Archive for the tag 'press releases'

Photo by Brian Hoo

Queens State Senator Tony Avella has introduced a bill that would establish a two-year moratorium on the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s plan to eliminate 2,200 mute swans – the same scenic species that populates Sheepshead Bay’s marina. Local Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz announced today that he will follow suit with an Assembly version, having previously spoken out on the issue.

The Senate bill has been referred to the Senate’s environmental conservation committee.

The news was announced last week in a press release by Friends of Animals, an animal protection organization. From that release:

“I was horrified to learn that our state wildlife agency would make such an extreme, unfounded proposal, and do not believe that the DEC has provided evidence to justify the elimination of these beautiful swans,” Avella said. “The public outcry has been severe—many New York residents do not want to see mute swans eliminated and animal advocacy organizations, wildlife experts, rehabilitators and others have also joined the chorus of opposition.  In addition, to imposing a two-year moratorium, my bill requires DEC to illustrate the necessity of eradicating this non-native species by demonstrating the actual damage to the environment or other species caused by mute swans.”

… Donald S. Heintzelman, ornithologist, author and authority on Northern migratory swans and mute swans states,  “My professional opinion is that these public disputes about mute swans are overblown and unnecessary. These birds do not cause catastrophic damage, although most state wildlife agencies have engrained in their official mindsets the notion that mute swans should be destroyed merely because they are non-native species that might compete with native tundra swans and more rarely trumpeter swans. In fact, tundra swans very rarely are seen in New York State (and hence are irrelevant to the agencies’ mindsets).

“As for the few trumpeter swans living at two locations in the state, they are geographically far removed from Long Island and thus are not impacted by mute swans on Long Island. Certainly, mute swans are not pushing out New York’s small population of trumpeter swans. Furthermore, arguments that mute swans are aggressive, and also consume large amounts of submerged aquatic vegetation, are greatly overblown—and represent bad science.”

Cymbrowitz’s office issued a release this afternoon confirming that he would be the Assembly sponsor. From their release:

“Wildlife experts and environmentalists are not unanimous in their belief that exterminating the mute swan population is justified, and there’s plenty of debate over whether eradicating mute swans will be even minimally beneficial to the ecosystem or our environment,” Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said. Also, while it makes for a good anecdote, there is evidence that nary a human has been attacked by a mute swan, he said. While the graceful birds may hiss in an effort to protect their young, experts said the swans are rarely if ever moved to unprovoked aggression against people.

He noted that three other states – Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut – currently use non-lethal methods to control their mute swan populations. Only Maryland exterminates the birds, “which demonstrates that the precedent is there for using a humane alternative,” he said.

The community can comment on the DEC’s plan until February 21. To do so, write to: NYSDEC Bureau of Wildlife, Swan Management Plan, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754 or by e-mail to fwwildlf@gw.dec.state.ny.us (please type “Swan Plan” in the subject line).

Source: Cymbrowitz's office

The swan found injured on Emmons Avenue.

The following is a press release from the offices of Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, regarding the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s proposal to eliminate mute swans from New York State:

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn) speaks for those who can’t speak for themselves – including Sheepshead Bay’s mute swans.

The lawmaker, who is a member of the Assembly’s Environmental Conservation Committee, will be working with Suffolk County Assemblyman and committee chair Robert Sweeney to convince the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to seek an alternative to its plan to shoot or gas the state’s 2,200 mute swans by 2025.

The swans destroy habitat for native ducks and geese, which is why DEC has proposed declaring the birds a “prohibited invasive species.” They’ve also been known to behave aggressively toward people.

Still, the elegant and graceful birds are as iconic to Sheepshead Bay as the Emmons Avenue promenade and fishing boats, says Assemblyman Cymbrowitz.

“There are other ways of dealing with the swan population that are non-lethal,” Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said. He said that he and Assemblyman Sweeney will be working with DEC to make sure that “any and all alternatives are thoroughly explored” before the agency issues its final verdict on the swans later this year.

Last year, Assemblyman Cymbrowitz’ office came to the rescue of an injured swan that was found sitting on the sidewalk on East 19th Street across from the bay.

“As a society, we need to co-exist with all of our neighbors. The state’s immediate reaction to dealing with a troublesome species shouldn’t be to murder it,” he said.

