VOL. 16 • NUMBER 11 • MARCH 16, 2017
Howard Beach • Ozone Park • South Ozone Park • Woodhaven • Richmond Hill • Broad Channel Forest Hills • Middle Village • Glendale • Maspeth
South & West
HEROIN CHILL FACTOR
After More New Yorkers Die from Opioid Overdoses Last Year — 1,000+ — than from Car Accidents and Homicides Combined, City Launches Initiative to Combat Epidemic Mayor de Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray, and Police Commissioner Jim O’Neill on Monday helped unveil HealingNYC.
See Story on Page 4 Photo Courtesy of NYPD
City Unemployment Dips to Record Low
Cops Release New Footage as Hunt for Violent Mugger Intensifies
Schumer Blasts Trump over Proposed Budget Cuts
THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 16 • Number 11 MARCH 16, 2017 | 1
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Senate Passes Bill Authorizing Banks to Refuse Payment to People Suspected of Exploiting Vulnerable Adults By Forum Staff The State Senate recently approved legislation to authorize banks to refuse payment to suspicious individuals when there is reason to believe they may be attempting to steal from disabled or elderly New Yorkers. Under the terms of the legislation, “vulnerable adults” are individuals who, because of mental and/or physical impairment, are unable to manage their own financial resources, or shield themselves from financial exploitation. State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach), a co-sponsor of the bill, noted that according to a 2016 State Office of Children and Family Services Cost of Financial Exploitation Study, more than one-third of individuals exploited exhibited signs of dementia. “As a long-time member of the Senate Aging Committee, I am deeply concerned that we safeguard the finances and well-being of seniors and people with disabilities. Unfortunately, unscrupulous people some-
“Unfortunately, unscrupulous people sometimes prey on the vulnerable, attempting to commit fraud against them and endangering their finances and lives,” Sen. Addabbo said.
times prey on the vulnerable, attempting to commit fraud against them and endangering their finances and lives,” Addabbo said. In addition to authorizing banks to refuse payment of moneys, the legislation requires dementia training as a critical com-
ponent of bank employee education. More than five million Americans and almost 400,000 New Yorkers suffer from Alzheimer’s dementia, Addabbo noted, which hampers reasoning, judgment and decision making skills, and makes seniors more vul-
nerable to people looking to deceive them. In the event a bank refuses to make a disbursement of funds, the bank must make an effort to notify, either orally or in writing, all interested parties and report the incident to the applicable local social services district. Lastly, Addabbo said, the legislation provides immunity to banks from civil, criminal or administrative liability due to their refusal to disburse funds, provided the institutions’ efforts were made in good faith. “It is our moral obligation to protect those who cannot protect themselves owing to such disabilities as Alzheimer’s disease and other impairments,” Addabbo added. He also said that more than 60 percent of financial exploitation crimes against seniors are perpetrated by someone the victim knows and should be able to trust, which includes family, friends, caregivers and professional business people. The legislation, which was approved unanimously by the Senate, is now under review by the Assembly Committee on Aging.
Vision Zero ‘Dusk and Darkness’ Campaign Reduced Traffic Fatalities by 26 Percent: de Blasio By Forum Staff
“Dusk and Darkness,” the fall and winter traffic-safety campaign to reduce the seasonal surge in evening crashes involving pedestrians, had resulted in 23 fewer New Yorkers lost between November and February compared to the previous year – a 26-percent decline, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last Thursday. In October 2016, de Blasio announced the multi-agency Dusk and Darkness campaign, based on a close analysis of year-over-year crash trends, which had showed that the earlier onset of darkness in the fall and winter was highly correlated to an increase in traffic injuries and fatalities. Prior to 2016, severe crashes involving pedestrians increased by nearly 40 percent in the early evening hours compared to crashes outside the fall and winter. In response, the City Department of Transportation, Police Department, and other agencies collaborated on a major education and enforcement campaign. With a new TV ad campaign, drive-time radio announcements and palm cards distributed to over one million drivers, DOT’s “Your Choices Matter” messaging effectively reached more New Yorkers. The City said the NYPD stepped up enforcement, especially between 4 p.m. and 9
Photo Courtesy of Edwin Torres/Mayoral Photography Office
Mayor de Blasio last week announced that the “Dusk and Darkness” campaign had resulted in 23 fewer New Yorkers lost to traffic accidents between November and February compared to the previous year.
p.m., focusing on those violations with the greatest effect on pedestrian safety. According to the department, during the Dusk and Darkness campaign, officers wrote 19,056 violations for failure-to-yield, a 17.1 percent increase over the previous year; and 57,430 violations for speeding, an 11.4 percent increase. Overall, for all Vision Zero-related offenses (which also include disobeying a sign, improper turns and illegal cell phone use), the NYPD wrote 243,943 violations, a
more-than 10-percent increase from the previous year. The enforcement and education efforts together helped contribute to a dramatic decrease in seasonal fatalities – 66 fatalities between November and March 7 compared to 89 deaths in the same period the previous year, a 26-percent decline. Additionally, as of March 8, there have been 33 traffic fatalities to date this year in in the five boroughs. In 2016, the year with the fewest deaths in the City’s recorded history,
there had been 41 fatalities by the same date, according to the administration. “The statistics showing a 26 percent decline in the number of traffic fatalities this past fall and winter are very encouraging and show that these traffic safety efforts are having an impact,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “Mayor de Blasio, the New York City Department of Transportation and the NYPD deserve to be commended for implementing this successful safety campaign. New Yorkers should continue to drive carefully and look out for one another.” City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez (DManhattan), chairman of the Committee on Transportation, added, “Targeted interventions like the Dusk and Darkness campaign have proven successful in lowering traffic fatalities. This data-oriented approach, showing where and when crashes take place, can help city enforcement officers and Vision Zero street teams stop crashes before they occur. This was a laudable initiative and shows how important enforcement is in stopping speeding and erratic driving. As always, lives are at stake and the work of the DOT and NYPD is crucial. To drivers, the biggest responsibility is in your hands, so please take care when behind the wheel.”
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THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 16 • Number 11 MARCH 16, 2017 | 3
City Launches Initiative to Reduce Opioid Overdose Deaths By Michael V. Cusenza The City on Monday launched a new effort – HealingNYC – to reduce opioid overdose deaths by 35 percent over the next five years. According to the administration, in 2016, more than 1,000 people across the five boroughs died in a drug overdose which involved an opioid, the highest year on record. More New Yorkers died from opioid overdoses last year than from car accidents and homicides combined, City officials said. “The opioid epidemic is a growing crisis that affects not only users, but also their loved ones,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “If we’re going to start winning the battle against opioids, we need to start talking honestly about what works and invest in the strategic measures that will stop abuse, break addiction and save lives. HealingNYC is our plan to treat and help those struggling with addiction - and prevent more from falling under the control of these powerful drugs.” Through HealingNYC, the City will focus its efforts on four main goals to combat this epidemic, and invest $38 million annually at full ramp-up to implement the following strategies: Prevent opioid overdose deaths – The City will distribute 100,000 naloxone kits to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Police Department, the Department of Social Services and Correctional Health Services, a division of NYC Health + Hospitals, so that healthcare providers, first
Photo Courtesy of NYPD
Mayor de Blasio noted that in 2016, more than 1,000 people in New York City died in a drug overdose which involved an opioid, the highest year on record.
responders and shelter providers can have access to the tools they need to save lives. Prevent opioid misuse and addiction – In 2017, ThriveNYC will create additional mental health clinics in high-need schools that account for a disproportionate share of suspensions and mental health issues, which can be precursors for substance misuse. As part of the City’s ongoing effort to raise awareness about addiction and end the stigmas attached to seeking effective treatment, the City will build on “Save a Life, Carry Naloxone” public awareness campaign and will connect up to five of the communities at highest risk with
targeted prevention messages and care. The City will also educate clinicians on best practices for judicious prescribing, and expand the Nonfatal Overdose Response System to a total of 10 high-risk neighborhoods, up from three from 2017 to 2019. Connect New Yorkers to effective treatment – An additional 20,000 New Yorkers will have access to medication-assisted treatment by 2022. NYC Health + Hospitals will transform its substance use care models to become a system of excellence in addressing harmful opioid use. The City will also build on the work of the Mayor’s Task Force on Be-
havioral Health and Criminal Justice System to target treatment and expand resources in the criminal justice system. Reduce the supply of dangerous opioids – In 2017, the Administration will make new investments in the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and the NYPD to increase the kinds of testing and information sharing that the City needs to get a better understanding of the local drug environment. To build upon existing efforts in Staten Island, the Police Department will create new Overdose Response Squads that will target dealers in other high-risk neighborhoods in New York City. The City will assign 84 detectives and hire 50 lab personnel at the NYPD to combat this epidemic and disrupt the supply of opioids before they come into the city. “We must use every tool at our disposal to combat the opioid addiction crisis that is continuing to destroy the lives of New Yorkers in New York City and around the state,” said State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “I welcome Mayor de Blasio’s innovative HealingNYC initiative, which seeks to strategically attack this epidemic from all angles. I am proud of the work my office has done to fight the scourge of addiction, from making naloxone more affordable for hundreds of communities across the state, to removing barriers to life-saving addiction treatment – and we will continue to work with Mayor de Blasio and our partners in government to ensure that those New Yorkers struggling with addiction receive the help and support they need.”
