Saturday, August 19, 2017

Job Fair at Bronx House

  It was the Bronx Chamber of Commerce along with State Senator Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj who co-hosted a Bronx H.I.R.E. job fair at Bronx House today. There were dozens of different employers looking for various different people to come work for them including two branches of the Armed Forces. Recruiters from the Army and the Marines were on hand, and yes they said they offer jobs and career training for the future. 

  I spoke to several people who said different answers to me of this event. One woman said she was a secretary, and could not find such a job here. two men said that they had left their resumes with different companies, and are very hopeful of getting jobs with the companies they spoke to. I asked some more people hoping to find someone who was going to join the Army or Marines, but after about twenty minutes gave up on that idea. However I did get one maybe to the Armed Forces. Other employers on hand included Chase Bank, DJ Ambulette, New York Life, Bob Bider Plumbing, and even a table taking names to canvess for the 13th council district. 

Above - The Bronx Chamber of Commerce co-hosted this Bronx H.I.R.E. event.
Below - Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj with the New York Life team. Was he looking for some more insurance?

Above - Plumbing business owner Bob Bider was looking for a counter person, and an outside sales person. The proclamation on the wall was given to Bronx House by Councilman Jimmy Vacca.
Below - A group photo with Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, and some of the people looking to hire new people.

Fair in Westchester Square

The Family of Christ International Ministries Inc. Church (located at nearby 1448 Ferris Place) took over Owen Dolan Park today for a day of food and fun provided by the church.

Above - Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, water, and watermelon was given out to those who came to this event.
Below - Costco which does not have a store in the Bronx attended, and told me they are looking for a Bronx site like some of their competitors have set up shop in the Bronx.

Above - The New York Public Library local Throggs Neck branch was on hand with a lot of information, and limited items to give away. In the background you can see that a mural is being painted by those who wanted to brush up on their artistry. 
Below - You can see that across the street from the park is the campaign office of 13th City Council candidate Marjorie Velazquez. I went over to try to get answers from the Velazquez campaign on campaign worker Rebecca Chant who was also the challenger to two of candidate Velazquez's opponents. A campaign worker came to the door and said that no one was in, but that is another story to be told.


  Mark G. Peters, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation (“DOI”), issued the following statement on the conviction of City Correction Officer RODINY CALYPSO on a charge of covering up his use of force on an inmate by filing a false report with the City Department of Correction (“DOC”). DOI conducted the investigation in conjunction with its federal law enforcement partners, and testified at the trial in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. CALYPSO was convicted by a federal jury on Wednesday, August 16, 2017. The use of force against the inmate took place in February 2014 in a shower at Otis Bantum Correctional Center on Rikers Island. Following the incident, CALYPSO filed a Use of Force report with DOC claiming an inmate spit on him, omitting punches he delivered while holding the inmate in a headlock. A video obtained by DOI disputed the assertions CALYPSO made in his report.

  DOI Commissioner Mark G. Peters said, “This Correction Officer betrayed his oath to protect safety and security in the City’s jails when he used force against an inmate and then covered up his conduct by fabricating a story that the inmate was the aggressor. The jury’s conviction in this case stands as a firm reminder that cover ups and lies by our City’s Correction Officers will not be tolerated.”

  The video of the use of force against the inmate can be seen by this link:

  CALYPSO, 38, of Springfield Gardens, N.Y., is scheduled to be sentenced on November 30, 2017. He began working at DOC on August 2014 and has been suspended since his arrest. He receives an annual base salary of $76,500.

  To date, DOI’s investigations into DOC have resulted in the arrest of 43 Correction Officers and other DOC staff.

  DOI Commissioner Mark G. Peters thanked Joon H. Kim, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and his staff, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, for their partnership on this investigation.


Defendants Fraudulently Submitted Reimbursement Claims for School Meals That Were Never Served

  A five-count indictment was unsealed today in United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York charging Elozer Porges and Joel Lowy, the former Executive Director and former Assistant Director, respectively, of the school system known as Central United Talmudic Academy (CUTA) in Brooklyn, New York, with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and four counts of mail fraud. The defendants are scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Viktor V. Pohorelsky at the Brooklyn federal courthouse. 

