Friday, April 13, 2018

President Trump Announces Precision Strikes In Syria

Source: NBC News

Voters Could Decide Whether to Split California Into 3 Smaller States

California voters could soon be asked to decide whether their state is too big. A new proposal suggests the state should be split into three parts. Melissa Caen of CBS San Francisco station KPIX reports.

A Conversation with Hillary Rodham Clinton at Rutgers University

This video was published on YouTube on April 4. 

Source: Eagleton Institute of Politics

White House Press Briefing

Nearly 4 People Are Evicted Every Minute: New Project Tracks U.S. Eviction Epidemic & Effects

A new project called the Eviction Lab examined more than 80 million eviction records going back to 2000 and found that in 2016 alone there were nearly four evictions filed every minute. More than 6,300 Americans are evicted every day. Studies show that eviction can lead to a host of other problems, including poor health, depression, job loss and shattered childhoods. Having an eviction on one’s record also makes it far more difficult to find decent housing in the future. Now the Eviction Lab’s database is being shared with the public in an interactive website that allows people to better track and understand evictions in their own communities.

Source: Democracy Now!

Ukrainian Congress Committee of America's April 2018 Bulletin

Click here to review the bulletin in English.

Click here to review the bulletin in Ukrainian.

Source: UCCA

'Flashback Friday': John Bolton Confronted by Iraq War Veteran

The following statement and video were published on YouTube on February 24, 2012, by David West. 

"During a taping of the Stossel show at the 2012 International Students for Liberty Conference in Washington D.C., I got to confront neo-conservative war monger John Bolton on the issue of blowback, and it miraculously made it's way onto the Stossel show! I'm guessing we have the man himself, John Stossel, to thank for that. Of course, this is Fox we're talking about, so there is some disingenuous editing. But the content of my question and Bolton's response is completely intact! 

Source: David West 

Trailblazers in Black History: Robert S. Duncanson

This video was published on YouTube on September 25, 2012. 

Source: ColumbiaNews

Rapper Meek Mill Speaks Out

Rapper Meek Mill was jailed for violating probation in a case that has received national attention and calls for criminal justice reform. He speaks out to Lester Holt in an NBC News exclusive.

Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein Tells Confidants He Is Prepared to Be Fired

by Julia Ainsley

WASHINGTON — Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has struck a stoic and righteous tone in private conversations he has had this week about the fate of his job as President Donald Trump has launched public criticism against him and considered firing him, according to three sources who have spoken to Rosenstein.

In those conversations, he has repeated the phrase, "Here I stand," a reference to Martin Luther's famous quote, "Here I stand, I can do no other." Coincidentally, former FBI Director James Comey, whom Rosenstein fired, repeated the same phrase to President George W. Bush in a conversation that has been widely reported and that Comey describes in his forthcoming book.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 

Trump, U.S. Allies Consider Military Response in Syria

Source: CBS News

Evacuations Underway as Wildfires Rage in Oklahoma

Wildfires in northwestern Oklahoma have burned more than 120,000 acres and forced hundreds of people to evacuate their homes. No injuries have been reported at this time.

Source: CBS News

Georgia Town Braces for neo-Nazi March, Police Prepare for Unrest

The National Socialist Movement is planning a string of racist rallies, including one on April 21 in Newnan, Georgia. 

The neo-Nazi group chose the Greenville Street Park in Newnan as the venue because of several Confederate monuments in the town. Local police are receiving assistance from 24 other law enforcement agencies and plan to have at least 400 extra officers on hand.

Click here for the full report. 

Source: The Southern Poverty Law Center

The Fallen Heroes Who Went to Vietnam in John Bolton’s Place

They all had the same birthday and same draft number. But while the now-hawkish national security adviser rode out the war in safety, these brave young soldiers never came home.

By Michael Daly

Our new national security adviser, John Bolton, was born on the same day in 1948 as Weyman Cook, Jerry Miller, and Richard Lassiter, whose own chances for future achievements ended when they were killed in Vietnam.

Their common birthday was Nov. 20, number 185 in the 1969 draft lottery, which was based on date of birth and ended student deferments—such as the one Bolton had until then enjoyed at Yale. He might well have been called up, as the draft went up to 195, but he managed to get a spot in the Maryland National Guard and then a local Army reserve unit. The Guard and the Reserves had long waiting lists, as they offered a way to avoid being sent to Vietnam.

