Archive for the tag 'marty golden'

Source: smokershighlife/Flickr

The bill legalizing medical marijuana passed the State Senate Health Committee on Tuesday, bringing it a step closer to law.

While advocates, including the bill’s sponsor, Senator Diane Savino, celebrated, Capital New York turned to one of the bill’s main opponents, Senator Marty Golden, for his thoughts. What followed was a pretty interesting exchange, in which Republican Golden argues for federal oversight, while Democrat Savino portrays it as a states’ rights issue in which New York must lead the way:

Golden said he believed medical marijuana would be legal at some point in New York, but “I don’t believe it should be now.” He said he would be inclined to support medical marijuana when the Food and Drug Administration supports it at the federal level.

Savino delivered an impassioned response.

“I wish, I really wish that the F.D.A. would move, but as it’s been noted in the past, the F.D.A takes its own sweet time,” Savino said. “In the meantime, people suffer. Children suffer. People die.

“Why is it so important for us to act before the F.D.A finally decides to do it? Because in so many ways, Senator Golden, New York is the watershed state,” she said. “As New York goes, so goes the nation. And we, if we are successful in establishing the tightest most regulated program in the country, we will become the model and the F.D.A. will finally acknowledge that they have been sticking their head in the sand about this issue for far too long.”

I’m not quite sure when, in the course of recent history, Democrats became the party of states’ rights and Republicans became the party of broader federal powers, but medical marijuana is hardly the only issue to exhibit the new paradigm (DOMA, anybody?).

Regardless, it’s not yet clear whether the bill will come to a floor for a full vote during the current session. Although it’s garnered some Republican support, and Savino said she has enough votes to pass it, Republican leadership remains cold to the idea and introduced a competing bill last week that does not allow any smokeable forms of the drug to be used for any reason.

Photo by Jean Henrique Wichinoski / Flickr

Photo by Jean Henrique Wichinoski / Flickr

State Senator Martin J. Golden is partnering with yoga instructor Cathy Shroder to host two health and fitness events in Marine Park near the Carmine Carro Community Center, 3000 Fillmore Avenue.

The beginners’ yoga class, with opportunities for more advanced practice and featuring short yoga-nidra, will be held at 7:00 p.m., tomorrow, May 22 and Thursday, June 5. The events are free and open to the public. Participants are asked to bring their own yoga mat or towel.

“I look forward to joining residents of my district in embracing the warmer weather and hosting these events to provide an opportunity for exercise and relaxation,” said Golden. “It is important that in the midst of our busy lives that we never neglect our personal health, and so I encourage the community to join us.”

For more information, contact Golden’s office at (718) 238-6044 or via email at golden@nysenate.gov.

Kemmerer via LinkedIn

Kemmerer via LinkedIn

Political activist and executive director of the Bay Ridge Democrats, Jamie Kemmerer, will formally announce his bid to represent the 22nd District in the State Senate on Monday, challenging 12-year Republican incumbent Marty Golden for his seat.

“The speculation is true. There’s a lot of work to be done, and we’re going to try and put [an announcement] out on Monday,” Kemmerer, 41, told us by phone today, confirming a report this morning by City & State that said the small business owner and Ridge resident was considering a challenge.

The Bay Ridge Democrats, a progressive Democratic club that has seen its influence rise after becoming an early backer of Bill de Blasio during the mayoral campaign, voted to endorse Kemmerer last night. Kemmerer has not yet filed a committee with the state, but said he will do so soon.

City & State reported:

Kemmerer has never run for public office before, but already local officials are expected to throw their weight behind his candidacy, including Councilman Vincent Gentile, who took over Golden’s Council seat after losing his Senate seat to him in 2002. Kemmerer made some waves in February after accusing Golden of “money laundering” by spending large amounts of campaign contributions at his brother’s catering hall in Bay Ridge.

Kemmerer told us that he not only has the backing of Gentile already, but that the Bensonhurst-Bay Ridge councilman, who has been engaged in a longtime rivalry with Golden, was key to influencing him to run.

“I had been approached by some district leaders [including Joanne Seminara, chairperson of Community Board 10 and the female Democratic District Leader of the 60th Assembly District] and thought about it a bit but wasn’t sure if now was the time,” explained Kemmerer. “I certainly believed someone should run against him. Then Gentile asked me to do it as well, and given all the recent issues with corruption and campaign finance questions, some of which you’ve reported on, and some of the other things going on, I began thinking about it more seriously. Putting all those factors together, it’s something that I think is important to do.”

Kemmerer is a Pennsylvania native who moved to Brooklyn with his wife approximately a decade ago. He runs a marketing and technology firm, and blogs on a personal website about politics affecting Bay Ridge residents.

Between servicing clients and the cries of his 21-month-old son, Kemmerer declined to discuss details of his platform or his thoughts on Golden until the Monday announcement.

However, he did note that a top priority for his campaign will be addressing ongoing concerns stemming from Superstorm Sandy, which hit a large portion of the district, including Gerritsen Beach, Sheepshead and Manhattan Beach.

