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Compliments are in order to Jonathan Eckman and Susan Gomber for their thought-provoking letters in the Feb. 20 issue of the Chronicle, “Utilize Obamacare” and “ACA benefits me.” They have called upon all Americans to embrace the most serious social issue of our time — universal healthcare!
Being so pleased with their remarks, I decided to send a copy of the Letters to the Editor to my relatives and friends living in Maine, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Florida and California.
Susan and Jonathan deserve “kudos” for their contribution to the debate that all Americans need the security of affordable healthcare!
(NAPSI)—You can help to reduce the number of adult drownings in your community this summer by learning to swim and encouraging others to join you.
The National Football League generated backpage headlines this past weekend when it was learned that the league is pushing for penalties and possible game suspensions for players who use the “N-word” slur during a game. The NFL was acting primarily in response to such lunkheads as the Miami Dolphins’ Richie Incognito and the Philadelphia Eagles’ Riley Cooper, who brought shame to themselves and the NFL last year by using that disgusting term.
Sorry, ACLU supporters, I support the NFL’s decision in this matter. What wasn’t clear, however, was if NFL referees will have the power to issue penalties for slurs made against other ethnic groups, races or differing sexual orientations. If you are trying to take a principled and responsible stand against prejudice, then you can’t have situations where some groups are protected and others are not.
Nearly three dozen people have been arrested as part of the ongoing investigation into Social Security and Disability insurance fraud, among them a prominent member of Community Board 9 and his father, who is one of the principal defendants.
Saverio “Sam” Esposito, 48, a longtime member of CB 9 from Ozone Park, was among 32 people arrested in an ongoing sting headed by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance alleging millions of dollars in fraudulent claims against the federal Social Security Disability Insurance program. Espos
ito’s father, Joseph Esposito, 64, is one of four principal defendants, along with Raymond Lavallee, 83, Thomas Hale, 89, and John Minerva, 61, accused of directing SSDI applicants including many retirees of the NYPD, which the younger Esposito was a member of, and FDNY, to lie about their psychiatric conditions in order to obtain benefits to which they were not entitled. The operators of the scam allegedly received cash payments in return for coaching the applicants, who claimed that they suffered a psychiatric condition that prevented them from working, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety or depression. Some of the defendants allegedly used their association with the events of Sept. 11, 2001 as the ostensible cause of their psychiatric condition. Vance said the average annual payment per applicant was between $30,000 and $50,000 a year.
Chirlane McCray, the first lady of New York City, called education “the civil rights issue of today” at a Black History Month event in East Elmhurst’s First Baptist Church last Wednesday night. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Bronx, Queens) hosted the event and honored three African American community activists from his district.
McCray was born in 1954, the year the U.S. Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Education, ruling segregated schools unconstitutional. She spoke of her parents’ “bold move” in sending her to schools where she was the only black student.
Between Jackson Heights and Elmhurst, in the nucleus of the most diverse region on Earth, Queens doctor and entrepreneur Freddy Castiblanco has created a hub of cultural and political collaboration, that also sells a killer Pisco sour, at Terraza 7.
He wanted it to be a bar for and composed of the community. He remembers discovering, after moving from Colombia to Queens in 2002, both the diversity and the cultural isolation of the borough.
Donna Corrado, a longtime top official with Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens, was named commissioner of the Department of Aging on Tuesday.
“Corrado will be charged with spearheading Mayor de Blasio’s plan to protect the city’s seniors in the face of rising costs of living,” the Mayor’s Office said in announcing her appointment. “This includes keeping senior centers open, preserving and expanding affordable housing options, and improving outreach and service delivery to the city’s elderly.”
(BPT) - Paula Van Nostrand, a fit, health-conscious 34-year-old woman was training for her first triathlon when her life was placed on a trajectory no one saw coming. She began experiencing unexplainable symptoms but ultimately attributed them to her training.
(Family Features) Looking to save money and time when it comes to your taxes? There’s a simple way to do your federal taxes, and it’s all for free. The program, called “Free File,” does the hard work for you, either through brand-name software or online fillable forms. And, it’s available only at IRS.gov.
The room was packed with concerned seniors and a who’s who of elected officials last Friday at the 31st annual Queens Interagency Council on Aging Legislative Forum held at Queens Borough Hall.
Representing QICA, a nonprofit borough-wide membership organization that speaks with one voice on behalf of seniors and the agencies that serve them, Barry Klitsberg, co-chairman of the Legislative Forum Committee, read the group’s position paper to the more than 100 in attendance.
Winter can be a particularly difficult time for seniors, and for those with mental health issues, the isolation can be particularly devastating.