“I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy,” Bolton wrote in his Yale 25th reunion class book. “I considered the war in Vietnam already lost.”

Instead, Bolton went to Yale Law School, interning in the summer for the stridently pro-war Vice President Spiro Agnew, who told everybody that the fight in Vietnam was progressing far better than the effete media suggested. Bolton later served at no peril in the Justice Department and the State Department, all the while being quick to recommend the use of military force. He was an ardent supporter of the Iraq War and has gained a reputation for being ever ready, almost eager to send others into combat.

We will never know what Cook, Miller, and Lassiter might have accomplished. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Daily Beast

The Pardon of I. 'Scooter' Lewis Libby

Statement from White House Press
Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Today, President Donald J. Trump issued an Executive Grant of Clemency (Full Pardon) to I. “Scooter” Lewis Libby, former Chief of Staff to Vice President Richard Cheney, for convictions stemming from a 2007 trial.  President George W. Bush commuted Mr. Libby’s sentence shortly after his conviction.  Mr. Libby, nevertheless, paid a $250,000 fine, performed 400 hours of community service, and served two years of probation.

In 2015, one of the key witnesses against Mr. Libby recanted her testimony, stating publicly that she believes the prosecutor withheld relevant information from her during interviews that would have altered significantly what she said.  The next year, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals unanimously reinstated Mr. Libby to the bar, reauthorizing him to practice law.  The Court agreed with the District of Columbia Disciplinary Counsel, who stated that Mr. Libby had presented “credible evidence” in support of his innocence, including evidence that a key prosecution witness had “changed her recollection of the events in question.”

Before his conviction, Mr. Libby had rendered more than a decade of honorable service to the Nation as a public servant at the Department of State, the Department of Defense, and the White House.  His record since his conviction is similarly unblemished, and he continues to be held in high regard by his colleagues and peers.   

In light of these facts, the President believes Mr. Libby is fully worthy of this pardon.  “I don’t know Mr. Libby,” said President Trump, “but for years I have heard that he has been treated unfairly.  Hopefully, this full pardon will help rectify a very sad portion of his life.”

Source: The White House

New York Cares: Millions Enroll in State's Donate Life Registry

Over five million New Yorkers have enrolled in the New York State Donate Life Registry as organ donors. Through several coordinated efforts, New York has increased organ donation rates to historic levels. In honor of National Donate Life Month and New York's Donate Life Blue and Green Day, several landmarks across the state will be lit blue and green tonight, including One World Trade Center, the SUNY Administration Building in Albany, the State Fairgrounds Entrance in Syracuse, the Peace Bridge and Niagara Falls.

"New York has made great strides to break down barriers and encourage more New Yorkers to become organ donors," Governor Cuomo said.  "Donate Life Blue and Green Day serves as a reminder of the thousands of New Yorkers still waiting for an organ donation and the simple steps we can take to potentially save a life."

To increase enrollment in the New York State Donate Life Registry, the Department of Health worked with the Donate Life New York State to launch a more modernized and expanded registry. Enhancements include a more accessible and user-friendly website and the ability to access the registry from multiple state websites, to help streamline the registration process. The updated registry application better connects users and offers social media sharing options as well.

In addition, in October of 2017 Governor Cuomo announced several aggressive initiatives aimed at increasing donor enrollment. The measures included:

Executive Order to Increase Enrollment Opportunities

The Executive Order directed the Department of Health to work with the Transplant Council, Donate Life New York State, health care providers, and hospital systems licensed to provide organ transplant services in order to develop opportunities to increase the number of registered organ donors in the state. The order also directed state agencies to work with the Department of Health to provide opportunities for individuals to enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry when applying for government benefits, services, and licenses.

To encourage New Yorkers to enroll in the registry, the state will expand opportunities to enroll and make it easier than ever to help save a life by becoming an organ donor. According to the federal Organ Procurement and Transplant Network, nearly 10,000 New Yorkers are currently on a list of the more than 118,000 people nationwide waiting for an organ transplant. On average, 22 people die each day in the United States from causes that could have been treated with a donated organ. In addition, tissue donated by one person can positively impact the lives of more than 50 other people.

