THE FORUM NEWSGROUP | DECEMBER 1, 2022

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THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 21 • Number 46 • DECEMBER 1, 2022 | 1 VOL. 21 • NUMBER 46 • DECEMBER 1, 2022
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Announces Plan to Provide Care for Severely Mental Ill
Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday pledged to address the ongoing crisis of individuals experiencing severe mental illnesses left untreated and unsheltered in the city’s streets and subways.
Adams

Adams Announces Plan to Provide Care for People Suffering From Untreated Severe Mental Illness

Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday an nounced a new pathway forward to address the ongoing crisis of individuals experienc ing severe mental illnesses le untreated and unsheltered in the streets and subways across the ve boroughs.

In a public address, Adams detailed a new vision to tackle this crisis, beginning with a directive being issued immediately to City agencies and contractors involved in evaluating and providing care to indi viduals in psychiatric crisis so that more people in need of help receive it. Adams also laid out an 11-point legislative agenda that will be among his top priorities in Al bany during the upcoming legislative ses sion. e agenda takes aim at gaps in the State’s Mental Hygiene Law that intensify the City’s challenges in meeting the needs of its most vulnerable residents with severe mental illness. Finally, Adams announced new clinical co-response teams deployed in New York City’s subways to respond to those with serious mental health issues, as well as an enhanced training in partnership with New York for all rst responders to compassionately care for those in crisis.

In accordance with state law and court precedent, Adams’ directive clari es that outreach workers, city-operated hospitals, and rst responders have the legal authority to provide care to New Yorkers when severe mental illness prevents them from meeting their own basic human needs to the extent

that they are a danger to themselves. e directive — issued by Adams on Tuesday — seeks to dispel a persistent myth that the legal standard for involuntary intervention requires an “overt act” demonstrating that the person is violent, suicidal, or engaging in outrageously dangerous behavior likely to result in imminent harm.

Adams also announced on Tuesday that the City is developing a tele-consult line to provide police o cers in the eld with direct access to clinicians. is new

with individuals in distress and ensure a compassionate response for those su ering with untreated serious mental illness.

Measures in Adams’ legislative agenda announced today include:

• Making the law explicit that a per son requires care when their mental illness prevents them from meeting their own ba sic needs;

• Mandating that hospital clinicians consider a range of factors when assessing a patient’s need for involuntary admission or

tient treatment;

• Requiring hospitals to screen all psychiatric patients prior to discharge for their need to receive “assisted outpatient treatment” (court-ordered care under “Kendra’s Law”);

• Allowing a broader range of trained mental health professionals to per form evaluations and community removals of individuals in crisis; and

• Requiring hospitals to notify known community providers when their clients are admi ed or released and collab orate with community providers in prepar ing patients for discharge.

Ahead of the winter months — when homelessness typically increases on sub ways due to the cold weather — the Ad ams administration has begun deploying subway clinical co-response teams, made up of joint patrols of the City Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and the New York City Police Department (NYPD), to patrol high-tra c subway sta tions and respond with a clinician-led ap proach to those appearing to have serious mental health issues.

A bipartisan, transportation-minded triumvirate in the City Council is looking to drum up support for the QueensLink project via legislation.

e QueensLink looks to provide a new north-south transit connection in e World’s Borough while also using available land for new park space—and, perhaps most importantly, stand as a viable op tion to the Adams administration-backed QueensWay project.

At issue is the long-abandoned Rocka way Beach Rail Line of the Long Island Rail Road—a 3.5-mile, 47-acre swath of the bor ough that runs from Rego Park to Ozone Park. For the past several years, the debate over what to do with the lengthy span of aban doned rail track—and elevated eyesore—has come down to QueensWay vs. QueensLink: park land vs. public transportation.

Proponents of the QueensLink are de voted to the reactivation of the Rockaway Beach Rail Line either as part of the Long Island Rail Road or, more likely, the City subway system. e defunct spur was put into service in the late 19th century under the control of the LIRR and connected

tele-consult line will provide critical clini cal advice to police o cers when dealing

retention, including known treatment his tory and current ability to adhere to outpa

Finally, in partnership with State, the City will also provide comprehensive train ing to all clinicians, outreach workers, and rst responders to ensure compassionate care that potentially could include invol untary removals when interacting with in dividuals in distress su ering from severe mental illnesses. e city will be rolling out this training immediately, Adams noted.

Rockaway and southern Queens with Rego Park, provided area residents with expedi ent access to other parts of the city, and 40-minute commutes to Midtown Manhat tan from the Rockaway Peninsula.

Last Week, Councilwomen Selvena N. Brooks-Powers (D-Far Rockaway) and Joann Ariola (R-Ozone Park), and Coun cilman Bob Holden (D-Maspeth) cosponsored a Resolution “calling upon the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to conduct a comprehensive Environmental

Impact Study on the viability of the pro posed QueensLink project.”

As of Wednesday a ernoon, Res. 03902022 had been referred to the Council Commi ee on Transportation and Infra structure.

In September, Mayor Eric Adams an nounced a $35 million investment for de sign and construction of the Metropolitan Hub in Queens, or Phase One of the Queen sWay. According to Adams, this phase of the project will transform a vacant, city-owned

corridor in Forest Hills into a ve-acre park with 0.7 miles of greenway, providing resi dents with new open space, improved access to recreational amenities, outdoor educa tion opportunities for students, and a safe transportation corridor connecting people to schools, businesses, and 10 bus lines. e City Economic Development Corporation will manage the construction of the Met Hub in collaboration with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks). e funding includes $2.5 million from the New York City Council.

Adams has publicly admi ed he’s a fan of the QueensWay project, and sees it as the High Line of e World’s Borough.

