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September 30, 2016 / 27 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘New York State’

NYT Endorses Hillary Clinton, Democratic Candidate for President

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

The editorial board of the New York Times endorsed Clinton for president on Saturday in a pointed article in which the paper’s management said bluntly, “In any normal election year, we’d compare the two presidential candidates side by side on the issues. But this is not a normal election year.”

The Times went on to list what it considers her finest moments and achievements, among them, “efforts to strengthen sanctions against Iran, which eventually pushed it to the table for talks over its nuclear program, and in 2012, she helped negotiate a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.”

The paper also praised Clinton’s “lasting achievements as a senator” for the state of New York, which the Times said “include a federal fund for long-term monitoring of 9/11 first responders, an expansion of military benefits to cover reservists and the National guard, and a law requiring drug companies to improve the safety of their medications for children. Below the radar, she fought for money for farmers, hospitals, small businesses and environmental projects.”

The paper acknowledged “her own share of mistakes” and her “lamentable penchant for secrecy.” It excused her “poor decision to rely on a private email server while at the State Department,” allowing that the decision deserved “scrutiny, and it’s had it,” but that the issue when considered against the current challenges facing the next president “looks like a matter for the help desk.”

Hana Levi Julian

More Than 100,000 Students in NY Jewish Day Schools, Yeshivot

Friday, August 19th, 2016

The student population in New York City Jewish day schools and yeshivot has broken the 100,000 ceiling, according to data released by the New York State Department of Education covering grades K-12 for the 2015-2016 school year.

There are 101,120 students now enrolled in Jewish schools in New York City alone: 7.7 percent of the total student population in the city.

Other non-public schools in the city have enrolled a total 137,283 students.
Together, the two populations comprise 18 percent of the total New York City student population of 1,312,393 in grades K-12.

Hana Levi Julian

Radioactive Leak at Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant in NY

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

Radioactive contaminated water leaked into the groundwater in Westchester Friday at the Indian Point Nuclear Facility, according to officials at the plant.

An investigation was launched at the site after “alarming levels of radioactivity” were detected in three monitoring wells.

The cause and extent of the leak is not yet known. Officials said, however, the contaminated water has not moved off site.

There is no threat to public health, according to officials in the office of Governor Andrew Cuomo who continue to monitor the wells.

Nevertheless, Cuomo is demanding answers. “This latest failure at Indian Point is unacceptable and I have directed Department of Environmental Conservation Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos and Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker to fully investigate this incident and employ all available measures, including working with Nuclear Regulatory Commission, to determine the extent of the release, its likely duration, cause and potential impacts to the environment and public health,” Cuomo said.

Indian Point Energy Center has a generating capacity of more than 2,000 megawatts. The plant provides electricity to some two million homes, thousands of businesses and hundreds of health, municipal and transportation systems.

The plant is located in Buchanan, New York just south of Peekskill. It sits on the east bank of the Hudson River, 25 miles north of New York City. The plant is owned by Entergy Nuclear Northeast, a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation. It includes two operating Westinghouse pressurized water reactors – designated Indian Point 2 and Indian Point 3 – which Entergy bought from Con Edison and the New York Power Authority. Also included at the plant is the permanently shut-down Indian Point 1 unit reactor.

Hana Levi Julian

New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, 82, Passes Away

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Former Democratic New York Governor Mario Cuomo has passed away at age 82. Cuomo served three terms in the state’s top spot, from 1982 to 1994.

Although he was considered as a possible frontrunner in several presidential contests, Mario Cuomo never ran.

One month ago, he was hospitalized and treated for a heart condition. Hours after his son Andrew was inaugurated for his second term as New York’s governor, the elder Cuomo drew his last breath.

Cuomo was a strong supporter of Israel and visited the Jewish State during the very first year of his first term as governor in 1982.

“I remember how strongly, firmly and clearly Gov. Cuomo, Mario Cuomo, stood with Israel at the time,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu recalled this past summer when his son Andrew, New York’s current governor, visited Israel on a solidarity mission.