NY State of Health Donate Life Initiative

In May 2016, Governor Cuomo signed legislation requiring NY State of Health, New York's official health plan marketplace, to add the organ donation component to its health insurance application. As of April 21, 2017, individuals completing an application, renewing a plan, or making a life status change are now asked if they would like to be added to the NYS Donate Life Registry. Since adding the enrollment option to its marketplace application, over 140,000 New Yorkers have become active enrollees in the New York State Donate Life Registry.

Click here for the full announcement. If not posted, check a few minutes later.

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 

Governor Cuomo Demonstrates Maintenance Upgrades at 9th Avenue Subway Station

This video was published on YouTube on April 12. 

Source: NYGovCuomo

NYC Landlords Offer More Concessions Than Ever as Demand for Affordable Rentals Grows


Renters can take comfort that concessions are now the norm in the New York City market—and even better, prices are on the slow decline. The latest match of rental reports show that the market “continues to be mismatched,” as numbers guru Jonathan Miller puts it, with increasing inventory for luxury units and pent-up demand for more affordable places to live.

In Manhattan, prices are down across the board: This past month saw the largest year-over-year decline in net effective rent tracked in six-and-a-half years, the fourth consecutive monthly year-over-year decline in median face rent, and the third highest recorded landlord concession market share in seven-and-a-half years.

“Despite record concessions, we’re seeing the face rent sliding too,” says Miller, the author of Douglas Elliman’s report. “It means the concessions have kept the rate of [price] decline somewhat in check, but have not stopped it.”

Click here for the full article. 

Source: Curbed New York (via Empire Report New York) 

Nixon’s Fight Against Cuomo Hits de Blasio As Well

By Sally Goldenberg and Laura Nahmias

It’s the conventional wisdom in an increasingly unconventional 2018 New York governor’s race: Actor Cynthia Nixon's run is a ploy by her friend and ally, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, to drag down his archrival, and fellow Democrat, Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

But less than a month into the insurgent campaign, Nixon's attacks on Cuomo from the left have increasingly highlighted de Blasio’s own weaknesses. And amid the New York media's intense focus on the celebrity-fueled campaign, her criticisms could end up proving uncomfortable to a mayor who’s been eager to fashion himself a national progressive leader.

Nixon has called the mayor’s timeline for repairs to the troubled New York City Housing Authority “not acceptable.” She’s called for the legalization of marijuana to end the “racist war on drugs,” even though de Blasio says he’s “not there yet.” And she recently declared that de Blasio and Cuomo are engaged in a “pissing contest” — suggesting that de Blasio is far from blameless in a yearslong feud with the governor. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: Politico (via Empire Report New York)

Bank Earnings Boom as Regulators Relax Rules

By Emily Flitter 

Turbulent markets and relaxed regulations are great news for banks — and it shows.

Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase, the first big United States banks to report their first-quarter results, reported on Friday that business was booming on their stock trading desks as markets gyrated wildly during the first three months of the year. And they reaped greater profits from their core lending businesses, thanks to rising interest rates.

Their results could represent the beginning of a new period of vigor for the banking industry, which in recent years has had to contend with a mix of ill winds, including an eerie quiet in markets, which depressed their usually lucrative trading businesses.

Improved business conditions are good news for banks, but the prospect of regulators loosening up their oversight could be even better over the long haul.

Click here for the full article.

Source: The New York Times (via Empire Report New York) 

NYS AFL-CIO Covers Its Bets in Special-Election-Season Donations


A recent $10,000 donation to the Senate Republicans by the NYS AFL-CIO comes at an awkward time on the political calendar.

Earlier this month the organization announced its support for Democratic Senate candidates Shelley Mayer and Luis Sepulveda, who are running in the April 24 special elections, but the large contribution to the state Senate Republican Campaign Committee was recorded today with the state Board of Elections. The race between Mayer and Republican Julie Killian could determine control of the Senate for the remainder of the session.

