Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Governor Cuomo ratifies State Senate bill for undocumented immigrants to get drivers licenses

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THE CITY


Undocumented New Yorkers notched a historic win on Monday night as Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law restoring their right to apply for a driver’s license.

The governor’s signature came after the state Senate narrowly approved the bill, which had passed the Assembly last week, marking the latest show of force by the newly Democrat-dominated Legislature.

Cuomo injected some last-minute drama earlier in the evening when he publicly weighed a veto, expressing concerns the measure would expose license-holders to the scrutiny of federal immigration officials.

He asked for assurances from state Solicitor General Barbara Underwood that the bill was legally defensible. When her boss, state Attorney General Letitia James, declared the “legislation is well crafted and contains ample protections for those who apply for driver’s licenses,” Cuomo gave in.

“Governor Cuomo has supported this policy for over a decade,” Alphonso David, the governor’s counsel, said in a statement. “The key to this bill is not the political intent but the legal effect. We hope the Attorney General’s assessment is correct for the safety of the thousands of undocumented individuals who are relying on her legal opinion.”

 The bill passed the Senate 33 to 29, with all six Democrats from Long Island and one Hudson Valley Democrat voting against the measure, raising the political stakes for the governor.
Opponents of the bill argued it would handcuff law enforcement officials, and some county clerks have threatened not to follow the law. Supporters say the change will ultimately make roads safer, cutting down on unlicensed drivers.

The bill carries high stakes for an estimated 200,000 immigrant New Yorkers who would be eligible to apply and have been navigating life without access to state-issued identification. For them, standard interactions with law enforcement can lay down the groundwork for deportation.


Friday, June 14, 2019

Southeast Queens towns still being underestimated in elections

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Queens Eagle


The predominantly black neighborhoods of Southeast Queens comprise one of the country’s largest and most reliable Democratic strongholds.

The region is rich with engaged and informed voters who head to the polls in high numbers, and yet, neighborhoods like St. Albans, Cambria Heights and Hollis are often ignored by local election-watchers — and candidates themselves.

Local leaders and organizers say that is the case again in the wide-open, seven-candidate Democratic Primary to replace the late Richard Brown for Queens district attorney.
“We’re used to it,” said Donnie Whitehead, a local activist who has endorsed Mina Malik for Queens 

District Attorney. Whitehead and his wife JoAnn Whitehead co-founded the organization CommUnity 1st alongside organizer Oster Bryan. “Black folks have been voting Democratic for the past 60 years only to see the Democratic Party ignore black voters.”

“If they don’t spend time here during their campaigns, then when they get into office, forget about it,” Whitehead continued.

The influential organizers gained notoriety when they rallied behind Barack Obama in the 2008 New York Democratic primary and helped deliver the 5th Congressional District for the future president, even though party leadership had backed Hillary Clinton.

Southeast Queens elected officials with deep ties to the Queens Democratic Party have lined up behind Borough President Melinda Katz, who has a campaign office in Rochdale. U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks, the county party chairperson; Assemblymember Alicia Hyndman; and Councilmembers Adrienne Adams and Donovan Richards are among the dozens of elected officials who have endorsed Katz.

Whitehead said they don’t necessarily represent the perspective of everyday voters.
“That has nothing to do with what people are thinking on the ground,” Whitehead said.

One of the overlooked factors in Bernie Sanders losing the NY primary to Hillary Clinton back in 2016 is that he didn't stop by there and Hillary did by going to a baptist church.

Better know your civil court judge candidates

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



Patch

 The Democratic primary election for Queens district attorney isn't the only race coming up this month. Queens Democrats will also get to vote for civil court judge — for the first time in decades.

Typically the Queens County Democratic Party chooses candidates for judicial openings and they run unopposed. This year, one of the four open seats is contested: Attorney Lumarie Maldonado Cruz is running against the party's pick, defense lawyer Wyatt Gibbons.


The election is countywide, meaning that anyone in Queens who is registered as a Democrat can vote in this particular race.



The New York City Bar Association, which evaluates candidates in contested primary elections, recently rated Gibbons approved and Maldonado Cruz not approved. But a campaign staffer told 
 Patch that Maldonado Cruz chose not to participate in the bar association's interview.


"Candidates rated Approved have affirmatively demonstrated qualifications necessary for the performance of the duties of the position for which they are being considered," the bar association's website says of its ratings.

 The city's civil courts deal with "everyday legal problems," mainly cases involving less than $25,000. The relatively informal small claims court, which deals with matters involving under $5,000, is also part of civil court.


Civil court judges serve 10-year terms, during which they're assigned to different court divisions, known as "parts," or to do miscellaneous court work. Assignments may include family or criminal courts.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Kings County consiglieres

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NY Daily News


Brooklyn lawyers who decide who can get the crucial Democratic ballot line to run for prized judicial seats are getting jobs as legal guardians and referees from the very judges they’re charged with reviewing — and their law firms are appearing before those same judges in active cases.


