| From the Villa ge of Brook ly n |
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| VOL. 23 NO. 31
August 1, 2019 |
Fight on the Homefront Grows: Tish Town Hall on Real Estate Fraud, Deed Theft Packed
Photos: Lem Peterkin
Bed-Stuy residents braved the heatwave to pack the house at the Real Estate and Deed Theft Town Hall organized by AG Letitia James and Cong. Hakeem Jeffries. (Inset): AG James is a reassuring presence for Mary Head, a member of Community Board # 3, and a lifelong resident of Bedford-Stuyvesant. Page 3
Biden Gets "Booked" by Cory in Debate
"There's a saying in my community," Booker told Joe Biden while responding to the former vice president's criticism of his crime-fighting record as mayor of Newark, N.J., “You’re dipping into the Kool-Aid and you don’t even know the flavor.”
Senator Cory Booker
OUR TIME PRESS August 1, 2019
VOL. 23 NO. 31
Brownsville has Rapid Response to Mass Shooting
rooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke both mourned and expressed ongoing solutions in the wake of this weekend’s mass shooting of 12 people in Brownsville, which left one dead and one in critical condition. “The horrific gun violence we experienced at Brownsville’s OldTimers Day last night reflects a real public health crisis in parts of our city,” said Adams. “I want to be clear that this incident does not define Brownsville. This neighborhood wants what all communities throughout our city want, to live without fear of violence, in peace and security. Earlier today, I met with the mayor, the NYPD and local leaders to discuss how we can uplift this community in the wake of this mass shooting and support solutions that go into the crevices of the crisis,” said Adams. “I’m calling on the city to fully fund our Crisis Management System and Cure Violence program, which uses early intervention tactics to prevent incidents of gun violence before they occur. We also have to fully coordinate our multiagency response, including the NYPD, with our violence interrupters, so they are able to play their critical role effectively. “When we say #BlackLivesMatter, this is what we have to be talking about, too. We must be vigilant and organized when any Black life is put in danger
Newly-formed Brownsville Rapid Response Solution marches to protest violence in the aftermath of the local mass shooting. Photo: Lem Peterkin or lost, whether the person behind the trigger is wearing a blue police uniform or just blue jeans. Public safety takes all of us, and we need real partnership on the ground.” Clarke said she is heartbroken that the community is faced with another tragedy, a mass shooting at what was supposed to be a fun, summertime neighborhood block party with neighbors, friends and family. “These 12 victims are someone’s brother, father, uncle, son, sister, mother, aunt, someone’s daughter. I pray for these victims and their families. Brooklyn is where I was born, raised, live and represent today, and I am deeply
shaken that our community has been confronted with such a tragedy. I pray for healing. I pray that my colleagues in Washington will finally put politics aside to enact common-sense gun violence prevention legislation so that going forward no person will be fearful to attend community events like last night’s ‘Old-Timers Day’ block party in Brownsville,” said Clarke. “I will continue to fight for common-sense gun safety laws as Central Brooklyn’s Member of Congress. I hope this weekend’s mass shooting in Brooklyn will convince senators, regardless of the letter behind their name, to do the
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to all those wounded that they may recover quickly and fully. “The plague of gun violence that infects our city and our nation is devastating and pervasive. Our country experiences a mass shooting nearly every day, although it doesn’t always make the headlines. And the acts of gun violence occurring daily on the streets are themselves one continuous mass shooting. Every act of violence is a tragedy, each loss heartbreaking. We cannot become numb to that pain or to the incidents that cause it, we must meet each with strength, resolve and action toward preventing the next. These shootings may be frequent, but they can never be normal.”
Benjamin Carr, Eric Garner’s Stepfather, Dies at Daughter’s Wedding in Jamaica
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decent, human thing and pass the Bipartisan Backgrounds Check Bill that has already passed in the House earlier this year. We must continue to fight for common-sense gun safety and passage of this bill would be a monumental step in this fight.” Public Advocate Jumaane Williams was also saddened, but focused. “Last night, a beloved Brooklyn community celebration was devastated by horrific gun violence, and this morning, the city stands and grieves with the community,” said Williams. “I offer my prayers for peace and comfort to the family of the man killed in last night’s shooting, and
By Maitefa Angaza
he Garner family has suffered another great loss and again, in a tragic manner. Benjamin Carr, husband of Gwen Carr and stepfather of Eric Garner, died last Friday while at his daughter Elisha Flagg-Garner destination wedding in Jamaica, West Indies. He is reported to have succumbed shortly after having a heart attack during the ceremony. The family had gathered for the weekend’s festivities and everyone looked forward to a joyous respite after the devastating decision came down that NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo – already paying no criminal penalty – and avoided conviction in federal court. Carr was his wife’s rock-solid support
over these heartbreaking five years it took to get to this verdict. Her son Eric was murdered by police in the infamous chokehold on a Staten Island corner. She, his children and grandchildren, relived the tragedy over and over, in countless video replays in the media. During that time also, Garner’s daughter Ericka, a staunch fighter for justice for her father, died of a heart attack at 27, four months after giving birth to her first child. Whether mourning the additional cruel loss of her granddaughter, when at public rallies and press conferences, or at home out of the spotlight, Benjamin was Gwen’s calm protection and comfort. She is now left without this loving comfort and the Garner family is navigating another stunning loss, while
Pantaleo faces no penalty – no loss of liberty, not loss of his job and in some parts of our city, not even loss of face.
VOL. 23 NO. 31
OUR TIME PRESS August 1, 2019
Standing Room Only Deed Theft & Real Estate Fraud Town Hall
ew York State Attorney General Letitia James and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries hosted a town hall on deed theft and real estate property fraud at Brooklyn’s Restoration Plaza. The room was hot and so were the topics at the standing-room-only event. The story goes that when asked why he robbed banks, 1930s bank robber Willie Sutton, is said to have responded, “Because that’s where the money is.” He denies saying it but the story sticks because it speaks directly to the motivation. And the Bed-Stuy homeowners at the town hall, and their elderly and disabled neighbors, are targeted because that’s where the money is. They have hundreds of millions of dollars in equity, and this has made them “Ground Zero” for real estate fraud in New York. And these robbers of property, “bad actors” as they are called, use a variety of means to make what is yours theirs. Panelists Attorney General Letitia James; Congressman Jeffries; DA Eric Gonzalez; Travis Hill, Attorney General’s Office; Christie Peale, Center for NYC Neighborhoods; Richard Farrell, Brooklyn DA’s Office; and Jacqueline
By David Mark Greaves
Griffin, Brooklyn Legal Services gave insights into how fraud is perpetrated and how to protect against it. After opening statements by James and Jeffries, the panelists got into the nitty-gritty of real estate fraud, not only in Bedford-Stuyvesant but across the city. Travis Hill, from the Attorney General’s Real Estate Fraud Division, enumerated four ways frauds are perpetrated. 1. False pretenses – Promises are made that cannot be kept. 2. Trickery – Have the homeowner think they’re signing a legitimate document when they are really signing over their deed. 3. Lifting signatures – Taking signatures from a previously signed document and transferring it to a deed, then taking your house. 4. Forgery-- Just straight-up copying a signature and handing it to the clerk at the Registrar’s Office. And do not count on the Registrar’s Office to spot a fraudulent deed. “It’s just a clearinghouse,” said Travis. “They don’t check legitimacy of the deeds.” Beware of promises of “quick fixes,” and particularly be aware of “affinity marketing”--a technique where a front person comes to you who speaks your language or looks like you,
emphasizes a commonality and smiles and uses your trust in them to steal your house. There are really people like that, and like predators circling their prey, they will continue to attack, and Travis suggests that homeowners regularly check their deed and to sign up for the automatic notification system available. Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez noted that like the heat in the room, this neighborhood was a hot real estate market that was being targeted and that his office’s real estate fraud unit can be contacted when it is believed a fraud is being, or has been, perpetrated. Jacqueline Griffin, from Brooklyn Legal Services, said to OPEN THE NOTICES YOU RECEIVE. Open and read the mortgage statements, don’t assume what’s in them. “Everything about your house is public information. The mortgage documents, bank actions, property taxes, emergency repairs,” all of it is easily available and can be used against the unaware homeowner. “Don’t let them know more about your house than you do,” said Griffin. Another technique is to contact distant relatives of a deceased person, telling them
Mini-Grants Make a Difference for BK Arts and Culture
