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Park Slope resident and grand daughter of Holocaust survivors Edie Hecht leads a museum tour as part of her six-month apprenticeship at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
Park Slope resident and grand daughter of Holocaust survivors Edie Hecht leads a museum tour as part of her six-month apprenticeship at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
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The Museum of Jewish Heritage, located in Manhattan's Battery Park, serves as more than just a living memorial to the Holocaust.
The Museum of Jewish Heritage, located in Manhattan's Battery Park, serves as more than just a living memorial to the Holocaust.
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City has already seen six drownings this summer
by Jess Berry
Aug 01, 2014 | 120 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Borough President Eric Adams discusses his proposal with reporters.
Borough President Eric Adams discusses his proposal with reporters.
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It has been a grim summer on the beaches in the city, with six drownings over a 30-day period casting a shadow over the normally sunny summer skies. The latest incident happened a little over a week ago on Tuesday, July 22, when a ten-year-old girl was playing on a jetty at Coney Island Beach after-hours and slipped into the powerful ocean waters. The youngest of the six victims was only two years old. Shawn Slevin, chair of the Swim Strong Foundation, said that 98 percent of drownings are preventable. “As far as I can see, each one of these deaths has been unnecessary,” Slevin said. “That’s what’s so upsetting and frustrating about this.” The Swim Strong Foundation uses swim programs, such as affordable swim lessons and swim safety education for families, to save lives and teach children values through competitive swimming. Slevin said that in order to prevent future fatalities, swim and water safety education needs to be a priority. “The bottom line is education and parents and families embracing it and sharing it with one another,” she said. In that vein, Borough President Eric Adams and Councilman Mark Treyger held a press conference on the boardwalk of Coney Island Beach to discuss changes they would like to see to increase water safety in the city. While Adams discussed legislation that would require water safety education and swim lessons for second graders across the City, Treyger called for more Park Enforcement Patrol (PEP) officers on the beaches, which would allow for stricter enforcement of swimmers leaving the water after lifeguards finish their duty at 6 p.m. “No one is teaching the ABC’s of swimming,” Adams said. “And because that is not being taught, because there is no clear format of teaching water safety, our children and families are recklessly going to the water’s edge believing that this beautiful ocean is a toy.” Treyger agreed, saying that education was the first in a two-fold issue when it comes to water safety in the city. But, according to Treyger, responsibility does not fall entirely on the shoulders of families, and there is a need for the increase of PEP officers, which he believes would fulfill the city’s duty to protects its citizens. “We have to make sure that city government is doing all that it can do as well to prevent tragedies like this from ever happening, not just here in Coney Island, but anywhere else in the City of New York,” Treyger said. Adams’ proposed legislation is still in the works in conjunction with State Senator Diane Savino, who is looking into the logistics of creating a water education program for second graders and drafting a bill. Adams said that he believes the cost of such a program would be $150 per student. “But we can’t put a price on public safety, we can’t put a price on having parents not receive a phone call that their child has drowned,” he said.
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Pols seek to decrease sexual lewdness in subways, buses
by Jess Berry
Aug 01, 2014 | 44 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Both the City Council and the state Assembly are tackling the issue of sexual lewdness and assault on subway trains, aiming to make commutes safer across the city. Last Friday, Public Advocate Letitia James stood with Hollaback!, an international movement to end street harassment, the Center for Anti-Violence Education and other anti-sexual violence advocates to push for improvements from the NYPD and MTA to increase surveillance, education and the safety of riders. The group pushed for more training on how to handle sexual lewdness and related violations and assaults on public transit, as well as the improvement of reporting systems, the creation of a bystander education program, increased penalties for offenders and new cameras in subway cars. “It is unacceptable that the largest urban transportation system in the world is not doing everything possible to inform and protect transit riders,” James said. “Current data cites that arrests are made in only two-thirds of reported cases. I believe sexual lewdness, harassment and assaults are seriously under-reported, and unfortunately, that is the case because riders aren’t confident that these complaints will be investigated.” A study showed that women reported sexual violations over 3,000 times from 2008 to 2013, with the 4/5/6 trains having the most reported incidents. The majority of the reports happened during the morning rush hour. Hollaback! says that issues with underreporting of incidents can be solved if bystanders played a more active role in stopping assault and harassment that is happening in front of them. “Hollaback! believes everybody has the right to feel safe on public transit and on the streets of New York City,” Hollaback! Deputy Director Debjani Roy said. “We envision a city full of active bystanders who stand together and say 'no' to sexual harassment and assault when they see it happening.” Meanwhile, Assemblyman Joseph Lentol will reintroduce a bill in the upcoming legislative session that will increase the severity of the crime of forcibly touching others in situations they are unable to avoid, which often happens in crowded buses and subways. If the legislation passes, the crime of “subway grinding” will change from a class B misdemeanor to a class A misdemeanor, making the new maximum penalties a year in jail and one year of probation. “Increasing the punishment for this lewd behavior will certainly serve to protect individuals on subways and deter individuals who may consider this heinous act,” Lentol said. “There is no reason someone should be subjected to this type of behavior, especially when it is unavoidable in the tight quarters of a crowded subway car.”
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