Tuesday, August 31, 2010

ATTENTION: HPD Offers Online Bed Bug Course

Bed Bugs are a concern for many New Yorkers. The NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development has a free, detailed on-line course on identifying and managing a bed bug infestation. Anyone with an internet connection can take the class at their convenience.

All you need to do is complete a brief registration and then choose the Bedbug course. Once registered, you can also take an on-line First-Time Homebuyer class, or a Building Heating Systems class, or learn about Lead Hazards in the home; or sign up for one of HPD’s in-person Property Management or Healthy Homes classes.

To begin the registration process, click on the following link, and then click “REGISTER NOW”: http://www.nyc.gov/html/hpd/html/courses/courses.shtml

Monday, August 30, 2010

ATTENTION: NAACP and VAC Host Elec Voting Machine Demo

Join the NAACP- Brooklyn Branch and the NYC Voter Assistance Commission for an Electronic Voting Machine Demonstration--

WHEN: Thursday, September 9, 2010
3pm- 6pm
WHERE: Kings County Hospital, Building D (Lobby)
451 Clarkson Avenue (near E. 37th Street)
Brooklyn, NY 11203

***Voter registration will also be available***

Please contact the NAACP at (718) 243-2040 for more info.

Notes from a Meeting - The Ananse Shields Leadership Program

The Ananse Shields Leadership Program meeting held at the Office of Council Member Letitia James (on August 17, 2010).

by Cliffannie Bowman

Sitting around a brown, rectangular, just polished table, students of Ananse Shields Leadership Program prepare themselves to meet the unexpected. Their loud speaking was suddenly interrupted by a tall lady walking in with heels that clicked monstrously as she called out HELLO EVERYONE.

The students stared not knowing whether to respond or sit with their hands folded. I said Hello guys. Are you tired? She laughed as she took her seat. The air was thin enough, not even a knife can cut into it. Everyone said their silent hellos.

As she looked into the students eyes that set before her, she proudly introduced herself as the city council lady that goes on behalf of her community, to make a change. As everyone started to lighten up, Council Member of District 35 in Brooklyn, Letitia James went around the table asking everyone about the career path they destine to take.

It seemed as though everyone was warming up to Ms. James as she stated her profession. I always wanted to be a lawyer ever since my brother got arrested for stealing a bike. Nobody wanted to listen to me, so I decided at a young age that I wanted to be a lawyer because I wanted my voice to be heard amongst everyone.

How’d you get the job as the city council member? a student asked her. A smile swept her face as she leaned back in her chair. I won this position after James Davis was assassinated 7 years ago. At the time, I was running against Mr. Davis brother and won. As time passed by, the students opened up more and talked about their summer which then opened the floor for Ms. James to start a controversy topic: should the building of a moss be near the world trade center?

This topic was sensitive to the fact that religion and freedom of speech dealt a whole lot on how the students viewed the situation. 75% of the students declared the building should be built because of freedom of speech and religion. Not allowing the Muslims to create their own building on their own land would violate their first amendment. 25% of the students disagreed based on the fact that many people lost their loved ones to the very people who sacrificed their lives and the lives of others because of that very religion.

That debate led to another as the council women attacked the issue of Boys pants hanging low. This topic automatically split the room in half as bloods boiled over. People don’t need to see what you’re wearing shouted one. But everyone has the right to wear what they want to, contradicted another. If girls can show cleavage, then boys can sag.

Did you know that saggin spelt backwards is niggas? she asked. Everyone looked at one another astonished. Well, what influences the way boys look? Ms. James asked. The music does because of how hard the gangsters are portraying themselves said one. As the council woman looked proudly over her glasses, she glanced over the students and said Define yourself based on who you are not through your clothes.

The young leaders all nodded in response and gave her applause as she stood up to go. It was a pleasure meeting all of you, she stated and hope to see you all soon. She left for her press conferences as the students reflected on how much you can learn in one day.

Friday, August 27, 2010

CM James Joins Elected Officials In Sponsoring "Comedy In The Community"; 9/9; BK College

Come join Congressman Edolphus Towns, NYS Senate Majority Leader John Sampson, NYS Senator Eric Adams, NYS Senator Kevin Parker, and NYC Council Member Letitia James for an evening of Comedy In The Community.

Where: The Walt Whitman Theatre, Brooklyn College
2900 Bedford Avenue at Hillel Place
Brooklyn, NY 11210

When: Thursday, September 9, 2010
7PM- 9PM

Please contact the Office of Council Member Letitia James at (718) 260-9191 if you have any further questions.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

CM James Hosts Act Now film "LEGACY" at BAM; 8/27

Act Now Foundation, Council Member Letitia James, and BAMCinematek Present: LEGACY starring Idris Elba, this Friday, August 27th. Times are 2pm, 4:30pm, 6:50pm and 9:30pm.