So for members of Club Pride in Douglaston, the loss of a bus in December transporting them to their program at Pride of Judea has been very upsetting. The club is a psycho-social gathering place open five days a week that offers seniors a chance to socialize and get counseling.
The following is a transcript of Mayor de Blasio's State of the City Address, as prepared, sent to the media before the speech was delivered.
(BPT) - Everyone’s vision for retirement is different – for some it involves trips across the globe, while for others it means relocating to a new city or picking up a new hobby. Regardless of what your retirement goals might be, preparing to achieve them financially should include a plan that anticipates both the expected and unexpected events and expenses that may arise before or after leaving the workforce.
The food stamp program, Medicare and Social Security benefits, affordable housing and funding for transportation are among the immediate concerns to the Queens Interagency Council on Aging, which is sponsoring its 31st Annual Legislative Forum on Feb. 7 at Queens Borough Hall in the hopes of seeing some positive action on behalf of the borough’s seniors.
Protestors wearing masks, singing songs and waving signs stood outside of Rep. Joe Crowley’s (D-Bronx, Queens) office in Jackson Heights, asking him to come out against fast-tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a free trade agreement that also would give foreign corporations the ability to sue the United States for unlimited sums in international tribunals.
“Congressman Crowley is one of only two New York Democrats in the House who haven’t spoken out against fast-tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” said Adam Weissman of Global Justice for Animals and the Environment. “Fast track renders Congress powerless to amend TPP to ensure that this trade deal won’t empower foreign corporations to attack the laws that protect us in international tribunals, resulting in more fracking, factory farms and contaminated food.”
UPDATE: Below this article is a transcript of an interview about the snow with Mayor de Blasio and Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty, issued by the Mayor's Office at 4:11 p.m.
Queens is full of different cultures, ethnicities and social groups, and the art produced in the borough reflects that.
African-American theater, film and music venues have become major contributors to the borough and help tell the stories of nearby artists and artists from around the world.
An ongoing dispute between elderly Koreans and a Flushing McDonald’s over seating was resolved Monday after an intervention by Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing).
Kim, who is a Korean American, held a press conference in the morning across the street from the fast-food eatery on Northern and Parsons boulevards, surrounded by other elected officials and representatives from the Korean community.
Report card time for Obama. In 2009 Bush-43 left Obama with a $6 trillion federal debt, and a budget (FY-’09) deficit of $1.2 trillion. Unemployment hit 10.2 percent. Our auto industry was near collapse. The stock market (Dow) was 6,700 points.
President Obama launched a progressive approach to the recovery with a “stimulus” plan. 1) Bail out to help Detroit, while others called for bankruptcy. 2) Granted funds to states for projects. GOP Govs. Rick Scott of Florida and Chris Christie of N.J. rejected Obama’s multibillion dollar grants!
Obama’s five-year approach is showing positive results. 1) The Labor Dept. reported 45 consecutive months of job growth. 2) The unemployment rate dropped to 7 percent. 3) The auto industry paid back its bailout loans. Auto sales are in high gear. 4) The Dow hit an all-time high of 16,300 in December 2013. 5) Housing starts surged 25 percent in December. 6) Stock value rose 27 percent in 2013. This means 401(k) plans are growing stronger.
Unfortunately, there are serious issues facing Congress in 2014. 1) Unemployment benefits need to be restored to the 1.3 million who lost them Dec. 28. 2) New immigration laws need to be enacted. 3) A stronger safety net for the poor (food stamps) must be approved. 4) Enact Obama’s Americans Jobs Act. 5) And most important: Reduce ... income inequality between the middle and upper classes!
As a retired social studies teacher, I give my “star pupil” Barack a grade of B+ for his five-year effort!
With the 50th anniversary of the start of the 1964-65 World’s Fair around the corner, a group of people hoping to restore the neglected New York State Pavilion are holding a kickoff discussion of the issue Jan. 25. All are invited.
People for the Pavilion wants to create enough public support and momentum to prompt the city to finally do something with the old Tent of Tomorrow and the adjacent Observation Towers, icons of Queens that have been in disrepair for decades.
The Obama administration has announced new federal guidelines to decrease the racial disparity in school suspensions, expulsions and arrests.
The guidelines were laid out by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder in Baltimore last week. The new recommendations ask schools to create a climate with high expectations and rewards for good behavior, keep tabs on data concerning disciplinary actions, create student codes of conduct that spell out specific punishments for specific infractions, offer staff training on conflict resolution, provide adequate counselors and social workers and define appropriate roles for police on campus.
(BPT) - Women often endure health issues in silence, especially if the problem is embarrassing, affects only them and doesn’t pose a serious health risk. Yet issues that appear minor and personal can have a major impact on a woman’s quality of life – and ultimately on the lives of those around her.