At the time of the elder Cuomo’s visit, Netanyahu was the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations.

New York Senator Chuck Schumer praised his “colossal political mind [that] represented the very best of public service; he leaves an indelible legacy on the state he loved.”

Reactions instantly poured in from political colleagues across the spectrum.

Former New York Governor George Pataki, who succeeded Cuomo in 1994 added his “deepest condolences,” calling him a “proud son of immigrants, possessed of a soaring intellect & a great New Yorker” in a post on Twitter.

Hana Levi Julian

NYS Gov Andrew Cuomo, State Leaders on Israel Solidarity Visit

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and a bi-partisan delegation of state government and community leaders have spent the past three days packed back-to-back with briefings, meetings and tours of Israel.

Mostly, they have been expressing their solidarity with residents of the Jewish State. It comes in stark contrast to this week’s White House hold on a routine delivery of Hellfire missiles to its “closest friend and ally, the only democracy in the Middle East” — at a time when that ally is threatened by a foe receiving arms from Iran and Syria.

Cuomo and his fellow New Yorkers have done endless ‘meet and greets,’ especially in Jerusalem, where they stopped for the requisite snack at ‘Big Apple Pizza’ on the Ben Yehuda tourist walkway at the heart of the capital, and in the Old City of Jerusalem where the governor said a prayer at the Western Wall and was hugged by the leader of probably every represented faith, plus others.

Now Cuomo, Senate Majority co-leaders Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver are reaching the end of their three day solidarity visit. They’ve seen the people most affected by the current conflict: the millions of Israelis targeted by Hamas and allied terrorists in Gaza with their missiles and kidnapping plots and tunneling projects.

The state leaders arrived on August 12 to reaffirm “the State of New York’s support in light of the continued threat of attacks by Hamas and other terrorist organizations,” according to the media statement sent out by the governor’s office. Cuomo and his delegation met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, New York students living and learning in Israel and Israeli residents directly affected by the Gaza attacks.

“We are grateful for the Governor’s support and words of encouragement, and proud of the strong relationship we share with the people of New York, which is based on our shared values,” Consul General of Israel in New York, Ido Aharoni said.

“Friends stand together in times of crisis, and I am proud to lead this bipartisan delegation to Israel to reaffirm our friendship and support,” Governor Cuomo said. “New York has always had a special relationship with Israel. As Hamas and other terrorist organizations continue to threaten Israel, now is the time to deliver that message of solidarity in person.”

Senate Co-Leader Dean G. Skelos said, “During this important moment in history, it is incumbent upon New York to reaffirm its strong and unconditional support for Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas-led attacks and to take whatever action they deem necessary to protect their people from the brutal tactics of homicide bombers. I am pleased to join the Governor, Senate Co-Leader Klein, and Speaker Silver as part of the official New York State delegation visiting Israel this week, and look forward to bringing the good wishes of the people of my district and the state of New York to our nation’s most trusted and reliable ally.” Senate Co-Leader Jeffrey D. Klein said, “As the grandson of Holocaust survivors the State of Israel is not only personally sacred to me but a beacon for the values and rights inherent in a Democracy which I hold dear. I am pleased to join Governor Cuomo, Senate Co-Leader Skelos, and Speaker Silver as part of the official New York delegation, as a show of support that we will always stand in solidarity with Israel.” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said, “Having visited many times, I am delighted to join Governor Cuomo and Senators Skelos and Klein in our mission to Israel to show New York’s solidarity with the people of the Jewish State. As a lifetime supporter of Israel, I cannot overstate the importance of this trip. I am proud that many New York businesses were started there and I believe it is essential that the Empire State’s leaders express our solidarity with Israel and its people, especially during these difficult times. I am certain our visit will reinforce the already strong ties that bind New York and the State of Israel.”

Rachel Levy

NY State’s Anti-Boycott Bill in Deep Freeze

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

The New York State Assembly has yanked, at least for the time being, a bill that would punish educational institutions that carry out academic boycotts, an action that is synonymous with a boycott of Israel.