This is the BIGGEST endeavor yet for ActNow: New Voices In Black Cinema! Come out and support the best in Black film-making this Friday at BAM and see an amazing independent film starring the talented Idris Elba!

After the 6:50pm screening, come and meet the director of Legacy- Thomas Ikimi in a Q&A conducted by Shadow & Act's own Tambay Obenson. The director will be in attendance at all 4 showtimes.

Get your tickets in advance by going to BAM's website.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe Joins CM James and other Officials for JFK Memorial Unveiling

August 24, 2010


Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe and Prospect Park Alliance President Tupper Thomas today joined Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, City Council Members Steve Levin and Letitia James, Assembly Member Joan Millman, sculptor Neil Estern, Parks Director of Art and Antiquities Jonathan Kuhn, and Prospect Park Alliance VP of Design and Construction Christian Zimmerman to unveil and rededicate the memorial bust of President John F. Kennedy. At the ceremony, Commissioner Benepe read personal statements from President Kennedy’s daughter, Caroline Kennedy and President Kennedy’s primary speechwriter, Ted Sorensen.

“Nearly 50 years after his election, we are thrilled to rededicate the bust of President John F. Kennedy at Grand Army Plaza,” said Commissioner Benepe. “We hope that new generations of New Yorkers will be inspired to meet President Kennedy’s commitment to creating a more just society and peaceful world as they gaze upon his likeness. I am grateful to Neil Estern for improving on sculpture that is even richer in detail than the bust which preceded it.”

“It’s so wonderful to have the JFK monument back at Grand Army Plaza,” said Prospect Park Alliance President Tupper Thomas. “Neil Estern’s bust of Kennedy rejoins the great heroes of the republic depicted on the Memorial Arch, and the lovely figures of the Bailey Fountain, to complete what is one of the most impressive public spaces to be found in any city in the world.”

Neil Estern’s original bust of President Kennedy was unveiled at Grand Army Plaza on May 31, 1965. In attendance at that ceremony were Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Ethel Kennedy, Mayor Robert Wagner, and Borough President Abe Stark. That bust remained in place until 2002 when the Department of Parks & Recreation and the Prospect Park Alliance began a major restoration of Grand Army Plaza. The installation of a new, granite pedestal for the monument offered Mr. Estern an opportunity to resculpt his bust of the 35th President. The new, larger and more detailed sculpture was recast in bronze at the Beacon Fine Art Foundry in Beacon, NY.

Neil Estern was born in Brooklyn in 1926 and resided in the borough for over 50 years. His commissioned portraits include two statues for the FDR Memorial in Washington D.C., Fiorella LaGuardia, J. Robert Taft, J. Edgar Hoover, Jimmy Carter, and Prince Charles and Lady Diana. It is Mr. Estern’s intent that the viewer not only recognize his characters, but also feel that he has recreated the aura of that particular personality.
Vickie Karp / Phil Abramson (Parks) 212-360-1311
Eugene Patron (Prospect Park Alliance) 718-965-8954

NYS Wins Race To The Top Funding!

New York State is among the winners in the Obama administration's Race to the Top Phase II program, awarding $696,646,000 in new education grants for the state. In the midst of these harsh economic times, this funding will ensure that New York's children are provided a better opportunity and improved access to quality education.

The Race to the Top state competition is funded by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is designed to reward states that are leading the way in comprehensive, coherent, statewide education reform across four key areas:

- Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace;
- Building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals how to improve instruction;
- Recruiting, developing, rewarding, and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most; and
- Turning around their lowest-performing schools.

This victory can be credited in part to the major education reforms recently enacted by the New York State legislators. Yet, without the commitment of President Barack Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan in recognizing that New York State is worthy of these vital dollars, we would be without this essential investment for our children's future. This is truly great news for families across the state!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Long Term Construction Closure on Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge will be closed to Manhattan-bound traffic overnight, beginning Monday, Aug. 23rd and will continue until 2014.
-All Manhattan-bound traffic will be detoured to the Manhattan Bridge or other crossings.
-All Brooklyn-bound traffic will be maintained, and there will be no closure of the pedestrian/cycling promenade.

The bridge will be reopened for traffic in both directions each morning. For information visit http://bit.ly/bUiexX

Friday, August 20, 2010

Council’s Historic Recycling Legislation Signed into Law by Mayor Bloomberg


The Mayor signed a package of recycling bills that will revolutionize recycling in New York City through a variety of initiatives including expanded plastic recycling, a new clothing and textile recycling program, and improved public space recycling. The package of legislation represents the first significant expansion of the city’s residential recycling program since it was created in 1989.

