New York City Provides Empowerment Tools For Women

The city of New York is looking to provide resources that will allow women to emulate the female rapper Cardi B, who is a favorite to many, and make “power moves.” The website Women.NYC was launched to consolidate information regarding economic, legal, and social resources available to women in the city in one place.

The website provides vital information on city programs that provide women with business funding, legal help, affordable housing alternatives, and a number of other resources. The city has also launched a marketing campaign with the goal of making women aware that the website exists.

Alicia Glen, who works with the city’s office of housing and economic development as deputy mayor, says that Women.NYC provides relevant tools to facilitate the empowerment of women in New York City and is looking forward to seeing these women take advantage of the assortment of programs available to them that for the most part have gone unnoticed.

Glen went on to express her feelings that the city of New York is a better environment for women than many other locations in the country. She cites the facts that there are more women CEOs in New York than any other city as well as the city having the smallest wage gap in the nation to bolster her claim.

Despite this impressive pair of facts, there are still obstacles for women residents of the “Big Apple” to overcome. The office of Bill de Blasio reports that despite having the lowest wage gap in America that New York City women still earn only 89 cents for every dollar earned by a man. And for female business owners in the city, the gap is even larger as revenue for women business owners is 61% of revenue raked in by businesses owned by their male counterparts.

The mayor’s office also reports that along with the marketing campaign and website, the group that powers the Women.NYC initiative will also provide fresh programs and workshops designed to support women with a number of pertinent issues.

The initiative is also calling on employers to eliminate the wage gap in ten years and offer women six weeks of paid leave for parental purposes annually.

Postal Worker Caught With 17,000 Pieces Of Undelivered Mail

A United States Postal Worker for the city of New York was recently discovered to be holding onto well over 17,000 pieces of mail. The man claimed that he was simply “overwhelmed” by the job and then began stashing pieces of mail in his work locker, home and car instead of delivering them to their intended recipients.

 

Aleksey Germash, 53, was employed by the United States Postal Service for 16 years. He was a veteran from Brooklyn who was recently charged with knowingly holding onto mail. Investigators received a tip stating a vehicle contained many blue mailbags that were full of mail, and once investigators began their search they discovered 20 mail bags containing roughly 10,000 letter hidden in his work locker, home and car that dated as far back as 2005. In his defense, Germash claimed he was just completely overwhelmed by the large amount of mail he was expected to deliver but he did make sure that he delivered all the important pieces of mail each day.

 

This case seems to have caught the attention of the nation and become a viral story, but this is not the first time something along these lines has occurred. In the past month, postal inspectors discovered roughly 60 bags of undelivered mail in the home of a United States Postal worker living in Long Island. In 2008, “Slate” published an article that exposed the issue of postal workers holding onto mail and cited many different cases, even noting that this has been occurring as far back as 1874 when a Rhode Island postman threw mail right into the ocean. According to “Slate”, cases like this generally occur with junk mail like flyers and catalogs, though it is important to note that there are, in fact, ,some cases where United States Postal workers were found to be holding onto and failing to deliver first class mail too. For more information on this topic, please go to Huffington Post.

Yankees GM Suggests He Was Suspicous Of Illegal Doping By Robinson Cano

General Manager of the New York Yankees, Brian Cashman said he possessed no first-hand knowledge of any doping being done by Robinson Cano but did say that there was a period of time that he had “suspicions.”

Cashman, while speaking to the media on Tuesday following an announcement that Cano had been suspended for 80 games by Major League Baseball for violating the league’s drug policies, explained that if he would have had any knowledge of such happenings he would have been required to report the violations. Cashman finished the statement by further explaining that knowledge and suspicion are not the same things.

When asked a short while later to clarify his suspicions, Cashman appeared to walk the statement back a bit saying that he never “suggested” that he possessed a “suspicion of Cano.”

Cashman expressed that he was rather uncomfortable with any discussions of the matter since Cano is no longer a Yankee and is now a member of the Seattle Mariners.

A fact that has added to the suspicions surrounding drug usage by Cano is that his two best buddies while with the team, Melky Cabrera and Alex Rodriquez, both received suspensions from the league due to doping.

Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia said that the news is disappointing but past events have made it difficult to surprise him in regards to doping allegations. Sabathia pointed to the Ryan Braun incident as perhaps the last time he had been caught totally off-guard by allegations of doping.

Braun tested positive in 2011 for high levels of testosterone in his urine. A source close to the incident says the levels of testosterone present in Braun’s urine was twice as high as the previous highest level ever tested by the league. Braun was able to successfully appeal a 50-game suspension by raising doubts regarding the “chain of custody” that took place with his urine sample. In the process, Ryan Braun accumulated plenty of sympathizers who believed he had been wronged in some way.

Two years later Braun has suspended again. This time for 65 games resulting for his role in the Biogenesis scandal. This time Braun was unable to escape serving his suspension.

Pedestrian-Friendly Crossings Over Harlem River Coming Soon

New Yorkers looking to cross the Harlem River via bridges on foot or bike might have got their wish granted. In a plan unveiled on Friday, the Transportation Department detailed an initiative to install dedicated bike lanes and pedestrian crossings onto many of the area’s bridges in an effort to better serve the community. By connecting communities in northern Manhattan and the Bronx, officials hope to make the area more friendly to cyclists and pedestrians. Because New York is a city of islands, coming up with inventive ways to cross the numerous bodies of water is a continuous challenge for transportation officials.

The initiative plans to install dedicated bike lanes on six of the crossings over the Harlem River: Madison Avenue, Washington, Broadway, 145th Street, Macombs Dam, University Heights bridges. The plan will also re-engineer the Third Avenue Bridge into a pedestrian-only crossing, still allowing cars, but not bicyclists. To further encourage walking and cycling, the plan includes a myriad of safety improvements to the roads leading to and from all of the area’s bridges by adding more bike lanes and crosswalks and widening walkways.

As the city experiences an upswing in bicycling, officials recognize the need for these capital improvements. Previous efforts to make the Brooklyn Bridge more pedestrian and cycling friendly led to a significant increase in foot traffic in that area, lessening traffic issues. That bridge alone now sees an average of over 13,000 pedestrian and 3,000 cyclists using the crossing each weekday. The city has also rolled out a new fleet of Citi Bikes in an effort to encourage cycling as a legitimate means of transportation, and not just a recreational opportunity.

The initiative will come with a price tag of more than $90 million. Travelers can expect to see the bike lanes on the Broadway and 145th Street bridges by the year 2021, with additional lane construction to follow. Proponents of the expansion of biking lanes point to the savings in commuting costs as well as the positive effect to the environment as reasons to encourage the plan.

Don’t Hold Your Breath for ATMs In NYC Courthouses

of New York City. If you are looking for them now, you will have a lot of trouble finding them and if you do find at the Bronx Staton Island or Queens courthouses you will have only limited access to them.

Elizabeth Glazer a director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, admits that the placement of ATMs at the courthouses could have been better. The office actually believed that the ATMs had been places. In reality, they had not been placed and that they need to correct it.

The New York City Justice and Incarceration Reform believes that 33 percent of prisoners at Rykers Isalnd are detained for 4 days because they are not able to get cash at the courthouses due to having no ATM.

The bail for most people is set at an arraignment. A friend or a family-related person could step in and pay the bail. If they are unable to get cash quickly, the defendants will be sent to prison. An ATM would keep somebody from having to go to jail.

There was an ATM delivered to the Bronx criminal court last June. Unfortunately, the ATM was too big for its planned space. They then moved it to second floor of the Bronx County Hall Of Justice. The arraignments for prisoners at this courthouse don’t stop until 1 am, but the Hall closes is closed 7 hours earlier and on the weekends, despite the fact that arraignments are still going on Saturday and Sunday.

Even when this Bronx courthouse ATM is open, you have to go through the long lines at the Hall of Justice and then when you get back to the criminal court, you have to go through long lines. It is most likely people don’t know how to get to it as there is no sign that gives directions to its location.

Glazer also admits that having no ATM at the criminal courthouse in Staten Island was a screw-up and will be rectified in a timely manner. The closest ATM is opposite the courthouse.

The Queens courthouse has an ATM on its first floor, but it is closed after 5 pm.
Rory Laneman, a councilman for Queens on the Council justice system commission, thinks that the government can do complicated things like reducing homelessness or tackling the opioid crisis, but putting ATM in courthouses is just too simple.

