The City Council approved a parking legislation package yesterday that aims to make parking enforcement fairer and to eliminate excessive ticketing. The three parts are:
* Being able to cancel a ticket on the spot if you have a muni-meter receipt that’s time-stamped five minutes within the ticket’s time.
* Freezing late fees on tickets until 30 days after they’ve been issued, to give you a chance to contest them.
* Banning the city from placing parking stickers on cars that are said to be violating alternate side parking rules.
It’s those stickers that got under the nails of Councilman David G. Greenfield, who wrote that legislation. The Sanitation Department has used neon stickers in cases of alternate-side parking violations since 1988, issuing about 400 each day alternative-side parking rules are in effect for street cleaning. The City Council argues that the stickers are attached even before motorists are given the chance to prove their innocence.
“Punishing drivers with these impossible-to-remove stickers is unfair and unnecessary,” said Greenfield in a statement. “New York City doesn’t employ methods of public humiliation and shame for those who violate serious crimes, yet has no problem defacing private property with neon stickers because you forgot to move your car on an alternate-side parking day.”
The bill, which keeps in place existing $45 to $60 fines for alternate-side parking violations but ends the practice of placing these stickers on the car’s rear window, received support from Council members, drivers, and the Automobile Association of America when introduced earlier this year.
The Bloomberg administration has voiced its opposition to the entire legislation package, but because it received such overwhelming support in City Council, it seems unlikely the Mayor will be able to veto it if that’s his plan.
People from all over Brooklyn are encouraged to take advantage of a gun buyback program that’s coming up in Brooklyn North.
On Saturday, January 28, the 77th Precinct is hosting the program at the Bedford Central Presbyterian Church, located at 1200 Dean Street at Nostrand. The cash-for-guns program will exchange $200 bank card for operable handguns and $20 bank card for operable rifles and shotguns.
For more information, call the 77th Precinct Community Affairs Office at 718-735-0634.
This morning, Notify NYC sent out a Silver Alert for 69-year-old Lloyd Hall:
Mr. Hall is described as a black male, 5’8″ tall, 160lbs, clean-shaven and was last seen wearing an orange sweater, gray pants and black loafers. Mr. Hall suffers from Alzheimer’s and was last seen 12/28 at his residence near King’s Highway and Flatbush Avenue, in the Flatlands section of Brooklyn. If you see this individual please call 9-1-1.
To receive future Notify NYC alerts, sign up here.
The New York Cares Coat Drive announced today that it’s collected just 20,000 coats out of the 100,000 coats it needs. The organization distributes the coats to New York City’s homeless and low-income men, women, and children who desperately need these coats to stay warm as the temperature drops. If you have a coat sitting in the back of your closet that you don’t use anymore, now’s the time to bring it out to donate.
You can donate gently-used, freshly laundered coats at hundreds of locations throughout the city through Saturday, December 31. Collection sites include all NYPD Police Precincts (the 70th Precinct is located at 154 Lawrence Ave, between Ocean Parkway and Seton Place; and the 63rd Precinct is located at 1844 Brooklyn Avenue, between Avenues I and J), Penn Station, the Port Authority Bus Terminal, Grand Central Terminal, Citi Pond at Bryant Park, Janovic Paint and Decorating Centers, Oz Moving and Storage locations, and many other sites.
Selfhelp Community Services is looking for volunteers to visit Holocaust survivors in their homes. They have clients all over Brooklyn, and the visits are usually about an hour a week, and can take place any day of the week, including evenings and Sundays.
“Our visitors and their older friends meet and decide what they want to do together,” Fran Tarshish, Social Work Supervisor and Brooklyn NV Program Volunteer Coordinator at Selfhelp explains. “Current activities include making cookies, scrap-booking, discussing current affairs, visiting a favorite diner, and playing chess.”
Visitors are provided with training before they go into anyone’s home.
On Thursday between 10am and 3pm, the New York City Office of Emergency Management, in partnership with the FEMA, S&T, and the FCC, will conduct a test of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system. This is a new, free emergency notification service that will allow authorized government officials to send geographically targeted emergency alerts to enabled mobile devices on the AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon wireless networks.
They will be sending the alert to six test phones, but some members of the public may receive a message as well. Some newer mobile devices may be WEA-capable and may receive one or more of the test messages, which will be an audible notification (no matter if you keep your device on vibrate, or have an awesome ringtone) along with a text message that says “Severe Alert” or “Extreme Alert” on your main screen, then info about the test in the text message body.