De Blasio, Cuomo Increase Award for Info Leading to Arrest and Conviction for a Hate Crime By Forum Staff Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday announced an increase in the reward amount –to a joint State-City $20,000 reward from the State’s current $5,000 – for any information leading to an arrest and conviction for a hate crime. The increased amount follows a significant uptick in reported hate crimes and antiSemitism in New York and across the nation – including a bomb threat earlier Friday at the Jewish Children’s Museum in Brooklyn and last week at the Anti-Defamation League in Manhattan. “The Statue of Liberty holds the torch high in New York’s Harbor, an eternal re- ed hate crime incidents in the state have draminder that our state will always be the bea- matically increased over the last five months. con for tolerance and acceptance,” Cuomo More than 100 alleged hate crimes have said. “We have zero tolerance for intoler- been reported in the five boroughs since the ance, and I encourage all New Yorkers to re- beginning of 2017 – more than double the port any instance of hate, bias or discrimina- number of reported incidents over the same tion. We will continue to aggressively work period last year. The number of incidents rewith our federal and local partners to hold ported outside of the city in November and those responsible accountable to the full- December of 2016 also doubled, compared est extent of the law, keep our communities to the same period in 2015. safe, and uphold our core values of diversity Year to date, hate crimes in the Big and inclusion.” Apple are up nearly 115 percent, while According to the administration, report4 MARCH 16, 2017 • Number 11 VOL. 16 • THE FORUM NEWSGROUP
anti-Semitic crimes have spiked nearly 200 percent. De Blasio said that in addition to growing the size of the City Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force to investigate the growing number of bomb threats, Neighborhood Coordination Officers and individual precinct Commanding Officers have stepped up neighborhood policing efforts, visiting community centers and cultural institutions with greater frequency to determine if and where additional security resources are required. Security cameras
will be added and upgraded to select locations as part of the NYPD’s ongoing security efforts, the mayor added. “The recent spate of threats against our Jewish community are threats against all of us. Those directed at children are particularly disturbing. As New Yorkers, we stand united in the face of cowardly tactics designed to frighten, disrupt and divide us,” de Blasio said. “I’m proud to join forces with the governor as we work with our local, state and federal partners in law enforcement to see that the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice. The NYPD is the finest police force in the world and I have no doubt those responsible for these incidents will not be able to hide in the shadows for long.” According to de Blasio and Cuomo, New Yorkers who have experienced bias or discrimination are encouraged to call the State’s toll-free hotline at (888) 3923644 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday, or text “HATE” to 81336. New Yorkers may also call the NYPD Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.
Citywide Unemployment Plummets to Record Low in January
Photo Courtesy of Edwin Torres/Mayoral Photography Office
In other positive employment news, Mayor de Blasio last week announced that 200 new jobs will be created by the soon-to-be launched Citywide Ferry Service.
By Forum Staff Citywide unemployment dropped to a record low of 4.5 percent in January 2017, the lowest rate since 1976, which is the earliest available unemployment data from the State Department of Labor, according to the City Economic Development Corporation. The unemployment rate breaks the previous record of 4.6 percent in December 2006, and is down from 5.3 percent in January 2016. And citywide unemployment is down from 8.1 percent in December 2013, representing a 3.6 percent drop since Mayor Bill de Blasio took office. “As our economy continues to grow, we are seeing record low unemployment and new jobs in nearly every sector,” said Alicia Glen, deputy mayor for Housing and Economic Development. “This is happening because we are making smart, targeted investments, building an accessible economy with more middle class jobs -- and the training New Yorkers need to get them.” According to EDC, based on a seasonally-adjusted analysis, the City added 39,000 private-sector jobs in January 2017. The City has added 329,800 private sector jobs since de Blasio took office in 2014. Educational Services contributed to the majority of the job growth in January 2017, EDC noted, adding 12,900 jobs. Accommodation & Food Services and Professional, Scientific, & Technical Services had the next largest gains with 6,100 and 3,300, respectively. “Our job creation strategy is about pulling more people into the middle class, and creating better opportunities for their families. While we are seeing incredible job gains and a historically low unemployment
rate, we must focus our attention on job quality,” said EDC President and CEO James Patchett. “We are going to continue to make targeted investments across the five boroughs to pull in more New Yorkers and create 100,000 quality jobs over the next decade.” EDC also noted that in his State of the City address, de Blasio committed to creating 100,000 good jobs in the five boroughs over the next 10 years, with 40,000 of them coming in the next four years. Since then, the City unveiled a new ‘Made in New York’ Campus at Bush Terminal which create 1,500 new jobs in film, television and garment manufacturing. In late February, de Blasio unveiled plans for a Union Square Tech Hub that will reportedly generate 600 goodpaying jobs and will include a digital job training facility for all New Yorkers as well as modern, flexible workspaces designed to meet the needs of early-stage startups in New York’s innovation economy. Earlier this week, de Blasio announced the creation of 200 new jobs through the soon to be launched Citywide Ferry Service. Through six routes, the new transportation system is set to connect New Yorkers along the city’s waterfronts to job centers in Sunset Park, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and lower Manhattan, among others. According to EDC, jobs and wages have gone up in every borough since the beginning of the de Blasio administration. Specifically, Brooklyn saw the highest growth in private sector jobs with an increase of 12.8 percent; the Bronx saw the biggest drop in unemployment, with a decrease of 4.4 percentage points; and Manhattan saw the highest growth in average wages, with an increase of 5.9 percent. THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 16 • Number 11 MARCH 16, 2017 | 5
Gang Members Indicted for Thwarted Hit, Selling Drugs By Forum Staff A borough grand jury has indicted six purported members of the notorious ABK (Always Bangin’ Kings) street gang for plotting to kill two rival gang members in December 2016, and that an additional 11 individuals affiliated with ABK have been indicted or summarily arrested for selling drugs in Elmhurst and Maspeth at various times between January 2016 and November 2016, According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. As part of the takedown, Brown noted, three other alleged ABK gang members – two women and a man – were apprehended lastweek and charged with gang assault and other crimes for a vicious attack on a man at a fast-food restaurant in Woodside last month. According to the attempted murder indictment, defendants Francis “Franchise” Cortes and Michael “Ceoz” Aalil acted as the gang’s bosses and coordinated the hit against two rival Latin King gang members. The pair allegedly organized the other four defendants to get a vehicle and weapons and set a location for
Photo Courtesy of Google
The gang’s bosses allegedly coordinated a hit against two rival gang members in a parking lot at 69th Street and 34th Avenue in Woodside.
