New York’s Democratic governor banned state travel to North Carolina this week, citing its residents’ supposed lack of equal protection under the law, weeks after he announced efforts to facilitate travel from New York to Cuba, which is ruled by a repressive communist dictatorship that routinely imprisons political dissenters.
“In New York, we believe that all people – regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation – deserve the same rights and protections under the law,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo in announcing a ban on “non-essential” state travel to North Carolina.
The move came in response to a new North Carolina law that restricts gendered restrooms to people of their respective biological sexes.
New York will no longer sponsor official travel to North Carolina, but Cuomo himself has recently undertaken official travel to Cuba, and teamed up with JetBlue airlines to encourage travel to the island nation, where the government has imprisoned and tortured transgender people.
Attitudes towards gay and transgender individuals on the island have liberalized in recent years, but many say they are still “harassed and detained by police,” according to a January report from Public Radio International. “They also say they can’t get jobs.”
One transgender individual described her attitude:
And even with US and Cuba relations normalizing now, she still can’t bring herself to ever go back home.
“I suffered too much trauma in Cuba. It would cause me too much panic to return there. I wouldn’t go back, even for a short visit.”
Her resolve hardens when she looks down at her arm. The self-inflicted scars left from her life in Cuba’s prisons are a permanent reminder of a time when she could not be free — could no [sic] be herself.
There’s now a Masturbation Station in New York City for men to relieve some stress during the workday.
The company said 100 men used the booth on its first day.
On Tuesday, Hot Octopuss erected what it called a “GuyFi” booth on 28th Street and 5th Avenue in New York City, where men could, in theory, go to “relieve stress.”
The company simply put a cloth over a phone booth in what amounted to a marketing gimmick. Inside was a chair and a laptop.
Hot Octopuss was inspired by a Time Out survey, which concluded that 39% of the New York men it questioned admitted to masturbating while at work. A more expansive Glamour survey of 1,000 men in 2012 suggested 31% of its readers have done so.
Hot Octopuss created the booth so men can “take this habit out of the office and into a more suitable environment designed to give the busy Manhattan man the privacy, and the high-speed Internet connection, he deserves.”
“We may be insinuating that these booths could be used in whichever way anyone would like to ‘self soothe,’” a representative tells Mashable, “but the brand is not actively encouraging people to masturbate in public as that is an illegal offense.”
The company claims approximately 100 men used the booth on its inaugural day.
Former state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was convicted on all seven criminal counts Monday in a corruption scheme that traded taxpayer cash and political favors for nearly $4 million in payoffs.
A Manhattan federal jury deliberated less than three days before finding the veteran lawmaker guilty of seven charges of honest-services fraud, extortion and money laundering.
Silver, 71, faces a maximum 130 years in prison for the long-running scam.
The conviction of Silver – for decades one of the three most powerful politicians in the state – was a huge victory for anti-corruption crusading Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara.
”Today, Sheldon Silver got justice, and at long last, so did the people of New York,” Bharara said in a statement.
Jurors had appeared to be in disarray several times during deliberations, with one demanding to be taken off the panel because she said other members were hassling her over her views, and another claiming a newly discovered conflict of interest earlier Monday..
The second juror, Bronx cabbie Kenneth Graham, 69, told the judge that he only recently learned that he leases his taxi medallion from a man who “associates with Mr. Silver.” The judge refused to excuse him.
“He was guilty, and that’s all,” Graham said of Silver outside court, when asked about the verdict.
“All of [the evidence] was compelling. We come to a conclusion, and he was guilty.”
But Graham indicated that the jury struggled to come up with its verdict.
“It was hard… on the last day and the day before… There was a lot of hold-outs,” he said.
“I feel relief. Maybe I don’t feel good,” he added.
The decision cemented a stunning fall from grace that began when the Manhattan Democrat was busted in January following more than three decades as one of state’s most powerful pols.
His arrest forced Silver to resign his leadership post, but he held onto his longtime Assembly seat.
Under state law, Silver’s conviction automatically boots him from office and bars him from ever again holding any state position.
Monday’s verdict came midway through the corruption trial of Silver’s onetime counterpart in the state Senate, former Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who’s charged in an unrelated influence-peddling scheme along with his son, Adam.