While the NYS AFL-CIO has traditionally given to candidates of both major parties, this latest donation comes less than two weeks before their endorsed Democratic candidates are on the ballot. The contribution also comes less than two weeks after Senate Republicans gave a thumbs-up to language in the budget that critics described as a protection for unions against a potentially detrimental Supreme Court case.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: (via Empire Report New York) 

Mainstreaming Holocaust Denial - A Warning on Yom Hashoah

At the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance’s annual Yom Hashoah commemoration in Los Angeles, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean and Global Social Action Director warned of the dangers of growing Holocaust denial around the world.

A new study released on Yom Hashoah found that 22% of millenials said they haven’t heard of the Holocaust and that two-thirds didn’t know what Auschwitz was.

“This just goes to show the world forgets easily, and we pay a dear price for not remembering,” Rabbi Marvin Hier, SWC founder and dean of the told Religion News Service from Jerusalem, adding that the survey shows the importance of historical memory and teaching and “the importance of institutions that keep the memory of the Holocaust alive.”

Click here for video. 

Source: The Simon Wiesenthal Center

Fred Jerome to Discuss Updated Edition of 'The Einstein File'

On April 19 at 7 p.m., the New York Society for Ethical Culture, in conjunction with Baraka Books,  will host a discussion on the updated edition of "The Einstein Files" with author Fred Jerome. 

The facility is located at 2 West 64th Street in New York City.

Einstein arrived in the United States in 1933, the year the Nazis rose to power in Germany. From that moment until he died in 1955, J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI—with other agencies—feverishly collected “derogatory information” to undermine the renowned scientist’s influence and destroy his reputation.

With material accessed under the Freedom of Information Act, Jerome reveals the depth of, and the reasons for, this massive anti-Einstein campaign. He also uncovers Einstein’s strong political commitments that have been conveniently buried under the image of the absent-minded icon genius. Whereas Einstein said on several occasions, “My life is divided between equations and politics,” Jerome delves into his little-known political half-life.

Click here for additional information. 


Planet Heart to Host 11th Annual World Peace Earth Day Celebration

 Click on the flier to increase its size. 

Click here for additional information and to register. 

Source: We Are the World

Thursday, April 12, 2018

President Trump Meets with Governors and Members of Congress

Source: The White House

Mayor de Blasio Makes Announcement on Policing in the Subways

The announcement begins at the 29:30 point.

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

Legislation Signed to Protect the Rights of New York's Working Men and Women

Earlier today, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed landmark legislation to strengthen the rights of working men and women in New York State. This new law increases access to and protects union membership in New York's public-sector workplaces in anticipation of an adverse ruling in the pending Supreme Court case Janus v. AFSCME.  

Additionally, the law provides safeguards against the deliberate actions taken by the federal government that continue to undermine the efforts of organized labor across this country. 

More information available here

Source: NYGovCuomo

Mayor Bill de Blasio to Participate in Bronx Town Hall

Source: The Office of Assemblyman Michael Blake (District 79)

In Pennsylvania, It’s Open Season on Undocumented Immigrants

ICE’s Philadelphia office is fanning out into communities across its three-state region and making more “at-large” arrests of immigrants without criminal convictions than anywhere else in America.

by Deborah Sontag and Dale Russakoff

This story was co-published with the Philadelphia Inquirer.

QUAKERTOWN, PA — From the time they first flirted at a party, Anne and Ludvin Franco were inseparable. It did not matter that Anne, a waitress, was Pennsylvania Dutch going back generations, while Ludvin, a cook, had grown up in the scrublands of eastern Guatemala.

It also did not matter to Anne or her open-armed family that Lulu, as they called him, was undocumented. At their wedding in 2013, the Americans and the Guatemalans danced the night away with Latin DJs imported from Queens.

On lawyers’ advice, the Francos waited to start legalizing his status through their marriage until late 2016, after he had lived a productive, crime-free decade in the United States. They never anticipated that President Trump’s promised immigration crackdown would be so swift, and so ruthless in their region.

By last spring, when Pennsylvania roads were starting to feel like a dragnet for immigrants without papers, Ludvin Franco had mostly stopped getting behind the wheel of a car. Often he relied on his wife to drive him, their twin toddlers buckled into the backseat. But the night his soccer team faced a rival in the semifinals of an indoor league, his wife was in the queasy first trimester of a second pregnancy. He headed out alone.

As Franco drove north on Route 309, a Hyundai pulled out of Bubba’s Pot Belly Stove Restaurant and crossed into his lane. He swerved to avoid hitting it, he later said, but failed. Nobody was injured. Franco got a couple of tickets.