  The charges were announced by Bridget M. Rohde, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), Mark Peters, Commissioner, New York City Department of Investigation, and Special Agent-in-Charge, Bethanne M. Dinkins, United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General.

  As alleged in the indictment, between 2013 and 2015, Porges and Lowy submitted documents to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) that falsely claimed that school children had received meals which, in fact, they had never been served. The defendants fraudulently inflated the number of meals served at various CUTA schools in order to obtain larger reimbursement payments pursuant to the federal government’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The CACFP is a program designed to assist schools and other institutions in providing meals to, among others, at-risk children. In total, Porges and Lowy, based on their false representations, fraudulently obtained approximately $3 million in reimbursement payments to CUTA

  “Former CUTA Executive Director Porges and Assistant Director Lowy allegedly obtained $3 million from a federal program designed to fund meals for needy children by claiming to have served meals they did not serve, thus undermining a program designed to assist the most vulnerable members of our community,” stated Acting United States Attorney Rohde. “We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to root out fraudulent schemes that misuse public funds.”

  “The Child and Adult Care Food Program strives to provide for at-risk children, and as school officials, Porges and Lowy should have strived to do the same,” stated Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney. “Instead, they allegedly falsified documents to gain approximately $3 million in reimbursement for meals that were never served. To defraud programs designed to help those in need is simply inexcusable, and we will work relentlessly with our law enforcement partners to thoroughly investigate these frauds.”

  “As charged, these defendants stole food from children in need by diverting millions of dollars in public funds intended to pay for their dinners,” stated DOI Commissioner Peters. “Public funds must be spent for public purposes and, when they are not, DOI will expose the fraud and arrest the wrongdoers. DOI thanks our dedicated law enforcement partners on this case: the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Office of the Inspector General for the United States Department of Agriculture.”

  “The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) was created to provide nutrition assistance to children and adults who are truly in need,” stated Special Agent-in-Charge Dinkins. “Those involved in fraud and abuse of USDA feeding programs will be investigated by our office to the fullest extent. In this joint investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York City Department of Investigation, we worked together to identify and hold accountable those who sought to profit from the CACFP through illegal schemes. The USDA, Office of Inspector General will continue to dedicate investigative resources, working with our law enforcement and prosecutorial partners, to protect the integrity of these programs and bring to justice those who commit fraud.”

  The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years’ imprisonment on the conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud count, as well as on each of the mail fraud counts.

  The Defendants: 
ELOZER PORGES Age: 43 Brooklyn, NY 
JOEL LOWY Age: 29 Brooklyn, NY 
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CR-431 (NGG)

Free Community BBQ Sat. August 26th Assemblyman Sepulveda and State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr.

NYCHA Melrose Houses to Receive $3 Million for Much Needed Security Upgrades

Funding from Council Member Salamanca will allow for 'layered access' 

Council Member Salamanca and Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark were on hand to announce Salamanca has secured $3 million for security improvements at Melrose Houses

Today, Council Member Rafael Salamanca, Jr. was joined by Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark and residents of NYCHA"s Melrose Houses at their annual family day to announce that he has secured $3 million dollars to be utilized for security upgrades, including 'layered access' door locking systems. 

"I'm pleased to be joined by our District Attorney for what is a very big deal that I hope will help Melrose Houses residents feel safer in their homes," said Council Member Salamanca. "With this $3 million in funding, we'll be able to make much needed safety improvements, and I hope to replicate this allocation with additional dollars for our other NYCHA developments in the South Bronx as well." 

NYCHA’s Layered Access Control Program can provide further security for storefronts and building entry doors for tenant security. Components of the Layered Access Control Program include electronic access with key tags (or “key fobs”), a direct call intercom system, and new door locks.

In recent years, Melrose Houses has been the scene of numerous heinous crimes, including a murder in 2015 that occurred in a stairwell of one of the development's towers. Layered access will almost certainly help to prevent non-tenants from entering easily, thus lowering crime. 