During Silver’s 3½-week trial, prosecutors presented an array of evidence that included testimony from co-conspirators who turned rat to avoid getting charged in the case.
Columbia University cancer doctor Robert Taub – who got $500,000 in taxpayer-funded research grants from Silver – testified that he steered dozens of asbestos victims to Silver for legal representation by the Weitz & Luxenberg law firm.
Silver, who was “of counsel” at Weitz & Luxenberg at the time, pocketed more than $3 million for delivering the clients.
Veteran Albany lobbyist Brian Meara also testified that he set up a meeting between Silver and an exec at the Glenwood Management development company, which hired another law firm with ties to Silver to handle its lucrative property tax litigation.
Silver – who changed his position on legislation extending real estate tax abatements and blocking stricter rent regulations – got more than $700,000 from the firm of Goldberg & Iryami, with Meara testifying that he was both “surprised and concerned” when Silver revealed the fee-splitting arrangement.
During closing arguments, prosecutor Andrew Goldstein told jurors that Silver was motivated by greed: “This was bribery. This was extortion. This was corruption – the real deal. Don’t let it stand.”
Goldstein also blasted as “preposterous” Silver’s claim that his actions were merely “politics as usual in Albany.”
Defense lawyer Steven Molo insisted that Silver had never engaged in the sort of “quid pro quo” that’s legally required to sustain a conviction for honest-services fraud.
Molo also accused prosecutors of viewing Silver through a “dirty window,” adding that they had “failed to demonstrate that any harm has occurred.”
In a real-life story that seems taken out of George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, a New York lawyer accused of fraud is actually asking for a trial by combat to settle a legal dispute.
Richard Luthmann says his bizarre request may sound ludicrous to most people, but it certainly isn’t against the law. He pointed out that the right to Trial by Combat was technically never outlawed in the state of New York, or anywhere else in America. “The common law of Britain was in effect in New York in 1776,” he told reporters “And the Ninth Amendment of the Constitution recognises the penumbra of those rights. It’s still on the books.” Historically, trial by combat was indeed a little-used but accepted aspect of English common law.
Luthmann, 35, feels that his request for a combat trial is fair, given that the legal dispute itself is silly and “baseless”. It started in 2013, when Luthmann represented the losing side in a lawsuit between two investment firms. His client, David Parker, was supposed to pay $550,000 to the opposition, but he disappeared without a trace. So the opponents decided to sue him instead, alleging the lawyer helped his client hide his assets in order to avoid payment.
After spending the past two years filing motions and countermotions against the other lawyer, Luthmann was at his wits’ end. “This is not a lawsuit anymore; this is an absurdity,” he told the New York Post. “So I will give them absurdity in kind.” That’s when he decided to make use of a loophole in the law and challenge them to a medieval-style duel to settle the matter.
In his brief, Luthmann asks “that the court permit the undersigned (Luthmann) to dispatch plaintiffs to the Divine Providence of the Maker for Him to exact His divine judgment once the undersigned has released the souls of the plaintiffs and their counsel from their corporeal bodies, personally and or by way of a champion.” Alternatively, he’s willing to settle for just having the case dismissed.
It sounds like a joke, but Luthmann is actually pretty serious about testing the power of the Ninth Amendment. “The judge may look askance at it, but I’m prepared to take it to the highest level,” he said. “I’d love to have a court determine whether we have those rights under the Constitution. This is a matter of honor.”
It’s highly unlikely that the judge will accept Luthmann’s request, but in any case, he’s prepared to go to combat dressed as Game of Thrones character Robert Baratheon. His weapon of choice – a warhammer.
The plaintiff’s lawyer, Richard Chusid, feels differently about the issue. “It should be clear that we do not find the brief amusing and, we believe, neither will the court, both from a legal and ethical perspective,” he said.
You have to admit, seeing two lawyers fighting for their lives medieval style would be fun to watch.
A federal judge in New York has struck down a test used by New York City to vet potential teachers, finding the test of knowledge illegally discriminated against racial minorities due to their lower scores.
At first glance, the city’s second Liberal Arts and Science Test (LAST-2) seems fairly innocuous. Unlike the unfair literacy tests of Jim Crow, LAST-2 was given to every teaching candidate in New York, and it was simply a test to make sure that teachers had a basic high school-level understanding of both the liberal arts and the sciences.
