today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.:

“The Fair Housing Act is one of our country’s most significant civil rights laws – and has done much to promote equal access to housing opportunities. Today’s Supreme Court ruling preserves the critical tools we need to protect against housing discrimination across our nation as we continue fighting to achieve the goals of racial integration and equality for all our citizens.”

Attorney General Schneiderman and former Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley submitted an amicus brief in the case. The brief was joined by 15 other states, including Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington. Today’s decision quoted the amicus brief which explained that  “[w]ithout disparate impact claims, States and others will be left with fewer critical tools for combating the kinds of systemic discrimination that the FHA was intended to address.”

please, if you can — stop what you are doing right now and listen to my message.

 

I need you to listen to my message right away.

We must fight back now.

I hope you will please listen to this right away.

For liberty,

Ted Cruz

STATEMENT BY A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN IN RESPONSE TO U.S. SUPREME COURT RULING ON THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT.

NEW YORK –Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued the following statement in response to today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the Affordable Care Act’s insurance subsidies:

“The Supreme Court’s decision that citizens in all states may receive insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act is a victory for all Americans. I applaud the court and I congratulate President Obama for turning back a legal challenge that would have limited access to health insurance and health insurance choices for our neediest citizens. Obamacare has already resulted in significant benefits to New Yorkers, where over a million individuals and families now have access to the care they need, ensuring a healthier state far into the future.”

In 2011, Attorney General Schneiderman joined a coalition of states in filing amicus briefs to support the law when it was first challenged in the Supreme Court. Last fall, Attorney General Schneiderman joined 21 other states and the District of Columbia in filing an amicus brief that argued that Congress intended the ACA to operate as a comprehensive nationwide program and never intended the statute to deprive millions of low- and moderate- income Americans of the dollars needed to buy health insurance.

STATEMENT BY ATTORNEY GENERAL SCHNEIDERMAN

NEW YORK—Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman released the following statement today on Governor Cuomo’s announcement that he would appoint the Attorney General’s office to investigate deaths of unarmed civilians at the hands of the police:

“In December, I requested that the Governor sign an Executive Order to empower my office to investigate deaths of unarmed civilians at the hands of police. This order was to remain in effect only until the Governor and the Legislature enacted statutory reforms to address this critical issue in a permanent and considered fashion. I am disappointed that, six months later, we did not see such statutory action — part of a broader failure to achieve meaningful reform on a range of issues in this legislative session. The Governor announced today that, as he was unable to enact statutory reform, he is issuing such an executive order. My office will handle these cases with the highest level of care and independence, while we continue to work with lawmakers, District Attorneys, advocates and other experts in criminal justice reform on a long-term legislative solution to this critical matter of law and policy. All of us who care about the great State of New York must redouble our efforts to strengthen the ties between communities and the police officers and prosecutors who devote themselves so honorably to public protection.”


A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN OP-ED: PULLING UP THE CURTAIN ON DARK MONEY

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman wrote an op-ed Politico on the need for an executive order that would disclose “dark money” payments from federal contractors. Highlights from the op-ed are below.

ON THE HISTORY OF CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM: The campaign finance system was far from perfect. But with improvements over time, including the 2002 McCain-Feingold legislation, prosecutors, watchdog groups, the media and ordinary citizens had the ability to see whether financial entanglements were driving government decisions. That is, until the system was upended by a series of Supreme Court rulings, most notably Citizens United v. FEC, which struck down limits on third-party spending on behalf of campaigns and candidates.

ON THE RISE OF DARK MONEY: Outside spending on campaigns soared, with a significant share going to dark-money groups — industry associations and politically active nonprofits that can accept contributions of any size from virtually any source, including government contractors, without disclosing the identity of their contributors. Although independent from the candidate, these shadowy groups otherwise function as additional arms of the campaign — running ads, blanketing voters with direct mail and deploying workers to elect or defeat political candidates. And while the public is in the dark, it has become clear that candidates buoyed by dark money often know full well who footed the bill.

ON THE NEED FOR DISCLOSURE OF GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS CONTRIBUTIONS: Of course, state efforts cannot address the role of dark money in federal elections. Obama predicted in his 2010 State of the Union address that the Citizens United decision would “open the floodgates for special interests” and allow them “to spend without limit in our elections.” He was right.

Fortunately, the president has the power to tackle this problem in federal elections with the stroke of a pen. He can blunt the potential for dark money to corrupt the federal contracting process by signing an executive order requiring government contractors and their subsidiaries to publicly disclose all dark-money spending. This simple step would end a particularly disturbing aspect of the dark-money problem — all within the legal parameters set by Citizens United.

The full op-ed can be read here

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN OP-ED: GREAT NEW YORKER ALEXANDER HAMILTON SHOULD REMAIN ON $10 Bill

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman wrote an op-ed in the Daily News today on the recent announcement by the US Treasury Department to replace or diminish Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill.

ON WHY HAMILTON SHOULD STAY: There are few people who exemplify the ideals of opportunity, entrepreneurship and commitment to the collective good than the great New Yorker and the face of the $10 bill, Alexander Hamilton. Born to a single mother in the West Indies, Hamilton was orphaned and virtually penniless when he immigrated to New York as a teenager in 1773. In just a few short years, he became a trusted aide to George Washington and one of the leading intellectual and moral voices of the fledgling nation. But it is his lasting impact on the American economy, the structure of our government, and his unique vision of social and economic progress that should keep him on the $10 bill.

ON WHAT THE U.S. TREASURY DEPARTMENT SHOULD DO INSTEAD: The answer is fairly simple: replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. We do not need to dig too deep to see that the man responsible for the “Trail of Tears” may not be the best exemplar of the American ideals of liberty and justice for all. In Jackson’s place, we should lift up a great fighter for workers’ rights.

ON WHO SHOULD REPLACE ANDREW JACKSON ON THE $20 BILL: New York has produced two excellent choices: Eleanor Roosevelt and Frances Perkins, Franklin Roosevelt’s Labor Secretary and the first woman in a presidential cabinet. Both women were instrumental in shepherding through many of the most impactful public policies of the 20th century, including Social Security, child labor laws, minimum wage laws, and other worker protections we thankfully take for granted today. No one less than the first female Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, suggested Perkins should be the first woman on our printed currency. The solution is clear: Honor Hamilton by leaving him where he is and replace Jackson with a woman who truly represents the best ideals of this great nation.

The full op-ed can be read here

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES ARREST OF NURSING HOME AIDE FOR ALLEGEDLY NEGLECTING ELDERLY RESIDENT IN WESTCHESTER COUNTY NURSING HOME CAUSING INJURY

Elderly Resident Injured by Aide Who Failed to Provide Proper Care in Transferring Resident On Mechanical Lift

Schneiderman: Nurses And Aides Who Care For The Elderly And Infirm Must Put The Safety Of Those They Care For First

Pearl River – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the arrest of Ekua Hakikson, a Certified Nurse Aide who worked at United Hebrew Geriatric Center in New Rochelle for allegedly dropping an 85-year-old patient from a mechanical lift. On August 29, 2013, Hakikson attempted to move the resident by herself with the use of a mechanical lift. During the transfer, the resident allegedly fell to the floor, suffering injuries to her nose, temple and shoulder.

“The irresponsible conduct by this aide put the safety of an elderly patient at serious risk,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Nurses and aides who care for the elderly and infirm must put the well-being of those for whom they care first.  We will continue to prosecute and hold accountable those who endanger the health of our most vulnerable citizens.”

Hakikson, 38, of Bronx County, was responsible for the daily care of residents at the Geriatric Center. Hakikson was assigned to provide care for an 85-year-old resident who suffered from several debilitating physical ailments that rendered her totally dependent upon the staff for her care. Due to her physical condition, the resident’s care plan required a mechanical lift and two persons to move her from her bed to a wheelchair. Hakikson had been trained in the use of mechanical lifts, including the necessity of two persons in performing any transfer, to ensure the safety of the resident.

Hakikson is charged by felony complaint with Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree and Endangering the Welfare of a Vulnerable Elderly Person, or an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the Second Degree, both Class E felonies, and two counts of Wilful Violation of Health Laws, Class A misdemeanors. She faces up to four years in prison.

The charges against the defendant are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

The defendant was arraigned today in New Rochelle City Court before the Honorable Anthony Carbon. The investigation was led by Senior Investigator Frank Bluszcz, with the assistance of Supervising Investigator Peter Markiewicz and Deputy Chief Investigator Kenneth Morgan.

The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General William McClarnon of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s Pearl River Regional Office, with the assistance of Regional Director Anne Jardine. Thomas O’Hanlon is the Chief of Criminal Investigations – Downstate. The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is led by Acting Director Amy Held. The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN CRACKS DOWN ON E-CIGARETTE INDUSTRY, ANNOUNCES SETTLEMENTS WITH LIQUID NICOTINE RETAILERS AND MANUFACTURER TO KEEP POISONOUS SUBSTANCE OUT OF CHILDRENS’ HANDS 

Amid Rise in Child Poisoning Reports, Settlements Ensure Prominent Retailers and Manufacturer Will Abide by New York Law Requiring Liquid Nicotine To Be Sold in Child-Resistant Bottles

Schneiderman: We Will Enforce NY Laws Requiring Protective Packaging 

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced agreements with four liquid nicotine companies whose products were being sold in New York in violation of a law requiring that this form of nicotine be sold in child-resistant packaging.  Liquid nicotine, together with other chemical additives, is used in electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, to create the vapor that the user inhales. Liquid nicotine is  highly toxic, and ingestion or even skin exposure to very small amounts can lead to serious illness and potentially coma and death, particularly for children. Two of the settlement agreements are with retailers Henley Vaporium and Beyond Vape, companies with retail outlets in New York City, including on St. Marks Place in Manhattan; while the two other companies sell their product to New Yorkers online or through local retailers.

As a result of today’s agreements, the companies will be required to remove from all their distributors and retail purchasers any liquid nicotine sold in packaging that does not meet child-resistant standards. They will also be barred in the future from selling any container not in child-resistant packaging. The retail stores must also train their staff on the requirements of the New York legislation, in particular that bottles containing liquid nicotine be sold in child-resistant packaging, and that any knowledge of bottles being sold without proper packaging be reported to the Attorney General’s Office. The agreements also require the companies to provide proof of testing of containers to demonstrate adherence to poison prevention packaging, to allow exchange of any bottles sold without appropriate protections, and to pay penalties to New York State.

“New York law is clear: liquid nicotine is highly toxic and must be sold in child-resistant packaging. Today, we are taking action against four companies, and putting others on notice: Stop selling liquid nicotine in anything but child-resistant containers, or we will come after you,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “As our investigation continues, I urge the federal government to do their part by requiring child-resistant packaging for these products nationwide, and to regulate the marketing and advertising of e-cigarettes.”

“We are deeply concerned about the growing number of calls to poison control centers across the country about liquid nicotine exposures — including more than 1,600 last year involving children under 5,” said Chuck Bell, Programs Director of Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports.   “We commend Attorney General Eric Schniederman and his staff for aggressively enforcing New York’s law mandating child-resistant packaging, and getting these highly dangerous, noncompliant products off the market.  We agree that a strong national safety standard for these products is urgently needed.”

Liquid nicotine is comprised of nicotine extracted from tobacco. It is used in electronic cigarettes, together with other chemical additives, to create a vapor inhaled by the user. Depending on the concentration of nicotine in the finished product, liquid nicotine can be highly toxic. Ingestion or skin exposure to even small amounts of liquid nicotine can lead to rapid heartbeat, elevated blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, confusion, seizures and possibly coma and death. 

In 2014, an 18-month-old boy in Upstate New York died from ingesting liquid nicotine. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, more than 3,700 exposures to liquid nicotine were reported to poison control centers around the country in 2014 – a sharp increase from previous years. Half of those calls related to the poisoning of children under the age of five by this toxic product.

The agreements come during a period of exponential growth for the e-cigarette industry, with a particularly significant increase in use among minors.  A survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) reports that e-cigarette use among middle and high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014. According to the CDC, research suggests that nicotine is as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or alcohol.

Of additional concern, manufacturers of liquid nicotine have developed an array of flavors, including fruit and candy flavors with strong and sweet aromas, especially enticing to children. Attorney General Schneiderman’s investigation found that Beyond Vape was selling liquid nicotine without child-resistant packaging with names such as Vaperlicious Passion Peach and Vaporboy Berry Peached Tea and that Henley was selling liquid nicotine without the proper packaging with the name Cosmic Charlie’s Chalk Dust.

In June 2014, the New York Legislature passed a bill, sponsored by State Senator Kemp Hannon and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, requiring that all liquid nicotine sold or offered for sale in the state be packaged in child-resistant bottles designed to prevent exposure of children to these liquids. After the law became effective, in late December 2014, Attorney General Schneiderman’s Tobacco Compliance and Health Care bureaus initiated an investigation to gauge compliance with the new statute. Investigators made purchases of liquid nicotine from retailers located across New York, as well as from manufacturers and web-based businesses selling their products to New Yorkers. The investigation revealed that a number of entities were selling bottles of liquid nicotine without any packaging protections at all, in clear violation of the new law, New York General Business Law § 399-gg.

Signatories of the agreements being announced today are retailers that sell liquid nicotine online and in New York City stores: Henley Vaporium, headquartered in Manhattan; Beyond Vape, a California-based seller with three store fronts in New York City, including on St. Marks Place; Rocket Sheep, an e-liquid manufacturer; and ECig Distributors, Inc., a corporation that also does business as eCigDistributors.com, ejuices.com, and eliquid.com, which sells bottles of liquid nicotine to New Yorkers. As part of the agreements, the retail stores must train their staff on the requirements of the New York legislation, in particular that bottles containing liquid nicotine be sold in child-resistant packaging and any knowledge of bottles being sold without proper packaging be reported to the Attorney General’s Office. The training will also include that there are penalties for noncompliance. Total penalties due from the companies under the settlements are $95,000. The agreements also require the companies to provide proof of testing of containers to demonstrate adherence to stringent poison prevention packaging on any bottles offered for sale, and to allow exchange of  any bottles sold without appropriate protections.

Last year, Attorney General Schneiderman led an effort by 29 state Attorneys General urging the U.S Food and Drug Administration to issue regulations regarding e-cigarettes, such as prohibiting marketing, advertising and sales to minors, a ban on flavored E-Cigarettes and requiring child-resistant packaging. 

“A Public Hearing on E-Cigarettes and liquid nicotine I held in May, 2014 as Chair of the Senate  Health  Committee revealed just how dangerous this liquid, which is often flavored, can be especially to young children” said Senator Kemp Hannon.  “As a result of those hearings, I sponsored the law which prohibits the sale of liquid nicotine to minors and requires it be sold in child resistant bottles.  I applaud the Attorney General for enforcing the law.  It is imperative that retailers of liquid nicotine abide by the law so no other fatalities occur.” 

“The reason I introduced and passed the bill into law barring sales of e-liquid to minors and mandating child-resistant packaging was to protect children from gaining access to the toxic liquid and being poisoned by it,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. “Tragically, some retailers and manufacturers flouted the law and continued selling the product without the required precautions. I am gratified that the Attorney General, recognizing the dangers of liquid nicotine, pursued those who violated the law, and will see that the offending parties comply with it in the future. Liquid nicotine should never be in the hands of children, and following the law to prevent that from occurring must be a top priority for all retailers and manufacturers.”

“More than half the calls to poison control centers regarding liquid nicotine involved children under 5 years old, NYC Smoke-Free applauds A.G. Schneiderman’s Office for taking action to help limit youth access to this dangerous substance,” said Patrick Kwan, Director of NYC Smoke-Free at Public Health Solutions. “Recent studies show dramatic increases in the use of tobacco products like e-cigarettes and hookah by youth, retailers must do more to stop youth exposure and access to marketing, sales and displays of these addictive tobacco products.”   

“The American Heart Association commends Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for his efforts to protect young New Yorkers from the dangers of accessible liquid nicotine,” said Sean Scott, Community Grassroots Specialist for the American Heart Association in New York City.  “These liquids are often marketed in child-friendly flavors such as mint, chocolate, strawberry, vanilla and apple. While the flavors may sound appealing, liquid nicotine is a toxic substance that requires appropriate protections. This is why New York implemented a law last winter to require child-proof packaging, and why the American Heart Association looks forward to the Attorney General’s next steps to strengthen this policy.”

Dr. Sophie Balk, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a member of the Executive Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics Provisional Section on Tobacco Control said, “As a practicing pediatrician, I always try to educate parents about the importance of keeping liquid nicotine out of the hands of young children.  Even one teaspoon of liquid nicotine can be lethal to a child, and smaller amounts can cause severe illness.  It’s extremely important to have liquid nicotine in childproof packaging and kept out of the reach of children. This New York State law helps to keep our young children away from nicotine, a highly toxic substance.”

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) New York Metro Government Relations Director Michael Davoli said, “The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network thanks Attorney General Schneiderman for his strong actions to protect New York’s children from the dangers of liquid nicotine and e-cigarettes.  The usage of e-cigarettes among teens tripled in just one year.  There are harmful chemicals emitted by e-cigarettes.  Liquid nicotine itself is extremely dangerous and potentially deadly. The enforcement of this law is critical to saving lives.

The case was investigated by Investigator Michael Yun, and assisted by Investigators Edward Ortiz, Elsa Rojas, Ryan Fannon, and Brian Metz of the Attorney General’s Investigations Division, Investigators Kyle Vitale-O’Sullivan, Zylona Silva of the Auto Insurance Frauds Unit, and Auditors Mathew Crogan and Kristina Kojomanian, along with Deputy Chief Jonathan Wood, Supervising Investigator Luis A. Carter, and under the direction of Deputy Chief Investigator John McManus. The Chief Investigator of the Criminal Division is Dominic Zarrella. 

The case was handled by Assistant Attorneys General Christopher Leung and Joshua Sprague of the Tobacco Compliance Bureau, and Carol Hunt of the Health Care Bureau. The Tobacco Compliance Bureau is led by Dana Biberman, and the Health Care Bureau is led by Lisa Landau.  The bureaus are part of the Attorney General’s Social Justice Division, which is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Alvin Bragg.

We just got some exciting news for Democrats: This morning, former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley announced that he is running for president.Martin O’Malley spent two terms as governor fighting for equality — for immigrants by signing the Maryland DREAM Act into law, for LGBT equality, and for every hardworking Marylander by raising his state’s minimum wage. He’s a proven fighter with a record of getting things done.

So welcome Governor O’Malley to the race — then say you’re ready to elect a Democrat in 2016.

We’ve got some great progressives running to represent our party and our values in 2016, and even though we won’t pick our nominee until next July, one thing about this election couldn’t be more clear:

This election is going to be a choice between Democrats who will stand up for the middle class and continue to move forward, or Republicans who are more committed than ever to taking us backward.

If you’re in to make the right choice, say so today:

http://my.democrats.org/Martin-OMalley

Thanks,

DNC 2016

P.S. — We’re already laying the groundwork to elect a Democrat in 2016, no matter who our nominee is. You can make a difference by chipping in right now.

Examining Market Trends and the Evolving Economic and Political Climate
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#drbobflower #robertflower #masterpattern #predictions #realestate #stockmarket #Emergingmarkets #silver #gold #oil #dollar #wages #china #economy #commodities #interest #deflation #depression

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A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN LAUNCHES INITIATIVE TO ENSURE EQUAL ACCESS TO MEDICAL CARE FOR TRANSGENDER INDIVIDUALS

Schneiderman: All New Yorkers Deserve Equal Access To Quality Medical Care Regardless Of Their Gender Identity

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced a new initiative to ensure equal access to medical care for transgender individuals across New York State. As part of the initiative, the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Bureau will provide programming to hospitals and medical centers about legal requirements for transgender individuals in New York, as well as best practices in providing care to this patient population. The goal of the initiative is to promote best practices in the provision of medical care to transgender individuals.

The Attorney General’s initiative seeks to protect the rights of transgender individuals and to address the particular issues that arise in the healthcare context. A recent 2011 national survey conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force found that 24 percent of transgender people have been denied equal treatment in a doctor’s office or hospital. Problems faced by transgender individuals include harassment, denial of care, restrictions on access to gender-specific facilities, and invasion of privacy through inappropriate questions. Lack of awareness in health care settings can impair access to and lead to disparities within the health care system for this population.

“My office is committed to ensuring equal and respectful access to medical care for all New Yorkers, regardless of their gender identity,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “We are proud to partner with hospitals and health care centers across New York State to help educate and raise awareness around the specific needs and challenges transgender individuals face when seeking basic medical care.”

Kenneth E. Raske, president of the Greater New York Hospitals Foundation, said, “GNYHA’s member hospitals are committed to promoting the best standards of care and treatment for transgender patients. GNYHA and our members are proud to work alongside Attorney General Schneiderman to promote best practices to ensure that all patients receive the best care, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.”

M. Dru Levasseur, Director of the Transgender Rights Project at Lambda Legal and co-author of Creating Access to Quality Health Care for Transgender Patients: Transgender-Affirming Hospital Policies, said, “We were thrilled that the Attorney General spearheaded this first-of-its kind initiative in New York to discourage gender identity discrimination in health care. We look forward to continuing to work together to help hospitals meet the needs of transgender patients across the state.”

Erin Meyer, Pro Bono Associate at Hogan Lovells, and co-author of the report, said, “By encouraging adoption of the best practices developed by Lambda Legal, the New York City Bar Association’s LGBT Committee, and the Human Rights Campaign, the Attorney General’s groundbreaking work will promote trans-affirming policies in the medical context and help to ensure equal access to health care.”

As part of the first phase of the initiative, the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Bureau led a series of briefings for the Greater New York Hospital Association (“GNYHA”), a membership organization of hospitals in the New York City metropolitan region and throughout New York State, as well as New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Working with GNYHA, as well as experts from Lambda Legal and GNYHA member hospitals, the office led a series of briefings for GNYHA’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (“LGBT”) Workgroup. In turn, leaders within the LGBT Workgroup will provide education to member hospitals about the unique challenges faced by LGBT patients including harassment and denial of care. The target audience included a variety of hospital administrators – e.g. diversity and quality officers, legal counsel, and compliance personnel. The training program addressed:

  • the legal framework of protections for transgender individuals;
  • the nature and extent of discrimination experienced by transgender individuals in accessing health care; and
  • identification of best practices for hospitals.

During the briefings, hospital participants asked questions, shared experiences, and discussed the real-world application of these policies, including the use of technology in managing patient information, the presentation of case studies in training, and the dissemination of antidiscrimination policies and patients’ bills of rights. The briefings have also provided an opportunity to focus upon implementation issues at member hospitals.

The Attorney General is committed to protecting the rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people. As part of this commitment, the Attorney General has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the right to marry nationwide; investigated and secured agreements with employers to ensure equal treatment of legally married same sex couples; worked with professional sports leagues, including the NFL, MLB and MLS, to strengthen protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; reviewed school districts statewide to ensure compliance with the anti-bullying mandate of the Dignity for All Students Act and is working to combat discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the workplace.

This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorneys General Sandra Pullman and Justin Deabler. The Civil Rights Bureau, led by Chief Kristen Clarke, is part of the Division of Social Justice, which is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice Alvin Bragg.

To report a complaint regarding LGBT discrimination or for more information regarding the initiative, contact the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Bureau at 212-416-8250 or civil.rights@ag.ny.gov

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES PRISON TERM FOR WHITE PLAINS BANK TELLER WHO STOLE CUSTOMER DATA IN IDENTITY THEFT RING.

Nadia Figueroa Sentenced To Up To 6 Years In Prison For Stealing Over $850,000 From Personal Bank Accounts Of Innocent Customers

Schneiderman: My Office Is Looking Out For Identity Theft And Will Take Action Against Anyone Who Steals New Yorkers’ Personal Information

WESTCHESTER – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced sentencing of Nadia Figueroa, 24, of the Bronx, to two to six years in state prison. Figueroa pleaded guilty earlier this year to stealing customer data while employed as a bank teller at a JP Morgan Chase in White Plains, as part of a brazen identity-theft ring. The ring stole over $850,000 from hundreds of consumers in Westchester County and New York City by fraudulently obtaining their personal information and creating fake identification cards to withdraw money directly from accounts.

“After abusing her position as a teller and taking advantage of the trust of bank customers, Nadia Figueroa will now serve serious prison time,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “While businesses and consumers must remain on guard against identity theft, New Yorkers should know that my office is looking out for them and will take action against anyone who steals their personal information.”

Figueroa was sentenced pursuant to her guilty plea to the 15-count indictment lodged against her in Westchester County Supreme Court before the Honorable Justice Barry E. Warhit, including four counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree (a Class D felony), seven counts of Identity Theft in the First Degree (a Class D felony), three counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree (a Class D felony), and one count of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree (a Class E felony).

The scheme’s ringleader, Tyrone “Reece” Lee, as well as defendant Anthony “Sug” Davis have also pleaded guilty and been sentenced to state prison for their roles in this ring.

The identify-theft ring operated between July 2010 and June 2014. Corrupt bank tellers, including Figueroa, fraudulently accessed and stole personal information, including account numbers and Social Security numbers, from hundreds of customers at Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, TD Bank and Wachovia (now Wells Fargo) in Westchester County and New York City.

Figueroa’s role in the fraud scheme was to use her position as a bank teller at the JP Morgan Chase bank branch located at 235 Main Street, White Plains, Westchester County, to target customers with common names and over $50,000 in their accounts. She would copy this customer data and smuggle it out to her co-conspirators who used it to create fraudulent checks and identification documents.  These fake documents were then used to impersonate account holders and to withdraw money at bank branches in Westchester County, New York City and Long Island, as well as Connecticut and Massachusetts.

