Thursday, October 29, 2020
Grants will Help Hudson River Watershed Communities Remove Dams and Restore Habitat for American Eel and River Herring
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that more than $855,000 has been awarded to help communities in the Hudson River Estuary watershed improve water quality, increase flood resiliency, and conserve natural resources. The grants will support projects that will help remove dams and mitigate culverts to restore aquatic habitat connectivity for the American eel and/or river herring that are found in tributary streams of the estuary. The grants are also intended to help communities with existing and projected impacts of localized flooding along tributaries of the river by removing constrictions.
“New York is committed to restoring the state’s waterways, bolstering resiliency, protecting habitat, and creating stronger communities,” Commissioner Seggos said. “Through the state’s Environmental Protection Fund, communities in the Hudson River Estuary will be able to support dam removals and other critical projects that promote sustainability and improve the health of the region’s fish, wildlife, and other natural resources.”
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Just as one Gaffe may have cost soon to be former Congressman Eliot Engel in his congressional race, the same may be happening in the 80th Assembly District race in the General Election. The current Assemblywoman may have her own Gaffe when she announced her intention to run for Bronx Borough President while in the midst of a real race for her assembly seat in the ongoing general election.
Mr. Gene De Francis, a well known community leader, head of the Allerton International Merchants Association, and officer of the 49th Precinct Community Council who is running for the 80th assembly seat is calling out the current assembly member from the 80th A.D. who he says is ignoring the fact that she is running for the assembly while she campaigns for the office of Bronx Borough President.
Candidate Gene De Francis says he wants to represent the district that will be left without a representative while his opponent campaigns for Bronx Borough President. He says there are problems with the public schools, public transportation, NYCHA houses, businesses that are closing, and many other quality of life issues his opponent chooses to ignore to seek another office.
He opposes any cuts to the police department which his opponent endorses, and his opponent has openly showed by leading a rally through the streets of the 80th Assembly District that seemed to be a good idea for someone who wants to run for Bronx Borough President.
Political experts now have this race at a dead heat that could go either way. One thing that helps candidate Gene De Francis is that the 80th Assembly District is much less socialist leaning than other parts of the Bronx or New York City. He should be able to garner votes with his running mate John Cummings who is running an anti socialist campaign for the 14th Congressional District against the current socialist incumbent.
There are now facts coming out about the loss of the current Assemblywoman's former Male District Leader that the current assemblywoman has admitted she could have done a better job of helping him in his campaign. That now former district leader has been the Chief of Staff to what will be one of her leading opponents in the Bronx Borough President's race. Gene De Francis says he can do a better job in serving the people of the 80th Assembly District than his opponent the current incumbent, who he says also could have done a better job for the people of the 80th Assembly District.
Candidate Gene De Francis and incumbent Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez as they stand with the crowd of community leaders at the grand opening of the NIDC new office 10-28-2020.
Recent ECO Actions
Two-thousand-and-twenty marks 50 years for DEC and 140 Years for New York’s Conservation Police Officers. In 1880, the first eight Game Protectors proudly began serving to protect the natural resources and people of New York State.
"From Montauk Point and Brooklyn to Buffalo, the ECOs patrolling our state are the first line of defense in protecting New York's environment and our natural resources, ensuring that they exist for future generations of New Yorkers," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "Our ECOs have worked arduous hours, both deep in our remote wildernesses and in the tight confines of our urban landscapes, for far longer than the 50 years since DEC was created. These officers are critical to achieving DEC's mission to protect and enhance our environment and I am confident they will continue this important mission for the next 50 years and beyond."