romoting their music, dance, literature, theater and visual art events got a bit easier for 15 Brooklyn arts and culture organizations last week when Borough President Eric L. Adams and the Brooklyn Arts Council announced the awarding of mini-grants to assist with flyers and other printed materials. The $22,500 in Destination>Brooklyn funds to be shared amongst the recipients will benefit those smaller organizations which are doing great work but typically stretching the budget to get the word out. The grant program, now in its fifth year, is funded by the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President and the NYC & Company Foundation. It supports the promotion of local artistic groups to a broader audience through the creation, production and distribution of these materials. This is a gift that keeps on giving as our vibrant arts and culture landscape contributes to NYC tourism with increasing numbers of visitors from around the world making stops in Brooklyn. To that end, Destination>Brooklyn has allocated more than $160,000 to local arts and culture organizations since 2015. Borough President Adams extolled the virtues of the program in announcing this year’s grants. “The cultural richness and artistic diversity throughout Brooklyn make it a prime destination for those seeking innovative, eclectic and transformative experiences,” he said. “I am grateful for our partnership with BAC and NYC & Company Foundation, which allows us to continue to assist Destination>Brooklyn in awarding cultural minigrants to deserving and often-overlooked creative outlets. This program has contributed meaningfully to the artistic enrichment and
By Maitefa Angaza
enjoyment of residents and visitors to our phenomenal borough.” As the BP said, these small grants benefit not only tourists, but residents as well. Living in a place so rich with cultural activity, it’s sometimes hard to keep up with all that’s going on, even for those who are regular supporters of the arts to the limits of their budgets. And with such a variety of offerings, there are particular events so attractive to some Brooklynites they feel they must have been designed with them in mind. So, it can be a real disappointment to learn that a show or exhibition you would have loved to attend has come and gone, but you were not aware. Other speakers at the press conference praised the mini-grant for keeping both locals and visitors apprised. “We are proud to support Destination>Brooklyn’s 2019 grant recipients and Brooklyn Arts Council’s worthwhile mission to expand the borough’s vibrant arts and cultural community,” said Fred Dixon, President and Chair of NYC & Company Foundation. Charlotte A. Cohen, Executive Director at Brooklyn Arts Council, said “BAC is grateful that our continued partnership with Borough President Adams and NYC & Company Foundation allows us to provide this much-needed support to Brooklyn’s small arts organizations. Destination>Brooklyn grants enable artists to share and promote their work all across Brooklyn drawing visitors and audiences to our vibrant borough.” Many Brooklyn residents will be exposed to some of these arts and culture organizations for the first time, thanks to the minigrants. They are in for an eclectic menu of treats. Awarded this year’s Destination>Brooklyn Grants are:
Arts Gowanus, a nonprofit supporting a local sustainable arts community; Brooklyn Raga Massive, a Gowanus-based collective rooted in Indian classical music; Continuum Culture & Arts, programming music education in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens; Center for Performance Research (CPR), supporting new works in dance and performance in Williamsburg; Green Earth Poets Café, helping young people in Central Brooklyn to be heard and effect change; and Haiti Cultural Exchange, based in Crown Heights and promoting the cultural expressions of Haitian people in Brooklyn. Others are: JACK, an arts center in Clinton Hill featuring edgy theater, music and dance performances; New York Art Residency and Studios Foundation in Sunset Park, supporting artists and curators on an international level; PLG Arts, Inc., promoting and sponsoring art, artists and events in ProspectLefferts Gardens; Regina Opera Company, Inc., Bay Ridge-based and specializing in standard Italian repertoire; Park Slope’s Spellbound Theatre, bringing theatre, storytelling and puppetry to very young children at schools, libraries, etc. across the country; The Afro-Latin Project organizes an annual festival and facilitates awareness about the Afro-Latino experience in Brooklyn and beyond; Tiffany Mills Company, a Brooklyn Heights dance and choreography company; Wendy’s Subway, a Bushwick library, reading room, workspace and meeting place for writers and readers; and What Will the Neighbors Say? Theatre Company, provoking questions through untold stories in Brooklyn and beyond.
of the liability they have as part-owner of this person’s property. The interest in the property is purchased by the predator, and then presented to the other heirs, who demand that the property be “partitioned” and divided into shares. If you get a foreclosure notice, DO NOT PANIC. There is time element, but there is enough time for you to seek help and act in your own best interests. Get your own lawyer. Do not use any lawyer a purchaser or anyone connected with the purchaser, recommends. And if you’re getting persistent calls, ADA Chris Farrell, with the Brooklyn DA’s Office, said don’t worry about being polite. He empowers you to tell them, “The District Attorney said I can hang up,” and do so. The panelists agreed you should get a copy of everything and get everything in writing. And do not count simply on a will to transfer property. “Wills get dicey,” as they have to go through Surrogate’s Court and the probate process. Better to put a known heir directly on the deed. That ensures the property is passed on without interruption or question. The Center for NYC Neighborhoods has a hotline to call with any questions you may have about your home. [Hotline# is 855-HOME456]
Bed-Stuy Museum Gala to Honor Former Mayor Dinkins
he Bedford Stuyvesant Museum of African Art (BSMAA) will honor former Mayor David Dinkins during its Fifth Annual Nelson Mandela Humanitarian Award Event at the Brooklyn Museum on Saturday, October 19, 2019. BSMAA’s Awards Selection Committee felt the 92-year old history-making New York City mayor should be honored for accomplishments he instituted to improve the lives of New Yorkers during his tenure. “Former Mayor Dinkins had so many accomplishments as mayor that were overshadowed by events beyond his control,” said Vira Lynn Jones, B S M A A’s E xe c u t ive Director. “The Awards Selection Committee said Mayor Dinkins embodied many of the outstanding principles which guided Mandela’s life, especially his unwavering sacrifices toward helping humanity. I think most people do not know he initiated the Safe Streets, Safe City Cops and Kids program, a comprehensive program for reducing crime,” said Vira. “His administration initiated the revitalization of Times Square and he also reduced the homeless population.”
Mayor Dinkins was instrumental in building the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens and convinced the Walt Disney to renovate an old theater, that spear-headed the cleanup of Times Square. “Let us not forget that Mayor Dinkins organized the most successful event that welcomed the late South African President, Nelson “Madiba” Mandela to New York City,” said Vira. “Mayor Dinkins staged a protest in lower Manhattan and was arrested to protest the killing of Amadou Diallo. B S M A A’s annual event has been officially approved by the South African-based Nelson Mandela Foundation as the Madiba Humanitarian Awards: Celebrating The Legacy Of Nelson Mandela.
OUR TIME PRESS August 1, 2019
WHAT’S GOING ON ■■
By Victoria Horsford
WEEK IN REVIEW At the end of its annual convention, the NAACP called for the impeachment of POTUS 45. Perhaps, it was that pronouncement combined with the Mueller Congressional hearings that touched his unhinge button. Having set aside his invective about the Squad, Trump turned his acid tongue towards Congressman Elijah Cummings and the people of Baltimore, Maryland. Then he takes on Rev Al Sharpton calling him a con man. Sharpton’s response. “If I am a con man why am I not in your cabinet?’ Now Trump has assembled a few Black clergymen to explain that he is not racist. Can this be real? I really don’t know if America can survive another 17 months of the Trump madness. He is not good for the national health.
Al Sharpton However, life must go on on a local level…………. The following notes are NY updates. .According to the Board of Elections , current Queens Boro President Melinda Katz, Democratic insider won the election for Queens District Attorney, by 60 votes, after a recount. Not so fast, says her contender Tiffany Caban, who
is appealing the BOE recount results in court………. NYS Senate Majority leader Andrea Cousins-Stewart named National Chairman of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, an organization which works to get more Democrats elected to state houses and the US Congress, About five challengers, including African American attorney Alvin Bragg, former federal prosecutor and NYS Attorney General lawyer, have announced their interest in the Manhattan District Attorney’s race in 2021. Incumbent Cy Vance has not indicated if he is eying re-election. His reputation has been sullied by his office looking askance at cases where affluent New Yorkers are not charged with serious offenses: i.e. Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein and the Trump clan
LAND USE New York landlords and real estate associations are fuming over the recently enacted New York State tenants protection laws, which among other things makes it harder for them to raise rents in the city’s million rent regulated apartments and to convert affordable units to market rate. Landlords are so incensed that two groups, the Rent Stabilization Association and the Community Housing Improvement Program, along with an assortment of individual property owners, have filed a lawsuit in federal courts to overturn the NYS law. Unable to file a suit against NYS, the defendant is the Commissioner of the NYS Housing and Community Renewal. New York real estate interests have controlled the NYS Legislature, particularly the Republican majority in Senate, for about 10 years. They are used to a compliant legislature. Today, the NYS Legislature and the Executive branch are dominated by Democrats with strong progressive leanings. It is going to be interesting to see how the real estate barons fare in new territory, the land of US Supreme Court It is going to be interesting to see how they spend their
monies next year in political races. In New York, lobbyists it is alleged spent about $130 million last year, a figure larger than the GNP of some Third World countries.
