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November 30, 2015 / 18 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘Bill deBlasio’

NYC All Prepped Up But ‘No Snow Go, Mayor DeBlasio’

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

It was supposed to be “the historic storm that was,” one of the “biggest in half a century” in New York City.

By 9pm Monday night Mayor Bill DeBlasio had ordered all vehicles off the streets by 11pm, warning there would be certain punishment for citizens who disobeyed. The snow plows would need room to move, he said; salt trucks would have to be able to get through to keep the slippery streets safe. Emergency vehicles would need a clear path to be able to get by to help those who were stuck around the city.

Residents were told to “stock up” just to make sure, in case their electricity went out or the stores stayed closed. Thousands of tax dollars were spent on city preparations for the big event.

But as morning dawned Tuesday, New Yorkers discovered they were not really snowed in at all. In fact, there was little more than a coating of the white stuff on lawns in front of most homes around town. Most areas in the Big Apple were barely covered in fact, with only 5.5 inches (13 cm), max, seen in the city’s Central Park.

Grim weather forecasts were quickly downgraded (“oops!”) and the city’s transport bans were quietly lifted even as blizzard warnings remained in effect along the New England coast from Long Island to Maine.

All nine MTA bridges and tunnels are already open to traffic, according to the MTA website. The Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, NYC Transit Bus and Subway Service and Staten Island Ferry were all gradually being restored on a Sunday schedule Tuesday, with full weekday service to return by Wednesday.

Unapologetic, “This is a better-safe-than-sorry scenario,” de Blasio told CNN. “We did what was necessary to keep everyone safe.” Public transportation is expected to return to normal in New York City on Wednesday, officials added.

The situation was not nearly as rosy elsewhere along the eastern seaboard. At least 7,500 flights have been canceled at airports along the coast, both for arrivals and departures. Schools remain closed up and down the coast as well.

More than two feet of snow (60 cm) dropped in Massachusetts alone, where thousands are still without power local media report, and Connecticut saw nearly as much, 20.5 inches (52 cm).

The National Weather Service warned at midday Tuesday there were still life-threatening conditions along the New England coastline with gale-force winds and almost zero visibility in New Hampshire.

A ‘Wall of Blue’ Bids Farewell to NYPD 1st Detective Wenjian Liu

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Wenjian Liu, the first Chinese-American cop in New York to be killed in the line of duty, was honored in his home 84th precinct Sunday with a sea of blue stretching “as far as the eye could see.”

Among the crowd were representatives from all the Jewish first response and security teams, as well as many Jewish civilian residents of Brooklyn. “Hakaras hatov” – acknowledging and thanking someone for the good they’ve done – was the reason given over and over when asked why they came.

Tearfully, Liu’s young widow Pei Xia Chen thanked the tens of thousands who gathered to grieve with her.

“He is my soul mate… an incredible husband, son, co-worker and friend; my best friend. As the only son, the Number One Son, he was extremely close [to] and respected his parents, of course,” she added. “One his many passions was being a police officer. He took pride in the fact that he was NYPD… I thank you, my extended family, my family of blue.”

The couple had wed only two months prior to Liu’s death. The 32-year-old police officer, promoted posthumously to first detective, had been on the job for seven years. Together with his parents he emigrated from China 20 years ago, with a dream to become a cop.

In addition to Sunday’s funeral, Liu’s family was to hold private ceremonies in the Buddhist and Chinese traditions as well.

“God bless America. God bless NYPD. You are the best!” Liu’s father said in a broken voice after delivering a eulogy in Chinese.

In addition to his wife, his father, cousins and city officials, a police chaplain and FBI Director James Comey spoke.

“These are our most difficult days,” Comey said. “I make far too many calls [like these] … 115 police officers killed this year, a shocking increase over 2013. I do not understand evil, I cannot understand evil. Our obligation is to do good, to honor this good man and do everything to protect those who would protect us. They want to do good for other people.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was to have spoken as well, but his own father passed away on New Year’s Day and arrangements for the wake and funeral, which are to take place Monday and Tuesday, were still being made.

With reddened eyes and a husky voice, Police Commissioner William Bratton expressed the feelings of the “thousands upon thousands” of officers standing outside a Brooklyn funeral home on a “very gray morning.” He commented that Liu was about to join his partner, “his partner for all time,” First Detective Rafael Ramos – also promoted posthumously –to be laid to rest. The two were executed by deranged gunman Ismaaiyl Brinsley while eating lunch in their squad car. Brinsley turned the gun on himself right after.

“Liu believed in the possibility of a city free from fear,” Bratton told his family, who had traveled from China to attend the funeral. “The NYPD has done that for millions upon millions of citizens of this city.”

Addressing the tens of thousands of officers, Bratton went on to explain: “He left China at age 12, and his parents worked hard; his father was a garment worker in Queens. Liu called himself Joe and was on the way to becoming an accountant on 9/11, the day Al Qaeda attacked the Twin Towers.” That event changed his life, and inspired Liu to become a cop instead.