Speaker Christine C. Quinn: “I applaud the Mayor for signing this package of bills that will dramatically expand and overhaul the way we recycle here in New York City. Our legislation will divert over 8,000 tons of plastic every year away from landfills and incinerators. That’s equal to the amount of trash produced by nearly 10,000 people each year. This is one step closer to making New York City cleaner and greener for our current and future residents.”

Int. 156 - Improves recycling at City agencies by requiring each agency to establish sustainability coordinators and to implement plans to expand recycling with each agency.

Sanitation Committee Chair Letitia James: “The City’s comprehensive residential recycling law provides a recycling infrastructure separate from home collection. I thank the Mayor for signing this package today and finalizing the last step in making this a reality. Upgrades to Local Law 19 include an expanded public space recycling initiative, which would require DOS to site a total of 700 public space recycling bins. These revisions promote a culture of recycling in New York City by making it available and convenient for both residents, as well as visitors. Therefore, public receptacles make it easy for everyone to readily discard their used bottles, cans or papers. This is a win for all New Yorkers and our visitors.”

Int. 165 - Requires schools to designate a recycling coordinator and provide recycling receptacles in each classroom and at other locations.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio: “This new law will do more than reduce school waste; it will teach the youngest New Yorkers to grow up green. I am proud to have sponsored this legislation, and I thank Speaker Quinn and Mayor Bloomberg for making it into law.”

Int. 158 - Requires DOS to site 300 new recycling bins in public spaces over the next three years, and a total of 700 bins within the next ten years.

Int. 162 - Mandates at least one DOS sponsored household hazardous waste collection event in each borough per year, with a long-term goal of increasing the number of events, or making such sites permanent.

Int. 148 - Expands plastic recycling to cover all rigid plastic containers, including such items as yogurt tubs, take out containers and medicine bottles.

Int. 147 Improves recycling education, enforcement, and fine increases.

Int. 142 - Extends the DOS collection period from March 1 – November 30 beginning in 2012, and requires the Department of Sanitation to establish leaf and yard waste composting facilities in all boroughs where the Department provides yard waste compost collection.

Int. 141 - Requires DOS to complete a study of commercial recycling practices.

Int. 142 - Establishes a voluntary take-back program for retailers and manufacturers of unused residential paint.

Int. 164 - Improves recycling reporting requirements and requires additional studies to enhance the City’s recycling programs.

Int. 171 - Requires a report to study ways to improve food waste composting in New York City.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

ATTENTION: CHMC Seeking Paid Volunteers for NY Juvenile Justice Corps Positions

The Crown Heights Mediation Center is looking for candidates for paid volunteer positions that will start in October 2010. The positions will be offered through a new AmeriCorps program called the New York Juvenile Justice Corps. The program will serve young people currently involved or at risk of becoming involved in the juvenile justice system. Corps members receive a living stipend of $11,100 and an educational award of $5,350. The application deadline is August 30th, 2010.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

BK Hospital Center Recognized for Quality Diabetes Care

"The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) have announced that the Brooklyn Hospital Center (BHC) Family Practice has received Recognition from the Diabetes Physician Recognition Program for providing quality care to patients with diabetes."

Read more here: http://www.brooklyneagle.com/categories/category.php?category_id=21&id=37458

CM James Joins BK Tenants to Protest Collapsing Building

On August 17th, Council Member James joined tenants at a press conference for a building on Grand Avenue in Brooklyn to address long-standing maintenance issues, and to protect their shaky, collapsing building. The tenants noted that the building had been neglected by management for the past decade.

Read more here: Council Member Letitia James Joins Brooklyn Tenants To Protest Shaky, Collapsing Building

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

MTA Transit Cuts Challenged by Disabled New Yorkers and Their Advocates:

Claim that the MTA’s June 27th Service Cuts Violate Americans With Disabilities Act and Disproportionately Impact Mobility-Impaired New Yorkers

August 17, 2010, Brooklyn, NY: Today, plaintiffs RueZalia Watkins, Anthony Trocchia, and Clara Reiss, all people who are unable to travel long distances on their own or make use of the subway system because of their mobility impairments, along with Disabled In Action of Metropolitan New York and The Brooklyn Center for the Independence of the Disabled Inc., both non-profit agencies that advocate on behalf of disabled New Yorkers, filed suit against the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and New York City Transit (NYCT).