One sample question from the test asked prospective educators to identify the mathematical principle of a linear relationship when given four examples; another asked them to read four passages from the Constitution and identify which illustrated checks and balances. Besides factual knowledge, the test also checks basic academic skills, such as reading comprehension and the ability to read basic charts and graphs.
Nevertheless, this apparently neutral subject matter contained an insidious kernel of racism, because Hispanic and black applicants had a passage rate only 54 to 75 percent of the passage rate for whites.
Once their higher failure rate was established, the burden shifted to New York to prove that LAST-2 measured skills that were essential for teachers and therefore was justified in having a racially unequal outcome. While it might seem obvious that possessing basic subject knowledge is a key skill for a teacher, District Judge Kimba Wood said the state hadn’t met that burden.
“Instead of beginning with ascertaining the job tasks of New York teachers, the two LAST examinations began with the premise that all New York teachers should be required to demonstrate an understanding of the liberal arts,” Wood wrote in her opinion, according to The New York Times.
LAST-2 hasn’t been used in New York since 2012, but the ruling will still have repercussions. Minorities who failed the exam (who number in the thousands) may be owed years of back pay totaling millions of dollars, and those who were relegated to substitute teaching jobs could be promoted to having their own classrooms. In addition, while Wood’s ruling only applies to New York City, the test was used statewide, and it could serve as a precedent for further lawsuits.
The ruling could also pave the way for another ruling finding New York’s current teacher test, the Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST), to be discriminatory as well. That test is even harder than LAST-2, with a strong focus on literacy skills such as writing and reading comprehension, and like LAST-2 it has a very large gap in scores between whites and minorities. A lawsuit, once again being heard by Wood, is already pending, with the plaintiffs arguing that there is no clear evidence strong literacy skills are essential for a teacher.
The anxiety and unrest that has crippled Baltimore spilled over into the Big Apple Wednesday as more than 120 people were arrested across Manhattan in scuffles with cops during protests over the death of Freddie Gray, sources said.
Hundreds of demonstrators, who first gathered at Union Square for what was supposed to be a peaceful rally, erupted into a free-for-all in the streets at about 7:30 p.m. as groups splintered off to create havoc around town.
“What do we want? Justice! If we don’t get it? Shut it down!” protesters chanted as officers started to detain people and corral them in police vans.
The demonstration was billed as a show of support for protesters in Baltimore, where a nightly curfew was imposed this week following riots sparked by Gray’s death from injuries suffered while in police custody.
From Union Square, protesters marched along East 17th Street toward Fifth Avenue before being stopped by police.
An NYPD helicopter hovered overhead and a police loudspeaker warned protesters that they would be arrested if they marched in the street.
As some protesters resisted arrest, cops carried them by their limbs and shackled them.
Other protesters trying to breach barricades were shoved back by cops.
Then rowdy agitators began to push back at cops and some even started throwing punches along 17th Street and Fifth Avenue, where dozens of arrests were made.
The protest then split off into factions. Some marched toward the Holland Tunnel, where outbound traffic was briefly halted. Others took to the West Side Highway and marched up to Times Square.
“Black lives matter. No justice, no peace,” protesters chanted as they marched through Times Square.
Meanwhile, in beleaguered Baltimore, the second night of a state-imposed curfew went mostly without incident as concerned members of the community formed groups and urged citizens to head home and not partake in violence.
In Washington, DC, protesters stood in front of the White House with signs bearing slogans in support of Gray and Michael Brown, who was shot dead by police in Ferguson, Mo., last year.
Protests returned to Ferguson as well – one day after looting, fires and gunfire in Baltimore protests over Gray.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake defended her handling of the situation in her city, denying a report that she had told police commanders to “stand down” and let protesters vent their rage.
Rawlings-Blake, 45, a Democrat, said state officials were involved in decision-making from the beginning – and she mocked Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s claims that he didn’t receive return phone calls from her as the riots unfolded Monday afternoon after the funeral for Gray.
“When he has people right there in the [emergency operations] center with us, the notion that he didn’t get a call back from me directly… that’s absurd,” the mayor said as tensions showed signs of easing in the city.
A senior law enforcement source told Fox News that Rawlings-Blake had ordered her officers to stand down as the rioters torched buildings and cars and looted stores.