The mayor does seem to want to have ATMs in the courthouses, but it is something that the government is going to do in a timely way.

Annual May Day Protests In New York City

On May 1, 2018 hundreds of took to the streets of New York City’s Manhattan Borough. The day marked International Workers’ Day, an annual reminder for many of the silent grievances among the country’s working class. The annual day got its start all the way back in 1886, as industrial workers all across the country staged a “walkout” to protest long hours and unsafe working conditions. The result was a victory for American workers as an 8-hour work day soon became standard for many jurisdictions in the United States.

This year it was not just working class workers but immigrants that took to the street in protest. Immigrant rights and socialist groups staged a protest march that started in Union Square and ended in Washington Square Park. For many, the march was just another reason to protest the current United States Presidential Administration, which they say is trying to mute their voices.

All types of groups joined into the protests which were organized by the Workers World Party, which seeks to return political power to the working class. Immigrant rights groups marched side by side with the worker’s rights groups and a celebrity-turned-politician marched with them. Actress Cynthia Nixon of Sex And The City fame marched with protesters from Battery Park to Wall Street to voice concern over the power of financial institutions. Nixon announced earlier this year that she would be running for Governor of New York in the next election. This protest accused Donald Trump’s administration of causing mass incarceration in the immigrant community in an attempt to break down families. Investments in private correctional facilities by the big banks are said to be a conflict of interest.

This annual march does not seem to have caused any arrests which is a surprise considering 32 people were arrested in protest just one year ago. That was not the case in other parts of the world as over 200 people were arrested in Paris during that city’s May Day protests.

The Longines Masters of New York Was An Equestrians Success

The Longines Masters of New York was held last weekend in New York at the Nassau Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum. This is a premier jumping competition featuring the world’s top equestrian athletes. The equestrian sporting events last for several days and include the Longines Grand Prix and the Longines Speed Challenge. The event titles make it obvious the Longines Swiss watch brand are prominent as the Official Timekeeper and Title Partner. The win this year went to McLain Ward from the United States for the Longines Grand Prix riding Clinta.

The Longines Ambassador of Elegance and actress Kate Winslet was in attendance at the event. She presented the Golden Hat Foundation with a check from Longines. She is one of the founders of this charity. The charity was created to raise autism awareness to change the perception of the autistic. The funds came from last years online auction for three Kate Winslet Flagship Heritage watches. The Longines Masters of New York was attended by the winning bidders where Kate Winslet personally presented them with their watches. For additional details please visit https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertanaas/2018/05/01/longines-wraps-up-the-longines-masters-of-new-york-with-kate-winslet-races-to-kentucky-derby/#8ce5435401d6.

Longines began participating in the world of the equestrians in 1878. This was when a chronographic pocket watch was created by the brand. The watch was engraved with a jockey and horse. Numerous trainers began using the watch on the racetracks until it became coveted by jockeys and horse lovers. This was the beginning of the 140 year relationship between Longines and the sport.

The Longines Masters was originally held in Hong Kong. From there it moved to Paris. It finished in New York for the very first time in history. The brand is also the Official timer or partner for numerous races including the famed Kentucky Derby, the Kentucky Oaks, the Preakness Stakes and the Breeders Cup. The event will be at Louisville’s famed Churchill Downs next week. The Derby has been deemed as the greatest race in America as well as sports most exciting two minutes. The Derby is often affectionately referred to as The Run for the Roses. This the sporting event running longer than any other in America.

Faith Plays Key Role In New York City Politics

Residents of New York City, for the most part, take a live and let live approach when it comes to discussions regarding religion. One example of this is when Dan Halloran won a 2009 city council race after making it known that he was a practitioner of a neo-pagan religion known as Theodism. Oddly enough, it seems that despite the liberal attitude that exists in the city that no New York City politicians have been willing to out themselves as being atheist.

Mark Levine, a New York City Councilman, explains that even in what is surely one of the most liberal cities in the country it may come with great peril for a politician to openly identify himself as an atheist. Levine himself identifies with the Jewish faith.

Leticia James, a Public Advocate for the city of New York, echoes the sentiments of Councilman Levine and says that in some constituencies a candidate identifying as an atheist would have serious issues. James’ self-characterization is that of ‘church girl.’