“I’ve been very active in Hurricane Sandy work. I’m a founding member of the Brooklyn Long-Term Recovery Group,” a community organization that helps steer victims to resources, he said. “Issues around Sandy, and not just the immediate issues of getting people back in their homes, but about resiliency and infrastructure, are important to me, and that will be at the top of the list.”

He also said he will campaign for fair elections and ethics reform in Albany.

Golden, the only Republican state senator in Brooklyn, has coasted to victory with only marginal opposition in most elections during his tenure. That changed in 2012 when Andrew Gounardes, also out of the Bay Ridge Democrats, mounted a heated campaign featuring feisty debates and well-coordinated attacks told through press releases and campaign literature. Golden won out, but with a relatively narrow margin. He racked up 58.1 percent of the vote to Gounardes’ 41.9 percent. 

During the meeting, Marty Golden used a microphone similar to the one in this picture. Photo by Erica Sherman

State Senator Marty Golden covered a range of issues from heroin to flood insurance at a well-attended meeting of the Manhattan Beach Community Group meeting last night.

Here’s the cliff notes to Golden’s appearance:

  • He talked about the high concentration of senior citizens in Brooklyn, especially in the south, and said that this population needed to be respected and not forced out of the borough by increases in taxes.
  • The heroin problem in New York City has reached an all time high, Golden said. The problem is especially acute in Brooklyn, where many children are dying of overdoses. And he blamed lawmakers going easy on drug dealers when they repealed much of the Rockefeller Drug Laws of the 1970s several years ago. Since then, much of the Rockefeller Drug Laws have returned, a point Golden is proud of. “Drug dealers are the bad guys and I want to get them off the streets,” he said.
  • On the point of legalizing weed, Golden said he was against it. “If anyone thinks marijuana isn’t a gateway drug, they’re fooling themselves,” Golden said.
  • When it comes to the “nightmare” of Manhattan Beach residents, Golden wants to build up infrastructure in the area to prevent future flooding. He discussed the possibility of things like flood gates and retainer walls.
  • While on the topic of Superstorm Sandy, Golden is trying to prevent flood insurance from going up for those in flood zones.
  • He also addressed the big news this week about the possibility of a national competition and the New York and New Jersey area losing $1 billion in disaster aid. “We’re all going to stand together to make sure that this money stays here,” he said.
Source:  Tamaki Sono / Flickr

Source: Tamaki Sono / Flickr

State Senator Martin J. Golden will host simultaneous free shredding events, this Saturday, April 26 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at both of his district offices: 7408 Fifth Avenue in Bay Ridge, and 3604 Quentin Road in Marine Park. Those attending should bring as many personal documents as they wish to shred.

A press release issued by Golden’s office states that, “Recent reports indicate that identity theft affects over 9 million Americans every year, is the fastest growing crime in America, and is the most reported consumer fraud complaint.” To that end, Golden is partnering with the community in protecting residents against identity theft.

“We all have a pile of papers in our house that we hope to one day get a chance to shred,” said Golden. “This is a great opportunity to stop by my office and get rid of those forms, bank statements, receipts and more in a safe way. Shred those papers so to make sure you have taken every precaution against the crime of identity theft.”

Golden introduced legislation (S. 6551-A) that would require credit card companies to issue New York State residents cards enabled with smart chip technology. Additionally, Golden has sponsored S.6826, which would increase the penalties for various levels of identity theft.

To learn more, contact Golden’s office at (718) 238-6044 or email golden@nysenate.gov.

The next meeting of the Manhattan Beach Community Group (MBCG) will be Wednesday, April 23 at 8:00 p.m. inside Public School 195, 131 Irwin Street at Hampton Avenue.

Guest speaker, State Senator Marty Golden, will discuss and answer your questions on topics including:

  • How does the New York State budget affect you?
  • Will your property taxes go up?
  • What is New York State doing to make sure your home is not flooded again?
  • Is the legislature allocating more funds for Sandy-damaged communities?

The MBCG encourages members of the community to attend and participate in their monthly civic meetings. For more, contact MBCG at (718) 200-1845 or manhattanbeachbrooklyn.org@gmail.com, or visit www.manhattanbeachbrooklyn.org.

Source: sincerelyhiten via flickr

Source: sincerelyhiten/Flickr

The following is a press release from the offices of State Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz:

A bill introduced by Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn) to commission a comprehensive study on the social impact of problem gambling has gained a valuable sponsor in the Senate and was cited during expert testimony at a New York State Gaming Commission Forum today in Albany.

The legislation (A.7836), which authorizes and directs the commissioner of mental health to commission a statewide evaluation regarding the extent of legal and illegal gambling by New York state residents, has attracted the sponsorship of Senator Marty Golden and on April 1 was reported to the Assembly Ways and Means Committee.

James Maney, Executive Director of the New York Council on Problem Gambling, gave the bill a positive mention this morning during the forum on “Addressing Problem Gambling in the Era of Expanded Gaming.”