“The NYPD looks like the city it serves,” Bratton noted. “Our heroes are from everywhere too.” He listed the departed and the lands from which they had emigrated to America. Ramos and Liu came last.

NYPD ‘Retraining’ Force After Grand Jury Clears Cop in Suspect Death

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Thousands blocked traffic around the city and more than a few clashed with New York City police in Times Square Thursday night following a grand jury decision not to indict an officer in the death of a man resisting arrest.  Hundreds also marched across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan into Brooklyn at around midnight.

At least 22,000 police officers are also heading for a three-day in-service retraining program after the grand jury spent six months hearing testimony and then cleared Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the case.

Staten Island resident Eric Gardner died after being “taken down” in a half-Nelson hold by a New York City police officer while resisting arrest. Gardner was illegally selling “loosies” – single cigarettes – on the street at the time. The incident was videotaped by a passerby.

Pantaleo and a number of others restrained Gardner and attempted to handcuff him even as he loudly told officers “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.” Gardner was morbidly obese and had a history of asthma and a host of other medical conditions. He died while being “taken down” by the officer. The coroner’s report listed a number of reasons for his death, including those medical conditions — and the “take down,” which Pantaleo said he performed exactly as he was taught at Police Academy.

Within hours of the grand jury’s decision, thousands of protesters were in the streets. Hundreds were packed behind rows of barricades on the sidewalks of Fifth Avenue as revelers awaited the annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Just a block away, on Sixth Avenue, police stood in riot gear, controlling an even bigger mob. More marched down the West Side Highway and blocked major arteries into the city.

On Thursday, thousands again came out to Foley Square in downtown Manhattan, chanting “I can’t breathe” and the mantra of the 1991 Crown Heights riots, “No justice, no peace.”

They marched across the Brooklyn Bridge carrying fake coffins while a second group demonstrated in Harlem and others blocked traffic near the Holland Tunnel, the Manhattan Bridge and on the West Side Highway.

New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio said the program was aimed at “changing how our officers talk, and how they listen to residents of our city.” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton joined DeBlasio at the podium, saying the training would be managed in a professional manner and would accomplish a long-awaited upgrade to the force.

Given the current wave of disturbances sweeping across the United States, it is odd the US is telling Israel how to manage its internal, defense and foreign relations with the Palestinian Authority or Gaza.

New York’s police “retraining” program is specifically intended to “build trust through respect” in the community, Deputy Police Commissioner Bill Tucker told reporters. The new slogan for the city’s force, he said, will be “Talk down, not take down.”

Among the skills the officers will be taught are “ways to communicate more effectively,” Tucker said, adding the officers will also learn to recognize the “notion of implicit bias.”

Nothing that city officials did, however, seemed to suffice: Some 25 “civil rights and social justice” organizers met at the National Action Alliance headquarters headed by Rev. Al Sharpton and announced a “March on Washington” set for Saturday, December 13, among other events in coming days.


The $13 M Runoff for a $2.1 M NYC Political Office: Tish James Wins

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

In the September 10th Democratic primary for New York City Public Advocate, none of the five candidates received 40 percent or more of the vote. For that reason, on Tuesday, October 1, there was a runoff election for the position, which has a total budget of only $2.1 million. The cost of the runoff election? Thirteen million dollars.

The winner, Letitia James, is currently a NYC Council member. In the past, James was a public defender with the Legal Aid Society, an assistant New York State Attorney General, and the chief of staff in the New York State Assembly. James was heavily supported by labor unions, women’ groups and Muslim organizations.

James’s opponent, Daniel Squadron, is a Yale graduate, a NY state senator and a former aide to New York Senator Chuck Schumer. Squadron enjoyed Schumer’s endorsement, as well as that of two former NYC Public Advocates, Mark Green and Betsy Gotbaum. Squadron also won the endorsements of the major NYC newspapers.

Other than the fact that Squadron is a white male and James is a black female, there is not much difference between the two candidates, at least politically. Both are liberal Democrats. And in fact, the position is one well-suited to liberal Democrats. The City’s Public Advocate is expected to be the government voice for consumers.

James is not only a member of, and runs on the ticket of, the Democratic Party. She has also long been a member of a community organizing party known as the Working Families Party, which is made up of civil rights leaders, community advocates and tenant organizers.

The winner of Tuesday’s runoff will move on to the general election on November 5th as the Democratic Party nominee. However, given that there is no Republican candidate in the race, James is sure to become the next Public Advocate.

Although the position is not a well-known one, as far as the NYC Charter, it comes in as most important after the mayor. And the Democratic contender for mayor this year, Bill de Blasio, is the current NYC Public Advocate.

Given that the runoff election cost the City of New York nearly seven times the entire budget of the office of Public Advocate, maybe the first thing James should do is abolish the forty percent threshold which mandates a runoff – no matter how small the office.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/the-13-m-runoff-for-a-2-1-m-nyc-political-office-tish-james-wins/2013/10/02/

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