They are challenging cuts to the City’s bus system and its complementary paratransit system that leave them without public transportation service comparable to that provided to non-disabled people, in violation of their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The plaintiffs are represented by South Brooklyn Legal Services (SBLS) (a program of Legal Services NYC), the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) and Emery, Celli, Brinckerhoff and Abady. Plaintiffs seek a permanent injunction reversing the MTA and NYCT service cuts and restoring paratransit services.

The lawsuit challenges city-wide service cuts implemented by the MTA and NYCT beginning on June 27, 2010, cutting eighty-nine bus lines. These service cuts have forced transit passengers either to travel a greater distance to an alternate bus route or to travel by subway rather than by bus. For Plaintiffs, however, both of these options are impossible, thus imposing a greater hardship on people with disabilities than on people without disabilities. And they cannot rely on the City’s already overburdened paratransit system – Access-A-Ride – because rather than ensuring that additional resources are devoted to Access-A-Ride in anticipation of the increase in demand occasioned by the reduction in bus service, the Defendants have instituted or approved significant cuts to the system. There are approximately 138,000 individuals approved for Access-A-Ride and disabled riders made 5.8 million trips on Access-A-Ride in 2008; the June 27th transit cuts are estimated to eliminate 26,000 trips on Access-A-Ride each year.

The individual plaintiffs all are mobility-impaired and travel either via wheelchair or with a walker. The plaintiffs’ lawsuit asserts that the Defendants’ actions violate both the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The ADA mandates that public entities may not discriminate against people with disabilities and may not deny them the benefits of services provided to people without disabilities. And the law makes it clear that it is “discrimination” for a public entity which operates a fixed route system to fail to provide paratransit services that are “comparable to the level of designated public transportation services provided to individuals without disabilities using such system.” This includes response time, which also must be comparable, to the extent practicable, to the level of designated public transportation services provided to individuals without disabilities. 42 U.S.C. § 12143(a) (2). Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination against a protected class by any program which receives federal assistance.

“It is unacceptable that special-needs riders, and others who depend solely on bus lines to travel for work and to other boroughs, as well as individuals who ride during overnight hours are now subjected to finding other means of transportation, or not traveling at all. Taking the bus is simply a better option for the mobility-impaired because of the lack of elevators at most MTA subway stops,” said Council Member Letitia James, who supports the suit.

“The MTA provided absolutely no accessible public transportation until people with mobility impairments sued them in the early 1980s. Two lawsuits ultimately resulted in the current fully accessible bus service, the existence of the paratransit system, and limited improvements in accessibility of the subway system. It is a shame that it now requires another lawsuit to maintain access to public transportation for people with mobility impairments in this city,” said Jane Greengold Stevens of NYLAG, who was lead attorney on one of the two suits in the 80s.

Mobility-impaired people in Brooklyn who previously relied on the buses to get to Manhattan are particularly affected by the cuts. As stated by Marvin Wasserman, the Executive Director of Brooklyn Center for the Independence of the Disabled, which is a plaintiff in the suit: “persons with disabilities in Brooklyn have suffered a disproportionate share of MTA’s transit cuts, as far more bus routes were cut in Brooklyn than any other borough. In particular, wheelchair users who have relied on bus service to Manhattan to go to jobs, medical appointments, and socialization have found their lives seriously disrupted. The TLC’s proposal to replace some of these routes with so-called ‘dollar-vans’ does not assure wheelchair users that they will be able to use them.”

Plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that the Defendants’ failure to provide people with disabilities with access to public transportation violates the ADA and Section 504 and a permanent injunction directing the Defendants to restore bus service and maintain Access-A-Ride service necessary to provide to people with mobility impairments access to public transportation comparable to that provided to non-disabled riders.
Contacts: Jane Greengold Stevens - (212) 613-5031 (o), (718) 791-3408 (cell); Pavita Krishnaswamy - (718) 246-3269 (o), (718) 809-2863 (cell)

ATTENTION: DEP Upgrading to Automated Meter Reading System

The NYC Department of Environmental Protection is automating its water meter reading capabilities to increase billing accuracy and provide customers with the tools they need to better manage their water usage.

The Automated Meter Reading (AMR) system is connected to individual water meters that send daily readings. This new AMR technology will send accurate readings to a computerized billing system up to four times a day and will largely eliminate the need for estimated bills. Since it is an automated system, AMR eliminates the need for meter reading personnel to visit customer properties.

DEP is also providing AMR-installed customers with an online system that lets property owners view and manage their consumption on a daily basis. This application will be made available to residents of each borough on a rolling basis (in Brooklyn by 8/9). By the first week of September, the systems will be installed Citywide. They should be completely functional by January 1, 2011 at the latest.