Of the 25 attorneys listed as serving on the Brooklyn Democratic Party’s judicial screening panel in 2019, at least five have been given jobs as court-appointed lawyers by the judges they’re tasked with reviewing, the Daily News has learned.


Judicial screening panel members Helene Blank, Mark Longo, Betty Lugo, Melissa Bonaldes and Steven Finkelstein all took work in the last year from judges they’ve reviewed or could review in the future, an analysis of state court records shows.

Alex Camarda, a senior policy analyst at the good-government group Reinvent Albany, described that dynamic as problematic.

 “That certainly creates the perception of a conflict of interest,” he said. “The public should have confidence that judges are being selected on the merits rather than their position on cases involving party officials.”

Since 2018, Finkelstein has received 20 court-appointed referee assignments from Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Mark Partnow and six from Judge Lawrence Knipel, court records show.

From 2008 to the present, Finkelstein has raked in at least $271,000 from those and similar appointments, records show. He joined the panel in 2016.

Veteran lawyer Martin Edelman has served as the judicial panel’s chairman since 2004. He noted that several bar associations appoint its members and about one-third of the panel’s members are selected by Democratic Party district leaders.

Edelman, the former president of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, said since state Supreme Court judges serve 14-year terms, members of the panel usually only review them once.

“The idea that we get to see the same judge year after year is simply not the case,” he said, arguing that if judges were trying to sway attorneys through doling out appointments, they would have to influence more than five lawyers to secure a majority of votes on the panel.

The panel’s judicial screenings take place the same year judges run for election or re-election. Partnow was re-elected to serve in Brooklyn Supreme Court in 2016, the same year Finkelstein joined the panel. Judge Noach Dear was elected in 2015, and Knipel was re-elected in 2012.

In the last two years, the three judges have directed 28 referee appointments to Lugo, 44 to Longo and 30 to Blank, records show. Blank and Longo have both served on the panel since around 2005, about 14 years, according to Edelman.

Lugo, who’s running for Queens district attorney, served on it in 2015 and 2017. She said she’s not serving on the panel this year, despite the fact that she’s listed on its roster. She said she’s “almost positive” she didn’t review Dear or Partnow as a member of the panel.

 Longo, an ethics lawyer and former president of the Brooklyn Bar Association, acknowledged he could see how observers might perceive the potential for a conflict, but said, “In this situation, it’s not the case.”

Now Melinda Katz is accusing another candidate of being sexist for pointing out her biggest donors, this time at a woman


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QNS


For the second time this week, Borough President Melinda Katz is claiming that one of her Democratic rivals in the Queens district attorney race has launched sexist ads against her — but the allegation this time is against one of her three female opponents.

On Friday, Katz decried a two-minute online ad from public defender Tiffany Cabán published that day. Cabán singles out Katz as a remnant of the Queens Democratic Party machine despite there being five other hopefuls in the June 25 primary, saying that Katz accepts campaign funds from the real estate industry.

“But the corrupt Queens political machine doesn’t want me to win because they get rich off of foreclosures, they’ve taken millions from developers and I can’t be bought and controlled. That’s why they’re going all in to elect Melinda Katz,” Cabán says in the ad. “Here’s the simple choice: Your next DA could be a career politician, a career prosecutor or a career public defender. Who would you trust?”

But Katz countered out with a Twitter thread that began with the claim that sexism had played a role in Cabán’s campaign ad.

“Let me be clear. For someone who is supposedly running a “different kind of campaign,” this ad was full of the same sexism & half-truths that the worst kind of campaigns use,” Katz said. “The truth: I first ran on a 3rd party line to challenge the men in power & have spent years supporting women doing the same. I have always been my own woman & always will be, despite the sexist refrain the Cabán campaign is pushing.”

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proposes a renewable energy hub on Rikers Island




PIX News

 The future of Rikers Island is being debated and discussed.

A judge, reform advocates, and the City of New York have said the jail facility needs to be fixed because of its design, location and history.
 
A proposal from the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio to replace Rikers with 4 borough-based community jails is in the first phase of public hearings.
 
What will happen to the 413 acres that make up the actual island?
 
The possibilities are endless.
 
A town hall with the theme "Renewable Rikers" was held on Thursday in Jackson Heights.
Council Member Costa Constantinides, U.S  Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, State Senator Jessica Ramos, Assembly Member Catalina Cruz, and Council Member Daniel Dromm spoke about environmental and green options for the location.
 
A panel of environmental experts and criminal justice stakeholders was introduced to talk about their experiences and possible plans.
 
Professor Rebecca Bratspies, founding director at CUNY Law School’s Center for Urban Environmental Reform, moderated the panel.

This is too far gone now. The city does not want to hear from the communities of where they want to place the tower jails, which were all rejected by them over a week ago. The shutdown looks even more cynical now that Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez is using her political and viral celebrity status to advocate for and tying the green new deal to it while spouting platitudes and marketing solar paneling.



Traffic circles the city placed on intersections has not curbed speeding




PIX News

 Residents said traffic circles the city added to slow down speeding cars in their neighborhood are not working— and now they have video to prove it.