BLACK ENTERPRISE Harlem-born Gen-Xer Corey Smyth launches Blacksmith Recordings in a joint venture with Capital Music Group and Motown Records. His multi-genre Blacksmith Recordings boasts a talent roster which includes Vince Staples, Kilo Kish and emerging artists Ted When and Benn Good. A veteran artist manager, Smyth has eagles eyes for identifying talent and developing careers. Blacksmith was founded in 1991 while he attended Morehouse. Since graduation he has been building his brand and has managed the careers of top-tier Billboard artists such as Mos Def, De La Soul, Foxy Brown, Staples and comic extraordinaire Dave Chappelle. Los Angeles-based Smyth has cut his teeth in feature films, producing Gully, which unspooled at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. Visit Blacksmithnyc.com
VOL. 23 NO. 31 the annual Scholarship Awards Ceremony on Sunday, at the Harlem State Office Building, located at 163 West 125 Street. On August 11 from 1:30 to 4:30 pm. Last week, WGO published a list of the 17 college-bound scholars. Event partners and sponsors include Capital One Bank, Pepsi, Manna’s Restaurant, Community Financial Services Centers, Migdol Organization, Duane Reade, Jimbo’s , Grace Lutheran Church, and Bill Perkins, NYC Council. A special LEO shout out to luxe fashion designer and style curator Dapper Dan, nee Daniel R. Day, on the occasion of his 75th birthday on August 8. A household name in fashion and lifestyle media since the announcement of his 2017 partnership with Gucci, he is getting lots of attention for his literary skills as displayed in his new Random House book, MADE IN HARLEM, A MEMOIR, which has been on the NY Times best seller list for two weeks.
Corey Smyth The auction of the Johnson Publishing Company’s Ebony pictures archives, arguably the most extensive photo collection of 20th Century African American life, has a happy ending. A consortium of organizations the Ford Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Trust and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation – bought the archives for $30 million. Moreover, the same group will donate the Ebony picture archives to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Getty Research Institute enabling it to be widely accessible. The Ford Foundation and the Mellon Foundation are headed by African Americans, Darren Walker and Elizabeth Alexander, respectively. In conclusion everyone walked away from the auction with some dignity. Johnson Publication creditor Mellody Hobson and hubby George Lucas will get their $13 million load repaid; Linda Johnson Rice has about $17 million wam, walking- around- money. What’s left of the once formidable Johnson media empire. Ask Michael Gibson of the Clear View Group who acquire Ebony and Jet Magazines in 2016. Ebony Magazine has been reduced to Ebony.com. Jet.com has expired shortly after the acquisition.
Dapper Dan The Jamaican Independence Celebration Foundation, under the Distinguished Patronage of Ambassador E Courtenay Rattray, Jamaica’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, will celebrate Jamaica’s 57th Anniversary of Independence, on Saturday August 17, which is Marcus Garvey’s Birthday, at the Grand Ballroom of the NY Marriott Brooklyn Bridge Hotel, located at 333 Adams Street, Brooklyn. The distinguished Gala honorees are Mayor David Dinkins and Congresswoman Yvette Clarke. Entertainment will be provided by the Fabulous Five Band and special guests. For reservationsm call 631.374.7811 or 718.802.8301.
ARTS/EDUCATION The PFBL (Pelham Fritz Basketball League) Scholarship Fund and Assemblywoman Inez Dickens co- present
Mayor David Dinkins Cityandstateny.com will host a celebration of the 2019 BROOKLYN POWER 100. These are the most powerful Brooklyn residents, elites in government, business, academia, media, advocacy and beyond. Brooklyn’s Boro Prexy Eric Adams is event keynoter. The event will be held on August 21, 6:30 to 9 pm, at the Dumbo Loft, located at 155 Water Street, Brooklyn.
A Harlem-based brand and media consultant, Victoria is reachable at Victoria. email@example.com
VOL. 23 NO. 31
OUR TIME PRESS August 1, 2019
e celebrated the “Central Park 5” earlier this summer because of the acclaimed movie, When They See Us, which told the story of how the lives of five promising, beautiful young men were stolen by injustice and corruption throughout every level of the city’s criminal justice system. We found it easy to blame our city’s cops and prosecutors and judges for making such a horrible error, a mistake that cost five kids the best years of their lives. Injustice and corruption isn’t just a New York thing. The entire system, from coast to coast is broken, at every level, in every city. Take Ohio, where it’s a “Cleveland 3” thing. For the second year in a row, I found myself in Cincinnati, Ohio during the last weekend in July to cover the Cincinnati Music Festival, the largest urban music festival in the entire nation. Cincinnati is a wonderful place, a delightful mix of honest Midwest and cosmopolitan East Coast with a dash of Southern comfort. So, when I received the itinerary for the weekend and saw that I’d be going to an opera, I figured that this was just
my friends at Source putting their city’s best foot forward. I’d been to the opera once. It was “The Magic Flute” by Mozart. The whole thing was sung in German and by intermission I was ready to call Aldo Raine and his men to blow the entire theater up (that’s a Tarantino reference. Maybe 7 of you laughed. The rest of you should use Google to figure it out). The title of this opera, however, is what drove my interest. “Blind Injustice?” This sounds like my kind of opera, as long as they’re singing in English. When you arrive at the Cincinnati Music Hall, the sheer beauty of the facade demands respect. This amazing Victorian Gothic structure is said to have been built over a pauper’s cemetery, and urban legend says that the place is haunted. For the record, I didn’t see ghosts. We entered the main lobby and were led to a small space on the north side of the building, Wilks Studio. The room could barely hold 200 people. There were rows of chairs on either side of the room, with the performance set up to play out in the middle of the studio, certainly not your normal opera setup. We smiled
By Marlon Rice
and greeted the other patrons, sat in the front row and prepared to experience the opera in Cincinnati. “Blind Injustice” is a collaborative work between the Ohio Innocence Project and the Young Professionals Choral Collective, a choral ensemble that counts more than 1,200 in their rank and file. The opera explores the true stories of six people who were wrongly convicted of crimes, sentenced to lengthy jail sentences and were eventually exonerated due to the work of the Ohio Innocence Project. The energy of the opera is undeniable, a visceral look in the mirror for all in attendance, the viewer made to question how is it that innocent people can be convicted of crimes and sentenced to jail in such a way. Nancy Smith was a Head Start bus driver from Lorain who was convicted of molesting the children she drove. Clarence Elkins was convicted of raping and murdering his mother-in-law and raping his niece. Rickey Jackson was sentenced to death for the murder of a young man. “The Cleveland 3” - Laurese Glover, Eugene Johnson and Derrick Wheatt, were convicted of a drive-by shooting,
each sentenced to 20 years. They were all innocent. The opera goes into each story, dissecting the details, providing the evidence, revealing the faults in the prosecution. The result of each story is the same--innocent men and women forced to live decades of their lives in jail for crimes they didn’t commit. Now the small room made sense. The frustrations and the angst from these cases, the confusion, the mistakes and most importantly, to struggle to survive a life in prison sat in the room like a dark cloud. Every one of us felt it, white and Black alike. I saw elderly white women crying. I saw a Black man crying. I was crying. This wasn’t right. The delivery of these stories through the medium of opera was probably the most clever thing of all. I don’t even know how to describe it except to say that as a Black man I realize that I’m used to hearing stories of other Black folk being wrongly accused of something, convicted of crimes they didn’t commit. I’ve heard it mouth to ear, heard it on the news, heard it in music, heard it in gossip I’ve heard such a story in every way imaginable. Hearing it told in opera most certainly made it understandable
for those who probably aren’t used to hearing such stories because they don’t care to listen to them. They were listening in Wilks Studio. When the opera ended, the cast took their bows and then a most extraordinary thing happened. The conductor called for the real-life exonerees to come on stage to greet the crowd! They were all there: Nancy, Clarence, Ricky, the “Cleveland 3;” they were all in attendance with me watching their stories play out in this small room. That Black man that I saw crying during the performance? That was actually Laurese Glover, one of the “Cleveland 3.” We applauded them with our whole hearts, and I knew then that I would never have a more meaningful opera experience in my life. The opera, “Blind Injustice” proves a much bigger problem. There are “Central Park 5’s” and “Cleveland 3’s” all over America. Their stories should be told because Dr. King said that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Seeing this opera was the greatest gift I received in Cincinnati this weekend. Telling you about it is my way of sharing that gift.