Asked if Rawlings-Blake had been responsible for the order, the source said, “You’re goddamn right [she] was.”
Later, when asked by Fox News if there had been a “hold-back” order to police, Rawlings-Blake said, “No… you have to understand, it’s not ‘holding back.’ It’s responding appropriately.”
Kevin Harris, a spokesman for Rawlings-Blake, said, “What we’ve always tried to say is, this is a very fluid situation. We will use these tools [curfews] as long as they’re needed.
“But the second it comes that we feel they’re not needed anymore, we won’t keep the curfews in place and we won’t keep the National Guard here.”
New US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, meanwhile, condemned the rioting, calling it “senseless acts of violence.”
President Obama made an excellent point this week about violence committed in the name of God and religion. It just happens to be the exact opposite of the point he intended.
In his speech to the National Prayer Breakfast, the president declared we have no right to “get on our high horse” about modern terrorist acts, given the “terrible deeds” committed “in the name of Christ” during the Crusades and the Inquisition.
We’ll leave it to others to sort out the history here, and to address the extraordinary bad taste the president showed in invoking Christian misbehavior from the Middle Ages at a time when innocent Christians in places such as Iraq and Syria are being beheaded and even crucified for their faith.
What strikes us is how unaware the president is that the bad Christian behavior he invokes is powerful evidence against his own refusal to concede those carrying out jihadist attacks around the world today have anything to do with Islam.
Yes, Christians have done terrible things in the name of Christ over the centuries. But here’s the rub: No one denies they were Christians.
Wouldn’t it be ridiculous to speak of the Inquisition without acknowledging the inquisitors were Christians? The same goes for Southern slaveholders who cited the Bible’s ambiguity on slavery to justify their practice.
So how is it the same man who lectures us about Christians doing bad things in Christ’s name cannot acknowledge the obvious point that terrorists such as those claiming to be avenging the Prophet Mohamad as they gunned down cartoonists in a Parisian newsroom were Muslim?
When police in Southhampton, New York, approached Nancy Genovese in 2009, they wanted information.
“You’re a real right-winter, aren’t you?” the officer said. “I’ll bet you’re one of those Tea Party people.” When Genovese, a Long-Island mother of three said she had attended a Tea Party rally, the officer said “You’re a Teabagger,” and said she would be arrested for terrorism to make an example to other “right wingers.”
So what exactly was Genovese doing that got Suffolk County deputies all upset? She was taking pictures of a tourist attraction – a decorative helicopter – in front of the Gabreski Air National Guard Base. She had just returned from the firing range and had two guns and ammunition in her car.
They arrested her and threw her in jail – despite her having committed no crime.
She filed a lawsuit against Suffolk County and just won $1.1 million for false prosecution.
“Ms. Genovese was subjected to a level of abuse because [authorities] did not share the same political views as she did and saw this as an excuse to deny her even the most basic civil rights,” her lawyer Frederick Brewington said.
Genovese said in a statement said she was “relieved” by the jury’s verdict. She added, “if this can happen to me, and officers can abuse their power like this, I can only imagine how other people who are not as fortunate as me have been treated.”
Score one for the good guys.
If only we had people in charge who were bright enough to halt flights from Ebola-ravaged countries.
The number of people under “active monitoring” for Ebola symptoms has increased from 117 on Monday to 357 people Wednesday, health officials said.
The vast majority of those being monitored arrived in New York City within the past 21 days from the three Ebola-affected countries, the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation said in a statement.
Others being monitored are the staff caring for Dr. Craig Spencer, the physician being treated for Ebola at Bellevue Hospital, the lab workers who conducted his blood tests and the FDNY EMTs who transported the doctor.
All of those being monitored showed no symptoms but are being checked on out of “an abundance of caution,” the statement said.
You know what would reflect an abundance of caution? Halting flights from West Africa or immediate quarantine of those arriving. But that would be racist, or something.
Apparently the Ebola czar Ron Klain is still under quarantine himself after three weeks since he hasn’t been seen in public yet. You know, we’re starting to think his appointment was merely for show, cynics that we are.
Minnesota is monitoring 48 travelers who have returned from Ebola infected West Africa.
Already 12 of the individuals, or 1 in 4, have gone missing.
This was buried in the sixth paragraph of the newspaper report.