“New York is a ve-borough city, and every borough deserves high-quality park space. at’s exactly what we are delivering with this $35 million investment in one of our vital neighborhoods in Queens,” Adams said. “QueensWay phase one will convert abandoned railroad tracks that have been used as a dumping ground into a linear park that will make this community safer, health ier, greener, and more prosperous. e com munity has been asking for this for decades, and I am proud to stand with them to show how we ‘Get Stu Done’ for New Yorkers.”

2 | DECEMBER 1, 2022 • Number 46 • VOL. 21 • THE FORUM NEWSGROUP
Rendition Courtesy of QueensLink Photo Courtesy of Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography O ce Mayor Adams made the announcement on Tuesday.
Area City Council Members Urge MTA to Study Viability of Proposed QueensLink Project

Governor Kathy Hochul, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, American Airlines and British Airways on Tuesday announced the opening of a newly expanded Terminal 8, marking completion of the rst phase of the historic JFK Vision Plan that is transforming the international airport into a world-class global hub.

e $400 million, privately nanced expansion and modernization will allow British Airways to move from its long-time home in Terminal 7 and co-locate with American Airlines in Terminal 8. e 60-year-old Terminal 7 will be demolished to clear space for a new Terminal 6 that will begin construction early next year.

Operational enhancements of Terminal 8 include ve new widebody gates, four new widebody parking positions, and an expanded and upgraded baggage handling system that will together support additional transatlantic ights. e terminal has also been expanded with approximately 130,000 square feet of additional and refurbished space.

Terminal 8's expansion is a critical component of the JFK Vision Plan that is transforming the airport into what will be one of the world's nest international gateways with a 21st century customer experience and increased connectivity for travelers. e move by British Airways will bring the storied carrier closer to its partner airlines when Terminal 8 becomes home to eight oneworld® Alliance carriers. Iberia plans to move into Terminal 8 on Dec. 1, and Japan Airlines expects to move its operations to Terminal 8 in May 2023.

According to o cials, premium customers traveling on both airlines will now be able to enjoy an elevated travel experience at Terminal 8. Upon arrival, premium customers will be greeted at the brand new co-branded premium check-in area,

which will provide personalized, concierge-style service. oughtfully designed architectural elements also de ne an exclusive check-in space for eligible customers.

Once through security, three distinctive lounges; Chelsea, Soho and Greenwich, combine the best of both brands and provide a re ned, welcoming pre- ight experience for eligible customers based on cabin of travel and loyalty program status.

e two brand new lounges — Chelsea and Soho — have been designed with original high-end nishes, evoking a unique sense of space while elevating the experience and service o ered to every guest.

Terminal 8 will also be undergoing a major concessions upgrade across the terminal over the next 18 months, including locally-inspired food and beverage options.

e co-location of American Airlines and British Airways at Terminal 8 supports the Port Authority's mission to create greater connectivity for passengers at a transformed and more uni ed JFK.

e Terminal 8 project involved the work of more than 115 unique minority- and womenowned businesses that were awarded contracts totaling more than $161 million, exceeding the Port Authority's commitment to at least 30 percent MWBE participation at the agency's capital projects. Local businesses were awarded nearly $33 million in contracts at Terminal 8.

“ e successful redesigning and reimagining of Terminal 8 is just one of the ways we have been making real progress toward making JFK the single greatest airport in the world. Along with new gates, new amenities, and new lounges, the upgrading of Terminal 8 has also brought new employment and contracting opportunities for Queens residents and businesses,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. said.

THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 21 • Number 46 • DECEMBER 1, 2022 | 3
Terminal 8 Project Completed
JFK
Photo Courtesy of JFK
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e $400 million, privately nanced expansion and modernization will allow British Airways to move om its long-time home in Terminal 7 and co-locate with American Airlines in Terminal 8.

MTA Budget Gaps Driven by Fare Revenue Drop: DiNapoli

e Metropolitan Transportation Au thority’s (MTA) proposal to reduce budget gaps through 2028 by an average of $915 million annually by paying down debt rais es questions on how it will nd additional savings and revenue to fund operations when federal aid runs out, according to a report issued Tuesday by State Comptrol ler omas P. DiNapoli. While the MTA has identi ed a targeted $100 million in unspeci ed e ciency savings, this will not be enough to close its projected de cit of $1.6 billion starting in 2024 as pointed out by DiNapoli in September. DiNapoli urged the MTA to expand on these e orts, dis close speci c actions and identify how they will impact fares and service delivery.

DiNapoli’s report looked to examine the current composition of MTA revenue, analyze changes to revenue over time and provide a comparison of revenue against other transit systems. e report found that when compared to ve other transit systems in similar metropolitan cities, the MTA relied more heavily on farebox reve nue and less on subsidies from state and lo cal sales tax and dedicated budget sources.

In July, DiNapoli recommended the MTA boost ridership since farebox rev enue accounts for a large portion of their budget. However, ridership has not in creased enough for the MTA to balance

its books, which has led the MTA to sug gest it needs a greater share of subsidies as part of its funding. In 2019, prior to the pandemic, fare revenue stood at $6.4 bil lion, or 42.1%, of the MTA’s total revenue. Today, fare revenue makes up only 24.5% of the MTA’s $15.7 billion in revenue, ex cluding MTA Bridges and Tunnels. The MTA projected in July that fare revenue will be the largest source of growth among all revenue sources and will rebound to make up 32.2% of total revenue by 2026.

For this to happen, they’ve included pro posed fare increases of 4% in 2023 and 2025. However, the MTA would have to raise fares by at least 19% on top of these proposed increases to reach the same level of fare revenue as in 2019. DiNapoli also noted fare revenue could rise if the MTA exceeded the midpoint of its ridership projections, which it can do by commit ting resources to provide safe, reliable and frequent service.