The State Senate passed the bill last week, but the State Assembly’s Higher Education Committee has taken the proposal, even though it was amended to be less strict, off the table following protests by academics and legal experts.

On the surface, the bill seems like a glimmer of light in a twisted academic world of darkness. Its original version in the Senate would cut off funds from any institution that engages in an academic boycott, most notably the recent vote by the American Studies Association to boycott Israel because it allows and encourages Jews to live in Judea and Samaria.

The boycott defies all morals, logic and intelligence, so much so that dozens of higher education institutions have pulled out of the ASA. It always is more effective to win a war by fighting back instead of legislating it as illegal.

The New York State United Teachers union opposes the bill on grounds that it would “serve to regulate speech based on content and the message it conveys.”

Pro-Israel groups have protested academic boycotts because it stifles academic freedom and is aimed at schools simply because they receive money from a country whose policies the boycotter finds unacceptable. Many New York educators argue that the anti-boycott bill does exactly the same thing by punishing a school for its ideological positions.

The union’s memo of opposition states, “Withholding state aid from any college or university for speaking publicly about a country; or boycotting a country; or one of its higher education institutions; violates the First Amendment protection of speech. While we may not agree with, or even detest the content of an individual’s – or group of individual’s speech – they are free to express it. This is a fundamental tenet of our Constitution.

“Similarly, an academic institution has the right to participate in a boycott over issues of public concern regardless of whether we agree or not with the subject matter that the boycott addresses…..

“The enactment of this legislation would serve to regulate speech based on content and the message it conveys…. The bill is also unconstitutionally vague in that reasonable persons can’t know what is prohibited and what is not.”

Assemblywoman Deborah J. Glick, a co-sponsor of the bill and the chairwoman of the Higher Education Committee, said she removed it from the committee’s consideration because she felt that “we needed to take a longer look” and that the bill needs to be modified to deal the issue of academic freedom.

The general counsel for the City University of New York, Frederick P. Shaffer, said the bill “creates a dangerous precedent of legislative intrusion into the decisions of higher education institutions concerning academic matters.”

Boycotts, such as the campaign against Israel, may be carried out because of a twisted vision of the world. But the most effective antidote has been its failure.

The Boycott Israel campaign several years, which tried to convince people not buy anything from anywhere in Israel, fell flat on its face when people woke up to discover that their computer chips are made Israel, their disk on key was invented in Israel, and their generic pill or prescription drug against Multiple Sclerosis is made and sold by Israel-based Teva Pharmaceutical.

BDS has been targeting SodaStream, which has a factory in the Judean Hills in “post-1967,” Israel, and so far has had little success.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Met Council Cleared for State Funding following Scandal

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty will be able to continue receiving New York State funds in the wake of the scandal that has seen its former CEO charged with stealing millions from the charity.

The New York State attorney general and comptroller announced Thursday that they had reached an agreement with the Met Council, a leading Jewish social services agency. The agreement, which coincides with two parallel agreements reached with city agencies, provides “assurance that Met Council is implementing critical reforms to prevent the misuse of public funds,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a press release.

Among the reforms the council agreed to are implementing enhanced governance and personnel policies, hiring a general counsel and chief compliance officer, engaging a new outside auditor, appointing at least two new independent board members to be approved by state and city officials, and training board members and key personnel yearly in ethics and nonprofit compliance.

The agreement notes that Met Council’s board has already conducted its own investigation and replaced certain senior management.

The agreement comes a week after New York State’s attorney general announced that one of former Met Council CEO William Rapfogel’s alleged co-conspirators pleaded guilty to grand larceny, money laundering and tax fraud.

Joseph Ross, who pleaded guilty last week, was the owner of Century Coverage, a Long Island insurance company that submitted inflated bills to the Met Council, allegedly sharing the extra money with Rapfogel and using some of it for campaign contributions to elected officials. Rapfogel, who had headed Met Council for more than 20 years, was fired from his post in August and arrested in September.

JTA

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/met-council-cleared-for-state-funding-following-scandal/2013/12/22/

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