Once AMR has been installed on a property, the customer will be able go online to register and view their consumption. This new tool will help customers manage their water consumption, including detection of any irregular patterns that could indicate a leek or other problem. Customers may also sign-up for email alerts, and online payments. Customers will receive a 2% credit on each upcoming bill for additionally paying bills online through automated debits.

DEP contractors continue to provide door-to-door installations of the AMR transmitters at no cost and will also be replacing some old water meters. DEP should also be contacted for adjustments to long-standing estimated accounts; the agency will only provide price adjustments for the past 24 months.

Non-payment of water bills over an extended period of time may lead to water liens (with the exception of excluded groups- SCHE, DHE).
Please give our office a call at (212) 788-7081 if you have any further questions. We have much knowledge.

Friday, August 13, 2010

DSNY Proposes Rules for Abandoned and “Memorial” Bicycles


Statement Regarding “Memorial” Ghost Bikes by Council Member Letitia James

“As chair of the City Council’s Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management, and as the representative of a district in Brooklyn with an active bicycle culture, I have heard from a number of constituents and advocates about abandoned bicycles.

These bicycles present both an aesthetic and a practical problem, and as more New Yorkers turn to bicycles as an alternative method of transportation, the importance of having protocol in place to address abandoned bicycles will only grow. For these reasons, I appreciate the Department of Sanitation’s (DSNY) efforts in issuing proposed rules to remove abandoned bicycles.

And, as I am sure we all agree, ghost bicycles (I prefer “memorial” bicycles), serve as a poignant homage by families and loved ones of cyclists killed while riding, and also act as an important reminder to passing riders and pedestrians that care must be taken while riding bicycles in our City.

One need only think of the vivid image of the memorial bicycle placed near the site of the World Trade Center after the attack on 9/11 to understand the strength of the message that these bicycles convey. In my district, there have been a number of tragic cycling deaths and several of them are memorialized by memorial bicycles, including two rider fatalities which occurred in one accident last year, Julian Miller and Ajile Turner, whose memorial I pass on a regular basis. This July, Aileen Dalton, a mother of three, was killed when struck by a car in my district while riding a motor scooter. Memorial bikes remind us of how dangerous automobiles can be.

The proposed Department of Sanitation rules define a bicycle to be derelict if it is affixed to public property and it meets three of the following characteristics: the bicycle appears to be crushed or not usable; the bicycle is missing parts, other than the seat and front wheel, including handlebars, pedals, rear wheel or chain; the bicycle has flat or missing tires; the handlebars or pedals are damaged, or the existing forks, frames or rims are bent; or seventy-five percent or more of the bicycle is rusted.

I am concerned that DSNY’s proposed rules extend the definition of a “derelict” bicycle too far and run the risk of subjecting a significant number of memorial bicycles to removal. Many of these memorial bicycles share characteristics with “derelict” bicycles, as they are defined in the rules, even though they are completely different, and should be treated ad such. For purposes of these proposed rules, I believe the Department of Sanitation should eliminate any reference to memorial bicycles. Considering the value that memorial bicycles hold, I think we should be more careful to not subject these sacred bicycles to seizure.

I also recommend that Department of Sanitation improve the notice requirements for memorial bicycles prior to removal. Under the current rules, the Department of Sanitation will affix notice to a memorial bicycle that has become “derelict” to advise the owner that such ghost bicycle is to be removed within thirty days.

I believe that an additional notice provision would be both possible and helpful, since family members or loved ones may not visit a memorial bicycle within those thirty days. One possible option would be to allow family members and loved ones responsible for a memorial bicycle to register with the Department of Sanitation on a voluntary basis. If that bicycle becomes derelict, in addition to the notice provision already set forth in the proposed rules, DSNY can contact the name on-record to advise them of the derelict designation. In addition, the Department could also provide public notice either in the City Record or through some other method of free communication, and can solicit the help of local elected officials to identify the appropriate family member or loved one.

Lastly, I thank the Department of Sanitation for taking on the responsibility of dealing with abandoned bicycles. I welcome ongoing dialogue and ideas for improvements on these proposed rules, particularly with respect to memorial bicycles, and would be more than happy to continue assisting with that process.”