This prosecution was the result of a long-term investigation by the Attorney General’s Crime Proceeds Strike Force, which included the use of court-authorized wiretaps and search warrants. In intercepted telephone calls and text messages, co-conspirators spoke in code about customer accounts, which they referred to as “joints,” and to the “bands” of money they would steal, referring to $1,000 stacks of cash. They also used code names to refer to the banks they targeted, including “touchdown” for TD Bank and “Yase” for JP Morgan Chase.

Figueroa and her co-conspirators also victimized customers at other bank branches, including the following:

  • JP Morgan Chase: 410 South Broadway, Yonkers, NY; 
  • JP Morgan Chase: 5 West Burnside Avenue, Bronx, NY; 
  • Bank of America: 206 Main Street, White Plains, NY;
  • HSBC: 1 East Fordham Road, Bronx, NY; 
  • Bank of America: 50 West Fordham Road, Bronx, NY; 
  • Bank of America: 479 North Broadway, Jericho, NY; and
  • Wachovia: 43 North Plank Road, Newburgh, NY 

Attorney General Schneiderman thanks the New York State Department of Financial Services and the White Plains Police Department for their assistance in this matter.

The case is being handled by Assistant Attorneys General Tyler Reynolds and Rhonda Greenstein of the Attorney General’s Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau.  The bureau is led by Bureau Chief Gary T. Fishman and Deputy Bureau Chiefs Meryl Lutsky and Stephanie Swenton. The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.

The investigation was conducted by Legal Support Analyst Theo Davidson, Investigators Steve Pratt, Vincent Gisonti, Sylvia Rivera, Ismael Hernandez, Ryan Fannon and Dave Negron and Larry Riccio, Senior Investigator Dennis Maddalone, Supervising Investigator John Sullivan, and Deputy Chief Investigators John McManus and Greg Stasiuk. The Investigations Division is led by Chief Investigator Dominick Zarrella.

Examining Market Trends and the Evolving Economic and Political Climate
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In This Weeks Master Pattern Report
“Forewarned is Forearmed”
 
Dr. Bob Talks Economic Stock Market, Metals, and more…

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#DrBobFlower #MasterPattern #Economics #Markets #Silver #Gold #Metals #StockMarket #Predictions #everbank #EmergingMarkets

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May

    Blue Door 
    Art Center
Greetings!

Blue Door Artists will be featured in Arts Westchester’s Gallery9 at the upcoming ArtBash to help celebrate ArtsWestchester’s 50th Anniversary, with a grand opening on Friday, May 15th.
You are cordially invited to join the festivities.
Your friends at the Blue Door Art Center.
Blue Door at Gallery9
Opening Reception on Friday, May 15th 6-9:00 p.m.
ArtsWestchester
31 Mamaroneck Ave. White Plains, NY
Luis Perelman
Paul Greco
                         
 
Exhibit dates May15th-May 30th

Blue Door artists in the Third Monday Salon have been invited by Blue Door Art Center to show at a special exhibition -*Blue Door Artists at Gallery 9 – *which will take place as part of ArtsWestchester’s  2015 Art Bash. The exhibition is in Gallery9, on the 9th floor of the Arts Westchester Building located at 31 Mamaroneck Avenue,

White Plains.

Included are sculptors, painters, fiber artists and more, featuring:

Jerome Harris Parmet, Jackie Lorieo, Lea Weinberg, Leslie Miller, Lisa Samalin, Paul Greco, Claire Fishman, Luis Perelman, Arle Sklar-Weinstein, Otmar Boser, GG Kopilak, Ruth Boser, Kathy Yacoe Skura, Margie Coehn, and Eleanor Grace.

This exhibition ends on May 30th.

ARTSBASH opening will be held on Friday May 15th from 6-9 P with a free Family Day on Saturday, May 16th. More information is available on the Arts Westchester website, www.artswestchester.org.

This is a memorable event with great food, music and art.  It is

particularly outstanding this year as ArtsWestchester is celebrating its 50th

anniversary.

If you’re in the White Plains area, stop by the gallery to support  and enjoy the arts and artists!

About Us

Blue Door Gallery presents widely attended and critically-acclaimed fine art exhibitions in a welcoming environment. BDG publishes books on many of its outstanding exhibitions and makes available the chap books of our poets.

In the works: POP UP exhibitions by UP COMING Community Artists as special events at Blue Door Gallery. Stay tuned FMI.

Other community art programs at the gallery include monthly “Open Stage” performances, poetry writing workshops, art themed videos, art classes, performances and other special events.

The Blue Door Art Center initiates many public art projects including the installation of sculpture along the Yonkers Esplanade and in other locations. BDAC has been a fixture at Yonkers “Riverfest” for many years and conducts  workshops and events in locations throughout the city. BDAA is now in the process of installing artwork in vacant storefronts throughout Downtown Yonkers and partnering with Greyston Foundation to provide special art experiences for children in their Child Care Center.
SPECIAL THANKS to our Generous and Supportive Sponsors
 
 

sponsor logos 2015

Not an art-maker?  Be an art-lover and supporter  You may find something that 

catches your eye and feeds your soul.
If you or your creative friends have workshop ideas or would like to share your craft,

feel free to email the gallery at info@bluedoorartcenter.org and we will respond asap.

Arle´ Sklar-Weinstein, Gallery and Art Center Director

Luis Perelman, Art Association and Art Center Director

Robin Hutchinson, Gallery Manager

Naajidah Correll, Assistant Manager

Buzz Evers, Program & Outreach Coordinator

Birthday Celebration!

for
Adam Clayton Powell
Candidate for U.S. Congress
13th District
Wednesday, May 27
6:00pm – 9:00pm
at
RIO II GALLERY
583 Riverside Drive
7th Floor
New York, NY  10031
* Live Music, Buffet and Open Bar *
Chair $5,400 * Vice-Chair $2,700 * Host $1,000
(Chairs, Vice-Chairs and Hosts will be recognized)
Sponsor $500
Friend $250
Supporter $53
Please make money orders or personal checks payable to:
Powell for Congress
420 E. 117th St, Suite 2
New York, NY  10035
For further information call us at 646.707.3632
Bring your dancing shoes and we’ll see you on the 27th!
☆YOU’RE INVITED!☆
Take Action Tuesday in White Plains
Host: Lisa H.Where: Steps of White Plains City HallWhen: Tuesday at 12:00 p.m.What: The Equal Pay Day 2015 rally will bring together activists and concerned citizens to protest the persistent wage gap in the US, and encourage all of us to take action to end the continuing discrimination against women in the workplace. On average, New York women who are employed full-time lose a combined total of over $23.5 billion every year due to the wage gap. We need to take action and speak out for the need to close the gap and ensure women everywhere are paid equally for their hard work. 
 
Can you join us in White Plains on Tuesday?

Click below for more details and to RSVP:

Yes, I’ll be there!


Sorry, I can’t make it, but I’m interested in getting more updates.

 
 April / Blue Door Art Center
Greetings!

Spring into spring and find your way to Blue Door Art Center.
Enjoy the fun festivities we have planned this month.
Stop by Blue Door Art Center and say hi. We’d love to see you.
Your friends at the Blue Door Art Center.

Creating Art with your smartphone and tablet

April 11th 2-4:00 p.m.

Facilitated by Jean Messner, painter and digital artist
If you are an artist but may be intimidated by using technology, then you will want to attend this exciting workshop.
Jean can speak from experience that she was one of those artists, intimidated by technology. She has fallen in love with her iPad and all of the “tools” that are available to artists. The artist tools on the iPad that will be demonstrated resemble actual artists’ tools.
The first hour will be Jean speaking about the process and showing the tools on her iPad. The second hour will spent on demonstrations.
Participants are encouraged to bring their electronic devices to follow along.
A short question and answer will follow the demonstration.
$20 BDAA members/$25 BDAA  non-members
Artist Meetup Group
April 11th 4-6:00 p.m. 
The conception of this group has been incubating for quite some time. When artist Jean Messner and Gallery Manager Robin Hutchinson
met to discuss Jean’s iPad workshop, the topic came up that it would be helpful to have a group meet for artists. The group could discuss techniques, tips, resources and share what each artist is working on.
Artists tend to be isolated creatures and what better way to break away from the studio than to meet with other artists. This will be an event worthwhile for artists to come out of their creative caves and mingle with fellow creative souls.
This will be an informal meeting where artists can share and network.
Free if attending iPad workshop but donations appreciated.
About Us

Blue Door Gallery presents widely attended and critically-acclaimed fine art exhibitions in a welcoming environment. BDG publishes books on many of its outstanding exhibitions and makes available the chap books of our poets.

In the works: POP UP exhibitions by UP COMING Community Artists as special events at Blue Door Gallery. Stay tuned FMI.

Other community art programs at the gallery include monthly “Open Stage” performances, poetry writing workshops,

art themed videos, art classes, performances and other special events.

The Blue Door Art Center initiates many public art projects including the installation of sculpture along the Yonkers Esplanade
and in other locations. BDAC has been a fixture at Yonkers “Riverfest” for many years and conducts  workshops and events in
locations throughout the city. BDAA is now in the process of installing artwork in vacant storefronts throughout Downtown Yonkers
and partnering with Greyston Foundation to provide special art experiences for children in their Child Care Center.
SPECIAL THANKS to our Generous and Supportive Sponsors
 
 

sponsor logos 2015

Not an art-maker?  Be an art-lover and supporter  You may find something that 

catches your eye and feeds your soul.
If you or your creative friends have workshop ideas or would like to share your craft,

feel free to email the gallery at info@bluedoorartcenter.org and we will respond asap.

Arle´ Sklar-Weinstein, Gallery and Art Center Director

Luis Perelman, Art Association and Art Center Director

Robin Hutchinson, Gallery Manager

Ashley Bruno, Assistant Manager/ Program & Membership Coordinator

Next Wednesday, April 8th, from 7-9pm, I’ll be speaking at BRIC, talking about Big Money & Politics as part of a great panel–with Letitia James, Dick Dadey, Al Vann, Doug Henwood, and Ted Alexandro.Come learn about how to make community voices heard in the fight against big money!

For those of you who don’t know, BRIC is a vibrant, new community space in Fort Greene that offers art, community events, and education to the public.

Next week, we’ll be talking about Big Money’s influence on politics and discussing ways to restore our democracy.

Hope you can make it! Find out more and register here.

Zephyr Teachout
http://www.teachoutwu.com/

Big_Money_and_Politics.jpg


Join us on Facebook and Twitter!
www.teachoutwu.com

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES INDICTMENT CHARGING 13 INDIVIDUALS IN TAKE DOWN OF HEROIN DISTRIBUTION NETWORK THAT STRETCHED FROM NYC TO HUDSON VALLEY, LONG ISLAND, AND PENNSYLVANIAJoint Investigation, Code-Named “Operation Iron Horse,” Uncovered Network That Allegedly Moved Illegal Drugs and Money On Metro-North Trains And Greyhound Buses

Third Major Drug Bust In Three Weeks; Adds To Record Of More Than 550 Felony Narcotics Arrests By New York Attorney General’s Office And New York State Police In Four Years

Schneiderman: I Am Committed To Rooting Out Drug Abuse In Every New York Community

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the indictment of 13 individuals charged with conspiring to distribute heroin from New York City across state and county lines into Orange, Sullivan, and Nassau Counties, as well as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Starting in June 2014, law enforcement agents from the New York Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF) and the New York State Police’s Community Narcotics Enforcement Team (CNET) conducted a joint investigation, code-named “Operation Iron Horse,” that included covert physical surveillance and hundreds of hours of wiretaps that identified this alleged multicounty and multistate heroin distribution network. The indictment charges 13 people with a combined 179 counts related to the trafficking and possession of heroin. One defendant – who called himself “The Prime Minister” – is charged with Operating as a Major Trafficker, the only felony narcotics charge in the state that carries as possible life sentence.

“For the third time in as many weeks, we have dismantled a large heroin ring that allegedly crossed county and state lines, stretching from Pittsburgh to Long Island,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “The tragic reality is that we are in the midst of a heroin epidemic in New York State – and the conventional wisdom that these drugs are confined to inner cities is clearly wrong. Using every tool and resources at my office’s disposal, we will continue our efforts to root out drug abuse in every New York community suffering from the blight of illegal narcotics.”

“With today’s arrests, law enforcement is once again sending a strong message that this type of crime will not be tolerated in New York State,” said New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico. “These individuals are accused of carrying heroin on public transportation and putting innocent lives at risk. I commend the members of the New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement team and our law enforcement partners for the inter-agency cooperation and coordination it takes to get drugs off our streets.”

As outlined in the indictment unsealed today by the Orange County Court, evidence gathered by state investigators showed that Brian Bacon – a.k.a. “The Prime Minister” – was the alleged kingpin behind a major heroin distribution network based in New York State. This network allegedly stretched from Harlem and the Bronx, where Bacon lives and works, to Nassau, Orange, and Sullivan Counties in New York and Allegheny County in Pennsylvania.

As alleged, Bacon sold up to a kilogram of heroin per month with assistance from his son, Tamar Dillard, and his girlfriend, Donna Marie Haggans, who were integral to the packaging and delivery of the heroin to customers and resellers, as well as the handling of money. Bacon was also allegedly assisted by Wallace Walker – the self-styled “quality control officer” – who distributed heroin to third parties, who would test and then rate the quality, thereby permitting Bacon to gauge how much he could “cut” the heroin and the price he should charge.

As detailed in the indictment, Bacon had two suppliers: an as-yet unidentified male and Raymos Bertrand. The main resellers allegedly supplied by Bacon were: Jerome Turnbough, from Newburgh; Roderick Copeland, from upper Manhattan; Jamaul Aziz, who currently resides in Sullivan County, New York; and Kenneth Parris, from Uniondale.

As alleged, Bacon regularly sent his son, Dillard, to take the Metro-North train from the 125th Street station in Harlem to deliver drugs to Turnbough in Newburgh. Turnbough also allegedly traveled by train to New York City, where he would buy heroin to take back up to Newburgh.

Another one of the main resellers, Roderick Copeland, allegedly acquired heroin from Bacon every two weeks and gave it to a co-conspirator, William Thomas, who regularly traveled by bus between the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan and Pittsburgh, where the heroin was then distributed.

Those charged in the indictment are:

  • BRIAN BACON, a.k.a. Prime Minister, 52, Bronx, NY
  • JEROME TURNBOUGH, 55, Newburgh, NY
  • DEVONNA BARRERAS, a.k.a. Creechbarreras, 22, Newburgh, NY
  • TAMAR DILLARD, a.k.a. Young Buck, 37, Bronx, NY
  • KENNETH PARRIS, 42, Uniondale, NY
  • JAMAUL AZIZ, 34, Monticello, NY
  • RODERICK COPELAND, 51, Manhattan, NY
  • DONNA MARIE HAGGANS, 49, Bronx, NY
  • WALLACE WALKER, Bronx, NY
  • WILLIAM THOMAS, JR., 50, Pittsburgh, PA
  • EDDIE L. CULLINS, 44, Newburgh, NY
  • GILBERT MAXI, 22, Monticello, NY
  • RAYMOS BERTRAND, 43, Bronx, NY

The charges against the defendants are accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

This is the third major take down of a narcotics distribution network by the New York Attorney General’s office in the last three weeks, totaling more than sixty arrests. Including this case, OCTF has busted 24 large drug trafficking gangs, made more than 560 felony narcotics arrests, and seized more than $1.5 million, 80 guns, and more than 2,000 pounds of illegal drugs in the last four years.

The New York Attorney General’s office has undertaken a comprehensive approach toward reducing opioid drug abuse in New York State. In October 2014, Attorney General Schneiderman initiated the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Heroin Task Force (NEMA-HTF), which brings together state attorneys general from New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maine, and Maryland to collaborate, coordinate, and share information to combat large-scale distribution operations spanning multiple states. I-STOP, the nation’s first real-time prescription tracking system for the most addictive prescription drugs, reduced doctor shopping in New York by 75 percent in just the first 8 months of the program. The Community Overdose Prevention (COP) program has supplied law enforcement departments across the state with naloxone, which has been used to save more than 100 lives from opioid overdoses in less than a year.

The investigation that led to today’s indictment was conducted by NYSP-CNET Investigators Christopher Fox, Gary Mazzacano, Senior Investigators Charles Kelly and Robert D’Angelo, Lieutenant Francis Kealty, and Captain William McEvoy. The commanding officer of NYSP-CNET is Major David Krause. They were joined by NYAG-OCTF Investigators Brad Farrell and Edwin Margenat, Supervising Investigator Kevin McCann, and Deputy Chief Christopher Vasta.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Deputy Attorney General Jonathan Sennett and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Cristina A. Villani. The Organized Crime Task Force is led by Deputy Attorney General Peri Alyse Kadanoff. The Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Prosecutions is Kelly Donovan.

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN & NYPD COMMISSIONER BRATTON ANNOUNCE GUILTY PLEAS IN WORLDWIDE KHAT TRAFFICKING RING

Three Lead Defendants Plead Guilty For Their Role In Funneling Several Tons Of Khat Across Four Continents, Distributing The Drug Across New York And Other States

Joint Effort With NYPD And Other Law Enforcement Agencies Leads To First New York State Prison Sentences For Khat Dealers

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and New York City Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner William J. Bratton today announced three guilty pleas in a worldwide khat trafficking ring that flooded New York City, as well as other parts of New York, Massachusetts, and Ohio, with several tons of khat, a plant containing controlled substances similar to amphetamines. Today’s guilty pleas by the drug ring’s three leaders mark the first time in New York that khat dealers will serve time in New York state prison.

Last summer, Attorney General Schneiderman and Commissioner Bratton announced the indictment of 17 members of a khat trafficking ring. The 215-count Brooklyn indictment charged that the defendants operated as Major Traffickers who worked together to obtain khat from Yemen, Kenya and Ethiopia; ship it to the United States through countries including the United Kingdom, China, The Netherlands, and Belgium; and trafficked it in the New York, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo metropolitan areas, as well as communities in Massachusetts and Ohio. The ring then laundered the illicit proceeds through operatives in Minnesota and wired the money to various locations abroad, including Dubai and England.

“Khat is a dangerous and illegal drug with worldwide reach. As a result of this international takedown, a sophisticated operation accused of bringing drugs into the United States and sending the illicit profits overseas, has been shut down and the ringleaders are headed to prison,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Today’s guilty pleas demonstrate that those who flood our national and state borders with drugs will be brought to justice.”

“I want to thank all of the agencies involved in this complex investigation for their unwavering commitment in targeting criminal networks like these, and in doing so, stopping the flow of illegal drugs from hitting our streets and compromising the safety and well-being of our communities,” said Police Commissioner William J. Bratton.

As part of the plea agreements, Yadeta Berki (a.k.a. “Murad”), 24, of the United Kingdom, will be sentenced to three years in state prison and will forfeit $150,000; Bayan Yusuf, 32, of Rochester, will be sentenced to two years in state prison; and Ahmed Adem, 32, of Rochester, will be sentenced to two years in state prison. All three defendants pleaded guilty to Attempted Operating as a Major Trafficker.

Khat is a plant cultivated largely in Kenya and Ethiopia. Among its active ingredients are cathinone, a stimulant classified as a Schedule I controlled substance under the New York State Public Health Law, and cathine, which is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance. Users of khat chew the leaves and stems of the plant and swallow the juice to create a high.

As part of the investigation, state and local law enforcement agents led by the New York State Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF) and the NYPD’s Intelligence Division conducted a nearly year-long investigation. The indictment alleges that England-based defendant Yadeta Bekri, known to his co-conspirators as “Murad,” systematically shipped large quantities of khat to his U.S.-based partners, Bayan Yusuf and Ahmed Adem, through multiple U.P.S. stores located in Manhattan. Yusuf and Adem, both of Rochester, NY, would then allegedly deliver the khat to their distributors and direct customers based in Brooklyn, Rochester, Syracuse, and Buffalo, as well as Everett, Massachusetts.

Surveillance conducted as part of the investigation revealed that the defendants used public storage facilities in Rochester, Queens and Brooklyn to store large quantities of khat until they were able to distribute the drugs.

At Bekri’s direction, Yusuf and Adem allegedly transported the proceeds of these illegal sales by car to Bekri’s fiancée and co-conspirator Ibsitu Hashi in Minnesota who, in turn, sent the money back to Bekri via Dubai and other countries.

In addition to the Attorney General’s Office and the New York City Police Department, the New York State Police, ICE Homeland Security Investigations, and United States Customs and Border Protection all assisted in the investigation.

The indictment charged 17 co-conspirators with crimes including Operating as a Major Trafficker and various counts of Criminal Sale and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, Money Laundering and Conspiracy to commit those crimes. The indictment represents the first time that the controlled substances found in khat have been the subject of the Operating as a Major Trafficker statute (§220.77(1) of the Penal Law of the State of New York), authored by Attorney General Schneiderman as part of changes to the Rockefeller-era drug laws.

The defendants charged last year included:

Yadeta Bekri (a.k.a. “Murad”), 24, of the United Kingdom
Bayan Yusuf, 32, of Rochester
Ahmed Adem, 32, of Rochester
Mustafa Sadeq Ali, 22, of Brooklyn
Sadeq Hassan Ali, 46, of Brooklyn
Noman Saleh Almoflehi, 22, of Brooklyn
Ahmed Khader Sulaiman, 25, of Brooklyn
Al Khader Sulaiman, 29, of Brooklyn
Wail Seidi, 22, of Queens
Nabil Seidi, 36, of Queens
Mohamed Seidi, 26, of Queens
Abubaker Seidi, 39, of Queens
Ali Saleh, 40, of Rochester
Mohamed Mohamed, 43, of Rochester
Rumiya Osman, 31, of Rochester
Malyun Ibrahim, 46, of Everett, Massachusetts
Ibsitu Hashi, 35, of Blaine, Minnesota

The investigation was directed by OCTF Investigator Brian Fleming and Supervising Investigator Arthur Schwartz, OCTF Deputy Chief Christopher Vasta and Investigations Bureau Chief Dominick Zarrella in the Attorney General’s office, and by NYPD Detective Milton Lopez, Sergeant Scott Mackay and Lieutenant Joseph Sullivan of the Intelligence Division and Deputy Inspector Paul Mauro. The case is being prosecuted by OCTF Deputy Bureau Chief Tarek Rahman, with the assistance of OCTF Analyst Nicole Accurso, under the supervision of OCTF Deputy Attorney General Peri Alyse Kadanoff. The Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice is Kelly Donovan.

The charges against the remaining defendants are accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN, MAYOR DE BLASIO, AND COMMUNITY LEADERS ANNOUNCE NEW LEADERSHIP AND NEW BEGINNING FOR DOMINICAN DAY PARADE

Nelson Peña, Longtime Parade Director, Relinquishes His Positions And Agrees To Ban Against Leading Any Dominican Parade In New York City For At Least Three Years; His Existing Organizations To Be Dissolved
 
Prominent Dominican Leaders Form New Parade Organization; Pledge Commitment To Strong Governance And Internal Controls
 
Schneiderman:  Resolution Offers This Important Event A Fresh Start

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Dominican elected officials and community leaders, today announced new leadership for the Dominican Day Parade following the agreement his office obtained from the Parade’s long-time organizer, Nelson Peña.  For years, the organizations Peña purported to run had no functioning boards of directors, failed to maintain proper books and records, and failed to file the annual reports nonprofits are required to file under State law.  Under the terms of this agreement, Mr. Peña has relinquished all of his positions with the Dominican Day Parade, which is traditionally held in Manhattan on the second Sunday in August.  In addition, he has agreed to a minimum three-year ban against assuming any official or leadership role – as a director, officer, employee, agent or otherwise – in the Parade or in any other New York City parade that celebrates the culture and heritage of the Dominican community.  He has further agreed to the dissolution of the various not-for-profit entities that he used over the years to operate and raise monies for the Parade, and has withdrawn the application he filed for a City permit to run the Parade in 2015.

Following Peña’s agreement to resign,  a new not-for-profit organization, Dominican Day Parade, Inc., with a new board of distinguished individuals drawn from diverse sectors of the Dominican-American community, has applied for the City’s permit for the Dominican Day Parade. Under the leadership of the new organization, the Parade this year is scheduled to be held on Manhattan’s Avenue of the Americas on August 9, 2015.

“The Dominican Day Parade is a key institution for the celebration of Dominican culture and heritage in New York and throughout the nation,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Whatever nonprofit organization is responsible for its operation must be properly constituted, comply with New York law, and be accountable and transparent.  For years, Nelson Peña has run the Parade without regard to these requirements.  The Dominican community deserves better, and with the steps announced today, it will receive what it deserves – strong, accountable leadership for the Dominican Day Parade.”

“The Dominican Parade is an important cultural institution in the city, and we are pleased to have worked with the community on a resolution to ensure it continues to be a source of pride, and fulfills its mission of celebrating the contributions of Dominicans to New York City,” said Mayor de Blasio. “The new board will ensure that the desfile will be as strong and vibrant as it should be, and I look forward to joining this year’s festivities.”

“On behalf of the Board, we are absolutely committed to give our beloved Dominican community a Parade of which we can all be proud,” said Angela Fernández, Chair of Dominican Day Parade, Inc. “Our culture and heritage are an integral part of the American story, and deserve to be recognized and celebrated appropriately. We look forward to a great Parade this August and in many years to come.”