the hit. On Dec. 4, 2016, Aalil and Cortes allegedly instructed the other defendants to go to the parking lot at 69th Street and 34th Avenue in Woodside and wait for the targets to walk out of a nearby bar. However, unbeknownst to the suspects, police allegedly had been eavesdropping on their telephone communications as part of a larger investigation and were at the location to prevent the murders from happening and to arrest the defendants. Aalil, 20, of Elmhurst, is charged with second-degree attempted
murder, second- and fourth-degree conspiracy, first degree attempted gang assault, first-degree attempted assault, second-, third- and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm. He was arraigned last Tuesday and bail was set at $2 million. His next court date is April 6. If convicted, Aalil faces up to 25 years in prison. Carias, 29, of East Elmhurst, is charged with second-degree attempted murder, second- and fourth-degree conspiracy, first de-
gree attempted gang assault, firstdegree attempted assault, second-, third and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a firearm and resisting arrest. He too was arraigned last Tuesday, and was remanded into custody. If convicted, Cortes faces up to life in prison. Brown also said that six purported ABK members – John Gutierrez, Michael Diaz, Joshua Bonilla, Michelle Mendez, Jonathan Francisco and Javier Trivino – are charged in three separate indictments for allegedly selling drugs to undercover detectives on one or more occasions. It is alleged that during the buys, police seized marijuana, cocaine, Ketamine and Xanax pills mixed with fentanyl. In executing the takedown last week, eight additional purported ABK members were summarily arrested on either drug or gang assault charges. “A long-term investigation, which included court-authorized wiretaps, is alleged to have thwarted the death of two individuals in Queens three months ago when an investigator allegedly overheard
the defendants planning to kill rival gang members. Fortunately for the victims, the defendants were arrested as they are alleged to have been laying in wait for their targets to exit a bar,” Brown added. “This investigation also netted three purported gang members allegedly responsible for an assault on a diner at a fast food restaurant, as well as nearly a dozen alleged drug dealers who are accused of selling undercover detectives everything from marijuana to prescription opioids dangerously mixed with fentanyl. Drug dealers have no place in Queens County and my office will continue to aggressively pursue those who would make it their business to sell illegal narcotics and prescription drugs in our neighborhoods.” Police Commissioner Jim O’Neill added, “Today, the defendants find themselves under arrest for selling cocaine and other drugs in the Elmhurst and Maspeth neighborhoods of Queens. The investigation also prevented at least two homicides, as detectives were able to intervene before the killing of two rival gang members.”
Daycare Worker Charged in Far Rockaway Abandoned Child Case By Forum Staff A daycare worker who allegedly dropped a 5-year-old girl off on the street in front of her residence earlier this week has been charged with child endangerment for abandoning the little girl, who was found a tenth of a mile away in a Far Rockaway supermarket by herself, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Trimeka Crum, 35, of Mott Avenue in Far Rockaway, was arraigned last night on a criminal complaint charging her with endangering the welfare of a child. Crum, who faces
up to a year in jail if convicted, was released on her own recognizance and a full order of protection was issued forbidding Crum from having any contact with the child and ordered to return to court on May 8. According to the criminal charges, the 5-year-old victim’s mother had an arrangement with Crum, a day care provider to whom she had been sending her daughter to since approximately November 2016, Photo Courtesy of Google that required Crum when dropping The little girl wandered alone into this Central Avenue supermarket. off the child at the end of the day to either accompany the child upstairs siblings or to call the mother or one According to the criminal to her apartment and transfer cus- of the siblings to come downstairs charges, Crum admitted that she tody of the child to one of her older and accompany the child upstairs. dropped the child off at the front
door outside the building every day. Crum further allegedly admitted that she dropped the child off in front of the house sometime between 6 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8, that she saw the child walk into the building and that, after waiting for two minutes and the child did not come out, she left. Shortly thereafter, police responded to a radio run for an unattended child at a supermarket on Central Avenue approximately a tenth of a mile from the child’s home, which required the child to cross an avenue.
Teens Busted for Breaking into Howard Beach Cars, Stealing Property By Michael V. Cusenza Four teenagers were nabbed in Howard Beach last week for breaking into several cars and pilfering property, according to police and community groups. The 106th Precinct Community Council on Thursday reached out to area residents and business owners via social media platforms and advised anyone who believes that they were victimized by the criminal quartet last Wednesday night/early Thursday morning to contact the authorities immediately. 6 MARCH 16, 2017 • Number 11 VOL. 16 • THE FORUM NEWSGROUP
“Howard Beach [residents] if your car was broken into last night we need you to call 911 and make a report four teenagers were arrested with property stolen from those cars,” the council posted to Facebook, along with a photo of a red-colored vehicle with its driver’s side window smashed, on Thursday at 5:18 a.m. “I’m on 158th and 97 St, cops rang my bell around 3:30 am, by that time they had arrested them already,” one Facebook user wrote in the comments section of the council’s post.
“We have teenagers who walk up the blocks in the middle of the night trying the door handles to see if people left their doors unlocked. Always wearing hoodies with backpacks. They’ve gotten just about everyone on my block at some point in the past year. One was even ballsy enough to come up my driveway and go into my son’s car for a good 5 minutes. We have cameras and were able to watch it after the fact. Always double check before bed to make sure your doors are locked!” another Howard Beach resident cautioned on the social network.
Cops Still Hunting Suspect Responsible for Series of Violent Muggings
By Michael V. Cusenza
City Police Department investigators last week released security video footage that shows a fleeing car that they believe belongs to a suspect responsible for a recent series of brutal muggings in Rego Park and Forest Hills. According to a New York Daily News report, the video shows a dark-blue sedan – possibly a Mercury Grand Marquis – speeding east on Harrow Street in Forest Hills around 5:45 p.m. on Feb. 28. The date and time are crucial because, according to police reports, on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at approximately 5:45 p.m., the suspect stepped out of the driver’s side of a blue, four-door sedan on Harrow Street, approached a 53-year-old woman from behind and hit her on the head with a blunt object; the victim fell to the ground unconscious. When she awoke, the victim realized that her purse was gone. Among the items inside her purse were four debit cards, two credit cards, and approximately $51 in cash. The woman suffered lacerations to the back of her head and was re-
The man has robbed three victims in the Forest Hills-Rego Park area since January.
moved to Forest Hills Hospital in serious but stable condition. According to authorities, the suspect committed that robbery shortly before the vehicle comes into focus on the surveillance footage. Investigators believe the man is also responsible for the following attacks:
Photo Courtesy of NYPD
On Wednesday, Feb. 8, around 5:50 p.m., the suspect approached an 82-yearold woman from behind on 70th Road in Forest Hills, hit her on the head with a blunt object and knocked her to the ground. He then grabbed her purse and fled in an unknown direction. Among the items inside her purse were two debit cards and a credit
card. The victim suffered lacerations to the back of her head and was removed to Forest Hills Hospital in serious but stable condition, cops said. And in the first reported incident, on Wednesday, Jan. 18, around 8:20 p.m., a 63-year-old woman was approached by the suspect at the corner of 65th Avenue and 99 Street in Rego Park. The unidentified male displayed a knife, punched the victim in the face and removed her purse containing an iPhone and credit card. The suspect then fled on foot toward 102nd Street. The woman suffered bruising to the face and refused medical attention. The suspect is described as a black man, 6-feet tall with a medium build, last seen wearing a dark-colored sweatshirt. Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at (800) 577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, (888) 57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit info by logging onto NYPDCrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All correspondences are strictly confidential.
Customs Officers Catch JFK Passenger with 10 Pounds of Coke Taped to his Legs By Forum Staff Federal agents recently nabbed a passenger who had just arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport with approximately 10 pounds of cocaine strapped to his body, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials. On March 4, Juan Carlos Galan Luperon, a United States citizen, arrived at JFK Airport from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and presented himself for inspection. According to CBP officers, during his examination, Luperon exhibited numerous
signs of nervousness and his pants “appeared to be rather snug.” Luperon was subsequently escorted to a private search room where CBP officers conducted a physical search of his person. During the search, officials said, the agents found packages, which later tested positive for cocaine, taped around both of his legs. The total estimated street value of the seized white stuff is more than $164,000, according to the agency. “This seizure is another example of our CBP officers being ever vigilant in protect-
ing the United States from the distribution of these illicit drugs,” said Leon Hayward, acting director of CBP’s New York Field Operations. Luperon was immediately taken into custody and turned over to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations. He faces federal narcotics smuggling charges. Photo Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Approximately 10 pounds of cocaine, with an estimated street value of more than $164,000, were discovered taped to the passenger’s legs.