The following is a press release issued Monday from the offices of State Senator Marty Golden:

During [Monday's] Public Hearing on the 2014- 2015 proposed executive budget, State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) had an opportunity to question Mayor de Blasio on the ongoing recovery efforts for Superstorm Sandy.

Senator Golden, during his testimony, brought attention to issues of infrastructure, both in regards to public works and homes, commercials strips that still need assistance, the ongoing Build it Back program, and money that is to be distributed to home owners and business owners in Gerritsen Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Sheepshead Bay.

“I invite [Mayor de Blasio] to visit Gerritsen Beach, Sheepshead Bay, and Manhattan Beach, and I look forward to working with [him],” said Senator Golden. “Superstorm Sandy was devastating. We have major issues which are yet to be resolved, including hardening our water fronts, working to ensure money is distributed to those in need, and working to repair infrastructure, including streets that are caving in, and water and gas lines that are in desperate need of immediate repair.”

On January 13th, Senator Golden sent a letter to the Mayor de Blasio, requesting an update on the status of money that needs to filter down to home owners and business owners in these communities. He also invited Mayor de Blasio to tour the communities in this letter.

View the letter he sent to de Blasio.

Photo by Erica Sherman

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will send more than $3.4 million to the MTA, reimbursing them of the costs of Superstom Sandy-related repairs and infrastructure improvements on the Marine Parkway/Gil Hodges Bridge, Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced this morning.

Here are the details from a press release the U.S. senators issued this morning:

Hurricane Sandy caused significant damage to multiple elements of the bridge’s structure, including the seawall, riprap, and the walkway. Floodwaters also caused severe damage to switchgears, electrical systems and numerous spare cables and lights. These federal funds will reimburse 90% of the repair and mitigation costs.

… Specific reimbursements for repairs include: $1,519,087.00 for repair of scour and erosion damaged by the storm surge; $161,144.20 to repair switchgears located in the North Abutment North Chamber electric rooms, which was flooded with salt water; $600,914.00 for the repair or replacement of electrical conduits, junction  boxes and cables related to the navigation and security lights that were submerged under salt water; and $44,498.00 for the replacement or repair of spare parts such as cables, lights, gear wheels and motors that were damaged by salt water.

Reimbursements for hazard mitigation – improvements that are intended to make the bridge more resistant to future storms – include: $1,193,568 to add an additional layer of rip rap; $21,535.00 to fund “dry flooding” techniques including the installation of a flood-proof door; $172,789.70 to elevate 45 security floodlights and 12 navigation lights to flood-safe levels.

Yvette Clarke

Remember back in October, when the federal government shut down for more than two weeksdelaying aid to Sandy survivors, booting kids from Head Start programs, and causing anxiety among struggling single mothers that their WIC lifeline could be cut? Yeah, we settled that, right?

Nope! Washington is as Washington does, and apparently Washington is a callous piker who kicks the can down the road. Now we face yet another government shutdown in just eight days, according to Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, who represents chunks of Sheepshead Bay and Gerritsen Beach. The congresswoman issued a press release this morning warning constituents about the matter, and her spokesperson Patrick Rheaume, told Sheepshead Bites the congressional rep is frustrated that her colleagues and the press don’t seem to be paying much attention.

Here’s the release she issued:

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement warning that, despite a budget agreement between Democrats and Republicans in December, the federal government will shut down on January 15, 2014 unless Congress enacts specific spending proposals.

“Unfortunately, we find ourselves once more at risk of a shutdown of the federal government,” said Congresswoman Clarke. “We should not forget the lessons we learned last year, when a seventeen-day shutdown reduced our Gross Domestic Product by $20 billion, prevented Americans from visiting national parks and monuments, and delayed services provided by federal agencies. The previous government shutdown was a self-inflicted wound to our nation, for which millions of people had to suffer unnecessarily.”

During the federal government shutdown from October 1 to October 17, 2013, more than 800,000 public employees on indefinite unpaid leave, several thousand people who work for private companies could not work, tax refunds from the Internal Revenue Service were delayed, some of the courts that handle immigration proceedings were closed, and 19,000 children lost access to the Head Start Program.

Congresswoman Clarke continued: “We cannot afford to undermine our economy with another shutdown the government.  Americans want Congress to focus on resolving critical matters such as immigration reform and the extension of unemployment benefits, not distractions.”

 

No, this is not from today.

The following is an unaltered press release from the offices of Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz:

The thought of paying home heating costs this winter is enough to send a chill through many low-income seniors and families in Brooklyn.