New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat said, “Entering its 34th year, the Dominican Day Parade is a mainstay of the Dominican-American community,  attracting hundreds of thousands of spectators who line up to enjoy the annual celebration of Dominican pride and culture every year. I am confident that the newly formed Dominican Day Parade, Inc., and its impressive board of directors which includes business, cultural, and community leaders, can carry on the tradition of creating a great celebration that shares Dominican culture with attendees from across the city and around the country.”

“The Dominican Day Parade is part of our culture, of our city. We must make sure all Dominicans and New Yorkers keep enjoying this traditional celebration for the years to come. We cannot afford to lose such a wonderful event in our city as hundreds of thousands of parade-goers celebrate Dominican heritage,” New York State Senator Jose Peralta said. I welcome the new leadership and I would like to thank Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for his work and efforts to make the Dominican Day Parade a better institution.”

New York State Assemblymember Guillermo Linares said, “What is most important is that the parade highlights Dominican-American linguistic traditions, cultural values, and reaffirms the contributions of both the diaspora in the United States and the Dominican Republic. Congratulations to the new board and I look forward to a great Dominican parade in August.”

“This is a new day for the Dominican Day parade,” said New York State Assemblymember Victor Pichardo. “On behalf of the Dominican community that I represent in the Bronx, I look forward to working with the new board to make sure our heritage and culture is well represented throughout New York State and around the world.”

New York City Councilmember Julissa Ferreras said, “Like all Dominicanos, I am proud of my heritage and the lives we have built for ourselves in New York City. Our community deserves a celebration that reflects our honest, hardworking, family-oriented and festive spirit.  I am convinced that under this new leadership, the Dominican Day Parade will thrive once again as a symbol of how far our community has come.”

New York City Councilmember Ydanis Rodríguez said, “Today marks a new chapter for the Dominican Day Parade. Under the leadership of Angela Fernandez, I am sure that we will see a parade that not only effusively celebrates our heritage and culture but abides by the rules and regulations that protect our communities. With increased accountability we can ensure that the Dominican Day Parade is the best it can be in 2015. Congratulations to Angela, the new Dominican Day Parade board and the entire community on today’s announcement!”

“As a son of Dominican Immigrants and one of the youngest Dominicans elected into office, I have dreamt of marching in the Dominican Parade, but Under the previous leadership, I was not allowed to walk because I was branded by Mr. Nelson Peña as not being ‘Dominican’ enough,” said New York City Councilmember Rafael Espinal. “I am proud to be part of a coalition that was able to build a team that would make the parade stronger and more inclusive than it has ever been. I look forward to finally being able to proudly march and celebrate my heritage with thousands of my Dominican brothers and sisters.”

New York City Councilmember Antonio Reynoso said, “I am happy to know the Dominican Day Parade will continue to exist under the leadership of the new board. This board is a true reflection of our heritage and talent, they will make our communities proud. We will continue to celebrate the contributions of the Dominican people to the City of New York and this great country. My colleagues in office and I thank the A.G.’s office for its vigilance and assistance in maintaining the staple that is the Parade to Dominicans in New York.”

Julissa Reynoso, Former US Ambassador and Attorney said, “As a New Yorker and Dominican-American, I celebrate this important day for all New Yorkers. The Dominican Day Parade belongs to all of us, and should represent the best of us. I am deeply grateful to Mayor de Blasio, Attorney General Schneiderman and our elected leaders for helping to assemble such a high-quality and inclusive board to carry out this wonderful event.”

Junot Díaz, Dominican-American writer, MIT Professor and Pulitzer Prize Winner said, “I am elated to see the DDP in such extraordinarily capable hands; the Dominican community deserves institutions dedicated to the principles of integrity, transparency, accountabiity and civic-mindedness and this is precisely what this new board will provide us—with a community organization worth celebrating.”

Under the Attorney General’s agreement with Mr. Peña, the organizations to be dissolved are Desfile y Festival Nacional Dominicano, Inc., Comite del Desfile y Festival Dominicano, Inc., Desfile Nacional Dominicano USA, Inc. and Festival Popular Domincano, Inc. Mr Peña has resigned his positions with all of these groups, and has relinquished all control over any of their intellectual property and ownership rights. The organizations are not believed to have any financial assets.

Concurrent with the Attorney General’s agreement with Mr. Peña, the City of New York, working with the elected leaders of the Dominican community throughout the City and the Attorney General’s Office, identified a diverse group of community, business, labor and academic volunteers to form a nonprofit organization capable of leading the Parade consistent with the legitimate expectations of the community.  The directors of Dominican Day Parade, Inc., the newly-created nonprofit corporation established for this purpose, include:

Leonardo Ivan Domínguez
Musician, Dancer and Agricultural Scientist

Dr. Bienvenido Fajardo
Physician, affiliated with New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and NYU Langone Medical Center

Angela Fernández
Executive Director, Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights

Rudy Fuertes
CEO, Fine Fare Supermarkets and President, National Supermarkets Association

Henry Garrido
Executive Director, District Council 37
 
Prof. Ramona Hernández, Ph.D.
Director, CUNY Dominican Studies Institute, Professor of Sociology, City College of New York

Maria Khury
President, Khury Tours, Travel & Insurance Inc.

Maria Lizardo
Executive Director, Northern Manhattan Improvement Corp.
 
Benny Lorenzo
General Partner, B.L. Capital Partners, L.P.
 
Dr. Silvio Torres Saillant
Professor of English, College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University

Luis Tejada
Executive Director, Mirabal Sisters Cultural and Community Center

Estela Vazquez
Executive Vice President, SEIU 1199

The officers of the corporation are Angela Fernandez (Chair); Luis Tejada (1st Vice Chair); Maria Lizardo (2nd Vice Chair); Rudy Fuertes (Treasurer); and Benny Lorenzo (Secretary). Together, the 12 directors of the new nonprofit organization will bring a much broader range of competencies and perspectives to the leadership of the Dominican Day Parade than it has ever enjoyed before.

This matter was handled by Executive Division Senior Enforcement Counsel David Nachman, Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Michael of the Charities Bureau and Charities Bureau Enforcement Section Chief Sean Courtney.  The Charities Bureau is led by James Sheehan and the Division of Social Justice by Alvin Bragg.

THIS WEEK IN THE NEWS

March 16 to March 20, 2015

TOP HEADLINES

 

Holding Big Banks and Wall Street Responsible

The Attorney General continues to hold Wall Street and banks accountable for dishonest practices. This week, the Attorney General was joined by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in announcing a major settlement with Bank of New York Mellon regarding its fraudulent foreign currency exchange practices. BNYM has agreed to pay $714 million to resolve the federal and state governments’ cases, certain private cases that arose as a result of the same fraud, and investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Labor. As alleged in this case, BNYM systematically misrepresented how it handled its customers’ FX transactions, as BNYM obtained the best FX rates for itself, gave its customers the worst or close to the worst rates, and kept the difference for itself. Of the $714 million in settlement funds announced today, New York State and the Department of Justice will each be allocated $167.5 million, and Attorney General Schneiderman will direct nearly the entire New York State amount to compensate BNYM’s customers who were victims of BNYM’s fraud. Other key settlement terms include: BNYM has admitted the factual details of its fraud, will end the employment of certain executives involved in the fraud, will reform its practices to improve and increase the information it provides to its customers, and will waive the deductibility of New York State and local taxes with respect to the New York State portion of the settlement.

Working to End Corruption in New York Politics

Tired of Albany’s long history of ethical lapses and failed reform, the Attorney General put forward comprehensive proposals to fundamentally change New York State government by striking at the root causes of corruption. His remarks at an event hosted by the nonpartisan good government group Citizens Union outlined his major tenets of reform, including a total ban on outside employment income for legislators, an end to per diems, rules reform to empower individual legislators, and a constitutional amendment to extend legislators’ terms from two to four years. The Attorney General also proposed a comprehensive overhaul of New York’s campaign finance system. Click here to read the Attorney General’s Op-Ed in Newsday. To follow the Attorney General’s fight against corruption in Albany, follow #CureTheSystem on Twitter.

Continuing The Fight Against Heroin and Illegal Drugs

The Attorney General announced the unsealing of three indictments charging 22 individuals with 159 criminal counts for their alleged roles in two loosely-related narcotics rings that distributed cocaine and heroin throughout the Capital Region. This case represents another step in the Attorney General’s fight against the serious problem of heroin and drug abuse in New York. The case was code-named “Operation June Bug” after Gerard “June” Carter, an alleged central figure in the heroin distribution network. One ring, led by Carter, allegedly trafficked heroin purchased in New Jersey to Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, and Washington Counties in the Capital Region. Carter used the Woodbury Commons Premium Outlet Mall in Orange County. Carter and the supplier allegedly used the many parking lots surrounding the outlet mall for their meetings, at which thousands of dollars were allegedly exchanged for heroin. The second ring, led by Latasha “Tasha” Gause, and loosely affiliated with the ring led by Carter, allegedly trafficked cocaine obtained from suppliers in Brooklyn, Queens and Connecticut. Gause had at least nine re-sellers who are alleged to have been dealing cocaine in the Capital District. Investigators seized two ounces of crack cocaine, three guns and 100 bundles heroin.

Shutting Down A Long Island Puppy Flipper

The Attorney General announced this week that two individuals responsible for illegally reselling or “flipping” puppies on Long Island have been permanently barred from selling animals. Laura Zambito and Rose Torrillo-Hooghkirk sold sick dogs to unsuspecting consumers through their Suffolk County-based nonprofit, Precious Pups Rescue. The respondents are also ordered to pay more than $24,000 in restitution to customers who bought sick dogs.

Preventing Fraud and Improper Gifts in the Pharmaceutical Industry

The Attorney General, along with 49 other states and the District of Columbia, have reached a settlement with Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. (Daiichi), a global pharmaceutical company with US Headquarters in New Jersey. Daiichi had been accused of violating the False Claims Act by improperly inducing physicians to provide certain drugs through lavish meals and speaker programs. Under this agreement, the New York State Medicaid program will receive more than $2.3 million.

Fighting Back Against Organized Crime

The Attorney General announced the arrest and indictment this week of the top four executives of Narco Freedom – a Bronx-based nonprofit that provides drug treatment to thousands of New York City residents – for allegedly participating in a criminal enterprise. The indictments allege that, by submitting claims for excessive services, operating an unregulated residential treatment program and violating patients’ rights, Narco Freedom stole at least $27 million from the Medicaid program, which top executives then looted from the charity to fund their extravagant lifestyles. These charges  expand upon an indictment secured by the Attorney General’s Office last October charging former chief executive Alan Brand and his son Jason Brand with stealing from the charity.

Enforcing New York’s Mental Health Parity Laws

As a part of his continued efforts to enforce New York’s mental health parity laws, the Attorney General announced a settlement with Rochester-based Excellus Health Plan, which will require the health insurer to cover residential treatment for behavioral health conditions and reform its procedures for evaluating behavioral health treatment claims. The settlement also requires Excellus to provide notice of a new appeal right to 3,300 members whose requests for inpatient substance use disorder rehabilitation and eating disorder residential treatment Excellus denied from 2011 through 2014. The settlement with Excellus marks the fifth such enforcement of the mental health parity laws since last year.

Protecting NYC Visitors Against Unfair Monopolies

The Attorney General and the U.S. Justice Department struck a settlement with New York’s tour bus companies to end their illegal monopoly in the city’s hop-on, hop-off bus tour market. The Attorney General and the Justice Department initially filed a lawsuit in 2012, alleging that the joint venture between Coach USA Inc., CitySights LLC, and Twin America, LLC violated the antitrust laws and resulted in higher prices for hop-on, hop-off bus tours in New York City. The settlement requires the defendants to relinquish approximately fifty bus stops across Manhattan controlled by City Sights, including highly coveted locations in Times Square and near the Empire State Building. They are also required to pay back $7.5 million in profits obtained by operating their joint venture in violation of the antitrust laws between 2009 and 2015.

Striving To Increase Transparency in State Government

A new application-programming interface (API) will now make it much easier for application developers to access and use data from NYOpenGovernment.com,  increasing the transparency of government and the public’s access to important documents. The software will allow developers to use sources and documents for state government information – including data on campaign finance, lobbying, charities, state contracts, member items, corporate registrations, elected officials, and legislation – which is otherwise scattered or difficult to retrieve. The NY Open Government API will allow developers easier access to this data, which they can use in the creation of applications.

Cracking Down Against Tax Fraud

With Tax Day just around the corner, the Attorney General is showing that his office takes tax fraud seriously. The Attorney General’s Office announced that Joseph Fezza, the owner of a car dealership in Cortlandville, has been convicted on five felony charges stemming from his collection and retention of sales taxes on vehicles he sold, and his failure to file sales tax and personal income tax returns. Fezza faces up to six months incarceration.

Punishing Those Who Defraud The Health Care System

Suzanne Shumway, the former executive director of Battenkill Community Services – a nonprofit servicing developmentally disabled individuals in the Capital Region – is learning this week that those who steal from vulnerable New Yorkers will face justice. Shumway was arrested and arraigned this week for allegedly defrauding Medicaid for services rendered to BCS consumers and theft of funds of a developmentally disabled person under her care. If convicted, she could face 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison.

*Please do not send a reply directly to this e-mail. If you have any questions, comments or concerns please contact the Attorney General’s Office by following this link here.

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES SETTLEMENT WITH EXCELLUS HEALTH PLAN TO END WRONGFUL DENIAL OF MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION TREATMENT SERVICES.Unprecedented Enforcement Of Mental Health Parity Laws Leads To Fifth Settlement By Attorney General Schneiderman.

Investigation Reveals Excellus Denied Inpatient Addiction Treatment Services At Least Twice As Often As Inpatient Medical Services Between 2011 And 2014, Including Nearly Seven Times As Often In 2012

Settlement With Excellus Requires Reforms To Claims Review Process, Could Net Up To $9 Million For Patients

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the fifth settlement since last year in an unprecedented enforcement effort of mental health parity laws. The settlement, reached with Rochester-based Excellus Health Plan, requires the health insurer to cover residential treatment for behavioral health conditions and reform its procedures for evaluating behavioral health treatment claims. The settlement also requires Excellus to provide notice of a new appeal right to 3,300 members whose requests for inpatient substance use disorder rehabilitation and eating disorder residential treatment Excellus denied from 2011 through 2014. The estimated value of Excellus’s denial of these individuals’ requests is up to $9 million.

Excellus, which is part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, has 1.5 million members and is upstate New York’s largest health plan. An investigation by Attorney General Schneiderman’s Health Care Bureau found that Excellus denied inpatient substance use disorder rehabilitation recovery services seven times as often as inpatient medical services.

“My office has taken an aggressive approach to enforcing mental health parity laws that I hope can serve as a national model,” said Attorney General Scheiderman. “Mental health and addiction recovery treatments must be regarded the same as other health insurance claims under the law. We will continue to take on those who ignore the law and reinforce the false and painful stigma often associated with these ailments.”

Today’s settlement with Excellus is the Attorney General’s fifth enforcing the mental health parity laws since last year. Insurers Cigna, MVP Health Care, and EmblemHealth have already entered into settlements, and last week, the Attorney General entered into a settlement with ValueOptions, the behavioral health vendor for MVP and Emblem.
New York’s mental health parity law, known as Timothy’s Law, was enacted in New York in 2006, and requires that insurers provide mental health coverage at least equal to coverage provided for other health conditions. The federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, enacted in 2008, prohibits health plans from imposing greater financial requirements or treatment limitations on mental health or substance use disorder benefits than on medical or surgical benefits.

Excellus, based in Rochester, is part of a community that, like many parts of New York State, is experiencing an opioid overdose epidemic with deadly consequences. Heroin overdoses in Monroe County have doubled in recent years, and have increased fivefold since 2011. In 2013 alone, there were 65 heroin-related deaths in Monroe County. Access to substance use disorder treatment – in particular inpatient rehabilitation treatment – is vital to addressing this scourge.

The Attorney General’s investigation revealed that many of Excellus’s inpatient substance use disorder rehabilitation denials were the result of its requirement that members fail outpatient treatment multiple times before accessing such care, which conflicts with New York State guidelines and is not applied by Excellus to medical care. The investigation also showed that some of these denials appear arbitrary and wrongly decided, and that Excellus did not cover residential treatment for behavioral health conditions in its standard contract. In one case, Excellus denied residential treatment coverage, due to lack of a benefit, for a 16-year old girl suffering from the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, even though she was at 83% of ideal body weight, had amenorrhea (the absence of menstruation), malnutrition, unstable vital signs, and bradycardia (a dangerously slow heart rate). The girl later attempted suicide and had to be hospitalized in a medical unit.

Under today’s agreement, Excellus will provide notice of a new appeal right to 3,300 members whose requests for inpatient substance use disorder rehabilitation and residential treatment it denied from 2011 through 2014. These members will get an opportunity to file an independent appeal, if they paid out of pocket for the treatment that Excellus denied, and did not previously file an external appeal. The estimated value of Excellus’s denial of these individuals’ requests is up to $9 million.

Excellus has agreed to cover residential treatment and will make available lists of facilities at which individuals may receive such care, subject to a determination of medical necessity and applicable in-network requirements. Excellus has also agreed to reform its claims process for behavioral health coverage, in particular for substance use disorders, by:

  • Not imposing any preauthorization or concurrent review requirements for routine outpatient behavioral health services (i.e., psychotherapy and medication management);
  • Covering partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient (“IOP”) treatment for behavioral health conditions;
  • Not requiring that members demonstrate a substantial impairment in their ability to function in a major life activity in order to receive coverage for behavioral health care;
  • Removing the requirement that members “fail” outpatient substance use disorder treatment before qualifying for inpatient rehabilitation treatment;
  • Conducting full and fair reviews for services that require preauthorization, such as inpatient substance use disorder rehabilitation;
  • Posting its behavioral health medical necessity criteria on a website, to improve the transparency of the review process;
  • Applying the primary care co-payment amount to all routine outpatient behavioral services for all standard individual and small group products offered on the New York Health Benefit Exchange, the New York State of Health (the “Exchange”);
  • Providing detailed, accurate oral and written explanations for denied claims, so that members can exercise their appeal rights;
  • Employing in-house Behavioral Health Advocates, who can supply members and providers with assistance and information regarding claims denials, appeals, and in-network treatment facilities and providers in the member’s service area;
  • Excellus will also post parity disclosures on its website, provide additional training to its staff, file regular compliance reports with the Attorney General, and pay $500,000 in fees and costs.

State Senator Phil Boyle, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, said, “One of the most pressing issues which surfaced during last year’s State Senate Heroin Task Force forums was the lack of adequate insurance coverage for addiction treatment. I applaud Attorney General Schneiderman for his continuing leadership through these settlements, ensuring that New Yorkers who suffer from addiction can obtain they treatment the need without having to spend their life savings to pay for it.”

State Senator Robert Ortt, Chair of the Senate Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, said, “This settlement is another important step to ensure that individuals suffering from mental illness receive equitable and sufficient coverage. It will help those who were denied equal treatment. Perhaps just as significantly, this can help serve as a guide to better care moving forward. This is especially critical as the state expands and consolidates insurance while transitioning to managed care.”

“One of the biggest barriers to treatment of mental health and substance abuse disorders is stigma,” said Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, Chair of the Assembly Mental Health Committee. “Insurance companies perpetuate stigma and delay treatment by improperly denying claims and putting up roadblocks. We would be horrified if somebody with heart disease were told they needed to ‘fail first’ before they got the care they needed. I applaud Attorney General Schneiderman for his dogged enforcement of Timothy’s Law and for being a champion to people whose lives are changed by substance abuse and mental illness.”

“I applaud Attorney General Schneiderman’s work to guarantee that New Yorkers in need of treatment for mental health or substance abuse issues can receive timely and effective care and treatment, as is the case for any other medical condition,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal, Chair of the New York State Assembly Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Committee. “While I am disappointed that nearly 10 years after its passage, insurers in New York State are still not complying with the requirements of Timothy’s Law and are instead continuing to vilify and single out certain consumers for substandard treatment, I know that the Attorney General will continue to be the watchdog for the people of New York State.”

“We commend Attorney General Schneiderman and his staff for fighting to ensure mental health parity,” said Glenn Liebman, CEO of the Mental Health Association of New York State. “The tenets of mental health parity are to ensure access to services, expand networks of care, eliminate barriers that don’t currently exist for physical health benefits and create a strong right to appeal. These settlement agreements address many of these concerns. These agreements also send a strong message to the community that people are entitled to quality behavioral health care”

“LICADD is hopeful with these changes in healthcare policies more New Yorkers will have greater access to concrete treatment services for substance use disorders,” said Steve Chassman, LCSW, CASAC, Executive Director of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. “The full recognition of substance use disorders by insurance companies as a progressive, and potentially fatal, disease is long overdue. As with most diseases, assessment, diagnosis and treatment planning should be conducted by qualified healthcare professionals where the primary focus is with recovery and wellness. As this national substance use crisis continues to rage, causing devastation and loss to entirely too many New York families, LICADD commends Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and our Long Island elected officials for leading the efforts to preserve families, save lives and provide individuals with greater opportunity to engage the miracle of recovery.”

“The Legal Action Center applauds Attorney General Schneiderman for standing up for New Yorkers in need of substance use and mental health treatment,” said Paul N. Samuels, Director and President of the Legal Action Center. “For too long, individuals with these disorders have faced barriers to treatment due to discriminatory practices by many health insurers. AG Schneiderman continues to lead the country in enforcing the groundbreaking federal parity law that prohibits such discrimination and helps people access health care. As New York and the country face a growing opioid addiction epidemic, and access to treatment is often a matter of life or death, enforcement of the parity law could not come at a more critical moment.”

“NAMI-NYS wholeheartedly supports the Attorney General’s active enforcement of Timothy’s Law,” said Wendy Burch, Executive Director of the National Alliance of Mental Illness New York State. “By not treating mental health claims in the same manner as other physical illnesses, insurance companies are guilty of blatant discrimination and place those suffering at increased risk while hampering their chance at recovery.”

Consumers with questions or concerns about this settlement or other health care matters may call the Attorney General’s Health Care Bureau Helpline at 1-800-428-9071.

The agreement with Excellus stems from a broader and ongoing investigation into health insurance companies’ compliance with mental health parity laws.

The investigation of this matter was conducted by Assistant Attorney General Michael D. Reisman, of the Attorney General’s Health Care Bureau, which is led by Bureau Chief Lisa Landau. The Health Care Bureau is a part of the Social Justice Division, led by Executive Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice Alvin Bragg.

A copy of the settlement can be read here.

The fight for public schools in New York gets more tense every day. Here’s where we are:Andrew Cuomo proposed a budget that is bad for our children and our future. He proposed some money for education funding, but only if it comes with more testing, and more diversion of public money to privately-run schools. His budget doesn’t come close to the amount required by the state constitution to provide a basic education to all children.

Last week, the Assembly, led by Carl Heastie proposed an increase of $1.8 billion–not what the constitution requires, but much closer–and rejected Cuomo’s efforts to tie funding to more testing and more privatized schools.

The negotiations between the two budgets are happening right now.

Cuomo is working for some very wealthy hedge fund managers who are determined to run state education policy. Just last week we learned that yet another school-privatization PAC was started.But the people-powered movement for schools around the state is on fire. Over 200 schools protested last week. Finger Lakes’ teachers sent 1,000 apples to Governor Cuomo.1 In Manhattan, parents, teachers and community members formed a human chain around Spruce Street School to protect it from Cuomo’s policies. Similar protests took place in over 80 other schools across the city.2 Yesterday, there was an amazing protest in Greenwich, Connecticut, against Paul Tudor Jones, the hedge fund manager who has bankrolled the anti-schools agenda.3

This is a fight for our children. Some areas–like Gustavo Rivera’s Bronx Senate District4–are owed $131 million by the state. Think about what it means to run a school without the money for counselors, art, and PE. Imagine teaching a class with 33 kids in it.

We have to stand and support the Assembly budget, we have to stand with Mayor de Blasio and Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, who have been outspoken in opposing Cuomo’s plans.

If you have or know kids in public schools, you know what the testing regime is doing to children’s love of learning, and you know how important small classes, arts and sports and counselors are to a full education.

Join the protests organized around the state, or email and call your elected officials. Pick the politician you know, the one you love, or the one that makes you angry–what matters is that you speak out. Tell them you believe we owe every child their constitutional right to a basic, sound education. Tell them you understand that its a hard fight, but that you are with them.

A simple thing you can do is join this thunderclap to help broadcast our message.

Under New York’s Constitution, the Governor has outsized power, so the Assembly needs our back. Cuomo will try to use the April 1st budget date to force the Assembly to compromise. But I–and I hope you–believe that a budget that is dangerous for our children is worse than a late budget. I’ll stand with the Assembly if it forces a late budget, in order to get more power for its education vision.