Officers Save Suicidal Man in Briarwood By Forum Staff
was escorted to the scene by NYPD Highway patrol officers. Additional HNT negotiators were on the scene trying to gather information on the man by talking with neighbors and on-lookers, according to authorities. In addition to the cold and windy weather, a steady rain began to fall. In attempts to engage the man and establish rapport with him, officers offered the man a blanket as well as water. Nearly two hours passed and although the man did not engage the officers in conversation, this type of “stalling for time” allowed the officers to slowly get closer to him, officials noted. Eventually ESU officers were able to grab onto the man and bring him safely back from the edge. He was transported to the hospital to be evaluated and receive care.
A team of City Police Department personnel recently helped save the life of a distraught Queens man who was threatening to kill himself. On Tuesday, March 8, around 8 a.m., a call came over the radio for a suicidal male on the ledge of an apartment roof in Briarwood section. According to NYPD officials, Patrol and Strategic Response Group officers secured the area while a request was made for the Emergency Service Unit and the Hostage Negotiation Team. After developing a communication strategy, HNGT and ESU officers made repeated attempts to engage the distressed man in conversation. Often when a person is contemplating suicide, he or she feels alone, only option. While this was happening, an airbag wasSketch being set up while a second one Courtesy of NYPD hopeless and that taking their life is their THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 16 • Number 11 MARCH 16, 2017 | 7
SUCCESSION Dear Editor, My interest in the Presidency began with the 34th Chief Executive in the mid 50’s. From Dwight D. Eisenhower, to Barack Obama there have been eleven men, who have occupied the Oval Office, in my adult life. Donald Trump is now the twelfth, in that growing list. Each, during their period has brought with them a signature stamp, defining their tenure. Some were dynamic in their presence, while others have grown in stature through history’s reevaluation. A small percentage has had little or no broad based significance. None were bad, if judged only by their honest intentions, to make a difference in the American way of life. At the end of Eisenhower’s two terms, he was looked upon as a walk through President, who benefited by his record as the supreme commander, of allied forces in WW II. More than sixty years later, a kinder, gentler approach has now been applied to his eight years, leading into the turbulent 60’s. A closer examination has now revealed a more hands on approach, to the needs in the 50’s, and in his problem solving methods. John F. Kennedy brought youth and energy, and but for his tragic death at the hands of an assassin, may have shaped more than just domestic policy, in an approach to the cold war that gripped the world stage. LBJ’s “Great Society” was undermined, by the devastating war in Viet Nam. The President could not shake the albatross which had engulfed, and demanded his attention away from those sorely needed programs. In the end, it destroyed the man, by having his re-election bid challenged from within his own party. His decision to withdraw was a prerequisite to his untimely passing. Richard Nixon is rated as probably one of the most intellectual minds, to ever assume the Presidency. Clearly, his schizophrenic personality diminished his ability, to communicate that trust and assurance among his constituents. Still, his skills of diplomacy and reasoning opened the door to China relations, in ways that had remained inconceivable for decades. Nixon carried 49 states in 1972, baffling experts as to why there was ever a need for Watergate activities, in defeating an impotent George McGovern? Gerald Ford was simply not up to the task, following the Nixon resignation, and while likeable, seemed ill-prepared, to fill the vacuum that would have led to reconciliation. Despite administrative governorship experience, Jimmy Carter failed to deal with a major energy crisis, high inflation, and the long drawn out hostage crisis, of Americans being held in Iran. A humiliating defeat in 1980 swept Ronald Reagan in as the 40th President, mending the scars of Watergate, stabilizing the economy, and forcefully instigating the measures, which brought about the demise of the Berlin wall. George H. W. Bush rode in on the heels of a mandate, but lacked the charismatic ability, of persuasion with the Congress, and his backing down in the pledge of “Read my lips, no new taxes.” Ross Perot became the deciding factor, as a third candidate, leading to a Bush second term defeat, and the election of a fledgling newcomer Governor from Arkansas, named Bill Clinton. Despite his lack of majority votes, Clinton went on to preside effectively
for two terms, in what amounted to the last of a bi-lateral cooperation between the executive, and Congressional branches of government. Both Democrats and Republicans benefited, from this now sadly defunct liaison. The disputed election of George W. Bush in 2000, and the tragedy of 9-11, drove a wedge of insurmountable proportions, to the detriment of the American people. Spite, anger and revenge permeated through both Bush terms. Barack Obama’s stunning and unexpected primary victory, over Hillary Clinton in 2008, eclipsed his election over the weak Republican candidacy of Senator John McCain. The history shattering event of our first black President, nullified any argument against his lack of experience, or time in the public domain, to qualify for the highest office in world. Although a highly likeable personality, he always seemed content, to have simply achieved such recognition, but not wanting the mind draining responsibility, to which the job demanded. At 55 years of age, the world is now his oyster. All of the above were my presidents, whether I voted for them or not. Donald Trump is now my president, and I support him, as I did the others. To wish him failure, is to wish my country failure, and I am an American, first and foremost. There will be subsequent elections, and voters will again have the opportunity to evaluate the merits and shortfalls of our Chief Executive, and will ballot accordingly. In the meantime, whether you or the members of Congress agree or, disagree with the current President is a privilege that is not negotiable. We all however, have the duty as Americans, to show our pride, by honoring, if not the man, then the office of the Presidency itself!
Robert W. Rice Woodhaven
ON AND ON IT GOES Dear Editor,
When speaking of the FBI, CIA and NSA reports that stated Russia helped elect Donald Trump, GOP Rep. Devin Nunes(California) of the House Intelligence Committee said "there's a tendency for you all to believe that there's some grand conspiracy here that the Russians helped elect Donald Trump". Gee, I wonder why. And he commented on Trump saying "Obama tapped my phone lines" by actually saying "I think a lot of the things he(Trump) says, I think you guys sometimes take literally". So, the American populace should not take "literally" what the president of the United States allows to escape from his mouth? Amazing. And now it's been released that former national Security Advisor Michael Flynn worked as a paid foreign agent for Turkey. Pence claims he was unaware. Trump claims he had no clue. Trump? No clue? That's one thing that IS believable. Last Thursday night FOX "news'" Sean Hannity called for the immediate expulsion of "deep state Obama holdovers" during his opening monologue. So of course on Friday Trump followed Hannity's "orders" and ordered the resignation of the remaining 46 U.S. attorneys. Most glaring was Manhattan U.S. attorney Preet Bharara, the country's preeminent federal prosecutor, who must have
8 MARCH 16, 2017 • Number 11 VOL. 16 • THE FORUM NEWSGROUP
showed his "incompetence" by taking down gang members, terrorists, dirty politicians and Wall Street thieves. I guess those Wall Street executives finally got to Trump's ear. The GOP finally rolled out "Trumpcare" or should we call it "Trumpdon'tcare"? The AARP, the American Medical Association and all major organizations representing hospitals are against it. By comparison, they all supported Obamacare. Insurance companies all opposed Obamacare, they support "Trumpcare". Gee, I wonder why? Can you say "deny benefits-increase profits"? New York State Senate Health Committee Chairman Kemp Hannon(a Republican) called Trumpcare unacceptable and poor public policy. Who benefits from Trump care? The wealthy and insurance companies. Who suffers? The elderly and the poor? Trumpcare gives you less for more. The only people that will receive a tax cut are those earning over $250,000 a year. And according to the New York State Health Department, over 2 million children in New York will lose their medical coverage as a result of Trumpcare. Trump promised lower cost and better coverage, his bill does neither. But maybe I'm all wrong about the GOP healthcare replacement to Obamacare? After all Sean Spicer showed how the whole plan was summed up in a few pages, as compared to the hundreds of pages in Obamacare. But republicans could have simplified it even further. One page with 3 simple steps (laid out for all to easily understand) would've sufficed- Step 1-Get sick. Step 2- Go bankrupt. Step 3- Die quickly. Nice job Republicans. And I must again comment on religion, this time the continuing, disgraceful ritual known as "metzitzah b'peh". A horrific practice performed during a Jewish circumcision in which the Mohel sucks the blood from the incision on an infants penis. The practice has been linked to neonatal herpes and at least 24 cases have been linked to this disgusting practice since 2000. Two of the infants died and two others suffered brain damage. But leaders of the ultra-orthodox Jewish community have opposed any restrictions on the centuries-old ritual as an infringement on religious freedom. There you have it, a disgraceful religious practice is more important then a child's life. What the hell is wrong with some people? And now a new case has been reported to the city health department. But we needn't worry because Mayor Deblasio(who struck a deal with the Hasidic community to allow the filthy practice to continue) said the city was "now in the process of identifying the Mohel and we expect full cooperation from the community". Are we talking about the same community embroiled in police weapons scandals? The same community that is patrolled by the Shomrim? A volunteer security force that attacked Tab Patterson in 2013 and with the help of certain NYPD members(who quickly dropped the investigation) answers to no one? The same community that protested bike lanes on Wythe and Bedford Avenues because women were riding by wearing shorts and skirts? That community? What a joke. Speaking of humor- During campaign, Trump attacked the Labor Department’s official estimates of jobs added each month as “phony” and “total fiction.” He said that Americans were living in a “false economy,” and that he believed the U.S. unemployment rate is as high as 35 percent. (It is currently
4.7 percent.) Even after the election, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, repeated this claim at his confirmation hearing in January, saying, “The unemployment rate is not real.” Now? After the recent report stating 250,000 new jobs and the unemployment rate staying relatively the same at 4%? Sean Spicer laughed and said "they may have been phony in the past but they're very real now". HaHaHa, hilarious! We have a president that doesn't read, hangs up the phone on world leaders, speaks like a middle school bully, sends angry 3 AM tweets at his critics, laughed at the disabled and has no idea of the definition of the word "dignity". Lastly, on FOX "news" Tucker Carlson asked Paul Ryan why Trumpcare gives huge tax cuts to the wealthy. Saying "you’re gonna repeal Obamacare but you’re gonna send more money to the people who’ve already gotten the richest over the last ten years.’ I mean, that’s what this does, no? … I’m not leftist, that’s just, that’s just true!" Ryan's response? "I–I–I’m not concerned about it". How wonderful. P.S. People who were criticizing Joe Biden's son for hooking up with his daughter-in-law had every right to do so. But they're mistaken when they called it incest, it's not "incest". Incest, which causes mental illness, is when relatives have sex. They're thinking of Trump supporters in the South.