The Star Tribune reported:
Forty-eight travelers who have returned to Minnesota from Ebola-stricken nations in West Africa are being monitored by state health officials for 21 days to make sure they don’t have any signs of the deadly virus, the Minnesota Department of Health reported Wednesday.
All the travelers are considered low risk, according to the Health Department, meaning they might have been visiting relatives in Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone but never came in contact with an Ebola case. None was in the “some” or “high” risk categories of medical or relief workers who had potential contact with an infected patient’s blood, saliva or other bodily fluids.
Voluntary monitoring involves twice-daily phone calls between state health officials and the travelers…
…Wednesday’s report cited an additional 12 people who either returned recently and still are being contacted, or haven’t been located yet because of inadequate or incorrect contact information.
Those cases of workplace violence sure are spreading. But I’m sure it’s nothing to do with Islam. Just like all the other recent Muslim attacks in support of the Islamic State which, according to Obama and Kerry, has nothing to do with Islam.
Law-enforcement sources we spoke with identified Zale Thompson as the armed man who charged at a group of NYPD uniformed police assembled on a street corner in Jamaica, Queens, at around 2 p.m. today. The 32-year-old Muslim, who lived in Queens, struck one of the officers in the back of the head with his hatchet and gashed another on the arm, the police said.
A man armed with a hatchet who attacked a group of cops on a Queens street, critically injuring one of them, was shot dead by the officers on Thursday afternoon, and a female bystander was hit by an errant round.
The attack took place about 2 p.m. in the heart of Jamaica’s shopping district, and NYPD investigators, police sources say, have not ruled out the possibility the culprit sought to commit an act of terrorism.
The officer critically injured in the deadly encounter, Kenneth Healey, a 25-year-old rookie, suffered a hatchet wound to the side of the head. He was being operated on at Jamaica Hospital and doctors listed him in critical but stable condition, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told reporters at a 5 p.m. press conference.
“The cops yelled ‘Drop it!’” said rattled eyewitness Larry Bethune, 44, of Hollis, Queens, recalling the moment the psycho pulled a small hatchet from his jacket.
“And he lunged at one of them,” the witness remembered. “He raised his arm up high and brought it straight down on the cop’s head.
“The cop went down to the ground, face first. It was horrible. I’ve never seen anything like that on Jamaica Avenue,” he added. “The cop’s just lying there with blood pouring down his face. He didn’t move.”
Another witness, Kelli Reddica, 24, recalled hearing seven shots ring out as the crazed man was brought down, and seeing the downed cop’s horrible injury.
“He looked like he couldn’t move, and blood was gushing out of his head. Blood just drenched the side of his face,” she said.
This is what Islam in America means.
A physician who recently returned to New York from Ebola-ravaged west Africa has tested positive for the disease, officials announced.
Craig Spencer, 33, a doctor who lives in the Harlem neighbourhood of Manhattan, was taken to hospital in New York City on Thursday after displaying symptoms consistent with those caused by Ebola.
A preliminary test confirmed that Spencer has the virus.
Health officials had already said they were tracing the doctor’s contacts, which the New York City mayor, Bill de Blasio, said were not numerous.
“It is our understanding very few people were in direct contact with him,” de Blasio told a news conference before the diagnosis was confirmed. “Every protocol has been followed. We’re hoping for a good outcome for this individual,” he said.
City health officials said Spencer worked in one of the three west African countries affected by Ebola, which has killed more than 4,500 people since the current outbreak began. They said he returned to the US within the last 21 days, which is the maximum incubation period for the virus. It is believed he had been working in Guinea.
The physician was transported by a team wearing protective gear to Bellevue hospital with a fever and “gastrointestinal symptoms” on Thursday. Though the city’s statement did not specify, severe diarrhoea is a common Ebola symptom.
“A person in New York City, who recently worked with Doctors Without Borders in one of the Ebola-affected countries in west Africa, notified our office this morning to report having developed a fever,” Doctors Without Borders said in a statement.
The aid organisation, known internationally as Médecins Sans Frontières, said Spencer reported his fever immediately to the agency, in accordance with its guidelines for returning field workers. It was unclear whether the doctor had been quarantining himself.
Spencer’s public Facebook page, which has since been taken down, showed a photo of him dated 18 September wearing protective gear announcing he was heading to Guinea with Doctors without Borders. It showed him checking into a location in Brussels on 16 October.