DiNapoli also found that if the MTA

received subsidies in 2019 at the same rate as Boston’s Massachuse s Bay Transpor tation Authority, it would have received another $1.7 billion in funding, and if the MTA received subsidies at the same rate as the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, it would have received an addi tional $700 million. Other comparable sys tems, including Chicago and Philadelphia, also received transit subsidy shares that t within this range.

e report also highlights the MTA’s greater reliance on volatile subsidies as opposed to taxes like the other transit sys tems. In particular, real estate transaction taxes have shown increased sensitivity during recessions. However, the MTA is currently projecting growth in real estate transaction taxes through its nancial plan, despite New York City projecting a sub stantial decline in similar taxes received in scal year (FY) 2023. e city does not ex pect real estate transaction taxes to return to the MTA’s projected levels until a er FY 2026.

DiNapoli urged the MTA to continue to search for operating e ciencies and identi fy and expand cost-saving options in order to close its expected budget gaps. However, the magnitude of these gaps makes it un likely that they can be closed by reducing spending alone without leading to a sub stantial reduction in services and hurting the regional economic recovery.

4 | DECEMBER 1, 2022 • Number 46 • VOL. 21 • THE FORUM NEWSGROUP
File Photo e State comptroller said that the magnitude of these budget gaps makes it unlikely that they can be closed by the MTA reducing spending alone without leading to a substantial reduction in services and hurting the regional economic recovery.

State A orney General Tish James on Monday released her annual “Pennies for Charity: Fundraising by Professional Fund raisers” report, which analyzes data submit ted to the O ce of the A orney General’s (OAG) Charities Bureau by professional fundraisers on their 2021 charitable fund raising campaigns in New York. e report looks at trends in the sector, provides guid ance and tips for donors, and gives charities information on fundraisers’ performance.

is year’s report found that profes sional fundraisers received over a quarter of every dollar donated to charities that em ployed them in 2021 in fees and expenses — a total of more than $460 million. Ana lyzing 658 campaigns conducted by profes sional fundraisers in 2021, the report nds that charities received 73 percent of dona tions, in line with the year prior and a small increase from 2019. Professional fundrais ers are outside, for-pro t organizations of ten hired by charities to run campaigns.

New York is home to many diverse char itable organizations and institutions, which like all parts of our society, faced many challenges during the coronavirus pandem ic. Despite the pandemic’s continuing eco nomic impact and limitations on in-person events, donations rose to over $1.7 billion in 2021 — an increase of almost $250 mil lion from 2020 and over $400 million from 2019 pre-pandemic contributions. Other report ndings include:

• In 276 campaigns — 42 percent — charities received less than 50 percent of funds raised, with professional fundraisers retaining the rest.

• In 96 campaigns — 15 percent — expenses exceeded revenue and cost chari ties over $10 million. is is fewer cases than last year for both ndings. is year’s Pennies for Charity report includes information from reports led

with OAG's Charities Bureau by profes sional fundraisers for charity campaigns conducted in 2021. Professional fundrais ers must register with OAG and their nancial reports must break down the cam paign’s earnings and expenses. e report and the searchable Pennies for Charity database containing the ndings of those reports are posted on the charitiesnys.com. e report also lays out tips for donors to follow before donating over the phone, through mail, or online to ensure that their contributions reach the causes they intend to support. e report is linked above for a full guide, but important tips to keep in mind include:

• If you are contacted by a telemar keter, ask questions to make an informed decision: New York law requires telemar keters soliciting for charities to make cer tain disclosures to potential donors and prohibits them from making false, mis leading, or deceptive statements to con tributors. Telemarketers are required to tell potential donors their names, which professional fundraiser employs them, and if the telemarketer is ge ing paid. Donors may also ask what percentage of their dona tion will go to the fundraiser for fees and expenses.

• If you receive a direct mail chari table appeal, verify the soliciting organiza tion: Does the organization have a name that sounds like a well-known charity? Double-check — is it the one you think it is? Does the mailing claim to follow up on a pledge that you do not remember making? Does it clearly describe the programs that the charity plans to fund with your dona tion?

• If you are donating online, do your research rst: Donating online or via an app is convenient for donors and can be cost e ective for a charity. But before hit ting “send,” donors should check whether a campaign is legitimate.

STAYING

CHALLENGE FOR THYROID PATIENTS

Grumbling about the cold won’t make it go away, and for some people, those dealing with thyroid conditions, the win ter can be especially taxing.

We’ve put together some tips for those of you with thyroid conditions and how to survive the winter in a li le more comfort.

e thyroid gland is like a thermostat for our bodies. People with a sluggish thy roid are prone to having low body temper ature and are prone to cold intolerance. If your thyroid function is low, you need to take some precautions to protect your health.

Strategies for warming up and giving your thyroid a break: Get plenty of rest. Keep your home temperature warm.

If you happen to have a landlord that is stingy with the heat, ge ing a note from your doctor may provide some prodding. If you do need to go out into the cold, dress in layers.

Hot baths are a nice way to get yourself warm without making your thyroid do all the work!

If you can’t make it to your local phar macy to buy a heating pad, try lling an old sturdy sock with rice. Make sure you tie the end securely and then heat it in the microwave for two minutes—just be care ful that it’s not too hot when applying it to your body!

Soaking your feet in hot water for 5-10 minutes will warm up the rest of your body.

Cuddling and holding hands with your signi cant other or your pets can help you get through the cold. Spouses and pets are will share their heat with you for back and belly rubs. Did you know that the saying “ ree Dog Night” is thought to originate from Eskimos who would keep dogs in their igloos to help them warm up on par ticularly cold nights!

Balancing your blood sugar will help you stay warm. Be sure to eat high quality fats and proteins every few hours and limit sugary and starchy foods.