Together, we can stop Cuomo’s destructive plans, and support our children.
Zephyr

http://www.teachoutwu.com/

1. http://www.mpnnow.com/article/20150313/NEWS/150319797/1994/NEWS
2. http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20150312/financial-district/downtown-school-forms-human-chain-protest-cuomos-teacher-evaluations
3. http://hedgeclippers.org/paul-tudor-jones/
4. http://citylimits.org/2015/03/11/state-sen-failing-schools-need-state-help-not-sensational-headlines/

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES INDICTMENT OF 33 INDIVIDUALS IN CROSS-STATE HEROIN DISTRIBUTION NETWORK

Dozens Charged With Conspiracy In Four Related Pipelines That Funneled Heroin And Cocaine From NYC And Massachusetts Into St. Lawrence County

AG’s OCTF, State Police And Local Law Enforcement’s “Operation 315” Includes Seizure Of $1.1 Million Worth Of Street Drugs; More Than $100,000 In Cash; 13 Guns, Of Which Three Were Assault Rifles; Results In 109-Count Indictment

A.G Schneiderman: We Will Put People In Prison For Pushing Drugs To Our Kids

WATERTOWN –Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the indictment of 33 individuals charged with conspiring in four loosely-related drug distribution networks that funneled heroin and cocaine across state and county lines into St. Lawrence County. As part of a multi-agency investigation, code-named “Operation 315,” state and local law enforcement agents, led by the New York State Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF), St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, the New York State Police and St. Lawrence County Drug Task Force, conducted a 12-month probe that included covert physical surveillance and hundreds of hours of wiretaps in a coordinated effort to identify and shut down heroin pipelines which are flooding the largely rural St. Lawrence County and surrounding areas with deadly drugs. Today’s indictments included charges of illegal weapons possession by the alleged drug dealers, including for a Bushmaster, AR15 assault rifle.

“It is well known that heroin is as deadly as it is addictive. It’s less well known that, over the past decade, it’s use has spread from our inner cities to even our most rural New York counties and communities,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “Make no mistake about it, we are fighting a war on heroin – and those who profit from it—across our state and with all the tools that are available to us. Besides arresting those who deal drugs, my office has equipped law enforcement officers across New York with a life-saving heroin overdose antidote and is cracking down on prescription drug abuse, which fuels opioid addiction.”

The indictments unsealed in St. Lawrence County Court, in Canton, N.Y., are the result of a year-long investigation in which law enforcement officials seized approximately two kilos of heroin, which has an estimated street value of $500,000, and more than five kilos of cocaine, with a street value estimated at $600,000, as well as over $100,000 in cash, seven hand guns, three assault rifles, two shotguns and a rifle.

The four indictments, which include a total of 111-criminal counts, charge each of the defendants with crimes that carry significant state prison time. The counts range from top felony charges of Conspiracy In The Second Degree, which carries a maximum of 25 years behind bars and Criminal Sale Of A Controlled Substance In The First Degree, which carries a maximum of 20 years in prison, to misdemeanor Criminal Sale of A Controlled Substance.

The first indictment charges 11 defendants with distribution of heroin and cocaine. Evidence developed during the investigation and outlined in court papers, shows that Nicholas Adams, of Potsdam, N.Y., purchased heroin in Leominster, Massachusetts, and brought it to St. Lawrence County for distribution, where it was allegedly sold on the streets in the Potsdam area. One of his co-defendants, Laronda Ashlaw, who resided with Adams, allegedly brought heroin from Massachusetts with her toddler in a vehicle. A loaded assault weapon and hypodermic needles were seized from a closet in the child’s room. Stolen goods, including jewelry, from two burglaries were also found in the home, court papers allege.

A second indictment charges 20 individuals, including three who are also named in the first indictment. This indictment charges three alleged drug suppliers, one from Yonkers, one from the Bronx, and a third of Syracuse, with cocaine and heroin distribution for allegedly supplying drugs to Colin Campbell, Joshua Jones, Caleb Serrano and Jordan Willette, all of St. Lawrence County.

One of the out-of county suppliers allegedly concealed the heroin he delivered from New York City by stowing it in the lining of the trunk of a 2008 Cadillac CTS. Defendants Caleb and Omar Serrano, who are brothers, concealed the cocaine that they trafficked inside of a lint brush in the car they drove, and another defendant, who is handicapped, concealed the heroin that he was transporting within the seat of his wheelchair that was stowed in his car. Drugs in this second alleged conspiracy came from New York City and Syracuse and were allegedly sold in the Edwards, Pierrepont and Stockholm areas of St. Lawrence County.

The third and fourth indictments charge nine people, four of whom are also named in the first two indictments, as members of the conspiracy to distribute heroin. Those charged in the third indictment include the handicapped defendant, who is charged with redistributing heroin for resale in the county via this third allege network. The fourth indictment includes charges against a fourth out-of-county supplier with distributing cocaine to Jason Burnette, among other counts.

New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico said, “Today’s arrests and announcement speak to the inter-agency coordination and cooperation dedicated to getting drugs off New York streets. Thanks to a strong partnership, a major drug operation has been shut down and drugs, weapons, and money have been seized. These arrests should send a clear message to anyone dealing these dangerous and deadly drugs- you will be found, you will be arrested and you are going to jail.”

St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin M. Wells said, “The mission of this investigation was to arrest and remove heroin dealers that prey on our communities and to disrupt the flow of illegal drugs to our county — we have accomplished that. On behalf of our task force partners and the people of St. Lawrence County, I want to thank the Attorney General and his staff along with all of the involved law enforcement professionals that have worked this case and that will continue to move it forward.”

Twenty six of the defendants have been arrested. Seven are being sought. Those arrested are:

NICHOLAS P. ADAMS, 22, Potsdam, NY
LARONDA L. ASHLAW, 29, Potsdam, NY
ELIZABETH A. BRIGGS, 23, Canton, NY
JASON C. BRUNET, 28, Edwards, NY
DARIAN J. CAMERON, 18, Winthrop, NY
COLIN A. CAMPBELL, 25, Winthrop, NY
ZACHARY W. COLE, 20, Gouvernour, NY
RYAN L. DONALDSON, 26, Potsdam, NY
ERIC M. DRAYSE, 34, Adirondacks Region
RYAN M. FINLEY, 27, Odgensburg, NY
KYLE D. HAWLEY, 25, Potsdam, NY
JOSHUA J. JONES, 24, Edwards, NY
KYLE E. KAIN, 21, Potsdam, NY
MATTHEW A. KLEMKO, 27, Colton, NY
GREGORY S. LANPHEAR, 24, Edwards, NY
JUSTIN M. LASHOMB, 31, Hogansburg, NY
ZACHARY M. LATIMER, 23, Canton, NY
NATHAN D. LIGHTFOOT, 26, Massena, NY
MICHAEL T. MATZELL, 28, Potsdam, NY
CALEB J. SERRANO, 22, Edwards, NY
OMAR L. SERRANO, 24, Edwards, NY
MATTHEW P. VANHYNING, 26, Canton, NY
REYNOLD R. VOISINE, 37, Canton, NY
PAULA M. WELSH, 28, Massena, NY
JUSTIN H. WHITMARSH, 24, Edwards, NY
JORDAN C. WILLETTE, 25, Pierrepont, NY

The charges against the defendants are accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

Law enforcement agencies that participated in the investigation include the Canton Police Department, the Potsdam Police Department, Massena Police Department, the Gouverneur Police Department, the Ogdensburg City Police Department, the St. Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office, the Syracuse Police and Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Franklin County Drug Task Force, the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Border Patrol and the Border Enforcement Security Task Force, and the Coast Guard Investigative Service.

The investigation was conducted by St. Lawrence County Detective Arthur Shattuck and OCTF Special Investigator Christopher Reidy, with Supervising Investigator Thomas M. Wolf, Deputy Chief Eugene Black, and Chief Dominick Zarella.

The case is being prosecuted by OCTF Assistant Deputy Attorney General and Senior Investigative Counsel James J. Mindell and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Irene S. Bardot. OCTF is led by Deputy Attorney General Peri Alyse Kadanoff. Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Prosecutions is Kelly Donovan.

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN & COMPTROLLER DiNAPOLI ANNOUNCE STATE PRISON SENTENCE FOR FLORIDA WOMAN IN $120,000 PENSION FRAUD CASE

Defendant Gracycelia Cizik Hid Her Uncle’s Death For 12 Years In Order To Continue To Collect His PAPD Pension; Will Serve Up To 6 Years in State Prison

ALBANY – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced the conviction and sentence of Graycelia Cizik, 64, a resident of Polk County, Florida. Cizik pleaded guilty on January 21, 2015 to a one-count Indictment charging her with the crime of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony. Today, she was sentenced to 2 to 6 years in state prison by Supreme Court Judge Roger D. McDonough in Albany County Court. Cizik also agreed to a judgment in favor of the New York State and Local Employees Retirement System in the amount of $121,772.72.

Under the plea agreement, Cizik admitted to stealing $121,772.72 in pension benefits issued by the Office of the New York State Comptroller, on behalf of the New York State and Local Employees Retirement System, to her deceased uncle, David Wynn. Wynn was a New York State pensioner who retired from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and died in 1988.

“We will aggressively pursue stiff penalties for those who rip off our retirement system and steal from retirees across our state who count on that money,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “We will protect taxpayer dollars and prosecute those who misuse public funds.”

“Ms. Cizik scammed the New York State Retirement System and is now on her way to state prison for several years,” Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said. “We will continue to safeguard the state pension system and work with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to punish those who defraud the pension fund.”

A joint investigation by the New York State Attorney General’s Office and the Office of the New York State Comptroller revealed that Cizik witnessed a cremation authorization form for Wynn when he died, but failed to notify the Retirement System of Wynn’s death. Instead, Cizik submitted false information to Wynn’s bank indicating that he was still alive, and utilized a power of attorney to access his account and withdraw pension benefits paid on his behalf during a twelve year period between June 30, 1997 and October 30, 2009.

The case is the latest joint investigation under the Operation Integrity partnership between the Attorney General and Comptroller, which has resulted in dozens of convictions and more than $6 million in restitution. Cizik was arrested in August 2014 by agents of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, and extradited to Albany County to face the Indictment.

Attorney General Schneiderman and Comptroller DiNapoli thank the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in Florida for their assistance.

The Attorney General’s investigation was conducted by Investigator Dennis Churns and Deputy Chief Investigator Antoine J. Karam. The Investigations Division is led by Chief Investigator Dominick Zarrella.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Clark of the Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau. The bureau is led by Bureau Chief Gary T. Fishman and Deputy Bureau Chiefs Stephanie Swenton and Meryl Lutsky. The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN JOINS AMICUS BRIEF COALITION IN FAVOR OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S IMMIGRATION EXECUTIVE ACTION

Schneiderman: President’s Obama Executive Actions Would Give Millions Of Undocumented Immigrants The Opportunity To Come Out Of The Shadows

NEW YORK – Attorney General T. Eric Schneiderman today announced that he has joined a coalition of states in filing an amicus brief in a federal Court of Appeals, asking that the court allow President Obama’s recent executive actions on immigration policy to take effect immediately, despite an injunction imposed by a federal district court judge in Texas.

“President’s Obama executive actions would give millions of undocumented immigrants the opportunity to come out of the shadows and stop living in fear,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “By giving work authorization to people who are already living here, we can increase the states’ tax revenue and reduce demand for social services. And states benefit immeasurably when thousands of their citizens and legal residents are given relief from the threat of seeing a parent deported.”

It is estimated that the President’s executive actions will impact an estimated five million individuals. One executive action would expand the population eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which gives beneficiaries the right to work, to include all young people who came to this country before turning 16 years old and have been present since January 1, 2010. Another executive action would create a new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program, which would make eligible for deferred action and work authorization individuals who are parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, who have been in the country since January 1, 2010, and who pass background checks.

The brief was filed in Texas v. United States, a legal challenge by Texas and other states to the President’s authority to take executive action on immigration. The Washington State Attorney’s General Office authored the brief, which was joined by the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

For more information on the president’s executive action, including guidelines, forms and timelines, please click here.

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES THAT PRESIDENT OF KOREAN SOCIAL SERVICE CENTER IS HEADING TO STATE PRISON FOR STEALING MORE THAN $200,000 FROM IMMIGRANTS SEEKING AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Ock Chul Ha Was Sentenced To 1-3 Years State Prison, Banned From Performing Social Service Work, Faces Possible Deportation, And Is Required To Pay Restitution To The Victims

Ha Posed As A Social Worker, Made False Promises Of Low-Income Housing In Exchange For Thousands Of Dollars In Fees 

Schneiderman: Fraudsters Who Take Advantage Of Vulnerable Citizens Will Be Prosecuted To The Fullest Extent Of The Law. This Perpetrator Is Going To Jail And Is Banned From The Nonprofit Social Services Sector For Good

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the sentencing of Ock Chul Ha, President of the Korean Social Service Center, a not-for-profit organization, who operated a pervasive scam on primarily elderly Korean-Americans for more than three years. Ha was sentenced to 1-3 years state prison and was banned from performing social service work and is required to pay restitution to the victims, who cooperated with this investigation. The order also includes the closure of the Korean Social Service Center.

Ha falsely promised clients – who came to him for advice regarding Medicare or Social Security – placement in low-income housing in the city’s coveted 421(a) program.

Last November, Ha pleaded guilty to one count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (a Class “C” felony), one count of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree (a Class “E” felony), and Criminal Tax Fraud in the Third Degree (a Class “D” felony).

“We have absolutely zero tolerance for this kind of behavior. At a time when more New Yorkers than ever are struggling with the cost of housing, Mr. Ha dangled the promise of an affordable home to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars, ruining lives in the process,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Exploiting insecurity and vulnerability – especially in one’s own community – is despicable, and we are putting this defendant in jail and out of business.”

According to Ha’s fully allocated plea, Ha was the President of Korean Social Services, a Manhattan not-for-profit located at 16 West 32nd Street, Suite 301. Based on our investigation, Ha preyed on vulnerable people, who he believed would be least likely to notify law enforcement of his scam. He generally conned elderly Korean-American immigrants, widows and those on disability who spoke limited English. He admitted to scamming an electrician, who lost his entire life savings to Ha and an artist who borrowed money from relatives. He would gain their trust by relying on his position as a social worker, and then offer them an opportunity to obtain a precious commodity in New York: affordable housing.

The investigation found that after Ha propositioned his victims, he would call them repeatedly, warning them that they would lose their chance at a 421(a) apartment if they did not act quickly. Often he would demand $28,500 from his victims. Most of his victims drained their bank accounts, borrowed from friends or pooled money from relatives to pay Ha. Ha would then demand more money from his victims, often citing the need for security deposits equaling six months of rent. He would provide his victims with a receipt from the Korean Social Service Center that reflected the total amount provided by his victim (often in the tens of thousands of dollars), the victim’s name, and a note indicating that these monies were for a deposit on a “N.Y.C H.D.” apartment. Ha admitted to stealing approximately $207,000 from such victims.

The investigation further revealed that after a March 18, 2014, search warrant was executed at Ha’s office, he began calling his victims and urging them not to cooperate with law enforcement. Ha dangled the prospect of reimbursement as a reward for their refusal to cooperate. Despite such empty promises, several brave men and women cooperated with law enforcement to bring Ha to justice.

Ha, 58, of Fort Lee, NJ, pleaded guilty before Judge Larry Stephen and will be sentenced to 1-3 years in state prison on March 3, 2015.

This investigation, initiated by the Attorney General’s Charities Bureau, was a joint collaboration between the Attorney General’s Office and the New York State Department of Tax and Finance. The Attorney General thanks the New York City Department of Investigation for its cooperation on this case.

The investigation was initiated by Assistant Attorney General Michael Torrisi of the Charities Bureau and handled by Investigator Edward Ortiz and Chief Dominick Zarrella of the Attorney General’s Investigations Bureau, and Michael Yun formerly of the NYS Department of Tax and Finance. This case was prosecuted by Special Counsel John R. Spagna, Chief Auditor of the Forensic Audit Section, Edward J. Keegan, Senior Analyst Jacqui Brown, and Associate Forensic Auditor Matthew Crogan, in the Attorney General’s Criminal Division, which is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Kelly Donovan.

Examining Market Trends and the Evolving Economic and Political Climate
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Best Party Of The Summer! 

Hi Friends:

I have exciting news! I have partnered up with the 2015 Victory Cup Polo Match – “The Best Party of the Summer” to help raise money for my campaign!

On Saturday, July 11th in Patterson, NY, come enjoy this kid friendly, pet friendly event while taking in classic cars, enjoying a picnic lunch, or just watching an awesome polo match with surprise celebrity players — on your own, with your family or with a group of friends!

The Victory Cup will feature local wine, beer, food, a car show, fashion show and polo match that ends with a farm-to-table dinner literally on the polo field – you have never been to any event like this!

70% of the tickets I sell will go directly to my campaign to help me become your next New York State Assemblywoman! Please click here to purchase your tickets today!

For more information about the Victory Cup, please visit: victorycup.org/cardillocup, or click here to watch the video!

See you on July 11th,

Suzi McDonough

www.suzi4ny.com

Alamo Drafthouse Announces 2015 Summer Kids Camp Lineup

The heat-beating, doldrums-busting series returns with a lineup of fun family favorites and a new choose-your-own-ticket price option with proceeds benefiting local charities
Alamo Drafthouse is happy to announce the return of its annual Summer Kids Camp screenings – now 100% better, stronger and fun-er! Programmed specifically for families, Summer Kids Camp is affordable fun for all with a mix of new favorites and classic kid-friendly films.

New for this year is a “choose-your-own-ticket price” model ranging from $1 to $3 per person – you choose the amount! This new model not only allows for tickets to be purchased online, in advance with reserved seating – parents, take a moment to rejoice here – but also 100% of ticket sales will be donated to local nonprofits helping families. Now, families can have summer fun while also helping their communities.

“Kids Camp reaches almost 100,000 kids and parents during the summer, providing affordable and fun movies for everyone,” says Director of Family & Community Engagement Amy Averett.  “We are excited to grow this program to support great local nonprofits through ticket sales donations.”

In Yonkers, the first local nonprofit that will receive a donation will be Groundwork Hudson Valley.

“We’re also excited about the variety of titles being offered this summer,” says Averett. From classics like MARY POPPINS, to literary inspirations like CHARLOTTE’S WEB, there is a wide range of choices for families. Also, we know that summer’s hottest new releases like JURASSIC WORLD may not work for our younger guests. Kids Camp provides an age-appropriate alternative with THE LAND BEFORE TIME.”

The line-up will be as follows:

The Land Before Time – 6/29-7/2
Despicable Me – Dcp – 7/6-7/9
Charlotte’s Web (2006) – 7/13-7/16
Muppets Most Wanted – 7/20-23
Mary Poppins – 7/27-7/30
How To Train Your Dragon 2 – 8/3-8/6
Kung Fu Panda 2 – 8/17-8/20
The Parent Trap – 8/24-8/27
Chicken Run – 8/31-9/3

Join the Alamo Drafthouse Family Facebook page to keep up with all the family events at the Alamo Drafthouse:  https://www.facebook.com/AlamoDrafthouseFamily

Kids Camp screenings are open to ages 3 and up. Please, no infants (parents, check out Baby Day screenings instead). All children must be accompanied by an adult. Our regular “No Talking” policy is still in effect, so noisy families may be asked to leave.

About Alamo Drafthouse
Tim and Karrie League founded Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in 1997 as a single-screen mom and pop repertory theater in Austin. 17 years later, the now 19-location chain has been named “the best theater in America” by Entertainment Weekly and “the best theater in the world” by Wired. The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has built a reputation as a movie lover’s oasis not only by combining food and drink service with the movie-going experience, but also introducing unique programming and high-profile, star studded special events. Alamo Drafthouse Founder & CEO, Tim League, created Fantastic Fest, a world renowned film festival dubbed “The Geek Telluride” by Variety. Fantastic Fest showcases eight days of genre cinema from independents, international filmmakers and major Hollywood studios. The Alamo Drafthouse’s collectible art gallery, Mondo, offers breathtaking, original products featuring designs from world-famous artists based on licenses for popular TV and Movie properties including Star Wars, Star Trek & Universal Monsters. The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is expanding its brand in new and exciting ways, including Drafthouse Films, which has garnered two Academy Award nominations in its short three-year existence, and Badass Digest, an entertainment news blog curated by veteran journalist Devin Faraci.

June

    Blue Door 
    Art Center
Greetings!
Coming up this Saturday is an enjoyable way to polish your writing skills at ArtSpeak, a poetry writing workshop for all levels of skills.

Don’t be shy if you have never written poetry. ArtSpeak is an open door to those who want to begin as well as being a coaching session for more experienced writers. Golda will facilitate writing inspired by the art work of NAT SHAPIRO, currently on exhibit at Blue Door Gallery.
Your friends at the Blue Door Art Center.
ArtSpeak
Saturday, June 6th
1-5:30 p.m.

Facilitated by Golda Solomon, BDAC poet-in-residence

Guest Musician, Rosi Hertlein

 

Workshop fee-$25

Non-members;

$20 members.

 

Scholarships available.

Blue Door recommends:
ROBERT G COX: 
MAKING THE INVISIBLE, VISIBLE

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

June 26th-June 28th

Opening Reception Friday, June 26th 6-9 p.m.

Pop-up gallery

The Jewelry Factory

115 S. Mac Questen Pkwy

Mount Vernon NY 10550

Blue Door Gallery recommends a pop-up gallery that will be taking place in Mount Vernon, NY. Former Blue Door Gallery Manager, Tina Garforth, is curating this extrodinary exhibition.

 

Robert G Cox: Making the Invisible, Visible, is a retrospective show of revealing paintings, hidden for more than 40 years. Most of these paintings have never been seen before. Cox was the youngest of a group of artists in New York in the sixties trying to get beyond the confines of abstract expressionism. At the age of twenty, he was well acquainted with Barnett Newman, Donald Judd, and shared a studio with super-realist Malcolm Morley. This show focuses on his large abstract works of spray painted oil on canvas.
BDAC On-line Store
Don’t forget about BDAC’s online store, where BDAA membered artists of all mediums post their work. From photographs, to sculptures, to mixed media and more.
Artists in current exhibits have the privilege of posting their work as well.
Go to www.bluedoorartcenter.org, click on “Store” and select the category you would like to browse. We’re sure you will be able to find something in your price range, as there are choices that are quite affordable.
About Us

Blue Door Gallery presents widely attended and critically-acclaimed fine art exhibitions in a welcoming environment. BDG publishes books on many of its outstanding exhibitions and makes available the chap books of our poets.

 

In the works: POP UP exhibitions by UP COMING Community Artists as special events at Blue Door Gallery. Stay tuned FMI.

 

Other community art programs at the gallery include monthly “Open Stage” performances, poetry writing workshops, art themed videos, art classes, performances and other special events.

The Blue Door Art Center initiates many public art projects including the installation of sculpture along the Yonkers Esplanade and in other locations. BDAC has been a fixture at Yonkers “Riverfest” for many years and conducts  workshops and events in locations throughout the city. BDAA is now in the process of installing artwork in vacant storefronts throughout Downtown Yonkers and partnering with Greyston Foundation to provide special art experiences for children in their Child Care Center.
SPECIAL THANKS to our Generous and Supportive Sponsors
 
 

sponsor logos 2015

Not an art-maker?  Be an art-lover and supporter  You may find something that 

catches your eye and feeds your soul.
If you or your creative friends have workshop ideas or would like to share your craft,

feel free to email the gallery at info@bluedoorartcenter.org and we will respond asap.

 

Arle´ Sklar-Weinstein, Gallery and Art Center Director

Luis Perelman, Art Association and Art Center Director

Robin Hutchinson, Gallery Manager

Naajidah Correll, Assistant Manager

Buzz Evers, Program and Outreach Coordinator

 

May

    Blue Door 
    Art Center
Greetings!

As the trees are starting to bloom, here at Blue Door, we are blossoming as well!

Bring your family and friends to this cultural center, where food, art and cinema abound.
Your friends at the Blue Door Art Center.
Show and Tell 

Demonstrations
Saturday, May 9th 1:30-5:30
 
 
 

 

 

Exhibit dates April 25th-May 16th

 

Blue Door Gallery is proud to present its 7th Annual Show & Tell Exhibition.
The exhibition will run through Saturday, May 16th and features 4 artists’ demonstrations on Saturday, May 9th from 1:30-4:30 and 3 artists on Saturday, May 16th, from 1:30-3:30.
Four artists will be sharing their creative processes on Saturday, May 9th, during this unique exhibit of Show and Tell. Gino Civale will be demonstrating his abstract painting process from 1:30-2:30. At 2:30, Paul Greco will share how he forages for scrap metal for his assemblage pieces. We will have the pleasure of hearing from digital photographer Alan Cohen at 3:30 and lastly at 4:30, we will be enlightened how Susan Richman creates her abstract photography.
Enjoy this educational jewel that is offered annually. You will discover how these professional artists construct, design and implement the visuals from their inventive imaginations and we feel honored to have them share their “secrets” with the public.
About Us

Blue Door Gallery presents widely attended and critically-acclaimed fine art exhibitions in a welcoming environment. BDG publishes books on many of its outstanding exhibitions and makes available the chap books of our poets.

 

In the works: POP UP exhibitions by UP COMING Community Artists as special events at Blue Door Gallery. Stay tuned FMI.

 

Other community art programs at the gallery include monthly “Open Stage” performances, poetry writing workshops, art themed videos, art classes, performances and other special events.

The Blue Door Art Center initiates many public art projects including the installation of sculpture along the Yonkers Esplanade and in other locations. BDAC has been a fixture at Yonkers “Riverfest” for many years and conducts  workshops and events in locations throughout the city. BDAA is now in the process of installing artwork in vacant storefronts throughout Downtown Yonkers and partnering with Greyston Foundation to provide special art experiences for children in their Child Care Center.
SPECIAL THANKS to our Generous and Supportive Sponsors
 
 

sponsor logos 2015

Not an art-maker?  Be an art-lover and supporter  You may find something that 

catches your eye and feeds your soul.
If you or your creative friends have workshop ideas or would like to share your craft,

feel free to email the gallery at info@bluedoorartcenter.org and we will respond asap.