Due to the limited nature of this test, you probably won’t get one, but now you know what it is if you do.
Participating mobile carriers are required by the FCC to begin deploying WEA technology by April 2012, so this isn’t something you need to opt into–it will automatically be available on new phones in the future.
Susan Edelman of the NY Post reported on the sexual abuse of Orthodox children and people with disabilities that Andrew Goodman allegedly perpetrated through a Flatbush non-profit, which was not named in the article.
Andrew Goodman, 27, who worked for Jewish social-service agencies, is charged with sexually abusing two Orthodox boys for years in Flatbush — one from age 11 to 15, the other from age 13 to 16.
Goodman filmed sex acts with the youngsters on a Web cam, according to the 144-count indictment, which alleges numerous violations since 2006. He has pleaded not guilty.
The handsome Goodman, who held parties in his home with liquor and child porn, also “threatened the life” of a boy who reported him to authorities, court papers and sources say. Andrew Goodman, one of 85 sex-abuse suspects arrested over the last three years by Project Kol Tzedek, has been accused of preying on the boys of Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community and — even after his arrest on sex-assault charges — was caught on video ushering teens into his Flatbush home (below). He is being held on Rikers Island in lieu of a $1 million cash bail.
He’s one of an astounding 85 accused Orthodox child molesters that Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’ office says it has busted in the past three years in an initiative called Kol Tzedek, Hebrew for “voice of justice.”
However, according to Shmarya of failedmessiah, Edelman did not report the whole story.
The New York Post takes on haredi child sex abuse and in the process makes Henna White, the Brooklyn DA’s Jewish liaison, look like a heroine, and the DA’s office look like it’s cracking down on haredi child sex abuse, even though the truth appears to be much different. How does the Post manage to do this? By ignoring all evidence that contradicts its reporting…
Edelman told me the DA’s office had refused to give her information on those cases, other than some general claims – claims made previously to the Forward, the JTA and others.
I gave her the names of three activists to speak with and I again pointed out that withholding the names of these offenders allowed Hynes to cover up his preferential treatment of haredi offenders and referred her to a recording Tzvi Gluck’s remarks made on Zev Brenner’s radio show a week earlier.
What Gluck said confirms what many activists have long claimed. It also confirms what I recently reported – Agudath Israel of America and Hynes had worked out a deal that allowed haredi rabbis to determine which suspicions of child sex abuse should be reported to civil authorities and which should not, and which allows those haredi rabbis to report those cases they choose to directly to Hynes’ Jewish liaison, Henna White, rather than police or ACS, keeping the cases out of the public spotlight and away from the professionals most able to determine the actual threat to children, and who are the best equipped to do the forensic child sex abuse investigations necessary for successful prosecutions.
As we brace ourselves for whatever winter will bring, Citizens Committee for New York City is partnering with NYC Service to help enlist community organizations in an effort to help seniors and the disabled clear the snow in front of their homes.
Citizens Committee has already worked with the Department for the Aging to identify seniors that would need this last resort service. NYC Service is currently building a list of community groups in order to deploy volunteers to meet the needs of seniors in their neighborhood.
If your are part of a group–neighborhood association, school committee, book club, whatever–that would like to volunteer to help the elderly and the disabled clear the snow from their homes in our area, please send an email to Saleen Shah at email@example.com.
The family of an elderly Kensington woman says New York Community Hospital told them of their mother’s death seven days after she passed. 89-year-old Catherina Hawa’s son, Michael, tells the Daily News that he is distraught:
Hawa’s corpse remained unclaimed for over a week, until an employee of a funeral home Michael hired picked it up on Nov. 24, Thanksgiving Day.
“The thought that she laid there cold and dead — it’s a horror,” said Michael, 64, of Morrisville, Pa. “It’s just too sad to digest.”
New York Community Hospital claims they called Catherine’s daughter just minutes after her mother’s death, but the daughter denies receiving a call.
In a difficult economy such as the one we’re experiencing now, food pantries are especially hard hit, experiencing more demand and fewer donations. If you’ve never donated before, why not consider doing so now–pick up a few extra nonperishable items the next time you’re at the store (see a list here), and drop off the bag at Brooklyn College.