Foods known as thermogenic can in crease the metabolism, and can actually create heat when converting food to ener gy. Some common spices in this category are: chili, mustard, red pepper, black pep per and red hot chili peppers.

Don’t leave friends and family “out in the cold,” let them know you need a li le more heat than the average bear.

Remember, people with thyroid con ditions are more likely to experience the "Winter Blues".

Last but not least, winter puts us at risk for Vitamin D de ciency. Stop in and talk to your pharmacist about a quality re placement.

Stay warm…Until next time.

Ariola Touts Two Pieces of ‘Common Sense’ Legislation

Two bills sponsored by City Councilwoman Joann Ariola (R-Ozone Park) earned approval at last week’s Stated Meeting.

Intro. 404A: Legislation that would require the City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to report on how the money gained through the opioid se lement agreement is spent.

Intro. 525A: A proposed law that would require parts dealers to collect and retain in formation about the vehicles from which second-hand cata lytic converters come, in order to verify converters were re moved legally and with owner authorization.

THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 21 • Number 46 • DECEMBER 1, 2022 | 5
Pharmacist’s Corner
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Mayor Signs Two Bills Providing Support for Survivors of Domestic and Gender-Based Violence in NYC

Mayor Eric Adams recently signed two bills to provide support for survi vors of domestic and gender-based vio lence in the five boroughs.

Intro. 153-A amends the City’s ad ministrative code by establishing a housing stability program for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence.

Intro. 154-A amends the City’s ad ministrative code by requiring the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV) to create an online services portal and guide.

“Everyone deserves to be safe in their relationships and live a life free of do mestic and gender-based violence,” said Adams. “This is a public safety issue that impacts us all. Domestic and genderbased violence can happen to anyone, anywhere in our city, and we have a sa cred duty to protect these survivors. By signing these two bills into law, we are continuing to protect those at risk and ensuring they have a chance to thrive. Together, we can end domestic and gender-based violence and build a city where everyone is safe in their homes and in their communities.”

Intro. 153-A — sponsored by New York City Councilmember Tiffany

Cabán — would require ENDGBV, in consultation with the New York City Department of Social Services (DSS) and community-based organizations, to establish a program to provide survivors of domestic and gender-based violence with a low-barrier grant and supportive services that would help survivors with expenses related to maintaining hous ing. The bill would require ENDGBV to report on the program on an annual basis. The legislation also updates the definitions section used in this section of the code.

Intro. 154-A — also sponsored by Councilmember Cabán — would require ENDGBV to establish an online portal and a written resource guide of avail able services for survivors of domestic or gender-based violence in New York City. The portal and guide would be aligned with ENDGBV’s NYCHope and be avail able in the designated citywide languag es. The guide would also be available in Braille. The portal would include a clear and conspicuous link to any other rel evant city-run websites and portals that provide information on survivor services

located within the city and a description of the types of such resources. Finally, the bill would require ENDGBV to conduct outreach on the portal and guide and to ensure the portal is secure and confiden tial to protect the privacy of survivors.

“When I first became chair of the Committee on Women and Gender Eq uity, I shared that my focus this term would be on shifting resources and power away from patriarchal systems of violence and punishment and toward the compassionate, life-giving systems which we have sidelined and devalued for too long,” Cabán added. “I am very proud to be delivering on that promise with the two bills the mayor is signing today. These two laws will save lives. The online portal and written resource guide, available in all major languages and in Braille, will make it much more likely that survivors will know about, and take advantage of, the great lifesaving programs already available in our city. And the low-barrier urgently accessible grant program will directly address one of the most significant bar riers survivors face in leaving dangerous situations: economic precarity. I look forward to working with the mayor to fully fund and thoughtfully implement these laws and can’t wait to celebrate many survivor success stories together.”

MTA Advises Q44 SBS Bus Lane Enforcement Warning Period to End Dec. 2

e Metropolitan Transportation Au thority (MTA) on Monday advised that drivers who violate the Q44 SBS bus lane regulations will be issued summonses be ginning this Friday, Dec. 2.

Since the activation of the Q44 SBS's automated bus lane enforcement (ABLE) cameras on Oct. 3, the City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) has been issu ing warning notices to violators who block the bus lane. is warning period served as an opportunity to educate and remind drivers of bus lane regulations, a critical component in keeping buses moving and improving speeds.

Additionally, the Q43 and Bx19 acti vated its cameras today, beginning their 60-day warning period. Since the activa tion of the Q44 SBS, which was the rst of nine bus routes announced in October to activate its ABLE cameras, ve bus routes have recently installed and activated their cameras. See activation dates and respec tive end date for their warning periods:

• S79 SBS cameras activated on Oct. 31; violators to receive summonses beginning Friday, Dec. 30

• Bx12 SBS cameras activated on Nov. 18; violators to receive summonses beginning Tuesday, Jan. 17

• Bx41 SBS cameras activated on Nov. 18; violators to receive summonses beginning Tuesday, Jan. 17

• Q43 cameras activated on Nov. 28; violators to receive summonses begin ning Friday, Jan. 27

• Bx19 cameras activated on Nov. 28; violators to receive summonses begin ning Friday, Jan. 27

e Q44 SBS is among one of the busiest routes in the MTA bus network. Between Oct. 3 and Wednesday, Nov. 23,

3,325 warning notices were issued on the Q44 SBS bus lane, 3,325 instances of which the majority will not result in a repeated o ense. Based on previous data collected, less than 8 percent of drivers receive more than two summonses for violating the rules of a bus lane. is is indicative of ABLE cameras’ e ectiveness in in uencing driver behavior.

ree Brooklyn routes remain, the B62, B25, and B42, which are all scheduled to be activated by the end of 2022. In total, 300

buses will be equipped with this bus lane enforcing technology to capture drivers violating busway and bus lane rules in realtime.