A few weeks later, as Franco was leaving for work at dawn, lights flashed. Men in police vests approached: federal agents from the ICE section that normally pursues violent criminals. They knew about the crash.

“Oh, God,” Franco thought. “I’m done.”

Click here for the full article.

Source: ProPublica

House Speaker Paul Ryan's Weekly Briefing

 Click here for video. 

Source: C-SPAN

Minority Leader Pelosi Warns of Constitutional Crisis If Mueller, Rosenstein Are Fired

Click here for video.
Source: C-SPAN

Secretary of State Nominee Mike Pompeo Confirmation Hearing

Saving Our Youth: The Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention

The Commission's vision is to develop a more strategic, coordinated, and collaborative effort between the City, law enforcement agencies, social service providers, and the general public with the objective of significantly curtailing gang involvement, and its negative impact, in the City of San Diego.

Click here for additional information. 

Source: The City of San Diego

Trailblazers in Black History: Jerry Lawson

Born in 1940, Jerry Lawson pioneered home video gaming in the 1970s by helping create the Farichild Channel F, the first home video game system with interchangeable games. A New York native, Lawson is one of the few African-American engineers who worked in computing at the dawn of the video game era.

Click here for additional information. 

Sources: The Root and

As State-Run Water Program Ends, Flint Churches Look to Fill Void

by Julie Compton

On Tuesday evening, all four of the city’s remaining water distribution centers shuttered — just days after Gov. Rick Snyder announced he would discontinue the state’s water distribution program.

Since Friday, thousands of families — many with young children who depend on bottled water to drink, bathe and wash their food — flocked to the centers to get what remained.

Now, nothing is left.

“There’s been 40 or 50 cars that have been lined up,” said Rob Butler, a head pastor for West Court Street Church of God, where one of the distribution centers had set up in the parking lot on Tuesday. “At least that many. Who knows how many turned away once they saw that huge line?”

Pastor Butler told NBC News his church will work with First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church on the south side of the city to collect private donations of water for Flint. He said one New York-based non-profit has already pledged to deliver a generous supply. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News

Did Mark Zuckerberg Mislead Congress About Facebook?

Source: CBS News

Trump Takes Out Ryan, and ‘It’s Going to Be a Civil War’

A Daily Beast Op-Ed 

Everything Trump touches dies, and the speaker’s legacy is no exception.

By Rick Wilson

The news that Paul Ryan is retiring from Congress was received by grim-faced members of the GOP caucus finally realizing what they’ve done, and what’s coming. Ryan pulled the ripcord Wednesday after a 19-year career in Congress, declaring he would leave Washington at the end of his current term to spend more time with his existential angst over what he let Donald Trump do to our country.

The happy talk about holding the House is over. The spin for the press, the rubes, and the donor class just came to a shrieking halt. Nancy Pelosi is in her crone cavern, cackling with glee, knowing that the Democrats are now in play in almost 80 congressional seats. The general of the House Republican army just announced he’s leaving the field just as the tide of political war looks most grim.

Ryan and his caucus hoped to run on the tax cut, the economy, and infrastructure. All of these messages now will be swept aside. Ryan owns his share of the blame; too often, he behaved as if he was some deferential junior VP at a Trump resort and not the leader of the House of Representatives in a co-equal branch of government. The idea, popular among the House leadership, that a diet of ass-kissing and deference would make Trump into a normal president who didn’t need the political equivalent of Depends was always a strategic mistake.

Ryan is now paying the price. The rest of his caucus will pay in the fall.

Click here for the full article.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center: #HopeLives Campaign

This video was published on YouTube on April 9. 

The following statement was submitted by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. 

Through the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance (MOT) “Hope Lives When People Remember” campaign, we are creating new opportunities for students to interact with a survivor, either in person, as part of the MOT tour, or through social media platforms like Facebook Live, Google, or Snapchat.

In addition to speaking to visitors four times a day, these Survivors’ incredible stories must also be preserved for future generations.

Please help the ongoing Holocaust Survivor video project that documents all the testimonies of our current survivors that will then be edited, archived, and made available for future Museum visitors when Survivors are no longer with us.