Robert LaRosa Whitestone
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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Michael V.
CONTRIBUTING REPORTERS Alan Krawitz
SEEING IS BELIEVING
A loyal Forum reader on Sunday emailed a letter To say that we agree with Mr. Sturm would probably to us along with four supporting photos (due to space be one of the understatements of the millennium. We constraints, we’ve included two of the images here): have been shouting from southern Queens rooftops for months: Something needs to be done about the pan“I boarded the E train on Saturday morning to see handlers – especially on Cross Bay Boulevard at the the following; people on one side of a subway car due intersections of Rockaway Boulevard/Liberty Avenue; to people sleeping. We live in one of the wealthiest cit- something needs to be done with the City’s love affair ies in the world. These people need help; mental and with using borough hotels as “temporary” shelters. housing. Our mayor’s work ethic is substandard. He is Our fearless mayor last month unveiled a 114-page only interested in self promoting and paying off politi- “vision” for attacking the homeless crisis – which he cal contributors. There is no good reason for conditions seemed to blame on his predecessors going back 30 [such] as these.” years. However, said attack left much to be desired in the way of immediacy: Michael Sturm “Launch a reimagined shelter strategy that will: Richmond Hill Completely eliminate the use of cluster apartment units
LEGALLY SPEAKING We once again find ourselves in the midst of another legislative session in Albany and another fight to protect the constantly dwindling benefits for injured workers and their families. The Business Council, a very wealthy and powerful group, is again lobbying legislators and maintaining that Workers’ Compensation costs continue to increase, thereby creating financial hardship for their employer members. They assert that many of their members are fearful of these costs, which may result in them leaving the state en masse if they are unable to operate at a profit. Undoubtedly we will be barraged with claims that the benefits to injured workers continue to rise at an alarming rate and add to the high cost of Workers’ Compensation insurance, which in turn adds to the high cost of doing business in New York. The Workers’ Compensation Alliance
by the end of 2021 and commercial hotel facilities by the end of 2023; reduce the current number of shelter sites by 45 percent; and keep homeless New Yorkers closer to their communities and supports that they need. Additionally, prevention and rehousing initiatives will reduce the current number of homeless New Yorkers in shelter by 2,500 people over five years.” We’ll get our hands around this profound issue… within the next five to seven years. The homeless crisis is affecting many borough communities. These images are Exhibits A and B. “Our mayor’s work ethic is substandard.” Something needs to be done.
Catherine M. Stanton is a senior partner in the law firm of Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP. She focuses on the area of Workers’ Compensation, having helped thousands of injured workers navigate a highly complex system and obtain all the benefits to which they were entitled. Ms. Stanton has been honored as a New York Super Lawyer, is the past president of the New York Workers’ Compensation Bar Association, the immediate past president of the Workers’ Injury Law and Advocacy Group, and is an officer in several organizations dedicated to injured workers and their families. She can be reached at 800.692.3717.
reviewed reports from the New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board (NYCIRB) and the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) and came to the conclusion that Workers’ Compensation is not a high cost to employers either nationally or in New York. In fact, more than 85% of employers in New York who have Workers’ Compensation insurance pay less than $10,000 per year for this insurance. The reality is that while there have been slight increases in the cost of Workers’ Compensation insurance, it is actually a very small portion of the cost of doing business in New York. In fact, any increases in Workers’ Compensation costs both nationally and in New York are as a result of more people working and wages increasing and not increases in benefits to injured workers. The Business Council has been using injured workers as scapegoats for decades as the reason for the high costs of doing business in this country. Most states have adopted some sort of major changes in their Workers’ Compensation systems to the detriment of injured
workers and their families. This intense injured workers and quite cumbersome. pressure on the Governor and the State Injured workers no longer are given the legislature in New York culminated in benefit of the doubt in a system that was sweeping changes in 2007. The reform designed to protect them. Instead, they measures taken that year were as a result are confronted with an administration of labor and business groups meeting and that is more concerned with proper filhammering out a deal that would result ing of paperwork than with helping those in most injured workers losing their right who need it most. The benefits have been to receive lifetime indemnity benefits in stripped so much that unfortunately for exchange for higher weekly rates of ben- injured workers, there is very little left to efits. Afterward, there were some cost negotiate. increases stemming from these changes, No one expects to go to work and get but nothing significant since then. Mean- injured. But injuries do happen, thereby while, indemnity benefits for injured creating physical, emotional and finanworkers dropped substantially. cial hardships for those hurt at work. Unfortunately, the Business Coun- Workers’ Compensation benefits are not cil is not content with the compromise a luxury item for these workers but a life made to the detriment of lower wage line. The system put in place to help those earning injured workers whose benefits who unfortunately get injured while were capped. They are seeking addi- working is once again on the radar screen tional cuts to injured workers’ medical of the high-powered group whose only treatment and wage replacement ben- objective is to protect businesses – not efits. The system is now a bloated bu- the people who make them profitable. reaucracy, difficult to navigate for most THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 16 • Number 11 MARCH 16, 2017 | 9
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AMCA Makes Every Cent Count
Forum Photo Courtesty of Ave Maria Catholic Acdemy Charlotte Burridge and Juliet DeCandia, both 5th graders are all smiles over their success after organizing and running the the bake sale portion of the school's fundraising efforts.
By Forum Staff Pennies for Patients benefits The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Funding from this collection program assists with families afflicted by these blood cancers as well as research for treatments and cures. Since the end of January, our school has been a part of many activities to raise money for this organization. We have held a Dress Down Day, a Bake Sale
which was run by our two fifth graders- Juliet DeCandia and Charlotte Burridge, engaged in weekly class competitions, and also had friends and family donate to our individual online class pages. For our final day, our school participated in “Stuck for a Buck”- every piece of tape was worth $1. Our principal, Ms. McManus, was a fantastic sport and allowed us to tape her to the wall. Our many activities allowed us to raise a total of $2,852.00.