 

Arle´ Sklar-Weinstein, Gallery and Art Center Director

Luis Perelman, Art Association and Art Center Director

Robin Hutchinson, Gallery Manager

Naajidah Correll, Assistant Manager

Buzz Evers, Program & Outreach Coordinator

 

MAMMA MIA! Mother’s Day Brunch and Sing-Along at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Yonkers on Sunday May 10

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema presents a special Mother’s Day screening of MAMMA MIA!, on Sunday May 10 at Noon. Singing along will be encouraged. Tickets are $45 and include a four course themed brunch with wine pairings. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is located at 2548 Central Park Ave, Yonkers, (914) 226-3082, www.drafthouse.com/yonkers

Based on the Broadway show, MAMMA MIA! starring
Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried and Colin Firth, is inspired by the storytelling magic of ABBA’s songs from “Dancing Queen” and “S.O.S.” to “Money, Money, Money” and “Take a Chance on Me.” An independent, single mother who owns a small hotel on an idyllic Greek island, Donna (Meryl Streep) is about to let go of Sophie (Amanda Seyfried), the spirited daughter she’s raised alone. For Sophie’s wedding, Donna has invited her two lifelong best girlfriends–practical and no-nonsense Rosie (Julie Walters) and wealthy, multi-divorcee Tanya (Christine Baranski)–from her one-time backing band, Donna and the Dynamos. But Sophie has secretly invited three guests of her own. On a quest to find the identity of her father to walk her down the aisle, she brings back three men from Donna’s past to the Mediterranean paradise they visited 20 years earlier. Over 24 chaotic, magical hours, new love will bloom and old romances will be rekindled on this lush island full of possibilities. MAMMA MIA! is a celebration of mothers and daughters, old friends and new family found.

Brunch includes:
Gravlax – Thinly sliced salmon cured in house. Served with mustard dill sauce, toasted rye bread and lemon supremes.
Zoumi – Creamy spinach soup. Served with grilled shrimp on seared feta cheese slices.
Pytt I Panna – Roasted lamb pieces with savory roasted potatoes. Served with a fried egg and green onions.
Galaktoboureko Rolla – Thick custard baked into a crispy phyllo dough roll, covered in cinnamon and lemon syrup. Served with creamy Greek yogurt mousse.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, with theatres in 20 cities across the US, is a lifestyle entertainment brand with an acclaimed cinema-eatery, the largest genre film festival in the United Sates and an online collectible art store. Named “the best theater in America” by Entertainment Weekly, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has built a reputation as a movie lover’s oasis not only by combining food and drink service with the movie-going experience, but also introducing unique programming and high-profile, star studded special events. More information at

http://drafthouse.com/yonkers

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Community Events
Have an impact with perks for you.
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A Taste of Larchmont
Sip, Snack & Stroll
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Join Us!
My Sisters’ Place, through our partnership with Julia B Fee, is proud to announce A Taste of Larchmont taking place on Saturday, May 2nd. Guests will be treated to an array of appetizers and drink selections offered by local restaurants.
Together we are raising awareness around the issues of domestic violence and human trafficking. All proceeds will benefit the critical life-changing programs and services of My Sisters’ Place.
Quick Links:
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My Sisters’ Place is so thankful for the
ongoing partnership of Mercedes-Benz of White Plains. Their committment to our mission makes it possible for us to help so many in need.
 ;
Please visit our website at www.mspny.org.
Donate to our cause at www.mspny.org/donate.

RoarPressNotes-Final

ROAR, a Shocking, Lion-Filled 1981 Movie You’ve Never Seen to open at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Yonkers on April 24

ROAR, originally released in 1981, and now opens at  Alamo Drafthouse Cinema on Friday, April 24. Directed by and starring Noel Marshall (Producer of The Exorcist), ROAR also stars real-life family members Tippi Hedren, Melanie Griffith, John Marshall and Jerry Marshall and 150+ lions and tigers. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is located at 22548 Central Park Ave, Yonkers, (914) 226-3082, www.drafthouse.com/yonkers

ROAR follows wildlife preservationist Hank (The Exorcist producer Noel Marshall in his sole and career-derailing turn as an actor and director), who lives harmoniously alongside a menagerie of untamed animals, including cheetahs, elephants, lions and tigers on a preservation in the African plains. When his wife and children arrive (real-life wife Tippi Hedren, The Birds, and step-daughter Melanie Griffith, Working Girl) for a visit, a long-brewing battle for dominance between two lions erupts and threatens their very lives.

Rescued from obscurity by Drafthouse Films, the story of ROAR’s production is one of the most terrifying and dangerous ever committed to celluloid: over seventy bloody attacks documented, including the scalping of future Speed director Jan de Bont (requiring 220 stitches) and a mauling of Melanie Griffith so bad she required reconstructive facial surgery.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, with 17 theatres across the US, is a lifestyle entertainment brand with an acclaimed cinema-eatery, the largest genre film festival in the United Sates and an online collectible art store. Named “the best theater in America” by Entertainment Weekly, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has built a reputation as a movie lover’s oasis not only by combining food and drink service with the movie-going experience, but also introducing unique programming and high-profile, star studded special events. More information at http://drafthouse.com/yonkers

#     #     #

Press Notes, attached

To request a screener or an interview with the director’s sons (and co-stars) John and Jerry Marshall, please contact Cristina Cacioppo, cristina.cacioppo@drafthouse.com.


ROAR_Surrounded: Hank (Noel Marshall) surrounded by lions and tigers in his home in Drafthouse Films’ Roar. Courtesy of Drafthouse Films.

Reviews and more photos:
HUFFINGTON POST:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/02/roar-movie-photos_n_6991594.html?1427981981
ESQUIRE: http://www.esquire.com/entertainment/movies/a34046/roar-movie-tippi-hedren-melanie-griffith-lions-posters/

In This Issue:
Student Spotlight
Academic Support
Transition to High School

SAVE THE DATES! 
YPIE Annual Gala Thursday,
October 1, 2015!

 

Volunteer Open Houses

April 9 – 4 PM

May 14 – 9:30 AM

June 4- 12 PM

 

Riverfront Public Library

Volunteer Spotlight
Meet Barbara Tartell, YPIE College Center Volunteer at Gorton High School. For four years Barbara has been coming to the college center to help students discover their college dreams and achieve them. Motivated by her own experience as a child of Holocaust survivors who had only a fifth grade education, Barbara understands the importance of helping first generation students navigate the road to college. She loves working with YPIE College Advisor Stephanie Russo to expand the college possibilities for students and celebrates every acceptance. Moving forward, Barbara

will be helping seniors prepare for the challenges that lie ahead in college, including how they can access the social and academic resources to ensure college success. What keeps her coming back each year to volunteer with YPIE?  “I am passionate about the role college can play in changing lives.”

 

Thank you, Barbara and to all our volunteers who are changing lives.

mail list

 
What is YPIE?

Yonkers Partners in Education (YPIE)’s mission is to increase the number of Yonkers Public School students who complete a post-secondary program that prepares them for a successful career.
YPIE partners with the Yonkers Public School District, business and philanthropic communities and higher education institutions and relies on detailed data to drive
our decisions
and programs.
We believe that post-secondary success is key to meaningful and lasting improvements in the quality of life for our students and community.

 

 

Visit us at 

www.ypie.org

April 2015
Dear Friends,
It is an exciting time of year in the Yonkers high schools as seniors learn where they have been accepted to college. From a volunteer who has been working in the YPIE College Center at Gorton HS, “I am absolutely thrilled at the breadth and depth of acceptances this year.” We are too!
Along with the bustle happening in high schools, we have been busy launching two new initiatives: an after school academic support program to prepare students for the academic challenges ahead, and a Transition Coach program to help 8th grade students adjust to the demands of high school. We also are seeing the first group of students in our College Success Program at Westchester Community College complete their first year and are expecting promising results.
As always, we are grateful for your interest in our work and your partnership. Please save October 1, 2015 for our annual gala and consider attending one of our upcoming Volunteer Open Houses where you can learn more about getting involved.
Sincerely,Wendy Nadel
Executive Director

Student Spotlight
EXCITING COLLEGE NEWS!

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Maurice Asare, pictured here with his YPIE College Advisor, Stephanie Russo, was accepted by Bowdoin College and received a full ride to the Macaulay Honors College at Lehman. A Gorton High School senior, Maurice prepared himself by taking advantage of YPIE’s many programs, including SAT Prep, Essay Busters and College Interview Workshops.
 
Angel Moorer, a senior at Roosevelt High School, received admission to SUNY Buffalo State in the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) which provides access, academic support and financial aid to students who show promise for succeeding in college. Angel was in and out of the YPIE College Center so often while working on her application that she took to social media to express her gratitude for her College Advisor.
Sabrina Madera, a senior at Saunders Trades and Technical High School, has some amazing options! She was accepted to MIT, Cornell University and Cooper Union! In addition to all of her other hard work, Sabrina participated in YPIE’s SAT Prep Program and is a peer tutor in YPIE’s afterschool academic support program.
Follow us on FaceBook to see where others will be attending!

After School Academic Tutoring is Up and Running
Yonkers sophomores have been receiving academic tutoring after school – brushing up skills in math, english, history and science. In partnership with Sylvan Learning and high school volunteer peer tutors, students from seven Yonkers high schools are receiving support one-two days/week. Equipped with graphing calculators and laptops, students can take advantage of personalized tutoring and online learning. YPIE will be expanding this opportunity in the months and years ahead.

8th Grade to High School Transition Coaching

Eighth-grade students from YPIE’s GPS Program are preparing for the transition to high school and volunteer
Transition Coaches are helping them pave the way.  Volunteers are meeting with small groups of students through the  end of May.
Using a YPIE developed high school transition curriculum, students and their coaches explore the expectations in high school, identify the resources they will need to be successful and design a plan for a smooth transition.
Students from YPIE’s Youth Leadership Council, like Imani Stinson (pictured right), are visiting these 8th-grade students and sharing their advice on how to make the most of the high school experience.
 Stay Connected!
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter
Yonkers Partners in Education
86 Main Street, Suite 301
Yonkers, NY 10701
Blue Door Art Center and Gallery
presents…
“DOUBLE DAYS” AT BLUE DOOR
JOIN US FOR YOUR FAVORITE OR 
ALL OF THE FOLLOWING!

ARTSPEAK Writing Workshop
Friday evening 4-6:30pm

This popular and creative writing series continues to grow and evolve. Co-Hosted by Blue Door Gallery poet-in-residence Golda Solomon and special guest poet and/or musician, new themes, voices, poetry/writing forms are explored within the context of the current gallery exhibition. The leisurely workshop unfolds with sharing of writers and topics of interest, raw explorations of writing into responding to the art, and culminates with
From Page to Performance. The community is invited as audience and readers, along with the workshop participants. The gallery becomes a stage as we offer, from Page to Performance.
Upcoming Workshop: Friday, March 27th, 4-6:30pm 
(followed by Po’ Jazz on Hudson)
To sign up for the writing workshop, email info@bluedoorartcenter.org, or sign up in person at Blue Door Gallery (13 Riverdale Ave, Yonkers 10701)
For more information, call Golda toll-free at 1-877-529-9528.
Blue door members $20; non-members $25
(Please note that scholarships are always available- no one is turned away.)
Suggested donation for Page to performance only: $2
partially funded by Poets and Writers
Po’ Jazz on Hudson
Jazz Music and Spoken Word
Friday Night March 27th 7-8:30pm
FRIDAY MARCH 27th 7-8:30pm
Po’Jazz is an innovative partnership of poetry and jazz created by Golda Solomon, who has combined her two passions to create an energetic program featuring established and emerging poets sharing the stage with a small group of musicians, blending the spoken work and improvised instrumentation.
 
Saturday Afternoon
March 28th 2-4:30pm
Blue Door invites KIDS of all ages
HANDS ON WORKSHOP

Come see the amazing art quilts on display and try your hand at quilt design.
Scrap fabrics will be provided, but you are invited to bring a favorite of your own.
Great for kids and adults who want to come play too.
Suggested donation is $5 
for a light snack 
and art supplies provided.
Everyone is welcome to join.
 
Blue Door is proud to announce that this workshop is being led by our multifaceted , very own Gallery Director, and visionary 
inspiration for Blue Door Kids, Arle’ Sklar-Weinstein.
 As a member of the Manhattan Quilters Guild, she is extending the art form and experience to anyone who wants to join and learn the beauty of fiber art.
BLUE DOOR CINEMA
Saturday evening 
March 28th 
Doors at 6:30

.
Please forward this invite to anyone you think may be interested in participating with us or bring some friends and family with you on the day.
Sincerely,
Blue Door Art Center
About Us

Blue Door Gallery presents widely attended and critically-acclaimed fine art exhibitions in a welcoming environment.  BDG publishes books on many of its outstanding exhibitions and makes available the chap books of our poets.

 

We conduct community art programs at the gallery including monthly “Open Stage” performances, poetry writing workshops, art themed videos, art classes, performances and other special events.

The Blue Door Art Center initiates many public art projects including the installation of sculpture along the Yonkers Esplanade and in other locations. BDAC has been a fixture at Yonkers “Riverfest” for many years and conducts workshops and events in locations throughout the city. BDAA is now in the process of installing artwork in vacant storefronts throughout Downtown Yonkers and partnering with Greyston Foundation to provide special art experiences for children in their Child Care Center.

Arle´ Sklar-Weinstein, Gallery and Art Center Director

Luis Perelman, Art Association and Art Center Director

Golda Solomon, Poet-in-Residence & Journal Editor, Art Center Board Member

Robin Hutchinson, Gallery Manager

Ashley Bruno, Asst Manager/ Program Coordinator & Outreach

SaveTheDate

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Dr. King’s Legacy and the Campaign for Law Enforcement Accountability and Transparency
On the actual birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Thursday, January 15th, community activists and leaders from across Westchester County will gather at noon for a press conference in front of the Westchester County Office Building located at 148 Martine Avenue to demand an end to abuses in law enforcement practices and also to deliver a letter to County Executive Rob Astorino. Community leaders are calling for an end to police misconduct with impunity and specifically to aggressive policing that targets African Americans and other people of color.

When: Today January 15, 2015
Time: 12:00pm
Where: Westchester County Office Building
148 Martine Ave
White Plains, NY
My Sisters’ Place is proud to present:
Event Image
at Westchester Burger Company in Rye Brook
Saturday, January 24th 3-5pm
Missing baseball?  We’ve got you covered.
Could the off-season be any longer?  Come talk baseball with Mr. Baseball himself, Buster Olney.  Have your questions answered, discuss your favorite players, teams, and predictions for the 2015 season.
We got the peanuts and crackerjacks and we don’t care if you ever get back.
Buster Olney is a columnist for ESPN: The Magazine, ESPN.com, and covered the New York Giants and New York Yankees for The New York Times. He is also a regular analyst for the ESPN’s Baseball Tonight.
This is part of My Sisters’ Place Project Team On!
Engaging Men and Boys Initiative

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE STOP & SHOP’s A+ SCHOOL REWARDS PROGRAM KICKS-OFF 2015

WITH FIGHTING HUNGER CHALLENGE

 

Participating Schools to Host Food Drives for Local Food Banks, Pantries or Soup Kitchens

and submit creative displays to win prizes

 

 

(Purchase, NY) January 5, 2015 – To help provide hunger relief to those in need, The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC is kicking-off the New Year with the launch of its A+ School Rewards Fighting Hunger Challenge, a contest calling on participating schools to host food drives benefitting local food banks, pantries and soup kitchens, with prizes going to those creating the best displays utilizing the donated goods.

 

The Challenge runs from January 1, 2015 to February 13, 2015 and is open to ALL schools (public or private) in CT, NY, and NJ that are currently registered in the A+ School Rewards Program, which can be found at www.stopandshop.com/aplus.

 

“As part of Stop & Shop’s commitment to being a better neighbor in each of the communities we serve, the A+ School Rewards Fighting Hunger Challenge is an ideal way to support both local schools and feeding those in need,” said Arlene Putterman, Manager of Public and Community Relations, Stop & Shop New York Metro Division.

 

To participate in the Challenge, each school registered in the A+ School Rewards Program is asked to choose a local not-for-profit food bank, pantry or soup kitchen, conduct a food drive at their school and collect non-perishable goods.  Each participating school builds a unique and creative Fighting Hunger Display using donated products and placed in a prominent area of the school.  The food items will be donated to the designated food bank, pantry or soup kitchen at the conclusion of the Challenge.

 

Coordinators and/or Principals must submit a photograph of their Fighting Hunger Display, indicating the name of their designated recipient.  Schools are divided into three brackets based on enrollment size, with the top two schools in each bracket winning $1,000 each.  The winning Fighting Hunger Display photos will be placed on the Stop & Shop social media pages (www.facebook.com/stopandshop, https://twitter.com/StopandShop and http://www.pinterest.com/stopandshop/).

 

Online Entries must be submitted by February 13, 2015 at askaplus@cranecommunications.com.  Mailed Entries must be postmarked by February 13, 2015 and received by February 19, 2015 and sent to:

 

A+ Fighting Hunger Challenge         

                                    c/o Crane Communications

                                    111 Presidential Blvd, Ste. 252

                                    Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 

 

For full Challenge rules visit www.stopandshop.com/aplus.

 

About Stop & Shop’s A+ School Rewards Program

The A+ School Rewards Program is a fundraising initiative that enables customers to help earn money for their local schools when they shop for groceries at Stop & Shop.  There is no limit to what schools can do with their A+ School Rewards, including earning cash for technology, scholarships, school programs, field trips, playgrounds and other educational needs. A+ School Rewards are accrued with each purchase made using one’s Stop & Shop loyalty card from October 3, 2014 through March 19, 2015.

 

About Stop & Shop

The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC employs over 59,000 associates and operates 395 stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. The company helps support local communities fight hunger, combat childhood cancer and promote general health and wellness – with emphasis on children’s educational and support programs. In its commitment to be a sustainable company, Stop & Shop is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and EPA’s Smart Way program and has been recognized by the EPA for the superior energy management of its stores. Stop & Shop is an Ahold company. To learn more about Stop& Shop, visit www.stopandshop.com or www.facebook.com/stopandshop.

 

 


NY Swim                  Healthy Kids               Community             Splash N Dash

girl swimming                           FRONT            camp photo  

                                  Academy          Before/After School        Fitness Center      Summer Day Camps

 

COMMUNITY EVENTS 

QUICK LINKS 

BRING HEALTHY KIDS PROGRAM TO YOUR AREA      

 

  • Operating High Quality and affordable before/after school programs since 2003.
  • In 25 public elementary schools
  • Licensed by the NYS
  • Staff are fingerprinted and background checked
  • Fees are 100% parent paid no school contribution.
  • Sliding Scale Fees, DSS accepted.
  • Featuring the award winning SPARK active recreation after school program. (

For More Information

Email:
Melissa@HealthyKidsProgram.org

SPLASH N DASH NEW WINDSOR OPEN HOUSES   

camp photo  
Open House held at our New Windsor Camp Site, 565 Union Avenue

Wednesdays at 6:15pm

February 11th
March 11th
April 8th
May 13th
June 10th.

For More Information

Visit: www.communityfitnesscenter.com

Call:

(845) 561-4700
Email:

info@splashndashcamp.com

NATIONAL AFTER SCHOOL ALLIANCE       

 
Only 21% of students are participating in after school programs, the same percentage as in 2009. New York did not make the Top Ten this year.
Want to take action for more afterschool?
Sign our online petition

and share it with your families and partners. Tweet about #AmericaAfter3PM or post it on your Facebook accounts.

For More Information

Nora Niedzielski-Eichner, Ph.D. | Executive Director

FREE AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM AT MS 183

 

Healthy Kids Extended Day Program was selected as one of 271 top-rated, high quality providers that will oversee NYC’s Mayor Diblasio’s expanded afterschool initiative for middle school students beginning in September 2014.
Next year, the number of seats citywide will jump 76 percent, to more than 79,300. “Middle school is a tumultuous time for teenagers, and we need to ensure we are giving them the resources to support their development beyond the school day,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. Healthy Kids will partner with the highly regarded MS 183 in Far Rockaway to run an innovative, engaging, high quality and completely free after school program for all middle schoolers that will include terrific staff, fun activities homework help, literacy and math assistance and supper.

For Mayor’s Proclamation

For Award Letter
For Registration Packet

Click Here

For Program Flier
Click Here
For SONYC Video
For More Information
Call: 845-561-4700
Visit: CommunityFitnessCenter.com
Email:

21ST CENTURY LEARNING CENTER GRANT

 

For Registration Packet

Next Session begins soon. 
For Press Release
click here
For Award Letter

click here
For Information Packet
click here

HEALTHY KIDS SCHOOL HOLIDAY PROGRAM

 

School Holiday Program

For those families near New Windsor, register for the school break program at the Union Ave. Community Fitness Center.

$50/day for 9a.m.-5p.m.
extended hours available for an additional $5/hr.

Full Day Program Will Run On:
1/19, 2/16
Half Day Program Will Run On: 
2/4
CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE FOR WESTCHESTER RESIDENTS

Child Care Subsidy Program funding is now available to working Westchester County residents with incomes over 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.  Income eligibility depends on family size.   Families must meet other requirements as well.

For More Information 

(For Assistance or Questions)
To Apply
Child Care Subsidy Unit of Westchester Department of Social Services at:
Call: (914) 995-6521
In Person at: 10 County Center Rd
                      Rm 213, White Plains
FULL FITNESS CENTER MEMBERSHIP

Start the New Year Off Right with a Full Fitness Center Membership!
Our current monthly special includes full unlimited use of the pool, fitness center, and all aerobic classes for one year.Adult: $399.00
Family: $599.00
(includes 2 adults and children under 18).

*Price is good through January 31, 2015
For More Information
Call: (845) 561-4700 ext.2
Email: info@communityfitnesscenter
Visit: Communityfitnesscenter.comCurrent Fitness Center Schedule Click Here

CONTACT US 

Administrative Offices

565 Union Avenue

New Windsor, New York 12553

Contact Information

Call:845-561-4700

Email:

Info@CommunityFitness 

Center.com 

Website:

Community Fitness Center  

Union Avenue Community Fitness Center Hours

Mon-Th   5:30am-9pm

Fri          5:30am-8pm

Sat        6:30am-5:00pm

Sun        7:00am-3:00pm

MONTHLY NEWSLETTER

JANUARY 2015
IN THIS ISSUE…
Splash N Dash Summer Camp, Register by February 2nd 2015 Save up to $40 per 2-week Session
Splash N Dash Summer Camp at Yonkers, Now Registering!
Swim Lessons in New Windsor, Next Session Begins on 1/8
Healthy Kids Before and After School Programs…Now registering for 2014-15 with a new sites in Brooklyn and Arlington School Districts.
Health Club New Windsor: 12 Month Full Fitness Center Membership, $399 for Adults, $599 for Families.

camp photo

SPLASH N DASH SUMMER DAY CAMP NEW WINDSOR
(Ages 3.5-14)

 

A full day program for campers age 3.5 to 14,  featuring top notch staff, daily swimming, sports and exciting activities.  Give your child a summer filled with non-stop fun and lifelong friends. 

 
REGISTER EARLY AND SAVE UP TO $480!
 Take advantage of the early bird discounts and save BIG!! Must Register by Feb. 2nd 2015 and Save up to $40 per 2-week session!

Orange County

For more information visit our  Summer Camp Page 

Splash N Dash New Windsor Registration Forms Click Here 

camp photo

SPLASH N DASH SUMMER DAY CAMP WESTCHESTER
(Ages 3.5-14)

A full day program for campers age 3.5 to 14,  featuring top notch staff, daily swimming, sports and exciting activities.  Give your child a summer filled with non-stop fun and lifelong friends.