Since taking office, Council Member Salamanca has made NYCHA families a priority, with over $3.2 million secured for improvements to our NYCHA buildings, increased safety in developments and for tenant association programming.

Additionally, Salamanca has allocated funding our local police precincts to be utilized for community engagement and other safety needs in the area.  Salamanca has fought for additional resources in the 40th precinct in particular, including for patrol officers.

Attorney General Schneiderman And Governor Cuomo Announce New York State Suing U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Over Eastern Long Island Sound Disposal Site Designation

Lawsuit Filed By New York State Cites Ocean Dumping Act And Coastal Zone Management Act Violations And EPA’s Failure To Address Environmental Impacts On The Long Island Sound

  Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York State has filed a lawsuit against the United States Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York challenging EPA’s decision to designate a permanent open water disposal site in eastern Long Island Sound for tens of millions of cubic yards of dredged sediments. The EPA’s site designation violates the Ocean Dumping Act and the Coastal Zone Management Act. 

“Our waters are not dumping grounds. EPA’s first job is to protect our natural resources – yet by designating this unneeded disposal site, EPA is allowing huge amounts of dredged waste to be poured into yet another area of the Long Island Sound. That’s unacceptable,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “We won’t hesitate to act when the federal government fails to uphold its obligation to protect New Yorkers’ health and environment.”
“We will continue to do everything in our power to protect New York’s environment, and with the EPA’s unfathomable and destructive decision to turn the eastern Long Island Sound into a dumping ground – now is the time for action,” Governor Cuomo said. “We will establish that this designation not only poses a major threat to a significant commercial and recreational resource, but that it also undermines New York’s long-standing efforts to end dumping in our treasured waters.”
In August 2016, the Governor announced New York's intention to fight the EPA's designation of the eastern Long Island Sound disposal site because of its adverse effects to the waterway. Subsequently, the New York Department of State objected the EPA’s proposed site designation as being inconsistent with the Long Island Sound Coastal Management Program policies. In December 2016, New York State filed a Notice of Intent to Sue immediately after the EPA finalized its designation.
“New York’s waters remain one of our State’s most valuable and cherished assets,” said New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado. “This action directed by Governor Cuomo to protect Long Island Sound sends a clear message that he will utilize any and all legal means to prevent any use of the Eastern Site as we continue efforts to safeguard this and other natural resources throughout the state.”
“The Long Island Sound is a vital economic and ecological treasure that needs to be protected – not undermined by the U.S. EPA’s outdated dredging management decisions,” said Basil Seggos, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. “Governor Cuomo has made it clear that New York State will not tolerate the federal government gutting its commitment and denying its responsibility for reducing or eliminating the disposal of dredge spoils in the open waters of this irreplaceable ecosystem.”
In 2005, the states of New York and Connecticut called for, and EPA subsequently established by regulation, the important and long necessary goal of reducing or eliminating dredged material disposal in the estuarine waters of Long Island Sound. In contravention of the intent of that regulation, in 2016, EPA increased the number of permanent open water dump sites in Long Island Sound by designating a third one in eastern Long Island Sound.
The lawsuit charges that, in designating the dump site, EPA failed: to identify the navigational conflicts that will be caused by the dump site location, to examine the environmental impacts of dumping dredged materials under differing testing regimes, to designate historically used or ocean disposal sites and to properly quantify the existing capacity at already designated sites. Further, the EPA has been unresponsive to New York’s stated concerns about the reliability of sediment testing and has made insufficient assurances that the dredged material will not have a negative impact on the environment, as it has in the past.
New York also maintains that increasing the volume of open-water disposal of dredged materials, and the number and availability of open water disposal sites, is inconsistent with public investment and policies that are already in place aimed at restoring the Long Island Sound. This lawsuit underscores New York’s continuing commitment to pursue upland alternatives for beneficial reuse of the material to preserve and protect the integrity of Long Island Sound for future generations.