Better to have a few rats than to be one ■■
n case anyone missed it, the president of the United States had some choice words to describe Maryland’s 7th congressional district on Saturday morning. Here are the key phrases: “no human being would want to live there,” it is a “very dangerous & filthy place,” “Worst in the USA” and, our personal favorite: It is a “rat and rodent infested mess.” He wasn’t really speaking of the 7th as a whole. He failed to mention Ellicott City, for example, or Baldwin or Monkton or Prettyboy, all of which are contained in the sprawling yet oddly-shaped district that
runs from western Howard County to southern Harford County. No, Donald Trump’s wrath was directed at Baltimore and specifically at Rep. Elijah Cummings, the 68-year-old son of a former South Carolina sharecropper who has represented the district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1996. It’s not hard to see what’s going on here. The congressman has been a thorn in this president’s side, and Mr. Trump sees attacking African American members of Congress as good politics, as it both warms the cockles of the
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white supremacists who love him and causes so many of the thoughtful people who don’t to scream. President Trump bad-mouthed Baltimore in order to make a point that the border camps are “clean, efficient & well run," which, of course, they are not — unless you are fine with all the overcrowding, squalor, cages and deprivation to be found in what the Department of Homeland Security’s own inspector-general recently called “a ticking time bomb." In pointing to the 7th, the president wasn’t hoping his supporters would recognize landmarks like Johns Hopkins Hospital, perhaps the nation’s leading medical center. He wasn’t conjuring images of the U.S. Social Security Administration, where they write the checks that so many retired and disabled Americans depend upon. It wasn’t about the beauty of the Inner Harbor or the proud history of Fort McHenry. And it surely wasn’t about the economic standing of a district where the
median income is actually above the national average. No, he was returning to an old standby of attacking an African American lawmaker from a majority black district on the most emotional and bigoted of arguments. It was only surprising that there wasn’t room for a few classic phrases like “you people” or “welfare queens” or “crime-ridden ghettos” or a suggestion that the congressman “go back” to where he came from. This is a president who will happily debase himself at the slightest provocation. And given Mr. Cummings’ criticisms of U.S. border policy, the various investigations he has launched as chairman of the House Oversight Committee, his willingness to call Mr. Trump a racist for his recent attacks on the freshmen congresswomen, and the fact that “Fox & Friends” had recently aired a segment critical of the city, slamming Baltimore must have been irresistible in a Pavlovian way. Fox News rang the bell, the president salivated and
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his thumbs moved across his cell phone into action. As heartening as it has been to witness public figures rise to Charm City’s defense on Saturday, from native daughter House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, we would above all remind Mr. Trump that the 7th District, Baltimore included, is part of the United States that he is supposedly governing. The White House has far more power to effect change in this city, for good or ill, than any single member of Congress including Mr. Cummings. If there are problems here, rodents included, they are as much his responsibility as anyone’s, perhaps more because he holds the most powerful office in the land. Finally, while we would not sink to name-calling in the Trumpian manner — or ruefully point out that he failed to spell the congressman’s name correctly (it’s Cummings, not Cumming) — we would tell the most dishonest man to ever occupy the Oval Office, the mocker of war heroes, the gleeful grabber of women’s private parts, the serial bankrupter of businesses, the useful idiot of Vladimir Putin and the guy who insisted there are “good people” among murderous neo-Nazis that he’s still not fooling most Americans into believing he’s even slightly competent in his current post. Or that he possesses a scintilla of integrity. Better to have some vermin living in your neighborhood than to be one.
OUR TIME PRESS August 1, 2019
VOL. 23 NO. 31
Best of Our Time
Eddie Ellis: Prison Reform Visionary
We interviewed the late Edwin "Eddie" Ellis at his 125th Street office in Harlem in 1997. At the time, Mr. Ellis was President of the Community Justice Center, Inc., an anti-crime research, education, and advocacy organization. Before he passed on July 24, 2014, he had founded and was president of the Brooklyn-based Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions and host and executive producer of the weekly radio program “On the Count” on WBAI. Ellis had been a target of the FBI's Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) for his Black Panther Party activities and had served 25 years in prisons throughout New York State. While he was in prison, he earned a Master’s degree from New York Theological Seminary, a Bachelor's from Marist College and a paralegal degree from Sullivan County Community College. With other prisoners at Greenhaven, Ellis formed the Think Tank, an organization whose research showed that 75% of the prisoners in New York State come from just seven neighborhoods in New York City. It was this work that he and his fellow prisoners did that led us to this interview. It is the beginning of the 14,000-word interview to be posted at www. ourtimepress.com.
David Mark Greaves: I’ve heard you speak on WBAI, I heard you at Major Owen’s teach-in, and I said, “Yeah, this is the guy I want to speak to about this whole prison thing, and when you say, “this whole prison thing” you’re talking about a lot. Eddie Ellis: That’s right. DG: What is it that you see has to be changed in the prison and criminal justice systems? EE: I think, first of all, prisons represent the failures of society, and the reason we have prisoners is because we have failures in society, given the nature of the society we live in. This capitalist, materialist, consumer-driven, society. Poor people have very limited ways, legitimate ways, of participating in the economy, except for public assistance. And almost inevitably, they find themselves, in some encounter with law enforcement. Usually over the acquisition of capital, trying to get money, they do whatever it is they need to do, and that almost automatically brings them into conflict with the law. I belong to a group call the Community Justice Center. About 10 years ago, we did an analysis of the criminal justice system in New York State. What we found out was that over 75% of all the prisoners came from seven neighborhoods in New York City. The Black and Latino, the poorest neighborhoods. They have the worst schools, the worst housing, they have the largest percentage of families headed by a single head of household, the largest number of public housing, you just name it. They have the worst healthcare services, the highest rate of unemployment, highest rate of tuberculosis, highest rate of AIDS, highest rate of dropouts, highest rate of teen pregnancy – you name it. These communities are at the very bottom of the socio-economic ladder. Not surprisingly the overwhelming number of people who go to prison, come from these communities. So there must be some connection between living in one of these communities and going to prison. DG: Sure. EE. The connection that we see, we call the prime generative factors. We say the social and economic conditions of a community pretty much determine whether or not a large percentage of people who live in that community, will or will not go to prison. And when you have communities that are so socially and economically devastated as these communities are, you will additionally have
a disproportionate amount of people coming from those communities with problems with the law and wind up in prison. And the converse is true, where you have communities where the social and economic factors are standard or above standard and the standard of living is high, then you have very few incidents of people going to prison. So the key to prison seems to lie in the neighborhood. And the key to the neighborhoods seem to be the social and economic condition. So it seems to us that if all of that is true, and it certainly is true, then the criminal justice system should be a system that ultimately is aimed at or directed toward some way in which you address social and economic problems. And as you address those social and economic problems, you will find less and less people who you have a need to put in prison, which means you’d have less need for prisons. If I had my druthers, I’d close 98% of all prisons down. I’ve spent time in prison myself, 23 years in prison. DG: Where were you? EE: I was in every prison in New York. Every maximum security prison in New York. I was in Greenhaven, I was in Attica in 1971 when they had the insurrection, I was in Clinton, I was in Comstock, I was in Sing Sing, I was in Coxsackie, you name it, I was there. So I speak not just from an academic perspective, but from an experiential perspective. I’ve lived in prison, I’ve worked in prison, I studied in prison, I went to college in prison, I educated myself over the 23 years that I was in prison. I have 2 associate degrees, I have a Bachelor’s degree, and I have a master’s degree, while I was in prison. And I’m affiliated with a group of men who are also on that educational track. We did a lot of things while we were in prison, one of which was this study. At the time that we released the study, it wasn’t that well received. This was over 10 years ago. But over the last 10 years, it has gained more and more credence, more and more prominence, because it speaks to a really horrendous kind of condition. In ’92 we were fortunate enough to have the New York Times publish the findings of our study. They did an article on our organization on the front page and that kind of like catapulted us into the forefront of the criminal justice debate. The New York Times called us the “New Penologists.” There are about 25 of us in the organization, the Community Justice Center. And we’ve been trying, over the past 5 years to impact the criminal justice debate about prisons – who goes, why they go, the whole question of sentencing, the role of prisons. All of these things are very unclear. You talk to five different people about prisons, you’ll get five different answers, depending on who you talk to about what the fundamental role of a prison should be. Some people say that it should be for incapacitation, that there are certain people that are so violent, so antisocial that they have to be incapacitated, taken off the street and put in prison. Some people say that prisons function as a deterrent. that if you give a man or a woman a harsh enough sentence, if you put them away for a long enough time, that will “A” deter them from committing another crime, and “B” deter other people who see the kind of treatment that this person got, will deter them from committing another crime. So you’ve got people who think the fundamental role of the prison is deterrent. You’ve got some people who believe the role of the prison should be punishment. It doesn’t have anything to do with deterrence, it doesn’t have to do with incapacitation, we just need to put people in prison and make them suffer. Because they made other people suffer. They robbed somebody, raped somebody, killed somebody, and they need to suffer for that. You’ve got other people who believe that prisons should
be someplace people go for rehabilitation. You put a person in prison, they made a mistake, they committed a crime, that we can’t just give up on people, that the human potential is salvageable, and that prison is a place where some meaningful activity takes place, and where rehabilitation is the goal. There are some people who say prisons are all of the above. So there is such a diversity of opinion about the role of prisons, that most people who are policy makers come down in one of the various areas. At different times throughout the past few decades, we’ve had people taking different positions. The people who are in power now, primarily conservative Republicans, feel the primary role of the prisons now should be for retribution and punishment, and that very little else should be going on in prison. And if prisons could be a place where people are severely punished, then whatever it was that they did, then they won’t do it again. That presupposes a lot of factors that they don’t want to consider. The most obvious of which is that people who come from the neighborhoods we’re talking about, have very few options. And of the available options that they do have, almost inevitably they disdain those options. Because they’re not very attractive options. And particularly, we’re talking about young men, between the ages of thirteen and thirty who are the prime candidates to go into the prison system. You know one of the things the right wing Republican people say is that the act of committing a crime is a personal decision that people make, and it’s a rational decision that people make. And I think on some level they’re probably right. It is a decision that people make. It’s a fairly rational decision that people make, but it’s a decision that is conditioned, that is constrained by a lack of viable options. If you’re a sixteen year old, seventeen year old kid, and you went to a high school or junior high school in which over 70% of the children in the school are reading and writing and doing mathematics below the grade level, and the teachers in that school really don’t give a damn one way or another about you, they don’t look like you, they don’t come from your neighborhood, they don’t have a stake in your education, and at the same time you’re the second or third child in the family, in which the father’s not present and the mother is struggling to make ends meet, and she very often is not at home, and you’re living in a substandard housing development, or in a tenement, and the options that are available to you are very limited. And one of the most attractive options that are available is going to be doing something outside the so-called legitimate areas. So a drug dealer comes along and says he’ll give you a hundred dollars a day to watch the package or to sell the package or