The Pharmacist’s Corner Presented by Frank Pantina, R.Ph
A THREAT TO US ALL Opioid Addiction Part 3 Opioid addiction has been the subject of discussions we've had with you over the past two weeks. In revealing the virtually epidemic rise of opioid addiciton throughout the United States and here in our own and in neighboring commmunities we are sure that a large percentage of readers may even be unaware of the problem. Just this brief review of the most important–and frightening– statistics surrounding opioid addiction should serve as a source of critical information and a warning that at any moment, opioid addiction could unsuspectingly enter yur life: 33,000 opioid overdose deaths in 2015–91 per day– one every 16 minutes. 80% of deaths from opioid analgesics are unintentional. 136,000 emergency department visits each year are for opioid emergencies 3,300 children, 0-5 years of age experience unintentional opioid exposure and poisoning each year We are programmed to think of drug addiction as something that affects other people, other families. Perhaps we think tht drugs are confined to neighborhoods on the low end of the socio-economic spectrum. But quite the oppisite is true of opioid addictions. While a great many adolescents and teens have fallen victim to the scourge of these drugs, this crisis includes all age
ranges, professions and many unlikely and surprising groups of people. There have also been many surprising offshoots of this situation, including the arrest and prosecution of many doctors who have used the opportunity to benefit financially from the tragic threats that these drugs pose to their patients. Now the pharmeceutical industry has stepped into the center of the storm and has developed Naloxone therapies to treat opiod emergencies. Naloxone blocks or reverses the effects of opioid medication, including extreme drowsiness, slowed breathing, or loss of consciousness. Because seconds count in opioid emergencies, the introduction of Naxalone therapy has served to save many lives. It is a great tool to caregivers and family members since most opioid emergencies occur in the home and in the presence of friends and family. Most recently Kaleo Pharma got FDA approval to release Evizio, the first and only intelligent take-home naloxone autoinjection system with voice and visual guidance—designed to help caregivers take fast, confident action administering naloxone in an opioid emergency. Next week we'll continue on these therapies and the warning signs you shouldn't miss. Until next week...
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Bill to Increase Recycling Opportunities in City Recreational Areas Passes State Senate By Forum Staff
The State Senate recently approved legislation to increase recycling opportunities in City parks, historic sites, playgrounds and other recreational areas while reducing the amount of trash ultimately and unnecessarily buried in landfills, according to Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach), one of the bill’s co-sponsors. Under the proposed legislation, the City would be required to install bins for the collection of recyclable materials in parks, playgrounds, historic sites and other recreational facilities, while urging visitors to carry out their trash and deposit it in the proper receptacles, Addabbo said. The City Department of Sanitation would regularly collect the recycled materials and ensure their proper disposal, and signage would be posted to encourage visitors to deposit their trash in the appropriate containers. To help cover the costs of the program, the City would be able to apply for grants from the State’s Environmental Protection Fund. “People come out to our parks, playgrounds and other attractions to get some fresh air, enjoy the great outdoors, and learn
Sen. Addabbo co-sponsored the legislation.
about our rich history in New York City,” added Addabbo, a member of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee. “Unfortunately, the trash that is sometimes left behind at these sites is unsightly, dangerous to wildlife, discourages attendance, and oth-
12 MARCH 16, 2017 • Number 11 VOL. 16 • THE FORUM NEWSGROUP
erwise presents a serious – but preventable – problem in our recreational areas. Making it easier for people to recycle glass, metal, plastic, paper and other materials in these areas would help to effectively address the issue and provide benefits for all of us.”
Now that the bill has been approved by the Senate, it is under consideration by the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee. “We need to significantly step up our efforts to encourage active recycling, which is a boon to our environment, our economy, and every single one of us who enjoys the City’s beautiful green spaces and historic sites,” the senatror said. “An added benefit to this legislation is that taxpayers will save money on clean-up costs when recyclables are properly handled and ultimately reused.” Addabbo’s Office also noted that the senator and Assemblyman Mike Miller (DWoodhaven) will be hosting their popular annual Spring Recycling Fair on April 30, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Forest Park Bandshell. “In Albany, and in the district, I am doing my best to encourage and expand recycling efforts, and I hope my constituents will save the date of my April recycling fair and come on out to dispose of unwanted housewares, clothing, paper, and other items,” Addabbo said. “Let’s continue to work together to get our junk out of our attics and basements, and make sure that as much of it as possible stays out of the waste stream.”
By Forum Staff
Senate Passes Bills to Increase Penalties for Hate Vandals
The State Senate recently voted through two pieces of legislation that would raise penalties for those who vandalize or otherwise damage houses of religious worship, desecrate burial grounds, or create graffiti featuring swastikas or other recognized symbols or words of hate. The first bill would raise penalties to the felony level for a variety of crimes that damage houses of religious worship, sacred items, and the final resting places of New York residents. Punishment would also be increased for stealing religious items from houses of worship and cemeteries.
gravestones, and writing hate-filled messages on buildings, fences and other private and public property in our communities, it seems like incidences of this nature are becoming more common,” said State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach), who co-sponsored both bills. “We might not be able to cure thievery, or stop people from hating others simply on the basis of their religious, racial or other differences, but we can take steps to make sure that their criminal activity receives the harsh punishment it deserves.” File Photo The second piece of legislation One of the bills would include certain graffiti under New York’s bias-related crime laws. would include certain graffiti – such “While there have always been sure in robbing institutions of re- as writing that includes swastikas, despicable people who take plea- ligious worship, knocking down recognized racial slurs, and other
hate speech – under New York’s bias-related crime laws. Under current law, Addabbo noted, offenses that may now also constitute a hate crime, depending upon the circumstances, include assault, menacing, manslaughter, criminal sexual acts, and a variety of other serious crimes. Creating hate graffiti would be a Class E felony carrying up to four years in state prison. “We must have zero tolerance for this kind of behavior, and better safeguard our religious institutions and properties from thieves and vandals,” Addabbo added. Having passed the Senate, the bills are now under consideration by the Assembly Committee on Codes.
Addabbo Organizes Property Tax Town Hall in Ridgewood By Forum Staff State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) last week hosted a Property Tax Town Hall at the Greater Ridgewood Youth Council on Myrtle Avenue. Featuring tax agency representatives from the City Department of Finance, the meeting was set up so homeowners in the 15th Senatorial District could better understand how they can reduce their taxes and take the strain off their family budget, according to Addabbo. “One thing we can all agree upon is that no one likes to pay taxes,” Addabbo added. “Another issue we can all agree upon is that it is sometimes hard for New Yorkers, particularly those on fixed incomes, to afford their tax bills.” In the five boroughs, real property taxes make up about 44 percent of all taxes collected to support the city, all of which go to important purposes: fire, police, sanitation, corrections, education, transporta-
Photo Courtesy of Sen. Addabbo’s Office
Addabbo said that he set up the town hall to help homeowners in his district better understand how they can reduce their taxes and take the strain off their family budget.
tion, housing, health care, human services and many other critical public programs, Addabbo noted. To help relieve some of this burden, the City and State have both worked to provide opportunities for tax exemptions and credits. School Tax Re-
lief (STAR) exemption and Enhanced STAR programs help homeowners and seniors get a break on school-related property taxes through Personal Income Tax reductions. In the past year, the State has allocated $618 million in savings for City
homeowners receiving PIT-STAR program benefits. In addition to STAR, a variety of programs have been enacted over the years to provide real property tax savings to elderly homeowners, veterans, disabled New Yorkers, members of the clergy and crime victims, the senator noted. “In the State Senate, I am continuing to work on legislation that seeks to reduce property tax burdens on all New York residents,” Addabbo said. “I co-sponsored a law in 2015 to protect homeowners and businesses, rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy, from being hit with increased property taxes. I will also continue my support for proposed legislation to increase property tax breaks for senior citizens by expanding income eligibility for participation (S.237) and to provide our volunteer firefighters and ambulance works with real property tax credits (S.3905) related to their service, as well as other propertytax reduction measures
City Spared ‘Stella’s’ Worst as Late Winter Storm Blasts Upstate NY By Michael V. Cusenza So much for “Snowmageddon.” The city dodged a late-winter blizzard bullet on Tuesday as a massive storm that was projected to dump as much as two-feet of snow on the five boroughs saved its worst for Upstate New York and New England, leaving just about seven inches in most areas. Still, high winds and a nasty mix of precipitation pounded NYC, snarling traffic and forcing many establishments to either shutter early or not open at all. And plummeting tem-
peratures left the Big Apple covered in thick sheets of ice. “The worst of the storm has passed, and our snow accumulation totals have been downgraded,” Mayor Bill de Blasio reported around noon on Tuesday. “But it’s cold and windy, and we are urging New Yorkers to stay off of the roads to allow our Sanitation department to clear the roads.” Photo Courtesy of the City Sanitation Department
Sanitation crews were out in full force on Wednesday afternoon, some with a mandate to clear snow/ice around fire hydrants.
THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 16 • Number 11 MARCH 16, 2017 | 13
Trump Cuts to TSA, Coast Guard ‘Would Spell Real Trouble’ for NYC Security: Schumer By Forum Staff Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer on Sunday expressed serious concerns with the Trump administration’s proposed cuts to the Transportation Security Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard—cuts Schumer said would put New York and Long Island security at risk. According to a budget proposal and published reports, the White House is seeking a 14-percent cut to the USCG budget and an 11-percent cut to the TSA budget in an effort to pay for the proposed Mexico border wall. A border wall that, Schumer said, is ineffective, would not increase safety and is profoundly expensive, and that President Trump has promised again and again would be, “paid for by Mexico.” Additionally, according to Schumer, the proposed budget severely cuts back on canine detection teams, which offer a unique and effective way for the TSA to accurately and efficiently screen passengers. “New York is terror target number one and that’s why cuts that hamstring New York airport security and compromise the safety of our waterways must be vociferously defended – before the damage is done,” Schumer said. ”In an age of terror threats and lone wolves, the Trump administration’s budget cuts to the TSA and USCG would spell real trouble for security
Photo Courtesy of Sen. Schumer’s Office
Schumer said the Trump administration’s proposed cuts “hamstring New York airport security and compromise the safety of our waterways.”
here in New York City. We know from recent attacks at airport baggage areas how real the threat TSA faces is, and they need MORE support to keep us safe, not less – especially when the plan is to divert the money for a border wall we don’t need, and that won’t keep us any safer from would be terrorists.” According to Schumer and published reports, the proposed budget cuts the TSA
to $4.5 billion. Specifically, four TSA programs would see cuts: Federal Flight Deck Officer Program, which authorizes flight crew members to use firearms to defend against an act of criminal violence and air piracy while attempting to gain control of an aircraft. The proposed budget intends to eliminate this program at a savings of $20 million. Visible Intermodal Prevent and Re-
sponse teams, which augment the security of any mode of transportation at any location within the United States using an asset of the Department of Homeland Security including canine detection teams. VIPR teams may approach people and ask questions, examine bags, search vehicles, conduct searches, and patrol the airport to detect suspicious activity. The proposed budget would eliminate this program at a savings of $57 million. Grants that local law enforcement uses to patrol in and around airports would be eliminated, saving $45 million. Behavior Detection Program, which utilizes non-invasive behavior detection techniques based on scientifically validated behaviors to identify individuals who pose a threat to the nation’s transportation. The proposed budget would eliminate this program at a savings of $65 million. And the proposed budget cuts the Coast Guard to $7.8 billion. The following would see cuts: The Maritime Security Response Team is a tactical unit trained to be a first responder to potential terrorist situations. The proposed budget intends to eliminate this program, according to Schumer and published reports. Cancelling a contract with Huntington Ingalls Industries to build a National Security Cutter, at a savings of nearly $500 million.
Addabbo, Miller Set to Host Popular Annual Spring Recycling Fair By Forum Staff State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) and Assemblyman Mike Miller (DWoodhaven) recently announced that they will host their annual Spring Recycling Fair next month in Forest Park. On Sunday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., crews will be on hand at the Forest Park Bandshell to accept items – including electronics, paper, clothing and certain household items – to be safely and properly recycled. Addabbo and Miller said they cosponsor the popular event each year as a way to not only encourage more residents to recycle as much as possible, but to create an easier and more convenient method by making it possible to responsibly discard many different items all in one central location. “I am happy that we can help those residents dispose of household items,” Miller said. “The event itself educates the public regarding responsible recycling.” Additionally, the recycling fair will host a paper shredder that will allow documents to be safely and securely recycled on site while residents watch to ensure confidentiality. Electronics recycling will accept: computers, monitors, cell phones, compact discs, PDAs, printers, batteries, cameras, lamps, mirrors, power strips, wires, chargers, cable boxes, fans, telephones, VCR tapes and televisions 14 MARCH 16, 2017 • Number 11 VOL. 16 •
This year’s Spring Recycling Fair will take place on Sunday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Forest Park Bandshell.
(small, no console or projection). Items that will NOT be accepted, according to Addabbo and Miller, include: air conditioners, newspapers, gas/oil items, paints, mattresses, ovens, office furniture, firearms, light bulbs, liquids, tires, or medication, among others. “There are so many things that people may not know can be recycled, or things that don’t get recycled simply because it’s a hassle to THE FORUM NEWSGROUP
do so,” Addabbo said. “This eliminates those hurdles and provides our constituents with a stress-free way to take care of all their recycling needs. In years past, this annual fair has proved to be one of the most popular events I’ve ever held, and I am confident that will continue into this year and for many to come. I thank our vendors for their support and participation year after year, as well as Assemblyman Miller for his partnership and the
Department of Parks and Recreation for their cooperation as we hold this great community event.” Addabbo added that household items will also be accepted, including clothing, coats, bedding, paired shoes, dishes, silverware, lamps and curtains. All donated items must be clean and dry. For more information, contact Addabbo’s Howard Beach office at (718) 738-1111.
Elder Rental Assistance Program Would be Funded by Proposed Mansion Tax: Mayor, Assembly By Forum Staff Mayor Bill de Blasio and Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn), chairman of the Assembly Housing Committee recently announced that a bill has been introduced establishing the “Elder Rental Assistance Program;” and that language will be put into the Assembly’s one house budget. ERAP will be funded by a proposed Mansion Tax, de Blasio and Cymbrowitz said. Created jointly by the Assembly and the Mayor’s Office, ERAP will serve more than 25,000 seniors with monthly rental assistance of up to $1,300. “Seniors across our great city are being hit hard by our affordability crisis and, for tens of thousands of older New Yorkers, this program will be the difference between just getting by and having a little left over every month and living a full life,” de Blasio said. “I thank Assembly Speaker Heastie, Assembly Member Cymbrowitz, and the Assembly Democratic Conference – and urge Albany to sign on for our seniors.” De Blasio unveiled ERAP in
Photo Courtesy of Edwin Torres/Mayoral Photography Office
Mayor de Blasio and Assembly Housing Chairman Steve Cymbrowitz met with senior citizens in Brooklyn last week to discuss the proposed Mansion Tax.
February as part of his 2017 State of the City address. According to the administration, revenues under the mayor’s Mansion Tax proposal would be lock-boxed specifically for senior affordable housing. The tax would institute a 2.5-percent marginal tax for incremental price over $2 million. According to recent sales data, the policy would affect the top 4,500 residential real estate trans-
actions in the upcoming year and would generate approximately $336 million in Fiscal Year 2018. Those funds would be devoted to ERAP for 25,000 New Yorkers, 62 years and older who earn less than $50,000 per year. “In New York City, there are hundreds of thousands of fixedincome seniors who cannot afford to pay their rent and still buy medication, food and other neces-
sities, and many of them simply do not have the luxury of waiting years for an affordable apartment to become available,” Cymbrowitz said. “For a population desperately in need of safe and affordable housing options, the Elder Rental Assistance Program – an initiative created jointly by the Assembly and the Mayor’s Office – is an innovative response that will restore hope to 25,000 struggling
seniors, giving them the ability to remain in their homes and communities and age in place with the dignity that they so deserve. I’m looking forward to introducing the legislation to make this program a reality.” The rental assistance would ensure a senior living on a Social Security check of $1,350 per month would spend no more than $450 per month on rent—helping them stay in their home and age with dignity, according to the administration and Albany. “There is no issue more on the minds of New Yorkers than the need for more affordable housing, with our seniors being at risk of having to choose between food or rent, being evicted or even becoming homeless,” said Department for the Aging Commissioner Donna Corrado. “The need and vulnerability are real. With 20 percent of our seniors living below the poverty level and half of them paying more than 30 percent of their income toward housing, this funding comes at a critical time as we look to develop new opportunities for affordable housing.”