His LinkedIn profile identified him as a fellow of international emergency medicine at Columbia University-New York Presbyterian hospital.
New York Presbyterian hospital released a statement in which it did not identify Spencer by name but called the patient “a dedicated humanitarian on the staff of NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University medical centre who went to an area of medical crisis to help a desperately underserved population”.
It said he has not returned to work at the hospital or seen any patients since returning from west Africa.
Leaders have attempted to reassure New Yorkers that the city and state are safe. City health officials repeated that Ebola is difficult to contract, since people must come into direct contact with body fluids of an infected and symptomatic person.
Many fears about the disease have swirled around New York’s status as a transport hub. Airports in the metropolitan area process the majority of passengers arriving from west Africa everyday, and John F Kennedy international airport and Newark, New Jersey’s airport, are now among the only airports in the US accepting such passengers. Starting on Monday, passengers from the worst affected countries – Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia – will be monitored for 21 days after arriving in the US.
As part of the governor’s Ebola preparedness plan, two ambulances are being regularly stationed at JFK and Newark airports, the city’s transit authority was provided with protective gear and training, and unannounced drills are being conducted at airports, college campuses and in subways. The governor designated eight hospitals in the state to handle Ebola patients.
To abate healthcare workers’ fears about the disease, New York City held an Ebola educational session on Tuesday.
Progressive policies at work…
Remington Arms Company, Inc., founded in 1816 in upstate New York, announced in February they will build their new factory in Alabama and not the Empire state. Since New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D.) signed the SAFE Gun Control Act, multiple gun companies have left the state. And, now Remington will not build its new plant there.
Fran Madore, president of United Mine Workers Local 717, blamed Remington Arms expansion to Alabama on New York’s SAFE Act which was passed by Democrats last year.
Today, Remington announced they are closing plants in New York and moving operations to Alabama.
The buzz around the industry early yesterday was that Advanced Armament Corp was being closed down and relocated. Before the end of business yesterday, employees at six Remington properties along with two production lines in Ilion, New York, were told their companies- and jobs- were relocating to Huntsville, Alabama.
Here’s the official company statement from spokesperson Teddy Novin:
“Earlier today we announced the consolidation of multiple company plants into our Huntsville, Alabama facility. This was a strategic business decision to concentrate our resources into fewer locations and improve manufacturing efficiency and quality. We are working hard to retain as many from the affected facilities as possible.”
The companies being relocated and their current locations are:
Advanced Armament Corp, Lawrenceville, Georgia; Montana Rifleman, Kalispell, Montana; TAPCO, Kennesaw, Georgia; LAR Manufacturing, West Jordan, Utah; Para-Ordnance, Pineville, North Carolina; and DPMS, St. Cloud, Minnesota. Additionally, the Bushmaster production and Remington 1911 production lines will also be relocating from Ilion, New York.
A Remington source tells The Outdoor Wire Digital Network the company will be offering relocation opportunities but an attractions of modern state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities like the one in Huntsville, Alabama is their innate ability to eliminate head count without negatively impacting production outputs.
Do-nothing Queens Councilman Ruben Wills stole more than $30,000 in taxpayer money – and used some of the cash for department-store shopping sprees that included the purchase of a Louis Vuitton handbag, authorities charged Wednesday.
Wills, 42, was arrested on charges including fraud, theft and falsifying records as part of a scheme to fund a lavish lifestyle by pocketing money meant for causes such as childhood weight loss.
“[He’s] taking money that’s supposed to help kids who are suffering from obesity and all of the medical problems that arise out of that and using it to buy things at Macy’s and Nordstrom’s,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.
“This is about as low as you can get.”
Wills, who has missed more than a fourth of all City Council meetings since taking office after a special election in 2010, allegedly siphoned about $19,000 in pork-barrel funds arranged by his former boss, state Sen. Shirley Huntley, for whom he served as chief-of-staff.
Wills also scammed $11,500 in matching funds from the city Campaign Finance Board by submitting a phony invoice tied to his failed 2009 race for the council, authorities said.
Schneiderman said the Democrat pulled off the “very calculating scheme” through a nonprofit he founded, NY 4 Life.