Contact: Amyre Loomis at (718) 260-9191

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Council Member James Joins In Defense of Animals


Council Member Letitia James Joins In Defense of Animals To Speak out Against USDA Massacre of Canada Geese

Rally at City Hall Calls for Humane Methods

New York (August 11, 2010) - In Defense of Animals (IDA), an international animal protection organization, will be joined by New York City Council Member Letitia James, on the steps of City Hall in Manhattan on Thursday, August 12, at noon, to call for an end to the city’s contract with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to kill all Canada geese within seven miles of NY’s airports. The contract is established in conjunction with the Port Authority of New York.
Also attending the rally will be Council Members Brad Lander and Stephen Levin as well as State Senator Eric Adams, who represents the district that includes Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, where, without warning, 400 geese were rounded up and gassed in the early hours of July 8, 2010.

The Prospect Park killings sparked an outcry from local residents, many of whom knew individual geese by name, and relished them as a rare and vital link to nature. That outcry, which has now grown into a full roar of dissent, has since exposed reports of 1,700 Canada geese killed in NYC by the Wildlife Services of USDA over the past year, with plans to wipe out roughly two-thirds of the goose population in New York State. Rally attendees, including the elected officials, are vowing to see the killings stopped.

According to Council Member James, “It is tragic that 400 Canada geese were killed in Brooklyn’s historic Prospect Park. This extreme action appears to be a belated response to last year’s Delta crash into the Hudson River caused by migratory birds that entered the plane’s engines. Prospect Park’s birds lived permanently in the park, and my office has heard from constituents that believe they were not a threat to the region’s air safety, but merely sacrificed as scapegoats. Also, the fact that the killing of these birds took place without prior community or local-elected official notification is an indication that this plan was not well-developed.”
Geese populations control can be addressed through a variety of preventive and non-lethal humane methods, such as Ovocontrol, which is a USDA-approved birth control drug for use in geese.

The City and Port Authority claim that aviation safety demands the birds be killed, but ignore the very fact that cities worldwide deal with the problem of birds near airports without exterminating them. The problem of birds colliding with engines is real, but can be dealt with by employing a range of methods, including radar detection, currently not in use in NYC’s airports.

Contact Barbara Stagno 914.479.5276

Moving Pictures: Media Edition

On Wednesday, August 11, 2010, a commercial for “WABC Eyewitness News” is scheduled to film exterior scenes at the following locations:

· Lafayette Avenue between S. Portland Avenue and S. Elliot Place
· S. Oxford Street between Lafayette Avenue and DeKalb Avenue


PA de Blasio and CM James Join MoveOn.Org Demand Target To Stop Donating To Anti-LGBT Election



Protest comes following retailer’s $150,000 donation to anti-LGBT gubernatorial candidate in Minnesota

NEW YORK – Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, City Council Member Letitia James and MoveOn.org held a rally today in front of Target’s flagship Brooklyn store to protest the retailer’s recent use of corporate funds to influence elections. Target is one of the first American corporations to take advantage of Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, which rolled back long standing restrictions on corporate spending in elections.

The retailer gave $150,000 to an independent organization backing Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer who is a fierce opponent of same-sex marriage, is a supporter of Arizona’s new immigration laws, and has introduced legislation that would result in sex offenders being chemically castrated.

“We have a very simple message for corporations like Target when it comes to our democracy: hands off,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. “With 85 days until the November election, we need to build a movement to prevent corporate money from dominating our elections. I commend MoveOn for working here and in Washington to clean up our political system.”

“Today I stand with Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, MoveOn.org and others to call on corporations to refrain from unrestricted spending on elections,” said Council Member Letitia James. “We hold corporations such as Target accountable, and we expect businesses in our community to fight against corruption when making donations to political campaigns. The community’s voice will be heard.”

“MoveOn and other progressive organizations are joining together as the Other 98% to invigorate a large grassroots movement across the country to Fight Washington Corruption and restore our Democracy,” said Shawn Marie Walsh, Council Coordinator of MoveOn Brooklyn.

After weeks of negotiations with the Public Advocate’s office, financial powerhouse Goldman Sachs last week agreed to amend its political contribution policy and not spend money in elections. Building on this success, the Public Advocate has also launched a campaign demanding Google live up to its self-professed policy of transparency and join its technology company peers by fully disclosing its political spending.

More than one hundred protestors gathered outside the retailer to call on Target to refrain from the unrestricted spending on elections made possible by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. Organizers from the Public Advocate office staged a phone-a-thon in front of the Brooklyn store, helping shoppers call Target’s corporate headquarters from the street to protest the recent political spending. MoveOn.org gathered support for its Fight Washington Corruption pledge (fightwashingtoncorruption.com), which the Public Advocate endorsed.

Contact: Wiley Norvell, Office of the Public Advocate, (212) 669-4813 Shawn Marie Walsh, MoveOn.org Brooklyn, (917) 783-9431


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

CM James and Sanders Join DC37's "State of the Union" Broadcast

Below is the airing schedule for DC 37's TV show "State of the Union" for August featuring Council Member Letitia James and Council Member James Sanders Jr.