ABLE cameras are an essential tool to keep bus lanes clear of vehicles and buses on schedule for more consistent and reli able service. By the end of the year, the bus enforcement technology will be expanded to all boroughs and cover approximately 50 percent of bus lane miles across the city.

e MTA and New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) have agreed to expand camera enforcement to cover up to 85 percent of existing bus lanes by the end of 2023. NYCDOT’s xed cameras will work in concert with these bus cameras to reduce the number of illegal cars and other vehicles in bus lanes.

Each bus lane corridor will have signage indicating the hours that the bus lanes are operable, and warning motorists that the lanes are camera-enforced, as the existing bus lane corridors have. NYCDOT will is sue warnings to motorists for the rst 60 days, in accordance with State law, to en sure drivers are informed about the pro gram before any nes are levied. Drivers who violate these rules during enforcement periods are subject to a summons, with nes beginning at $50 and escalating, for repeat o enders, up to $250.

6 | DECEMBER 1, 2022 • Number 46 • VOL. 21 • THE FORUM NEWSGROUP
Photo Courtesy of Mayoral Photography O ce City Hall is lit orange on Monday to honor the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. Photo Courtesy of Google e Q44 SBS can be seen at the intersection of Sutphin Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue dozens of times daily.

New Laws Set to Improve Diversity within FDNY

Mayor Eric Adams on Monday signed a package of ve bills to improve diver sity within the City Fire Department—not even a month a er the City Council voted in favor of instituting laws aimed at address ing recruitment and retention of underrep resented groups within the department, as well as requiring the implementation of di versity, inclusion, anti-discrimination, and anti-harassment training of the Bravest.

On Monday, Adams signed into law the following ve bills:

Intro. 516-A — sponsored by Council Speaker Adrienne Adams — establishes a recruitment and retention plan for re ghters. e bill requires the FDNY, in consultation with the New York City De partment of Citywide Administrative Ser vices (DCAS), to develop and implement a plan to recruit and retain individuals from underrepresented populations within the rank of re ghter.

Intro. 519-A — sponsored by Council woman Joann Ariola — requires a survey of permanent rehouse upgrades to estab lish a working environment that facilitates use by a mixed-gender workforce. e bill requires the FDNY to survey each re house to determine the permanent facility upgrades necessary to facilitate use by a mixed-gender workforce. Upon comple tion of the survey, the FDNY will then submit a report on the ndings of the sur vey detailing permanent facility upgrades

necessary at each rehouse, the feasibility of implementing such upgrades, and any construction plans to make such upgrades.

“I am proud to sponsor legislation that will lead to upgrades for our re houses to have adequate areas for both men and

submit an annual report on the number of employees assigned to each rehouse or special operations unit, disaggregated by gender and race or ethnicity, as well as the number of individuals who reside within the immediate service area of each re

education to all employees regarding di versity and inclusion, including training on the department’s anti-harassment and antidiscrimination policies. FDNY will also be required to post an annual report on its website regarding e orts taken to imple ment such training.

Intro. 560-A — sponsored by Coun cilwoman Nantasha Williams — requires the FDNY to submit an annual report on complaints led with the department’s Equal Employment Opportunity o ce regarding potential violations of the city’s Equal Employment Opportunity policy. e report will include information on the number of complaints that resulted in cor rective action taken by the FDNY, further disaggregated by the form of corrective ac tion, including, but not limited to, formal reprimands, nes, loss of pay or bene ts, transfers, suspensions, demotions, and ter minations.

women to tend to their personal needs,” Ariola added. “I will continue to ght for the members of the FDNY in every aspect of their job.”

Intro. 552-A — sponsored by Council man Kevin Riley — requires the FDNY to

company, disaggregated by gender and race or ethnicity.

Intro. 553-A — also sponsored by Ri ley — requires the FDNY, in consultation with DCAS, to develop and implement a plan for providing ongoing training and

“Diversity is at the heart of our city’s strength, and our commitment as an agen cy is rst and foremost to the people we serve. e FDNY will set the bar for the re service by a racting the best talent this city has to o er, serving each neighborhood as though it was our own, and ensuring each member of our FDNY family can thrive, grow as leaders, and inspire future genera tions,” said FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh. “Mayor Adams, Speaker Adams, and the City Council are true partners in that mission, and I look forward to working closely with them to achieve it.”

THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 21 • Number 46 • DECEMBER 1, 2022 | 7
Photo Courtesy of Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography O ce City Councilwoman Joann Ariola (l.) and City Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh.
8 | DECEMBER 1, 2022 • Number 46 • VOL. 21 • THE FORUM NEWSGROUP

NY’s Labor Force Decreased Sharply during Pandemic, Remains below Pre-Pandemic Peak: Report

The Empire State’s labor force is one of the nation’s largest, but it de creased by 1 percent between 2011 and 2021 while the rest of the nation increased by 5.1 percent, according to a recently released report by State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. A re bound took place in the latter half of the last decade before dropping sig nificantly with the onset of the COV ID-19 pandemic. New York continued to lose workers in 2021 when the rest of the nation began to recover. Even as the workforce began growing in 2022, it is still 400,000 workers below the state’s December 2019 peak.

DiNapoli’s report found the longterm decline was due, in part, to popula tion changes and a relatively lower share of workers participating in the work force. New York’s 10-year average par ticipation rate was 40th in the nation. In 2021, New York’s participation rate was 59 percent, almost 3 percentage points lower than the rest of the nation.

DiNapoli’s report also found:

• Only three of the state’s 10 re gional labor markets (Long Island, New York City, and the Hudson Valley) were larger in 2021 than they were in 2011, with the rest of the regions losing work ers, including double digit declines in the Southern Tier (-12.6 percent) and the North Country (-10.2 percent).