do something with the package, what are you going to do, tell him no? As opposed to getting a job at McDonalds flipping hamburgers for $ 4.15 an hour? DG: Listening to you, I’m thinking that it can be said that you have to pen up the sheep but cage the lions, and you have these young people who as you say are, to look at it the other way, these kids are proactive, who are aggressive, who have a need to achieve despite, and who select ways that are open to them, channel that rage, and I’m looking at you here, having circulated in prisons, what kind of people are in prisons. The impression given is that they are not like you. Are there more people like you in prisons? EE: The best and the brightest and the smartest and the toughest of our young people are in prisons. The best. And I say that they’re the best because I think that they made some very serious decisions about their lives, about the way that they wanted to live their lives, and they have rejected I think the idea that they will allow the social and economic conditions to beat them down. So what they did is to defy the law, they became outlaws. I think in them you see a warrior spirit, a spirit of rebellion, a spirit of resistance, but it’s misguided spirit. A spirit that’s very destructive, an anti-social spirit and it’s the kind of energy, that instead of blossoming into something magnificent, has turned inward in a very pathological kind of way. And has been at the same time, self-destructive as well as destructive of the community around us. A lot of that has to do with the influences that have shaped these kids. These kids are for the most part the creations of the media age, of a country that glorifies violence, the most violent country in the history of the planet earth, a country that teaches as a fundamental lesson of its history, that the way in which problems and conflicts are solved, are through means of violence and that might makes right. When there is a problem anywhere in the world, we send in the marines to kick they ass and straighten that business out. Granada, Iraq, Panama, Korea, Vietnam. DG: You say the best and the brightest are in prisons, but a lot are not. I think of myself, I think of my wife, she is one of 16 children raised in Bedford Stuyvesant, I’ve been on welfare, food stamps, raised by a single parent, left back in elementary school, and yet both of us managed to stay out of the clutches of the police, and we’re not alone. We’ve been meeting many intelligent and motivated young people who have not gone the prison route. So I guess my question is, could some of the best and brightest have missed that net? EE: Oh yeah, absolutely. When I said they were the best and the brightest I didn’t mean to be exclusive, to say that some of our best and brightest are not in the street. I believe that in the next 10 years, particularly going into the 21st century, the leadership of the Black community is going to come out of the universities and out of the prisons. So some of our best and brightest don’t get caught up in the trap. For whatever reasons. Part of the reasons are – we talked about our analysis of the Crime Generative Factors, and those Crime Generative Factors impact on people in different kinds of ways. And generally what happens is that there is some intervention in young peoples’ lives, some very positive intervention. Whether it’s from the family, whether it’s in the church, or the mosque, whether it’s in the school through athletic achievements or academic achievements, there is some positive achievement in most young peoples’ lives which set a course for which way they go. Those young people that don’t have that positive force, that positive intervention in their lives, or who ignore it, ➔➔ Continued on page 7
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OUR TIME PRESS August 1, 2019
Eddie Ellis ➔➔ Continued from page 6 almost inevitably wind up in conflict with law enforcement. DG: Because the human spirit will express itself in some way. EE: there you go. So you can get 100 kids born and raised in Harlem or Bedford-Stuyvesant and out of the 100 kids you can expect 60 of them are going to prison. The other 40 are not going to go. So you have to ask yourself, what happened with the other 40 that kept them from going. In many cases, just the grace of God. In addition to the grace of God, and this is based on research, there is some positive intervention. Some coach, some mother, some parent, some friend of the family, some pastor, who has taken a personal interest in this kid and who has helped motivate this kid in such a way that he or she has been able to navigate some of the pitfalls and not fall in that trap. But if you look at the statistics, the statistics say that right now, 1 out of 3 Black men in New York, between the ages of 20 and 29 are either in prison, on parole or on probation. That’s thirty-three percent, one-third. Now six years ago, in 1990, when they originally did the study, it was 1 out of 4. So it’s increased like 8% in 6 years. If it increases another 8% in the next 6 years, we/re talking about 41%, you know what I’m saying? We’re talking about 4 out of 10 after the turn of the century. These are young Black men. So the numbers seem to be getting larger and larger. And that figure is not just New York. That figure is constant for the entire country. So even though there are these positive interventions in most of these young people’s lives that have deterred them from having that encounter with law enforcement, the incidents are getting greater and greater. DG: And this is happening as the children of the civil right era of consciousness are coming into their own. It seems that they are the ones falling down on the job. That is my generation from that civil rights era, and yet our children and grandchildren are the ones
falling into this. EE: the major problem is that, there’s a guy named Kunjufu, Jawanza Kunjufu, I don’t know if you’re familiar with him. DG: Yes I am. He wrote “The Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys.” EE: He did a study not too long ago, and what he found out was that 25 years ago when we were coming up when we were young adults, the major influences in our lives were first family, then the church, then the school. Today the major influence in young people lives are peer pressure and television. The peer pressure and the television have replaced the family, church and school, as the dominant influence in these kid’s lives. So, you’ve got kids learning from kids, and all of them are learning from television and media. And what’s projected in that media is so pervasive, in terms of African peoples, the images we see on that media are distorted images. If your mind is young and you’re susceptible to those images, you internalize them. You begin to believe that in fact is you. And what happens, if you notice with these kids, is that they begin to emulate what they see on television and in the movies. They dress the part, they talk the language, they walk the walk, and the become what that image has laid out. And that’s been a major problem. I don’t know how we deal with that problem, other than to be able to impact the media in such a way that we begin to send some positive messages out, and we begin to use that media in other kinds of creative ways. DG: In some areas, prison is almost seen as a Rite of Passage, as something you would do in a normal state of affairs. EE: Absolutely our kids go to prisons the way white kids go to college. Looking forward to it. “Because after I come back doin’ my little three years, five years, whatever it is, that’s like the signal to the neighborhood that I’m a legitimate guy, I’m a tough guy, I’m a gangster, and all those other kinds of terms that go with it. DG: They are now a player so to speak. EE: Look, most of the heroes in American History have been men who resolve conflict by means of violence. Starting with George Washington, Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, great American heroes all of them Andrew
Jackson War of 1812, Billy the Kid, Jesse James, we glorify these guys, John Gotti, we make these guys into larger than life heroes and we present these guys as being what manhood is about. John Wayne standing tall in the saddle with a gun at his side straightening out all these other people who haven’t gotten the message yet. Ronald Reagan even, with that cowboy persona. This is what our kids get Our kids get this from the cradle to the grave. Then they have the availability of some of the most horrendous weapons of war. We’ve got these Glocks, the Mak 10’s, uzis, these guns don’t come from our community, but the kids have a way to get them. They’ve been infused with this sense of violence tied up with their manhood and a sense of conflict resolution based on might, the stronger you are the more right you are. Might makes right. It doesn’t make any difference if you are right or wrong, if you can enforce your will on someone else, you’re all right. So by the time this kid is twelve or thirteen years old, he’s in a mix where he’s constantly bombarded with consumerism. In order to be somebody you’ve got to have Air Jordans, Nike, and this and that, designer names and you don’t have any money. DG: So the kid is the target of these multimillion dollar campaigns, and so is the parent. EE: So is the parent. DG: The advertising, the public relations, the media, the cigarette industry, the alcohol industry, and all are trying to shape them, not in their best interest but in the best interest of the corporation. How is this resolved? What can come in there and break this cycle? EE: Well that’s tough man, that’s really very, very tough. I think that most of the parents of these kids are themselves child parents. Women who had children at fifteen or sixteen. Now the kid is sixteen and she’s thirty-five or thirty-four, she grew up under very similar kind of circumstances, the father’s not present in the home, she has two or three other kids and she’s really struggling just to keep the household together and pay the rent and put the food on the table and do whatever little bit she can do. A tremendous amount of the young people who are in prison now, I don’t know what the numbers are, are from families
on public assistance, over 70-80% are from public housing, or some kind of subsidized housing situation. So we’re talking about people who come from extreme poverty, not just poverty in the economic sense, but also poverty in the social, in the spiritual sense. And I think if we’re going to make any impact on these problems we have to deal with that aspect of the poverty of the spirit, and the poverty of the social problems. DG: When you talk about spiritual poverty, that sounds like something the church should be involved in. What role do you see the church playing? EE: I think that the churches and the mosques have not been as committed or involved as they could be. If you go to a lot of churches now, you won’t find many young people in the church. Particularly young males. Having said that, I think that more than anything else, the Black church has really stepped up. Certainly over the last ten years. We’ve seen a phenomenal stepping up of some of the Black churches taking up the slack. Because the governmental agencies, the fundamental institutions, are so racist and are so insensitive, and are so incompetent, that the churches had to step in there. So you see more and more churches involved in education, the have their own schools, more and more churches involved in day care, senior citizens. You see large developments in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, the construction and rehab of abandoned properties, the church has ha to fill this void, because government has abdicated it’s responsibility and because the private sector is about making profit and capitalism. DG: you make them sound like an important piece to the puzzle. EE: If it wasn’t for the Black church, can you imagine where we would be right now. If you pulled the Black church money and the kinds of programs that they’re running... the Black church is the major operator of social programs in the Black community. A number of these churches have contracts with the government to provide services that the government doesn’t want to provide anymore. You talk about privatization, the privatization should come through the Black church.