Threats to Jewish Centers Spur Senators to Urge Feds to Increase Security Funds By Forum Staff U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) on Friday led a bipartisan letter signed by 18 senators and sent to the Department of Homeland Security urging DHS Secretary John Kelly to increase federal funds set for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program for Fiscal Year 2018 and fully fund the program at $50 million. The senators cited recent threats to Jewish community centers and cultural and religious institutions across the country for the need for increased funding. The funds would help cover costs to support efforts to build and sustain core capabilities across prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery to meet growing threats, the senators said. “New Yorkers shouldn’t have to live or worship in fear,” Gillibrand said. “Hate crimes and threats are on the rise and we can’t stand idly by and do nothing or pretend it’s not happening. Now more than ever we need to make sure our places of worship and community centers have the right resources to protect themselves. I’m asking the Trump administration to take these threats seriously and dedicate more federal dollars to protecting religious and community centers.” In the missive to Kelly, the senators
liberately being set on fire, we must ensure that all organizations that face these threats have the support they need,” they said. “It is simply unacceptable to not act. Since the beginning of 2017 there have been over 100 threats made against Jewish centers and schools. The recent increase in religiously motivated threats and attacks have shown the importance of providing institutions with the tools to meet these threats.” Gillibrand was joined by Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Tammy Duckworth (DIL), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA), Al Franken (D-MN), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) , Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jeffrey A. Merkley (D-OR), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Gary C. Peters (D-MI), Photo Courtesy of DHS/Jetta Disco Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Cory A. BookU.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. er (D-NJ), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), noted that the “NSGP provides fund- recent threats or assaults across the country, Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Richard J. ing support for target hardening and other including last month, when a Jewish wom- Durbin (D-IL). “The recent spate of bomb threats and physical security enhancements to non- an was verbally abused and shoved aboard a profit organizations that are at high risk of a City subway by a man who recited from an other acts of anti-Semitism underscore the terrorist attack. These costs support efforts anti-Semitic pamphlet. The suspect tossed threat to the very institutions that the nonto build and sustain core capabilities across the woman, an unnamed 25-year-old, after profit security grant program was designed the Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Re- shouting at her “Dirty Jew” and “Hail the to safeguard. Given the increase in threats, the support for increasing the funds for the sponse, and Recovery mission areas, all of Hitler Youth!” the elected officials wrote. “At a time when children are being evac- program is essential,” said William Daroff, which are key to achieve the National Preuated from daycare centers in response to senior vice president, The Jewish Federaparedness Goal.” The senators also cited 11 examples of repeated bomb threats and Mosques are de- tions of North America. THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 16 • Number 11 MARCH 16, 2017 | 15
16 MARCH 16, 2017 • Number 11 VOL. 16 • THE FORUM NEWSGROUP
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Legal Notices QI QI 2017 LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 1/3/17. Office in Queens Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to Zhi Keng Jiang 51-15 Junction Blvd 1F Elmhurst, NY 11373. Purpose: Any lawful activity.
Amato Brokerages, LLC, Arts of Org. filed with Sec. of State of NY (SSNY) on 1/26/17. Cty: Queens. SSNY desig. as agent upon whom process against may be served & shall mail process to 13320 85th St., Ozone Park, NY 11417. General Purpose. RRMS CAPITAL LLC, Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 10/05/2016. Office loc: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: Rajesh Shah, 81-11 45th Ave., Apt. 6D, Elmhurst, NY 11373. Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose. Notice of Formation of 533 MAIN STREET LLC Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 02/06/17. Office location: Queens County. Princ. office of LLC: 30-56 Whitestone Expwy., Whitestone, NY 11354. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to the LLC at the princ. office of the LLC. Purpose: Any lawful activity. Tax Service A1 LLC, Arts of Org. filed with Sec. of State of NY (SSNY) on 10/22/15. County: Queens. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against may be served & shall mail process to The LLC, 10304 39th Ave., Fl. 2, Ste. 102, Corona, NY 11368. General Purpose.
Notice of Formation: SIMPLY BETTER 236, LLC Arts of Org filed with Secretary of State of New York (SSNY) 9/27/2016. Office in Queens Co. SSNY desig. agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served & shall mail process to the UNITED STATES CORPORATION AGENTS, INC. 7014 13TH AVENUE, BROOKLYN, NY 11228. Purpose: General
Notice of Formation of USA KING LLC Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 02/06/17. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: The LLC, 172-39 HIGHLAND AVENUE 4H, JAMAICA ESTATES, NY, 11432. Purpose: any lawful activities. Element Services LLC, Arts of Org. filed with Sec. of State of NY (SSNY) on 10/7/16. County: Queens. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against may be served & shall mail process to The LLC, 37-57 85th St., Jackson Heights, NY 11372. General Purpose.
TOP END INVESTORS LLC Arts of Org. filed with Sec. of State of NY (SSNY) on 11/23/16. Cty: Queens. SSNY desig. as agent upon whom process against may be served & shall mail process to 146-B FERRY STREET SUITE #1034, NEWARK, NJ, 07105. General Purpose.
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Liquid Bread Rockaway Beach LLC, Arts of Org. filed with Sec. of State of NY (SSNY) on 12/5/16. Cty: Queens. SSNY desig. as agent upon whom process against may be served & shall mail process to 101-19 Rockaway Beach Blvd., Rockaway Beach, NY 11694. General Purpose.
Notice of Formation of Horizon 31J, LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY
(SSNY) on 12/23/16. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: c/o The LLC, 193-38 Keno Avenue, Hollis, NY 11423. Purpose: any lawful activity. Notice of Formation of SV PENINSULA LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 11/23/16. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: 40-06 Warren Street, Elmhurst, NY 11373. Purpose: any lawful activity. Notice of Formation of Chestnut Apartments, LLC, Art. of Org. filed with Sec’y of State (SSNY) 11/28/16. Off. loc.: Queens Co. SSNY desig. as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of proc. to Cortisidis & Lambros, 46 Trinity Pl., NY, NY 10006. Reg. Agt. upon whom proc. may be served is Zannis Angelidakis, 152-53 10th Ave., Whitestone, NY 11357. Purp.: any lawful activities. Notice of Formation of NQA FOODS LLC LLC Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 01/23/17. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to LEGALINC CORPORATE SERVICE INC., 1967 WEHRLE DRIVE, SUITE 1 #086, Buffalo, NY,14221 Purpose: Any lawful activity.
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Legal Notices Largavista QP 41st, LLC, App. Of Auth. filed with Sec. of State of NY (SSNY) on 2/7/17. Cty: Queens. SSNY desig. as agent of LLC upon whom process against may be served & shall mail process to c/o Largavista Companies, 275 Madison Ave., 37th Fl., New York, NY 10016. General Purpose.
TERRAFORM ARCHITECTURE PLLC, a Prof. LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 02/27/2017. Office loc: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: 32-24 212th Street, Bayside, NY 11631. Purpose: To Practice The Profession Of Architect.
Real Physical Therapy PLLC. Art. of Org. filed w/ SSNY 2/21/17. Office in Queens Co. SSNY designated for service of process and shall mail to: 17-52 Francis Lewis Blvd, Whitestone, NY 11357 Purpose: Physical Therapy
Notice of formation of DAMO IN NY LLC. Arts. of Org., filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 02/09/17. Office location: Queens County. SSNY is designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to JUNE NOH, 25 06 120TH STREET, FLUSHING, NY, 11354. Purpose: any lawful purpose.
6626 Grand Ave LLC, Arts of Org. filed with Sec. of State of NY (SSNY) on 2/3/17. Cty: Queens. SSNY desig. as agent upon whom process against may be served & shall mail process to 59-41 72nd St., Maspeth, NY 11378. General Purpose.
25-19 18TH STREET LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 10/28/2016. Office in Queens Co. SSNY desig. agent of LLC whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to 25-19 18th St., Astoria, NY 11102. Purpose: Any lawful purpose. 45-15 25TH AVE LLC, Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 01/11/2017. Office loc: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: Marco Vicari, 45-11 25th Avenue, Astoria, NY 11103. Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose. 7527 Holding LLC, Arts of Org. filed with Sec. of State of NY (SSNY) on 2/13/17. Cty: Queens. SSNY desig. as agent upon whom process against may be served & shall mail process to 75-27 182nd St., Flushing, NY 11366. General Purpose.
18 MARCH 16, 2017 • Number 11 VOL. 16 • THE FORUM NEWSGROUP
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THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 16 • Number 11 MARCH 16, 2017 | 19
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