• New York was one of the first states impacted by COVID-19 and had a pandemic recession that lasted longer than the rest of the U.S. Its unemploy ment rate was 9.9 percent in 2020, near ly two percentage points higher than the rest of the nation.

• By 2021, the state’s 6.9 percent unemployment rate was the nation’s third highest, led by high unemployment in New York City. The state also had a greater share of underemployed workers (5.3 percent) than the rest of the nation (4.2 percent). Underemployed workers include underutilized, marginally at tached and discouraged workers. Under utilized workers are employed part-time but want full-time work and constituted

a larger share of the workforce in New York (3.8 percent) compared to the rest of the nation (3 percent) in 2021.

• In 2019, New York’s unemploy ment rate for people with disabilities was at its lowest in over 10 years, but grew in 2020 and remained elevated in 2021, at a rate almost twice that of peo ple without a disability. Labor force par ticipation for this group was 40 percent in 2020, trailing that for the state as a whole.

• Labor force participation rates were highest for Hispanics, at just over 61 percent on average over the 10-year period. Participation rates were lowest for Black workers and decreased from 60.3 percent in 2014 to a low of 55 per cent in 2020 before rebounding in 2021.

• New York’s workforce is more highly educated than the nation, with 50.6 percent of those 25 and older hav ing at least a bachelor’s degree compared to 43.3 percent nationwide.

• In New York, 22.2 percent of employed workers were members of unions in 2021, second highest in the

nation. Union members represented 10.3 percent of all employed workers nationwide in 2021, down from 11.8 percent in 2011.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics defines the labor force as the portion of the working age population, 16 and over, that is either employed or officially con sidered unemployed – those who are not employed but have actively looked for work in the previous four-week period.

State AG Urges Congress to ‘Protect Workers’ by Forbidding Retirement Investments in Cryptocurrencies

State Attorney General Tish James recently urged congressional leaders to adopt legislation that would prohibit in vesting retirement funds in digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies, digital coins, and digital tokens.

Individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and defined contribution retire ment plans, like 401(k) plans and 457 plans for government employees, are key retirement investments for millions of Americans. Recently, a major financial institution has offered Bitcoin as an in vestment option in its 401(k) plans, and other financial institutions are expected to follow suit. With recent crypto market crashes and other market turbulence, At torney General James stressed the need to protect workers’ retirement funds and avoid the dangers of risky cryptocurren cies.

“Investing Americans’ hard-earned retirement funds in crashing crypto currencies could wipe away a lifetime’s worth of hard work,” James said. “Over and over again, we have seen the dangers and pitfalls of cryptocurrencies and the wild swings in these funds. Hardwork ing Americans should not have to worry about their retirement savings being wiped out due to risky bets on unstable assets like cryptocurrencies. I urge Con gress to take action to protect working families from having their retirement ac counts dry up because of crypto invest ments.”

Two congressional bills have been proposed to allow crypto investments in retirement plans and prevent regu lators from restricting access to these investments in such plans. The Retire ment Savings Modernization Act would put 401(k) retirement savings at risk by exposing them to the volatility and ille gality of cryptocurrencies. In her letter, Attorney General James explains that recent high-profile failures of crypto companies make digital assets unsuit able retirement investments. Just this month, the value of many cryptocurren cies fell precipitously after one of the

largest crypto exchanges in the world, FTX Trading Ltd., collapsed. In May 2022, many cryptocurrencies reached significant lows following the crash of a so-called stable coin, TerraUSD. The failure of TerraUSD spread and resulted in $500 billion in losses into the broader crypto market.

Aside from such failures, James cautioned that cryptocurrency prices swing wildly because they are purely speculative rather than an investment in future cash flow. Bitcoin, for exam ple, the first and most popular of cryp tocurrencies, peaked at $68,789.63 on

Nov. 12, 2021, and traded as low as $15,599.05 just yesterday. Yet no un derlying fundamentals explain why it traded at over $64,000 one year and under $20,000 the next. Many once well-established cryptocurrency busi nesses have frozen customer withdraw als, announced mass layoffs, or filed for bankruptcy, while investors have been left in financial ruin.

In addition, James warned that cryp tocurrencies are often an instrument for fraud and crime. For example, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently re ported that since the start of 2021, more than 46,000 people have reported losing over $1 billion total in crypto to scams. The FTC further noted that there is no institution to flag suspicious transactions and attempt to stop fraud before it hap pens and that crypto transfers cannot be reversed. Most issuers of cryptocurrencies are not examined by any regulator, state or federal. Safeguards like those provided by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corpo ration (FDIC) or the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) are un available to protect investors from the fail ures of digital asset companies.

Congress historically has enacted laws to help American workers save for retirement. In her letter, James described legislation that Congress could adopt to protect workers’ retirement savings from crypto losses, including making minor amendments to existing statutory restric tions on how retirement savings may be invested.

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Courtesy of Comptroller DiNapoli Photo Courtesy of A orney General James
“Over and over again, we have seen the dangers and pitfalls of cryptocurrencies and the wild swings in these funds,” AG James said. “Hardworking Americans should not have to worry about their retirement savings being wiped out due to risky bets on unstable assets like cryptocurrencies.”

Two Pimps Plead Guilty to Forcing Teen Girls into the Sex-Work Industry

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz recently announced that Law rence Winslow and Alan Velvett have each admitted to forcing three under age victims into the sex-work industry in February 2021. One of the victims was also coerced into having sex with both pimps.

Winslow, 28, of Coaldale, PA; and Velvett, 29, of Jamaica, each pleaded guilty last week to three counts of sex trafficking of a child and one count of rape in the first degree. The Hon. Peter Vallone, Jr. has indicated that he will

sentence both defendants on Jan. 12 to 10 years in prison, to be followed by 10 years’ post-release supervision. Win slow and Velvett will also be required to register as sex offenders upon release. According to the charges, in Febru ary 2021, the defendants met two vic tims, aged 13 and 14, at a La Quinta Inn on Queens Boulevard. The defendants took nude photos of the youngsters and posted the images online, stating that the girls were “for sale.” One of the teenagers had sex with a stranger and the defendants kept ev ery dollar from the exchange.

