Friday, November 27, 2020

NYS OASAS Announces Approximately $24 Million in Funding to Expand Addiction Treatment Facilities in Southern Tier and Finger Lakes Regions


Broome County Developmental Center in Binghamton Receiving $13 million to Add 50 New Beds
Helio Health Facility in Rochester Receiving $11 Million to Relocate Facility and Add Additional Beds

 The New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) today announced approximately $24 million in capital funding for expansions of addiction treatment facilities in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes Regions. The Binghamton Evaluation Center is receiving more than $13 million to add 50 new stabilization and rehabilitation beds, and the Rochester Evaluation Center for Medically Supervised Withdrawal and Stabilization Services is receiving nearly $11 million to relocate to a new building and add 13 beds. Both programs are operated by Helio Health.

“During these difficult times, it’s important to help ensure individuals and families get the resources they need to be healthy and well,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Co-Chair of the NYS Heroin and Opioid Task Force. “This funding will expand Helio Health’s Binghamton and Rochester Evaluation Centers to address various needs for those struggling with drug abuse including counseling, peer support, and coping strategies. Facilities like these are providing the care and services needed to help save lives and continue to combat the opioid epidemic across the state."

“The expansion of these facilities will offer additional options for treatment that will help individuals find a new outlook on a life through recovery,” OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said. “This new development demonstrates New York State’s commitment to ensure we continue expanding our services for people affected by addiction, and helping them access this lifesaving help.”

Binghamton Evaluation Center

The Phase II expansion of Helio Health’s Binghamton Evaluation Center will add 50 new stabilization and rehabilitation beds. This is in addition to the existing 50 medically supervised withdrawal and inpatient rehabilitation beds and will allow the facility to offer comprehensive addiction care to individuals in the Southern Tier region. Contract funding for this project began in July 2020.

These fifty residential beds will increase the options and community capacity for patients who need residential services to manage mild withdrawal and provide medical and psychiatric care.

Individuals receiving treatment in the Binghamton Evaluation Center will have access to a seamless continuum of care in one facility, including Medication Assisted Treatment, Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help the individual reach his or her goals.

There will also be an onsite fitness room, recreation room as well as nutritionist planned meals and snacks designed specifically for individuals receiving services in this facility.

The Binghamton Evaluation Center is located at the former Broome County Developmental Center at 249 Glenwood Road, Binghamton, NY 13905.

Rochester Evaluation Center for Medically Supervised Withdrawal and Stabilization Services

Helio Health is also receiving $11 million in capital funding to relocate and expand its Rochester Evaluation Center for Medically Supervised Withdrawal and Stabilization Services. The current 40-bed location at 1350 University Avenue in Rochester will move to a new location at 1850 Brighton Henrietta Townline Road. When completed, this newly renovated facility, will accommodate up to 53 residential treatment beds and provide adults with comprehensive addiction services.

The newly renovated building will increase access to residential addiction treatment services for men and women, ages 18 and over, in the greater Rochester region by providing 24-hour care from medical and clinical staff for patients with mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms within a structured setting. This new 53-bed facility will ensure that each individual receives the necessary services and supports needed to begin the recovery process and successfully transition back into their communities. Residential treatment services also include case management services, group counseling, skill-building, training in life skills and parenting, and recreational activities.

The new building has additional space for programming and effective supervision, including renovations of resident bedrooms, resident and staff bathrooms, a full kitchen, dining area and program space.

Contract funding for this project began in January 2020.

Senator Fred Akshar said, "New York must continue to tackle the heroin and opioid epidemic through responsible investments in prevention, education, treatment, rehabilitation and enforcement. I'm proud to see OASAS and Helio Health continue their commitment to our community as we move forward with the next phase of this project."

Senator Joe Robach said, "I am proud that New York State has many avenues to assist those who want to break the terrible ties of addiction. Additional services such as those provided by Helio Health strengthen the entire community."

Assemblyman Clifford Crouch said, "Addiction, like many illnesses, takes a lot of work to fight. And also like a great many other terrible illnesses, it can be a lifelong fight. To see such an influx of capital to the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes Regions' addiction treatment facilities from the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) is incredible. To make strong, sustainable, comfortable facilities that those struggling with addiction can go to in order to recover, especially in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, is wonderful to see, and I am thrilled that the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes Regions will be recipient to such a generous and surely important funding program."