Scheduled broadcasts once a month on Brooklyn Community Access Television (BCAT), on Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Verizon FiOS and RCN.
Upcoming Brooklyn Schedule: Thursday, August 12th, 5 pm on Time Warner Channel 34, Cablevision Channel 67, Verizon FiOS Channel 42, and RCN Channel 82.

Scheduled broadcasts twice a month and at other unscheduled times throughout the month on Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN), on Time Warner Cable, and Verizon FiOS.
The show airs on Time Warner's Channels 34 and 56, and Verizon FiOS Channels 83 and 84. (Recently aired on Monday, August 9 at 2:30 PM on Time Warner Channel 56, and Verizon FiOS Channel 34.)

Tune in...

ATTENTION: Greene Hill School Accepting Applications

The Greene Hill School is thrilled to announce that they have found a permanent home for their school at 39 Adelphi Street in Brooklyn; and are now accepting applications for children ages 4-8.

Greene Hill School is a newly established progressive elementary and middle school located in Fort Greene/Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. Conceived by neighborhood parents and educators, Greene Hill is an engaging, supportive and socially responsible community of active learners. Their mission is to actively involve families in their children's own education. They promote learning through an interdisciplinary curriculum, appreciation of critical thinking and open-ended investigation of neighborhood and beyond. Founded with the understanding that community is the backbone of society, Greene Hill School guides children to become dedicated members of a diverse, democratic society.

In September 2010, GHS will offer small classes for children ages 4-8 (kindergarten-2nd grade). If you are interested in learning more about the school and their sliding scale tuition, please email them at info@greenehillschool.org or call 718-230-3608 to set up an appointment.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Join Council Member James at the TTMB Recognition Ceremony on 8/13

The Teens That Mean Business (TTMB) Annual Awards and Closing Ceremony has arrived again...

Where: Brooklyn Borough Hall - 209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
When: Friday, August 13, 6:00PM to 9:00PM

It's a night to remember...TEENS THAT MEAN BUSINESS (TTMB) presents their sixth annual Closing and Recognition Ceremony.

Join us as we celebrate the achievements of young entrepreneurs as well as honor those mentors and volunteers who have dedicated their time and talent to our youth. A light reception commences at 6pm and the ceremony begins at 7pm. The keynote speaker is Manyell L. Akinfe, Senior Vice President of Business Development at Optimum Capital Management, LLC.

Special invited guests include NYC Council Member Letitia James, NY State Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, and NY State Senator Velmanette Montgomery. Please RSVP to place your name on our guest list.

This event is free and open to the public. Email sundilofty@gmail.com for more information about TTMB.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Save the Date! The Stars of New York Dance

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at The New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge

Council Member Letitia James is one of five New York City business and community leaders who will volunteer their time and take a big risk as they dance and compete to raise dance scholarship funds for at-risk children at The Stars of New York Dance Fundraiser.

- New York City Council Member Letitia James dances with Jamel Gaines of Creative Outlet Dance Theatre of Brooklyn.
- WNBA Legend Kym Hampton dances with Lakai Worrell of Purelements: An Evolution in Dance.
- Colvin Grannum, President & CEO, Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, dances with Shani M. Worrell of Restoration's Youth Arts Academy.
- Jocelyn Taylor, President & CEO, JRT Multimedia, LLC, dances with Ronald K. Brown of Evidence: A Dance Company.
- Kenneth A. Smaltz, President & CEO, K. Smaltz, Inc., dances with Lauren Deveaux of Asase Yaa African American Dance Theatre.
- Errol Louis of the NY Daily News, CNN and WWRL 1600 will host and dance the Tango!

Hope to see you there.

You are invited to the following event: The Stars of New York Dance
Date: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 6:30 PM (ET)
Location: New York Marriott at the--
Brooklyn Bridge
333 Adams Street
Brooklyn , NY 11201

For Tickets @ http://thestarsofnewyorkdance.eventbrite.com/
More information @ http://www.thestarsofnewyorkdance.com/
Become a fan of The Stars of New York Dance on FACEBOOK, Follow them @StarsofNYDance on Twitter. The Stars of New York Dance is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. http://www.fracturedatlas.org/.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Mr. President!

Dear President Barack Obama:

Happy 49th Birthday to you Leo! It is a pleasure to send you birthday wishes on behalf of the New York City Council and the 35th Council District in Brooklyn, New York.