DA Katz said that same week, Win

slow and Velvett met a 15-year-old vic tim at the same La Quinta Inn where she was told she would engage in sex for cash. Winslow took semi-nude pho tos of the child and posted them as on line advertisements. The victim was then forced to have sex with Winslow, followed by a string of strangers. Every dollar from those proceeds was pock eted by both defendants.

Afterwards, the victim was relocat ed to the JFK Inn, where she was forced to have sex with Velvett, followed by another string of strangers. All the pro ceeds from the exchange with strangers were kept by the defendants.

The teenager was rescued when an undercover police officer responded to the online ad and met with the girl in person at one of the hotel rooms. Vel vett was arrested after arriving in the room. Winslow was arrested after being found in the second hotel room across the hall.

District Attorney Katz said: “I cre ated the Human Trafficking Bureau to remove the most unscrupulous and cal lous predators from our communities and we will continue to be relentless in this mission. In pleading guilty, these defendants admitted responsibility and now face serious prison time.”

Flushing Driver Charged in Fatal Elmhurst Collision with Motorcyclist

Queens District A orney Melinda Katz announced on Tuesday that Jairo Ortiz has been charged with allegedly hi ing an unidenti ed motorcyclist while driving an unregistered, uninsured vehicle in Elm hurst last Saturday morning.

Ortiz, 24, of Flushing, was arraigned Sunday on a complaint charging him with vehicular manslaughter in the second de

gree, operating a motor vehicle while un der the influence of alcohol or drugs and driving without a license.

According to the charges, on Nov. 26, at approximately 1:15 a.m., Ortiz was driving southbound on 82nd Street in a black 2011 BMW when collided with an unidentified victim, who was operating a 2021

Zhilong Fly Wing motorcycle, near the intersection of 82nd Street and 37th

Avenue. The victim was rushed to a local hospital with traumatic head injuries and died shortly thereafter.

According to the complaint, an alcohol test administered by police responding to the scene of the collision showed Ortiz’s blood-alcohol content was above the legal limit. Ortiz was unable to produce a valid driver’s license or proof of insurance and registration for the vehicle, a BMW with a Pennsylvania license plate not matching

the vehicle’s VIN.

“As alleged, the defendant was driving a car while under the influence of alco hol. In addition, neither the defendant nor his vehicle was authorized to be on the road,” Katz said. “Laws meant to pro tect us were willfully broken. The conse quence of that decision is a senseless loss of life.”

If convicted, Ortiz faces up to seven years in prison.

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Photo Courtesy of Google According to the charges, in February 2021, Winslow and Velve met two victims, aged 13 and 14, at a La Quinta Inn on Queens Boulevard. Photo Courtesy of Google A 15-year-old victim was relocated to the JFK Inn, where she was forced to have sex with Velve , followed by another string of strangers, according to the charges. Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia/SBrocious According to the complaint, an alcohol test administered by police responding to the scene of the collision (similar to the picture) showed Ortiz’s blood-alcohol content was above the legal limit. Photo Courtesy of Google e crash occurred near the intersection of 82nd Street and 37th Avenue in Elmhurst.
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THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 21 • Number 46 • DECEMBER 1, 2022 | 13
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Legal Notices

111-10 Owners LLC, Arts of Org. led with Sec. of State of NY (SSNY) 6/17/2022. Cty: Queens. SSNY desig. as agent upon whom process against may be served & shall mail process to Mohammed Hossain, 143-05 85th Dr. Briarwood, NY 11435. General Purpose

FAVORITE VEGETABLE LLC

Arts of Org. led with Sec. of State of NY (SSNY) 09/23/2022. City: Queens. SSNY desig. as agent upon whom pro cess against may be served & shall mail process to MA HEW DURKIN, P.O BOX 2399, AASTORIA, NY, 11102, USA. General Purpose

RHYTHM AND KDNNS, LLC

Arts of Org. led with Sec. of State of NY (SSNY) 8/17/2022. Cty: Queens. SSNY desig. as agent upon whom pro cess against may be served & shall mail process to KIE N DENNIS, 2735 21ST STREET, 7C, ASTORIA, NY, 11102- 4227, USA. GeneralPurpose

MBLE & ROAM CO LLC Arts

of Org. led with Sec. of State of NY (SSNY) 09/06/2022. City: Queens. SSNY desig. as agent upon whom pro cess against may be served & shall mail process to THE LIMITED LIABILITY COMAPNY, 61W16TH RD, BROAD CHANNEL, NY, 11693, USA. General Purpose

76-05 113th St. LLC, Arts of Org. led with Sec. of State of NY (SSNY) 9/15/2022. Cty: Queens. SSNY desig. as agent upon whom process against may be served & shall mail process to Lonnie G. Tishman, Esq., 980 Broadway, #532, ornwood, NY 10954. General Pur pose

A Notice of Formation of Jin Xin Re alty LLC, Art. of Org. led Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 8/1/2022. O ce lo cation: Queens County. SSNY Designat ed as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to: e LLC, 27-13 Uto pia Pkwy, Flushing, NY 11358. Purpose: any lawful activity.

CAVALIERE 6617 LLC. Arts. of Org. led with the SSNY on 09/20/22. O ce: Queens County. SSNY designat ed as agent of the LLC upon whom pro cess against it may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to the LLC, 6906 Grand Avenue, Maspeth, NY 11378. Purpose: Any lawful purpose.