Westchester County

For more information visit our  Summer Camp Page 

Splash N Dash Yonkers Program Flier Click HereRegistration Forms  Click Here  

 

NY SWIM ACADEMYSwim Lessons (6mos -Adult) New Windsor  Lifeguard, CPR & First Aid Courses
(ages 15 & up)
New Windsor

Winter Swim Club
$225 For a 14 class course 

For more information visit our Swim Lesson Page

2x week Mon & Weds classes start 1/5  Schedule Click Here

Winter Swim Lessons
$110 For a 7 class course 

For more information visit our Swim Lesson Page

1x a week Thurs classes begin 1/8  Schedule Click Here 
1x a week Sat/Sun classes begin 1/10
Schedule Click Here

Early Spring Swim Lessons
$125 For a 8 class course 

For more information visit our Swim Lesson Page

1x a week Thurs classes begin 2/26 Schedule Click Here
1x a week Sat/Sun classes begin 2/28
Schedule Click Here

Spring Swim Lessons
$125 For a 8 class course 

For more information visit our Swim Lesson Page

2x week Tues/Thurs classes begin 4/26  Schedule Click Here  
1x a Sat/Sun classes begin on 5/2
Schedule Click Here 

Summer Swim Lessons
$110 For a 7 class course 

For more information visit our Swim Lesson Page

4x a week classes Mon-Thurs begin 7/6 Schedule Click Here
2x week Tues/Thurs classes begin 7/7
Schedule Click Here 
1x a week classes Sat or Sun begin 7/11
Schedule Click Here

Lifeguard Certification Courses
$325/full course   

For more information visit our Lifeguard Page

March 2015
Schedule Click Here
April 2015
Schedule Click Here
May 2015
Schedule Click Here
June 2015
Schedule Click Here

Lifeguard Re-Certification Courses 

For more information visit our Lifeguard Page

Spring 2015 Re-Cert Courses
March,May & June Classes
Class Schedule
Click Here

Waterfront Lifeguard Courses $150

For more information visit our Lifeguard Page

Waterfront Bridge Course
May 31, 2015
Click Here 

Community Calendar

Downtown Yonkers 
Upcoming Schedule of Events

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”- Benjamin Franklin

Happy New Year’s from the Yonkers Downtown BID

Jan 1-2: Yonkers Schools Closed – Holiday

Jan 1: New Year’s Day
Jan 2: Friday Film: MAZE RUNNER
Jan 4: New Year’s Celebration “PENNY SOCIAL”
Jan 8: Technicolor Travels of the Painted People. Opening Night
Jan 10: Family Arts Program
Jan 10: Weekend Movies @ the Library: Guardians of the Galaxy
Jan 10: 7th Annual Juried BDAA Exhibition – Opening Night
Jan 11: Weekend Movies Mamma Mia & Jersey Boys
Jan 12: Yonkers Council of PTAs Executive Board Meeting
Jan 13: Yonkers City Council Meeting
Jan 14: The Power of I : Discovering the Hero’s Code
Jan 15: 4th Precinct Community Council Meeting
Jan 16: Blue Door Cinema: Tom Wesselmann: I only want to paint
Jan 17: The Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service
Jan 17: Yonkers Brewery: Grand Opening
Jan 17: Urban H2O @ Home Presents: Dubl Handi
Jan 18: Weekend Movies: Left Behind (2000) & Left Behind (2014)
Jan 18: Fantastic Animals
Jan 19: Martin Luther King Day
Jan 19: Yonkers Schools Closed
Jan 22: Mom’s For: Solutions Not Suspensions
Jan 24: Blue Door Kids: Children’s Workshop
Jan 27: Chamber Networking Breakfast: Hon. Janet DiFiore
Jan 27: Senior Benefits Information Center
Jan 27: Yonkers City Council Meeting
Jan 29: YPIE College Knowledge Series
Jan 31: ArtSpeak featuring Rosi Hertlein 
Jan 31: Rivertown String Quartet

 

Details at www.yonkersdowntown.com

COMING IN FEBRUARY

 

Yonkers Downtown 

Restaurant Week

Detail coming soon…

 

Online Community Calendar
There is so much going on in Downtown Yonkers that the BID and our partners decided to create an online calendar.  The calendar is designed to be used by residents, visitors, businesses, and community organizations.  If you have any special events that you would like to add to our calendar, please email the BID at info@yonkersdowntown.com.  Thank you and we hope to see you soon in Downtown Yonkers.
 
This Community Calendar was created and is managed by the Yonkers Downtown Waterfront BID.  If you would like to learn more about the BID, please visithttp://www.YonkersDowntown.com
or call Daniel Lipka at 914-969-6660. Thank you.

 

www.yonkersdowntown.com

Contact Us
Daniel Lipka,
Executive Director
Yonkers Downtown BID

The BID

Penny Social

Blue Door Show
On Saturday, January 10th, is the 7th Annual Members Juried Show Reception. You won’t want to miss the amazing work of BDAA members, which showcases paintings, sculptures, mixed media, photo-montages and more.Blue Door Art Gallery
13 Riverdale Ave. 2pm – 5pm

Yonkers Brewery
 
GRAND OPENING !!

January 17th. 1:00pm
92 Main Street, Yonkers
more info

 

Be A Hero


The BID’s New Newsletter
Farm Stand Open: Fridays, 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.  and Saturdays, 10 a.m.  – 4 p.m. 

Purchase fresh farm produce grown without the use of pesticides, synthesized fertilizers or herbicides.

 

U-Pick – Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

Enjoy harvesting your own vegetables, herbs and flowers grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides

or synthetic fertilizers. Pay for your produce at the tent stand in the field.

 

Farm Stand Cooking Series –Friday, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.                                        

Have you found yourself at the farmers market, or with your farm share, looking for some inspiration?

Executive Chef Maria Reina  will give you tips on how to select, store and prepare your market produce.

Each class will explore seasonal, just harvested ingredients. Registration is required; fee $25 per person,

$20 for members.

 

Hilltop Hanover Farm is located at 1271 Hanover Street in Yorktown Heights.

For registration information, go to HilltopHanoverfarm.org or call (914) 962-2368.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 25, 2015       BRONX RIVER PARKWAY SOUTHBOUND OVERNIGHT CLOSURE EARLY SATURDAY

In Scarsdale, Greenburgh and Eastchester

Work is part of the Crane Road Bridge Replacement Project

 

Motorists are advised that the southbound Bronx River Parkway will be closed overnight early Saturday, June 27 from 12 a.m. to 7 a.m. at Crane Road Exit 12 in the Village of Scarsdale, and Towns of Greenburgh and Eastchester.

Southbound traffic will be detoured to Crane Road/East Parkway and may re-enter the parkway at Ardsley Road or Harney Road.  Northbound traffic will remain unaffected.

These closures are necessary to conduct new drainage work and electrical crossings on the bridge as part of the Crane Road Bridge Replacement Project.

Motorists are advised to seek alternate routes.  Numerous variable message signs will be used to alert motorists of the upcoming closures.

For additional information, contact Westchester County Department of Public Works and Transportation at

995-2555. Full details on this project are available at www.westchestergov.com/craneroadbridge. Sign up for special email alerts on this project at www.westchestergov.com/subscribe.

###

Additional news available at www.westchestergov.com

Connect with us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WestchesterGov

Follow us on Twitter: @WestchesterGov

 

Farm Stand Open: Fridays, 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.  and Saturdays, 10 a.m.  – 4 p.m.  Purchase fresh farm produce grown without the use of pesticides, synthesized fertilizers or herbicides.

 

U-Pick – Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

Enjoy harvesting your own vegetables, herbs and flowers grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides

or synthetic fertilizers. Pay for your produce at the tent stand in the field.

 

Behind the Scenes Saturday, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m., in front of Building C.

Get a behind-the-scenes tour of Hilltop Hanover and see all the hidden areas you won’t see on a normal day.

 

Homesteader Workshop Series: Composting 101 —  Sunday, 10 a.m. – noon.

Discover the many things you can do at home to increase your food independence and peace of mind by closing

the gap between yourself, your food, and the land. Fee $35 per person, $30 for members. Pre-register online

at hilltophanover.org/events.

.

 

Check the website weekly for available produce www.hilltophanoverfarm.org.

Hilltop Hanover Farm is located at 1271 Hanover Street in Yorktown Heights.

For more information, go to HilltopHanoverfarm.org or call (914) 962-2368.

Farm Stand Cooking Class Series: Friday,  4 p.m. – 6 p.m.Wondering what to do with all the beautiful, fresh produce? Join chef Maria Reina of Bella Cucina Maria for

tips on how to select, store and prepare your market produce. Registration is required;  $25 per person,

$20 for members of Friends of Hilltop Hanover Farm.

 

Farm Stand Open: Fridays, 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.  and Saturdays, 10 a.m.  – 4 p.m. 

Purchase fresh farm produce grown without the use of pesticides, synthesized fertilizers or herbicides.

 

U-Pick – Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

Enjoy harvesting your own vegetables, herbs and flowers grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides

or synthetic fertilizers. Pay for your produce at the tent stand in the field.

 

Spin ‘n’ Knit-In – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Join this monthly group of crafters for socializing and camaraderie.

 

Preserving the Harvest Series: Jams and Jellies Making – Saturday, , 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. 

Learn how to take your favorite summer fruits and turn them into a tasty treat that you can enjoy all year long.

Fee $30 per person, $25 for members and children ages 8-12 free when accompanied by an adult.

Pre-registration is required. Others in series are Pickles on July 18 and Tomato Sauce on August 15.

 

Check the website weekly for available produce hilltophanoverfarm.org.

 

Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center is located at 1271 Hanover Street in Yorktown Heights.

 

More information at info@hilltophanoverfarm.org or call (914) 962-2368.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 9, 2015       BRONX RIVER PARKWAY NORTHBOUND CLOSURES ON THURSDAY

FROM YONKERS TO WHITE PLAINS

Work is part of the Crane Road Bridge Replacement Project

 

Motorists are advised that the northbound Bronx River Parkway will be closed on Thursday, June 11 from

9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from the Sprain Brook Parkway in Yonkers to the Westchester County Center (Exit 22) in White Plains.

Northbound parkway closures:

  • There will be no access from the six lane portion of the northbound Bronx River Parkway to the four lane portion of the northbound Bronx River Parkway at the Sprain Brook Parkway.
  • All traffic will be diverted onto the Sprain Brook Parkway and then Central Park Avenue (NY 100) to

White Plains.

  • The northbound Bronx River Parkway will be accessible to local traffic at the following locations (between the Sprain Brook Parkway and Harney Road) at all times: entrances from Paxton Ave, Elm Street, Scarsdale Road, Thompson Street and Leewood Drive will be open.
  • Northbound parkway traffic will be diverted at Harney Road to Scarsdale Avenue and East Parkway, and then re-entering the northbound parkway at Crane Road.
  • The northbound Bronx River Parkway will be open to traffic at Crane Road and all points north.

 

These closures are necessary to complete underground electrical cable pulls for new street lighting on the bridge as part of the Crane Road Bridge Replacement Project.

Motorists are advised to seek alternate routes.  Numerous variable message signs are being used to alert motorists of the upcoming closures.

For additional information, contact Westchester County Department of Public Works and Transportation at

995-2555. Full details on this project are available at www.westchestergov.com/craneroadbridge. Sign up for special email alerts on this project at www.westchestergov.com/subscribe.

 

Additional news available at www.westchestergov.com

Connect with us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WestchesterGov

Follow us on Twitter: @WestchesterGov

Farm Stand Opens for the Season: Fridays, 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.; and Saturdays, 10 a.m.  – 4 p.m.  Purchase fresh farm produce grown without the use of pesticides, synthesized fertilizers or herbicides.

 

U-Pick – Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

Enjoy harvesting your own vegetables, herbs and flowers grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides

or synthetic fertilizers. Pay for your produce at the tent stand in the field.

 

Check the website weekly for available produce www.hilltophanoverfarm.org.

 

Father’s Day Hike Around Hilltop Hanover – Saturday, June 13, 10 a.m. – noon.

Take dad for a guided hike around the property and woods. Hike is weather permitting. Meet in the office.

 

Summer Gardening Series: Pests and Disease – Saturday, June 13, noon – 1 p.m., in Barn F.

Learn the ABCs of pest and disease management including weed identification, weeding techniques, and structural

solutions such as organic-mulching and raised beds. Fee $20 per person, $5 for children ages 8-12. Pre-registration

is required.

 

Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center is located at 1271 Hanover Street in Yorktown Heights.

 

More information at info@hilltophanoverfarm.org or call (914) 962-2368.

Farm Stand Opens for the Season: Fridays, 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.; and Saturdays, 10 a.m.  – 4 p.m.  Purchase fresh farm produce grown without the use of pesticides, synthesized fertilizers or herbicides.

 

U-Pick – Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

Enjoy harvesting your own vegetables, herbs and flowers grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides

or synthetic fertilizers. Pay for your produce at the tent stand in the field.

 

Check the website weekly for available produce www.hilltophanoverfarm.org.

 

Farm Stand Cooking Class Series: Friday, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m., in Barn F.

Wondering what to do with fresh seasonal produce? Chef Maria Reina will give you tips on how to select, store and prepare your fresh produce. Fee $25 per person, $20 for members of Hilltop Hanover Farm. Pre-registration is required at HilltopHanoverFarm.org/events.

 

Herbal Salves – Saturday, June 6, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m., in Building F. 

Learn about homemade medicinal salves that are easy to make. Each participant will go home with recipes and an herbal salve. Fee $25 per person, $20 for members. Pre-registration is required at HilltopHanoverFarm.org/events.

 

Monthly Spin and Knit –Sunday, June 7, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., and Saturday, June 20, 11 a.m. – 1p.m., in Building A Historic House

Gather in an informal atmosphere as part of a monthly spinning and knitting group. No fee or registration required for first time attendees; $5 for each subsequent class. HilltopHanoverFarm.org/events.

 

 

Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center is located at 1271 Hanover Street in Yorktown Heights.

 

More information at info@hilltophanoverfarm.org or call (914) 962-2368.

Vegetable Kits for Sale – 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. – 2 p.m., in Barn F.Each contains Hilltop Hanover seedlings and Hudson Valley Seed Library seeds. Get started by watching

a one-hour lecture on gardening techniques. Fee $45 per kit.

 

Eco-Gardening Series: Native Gardening for Beneficials – 10 a.m.

Join Kim Eierman to learn how to attract and support these valuable insects throughout their life cycles.

Fee $40 adult, members $35. Pre-register online at www.hilltophanoverfarm.org/events.

 

 

Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center is located at 1271 Hanover Street in Yorktown Heights.

 

More information at info@hilltophanoverfarm.org or call (914) 962-2368.

Vegetable Kits Available– Saturday, May 23, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., in Barn F.Each contains Hilltop Hanover seedlings and Hudson Valley Seed Library seeds, along with a one-hour

lecture on gardening techniques to help you get started. Fee $45 per kit.

 

Eco-Gardening Series: Native Gardening for Beneficials – Saturday May 23, 10 a.m.

Join Kim Eierman to learn how to attract and support these valuable insects throughout their life cycles.

Fee $40 adult, members $35. Pre-register online at www.hilltophanoverfarm.org/events.

 

Annual Farm Fest 2015: Memorial Day at the Farm – Monday, May 25, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Open house, farm tours, farm stand, seed and plant starter kits for sale, craft and food vendors.

 

Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center is located at 1271 Hanover Street in Yorktown Heights.

 

More information at info@hilltophanoverfarm.org or call (914) 962-2368.

  BRONX RIVER PARKWAY CLOSURES START FRIDAY NIGHT FROM YONKERS TO WHITE PLAINS

Work is part of the Crane Road Bridge Replacement Project

 

Motorists are advised that there will be a major closure on the Bronx River Parkway in both directions this weekend, starting on Friday night, May 15 at 9 p.m. (southbound) and continuing until Sunday, May 17 at 9 a.m. from the Sprain Brook Parkway in Yonkers to the Westchester County Center (Exit 22) in White Plains.

The Bronx River Parkway northbound will be closed Friday night, May 15 at 10 p.m. to Sunday, May 17 at 9 a.m.:

  • There will be no access from the six lane portion of the northbound Bronx River Parkway to the four lane portion of the northbound Bronx River Parkway at the Sprain Brook Parkway.
  • All traffic will be diverted onto the Sprain Brook Parkway and then Central Park Avenue (NY 100) to

White Plains.

  • The northbound Bronx River Parkway will be accessible to local traffic at the following locations (between the Sprain Brook Parkway and Harney Road) at all times: entrances from Paxton Ave, Elm Street, Scarsdale Road, Thompson Street and Leewood Drive will be open.
  • Northbound parkway traffic will be diverted at Harney Road to Scarsdale Avenue and East Parkway, and then re-entering the northbound parkway at Crane Road.
  • The northbound Bronx River Parkway will be open to traffic at Crane Road and all points north.

 

The Bronx River Parkway southbound will be closed Friday night, May 15 at 9 p.m. to Sunday, May 17 at 9 a.m.:

  • There will be no access to the southbound parkway south of the County Center in White Plains.
  • All traffic will be detoured to Central Avenue and then south to the Sprain Brook Parkway.
  • Entrances to the southbound parkway at Main Street and Fenimore Road will be closed.
  • The southbound parkway will be open at Ardsley Road and all points south.

 

These closures are necessary to install the remaining seven (7) pre-cast concrete box beams over the Metro-North Railroad tracks as part of the Crane Road Bridge Replacement Project.  If the beams can be installed in one night, the parkway will re-open on Saturday morning.

Motorists are advised to seek alternate routes.  Numerous variable message signs are being used to alert motorists of the upcoming closures.

For additional information, contact Westchester County Department of Public Works and Transportation at

995-2555. Full details on this project are available at www.westchestergov.com/craneroadbridge. Sign up for special email alerts on this project at www.westchestergov.com/subscribe.

###

Additional news available at www.westchestergov.com

Connect with us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WestchesterGov

Follow us on Twitter: @WestchesterGov

Totally Turtles – Saturday, May 16, 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., in Historic House A.

Join New York State licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator Patricia Johnson and learn about these wonderful

native reptiles and how you can help protect them. Fee $15 per adult, $10 for members of Hilltop

Hanover; children 5 and older are free when accompanied by an adult.

 

Pre-register online at www.hilltophanoverfarm.org/events.

 

Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center is located at 1271 Hanover Street in Yorktown Heights.

 

More information at info@hilltophanoverfarm.org or call (914) 962-2368.

Veterans Appreciation Day at Rye Playland May 24th 2015_Mother’s Day Herb Planter Sale — Saturday, May 9, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.Pick up a beautiful herb planter containing four different culinary herbs that will look beautiful onmom’s windowsill or porch and will assist her with her culinary creations.Cost $30 each; pre-registration required at HilltopHanoverFarm.org/events.Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center is located at 1271 Hanover Street in Yorktown Heights.For more information, go to info@hilltophanoverfarm.org or call (914) 962-2368.

EVENT:

SPONSORS: Con Edison and Friends of Westchester County Parks
WHERE: Bronx River Parkway from Westchester County Center in White Plains, south to Scarsdale Road in Yonkers.
WHEN: Sundays in May, June and September
SCHEDULE: May 3, 10, 17 and 31
June 7, 14, 21 and 28
September 13, 20 and 27
TIMES: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
ADMISSION: FREE
PARKING: $7 parking at the County Center lot in White Plains
PRESENTED BY: Westchester County Parks
SPONSORS: Con Edison and Friends of Westchester County Parks, with support from radio station WHUD 100.7
MORE INFO: westchestergov.com/parks or call County Parks at (914) 864-PARK

 

Eco Gardening Workshop Series: Backyard Habitat Gardens –Saturday, April 4, 10 a.m. – noon, Barn F.

Create your own backyard Garden of Eden while providing sanctuary for creatures large and small.  

Fee: $40.

 

Online registration is required for all programs at HilltopHanoverFarm.org.

 

Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center is located at 1271 Hanover Street in Yorktown Heights.

 

For more information, go to info@hilltophanoverfarm.org or call (914) 962-2368.

Monthly Friday Night Potluck & Film Series – Friday, March 20, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.,  Barn F. 

Bring a healthy meal to share and watch a film, meet new people and help celebrate the farm.

Fee: free to members of Friends of Hilltop Hanover Farm, $5 door charge per family.

Fresh Food Talk for Pets– Sunday, March, 22, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Join holistic veterinarian Nancy Ying for information to help improve the health of your pet.

Fee: $25 non-members, free to members.

 

Monthly Homesteader Workshops Series – Sundays, beginning March 22, 10 a.m. – noon. 

A look at many of the things you can do at home to increase your food independence and peace of

mind by closing the gap between yourself, your food, and the land. Upcoming workshops include:

Mar. 28 – Backyard Chickens; Apr. 19 – Lawn to Garden; May 17 – Foraging; June 14 – Composting 101;

July 19 – Backyard Greenhouse; Aug. 16 – Seed Saving.

Series fee: $180 non-members, $150 members; individual class $35.

 

Online registration is required for all programs at HilltopHanoverFarm.org.

 

Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center is located at 1271 Hanover Street in Yorktown Heights.

 

For more information, go to info@hilltophanoverfarm.org or call (914) 962-2368.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are your top environmental stories for the week:

Op-Ed: Act Quickly to Protect Our Children >> Partisanship in Albany has put true compromises on the verge of extinction. In an op-ed, the co-leaders of the Just Green Coalition discuss the consequences of this gridlock: a weak federal law is about to pre-empt state and local action to protect our children from toxic chemicals. The state legislature is on the verge of missing its last, best chance to enact what could have been the strongest law in the county. (Albany Times Union)  

NYLCV Statement on NYC Organics Expansion >> Organic waste collection is coming to stadiums, hotels, and food distributors in NYC, partially implementing a 2013 law. This is a great step toward OneNYC’s goal of zero waste to landfills but, the capacity to process this waste isn’t keeping up. Read our entire statement. (NYLCV)

Fracking Ban Becomes Official >> After almost seven years of evaluation hydraulic fracturing is now officially banned in New York State. The findings statement points out that fracking contributes to climate change, has the potential to cause earthquakes, and other environmentally damaging side effects. (NYLCV)

Green Tip of the Week: How to be Fashionable and Environmentally Conscious >> Did you know that the clothing industry is the third most polluting sector in the world? We give you some tips on how to limit your impact on the planet while staying in style. (NYLCVEF)

News roundup:

Which state in the US is the most “outdoorsy”? A new formula figured it out by looking at the number of campgrounds, national parks, state parks, summer camps, and kayak and canoe locations each state has and matching it with population density. New York came in at number two! (Travel Pulse)

History will be made this summer when a domestic airline takes off using an alternative jet fuel. United Airlines will power it’s planes with fuel generated from farm waste and oils derived from animal fats. (New York Times)

A new report offers a mixed bag on swimming in New York City waters. 77 percent of the time, the Hudson River indicated the water was safe to swim in, but many tributaries to the river only met that requirement 28 percent of the time. (City Limits)

Solar panels are coming to landfills in Saratoga County, which will help the communities save money on energy costs. (Times Union)

Local governments across the state can now apply for $50 million in grants for local drinking water and wastewater improvements. (Niagara Frontier)

The dirtiest heating oil is now illegal in New York City with residential buildings now required to switch from Number 6 oil to Number 4 and Number 2 which are both cleaner. (Capital New York)

Sincerely,
New York League of Conservation Voters

Here are your top environmental stories for the week:Green Tip of the Week: Save Energy in Your Home While You’re on Vacation >> It’s finally summer time and we all know what that means: summer vacation! To help you save some energy and money when you leave town, we have a few more items for you to add to your travel checklist. (NYLCVEF)

Southern Pine Beetles on the Move >> The southern pine beetle, native to the southeastern United States, has been expanding up the Eastern Seaboard and they are now causing massive destruction to pine trees in Long Island. Changes in climate are the likely cause of this migration. (NYLCV)

Cuomo Releases New York State Energy Plan >> We’re pleased to see New York State set ambitious goals for the next 15 years in it’s 2015 energy plan. They include cutting statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent from 1990 levels, 50 percent of statewide electricity generation to come from renewable energy, and more. (NYLCV)

News roundup:

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone signed a local version of the Toxic Toys Act last week, making Suffolk the largest county in New York to do so. (WABC)

NYLCVEF convened experts and stakeholders last week to discuss technological solutions to Long Island’s nitrogen pollution crisis and to discuss ways to pay for the fixes. (Newsday) (East End Beacon)

WNYC held a roundtable on modern farming, looking at the difficulties and joys of getting into farming in New York State, and how produce gets from the farm to our NYC green markets. The segment included NYLCV partner organization Scenic Hudson. (WNYC)

Without a new capital plan, many MTA projects like countdown clocks and new fare collection technology are slated to be scrapped or postponed for years. (NBC)

LED streetlights continue to be installed throughout New York State. The first of 7,000 LED streetlight bulbs came to Binghamton this week. (Press Connects)

A new playground in the Bronx has more than just the usual basketball nets and table games. It also has robust green infrastructure incorporated underneath to help soak up storm water to prevent overflows at wastewater treatment plants when it rains. (New York Times)

Recycling comes to Buffalo’s waterfront with the introduction of recycling bins near the canal. Buffalo’s current recycling rate is less than half the national average. (Investigative Post)

Chinese billionaire and co-founder of the company Alibaba has purchased 28,100 acres in the Adirondacks for conservation purposes. (The Wall Street Journal)

Sincerely,
New York League of Conservation Voters

Your end of session messages worked! The Young Farmers Bill passed through the Senate and now goes to Governor Cuomo to be signed into law. Make sure he knows this should be at the top of his pile when it lands on his desk by writing to him in support of this bill.The Young Farmers Bill will create an inventory of state-owned land that could be used for agriculture. That way, these lands can be made available to young farmers, which will significantly reduce their start-up costs.

Farms are crucial to the health and economy of New York State. As the farming population ages, we need to help the next generation of farmers continue to grow fresh, local produce to be sold in markets and grocery stores around the state. This effort will also have the added benefit of conserving open lands from development and protecting wildlife such as birds, bees, and butterflies.

Everyone in every corner of New York State relies on our farms. Tell Governor Cuomo to give farmers and our land a boost by signing the bill!

Support the next generation of farmers by writing to Governor Cuomo today! Let’s get this bill signed into law! >>

A lot of resources go into starting a farm, and many young New Yorkers who want to get into farming can’t because they don’t have the money. The Young Farmers Bill will help them get started. This is especially important as the current population of farmers continues to age. In addition to helping the next generation of farmers, this bill will also protect wildlife and migratory birds by conserving land.

The Farmland for Young Farmers bill is good for New York’s environment, economy, and future. Tell Governor Cuomo to sign the bill!

Get the Young Farmers Bill over the finish line by telling Governor Cuomo to sign this bill into law! New York needs it’s farms! >>

Thank you!New York League of Conservation Voters

www.facebook.com/nylcv
www.twitter.com/nylcv

Despite yesterday’s deadline, lawmakers are still at work trying to hammer out last minute bill negotiations. With this extra time, we have a great opportunity to score more wins for the environment this session, but we need our membership behind us. That’s why a generous donor has offered to triple match all donations for new members. Become an NYLCV Member before midnight tonight!Over the past couple of months, New Yorkers have demanded action on toxic chemicals in children’s toys, more renewable energy choices, and support for young farmers. Now is the time to make sure these bills get over the finish line. Help us meet our membership goal, and you’ll send a strong message to lawmakers that we will not let critical environmental issues get kicked down the road. Become an NYLCV Member during our triple match right now!Overtime! Become an NYLCV Member during today’s triple match and your donation will go even further for the environment! >>

This is it. This is what we’ve been working towards all yearWe can’t lose the momentum now during the crucial final negotiations which is why we need more NYLCV Members joining us today.