Time is passing. We need your support. We are counting on you.


Macron Has 'Proof' the Regime is Behind Eastern Ghouta Chlorine Attack

Source: FRANCE 24 English

'Modicare' Aims to Provide Healthcare to Half a Billion Indians

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Syria: 'Both Russia and America Painted Themselves Into a Corner, We're Now In a Game of Chicken'

Source: FRANCE 24 English

WHO and UNICEF: Breastfeeding Could Save Thousands of Young Lives

Source: euronews.

Israel Marks Holocaust Remembrance Day

Source: euronews.

Syrian Government Forces Seize Full Control of Eastern Ghouta Says Russian Army

Source: euronews.

US Says No Timetable Yet for Syrian Response

Source: euronews.

Pope Admits Mistakes Over Chilean Church Abuse

This report was published on YouTube on April 11. 

Source: euronews.

Governor Cuomo Announces $18.5M to Cut Off MS-13 Recruitment and Support Youth Programs

This video was published on YouTube on April 11. 

Source: NYGovCuomo

Mayor de Blasio Delivers Remarks at 32BJ SEIU’s Residential Contract Rally

This video, which was published ion YouTube on April 11, starts at the 30:45 point. 

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

NY Comunity-Based Organizations Call on City to Increase Funding for Health Outreach

New York, NY — Access Health NYC, a city-council funded initiative that supports community-based organizations (CBOs) providing education, outreach, and assistance to New Yorkers in need of health care and coverage, launched its multi-language Guide to Your Health Care Rights & Options, a community education guide detailing key health access and coverage topics for immigrant and underserved communities such as Emergency Medicaid, language access, paying hospital bills, and more.
Led by the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF), Commission on the Public’s Health System (CPHS), Community Service Society of New York (CSS), FPWA, and the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), Access Health NYC agencies and dozens of city organizations also call on New York City Council officials to increase the initiative’s funding from $1 million to $2.5 million for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, which would go towards funding both current member organizations and helping more groups serve vulnerable New Yorkers.
“Quality healthcare is a right but rarely a norm for many New Yorkers,” said FPWA CEO and Executive Director Jennifer Jones-Austin. “Access Health NYC’s partner organizations have the trust of their communities and make every effort to connect New Yorkers to the health services they deserve. Culturally and linguistically appropriate outreach tools are key to reaching the immigrant, LGBTQ, and low-income populations needing coverage. It is critical that New York City continue to lead the nation in ensuring healthcare coverage for its most vulnerable given the policy disruptions at the federal level.”
Now in its third year, the initiative developed its Guide to Your Health Care Rights & Options community education guide to ensure more culturally responsive and linguistically appropriate health access resources are available to New Yorkers. The guide is now available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Haitian Creole, Russian, Urdu, and Bengali. Awardee agencies say that with more funding, additional resources could be created for a wider range of communities.
"Health care access is a human right,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca. “New York City's vulnerable communities deserve health care outreach that is culturally competent and in the language(s) they speak. Community based organizations do that best and they need increased funding to make sure immigrants and low-income New Yorkers use all the health services available to them."
"Local initiatives like Access Health NYC have become more important than ever now that immigrants are in this period of stress and vulnerability from anti-immigrant federal policies. New York City officials, especially City Council Speaker Johnson and Councilmember Levine, have publicly committed to supporting our immigrant communities, and public education about health coverage must be part of this response”, said Steven Choi, executive director of NYIC. “Access Health NYC's ability to get accurate and timely health services information to immigrant New Yorkers is invaluable. Its funding must be enhanced to $2.5 million for the initiative to reach its full potential.”
Access Health NYC funding supports the work of the five lead organizations, as well as thirteen CBOs, numerous service providers and sites, and a consumer helpline working throughout the five boroughs to connect underserved populations to healthcare. Since its inception, Access Health NYC providers have hosted over 750 workshops with over 10,000 New York residents in attendance and given over 10,000 referrals to New York City’s various social and human service provider resources.
"Despite the gains of the Affordable Care Act, New York City's Asian Pacific American (APA) community - a vast majority of whom are foreign-born - remains uninsured,” said Coalition for Asian American Children and Families Co-Executive Director Anita Gundanna. “Our communities lack access to insurance and health care services because critical health-related information is not language accessible or culturally competent. APA-serving community-based organizations rely on Access Health NYC to support their critical work to fill in the gaps and ensure that all communities understand their rights to and options for quality health care."
“Community-based organizations are best positioned to reach New York’s remaining uninsured, an estimated 400,000 people,” said Elisabeth R. Benjamin, Community Service Society Vice President for Health Initiatives. “Increasing resources to Access Health NYC will enhance a strong community-based infrastructure to improve access to coverage and care for vulnerable New Yorkers, including the many immigrants who do not know that these programs exist or are afraid to use them.”
You may view the community education guides here.  
Source: Mercury