Fortunately, help is on the way thanks to Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn) and the Heartshare Neighborhood Heating Fund (NHF).

Assemblyman Cymbrowitz’ office at 1800 Sheepshead Bay Road is once again an official NHF application receiving site. Applications are available at the office now and his staff will assist constituents in his district in completing them. NHF will begin accepting completed applications on Monday, December 16.

Eligibility is based on household size and gross monthly income. To see if you are eligible and for more information, call Assemblyman Cymbrowitz’ office at (718) 743-4078.

The Neighborhood Heating Fund is run under the auspices of Heartshare Human Services of New York, which receives both grants and private donations. National Grid is a major sponsor of the program.

The NHF program runs until funds are depleted, so constituents are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

“The winter is a particularly difficult time for low-income residents who must struggle to cover their basic needs,” said Assemblyman Cymbrowitz. “I am pleased that the Neighborhood Heating Fund is available to lend a much-needed helping hand.”

Assemblyman Cymbrowitz’ office is open Monday through Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and until 5 p.m. on Fridays.

Source: Indy Trendy Skits/Flickr

The following is a press release jointly issued by Councilman David Greenfield, State Senator Simcha Felder and Councilman-elect Chaim Deutsch:

Following yet another ‘knockout’ assault targeting an innocent pedestrian this past Saturday, Councilman David G. Greenfield, Senator Simcha Felder and Councilman-elect Chaim Deutsch are calling on the NYPD to drastically increase its presence throughout the community, especially during Shabbos, which is when two of the most recent attacks targeting Jews have occurred. This request includes additional officers, temporary lighting at trouble locations and other measures to help prevent these attacks and catch the person responsible should another assault occur. In addition, the elected officials are reminding the public to be especially vigilant and aware of their surroundings at all times and to immediately report any suspicious activity to the NYPD.

The request for additional NYPD patrols and other measures comes after a young Jewish woman was punched in the head and knocked to the ground by an unknown young black male while waking near McDonald Avenue and Avenue M in broad daylight on Saturday afternoon. In response, Councilman Greenfield and Councilman-elect Deutsch met with officers from the 66th Precinct in Boro Park on Sunday to discuss the NYPD’s ongoing response and investigation into the series of unprovoked attacks, which now total approximately a dozen in Brooklyn over the past two months.

“More aggressive measures on the part of the NYPD are needed to stop this wave of brutal attacks targeting innocent victims. It is especially disturbing that people of all ages have been assaulted recently, including several elderly women. In addition, two of the recent attacks have occurred in our community on Shabbos, adding to the concern that the community is being targeted by these cowardly individuals. As a result of my meeting with NYPD officials, I am confident this pattern is being taken seriously and that we will have the resources necessary to finally put an end to this baseless violence,” said Councilman Greenfield.

“The recent ‘knockout’ attacks in our community are unacceptable and must be acted upon immediately. Inflicting violence on unsuspecting people is a cowardly act and a crime that must be punished to the fullest extent of the law. As a strong and united community, we need to show those responsible that these heinous crimes will not be tolerated. We cannot allow anyone to create unnecessary fear. We should walk the streets with our heads held high and not worry that anyone is being targeted. I have spoken with the NYPD and been assured that they are taking all necessary steps to bring these perpetrators to justice,” said Councilman-elect Deutsch.

“It is deplorable that people are still being terrorized by these knockout attacks. Every person has a right to feel safe walking in their neighborhoods, without worrying whether or not they will be bashed in the head for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The best thing people can to do to protect themselves from these heinous attacks is to be cognizant at all times of their surroundings. This means not being distracted by electronic devices and to also trust their instincts. Most importantly, if you are a victim of an attack or any crime, report it to the authorities immediately. Don’t allow yourself to be victimized twice by remaining silent,” said Senator Felder (D-Brooklyn).

As a result of the attacks, Deutsch, who founded Flatbush Shomrim 20 years ago in response to street crime, Greenfield and Felder are reminding the public of the following safety tips to help avoid becoming a victim of this senseless pattern of street violence, which has occurred in neighborhoods around Brooklyn, including Boro Park and Midwood. Residents are reminded to always be alert while walking around and to be cautious of suspicious individuals or large groups. Whenever possible, do not walk alone and try to use well-lit and populated areas with a lot of foot traffic. Always know your location in case you need to call for help, and do not hesitate to contact 911 if necessary.