New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the state's toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (Short Code 467369).

Available addiction treatment including crisis/detox, inpatient, community residence, or outpatient care can be found using the NYS OASAS Treatment Availability Dashboard at or through the NYS OASAS website.

If you, or a loved one, have experienced insurance obstacles related to treatment or need help filing an appeal for a denied claim, contact the CHAMP helpline by phone at 888-614-5400 or email at


OASIS is the state agency that approves any substance treatment centers. As for 2500 Williamsbridge Road it is OASIS and only OASIS that can approve a substance abuse program there.

2500 Williamsbridge Road was purchased on or around 10/20/2019  by WBRD LLC with an address of 27 Lotus Avenue East Hampton. N.Y. 

The site in fall of 2019 was attempted to be bought by Carnie Hill Institute in a letter from Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez to CHI Bronx LLC. 

In her letter dated March 6, 2020 Assemblywoman Fernandez states that the property was purchased under the the new name of CHI Bronx LLC, asking for the intended use of the property, and if OASIS will be involved.

State Senator Alessandra Biaggi has showed support for more substance abuse sites in the Bronx, and was not a part of the Fernandez letter.

There has been interior work going on at 2500 Williamsbridge Road with no explanation of the intended use of the building.

With the above allocation of twenty-four million dollars in capital funding the question should be - is the state providing any monies for the interior work at 2500 Williamsbridge Road, which will answer some questions about the site. 

We are very worried since two state senator are listed as supporting the upstate expansion and new buildings OASIS mentions, along with the fact that local State Senator Biaggi supports expansion of substance abuse treatment centers in the Bronx that 2500 Williamsbridge Road wil become the next new substance abuse treatment center siting across the street from not only a church but and elementary free standing public school.



Science-Based Plan with Angler Input will Improve Management of Wild and Stocked Trout

Draft Regulations Proposed to Implement Key Plan Provisions Including Year-Round Catch-and-Release Season and Revising Regulations to Make Them Easier to Understand 

 New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today released the State’s final Trout Stream Management Plan that will improve the management of trout streams across the state. The final plan is the product of extensive public engagement and sound science that embraces simplicity, encourages angler participation, and recognizes the value of managing trout streams for self-sustaining populations of wild trout. In addition, to support implementation of the Trout Stream Management Plan, today DEC issued proposed regulations that are available for public comment until Jan. 25, 2021. 

“DEC has reimagined the management of one of New York’s most prized and renowned natural resources to ensure our trout streams continue to be healthy and provide excellent fishing opportunities for years to come,” Commissioner Seggos said. “For the best possible management plan, DEC sought out the input of anglers, biologists, and other fisheries experts. The result is a balanced approach to manage these varied resources in accordance with their biological and recreational potential to meet the desired outcomes of a broad and diverse trout stream angling public. DEC looks forward to implementing the new Trout Stream Management Plan to enhance wild and stocked trout management and the habitats that support them to benefit current and future anglers.” 

Significant aspects of the plan are the result of more than 20 public meetings held with anglers in 2017 to identify desired outcomes for the state's numerous and diverse trout streams. The plan covers a broad spectrum of management areas and angler interests associated with trout stream management in New York. To view the plan and the categorization of managed trout stream reaches visit: 

The management plan draws a distinct line between stocked and wild trout management and prioritizes habitat management as the primary tool to improve and restore wild populations of trout. It also creates the foundation to learn and build upon for continuous improvement of the State’s trout stream fisheries resources, solidifying DEC’s commitment to protecting and promoting the health of wild trout fisheries. 

The plan also takes into consideration the hundreds of thousands of New York anglers who enjoy the State’s ongoing stocking efforts and balances protecting natural populations while supporting a robust hatchery network and partnerships that expand recreational opportunities and meet anglers’ diverse needs. The plan extends the duration of stocking on select stream reaches, increases the size of stocked fish, and ensures that each stocking contains some fish that are 12 inches or larger. It also seeks to improve the vigor of hatchery brown trout for increased survival. 