During the triple match campaign, your money will go three times as far towards our efforts to making New York cleaner and greener. Even if you give just $5, the triple match will turn it into $15 going to making sure lawmakers listen when we tell them the environment can’t keep being ignored. 

It’s down to the wire. Make sure our next email to you is filled with environmental wins by becoming a member during the triple match campaign.

Become a member for just $5 during the TRIPLE MATCH until midnight tonight. Your NYLCV Membership will support the environment all year long! >>

Thanks for your support,

 Susan Torres, Membership Manager
New York League of Conservation Voters

www.facebook.com/nylcv
www.twitter.com/nylcv

Are lawmakers paying enough attention to New York’s environment? I’m up in Albany right now making sure they are. This is our last chance to make a difference on our top three environmental priorities before session ends tomorrow. We need all our members to stand with us.We’re halfway to our goal of getting 250 new members to join us during last minute negotiations. If you contribute right now and help us hit our goal, you’ll be joining conservation voters around the state to send a strong message that clean energy, local farmland, and safe children’s products are important to New Yorkers. We can’t wait another year to make progress on these crucial environmental issues, join us today!  This is it! The legislative session ends tomorrow and we need the support of our members to get our bills over the finish line. Join NYLCV now and stand up for a cleaner, greener New York! >>

Delfim, here’s what is on the line:

  • Renewable, clean energy for all New Yorkers: The Shared Renewables bill will give New Yorkers more flexibility in their energy choices by allowing residents to buy into renewable energy projects in their neighborhood. This will help give clean energy a boost throughout the state and allow consumers to save money.
  • Supporting young farmers: The Young Farmers Bill will go a long way in protecting our local foodshed and giving new, ambitious farmers the opportunity to get their farm off the ground. It’s good for conservation, small farms, and the economy. Basically, it’s good for New York.
  • Child Safe Products Act: Right now toys on the shelves across New York contain mercury, arsenic, and more dangerous chemicals that children are using every day. The Child Safe Products Act will eliminate the most dangerous chemicals present in children’s toys and products from stores in New York and make our children safer and healthier.

These are our priorities. This is why we need you. Become an NYLCV Member right now while we’re making our last stand on these important environmental bills.

We need 250 new members before session ends tomorrow! Join us today and you’ll be investing in the environment all year! >>

Thanks for your support,

Christopher Goeken, Director of Public Policy and Government Relations
New York League of Conservation Voters

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Last minute negotiations are going on right now to get the Child Safe Products Act through the state legislature. We know we’re close to winning because the chemical and toy industry is getting nervous. Earlier this week, the Juvenile Products Manufacturing Association (JPMA) a national trade organization representing 95 percent of the prenatal and preschool industry, sent an email to it’s members telling them to oppose the bill.That’s right — this group wants to make sure it’s members can continue to put toxic chemicals in cribs, play mats, toys, and other products infants and toddlers use on a daily basis. As an organization that represents companies making products for infants and pregnant moms, they should be at the forefront of making sure these items are safe, not fighting us at the finish line. Write to them today and tell them there’s no place for dangerous chemicals and heavy metals in infant and children’s products.Toys and products sold for infants and babies should be safe — period. Tell the JPMA to stop fighting the Child Safe Products Act today!  >>

The Child Safe Products Act is a common-sense bill that will eliminate the most dangerous chemicals and heavy metals from children’s toys and products currently present on the shelves in stores across New York State. And despite what lobbyists might be saying, this bill will not hurt business.

Whether this bill passes or not, businesses will be fine — but the same cannot be said for our children. The chemicals we’ve found present in these products are known carcinogens and can lead to cognitive impairments and other serious health problems. This can’t continue. Tell the JPMA to stop fighting the Child Safe Products Act today!

Don’t let JPMA kill the Child Safe Products Act in the final hour! Tell them to fight for children’s health, not fight against it! >>

Thank you!New York League of Conservation Voters

www.facebook.com/nylcv
www.twitter.com/nylcv

Renewable energy is the future and New Yorkers have made it clear that they want to take the lead on creating a smart, modern energy grid. Last week, passionate citizens like you sent hundreds of messages to state lawmakers urging them to support the Shared Renewables Bill. It will allow New Yorkers to invest in clean energy — such as rooftop solar panels on your neighbor’s home — and receive credits on their energy bills in return. You got their attention, now NYLCV staff is up in Albany trying to get this bill over the finish line in the last 6 days of session.Today we need you to take the next step for renewable energy in New York by becoming an NYLCV Member. If we get 250 new members in the next 6 days we’ll have the support we need to get a crucial win on this groundbreaking bill to give New Yorkers more choices to power their homes and save money in the process. Giving New Yorkers across the state more access to solar and wind energy is a huge win for the economy, for the environment, and consumers. Invest in New York’s clean energy future by joining us today.  Delfim, your NYLCV Membership will go directly towards our clean energy fight. Join us today and make New York’s future bright with more solar power! >>

The size of our membership makes a huge difference during these last minute legislative battles. Lawmakers can’t ignore thousands of New Yorkers standing up and telling them the environment matters. That’s why we need you to join us today. Our membership is growing, but we need you with us for what’s ahead. 

New York can’t keep putting off investing in new, renewable energy options. By becoming an NYLCV member, you’ll be sending a powerful message to lawmakers that the Shared Renewables Bill needs to be a top priority from now until the end of session. Make sure you’re a part of this fight.

We need 250 new members before session ends in just 6 days! Join us today and you’ll be investing in renewable energy for all! >>

Thanks for your support,

 Susan Torres, Membership Manager
New York League of Conservation Voters

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A strong membership is the backbone of our organization. Whether writing to lawmakers, attending a debate or forum, or calling in support of an issue, our members always keep our work going when it’s most important.We’re at one of those important moments again. The legislative session ends in just 8 days and we still have a lot of work to do if we want to get our legislative priorities over the finish line. By becoming a member today, you’ll give us the ammo we need to fight for young farmers so we can conserve land and protect our foodshed, get the Child Safe Products Act over the finish line, and make renewable energy more accessible for all New Yorkers. We need at least 250 members to join us this week to make sure we can continue to stand up for the environmental issues you care about.   

Become an NYLCV Member today for just $5 and you’ll be standing up for the environment during crucial last minute negotiations. Help us get our priorities passed THIS YEAR — join today! >>

Our staff is working with environmental organizations and lawmakers from across the state to make sure the Young Farmers Bill, the Child Safe Products Act, and the Shared Renewables Bill are getting the attention they deserve. Last week, hundreds of NYLCV Members took action and told the governor and lawmakers to take action. It’s working, but to keep the fight going we need our membership to be even stronger

Now is the best time to become a member because you’ll be sending a powerful message that the environment matters and that New York can do better. We have the momentum, all we need is you. Join us today.

Invest in the environment by becoming an NYLCV Member! The best time to support New York’s environment is right now during last minute bill negotiations — even $5 can help! >>

Thanks for your support,

Marcia Bystryn, President
New York League of Conservation Voters

www.facebook.com/nylcv
www.twitter.com/nylcv

Here are your top environmental stories for the week:NYLCV’s Top Environmental Priorities for the End of Session >>The 2015 legislative session ends on June 17th which means we’ll be working around the clock to get important environmental issues passed. Click the link to learn more about the issues we’re fighting on this session and find out how they’re doing. We’re also asking our members to join the fight. Visit our action center to email Governor Cuomo and your state legislators about toxic toys, shared renewable energy, farmland for young farmers, and the MTA capital plan before it’s too late!

Proposal to Boost Renewable Energy in New York State >> The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority released an exciting proposal this week to put $1.5 billion towards increasing renewable energy projects throughout the state. Diversifying energy sources to include renewables such as offshore wind farms or massive solar arrays will not only result in the the obvious environmental benefit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but it will benefit residents and businesses as well by reducing price volatility and creating new economic development opportunities and jobs.

New York City Releases Update on Organic Waste Collection Pilot >> The New York City Department of Sanitation has reported incremental increases in it’s organic pilot collection program. This is a great first step in getting closer to the city’s goal of diverting 75 percent of it’s waste away from landfills. From October 2014 to April 2015, DSNY collected over 3,300 tons of material from residential buildings, doubling the total tonnage collected to date in the residential pilot program.

News roundup:

In a unanimous vote, the Suffolk County legislature becomes the third in New York State to ban the sale of toxic toys to children. A similar state-wide measure is currently stalled in the state Senate. (Newsday) 

Several electric vehicle charging stations will appear on entrances to the New York State Thruway as early as this summer. (Lohud)

A fight is brewing over National Grid and other utilities’ use of PCP, a highly toxic pesticide, in backyard utility poles on Long Island and across the state. Over 90 nations recently voted to ban the chemical, but the U.S. is not bound by that vote. (Syracuse.com)

Letter: Syracuse University and the National Institutes of Health are conducting a new study to examine the effect of lead and other toxicants on children’s cardiovascular health. (Post-Standard)

The folks at CityLab are out with a cool 2-minute video illustrating 210 years of Manhattan densification. (The Atlantic)

Scientists warn that a “big stick” is needed to persuade countries to invest more money toward reducing their greenhouse gas emissions during the Paris climate talks in December. (New York Times)

A dutch device designed to clean up plastics in large bodies of water will enter a two-year trial phase starting in 2016. The inventor claims that the device could capture up to half of the trash in the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” within 5 years. (Grist)

Sincerely,
New York League of Conservation Voters

The chemical industry keeps losing on the local level and they’re getting desperate as a statewide bill to ban toxic chemicals from children’s toys gets closer to reality. Ask Governor Cuomo to seal the deal to protect our kids from toxic chemicals! >>Just this week in Suffolk County at a public hearing on a local law banning toxic toys, Chemical Industry Lobbyists called our reports documenting mercury and cadmium in toys to be “junk science.” They actually tried to scare legislators into believing that they would be sued if they passed this bill. How did Suffolk County Legislators respond? By passing the Toxic-Free Toys Act unanimously with Democratic and Republican support.

We still find it hard to believe that we’ve been working on something for so long that should be simple — making sure the toys and products are children are using don’t contain toxic chemicals and heavy metals. The chemical lobby has been fighting us every step of the way but we have an ace in the hole: Governor Cuomo marked Child Safe Products Act as a priority at the beginning of session. Can you write to Governor Cuomo right now and tell him to keep his promise to get the Child Safe Products Act signed into law this year?

Let’s get the Child Safe Products Act over the finish line RIGHT NOW! Tell Governor Cuomo toxic chemicals don’t belong in children’s toys and New York should act before the end of session! >>

Lacking state action, counties across New York have taken matters into their own hands. Albany and Westchester counties enacted their own versions of the Child Safe Products Act this year, and on Tuesday the Suffolk County Legislature passed a bill too — unanimously. The message is clear: New Yorkers want this to happen. These victories can propel us to a state law if you join us in support now.

let’s get this done this year. We can’t wait any longer to make sure products on the shelves are safe, tell the governor to vote in favor of the Child Safe Products Act today!

Time is running out to get dangerous chemicals out of children’s toys and products. We can’t keep waiting for action — write to Governor Cuomo today before session ends! >>

Thank you!

Christopher Goeken, Director of Public Policy and Government Relations
New York League of Conservation Voters

www.facebook.com/nylcv
www.twitter.com/nylcv

Time is running out on the 2015 legislative session and we need you to write to your legislators today. Ask your Senator to support the Young Farmers Bill to save state lands from development and protect our local foodshed! >>It all comes down to this. The state legislature adjourns for the year in less than two weeks but they have yet to act on key environmental priorities that are on the verge of passing. We can get these bills to the finish line if NYLCV members like you stand with us right now.

We can’t waste the momentum we’ve worked so hard for all year: write to your legislators on our three priority bills this week and make sure they all get voted on this year!

Our first priority is the Young Farmers Bill. The future of New York’s agriculture is at stake as the farming population gets older and fertile land gets developed. This bill tracks how much state-owned land is viable for farming and will make it available for young farmers. It’s already passed the Assembly unanimously. Tell your State Senator to support this bill today!

Fresh, locally grown food helps reduce our carbon footprint. Give New York’s next generation of farmers a boost and protect our foodshed by telling your Senator to bring the Young Farmers Bill to a vote today! >>

Many young farmers have the talent and the drive to start their own farm but lack the means to do so. By giving usable land to people interested in starting their farming career, the state will help them cut start-up costs considerably. Even better? By turning these lands into fully-functioning farms, we’ll be preserving open spaces and providing important habitat for wildlife and migratory birds.

With the demand for local produce growing every day, we need to start supporting farmers as much as we can right now. The Farmland for Young Farmers bill is good for New York’s environment, economy, and future. Tell your Senator to support the bill today!

Send a strong message that our members are ready to fight for the environment until the end! Tell your Senators to support the future of New York State’s farms today! >>

Thank you!

Marcia Bystryn, President
New York League of Conservation Voters

www.facebook.com/nylcv
www.twitter.com/nylcv

Here are your top environmental stories for the week:SolarCity Starting to Build Buffalo Workforce >> The first three of an estimated 1,460 employees were hired at SolarCity in Buffalo this week. The solar energy installation company is expected to have their factory up and running by 2017, and are hoping to have 200 local workers hired by the end of the year. The factory will be the largest and the most efficient in the Western Hemisphere, making inexpensive rooftop solar panels a reality. (The Buffalo News)

How one New York Museum is Already Prepping for the Next Big Flood >> New York City’s newest art museum, The Whitney Museum, not only houses iconic artworks, but could be a blueprint for how the city can prepare for the effects of a changing climate. The building features a custom flood-mitigation system, a 15,500 pound door designed by engineers who build water-tight latches for navy destroyers, and fortifications that can be erected in less than seven hours. (Grist)

Green Tip: How to Grill With the Least Environmental Impact >>  Now that Memorial Day has come and gone, summer finally feels like it’s in full swing, and nothing says summer more than grilling. But not all grills are created equal when it comes to their environmental impact, according to a new study. Do you know which fuel is better, propane or charcoal? Click the link to find out! (NYLCVEF)

News roundup:

Canal Corporation Must Address Inspection Gaps. (Office of State Comptroller DiNapoli)

Wants versus needs: The struggle to realize New York’s energy vision. (Green Tech Media)

State proposes response network for crude oil. (Times Union)

Ben & Jerry’s introduces new ice cream flavor to raise awareness about climate change. (Syracuse.com)

Plan to build tower at Grand Central in exchange for transit upgrades is approved. (New York Times)

Sincerely,
New York League of Conservation Voters

Here are your top environmental stories for the week:NYLCVEF Releases Recommendations on Funding an Equitable Parks System >> New York City has the premier park system in the country but we’re lagging behind other big cities when it comes to funding our prized open spaces. How can we prevent this and maintain our park system so everyone can enjoy it? We lay out some out of the box ideas in our latest report.

The price of beauty should not be health >> Many products currently in use in nail salons are known to lead to miscarriages, respiratory issues, and more serious health concerns. NYLCV is working with the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs to gather signatures asking the cosmetics industry to better regulate the chemicals being used in salons. Click on the link to sign!

Here’s How You Can Help Keep Microbeads Out of Our Water >> While a bill to ban tiny plastic beads in cosmetics is gaining traction in the legislature, you can help stop microbeads from polluting our water and killing wildlife right now. By knowing what to look for in the ingredient section on your products you can make a difference for clean water. Make sure to avoid products with polyethylene, polypropylene, and acrylates copolymer on the label and choose all natural products instead.

News roundup:

Why did New York ban fracking? The official report is now public. (Climate Justice)

Fighting climate change will take economic innovation, too. (Time Magazine)

Editorial: Keep the focus on clean water, especially in Bethpage. (Newsday)

Senate Democrats host climate change forum to rebut GOP. (Capital New York)

US details new efforts to support ailing bees. (New York Times)

Sincerely,
New York League of Conservation Voters

Here are your top environmental stories for the week:Advanced Electricity Meters Could Help New York Cut Energy Use >> New York has a long way to go to becoming a true energy leader. One way to get there could be through advanced electricity meters which track electricity use and allow homeowners to use energy during the most efficient time of the day. With only 1 percent of New York homes currently using the meters, the energy saving potential is huge.

Energy Makeover Coming to New York City Food Carts >> A new pilot program recently announced by the New York City Council and MOVE Systems will bring greener food carts to New York’s streets. The new food carts are state-of-the-art and use 60 percent less greenhouse gas than the current models. It’s estimated the new carts will take the equivalent of 200 cars off the road.

Cities Test Giving Tenants Transit Passes Instead of Parking Spots >> A new proposal to the Seattle City Council suggests offering tenants transit passes or bike-share memberships rather than building a certain amount of parking spots as has been the norm. Not only would it ease traffic and congestion, but it could provide more residents with convenient transportation options.

News roundup:

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino signs bill to ban toxic toys from store shelves.

House panel votes to cut Amtrak budget hours after deadly crash.

Seven years later, New York finalizes fracking review. 

A sharp spike in honeybee deaths deepens a worrisome trend.

State drops appeal of Tappan Zee loan rejection.

Game over: lead contamination forces closure of popular Red Hook ball fields.

Sincerely,
New York League of Conservation Voters

This is your last chance to purchase tickets to the Spring Gala! The event is this Monday so get your tickets right now before time runs out. We’re expecting a packed room of environmental champions from across the state and you don’t want to miss out on being there. By purchasing a ticket to the Spring Gala you’ll also be supporting NYLCV’s efforts to fight climate change year-round through political action.This year, we are excited to hear from climate champions about their work on the front lines: Citi, David Kenny of The Weather Company, and Michael Von Valkenburgh. With this incredible lineup, tables are filling up faster than ever. Act today and reserve your table or purchase individual tickets before it’s too late. Click the image below to purchase tickets and learn more:

Reserve your table or individual ticket today!

Monday, May 18th
6:00 – 10:00 pm
Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers
New York City

By purchasing a table or an individual ticket today, you can support our work promoting nonpartisan discussion on climate change and empowering citizens to be effective advocates for a more sustainable and resilient New York.

Sincerely,
Marcia Bystryn, President
New York League of Conservation Voters

The Westchester County Board of Legislators unanimously passed the Toxic-Free Toys Act into law Monday night! Now it goes to the County Executive — write to him and ask him to sign the bill into law! >>Thanks to the support of Westchester NYLCV members like you, we got a huge win on Monday night when the Toxic-Free Toys Act passed the Board of Legislators by a 16-0 vote! We are one step closer to eliminating arsenic, mercury, cadmium, and other dangerous chemicals and heavy metals from children’s toys and products in your county.

But we need you again for the next step. The bill now goes to the Westchester County Executive to be signed into law. We’ve been working closely with the County Executive’s office on this bill, and now they need to hear from Westchester residents. We have to ensure this victory. Write to him today and tell him to sign the Toxic-Free Toys Act into law.

Get the Toxic-Free Toys Act over the finish line! Write to Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino today and ask him to sign the bill into law. >>

Whether you wrote a letter to your legislator, came to a hearing, or informed a neighbor about this important issue, your support has made a huge difference so far. Can you stand up for a healthier Westchester again by writing to County Executive Rob Astorino today? Together, we can ensure this important bill gets signed into law.

The County Executive needs to hear from you on this issue. Please write to him today and help us secure this victory for the Toxic-Free Toys Act!

One more time! Write to the County Executive and show your support for getting dangerous chemicals out of children’s products! >>

Thank you!

Christopher Goeken, Director of Public Policy and Government Relations
New York League of Conservation Voters

www.facebook.com/nylcv
www.twitter.com/nylcv

Our Annual Spring Gala is less than a week away and there are only a few tables left! The guest list is packed with many of the biggest names in the energy and environmental sectors from business, government, law, philanthropy, and advocacy. Make sure you’re in the room for some of the best networking of the season! By purchasing a ticket to the Spring Gala you’ll also be supporting NYLCV’s efforts to fight climate change year-round through political action.This year, we are excited to hear from four climate champions about their work on the front lines: Governor Andrew Cuomo, Citi, David Kenny of The Weather Company, and Michael Von Valkenburgh. With this incredible lineup, tables are filling up faster than ever. Act today and reserve your table or purchase individual tickets before it’s too late. Click the image below to purchase tickets and learn more:

Reserve your table or individual ticket today!

Monday, May 18th
6:00 – 10:00 pm
Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers
New York City

By purchasing a table or an individual ticket today, you can support our work promoting nonpartisan discussion on climate change and empowering citizens to be effective advocates for a more sustainable and resilient New York.

Sincerely,
Marcia Bystryn, President
New York League of Conservation Voters

Here are your top environmental stories for the week:Major League Food Composting Happening in Cleveland Indians Ballpark >> According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food waste is the largest component of landfills. Americans waste an estimated 34 million tons of food a year, which produces a huge amount of methane – a harmful greenhouse gas. Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians, is working to change that by transforming food waste into energy and fertilizer. NYLCVEF has a plan for how to expand this initiative in New York and we’re working closely with the City on implementation.

Why Yonkers Can Save Millions with LED Streetlights and Syracuse Can’t >> Syracuse and other municipalities can’t upgrade to LED streetlights because the utility companies that own them don’t want to make the capital investment. A bill introduced in Albany could enable cities to easily acquire them, and save enough electricity every year to power 60,000 homes statewide.

Elon Musk Unveils Fancy New Tesla Battery >> The founder of Tesla has introduced a new battery aimed at bringing solar power storage devices to homes and businesses, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. The new battery will be mounted on a wall in your home and will tap into solar panels on your roof or to the grid. That means that you can even use solar power at night instead of a traditional energy source like coal, natural gas, or nuclear power. This is a huge development for the shared renewables revolution that is gaining traction here in New York.

News roundup:

Syracuse University study outlines costs, benefits of proposed power plant pollution rules.

New York is the most wasteful megacity on the planet.

Moms meet with lawmakers in hopes of banning certain chemicals in toys. 

$1.9 million Taughannock Falls State Park project breaks ground.

Solar savings: Residential demand grows in the Hudson Valley.

Rochester eyes plan to curb climate change.

Sincerely,
New York League of Conservation Voters

In just two days the Westchester County Board of Legislators will vote on the Toxic-Free Toys Act. This bill will eliminate dangerous chemicals and heavy metals from children’s toys and products currently for sale in your county. This is your last chance to speak up on this issueWrite to your legislator today and tell them to vote yes on the Toxic-Free Toys Act this coming Monday.The chemicals currently present in toys for sale in your county are known to cause serious health problems in children. Take action now and let your legislators know they should pass this common-sense bill!Thank you,
Christopher



Member
Alert!
The Toxic-Free Toy Act is coming to a vote in just 5 days! Tell your legislators to vote yes on this bill that will eliminate dangerous chemicals from children’s toys and products! >>Delfim –On Monday the Westchester County Legislature has a simple decision to make. They can either vote to make children’s toys and products safer or choose to do nothing, leaving dangerous heavy metals present on the shelves in your town.The choice seems clear to us, make sure it’s clear to your legislators by writing to them right now. Tell them to vote yes when the Toxic-Free Toys Act comes to a vote Monday night. The bill simply requires the phasing out of chemicals like arsenic, cadmium, and mercury from children’s toys and products.Make sure the next store you go in is selling safe children’s products. Write your legislators today and tell them to vote yes for the Toxic-Free Toys Act in Westchester! >>Reports show that toy jewelry, cars, sweatshirts, and more children’s items contained lead, cadmium, and mercury — heavy metals that can lead to serious health problems in children. It’s almost impossible to know if items contain these chemicals when you go to purchase them. The Toxic-Free Toys Act will make items in your neighborhood safer.This needs to happen now. Write to your legislator today and tell them to vote yes on Monday.Just 5 days away! Tell the Westchester County Legislature to vote yes to approve the Toxic-Free Toys Act! >>Thank you!
Christopher Goeken, Director of Public Policy and Government Relations
New York League of Conservation Voterswww.facebook.com/nylcv
www.twitter.com/nylcv

The Toxic-Free Toy Act is coming to a vote in just 5 days! Tell your legislators to vote yes on this bill that will eliminate dangerous chemicals from children’s toys and products! >>On Monday the Westchester County Legislature has a simple decision to make. They can either vote to make children’s toys and products safer or choose to do nothing, leaving dangerous heavy metals present on the shelves in your town.

The choice seems clear to us, make sure it’s clear to your legislators by writing to them right now. Tell them to vote yes when the Toxic-Free Toys Act comes to a vote Monday night. The bill simply requires the phasing out of chemicals like arsenic, cadmium, and mercury from children’s toys and products.

Make sure the next store you go in is selling safe children’s products. Write your legislators today and tell them to vote yes for the Toxic-Free Toys Act in Westchester! >>

Reports show that toy jewelry, cars, sweatshirts, and more children’s items contained lead, cadmium, and mercury — heavy metals that can lead to serious health problems in children. It’s almost impossible to know if items contain these chemicals when you go to purchase them. The Toxic-Free Toys Act will make items in your neighborhood safer.

This needs to happen now. Write to your legislator today and tell them to vote yes on Monday.

Just 5 days away! Tell the Westchester County Legislature to vote yes to approve the Toxic-Free Toys Act! >>

Thank you!