Amazon deforestation accelerating towards unrecoverable ‘tipping point’
By Jonathan Watts, Altamira
eforestation of the Brazilian Amazon has surged above three football fields a minute, according to the latest government data, pushing the world’s biggest rainforest closer to a tipping point beyond which it cannot recover. The sharp rise – following yearon-year increases in May and June – confirms fears that president Jair Bolsonaro has given a green light to illegal land invasion, logging and burning. Clearance so far in July has hit 1,345 sq km, a third higher than the previous monthly record under the current monitoring system by the Deter B satellite system, which started in 2015. With five days remaining, this is on course to be the first month for several years in which Brazil loses an area of forest bigger than Greater London. The steady erosion of tree cover weakens the role of the rainforest in stabilizing the global climate.
Scientists warn that the forest is in growing danger of degrading into a savannah, after which its capacity to absorb carbon will be severely diminished, with consequences for the rest of the planet. “It’s very important to keep repeating these concerns. There are a number of tipping points which are not far away,” said Philip Fearnside, a professor at Brazil’s National Institute of Amazonian Research. “We can’t see exactly where they are, but we know they are very close. It means we have to do things right away. Unfortunately, that is not what is happening. There are people denying we even have a problem.” It may also complicate ratification of Brazil’s biggest ever trade deal with the European Union if EU legislators decide the South American nation is not keeping its side of the bargain, which includes a commitment to slow deforestation in line with the Paris climate agreement. The official numbers from the National Institute for Space Research are a growing embarrassment to
Bolsonaro, who has tried to fob them off as lies and criticized the head of the institute. Earlier this week, the president insisted the numbers should be screened by the ministry of science and technology and shown to him before being made public so that he did not get “caught with his pants down”. This has raised fears that the data could be vetted in future rather than automatically updated online each day as is currently the case. In his first seven months in power, Bolsonaro, who was elected with strong support from agribusiness and mining interests, has moved rapidly to erode government agencies responsible for forest protection. He has weakened the environment agency and effectively put it under the supervision of the agricultural ministry, which is headed by the leader of the farming lobby. His foreign minister has dismissed climate science as part of a global Marxist plot. The president and other ministers have criticized the forest monitoring agency, Ibama, for imposing fines on illegal land grabbers and loggers. The government
has also moved to weaken protections for nature reserves, indigenous territories and zones of sustainable production by forest peoples and invited businesspeople to register land counter-claims within those areas. This has emboldened those who want to invade the forest, clear it and claim it for commercial purposes, mostly in the speculative expectation it will rise in value, but also partly for cattle pastures, soya fields and mines. Earlier this month, it was reported that thousands of gold miners illegally invaded Yanomami indigenous territory near the border with Venezuela. Elsewhere, illegal loggers have mounted at least two attacks in response to Ibama enforcement operations, according to the Folha newspaper. During a recent G20 meeting, Bolsonaro told the German chancellor Angela Merkel that she had no right to criticize because Brazil’s conservation record was superior to that of Europe’s. This is a dubious claim, according to Climate Observatory, which cites World Bank data that shows Germany has given
protected status to a bigger share of its land than Brazil. Brazil is also going backwards fast. After an 80% reduction in the rate of deforestation between 2006 and 2012, successive governments have relaxed protections. Clearance has been creeping up. Last year, deforestation rose 13% to the highest level in a decade. This year is on course to be far worse and the trend is back towards the dark days of the early 2000s. “Unfortunately, it is absurd, but it should not catch anyone by surprise. President Jair Bolsonaro and minister Ricardo Salles are dismantling our socio-environmental policies,” said Carlos Rittl, the executive secretary of the Climate Observatory, an NGO formed by a coalition of environmental groups. Trees are considered essential to climate stability. Earlier this month, a study indicated that planting a trillion trees could remove two-thirds of all the emissions that have been pumped into the atmosphere by human activities. But scientists say maintaining existing forests, particularly in the tropics, is far more important.