According to Assemblyman Cymbrowitz, who is Chairman of the Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, the purpose of this bill is to mitigate the social costs related to problem gambling.

A survey conducted by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) found that five percent of adults, or 668,000 individuals, exhibited problem gambling behaviors within the past year. Another survey of seventh through 12th grade students revealed that 10 percent, or 140,000 students, showed signs of problem gambling in the past 12 months and another 10 percent of those students were in need of treatment for problem gambling. Of those students in the survey who were identified as in need of chemical dependency treatment, 45 percent were at risk or in need of treatment for problem gambling.

Research has found that proximity to casinos increases the rate of problem gambling among the local population, said Assemblyman Cymbrowitz. The National Gambling Impact Study Commission showed that casinos within a 50-mile radius of an individual’s home can double the prevalence of problem gambling.

The Buffalo Research Institute on Addiction, in its own study, claimed that having a casino within 10 miles of a home has a significant effect on problem gambling. Currently, New York State has five casinos operated by Native Americans and nine independently operated racinos; combined they operate approximately 29,000 electronic gambling machines, which is more than any state in the Northeast or Midwest. New York continues to expand its existing gaming market and if non-tribal casino gaming is legalized, permitting up to seven new casinos to be established, the risk of more individuals developing a gambling problem could increase significantly.

“While it is important that New York State continue to conduct surveys that determine the prevalence of problem gambling and illustrate the need for prevention and treatment services, additional research that measures the social impact of problem gambling is sorely needed,” Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said. Directing such research would allow the state to pinpoint which social costs associated with problem gambling are most predominant among New York’s identified problem gamblers and have also been detected in communities impacted by the presence of a casino, he noted.

“By having this information, New York State and its public officials will be able to develop a comprehensive plan comprising precise policies and regulations that aim to mitigate the social costs related to problem gambling,” Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said. The information would also enable the problem gambling service providers and the casino industry to implement strategies and interventions that target the specific problem gambling needs of each local community and its citizens, he said.

State Senator Marty Golden will be hosting two annual Easter egg hunts for the children and families of his district. Each Easter Egg Hunt event, in Marine Park and Bay Ridge, includes games, music, and activities for the whole family, as well as prizes for the children.

The first one will be held April 6 at 2:00 p.m. in Marine Park, at Fillmore Avenue and Madison Place, followed by the second one, which will be held April 12 at 2:00 p.m. in Shore Road Park, at Shore Road and 79th Street.

To learn more, call Golden’s District Office at (718) 238-6044.

If you are a Sandy victim still struggling with the alphabet soup of city, state and federal agencies, insurance company problems related to the storm, and are still in need of help and support but don’t know what programs are still running, State Senator Marty Golden is holding another Superstorm Sandy town hall meeting, featuring representatives from many of the related agencies.

The meeting is tonight at 7:00 p.m. at P.S. 277, 2529 Gerritsen Avenue.

See the flier below for details.

Source: Nathan James/Flickr

Legislation aimed at reducing auto insurance fraud in New York State passed the Senate on Monday, bringing the bill which allows insurance companies to retroactively cancel the policies of fraudsters one step closer to law.

The Senate bill was sponsored by State Senator Marty Golden, who describes it in this press release:

Today the New York State Senate passed S1959A, sponsored by Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn), which allows insurance companies to retroactively cancel policies taken out by people who commit auto fraud. These criminals often take out policies and pay for them with bad checks or stolen credit cards just before they stage accidents. Under current law, insurance companies cannot cancel the policy and policyholders wind up paying for it through higher premiums. This bill would take that burden off honest consumers and therefore lower the insurance rates.

“Auto insurance fraud is costing New Yorkers millions of dollars, and it’s time that fair and honest members of our community stop paying for the crimes of others,” stated Senator Golden. “This legislation will give insurance companies the right to revoke insurance policies for those who try to game the system.”

This measure would bring New York in line with the other large no-fault states and remove any incentives for staged accidents. In fact, only seven other states (AZ, CO, KS, ME, MD, NC and SD) do not allow for retroactive cancellation. Innocent victims of uninsured drivers would be covered under their own policy or the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation.

The bill, which you can read here, now moves onto the Democratic-led Assembly, where it has support from a number of Democrats, including local Assembly members Steven Cymbrowitz and Dov Hikind.

Previous versions of this bill – and two others passed by the Senate to combat auto fraud – died in the Assembly.

Auto fraud continues to be an ongoing issue in Southern Brooklyn. The longest-running and largest auto insurance scam ring in history ended in April 2012, when authorities busted 36 individuals – many of them Southern Brooklyn residents – using anti-Mafia RICO laws. The individuals were accused of exploiting New York’s “no-fault” insurance law, which allows drives and passengers to obtain up to $50,000 for accidents injuries regardless of fault.

Prior to that, another ring was busted in Brooklyn, leading to the arrest of 16 people for allegedly ripping off companies for $400,000 between 2009 and 2011.

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