If you witness an environmental crime or believe a violation of environmental law occurred, please call the DEC Division of Law Enforcement hotline at 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-
Moose on the Loose – Clinton County
On Oct. 9, Region 5 Wildlife staff requested help from ECOs with the removal of a young bull moose trapped in a 200-acre cow pen in the town of Clinton, Clinton County. Lieutenant Maloney and ECO Brassard, Division of Law Enforcement (DLE) drone pilots, located the moose in the pasture using an aerial drone equipped with thermal imaging cameras. Once located, DEC’s tranquilization team, led by Big Game Biologist Jim Stickles, chemically immobilized the moose. Lieutenant Phelps, along with ECOs LaCroix, Buffa, Fadden, and members of the property owner’s family assisted the wildlife crew with removing the moose from the pasture and safely relocating it a short distance away. They fitted the moose with a radio location collar before the animal walked away, appearing to be healthy. Visit DEC’s Facebook post for video and more details.
In the early morning hours of Oct. 18, DEC’s Division of Law Enforcement dispatch received a complaint about four men in Eighteen Mile Creek spearing and netting salmon. The complainant reported that two of the men scared the salmon while the other two men speared the fish. The caller shared a description of the poachers and waited for responding units. The responding ECO contacted the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office for assistance on scene. When the Officers arrived, they spotted one of the men bringing salmon and a spear to a vehicle. The responding Officers detained the subject until the ECO arrived. The suspects face charges of fishing without a valid license, taking fish by means other than angling, illegal possession of spear on closed waters, fishing a half-hour after sunset until a half-hour before sunrise, and disturbing of waters with intent to drive fish.
On Oct. 23, Lieutenant Fay organized a joint firewood / invasive species checkpoint at the entrance to Robert H. Treman State Park in the town of Ithaca with a team of Zone 4 ECOs and Foresters from the DEC Division of Lands and Forests. Team members checked incoming campers for firewood transported more than 50 miles, which is a violation of state law. During the detail, the ECOs and DEC staff confiscated two bundles of firewood. The responsible parties were unaware of the regulations but after being educated about the transport of invasive pests in untreated firewood, freely turned in the unlawful firewood for proper destruction.
October is National Firewood Awareness Month and the DEC Division of Law Enforcement is assisting agency partners with outreach, education, and enforcement of firewood transportation regulations. Many people bring firewood as they head out to camp, hunt, or enjoy the great outdoors, but most don't realize their wood may be hiding the eggs, larvae, spores, adults, or even seeds of invasive threats. Transporting infested firewood allows invasive species to spread further and faster than these pests could on their own. For more information, visit https://www.dec.ny.gov/
On Oct. 25, ECO Kostuk responded to a call from Cortland County 911 for two lost hikers in Cuyler Hill State Forest in the town of Truxton. When Officer Kostuk arrived on the scene, he spoke to the son of the lost hikers, who stated he became separated from his parents when they chose to avoid hiking a more difficult section of the trail. The son provided ECO Kostuk with his parents’ last known location and the Officer went to work. Coordinating with Cortland County Dispatch, the ECO eventually located the couple at a lodge just off the main Finger Lakes Trail. Both hikers were in good health, albeit shaken up. ECO Kostuk escorted the pair out of the woods and back to their vehicle, where they were reunited with their son.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the City has reached an agreement with District Council 37 that will result in $164 million in savings in fiscal year 2021. This agreement follows an agreement with the United Federation of Teachers that will save approximately $450 million in fiscal year 2021 and an agreement with the Uniformed Fire Officers Association that will save approximately $19 million in fiscal year 2021. The Adopted Budget announced in June included $1 billion in labor savings for FY21. The City still needs a minimum of $5 billion in federal or state relief in order to avoid drastic action such as layoffs for FY22.
“Our public servants have gone above and beyond in this crisis and are continuing to make sacrifices to help us recover,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I thank Henry Garrido and our partners in labor for coming to the table to help avoid devastating layoffs, but we need our state and federal partners to also step up and provide our city with aid to ensure we can come back stronger than ever.”
The agreement includes:
Change of payments to union funds: From October 2020 through April 2021, there will be no payments made for employees and retirees to certain DC 37 union funds. Payments will instead be made in two payments in fiscal year 2022.
Commitment on layoffs: No layoffs of DC 37 members through June 30, 2021. If the City receives State and Federal assistance of $5 billion or more, the no-layoff pledge is extended to June 30, 2022.