OUR TIME PRESS August 1, 2019
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LEGAL NOTICES NOTICE OF SALE SUPREME COURT COUNTY OF KINGS GOSHEN MORTGAGE LLC, AS SEPARATE TRUSTEE FOR GDBT I TRUST 2011-1, Plaintiff, Against CARLTON EXILE A/K/A C. EXILE, ET AL, Defendant(s). Pursuant to a Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale, duly entered 5/9/2014, I, the undersigned Referee, will sell at public auction in Room 224 of the Kings County Supreme Court, 360 Adams Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201, on 9/5/2019 at 2:30 pm, premises known as 123 Montauk Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11208, and described as follows: ALL that certain plot, piece or parcel of land, with the buildings and improvements thereon erected, situate, lying and being in the Borough of Brooklyn, County of Kings, City and State of New York, and designated on the tax maps of the Kings County Treasurer as Block 3,992, and Lot 5. The approximate amount of the current Judgment lien is $966,297.14 plus interest and costs. The premises will be sold subject to provisions of the aforesaid Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale; Index # 45556/2007. Nancy Schacher, Esq., Referee. SHELDON MAY & ASSOCIATES Attorneys at Law, 255 Merrick Road, Rockville Centre, NY 11570 Dated: 7/18/2019 File Number: 25672 MNB
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NOTICE OF SALE SUPREME COURT, COUNTY OF KINGS, PENNYMAC CORP., PLAINTIFF against PATRICIA CAMPBELL, CHASE MANHATTAN BANK USA, N.A. ET AL., DEFENDANTS. Pursuant to a Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale dated November 5, 2018 and duly entered thereafter, Steven B. Shapiro, Esq., the court appointed Referee will sell at public auction in Room 224 of the Kings County Supreme Court, 360 Adams Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 on Thursday, August 29, 2019 at 2:30 p.m., the premises known as 1301 St. Johns Place, Brooklyn, NY 11213; all that certain plot, piece or parcel of land, with the buildings and improvements thereon erected, situate, lying and being in the County of Kings, City of New York, and State of New York Block 1377, Lot 149. Approximate amount of judgment is $1,037,948.72 plus interest and costs. Premises will be sold subject to provisions of said Judgment. Index No. 27873/2009. Steven B. Shapiro, Esq., Referee, Lawrence & Walsh, P.C., 215 Hilton Avenue, Hempstead, NY 11550, Attorneys for Plaintiff NOTICE OF SALE SUPREME COURT COUNTY OF KINGS, WILMINGTON SAVINGS FUND
SOCIETY, FSB, D/B/A CHRISTIANA TRUST, NOT INDIVIDUALLY BUT AS TRUSTEE FOR PRETIUM MORTGAGE ACQUISITION TRUST, Plaintiff, vs. DOROTHY ALEXANDER, NICHOLE ALEXANDER, ET AL., Defendant(s). Pursuant to a Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale duly filed on May 24, 2018 and an Order Pursuant to CPLR 2004 Extending the Time to Set Sale and to Ratify Sale Nunc Pro Tunc filed on June 21, 2019, I, the undersigned Referee will sell at public auction at the Kings County Supreme Court, Room 224, 360 Adams Street, Brooklyn, NY on September 5, 2019 at 2:30 p.m., premises known as 420 Autumn Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. All that certain plot, piece or parcel of land, with the buildings and improvements thereon erected, situate, lying and being in the Borough of Brooklyn, County of Kings, City and State of New York, Block 04170 and Lot 00025. Approximate amount of judgment is $465,190.34 plus interest and costs. Premises will be sold subject to provisions of filed Judgment Index # 512372/2015. Helene Blank, Esq., Referee Knuckles, Komosinski & Manfro, LLP, 565 Taxter Road, Suite 590, Elmsford, NY 10523, Attorneys for Plaintiff Cash will not be accepted. REFEREE’S NOTICE OF SALE IN FORECLOSURE ➔➔ Continued on page 10
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f Grace and Greatness: The 19th Juneteenth event in Ft. Greene’s Cuyler Gore Park, this summer, coordinated by culture-arts activists and pioneers Brenda Brunson-Bey and Spring McClendon, pictured top right, celebrated “OurStory” — who we come from, what we have been given and where we are going with this great inheritance. All photos on this page: Winston Wharton. (BG)
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NEW BUSINESS FORMATIONS NOTICE OF FORMATION of Group C Partners LLC. Art. of Org. filed with the Secy of State of NY (SSNY) on 4/12/19. Off. Loc.: Kings County. SSNY has been desig. as agent upon whom process against it may be served. The address to which the SSNY shall mail a copy to is: 28 Liberty, New York, NY 10005. Reg. Agent: National Registered Agents, Inc., 28 Liberty, New York, NY 10005. Purpose: Any lawful act. 588 GROUP LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 12/19/18. Office: Kings County. SSNY designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to the LLC, 14 Bond Street, #404, Great Neck, NY 11021. Purpose: Any lawful purpose. Notice of formation of 287 SHEPHERD AVENUE LLC a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Certificate of registration filed with Secretary of State of New York (SSNY) on 4/22/2019. NY office location: Kings County. SSNY is designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail a copy of process to the LLC at 1022 Carroll Street, Brooklyn, New
York 11225. Purpose all lawful activities. Notice of formation of 60 MARTENSE STREET LLC a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Certificate of registration filed with Secretary of State of New York (SSNY) on 4/22/2019. NY office location: Kings County. SSNY is designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail a copy of process to the LLC at 1022 Carroll Street, Brooklyn, New York 11225. Purpose all lawful activities. Notice of formation of 846 NEW LOTS AVENUE LLC a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Certificate of registration filed with Secretary of State of New York (SSNY) on 4/22/2019. NY office location: Kings County. SSNY is designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail a copy of process to the LLC at 1022 Carroll Street, Brooklyn, New York 11225. Purpose all lawful activities. Notice of formation of 1022 CARROLL STREET LLC a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Certificate of registration filed with Secretary of State of New York (SSNY) on
LEGAL NOTICES ➔➔ Continued from page 8 SUPREME COURT – COUNTY OF KINGS CITIMORTGAGE, INC., Plaintiff – against – JOSE E. ESTEVEZ, et al Defendant(s). Pursuant to a Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale entered on February 5, 2018. I, the undersigned Referee will sell at public auction in Room 224 of the Kings County Supreme Court, 360 Adams Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 on the 8th Day of August, 2019 at 2:30 p.m. All that certain plot, piece or parcel of land, with the buildings and improvements thereon erected, situate, lying and being in the Borough of Brooklyn, County of Kings, City and State of New York. Premises known as 763 Drew Street, Brooklyn, New York 11208. (Block: 4291, Lot: 146) Approximate amount of lien $982,511.72 plus interest and costs. Premises will be sold subject to provisions of filed judgment and terms of sale. Index No. 21005-13. Jack Aini,
Esq., Referee. Davidson Fink LLP Attorney(s) for Plaintiff 28 East Main Street, Suite 1700 Rochester, NY 146141990 Tel. 585/760-8218 For sale information, please visit Auction.com at www.Auction. com or call (800) 280-2832 Dated: May 31, 2019 SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK - COUNTY OF KINGS REVERSE MORTGAGE SOLUTIONS, INC., V. CAROLYN WILSON, ET AL. NOTICE OF SALE NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN pursuant to a Final Judgment of Foreclosure dated May 6, 2019, and entered in the Office of the Clerk of the County of Kings, wherein REVERSE MORTGAGE SOLUTIONS, INC. is the Plaintiff and CAROLYN WILSON, ET AL. are the Defendants. I, the undersigned Referee will sell at public auction at the KINGS
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4/22/2019. NY office location: Kings County. SSNY is designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail a copy of process to the LLC at 1022 Carroll Street, Brooklyn, New York 11225. Purpose all lawful activities. Notice of Formation of 513 REALTY LLC. Arts of Org filed with Secy of State of NY (SSNY) on 7/15/19. Office location : Kings County. SSNY designated as agent upon whom process may be served and shall mail copy of process against LLC to: 1640 W. 6th St., Bklyn, NY 11223. Purpose: any lawful act. Hair We R Barbershop & Salon LLC. Art. Of Org. Filed Sec. of State of NY 6/19/2019. Off. Loc.: Kings Co. SSNY designated as agent upon whom process against it may be served & shall mail proc.: c/o Dylan Simon 2052 East 60th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11234. Purpose: Any lawful act or activity. Notice of Formation of 2379 84th STREET LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 06/21/19. Office: Kings County. SSNY designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to the LLC, 8217 24th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11214. Purpose: Any
COUNTY COURTHOUSE, 360 ADAMS STREET ROOM 224, BROOKLYN, NY 11201, on August 8, 2019 at 2:30 PM, premises known as 605 THOMAS SOUTH BOYLAND STREET, BROOKLYN, NY 11212-5041: Block 3541, Lot 112: ALL THAT CERTAIN PLOT, PIECE OR PARCEL OF LAND, SITUATE, LYING AND BEING IN THE BOROUGH OF BROOKLYN, COUNTY OF KINGS, CITY AND STATE OF NEW YORK Premises will be sold subject to provisions of filed Judgment Index # 520082/2016. Jeffrey Miller, Esq. - Referee. RAS Boriskin, LLC 900 Merchants Concourse, Suite 310, Westbury, New York 11590, Attorneys for Plaintiff. SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK - COUNTY OF KINGS U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, SUCCESSOR IN INTEREST TO BANK OF AMERICA, NA SUCCESSOR BY MERGER TO LASALLE BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, AS TRUSTEE FOR MORGAN STANLEY MORTGAGE LOAN TRUST 2007-11AR, MORTGAGE P A S S - T H R O U G H CERTIFICATES, SERIES 2007-11AR, V. SARALEE HACK, ET AL. NOTICE OF SALE NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN pursuant to a Final Judgment of Foreclosure dated May 08, 2019, and entered in the Office of the Clerk of the County of Kings, wherein U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, SUCCESSOR IN INTEREST TO BANK OF AMERICA, NA SUCCESSOR BY MERGER TO LASALLE BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, AS TRUSTEE FOR MORGAN STANLEY MORTGAGE LOAN TRUST 2007-11AR, MORTGAGE P A S S - T H R O U G H CERTIFICATES, SERIES 2007-11AR is the Plaintiff and SARALEE HACK, ET
lawful purpose. Notice of formation of FETE SOCIETY LLC., arts of org. Filed with Secy. Of State of NY (SSNY) on 4/13/18 Kings County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: c/o The Corporation, 269 Marion Street, Brooklyn NY 11233. Purpose: any lawful activity. Notice of Formation of CC And a Blessed One LLC Art. Of Org. Filed Sec. of State of NY December 3, 2018. Off. Loc.: Kings Co. SSNY designated as agent upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY to mail copy of process to: CC And a Blessed One LLC 1417 New York Avenue, 3G, Brooklyn, NY 11210. Purpose : Any lawful act or activity. NOTICE OF QUALIFICATION of UPP Global, LLC, d/b/a NY Parking Co. Application of Authority Filed with Secy. Of State of NY (SSNY) on 5/16/19. Off. Loc.: Kings County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: c/o The Corporation Trust Company, Corporation Trust Center, 1209 Orange Street, Wilmington, DE 19801. Purpose: any lawful activity.
