Hey NFL, throw some of your billions at it
Sep 17, 2014 | 0 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
By now, most in America have either seen or heard about the video of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his then-fiancé in the face inside an elevator. All the banter surrounding its effects on the NFL, its commissioner, the Baltimore Ravens ownership and the NFL players themselves has stirred up conversation on every news outlet in the world. That’s a whole lot of residual effect from one incident and its discussion has taken on a life of its own, with commentators being analyzed by the way they reported on the incident. But isn’t that the point? One incident of domestic violence, when witnessed by a child, has shown to have lingering effects on that kid’s life as an adult. Our good friend and author of a groundbreaking book on domestic violence, Brian Martin, in his book ‘Invincible’ contends that an entire generation of domestic abusers have basically grown up in homes with domestic abuse themselves. The issues and solutions highlight that 40 million people plus 15 million children currently experience domestic violence and don’t even know what to call it. Martin says awareness is now the most important part of understanding this kind of abuse. It’s not just about hitting. “It’s about emotional and psychological stress and affects the cognitive belief system in children forever,” Martin of domestic abuse. Children from families with domestic abuse are six times more likely to commit suicide, 50 times more likely to become addicted to drugs or alcohol, and 79 times more likely to be violent towards someone. Attention is a good thing The NFL now has an opportunity to throw money and resources at a national situation that has only been exacerbated by the Ray Rice punch, and more recently the domestic abuse case against Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. Peterson, who is facing felony charges in Texas for child abuse, allegedly whipped his toddler with a tree branch as part of a punishment lesson. Many are defending his action as just disciplining a child, but this is the problem. This type of violence is part of a culture that must be changed, and the NFL can take this issue on now. Throw money at it. Throw lots of money at it. Start programs. Have NFL players make appearances and talk about how wrong it is to take a swing. Provide resources for programs that already exist. The NFL makes plenty of money and now it’s time to take accountability for changing a mindset and a culture.
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The Primaries and What It All Meant for de Blasio
by Anthony Stasi
Sep 17, 2014 | 0 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Last week’s primary did not hold a great deal of surprises, but it did reveal that the endorsement of Mayor Bill de Blasio has reach in Queens and Brooklyn. With State Senator John Sampson (recently indicted) and State Senator Tony Avella (under party fire, not legal fire), some of the mayor’s endorsed candidates were successful in the Democratic Primary. And de Blasio completed the hat-trick with Leroy Comrie defeating State Senator Malcolm Smith (who is facing bribery charges). Some of the mayor’s preferred candidates were not successful, but these particular contests told a story about the city and state. People want less polarization in Albany, with ideology perhaps playing a part later. Endorsements are not something that make or break campaigns. In fact, some of our elected officials did not even have their own party’s endorsement when they first ran for offices they eventually won. For example, Joe Addabbo, Jr. was not the Democratic Party’s choice in 2001 when he ran for City Council. Ultimately, the candidate has to win on his or her own merits, but de Blasio’s endorsement in the 11th District in northeast Queens was enough to tell progressive voters that Tony Avella was a safe enough bet. It was enough to give Avella those 500 votes to stave off John Liu. The importance of that election last week in Bayside is going to matter in New York State politics for the next two years. Avella’s independent style means good news for people who write about politics because there is less predictability. New York’s 21st CD If Republican Elise Stefanik, running in New York's 21st Congressional District, can hold on to the lead that polls suggest she has over Democrat Aaron Woolf, she will be the only Republican woman in the party’s already small congressional delegation. Stefanik is trending at a ten-point lead in the open-seat election, which is due to incumbent Democrat Bill Owens choosing not to seek re-election. Not many seats change party affiliation in congressional elections, even when they occur in midterms, but this could be one of them. Those who follow New York State politics are constantly trying to figure out the direction that Long Island and upstate New York will take, which is no small task. Upstate was trending conservative up until just under a decade ago. Stefanik being elected to Congress would give the New York delegation some added diversity, but it would also provide a signal that upstate politics is still not a comfortable lock for either party. Very Close in New York’s 1st CD Democratic Congressman Tim Bishop has successfully defended his seat in the 1st Congressional District in the past, and this year he is in a race that polling suggests is very close. Republican State Senator Lee Zeldin is mounting a challenge with not very much in campaign funds, following a primary challenge that caused him to spend more than he would have liked. Will money make the difference? If it does, the Suffolk County district will go in Bishop’s direction. Bishop has a tendency to weather difficult storms, narrowly winning re-election in his last two contests, but Zeldin is close to the margin of error in polling. Nobody sees this year’s midterm as being too dramatic – the Republicans will most likely hold control of the House and may have a chance at a razor thin majority in the Senate - but if two seats change hands in New York, that would be an interesting signal that upstate New York and Long Island are in nobody’s back pocket ideologically.
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Working for New York's Workers
by Tony Avella
Sep 17, 2014 | 0 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With Labor Day behind us, I want to take the time to reflect on what the State Legislature has been able to accomplish for our state’s employees – and our plans for the future once session resumes in January. This past year I am proud to emphasize that we have taken several leaps forward by passing a much needed minimum wage increase, providing tax incentives, fighting for stricter worker safety standards and ensuring that our state’s labor force sees improved working conditions. But our work is not yet finished. Every day, our working families face more and more difficulty in maintaining a comfortable standard of living – so it is our job to make New York more affordable for all of our communities. As our economy continues to recover, the long-term unemployment rate remains unacceptably high. That is why putting more New Yorkers back to work remains the highest priority. My colleagues and I have already taken a pledge to advocate for my six-point economic plan which would address the many inequities our workforce is currently facing by offering additional tax credits to small businesses to encourage the hiring and retaining New Yorkers who have been out of work for six months or longer. This plan would also invest greater funding into our infrastructure and propose a transit toll relief package, all in an effort to provide relief while creating employment for New Yorkers. That is why, as we reflect on our careers, allow me to commemorate each and every one of you on your endless dedication and commitment to making New York a wonderful place to work and raise your families. Let us work together to ensure that New York sets an example for the entire nation for minimum wage standards, workplace safety and job creation. Tony Avella represents the 11th District in the State Senate.
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Major sewer upgrades coming to CB5
by Chase Collum
Sep 17, 2014 | 0 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Department of Environmental Protection will be upgrading the sewer lines under 69th Street from Calamus Avenue to Queens Boulevard, with the project beginning sometime near the end of the month. “This is a $20 million plus project,” Gary Giordano said in making the announcement at last week's Community Board meeting. One of the challenges to the project, according to Giordano, is that, “Con Ed’s got a lot of electrical lines to move up there.” Giordano also mentioned a planned $7 million sewer renovation project that will come to Glendale soon. He said members of CB5 met with DEP about the need for a more accommodating sewer system shortly after storms caused significant flooding on Aug. 8, 2007. In that meeting, the agency told him and his colleagues that they were working towards upgrading the system from the bottom up. “Glendale is connected to, I believe, or flows to three different sewage treatment plants,” Giordano explained, saying that this situation made the system in Glendale more complicated than other systems in the area. In Middle Village, work is set to begin on a sewer project sometime near the end of October, led by recent contract award winner C.A.C. Industries. The upgrade will include installation of combined sewers and water mains on and around 74th Street and Juniper Valley Road. While he was appreciative of the efforts made to alleviate sewage flow issues in CB5 to date, he looks forward to the day when DEP comes up with a long-term plan. “They’ve cleaned out a lot of the sewer lines, the catch basins, but they have not yet found a permanent solution,” Giordano said.
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Grrenpoint Y Back to School
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