Councilman Ritchie Torres says that declaring oneself to be atheist would definitely hinder a campaign. Torres himself was once a member of the Catholic faith before turning to deism. Deist adheres to the philosophy that the revelation of God comes through nature rather than the manifestation of supernatural phenomenon. The philosophy has a long history in the realm of American politics and was once the faith of choice for the United States President Thomas Jefferson. Torres says that these conversations regarding religious beliefs do not take place among city council colleagues.

Nevertheless, it is undeniable that religion plays an undeniable role in the political landscape of the city. Many city council members are openly religious individuals and some are even pastors. Prayers are invoked before each city council meeting and this practice has been challenged in the past by groups representing secular interests. Despite the protests, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the prayers can be allowed.

Levine says that the prayers have made some members of the council feel uncomfortable at times but no one wants to be the councilmember that openly speaks out against prayer at the meetings.

Safe Injection Sites In New York? It May Be Closer Than You Think

Let us face the cold hard reality of facts. People have been injecting harmful substances into their persons for nany years now. Recently, the numbers of people injecting illegal drugs into their bodies has been on the rise, so much so, that safe needle exchange services were set up for people to swap used needles for sterile needles in hopes of reducing communicable diseases.

 

Mayor De Blasio has recently announced the intent to submit a plan for consideration. Buildings housing “safe injection sites” are on their way to being opened. The fight for this is warranted as illegal overdoses by injection are up in New York City. 2017 saw an increase in overdoses, 1,441 to be exact, up from 1,374 in 2016.

 

The plan calls for four safe injection sites to be opened in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Washington Heights. These sites would have medical staff on hand to make sure the person was safe and to treat overdosing if needed by injecting medications like naloxone, if needed. Medical Social Workers will also be on hand to provide counseling services or referrals to drug treatment programs.

 

The biggest opponent to these safe injection sites is the Federal government. There is a statute that makes it illegal to operate a building in which illehal substances are knowingly used. Studies done in Canada and Europe show that safe injection sites actually help people get cleaned up and live drug free lives with the help of education and counseling.

 

There is a possibility that these four safe injection sites may be opened as research programs for six months to a year. That way it would bypass the Federal statue violation. I believe that when a person is addicted to a substance it is very hard to shake that addiction. With safe injection sites, the person may have a fighting chance to get the needed help for addiction. To read more about this issue and form your own thoughts on the matter, please click here.

Habitat For Humanity To Build Harlem Heights Property Units

Commissioners in Lee County ignored the sentiments of many residents on Wednesday and voted to construct a housing development that will provide 108 units in Harlem Heights.

Donna Marie Collins, the Chief Hearing Examiner of the county suggested against the idea due to the fact that 42 bonus-density units contained in the proposed project would violate the rules of the county by increasing the foot traffic in the neighborhood.

The project to provide affordable housing is being offered by Habitat For Humanity and will be located adjacent to a Harlem Heights working-class neighborhood. A group of neighborhood residents also voiced concerns to the commission regarding the additional traffic they feel will come to their neighborhood because of the development.

Robert Arnall, who is a board member with Habitat for Humanity as well as vice-president for FineMark Bank, says that the project is allowed by the county under the county land use plan. Arnall explains that language in the county plan speaks directly to an allowance for bonus density construction to allow for the construction of low and moderate income housing.

The new homes to be built in the Harlem Heights Community will be single-family dwellings but some will be attached to other housing structures.

Harlem Heights resident John Veldez, who interpreted the words of non-English speaking neighbors to the commissioner expressed dismay at the vote of the commissioners and says that the interests of the existing community are being disregarded. Veldez admonished Habitat for Humanity and the commissioners saying that because they don’t live in the community they have no concern for the well-being of the Harlem Heights residents who have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and raised the medium income of the area through hard work and perseverance.

Project engineer Dan Delisi answered Veldez by saying the Habitat for Humanity does not consider the pending project to include low-income units and says that the fears expressed by members that will neighbor the construction are for the most part unfounded.

The Army Corps of Engineers will have to give its approval to the project before construction begins due to the fact that the property would impact the Caloosahatchee Estuary Basin.