David Dinkins Makes Special Guest Appearance on 'Blue Bloods'

Dinkins poses with the cast of "Blue Bloods", which stars Tom Selleck. 

The former New York City mayor will appear on the hit CBS show on April 13 at 10 p.m. 

Episode Summary: Danny and Baez race to find a missing girl who will die without her heart medication; Jamie and Eddie are on the wrong side of an investigation after engaging in a car chase; and when Sean wins an essay contest, guess who presents him with the 'Mayor's Medal.' 

Source: Lynda Hamilton

Call Center Hours Extended on Final Two Days of Income Tax Filing Season

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today announced that it’s extending the hours of its Income Tax Call Center to assist taxpayers through the April 17 filing deadline.

“On the final two days of the income tax filing season—Monday, April 16, and Tuesday, April 17— the call center will remain open until 7:30 p.m. to answer last-minute filing questions,” said Acting Commissioner Nonie Manion. “Those with access to a computer or mobile device can quickly find answers to most questions at our website and, if eligible, choose from among several free-filing options.”

The call center’s usual hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Income Tax Call Center representatives can be reached by calling 518-457-5181.

The Tax Department’s call center has answered more than 316,000 tax return filing-related questions this filing season and expects to answer 28,000 more over the final two days before Tuesday’s deadline. 

Source: The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance

Katherine Nicholls Designated as Chair of NYS Council on the Arts

New York, NY—The New York State Council on the Arts has announced the designation of Katherine Nicholls as Chair of the agency by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Nicholls is a New York-based business executive with over 30 years of experience in marketing, operations and company leadership. As Chief Executive Officer of GreenGale Publishing from 2011 to 2017, she brought her expertise in media, culture and tourism to the oversight of leading regional lifestyle magazines in eleven U.S. cities. She currently serves on the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York State Tourism Advisory Council.

“Katherine Nicholls has been an incredible asset to the New York State Council on the Arts,” said NYSCA Executive Director Mara Manus. “Her strength as a leader and devotion to New York State’s creative culture will be of great service to the agency and the state as we move forward.”

"It has been a privilege to serve on the New York State Council on the Arts,” Nicholls said. “I am honored to take on the role of Chair and look forward to working even more closely with the staff and Council to support and advance our state’s arts and culture on behalf of the people of New York.”

During her tenure with GreenGale, Nicholls championed the company’s mission to Connect, Captivate and Celebrate with Consciousness, ensuring that content reflected the style and sensibility of each market. The oversized glossy magazines featured editorial focused on local arts, culture and philanthropy, as well as fashion, dining and real estate.  

Nicholls launched the multimedia feature “Art of the City” across all 11 publications, giving national exposure to artists whose works appeared on covers and was donated to support local arts-based charities. Integrating editorial content, social media and experiential events, “Art of the City” ran annually in summer for three years, reaching over 15 million readers each year.

Prior to joining GreenGale (then Niche Media) in 2007 as Chief Marketing Officer, Nicholls had a twenty year career in marketing in the wine and spirits industry in both Canada and the United States. Nicholls worked for leading organizations Schieffelin & Somerset (a joint venture between Mo√ęt Hennessy and Diageo PLC), and Diageo PLC. She also serves on the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence New York Leadership Council.

“The agency looks forward to continued success at the Council under Katherine's leadership, and we congratulate our outgoing Chair Dr. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel on the completion of her term as Chair and Councilmember,” said Manus. “Barbaralee’s contributions to the Council and to artistic and cultural affairs across the State have been immense and we thank her for her many years of dedicated service.” 

Source: The New York State Council on the Arts