104-14 118 STREET LLC, Arts. of Org. led with the SSNY on 10/25/2022. O ce loc: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: Kevin Kaly an, 86-30 108th Street, Richmond Hill, NY 11418. Purpose: Any Lawful Pur pose.

Middle Village Enterprises, LLC, Arts of Org. led with Sec. of State of NY (SSNY) 10/13/2022. Cty: Queens. SSNY desig. as agent upon whom pro cess against may be served & shall mail process to Eric Faulkner, 6430 69th Pl., Middle Village, NY 11379. General Pur pose

49 NORTHERN BLVD. LLC. Arts. of Org. led with the SSNY on 09/30/22. O ce: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it maybe served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to the LLC, 91-10Metropolitan Avenue, Rego Park,NY 11374. Purpose: Any law ful purpose.

AHAA Management LLC, Arts of Org. led with Sec. of State of NY (SSNY) 8/24/2022. Cty: Queens. SSNY desig. as agent upon whom pro cess against may be served & shall mail process to Aaron Ivatorov, 211 Beach 148th St., Neponsit, NY 11694. General Purpose

e Kidz Campus LLC, Arts of Org. led with Sec. of State of NY (SSNY) 10/27/2022. Cty: Queens. SSNY desig. as agent upon whom process against may be served & shall mail process to 134-01 89th Ave., 2nd Fl., Richmond Hill, NY 11418. General Purpose

W & C PLAZA LLC led Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State of New York (SSNY) on 09/27/2022. O ce located in Queens County. SSNY has been designated for service of pro cess and shall mail copy of any process served against the LLC to 10867 Roos evelt Ave Corona, NY 11368. Purpose: any lawful act.

B HARRIS CONSULTING LLC Arts. of Org. led with the SSNY on 10/26/2022. O ce loc: Queens Coun ty. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: BRYAN HARRIS, 6861 YELLOW STONE BLVD, APT 615, FOREST HILLS, NY 11375, USA.. Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose.

Notice of formation of CONNEX ION 8 LLC. Arts of Org filed with Secy of State of NY (SSNY) on 11/3/22. Of fice location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent upon whom pro cess may be served and shall mail copy of process against LLC to: 77 Bowery, 6th Fl., NY, NY 10002. Purpose: any lawful act..

Area 8 LLC led w/ SSNY 9/26/22 O . in Queens Co. SSNY desig. as agt. of LLC whom process may be served & shall mail process to the LLC, 239-60 Oak Park Dr, Douglaston, NY 11362. e reg. agt. is United States Corpora tion Agents, Inc., 7014 13th Ave, Ste. 202, Brooklyn, NY 11228. Any lawful purpose.

MATERNAL HEALTH COACH ING LLC led w/ SSNY on 10/10/22. O ce: Queens Co. SSNY designated as agent for process & shall mail to: THE LLC, 118-35 QUEENS BLVD, SUITE 400, FOREST HILLS, NY,11375 USA Purpose: any lawful..

Disco Herbatory LLC, Arts of Org. led with Sec. of State of NY (SSNY) 9/20/2022. Cty: Queens. SSNY desig. as agent upon whom process against may be served & shall mail process to Cohen Ip Law Group, PC, 9025 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 301, Beverly Hills, CA 90211. Gen eral Purpose

WALLFLOWER MU L COMPA NY LLC led Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State of New York (SSNY) on 11/06/2022. O ce located in Queens County. SSNY has been des ignated for service of process and shall mail copy of any process served against the LLC to WALLFLOWER MU L COMPANY, 83-35 139TH STREET, #3N, BRIARWOOD, NY, 11435, USA. Purpose: any lawful act.

135 MCCZ LLC, Arts of Org. led SSNY 09/22/22. O ce: Queens Co. SSNY designated agent of LLC upon whom process may be served & mail to c/o Michael A. Capasso, 54-08 Vernon Blvd., Queens, NY 11101. General pur pose.

Flushing 162 LLC led w/ SSNY on 9/29/22. O ce: Queens Co. SSNY des ignated as agent for process & shall mail to: P.O. Box 610026, Bayside, NY 11361. Purpose: any lawful..

154-33 BROOKVILLE BLVD., LLC, Arts. of Org. led with the SSNY on 11/28/2022. O ce loc: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: e LLC, 14-26 136th Street, College Point, NY 11356. Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose.

Notice of Formation of 6801 NORTHERN LLC Arts. of Org. led with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 11/02/22. O ce location: Queens County. Princ. o ce of LLC: c/o Citi zens Development Co., 111-15 Queens Blvd., Forest Hills, NY 11375. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to the LLC at the addr. of its princ. o ce. Purpose: Any lawful activity.

HOSSEN MEDICAL CARE OF NY PLLC, a Prof. LLC. Arts. of Org. led with the SSNY on 11/17/2022. O ce loc: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: e PLLC, 132-12 85th St., Ozone Park, NY 11417. Purpose: To Practice e Profession Of Medicine.

SOLO BUDIN LLC Arts. of Org. led with the SSNY on 11/21/22. Of ce: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to the SOLO BUDIN, 3505 28TH ST. Basement, Astoria, NY 11106, USA. Purpose: Any lawful pur pose.

CLARUS HOLDINGS LLC. Arts. of Org. led with the SSNY on 10/03/22. O ce: Queens County. SSNY designat ed as agent of the LLC upon whom pro cess against it may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to the LLC, c/o S & E Azriliant P.C., 501 Fi h Avenue, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10017. Purpose: Any lawful purpose.

CLARUS HOLDINGS LLC. Arts. of Org. led with the SSNY on 10/03/22. O ce: Queens County. SSNY designat ed as agent of the LLC upon whom pro cess against it may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to the LLC, c/o S & E Azriliant P.C., 501 Fi h Avenue, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10017. Purpose: Any lawful purpose.

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