The charity supposedly helps single mothers and needy kids but was actually used to “defraud New York taxpayers while lining the councilman’s own pockets,” Schneiderman said.
Although Huntley, now imprisoned herself for corruption, obtained funding for Wills for four separate programs, Wills only followed through on a luncheon that cost $14,000.
While he lived high on the hog, he failed to execute an “obesity initiative” for which he received funding, Schneiderman said.
Wills refused to cooperate with the probe by Schneiderman and state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, invoking the Fifth Amendment.
At Wills’ arraignment in Queens Supreme Court, he pleaded not guilty to a dozen counts. The top charge carries up to seven years in prison. He was released without bail and defiantly proclaimed his innocence.
“I am not resigning on charges. This is America, people. We are presumed innocent before we are proven guilty,” Wills said.
“But because I know what I am, where I come from and the color I am, it doesn’t really work like that with you guys.”
Wills also boasted that, “I have full support from my district, and I have full support across the City Council.” But council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito immediately booted him from the chairmanship of the Subcommittee on Drug Abuse.
In 2011, Wills pleaded guilty to criminal mischief for stealing a fan and lights from a former contracting client 15 years earlier.
A man returned to his apartment in New York City recently to find that nearly everything he owned had been removed.
And no, he wasn’t the victim of a cruel prank or even a crime. It was a terrible mistake. A rubbish removal service had taken his belongings.
“Just think of everything that you’ve acquired in your lifetime in your house just gone!” the tenant, Nilay Shroff, told WABC-TV.
He said that he had returned one day after work and came home to a cleared out apartment.
“Right here, I had a dresser before, in here was completely empty, my air conditioner was still in there, my microwave, all of my pots and pans, every single cabinet was just cleared out,” Shroff said, “I literally had the clothes that I was wearing on my back and nothing else.”
Thinking that he was the victim of a burglary, he called the police. Investigators soon learned that he wasn’t the victim of a crime. Rather, they told him, he was the victim of a terrible mixup.
“The cops were like, ‘We’ve never seen anything like this.’ They were laughing,” Shroff said.
The police eventually learned from the landlord that the removal service meant to clean out apartment 2D, not apartment 2B.
“It’s every single piece of clothing that I owned. Like, underwear, I have to go to Target the next morning to just buy underwear,” Shroff said.
The computer technician has since started to replace his missing things, but says there still a lot of work to be done.
“I was just shocked, in shock,” Shroff said.
A New York middle school sponsored a workshop where 13 and 14 year-old girls were told to ask one another for a kiss and pretend like they were on a date.
A recent anti-bullying presentation at a middle school in New York that focused on homosexuality and gender identity has angered parents after their daughters have come home to tell them they were forced to ask another girl for a kiss.
According to reports, the session occurred last week at Linden Avenue Middle School in Red Hook, New York, near Poughkeepsie. A group of students from Bard College led two workshops for the youth, separated by gender.
During the workshop for girls, the 13 and 14-year-olds were told to ask one another for a lesbian kiss. They were also taught words such as “pansexual” and “genderqueer.”
Parent Mandy Coon told reporters that her daughter was very uncomfortable with the exercise.
“She told me, ‘Mom, we all get teased and picked on enough; now I’m going to be called a lesbian because I had to ask another girl if I could kiss her,’” she lamented.
Coon stated that she was especially irate over the matter because parents were given no warning about the presentations, nor an opportunity to opt out.
The State mandated parental reeducation
camps classes, proposed by Democrat Senator Ruben Diaz, would be prerequisite to your child advancing to the next grade. Under the bill, employers would also be required to provide a paid day of leave in order for parents to attend the government instruction.
It’s not hard to imagine on what basis a person will be judged to have successfully completed their parental training. Anyone who has been to a school board meeting knows the last thing tolerated in education is opposing points of view. The effect that would result from this legislation is obvious: students of parents who are not compliant will be deemed unacceptable and shunned from public education. The bill is quite literally an exercise in the creation of a discarded class, a group of American youths named unworthy because their parents don’t believe they need a school board to tell them how they should raise their children or what their children should believe.
Fascism echoes though the American left once again. Same as it ever was.