“One of the great things about living in our communities is the safety that we all enjoy and take for granted. By coming together and working with the NYPD, we will reclaim our streets and ensure that residents can once again walk around the neighborhood without constantly looking over their shoulders,” said Councilman Greenfield.

“We stand together as one community of peace and harmony. Violence and hate crimes of any time are not acceptable. We must continue to join together to fight such vicious crimes so that we can continue to live without fear,” added Councilman-elect Deutsch.

Source: sincerelyhiten via flickr

Source: sincerelyhiten via flickr

The following is an unaltered press release from the offices of Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz:

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn), Chairman of the Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, commended Governor Cuomo for signing into law a bill he sponsored (A.2270A) requiring requires gaming venues to post information about compulsive gambling support services near every entrance and exit.

“With nearly one million compulsive gamblers throughout New York State, this legislation will help to raise awareness on how to access support and services for problem gambling,” said Assemblyman Cymbrowitz, whose committee has jurisdiction over compulsive gambling.

New York, along with most states that allow gambling, require that signage providing a 24-hour hotline number and other support services for problem gamblers be posted prominently in all gaming facilities. But the manner in which signs are posted is often inconsistent and arbitrary, according to the lawmaker.

“These signs are widely accepted as an appropriate tool to promote responsible gaming, yet the New York State Council on Problem Gambling says that in 2011 there were just 1,449 calls to the helpline. That means very few New Yorkers with compulsive gambling problems are receiving the help that’s available to them,” Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said.

“I am pleased that the Governor has signed this legislation. It is paramount that we consider the toll these new gaming facilities will take on New Yorkers with gambling addictions. Allocating money to problem gambling prevention and treatment programs is not an expense, but rather an investment in a better New York,” he said.

bio

Ben White (Source: BenWhite.org.uk)

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn) has asked the interim chancellor of CUNY to take “strong and immediate action” following Brooklyn College’s official “support” of its second anti-Israel lecture this year.

In a letter to William P. Kelly, who was appointed interim chancellor in July, Assemblyman Cymbrowitz expressed his outrage over Brooklyn College’s decision “to once again support a lecture that freely gives a podium to a divisive point of view without making any attempt to provide a balanced dialogue.”

The Nov. 14th event features British journalist Ben White, author of “Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide.” White has likened Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to the Holocaust, and in 2008 he came to the defense of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when the leader said “Israel must be wiped off the map.” White was invited to speak by Students for Justice in Palestine, the same group that hosted anti-Israel academic Omar Barghouti in February.

“Publicly funded institutions do not have the right to spew hatred without permitting an equal response. Universities that accept government funding do not have the right to make a large segment of their own community feel uncomfortable or unwelcome on a campus where they are supposed to feel secure,” he said.

The lawmaker said that Brooklyn College’s sponsorship of the lecture is the antithesis of a college’s mission to encourage intellectual growth and free range of thought. “It is disgraceful and arrogant, and as a member of the Legislature I am appalled that I have been forced to take Brooklyn College to task for a breach of conduct not once, but twice, this year.”

He said that until recently, the idea that Brooklyn College would promote anti-Semitism was “beyond preposterous,” especially to its many Jewish students and faculty and the area’s many Holocaust survivors. “The president of Brooklyn College, Karen Gould, apparently doesn’t mind creating controversy and perhaps she even enjoys it. To those of us who help keep CUNY in business, however, this is unacceptable,” Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said.

Source: @Doug88888/Flickr

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

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn), Chair of the Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee, is encouraging residents with unused or expired prescription drugs to bring them to the 61st Precinct this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for safe disposal.

The precinct, located at 2575 Coney Island Avenue, is a local collection site for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, which aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs while also educating the public about the potential for abuse of medications. The initiative is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Agency. The service is free and anonymous; no questions are asked when you drop off the drugs.

“Take-Back Day addresses a vital public safety and public health issue,” said Assemblyman Cymbrowitz, who is at the forefront of the fight to stem the prescription drug abuse epidemic in New York State. “Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.”

Studies show that most abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

In December, Assemblyman Cymbrowitz will preside over a public hearing focusing on prescription painkiller abuse and the availability of treatment services.

Last April, Americans reportedly turned in 371 tons of prescription drugs at over 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners. In its six previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in over 2.8 million pounds—more than 1,400 tons—of pills.

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