AL. are the Defendants. I, the undersigned Referee will sell at public auction at the KINGS COUNTY COURTHOUSE, 360 ADAMS STREET ROOM 224, BROOKLYN, NY 11201, on August 8, 2019 at 2:30 PM, premises known as 425 RUTLAND ROAD, BROOKLYN, NY 11203: Section 3, Block 4802, Lot 45: ALL THAT CERTAIN PLOT, PIECE OR PARCEL OF LAND, WITH THE BUILDINGS AND IMPROVEMENTS THEREON ERECTED, SITUATE, LYING AND BEING IN THE BOROUGH OF BROOKLYN, COUNTY OF KINGS, CITY AND STATE OF NEW YORK Premises will be sold subject to provisions of filed Judgment Index # 512136/2016. Jeffrey Miller, Esq. - Referee. RAS Boriskin, LLC 900 Merchants Concourse, Suite 310, Westbury, New York 11590, Attorneys for Plaintiff. SUPREME COURT – COUNTY OF KINGS MTGLQ INVESTORS, L.P., Plaintiff against DEIDRE ABRAMS A/K/A DEIDRA ABRAMS; JOAN ABRAMS; MELROY ABRAMS, et al Defendant(s). Pursuant to a Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale entered on March 11, 2019. I, the undersigned Referee will sell at public auction in Room 224 of the Kings County Courthouse, 360 Adams Street, Brooklyn, N.Y. on the 8th day of August, 2019 at 2:30 p.m. premises described as follows: All that certain lot, piece or parcel of land, with the buildings and improvements thereon erected, situate, lying and being in the Borough of Brooklyn, County of Kings, City and State of New York. Said premises known as 492 Linden Boulevard., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11203. (Block: 4876, Lot: 4). Approximate amount of lien $ 398,221.80 plus interest and costs. Premises will be sold subject to provisions of filed judgment
and terms of sale. Index No. 505141-14. Angelique Moreno, Esq., Referee. McCalla Raymer Leibert Pierce, LLC Attorney(s) for Plaintiff 420 Lexington Avenue – Suite 840 New York, N.Y. 10170 (347) 286-7409 SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK - COUNTY OF KINGS U.S. BANK N.A. AS TRUSTEE ON BEHALF OF THE J.P. MORGAN MORTGAGE ACQUISITION CORP. 2006FRE2 ASSET BACKED PASSTHROUGH CERTIFICATES SERIES 2006-FRE2, V. GILBERT MOORE JR, ET AL. NOTICE OF SALE NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN pursuant to a Final Judgment of Foreclosure dated May 08, 2018, and entered in the Office of the Clerk of the County of Kings, wherein U.S. BANK N.A. AS TRUSTEE ON BEHALF OF THE J.P. MORGAN MORTGAGE ACQUISITION CORP. 2006-FRE2 ASSET BACKED PASS-THROUGH CERTIFICATES SERIES 2006-FRE2 is the Plaintiff and GILBERT MOORE JR, ET AL. are the Defendants. I, the undersigned Referee will sell at public auction at the KINGS COUNTY COURTHOUSE, 360 ADAMS STREET ROOM 224, BROOKLYN, NY 11201, on August 8, 2019 at 2:30 PM, premises known as 511 HEMLOCK STREET, BROOKLYN, NY 11208: Block 4217, Lot 13: ALL THAT CERTAIN PLOT, PIECE OR PARCEL OF LAND, SITUATE, LYING AND BEING IN THE BOROUGH OF BROOKLYN, COUNTY OF KINGS, CITY AND STATE OF NEW YORK Premises will be sold subject to provisions of filed Judgment Index # 515120/2015. Steven Z. Naiman, Esq. - Referee. RAS Boriskin, LLC 900 Merchants Concourse, Suite 310, Westbury, New York 11590, Attorneys for Plaintiff.
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Saturday, August 3rd
Monday, August 5th
EDUCATOR’S SUMMER BOOK CLUB GET FREE SUMMER MEALS Brooklyn Roasting Company, 25 Jay St., THRU AUGUST 30TH
Friday, August 2nd
First Fridays Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Blvd., Harlem, 6-10pm. Free admission is sold out. VIP Express Line tix are $5. In honor of legendary DJ Larry Levan, guests will jam all night long to house music! Levan was a house music pioneer in New York City, best known for his decade-long residency at the popular Paradise Garage.
Bassist Endea Owens
BASSIST ENDEA OWENS AT THE JAZZY JAZZ FESTIVAL
Medgar Evers College, 1638 Bedford Ave., rain or shine, 7-10pm, FREE. This year’s Dr. Mary Umolu Jazzy Jazz Festival honors reggae legend Eddy Grant and features musicians from a wide variety of disciplines through August 30th. Tonight’s feature, Endea Owens, a recent graduate of The Juilliard School, is Lincoln Center’s Emerging Artist of 2019 and a vibrant up-and-coming bassist.
HONORING LARRY LEVAN AT FIRST FRIDAYS HOUSE MUSIC EDITION
Guests are also invited to check out the three current exhibitions, “A Ballad for Harlem,” “Crusader: Martin Luther King, Jr.” and “Femmetography: The Gaze Shifted.”
SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDERVERSE
Commodore Barry Park, 2 Park Ave., doors at 6pm, movie at sunset. All ages welcome, FREE. Afropunk Presents Reel Revolution: Movies in the Park. This film, in the franchise, introduces Miles Morales, a Black Latin teen becomes Spider-Man and must … you know – save the world!
10am, FREE. Hosted by Queens on Purpose, this book club gives educators the opportunity to make their own summer reading a priority. Come ready to share your viewpoints on must-read titles. This session it’s Dread Nation by Justina Ireland, in which an America, both foreign and familiar, is a country on the brink at the explosive crossroads where race, humanity and survival meet.
BIG UP YUHSELF: TARGET FIRST SATURDAYS
200 Eastern Parkway, 5-10pm, FREE. A salute to the islands featuring the film Black Mother, a spiritual journey through Jamaica channeling rebellion and reverence; Afro-Cuban band Los Habaneros, Haitian choreographer Charnice Charmant and Afrobeat dancers teach and perform, and Noise Cans presents Bermuda’s masquerade traditions. Also, two DJ sets, teen apprentice talks, Caribbean food from Greedi Vegan and desserts by Island Pops.
THE 70S SOUL JAM
Hot breakfasts and hot lunches are waiting for people 18 and under at many city schools. Cold breakfasts and lunches are available at pools, parks and libraries across the city. All menus are subject to change, but are porkfree with no artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners. www.schools.nyc.gov/ summermeals]
Thursday, August 8th THIRD WORLD
R&B Festival at MetroTech Center, 304 Bridge St. at the MetroTech Commons, 12pm, FREE. The Reggae Ambassadors are back! The long-standing reggae-fusion band celebrates 45 years rockin’ the house and movin’ the feet. They draw on everything from R&B, funk and pop to rock, dancehall and rap. Legends!
Friday, August 9th WHAT’S GOIN’ ON?
Ford Amphitheater at the Coney Island Boardwalk, 3052 W. 21st St. Doors at 6, show at 7pm, FREE. Three classic soul groups will serenade Brooklyn by the cooling water. This is one of Summerstage’s hundreds of free concerts across the boroughs. The Stylistics, The Manhattans and Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes will perform.
Prospect Park Bandshell, 9th St. & PPW, 7:30 show, 6:30 gates (but line up earlier). Marvin Gaye’s masterwork 1971 album, What’s Going On, will be performed in its entirety, curated by guitarist and bandleader Felicia Collins and featuring friends and fellows Toshi Reagon, Siedah Garrett, Terri Lynne Carrington, Kim Clarke, Valerie Naranjo, La Tanya Hall and other singers and instrumentalists.
First Baptist Church of Crown Heights Rev. Dr. Darryl Bloodsaw, Pastor
PRESENTS ITS Jazz Vespers Program - Outdoors Thursday, August 8th, 6-8 pm (in front of the church) FREE!
Ropeadope Recording Artist VIVIAN SESSOMS
Hailed by Rolling Stone and Billboard magazines as an "exquisite" singer. Vivian has performed all over the world with some of the biggest names in music. She got her start as a child opening for Marvin Gaye and since then she's worked with legendary artists like Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and many more. Vivian is a professional who has a broad range of music genres to utilize that deﬁne her music, including jazz, soul and R & B. She has recently released a new CD (LIFE) that focuses on her aﬀection for Jazz. “Sessoms is indeed rather incomparable in both her approach to the music and her stunning vocal range.” - Glide Magazine First Baptist is located at 450 Eastern Parkway at Rogers Ave, Brooklyn NY Chairs will be available
Joining Vivian will be: Mike King, keyboard; Chris Parks, bass; and, on drums TBA.
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