Congratulations on another successful trip around the sun. The community appreciates your outstanding service as President during these past 18 months. Thanks for always doing your best, for saving our economy, and for remembering the common man. It is miraculous that your work with Congress has helped to pass positive bills (including the healthcare law, and student loan reform).

And, I’m sure you’ve been told that the new grays in your hair make you look even more distinguished. May God continue to keep and bless you now and forever Mr. President!

Warmest regards,

Letitia James
Member of City Council

SCHOOLS UPDATE: 2010 New York State Test Scores

As you may know, earlier this week the State released the results of the annual New York State math and English Language Arts (ELA) exams for students in grades three through eight. Due to the State raising its benchmark for proficiency, roughly 54 percent of city students in grades 3-8 are meeting or exceeding math standards, while just over 42 percent are meeting reading standards. Overall, the tougher grading system resulted in a significant drop in overall ratings across the entire State and here in the City. However, despite the drop in overall ratings, our students this year generally earned ELA and math scores that were consistent with last year’s results and, in some cases, were even better than last year. These results prove that we still have a long way to go.

In the fall, all families will receive individualized reports from the State with their child’s test scores. This report will help you understand areas where your child needs work and will show you how your child is doing compared to other students.

Additionally, if your child was not promoted to the next grade in June and is currently enrolled in summer school, you will receive a letter later this week letting you know if your child still needs to take the citywide ELA and math exams in August. This decision will be based on your child’s final State test scores. Since these results were not available in time to place additional students in summer school, they will instead receive additional support during the school year to ensure they master the content and skills necessary to succeed in their current grades.

If you prefer to get your child’s scores in advance of the start of school, the Department of Education is making scores available to parents online beginning Monday, August 16, through the DOE’s ARIS Parent Link website. If you have visited the site before, or if you have your child’s student ID number and a temporary password, go to www.arisparentlink.org to log in. Once there, click on your child’s student profile to see your child’s results on the 2010 State tests.

If you do not have your login information, your child’s school can provide this information to you in September, or schools that are open over the summer are able to provide you with your login information now. In addition, during the week of August 16, you can visit a location in each borough to get your ARIS Parent Link login information. Beginning Monday, August 2, specific locations will be posted at schools.nyc.gov/Accountability/resources/aris.

Please note that because ARIS Parent Link contains confidential student information, you will need to provide a photo ID to receive login information.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

CM James, BK BP Markowitz, and AM Camara Host Premier of Hip-Hop Music Video Entitled "Harmony"

Twenty Years After the Crown Heights Riots, Black and Jewish Community Leaders Endorse DeScribe’s “Harmony” Hip Hop Music Video as a Groundbreaking Tool for Unity and Racial Harmony in Brooklyn

DeScribe (born Shneur HaSofer), Crown Heights’ Hasidic Hip Hop and R&B artist, held a press conference at Borough Hall on August 2nd, 2010 at 1:00 pm with NYS Senator Eric Adams and Borough President Marty Markowitz, Council Member Letitia James and Assembly Member Karim Camara to premier his revolutionary “Harmony” music video, which celebrates diversity, understanding and harmony amongst the Crown Heights’ Black and Jewish communities.

This event was presented in collaboration with heads of the Crown Heights community and Shemspeed, an independent recording label and artists’ promotional agency based in Crown Heights. The event was sponsored by COLlive.com, one of the most prominent Chabad Hasidic media outlets, and Marley Coffee, owned by Bob Marley’s son Rohan Marley. Marley Coffee helps promote and support environmental and social justice causes, including aiding Jamaica’s poor communities and “going green.”

Public Theatre Workshop At Emmanuel Baptist Church; 8/7; 10AM; Clinton Hill

The Public Theatre and ACTS of Emmanuel Baptist Church are having their annual Shakespeare Workshop, on Saturday, August 7th, at 10:00AM at Emmanuel Baptist Church.

Come and meet the actors, learn about Shakespeare and participate in workshops. A pot luck lunch will be served. All are welcome to join for free!

Emmanuel Baptist Church
279 Lafayette Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238

For more information, call (718) 622-1107.

Monday, August 2, 2010

ATTENTION: LIU Liberty Partnership Program

Long Island University- Brooklyn Campus presents their Liberty Partnership Summer Enrichment Program for high school juniors and seniors.

The program spans August 3rd- August 31st from 10AM- 3PM. The program takes place at LIU- Brooklyn at 1 University Plaza.

Students will receive academic tutoring, training in computer literacy, and college prep instruction. The program also consists of various cultural enrichment components including health and lifestyle management, career development, and recreational and educational trips.

Please contact (718) 488-1000 x3056 for more information.