The circles along Greeley Avenue were put in to slow traffic down in 2017 after a series of bad crashes three years ago. It was done against the wishes of many community members, including the local councilman, who wanted to see stop signs instead.
 
Bill Troeller has lived on Greeley Avenue for 21 years. The incident that wrecked his car and fence was caught on video. Both drivers involved said the traffic circle both cars went though prior to the crash did nothing to slow either down.

“The guy who was hit flew into my car, knocked it back about six feet, and the other guy ended up in my front lawn,” Troeller recounted.


 Neighbor Brian Wissert said the circle effectively made turning onto the road more dangerous. 

However, most importantly, many still see cars continue to whip right around the roundabouts every day.
 
Meanwhile, the city has slowly begun using roundabout more and more to calm traffic— including in the Bronx.
 
In an open records request, the City DOT said the circles have reduced crashes by 27% along Greeley. Troeller say he hasn’t noticed a difference. He said people were out of control before the roundabouts, sometimes running into his fence then, and he said they are obviously still speeding now.

 Maybe the DOT should put stunt ramps on corners facing the intersection. Yee-haw!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Park Slope residents speak out against homeless shelters



News 12 Brooklyn

 
Community members in Park Slope are pushing back against a plan to build two homeless shelters a block away from each other.

The proposed shelters, which will consist mainly of single women with children, will be located at 555 and 535 Fourth Ave. The city wants to spread shelters more evenly across the boroughs.
Neighbors contest that the city hasn't properly planned for integrating the homeless families into the community. Community members have created a petition against the plan and have received nearly 800 signatures.

One resident opposed to the plan says the city needs to address what's going to happen to the families once they move in.

The two shelters will be run by the nonprofit group Win. President and CEO Christine Quinn tells News 12 helping these families get back on their feet is instrumental in solving the city's homeless crisis.

This is too, too funny. The city has been pulling these overnight homeless shelter stunts for 6 years in Queens (and also the Bronx) and now that it's finally come to their area they are aghast. Looks like their neighbor Mayor doesn't need their support any more either,

Friday, June 7, 2019

Governor Cuomo and Albany legislators making dollars


https://www.manhattantimesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Photo22web.jpg

















NY Post


In a victory for lawmakers, a state judge issued a ruling Friday that upholds legislative pay hikes that took effect in January while striking down restrictions on outside income — thus allowing them to keep their outside gigs.

An executive and legislative compensation committee empaneled by Gov. Cuomo and legislative leaders linked the pay hikes and restrictions on outside income as a part of a package last year.

The base pay for senators and assembly members jumped from $79,500 to $110,000 this year, and is supposed to jump $120,000 next year and $130,000 in 2021.

It also set Cuomo on track to become the nation’s top paid governor, increasing his salary to $200,000 this year, then $225,000 in 2020 and $250,000 in 2021.

This is why Mario's eldest son is running for a fourth term. Especially with the rumors of his rich girlfriend Sandy Lee dumping him.

Jamaica residents say that Detective Costa instructions are causing more conflict



In a May 16th. e-mail Detective Costa instructed residents to contact the authorities to remove illegally placed cones. 

Excerpts of his e-mail is as follows, "We have been receiving many complaints regarding cones being placed on streets to reserve parking spaces in front of people’s houses. We understand that parking is difficult in NYC but this is illegal. 

To make a complaint, please follow the link below.
 Street/Sidewalk Obstruction Complaint
Report an illegally placed box, barrel, bale of merchandise, or other movable property placed by a business or residence on a street or sidewalk."
However, residents have been telling me; that Detective Costa is instructing them, to remove the cones or objective themselves. 
They said this a direct contradiction to his e-mail instructions. Furthermore, they contend that removing cones from in front of  residents' homes will cause conflict and more anamosity. 

I called Detective Costa last week. I told him that I was calling regarding his e-mail. In addition, I told him that the abundance of cones is causing a grave inconvenience.  

I could not believe his statement. He instructed me to remove the cones myself. Then I told him that residents complained; that he had given them the same instructions.

Detective Costa debated that there is no difference who removes the cones. I told him that I believe he is well aware of the underlying conflict. He pretended not to be aware; so I informed him that people will get annoyed. They will scrape your vehicle or removing people's cones could escalate into violence.
Detective Costa appeared unmoved. Nevertheless, I informed him that at the next opportunity I will inform the police commissioner that our community is neglected.

As I canvas my community, most residents say that in general, quality of life issues are neglected. This is true not only for the police department, but the sanitation department, and the department of transportation as well. Hence, the reason our community is filled with garbage and abandoned vehicles. 
 I hope residents will attend the next opportunity to talk to the police commissioner and other decision makers. 

In the meantime, Detective Costa and his colleagues have the AUTHORITY to remove the widespread cones. The cones are visible all over our neighbourhood. 

P. Hazel: Social Media Journalist for Justice.

This detective is actually encouraging people to take the law into their own hands and do his job for him. This is a brazen display of laziness and cowardice on his part. Inconceivable.