Christopher Goeken, Director of Public Policy and Government Relations
New York League of Conservation Voters

www.facebook.com/nylcv
www.twitter.com/nylcv

Our Annual Spring Gala is less than two weeks away so make sure you reserve your table or purchase tickets today. This event supports NYLCV’s efforts to fight climate change year-round, and brings together the state’s leading partners in this endeavor from every sector including business, advocacy, and government.This year, we are excited to hear from four climate champions about their work on the front lines: Governor Andrew Cuomo, Citi, David Kenny of The Weather Company, and Michael Von Valkenburgh. With this incredible lineup, tables are filling up faster than ever. Act today and reserve your table or purchase individual tickets before it’s too late. Click the image below to purchase tickets and learn more:

Reserve your table or individual ticket today!

Monday, May 18th
6:00 – 10:00 pm
Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers
New York City

By purchasing a table or an individual ticket today, you can support our work promoting nonpartisan discussion on climate change and empowering citizens to be effective advocates for a more sustainable and resilient New York.

Sincerely,
Marcia Bystryn, President
New York League of Conservation Voters

Here are your top environmental stories for the week:New York’s Birds and Bees Get a Boost from Governor Cuomo >> Pollinators and migratory birds could be getting some help from New York State soon. Recently, Governor Cuomo announced the establishment of an inter-agency task force to promote the health and recovery of pollinator populations. Soon after, he also proposed dimming non-essential lights to make passage across the state easier for migratory birds.

NYLCVEF Recommendations Included in One New York Plan >> New York City has set an ambitious goal of diverting 90 percent of it’s solid waste by 2030. How will we get there? Many of the suggestions for reducing landfill waste came from our recommendations after our Dig Deep for a Greener New York policy forum series.

City Council Encourages Investing in Hudson Valley Farmland >> Farms in the Hudson Valley provide food for the whole state. With that in mind, New York City Councilmembers recently wrote a letter to Mayor de Blasio urging him to invest in conservation efforts outside the city. Protecting Hudson Valley farmland will boost small businesses and protect the food supply.

News roundup:

Program aims to reduce energy costs and keep rents affordable in the Bronx.

Creation of energy director passes board of legislators in Westchester.

Sustainable Long Island to build community garden and rain garden in Central Islip.

Urge companies to cancel their membership with the Toy Industry Association.

New York Assembly passes microbeads ban.

Solar rising: Rochester looks to sun power.

American Lung Association says Erie, Niagara counties’ air quality is improving.

Sincerely,
New York League of Conservation Voters

Did you hear?The Toy Industry Association (TIA) is suing so they can continue to use dangerous chemicals in children’s toys and products. They’ve armed themselves with powerful lawyers and a public relations company to fight our efforts to get arsenic, mercury, cadmium, and other dangerous toxics away from our children. This is outrageous and we need your help today.

Barnes and Noble, Nickelodeon, and Sesame Workshop are all members of the TIA, and we need you to ask them to cancel their membership. Tell them the TIA is fighting to keep chemicals and heavy metals in children’s toys on their behalf and canceling their membership is the best way to stand up against their attacks.

Write to these companies today so New York State can work to keep toys safe.

Thank you,
Susan



Member
Alert!
The Toy Industry Association (TIA) is suing so they can keep using dangerous chemicals in children’s toys and products. Ask companies to cancel their membership with the TIA today! >>Delfim –We’ve tested toys across New York State and found toxic chemicals and heavy metals in kids jewelry, toy cars, and more for sale in stores all over New York State. We’ve urged local leaders to stand up for our children.In response, the Toy Industry Association, which has 750 members and accounts for 90 percent of the domestic toy market in the United States, has hired a team of powerful lawyers, lobbyists, and a public relations firm to stop us in our tracks. They’re nervous because we’ve got the momentum at the state and local levels. Let’s fight back hard for the sake of our children’s health.Suing to keep toxic toys on store shelves is outrageous. Send a message to TIA members to cancel their membership today! >>NYLCV is built on the basis of a strong membership, so we know weakening TIA’s membership will send a strong message that toxics like mercury, lead, and arsenic don’t belong in children’s toys. Today we’re asking you to write to Barnes and Noble, Nickelodeon, and Sesame Workshop to cancel their membership with the TIA.Barnes and Noble, Nickelodeon, and Sesame Workshop are all popular companies who should be outraged that the TIA is fighting on their behalf to keep harmful chemicals in the hands of our children. Alert them to this fact and write to them today!Urge Barnes and Noble, Nickelodeon, and Sesame Workshop not to support the TIA any longer. Tell them we can send a strong message together if they cancel their membership today! >>Thank you!
Susan Torres, Membership Manager
New York League of Conservation Voterswww.facebook.com/nylcv
www.twitter.com/nylcv

Earth Day may have come and gone, but our work to create a more sustainable and resilient New York continues. Our Annual Spring Gala supports NYLCV’s efforts to fight climate change year-round, and it brings together the state’s leading partners in this endeavor from every sector including business, advocacy, and government.This year, we are excited to hear from four climate champions about their work on the front lines: Governor Andrew Cuomo, Citi, David Kenny of The Weather Company, and Michael Von Valkenburgh. With this incredible lineup, tables are filling up faster than ever. Act today and reserve your table or purchase individual tickets before it’s too late. Click the image below to purchase tickets and learn more:

Reserve your table or individual ticket today!

Monday, May 18th
6:00 – 10:00 pm
Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers
New York City

By purchasing a table or an individual ticket today, you can support our work promoting nonpartisan discussion on climate change and empowering citizens to be effective advocates for a more sustainable and resilient New York.

Sincerely,
Marcia Bystryn, President
New York League of Conservation Voters

Here are your top environmental stories for the week:

Moms dump pile of toxic toys on toy industry doorstep in response to lawsuit >> The Toy Industry Association recently filed a federal lawsuit over the Albany County law banning toxic substances from children’s toys and products. On Tuesday, NYLCV stood with Clean and Healthy New York and other groups to stand up for safer toys.

DiNapoli and Stringer Urge SEC for more Information on Fossil Fuel Companies >> New York State and New York City Comptrollers called on the Securities and Exchange Commission to force fossil fuel companies to provide more information on the material risks of climate change and to outline what steps they’re taking to meet these challenges.

NYLCV President, Marcia Bystryn, Responds to OneNYC Plan >> On Wednesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his update to PlaNYC by rolling out OneNYC. While we applaud the mayor’s ambitious vision, we write in the New York Daily News that a roadmap is needed to achieve all the goals presented.

News roundup:

Child Safe Products Act Sails Through Assembly

State purchases 6,800 acres of Adirondack land.

Council members ask de Blasio to invest in farmland.

Third annual Progress Report on State Green Procurement and Agency Sustainability.

Brownfield compromise praised in Western New York.

Sign up for Riverkeeper Sweep 2015 happening May 9th.

Sincerely,
New York League of Conservation Voters

Why should you take your support for NYLCV to the next level and donate today? We have not one but three reasons why you should chip in right now to help us hit our goal of $10,000 by Friday and become an NYLCV Member today:  Reason #1: Because the toy industry is suing us to keep dangerous toxics in children’s toys and products. You read that right. After we helped pass a bill in Albany to eliminate chemicals present in children’s toys and products that cause harmful developmental disorders, the toy industry sued to make sure they can keep contaminating our children with lead, cadmium, and arsenic. We need to fight back. Your contribution right now will help us take on the chemical industry.   Reason #2: Because we’re gaining momentum on cleaning our waterways. Not only are more and more lawmakers calling for action on microbeads, but they’re also working to fix our crumbling water infrastructure. The work isn’t over. We need to keep the pressure up to make sure Albany passes a bill to address microbeads and fully funds repairs for our aging pipes and water mains. Invest in clean water right now.

Reason #3: Because for today only all donations are being triple matched. Every single donation today will go three times as far to help us hit our goal and make real change for the environment. It’s simply the best investment you can make toward a greener, healthier, and more sustainable New York.

TRIPLE MATCH — today only! This is the best chance we have of hitting our goal of $10,000. We only have 2 days left, donate before midnight! >>

Our campaign is coming to a close and the work we can accomplish depends on hitting this goal. We’re up against the well-funded chemical industry and lawmakers who don’t make the environment a top priority. We need to get bills passed this year if we’re going to make New York an environmental leader. We can’t do that without you

The triple match is only available until midnight tonight so now is the best time to become a member by donating. We’ll simply get more done if you’re with us.

Today’s the day! Time is running out to take advantage of the triple match and get us to our goal so we can keep working for the environment! >>

Thanks for your support,

 Susan Torres, Membership Manager
New York League of Conservation Voters

www.facebook.com/nylcv
www.twitter.com/nylcv

Here are your top environmental stories for the week:Toxic Toys Reports Released in Erie and Monroe >> NYLCVEF’s report with Clean and Healthy New York found children’s toys and products in Erie and Monroe Counties contain dangerous chemicals like mercury, arsenic, and cobalt. We hope this increased awareness will prompt lawmakers to take action and pass a bill that removes these harmful chemicals from the shelves.

Update for PlaNYC Expected Soon >> Earth Day may bring big changes to New York City with the next overhaul of PlaNYC expected to be announced on April 22nd. We look forward to reviewing the plan once it’s released and working toward achieving the environmental goals laid out in PlaNYC.

Wood-Fired Heating Projects in Mohawk Valley and Adirondacks >> The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority recently announced 15 wood-fire heating projects in the North Country. Making wood burning stoves more efficient will lead to improved air quality in the Adirondacks and beyond.

News roundup:

A genuine step forward for cleaner water on Long Island.

Marilla to unveil revised bio-solids law.

Sandy damaged NYCHA buildings awarded $3 billion in repairs.

Sincerely,
New York League of Conservation Voters

Here are your top environmental stories for the week:RGGI Sweep Harms Clean Energy Initiatives in New York >> We’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that the Environmental Protection Fund was allocated with more funding in this year’s budget. The bad news is that money was taken from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. We break down why taking money from one program to fund another sets a bad precedent and harms our clean energy future.

Submit Your Comment in Support of Renewables >> It’s time to expand access to renewable energy for all New Yorkers. A new initiative would allow renters and millions of other people to choose wind or solar options for their home. Submit a comment in support of the plan to the New York State Public Service Commission before the April 7th deadline.

Partnership Accomplishes Terrific First Step for Clean Water >> Thanks to our partnerships with environmental organizations and government officials, as well as the support of our members, $200 million have been allocated to upgrade water infrastructure across the state. This is a great start in addressing the billion dollar water infrastructure issue facing New York State.

News roundup:

The passive house in New York.

Advocates praise energy provisions for the poor.

Westchester Land Trust awarded funding to help Hudson Valley Farmers.

Sincerely,
New York League of Conservation Voters

The state budget negotiations are over, the late-night votes have been tallied, and thanks to thousands of NYLCV members like you taking action during our March Madness campaign, we secured some major victories for the environment. Your messages made a difference in Albany and helped us win funding for clean water infrastructure, the Environmental Protection Fund, New York State parks, and cleaning up contaminated land.The budget shows we’re headed in the right direction on many critical environmental priorities, but we believe New York State can do even better. We need to know you’re with us for what’s ahead. Get us to our goal of 200 contributions TODAY and help us continue to fight for the environment across New York.

You’ve been with us so far, can you stand with us again by making a contribution today? Help us hit our goal of 200 contributions right now! >> 

A strong membership can accomplish great things, as you can see from our budget victories this year:

  • Clean Water Infrastructure: The final agreement includes $200 million to fund clean water infrastructure projects over the next three years. Before receiving messages from NYLCV members, there was no dedicated funding for clean water mentioned in the budget. But your legislators heard you loud and clear and went to the mat for this critical priority.
  • Environmental Protection Fund: Our goal is for the EPF to get $200 million in funding. A $15 million boost brought us to $177 million this year — getting us closer to our goal. 
  • New York State Parks: Our park system got huge support, with $110 million designated for capital projects this year. That’s a $20 million boost from last year to update and improve our state parks.
  • Toxic Land Cleanup: We’ve been advocating for a revamped and robust Brownfields Cleanup Program for over a year, and finally an agreement has been reached for much needed reforms. The budget extends the BCP and state Superfund program by 10 years and makes sure the funds go where they’re needed most.

While these wins were huge, some were bittersweet. Some of the funding for the EPF was taken from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) proceeds — taking money away from the important work that program does to invest in clean energy. Two items we opposed that raided mass transit dollars were approved, and the final budget lacked dedicated funding for Bus Rapid Transit.

We made progress together, but clearly there is still a lot of work to be done. Delfim, can we count on you to join us in the next battle?

Our work continues. Get us to our goal so we can keep fighting for the environment in 2015. >>

Thanks for your support,

Marcia Bystryn, President
New York League of Conservation Voters

www.facebook.com/nylcv
www.twitter.com/nylcv

P.S. Make our membership strong today.

Here are your top environmental stories for the week:

NYLCVEF Publishes Organic Waste Recommendations >> Part three in NYLCVEF’s Dig Deep for a Greener New York policy forum series focused on Organic Waste. Last week, we released recommendations to New York City which include exploring a “Save-As-You-Throw” system, considering in-sink organic material grinders in apartment buildings, and assessing the capacity of the city’s wastewater treatment systems.

Students Demand Action on Disposable Bags by Earth Day >> The momentum is heating up again for the disposable bag bill! Last Monday we joined students, activists, and City Councilmembers to demand the bill gets passed by Earth Day. We’re calling on Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Mark-Viverito to support this bill and move it forward so we can have a cleaner NYC today.

New honorees and speaker announced for Capital Region Eco-Breakfast >> We are excited to announce that we will honor The Nature Conservancy for their work on the Community Risk and Climate Resiliency Act and State Senator Diane Savino will present them with their award at our Capital Region Eco-Breakfast, taking place on Tuesday, April 28th. Get your tickets today!

News roundup:

National park maintenance backlog in New York tops $900 million.

$100 million in BRT funding at stake in Albany budget negotiations.

DEP reports bioswales outperforming expectations.

Sincerely,
New York League of Conservation Voters

Here are your top environmental stories for the week:NYLCVEF Publishes Green Infrastructure Recommendations >> In the fall, the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund launched it’s Dig Deep for a Greener New York policy forum series with a panel on green infrastructure. Last week, we released recommendations for growing the program, which would not only improve our harbor’s water quality, but also deliver critical environmental benefits such as climate and flood mitigation, a reduction of the urban heat island effect, and improved air quality.

March Madness Campaign Heats up in the Final Moments >> We can’t help you if your basketball bracket is already busted, but we can give you the opportunity to help the environment one last time before budget negotiations end. Since March 10th, NYLCV members like you have sent thousands of messages to lawmakers about our “Final Four” environmental issues — clean air funding, water infrastructure upgrades, New York State parks funding, and the Environmental Protection Fund. If you missed any, make sure you take action today!

Bus Rapid Transit Gets Boost in Assembly Budget >> NYLCVEF has been advocating for a Bus Rapid Transit program on Staten Island’s North Shore for months, so we were excited to learn last week that the Assembly budget includes $100 million for BRT across the entire state. Read all the details about how BRT will cut commute times and make mass transit more efficient.

News roundup:

New York State ban on invasive species goes into effect.

Bill would require heating oil to contain 2% biodiesel.

Hope for crumbling New York water and wastewater infrastructure.

Sincerely,
New York League of Conservation Voters

Here are your top environmental stories for the week:

Get in on March Madness and Take Action >> Thousands of NYLCV members like you have taken action on our “Final Four” environmental priorities during the final moments of state budget negotiations. Make sure you write to your elected officials about clean air and clean water funding, and stay tuned for more actions this week!

Advocates Fight for Foodshed Funding >> Groups in the Hudson Valley, Southern Tier, and beyond are hard at work trying to secure $50 million in funding to protect farms. Protecting the foodshed would support local farm families and businesses, preserve scenic beauty that boosts tourism, combat climate change, and improve access to healthy food throughout the region.

City Council Scorecard Released for 2013 – 2014 >> Which borough was the greenest? Which New York City Councilmembers scored perfect 100s? You’ll learn all this and more in our just released Scorecard. We’re proud to be the only organization making sure elected officials keep their promises on the environment through our Scorecard. Find out how each member did today.

News roundup:

Assembly proposal would bring millions to Staten Island for a North Shore bus rapid transit.

Tompkins County Wind Farm would be first of its kind in New York.

Infrastructure funding: Water, sewer improvements good uses for $5 billion windfall.

Sincerely,
New York League of Conservation Voters

We are excited to announce that tickets are now available for our Annual Capital Region Eco-Breakfast, taking place at the Fort Orange Club in Albany on Tuesday, April 28th. This is an event you won’t want to miss as our featured speakers will be all three Environmental Conservation Committee Chairs — Assemblymember Steve Englebright, State Senator Tom O’Mara, and State Senator Tony Avella. 

Get your tickets for the Capital Region Eco-Breakfast today!

Every year, our Capital Region Eco-Breakfast brings together environmental leaders from across the state. This is a great opportunity to support the environmental work NYLCV accomplishes all year long as well as acknowledge the hard work of our elected officials and partners in moving New York to a cleaner and greener future.

Don’t miss out on this great event, purchase your tickets today!

Register today!

Tuesday, April 28th
8:00 – 10:00 am
Fort Orange Club
110 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12210

If you’re interested in sponsoring this event, please email Bridget Moffatt at bmoffatt@nylcv.org.

By purchasing your tickets today, you can support our work promoting nonpartisan discussion on environmental policy and empowering New Yorkers to be effective advocates for the environment.

Hope to see you there!

Sincerely,
Marcia Bystryn, President
New York League of Conservation Voters

March Madness is in full swing at NYLCV. Budget negotiations are heating up so we need you to take action NOW while we can have the most impact for the environment. >>At NYLCV, March Madness is less about brackets and more about budgets. Unlike with college basketball, we have a chance for all our picks to be winners. But we need your help.

Over the next couple weeks, there are crucial debates going on about Governor Cuomo’s proposed budget. The decisions the governor and legislature make now will affect state government’s ability to protect our water, air, and lands all year long.

That’s why we’re kicking off our March Madness campaign today. Over the next two weeks, we’ll be reaching out to you about the “Final Four” important environmental programs in need of robust funding and asking you to tell your legislators to root for these causes during budget negotiations.

Today, our pick is the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) because the governor’s budget has earned a technical foul by proposing to diverting $36 million from this important program. RGGI has reduced greenhouse air pollution by investing in clean power and renewable energy projects in New York State.

Speak up for cleaner air! Tell Governor Cuomo and your local representatives they can’t divert clean energy money to fund other projects. Write to them today! >>

By diverting $36 million away from RGGI programs New York could be taking a big step back. In the past couple of years, RGGI has kept the state moving closer to its goal of reducing emissions by 80 percent by 2050. By cutting funding now we could fall behind on all the great progress that has been made.

RGGI has also proven to be an economic boost for all regions of the state. By investing in energy efficiency, renewable energy, climate pollution reduction programs, and more, RGGI has helped to create jobs and lower consumer costs in every New York county.

Now is not the time to let up on reducing air pollution that harms our health and environment. Tell the governor RGGI needs to keep its $36 million.

Take action today and you’ll be standing up for a cleaner and greener New York! Tell your elected officials not to short change our air quality. >>

Thank you!New York League of Conservation Voters

www.facebook.com/nylcv
www.twitter.com/nylcv

 

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Meyer_Michael-logo-300x234

Yonkers Watchdog Candidate Spotlight: MIchael Meyer, Republican and Conservative Party Candidate for Yonkers City Council in the 3rd District.

We start our Yonkers Watchdog Candidate Spotlight and we start with Republican and Conservative Party Candidate, Michael Meyer. We will do other candidates in this year’s Yonkers and Westchester County races for the 2015 Election Cycle.

Michael Meyer is a Yonkers Businessman, who ran four years ago for this seat against current councilman Michael Sabatino. Meyer also has been involved In the community for a longtime being a youth sports coach.

It will be interesting to see what Mr Meyer brings to the table in terms of galvanizing his supporters and the voters of the 3rd Council voters to help him get elected to this seat.

We see great things ahead for Meyer, we see him along the lines of being a representative for the 3rd Council DIstrict, like former Councilmember Joan Gronowski who served our district so proudly.

HIs community involvement and his campaign platform brings much to the table and we feel that Michael Meyer should be seen as a very serious candidate in his attempt to take the seat away from Councilman Sabatino in this year’s election for the 3rd District City Council Seat.

Safer, Cleaner Streets for Yonkers families; Improved Neighborhood Services and Quality of Life; Better Schools for Our Children are all worthy issues to bring to the table and we salute Meyer for his well thought out campaign platform.

We look forward to doing our endorsement In the Yonkers City Council 3rd DIstrict, race, sooner rather than later.

We will enclose Mr Meyer’s Press Release announcing his candidacy for the 3rd District seat also in this Spotlight to further show our readers the Michael Meyer plan for our district as well show as his experience and the many organizations and activities that he has been involved in for the betterment of our city and also the youth of our city as well.

We will continue to keep our readers posted on this important Yonkers City Council 3rd District race, the Democratic Party Candidates are Councilman Michael Sabatino and Natasha Freeman which could become a Democratic Party Primary. A victory for Meyer would give the Republicans a super majority on the Yonkers City Council. Councilman Sabatino has the Independence and Working Families Party Lines.

People in our City want an elected official who is always open and transparent and is also a community minded person with a great campaign platform and ideas and we feel that the 3rd District has a great choice in Republican and Conservative Party Candidate Michael Meyer.

This Candidate Spotlight is the view and opinion of The Yonkers Watchdog.

TheYonkers Watchdog

Local Businessman and Longtime Youth Sports Coach Will Challenge Incumbent Michael Sabatino in Yonkers’ Only Competitive City Council Race.

Safer, Cleaner Streets for Yonkers families; Improved Neighborhood Services and Quality of Life; Better Schools for Our Children.

YONKERS, NY — JUNE 17, 2015 — Michael Meyer, a local businessman, longtime youth sports coach, husband and father of three, has announced his candidacy for 3rd District of the Yonkers City Council. The lifelong Yonkers resident is seeking his first elective office and will challenge incumbent Democrat, Michael Sabatino, in November.

Meyer, 48 is running on a platform of getting back to basics when it comes to providing services for Yonkers residents, that is, holding the line on property taxes, fighting crime, improving the quality of our education system and better city services to improve neighborhood quality of life.

“I love Yonkers. I grew up here, and this is where my wife and I are raising our own children. But, like countless other Yonkers families, we have great concern about the future. We are constantly being hit with higher taxes, while our services are neglected and our neighborhoods are paying the price,” Meyer said. “I’m running for City Council to be an Independent voice for the taxpayer because we need to get back to the basics. As councilman, I will focus on safer, cleaner streets for our families, better schools for our kids, and holding the line on property taxes to protect homeowners and seniors on fixed incomes.”

Meyer said the city needs to refocus on public safety and quality of life issues. He pointed to an uptick in property crime within the 3rd district, noting that vehicle break-ins and vandalism are both on the rise. He is also concerned about a noticeable decline in city services such as trash collection at neighborhood parks and schools, and street paving. He said that incumbent Sabatino, just isn’t focusing on what matters to residents.

“The bottom line is that Yonkers taxpayers should be getting a better value for their tax dollars. We deserve a councilman who is committed to making city government work smarter and more effectively on the issues that really matter,” Meyer added.

“My business has taken me to many beautiful places all over the world, but my heart belongs to the City of Yonkers. That’s why I will dedicate myself every day to making Yonkers a better place for all of our families, including my own. We can and must do better.”

The contest for the 3rd Council District is shaping up to be the only competitive race for Yonkers City Council this year, with incumbents in the other districts running unopposed.

Meyer has received the endorsement of the Yonkers Republican Party. He is also pursuing the endorsement of the Conservative Party.

The 3rd Council District comprises Northwest Yonkers, Park Hill and Ludlow.

Meyer for City Council Campaign Platform

  • Education accountability: Elimination of Common Core testing and a return to a bottom up system where our local educators control the quality of our children’s education, not state bureaucrats. Increase accountability of budgeting and spending. A return to basic discipline in our schools that focus on values such as listening, respect and integrity.
  • Holding the line on property taxes to protect homeowners and seniors on fixed incomes
  • Stop wasteful government spending and start operating in a “business like” fiscally responsible manner.
  • Increase government transparency by putting the city budget on the web for public examination of the line-by-line spending.
  • Focus on quality of life issues: Infrastructure repairs to roads, parks, schools and clean streets
  • Safer streets with more police patrols in neighborhoods and local business districts to reduce property crime and vandalism by gangs that are growing in their numbers.
  • Family Man & Businessman
  • Michael Meyer is a lifelong resident of Yonkers, having lived in both Northwest Yonkers and the Park Hill sections of the 3rd District. After graduating from Sacred Heart Grade School and High School, Mike obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from SUNY Purchase.

A professional art dealer, Meyer began his career by working for an auction house in New York City. Michael and his wife Julie later started their own art dealership, Meyer Fine Art, Inc., which they continue to operate today.

Michael and Julie have three children Kieran (11), Cora (9) and Amelia (4)

Community Service

Over the years, Meyer has shown a passion and dedication to developing children though youth sports programs. For years, he has coached both baseball and football teams for the North Yonkers Boys and Girls Club, as well as the North Yonkers Knights Football Program. Meyer is also an Assistant Cub Master for Pack 29 Cub Scouts. He is a member of the Sons of Italy, the Ancient Order of Hibernians and founding sponsor of the National Museum of the US Army in Washington, DC.

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