In 2012, there were more black babies killed by abortion (31,328) in New York City than were born there (24,758), and the black children killed comprised 42.4% of the total number of abortions in the Big Apple, according to a report by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The report is entitled, Summary of Vital Statistics 2012 The City of New York, Pregnancy Outcomes, and was prepared by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Office of Vital Statistics. (See Pregnancy Outcomes NYC Health 2012.pdf)
Table 1 of the report presents the total number of live births, spontaneous terminations (miscarriages), and induced terminations (abortions) for women in different age brackets between 15 and 49 years of age. The table also breaks that data down by race – Hispanic, Asian and Pacific Islander, Non-Hispanic White, Non-Hispanic Black – and also by borough of residence: Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island.
The numbers show that in 2012, there were 31,328 induced terminations (abortions) among non-Hispanic black women in New York City. That same year, there were 24,758 live births for non-Hispanic black women in New York City. There were 6,570 more abortions than live births of black children.
In total, there were 73,815 abortions, which means the 31,328 black babies aborted comprised 42.4% of the total abortions.
For Hispanic women, there were 22,917 abortions in New York City in 2012, which is 31% of the total abortions.
Black and Hispanic abortions combined, 54,245 babies, is 73% of the total abortions in the Big Apple in 2012.
The number of non-Hispanic white abortions was 9,704, and the number of Asian and Pacific Islander abortions was 4,493.
The total number of live births in New York City in 2012 for women ages 15-49 was 123,231. That is a rate of 14.8 live births per 1,000 women, which is the lowest rate since 1979, according to the report. In addition, the live birth rate (per 1,000 women) has declined 3.9% since 2003, when it was a 15.4 rate, states the report. (See Pregnancy Outcomes NYC Health 2012.pdf)
In addition, while there were 73,815 abortions in New York City in 2012, the rate of abortions per 1,000 women is down 8.6% since 2011, according to the report.
Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have not published their abortion statistics for 2011 or 2012 yet, they do have data for 2010. (See Table 12.) In the CDC’s numbers, there were 38,574 black babies killed by abortion in New York City in 2010; Hispanic babies aborted, 27,112; white babies killed by abortion, 9,220; and “other” aborted, 5,368. The total abortions in New York City in 2010 “reported by known race/ethnicity” were 80,274, according to the CDC.
While lawmakers in New York State are considering delaying the Common Core standards initiative because of its disastrous rollout, new problems with the academic standards are now drawing intense criticism.
Carol Burris, New York’s 2013 High School Principal of the Year, reports at Valerie Strauss’s Washington Post blog that Anna Shah, the mother of a kindergarten student, discovered highly offensive materials on the Student Services Page of the Engage NY Common Core materials site. When Shah reported her discovery to NYSED, the page was taken down, though the link had reportedly been active since October of 2012.
The link below is to a screen shot made prior to the removal of the site.
The New York State Education Department (NYSED) site contained a section called “Make test prep fun,” which directed students to a site with quizzes that help them find out if they are a “sexy bitch,” “evil,” a “freak,” “insane,” etc.
Scrolling down and right on the page, students could also click on the links to take quizzes that would help them find out if they are “sluts,” or “losers.”
Questions on the “Are you a slut?” test include:
How many sexual partners have you had?
Would you have a threesome or a gang bang?
Are you often called a slut?
Have you ever let a boy hump you or grind on you in your younger years?
Have you ever messed around with brothers, cousins, or some other people related somehow?
What type of sex do you enjoy/prefer?
Students who wish to find out if they are a “loser” must answer these questions:
Are you a virgin?
Do you pay to talk to hot girls, and or pay for any female interaction?
How many times per day do you jerk your dick to porn/female pictures?
When did you last have sex?
How much is in your savings and checking?
What’s the average size of your dick?
How much time do you spend on femdom sites per day?
Do you cross dress?
As Burris writes, the Engage NY website, created and maintained by NYSED, was supposed to be a step in a positive direction for Common Core in New York. Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch had earlier boasted that New York is the only state using its award of over $28 million in Race to the Top funds to develop curricula aligned with the new standards:
When parents and teachers complained about the content of the curriculum modules, state education Commissioner John King dismissed their concerns, saying that he has “tremendous confidence in the materials.” He often describes the interest in New York’s reforms by the number of “hits” on Engage NY pages.
Based on the “Make test prep fun” fiasco, Burris quips, “sometimes ‘hits’ on the pages prove to be embarrassing.”