In partnership with Assemblywoman Rhoda Jacobs, designated drop-off sites are placed throughout the campus. The food drive is ongoing through December 9.
If you can’t make it then, keep in mind that Assemblywoman Jacobs’s Community Service Office at 2294 Nostrand Avenue (between Avenues I & J) accepts donations all the time during these hours: Monday-Thursday, 10am-5pm, Friday, 10am-2pm.
This weekend there’s an opportunity to resolve outstanding warrants (no felonies, or anything through the DMV or MTA, however). Project Safe Surrender on December 2 and 3 from 9am to 3pm:
Brooklyn clergy, partnering with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, the New York State Office of Court Administration, the Legal Aid Society and the New York City Police Department offer the opportunity for individuals with warrants/summons to turn themselves in to clergy and law enforcement and to have their warrants/summons lifted and their cases adjudicated in a safe environment. This is not a pardon; but rather a solution that is favorable.
Outstanding warrants they can help with include:
· Unlawful possession of alcohol under age 21
· Consumption of alcohol in public
· Aggressive solicitation
· Unlawful possession of handcuffs
· Riding a bicycle on the sidewalk
· Making unreasonable noise
· Animal nuisance
· Failure to have a dog license
· Unleashed dog
· Disorderly conduct
· Unlawfully in a park after hours
· Failure to comply with posted signs in park
· Marijuana possession – New!
· Smoking marijuana – New!
Last month the city unveiled a sleek new design for public seating, and you can let them know where you want to sit. The CityBench program aims to install 1,000 steel benches across the five boroughs, and while they have priorities–bus stops, retail districts, near libraries, etc.–the public is welcome to help determine where they go.
There is a form for bench requests available online, so if you know of a spot where a bench is needed, please fill it out. In addition to the top priority locations, there are several restrictions that limit where they can go, including width of the sidewalk and where tree pits and business doors are. But I’m sure there are some good places you can think–any ideas? Or do we have enough?
If you’ve got a coat sitting unused in the back of your closet, consider donating it to the New York Cares Coat Drive. The drive aids many New Yorkers who cannot afford to purchase a warm coat for the upcoming winter. The goal for this year’s drive is 100,000 coats, so they need your help!
Coats are being collected citywide through December 31 at any New York City Police Precinct. The 70th Precinct is located at 154 Lawrence Ave, between Ocean Parkway and Seton Place; and the 63rd Precinct may also be convenient to some, located at 1844 Brooklyn Avenue, between Avenues I and J.
Citizens Committee for New York City awards grants of $500 to $3,000 to volunteer-ledgroups to work on projects that bring neighbors together and that have a positive impact on the community. They also offer project planning assistance and skills-building workshops.
Recent awards have enabled neighbors to come together to make healthy food available in their communities, transform empty lots into community gardens, organize tenants to advocate effectively for better housing conditions, and start school recycling programs.
The application deadline is January 31. Grant applications are available online here. For more info, contact Emi Wang at 212-822-9563 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
At 2pm on Wednesday, November 9, all television and radio systems will broadcast the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS). You may be familiar with the message and beep that is occasionally broadcast on the local level, but this will be a little different, and a little longer–up to three and a half minutes.
The national test will help federal agencies such as FEMA determine the reliability of the system and its effectiveness in notifying the public of emergencies and potential dangers nationally and regionally.
Police say an unidentified Hispanic man in his 20s was hit by a Mack truck early this morning while crossing Coney Island Avenue outside of the crosswalk.
The truck was heading north on Coney Island Ave, and was approaching Avenue P just before 5am when it hit the man. According to the 70th Precinct, the driver attempted to avoid the pedestrian by switching from the left lane to the right, but was unsuccessful.
The pedestrian was transported to Lutheran Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Police say there is no criminality suspected, and that the investigation ongoing.
Legal experts say the operation may have broken a 19-year-old pact with the colleges and violated U.S. privacy laws, jeopardizing millions of dollars in federal research money and student aid.
If Brooklyn College knowingly provided student records to the NYPD without the students’ consent–which they currently deny–the school may have broken the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a federal statute.
If it’s found they did, the school could lose all of its federal funding, including research funds, federal loans, and Pell grants.
Another item that may have been violated: There’s also a 1982 agreement between the NYPD and CUNY that says unless it’s an emergency, the police are not allowed to enter campuses or school buildings without approval of a CUNY official.