Anglers would also be provided with the ability to fish year-round through the creation of a statewide catch-and-release season. DEC has preliminarily concluded that fishing during the spawning season will not result in negative fishery impacts, and DEC will evaluate the potential impact of the catch-and-release season with a study on select streams.
Joe Fisher, Chairman of the New York State Conservation Council (NYSCCC), said, “The NYSCC and the NYSCC fish committee applaud DEC’s Trout Stream Management Plan and the regulations proposal. It is an excellent plan and will make New York State one of the leaders in trout management in North America for years to come!”

Chris Wood, President and CEO of Trout Unlimited, said, “Trout Unlimited welcomes and commends the DEC’s Trout Management Plan as a new approach to trout management.  Trout Unlimited is committed to achieving healthy, self-sustaining trout populations, and we fully support the guiding principles of the Plan to strive for naturally reproducing populations of wild and native trout while providing diverse fishing opportunities. The elimination of stocking over wild populations of trout in many streams and the focus on habitat restoration as a result of the Plan is a significant step for coldwater conservation.  Trout Unlimited shares the DEC’s interest in basing management decisions on sound science, and we look forward to working together to restore New York trout streams and to assist in the assessment of trout populations to ensure that management changes are having a positive effect on wild trout recovery.” 

DEC seeks continued angler engagement to support efforts moving forward, including developing a new angler-friendly interactive map for information on stream reach management and fishing access locations. DEC will also expand public outreach about the significance of wild trout populations and the water they inhabit.

New York City Kicks Off ‘16 Days of Activism’ Against Gender-Based Violence


New York City, Hollaback! and L’Oréal Paris Aim to Train 20,000 New Yorkers On Combatting Street Harassment

 The Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV) and the Commission on Gender Equity (CGE) begins New York City’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, an annual global campaign to raise awareness about the far reaching consequences of gender-based violence and to urge government, community, corporate, and philanthropic sectors to develop strategies that eliminate gender-based violence. Since 2014, New York City has brought this critical international campaign to the local level as part of its work to address gender-based violence.

From November 25, International Day to End Violence against Women, to December 10, International Human Rights Day, New Yorkers are encouraged to host or attend an-hour long bystander intervention training conducted by advocacy organization Hollaback! as part of a partnership with CGE, ENDGBV, and L’Oréal Paris to train 20,000 New Yorkers this year on how they can combat street harassment. New Yorker’s are also encouraged host their own event to help spread awareness of gender-based violence, and to #WearOrange, take photos of themselves and post to social media. Buildings throughout the city will commemorate the fight against gender-based violence by lighting up in orange on December 10th.

“Too many women, transgender, and gender non-binary New Yorkers continue to feel unsafe in our City and we will not accept it,” said NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray. “I encourage New Yorkers to join this campaign so that we all – regardless of gender identity, gender expression, or background – enjoy the right to move freely, work, and play in public spaces with dignity and security.”

“Joining this global campaign demonstrates this Administration’s continued commitment to addressing gender-based violence,” said Melanie Hartzog, NYC Deputy Mayor for Health & Human Services. “We encourage New Yorkers to spread awareness and take action by participating in the 16 days – and more - activism campaign to eliminate gender-based violence.”

This year’s campaign theme is Take Action Against Gender-Based Violence and invites New Yorkers to host or attend an-hour long bystander intervention training hosted by CGE, Hollaback! and L’Oréal Paris to help make New York City’s public spaces safe for all New Yorkers regardless of gender identity, gender expression, or background. The City aims to train 1000 persons per day during the 16-day period and to give participants tools to intervene safely when they witness street harassment.

“Survivors need us now more than ever in these extraordinary times, and our campaign offers many ways we can show them our support,” said Cecile Noel, Commissioner, NYC Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence. “COVID-19 puts into sharp focus the vulnerabilities that many people in our city face every day, especially gender-based violence survivors; and it highlights the barriers and challenges that we know keep people from seeking help and finding safety. The City is here for survivors during this crisis and beyond, and is standing up to gender-based violence daily with crucial partners like Hollaback!, L’Oréal Paris and the advocacy community.”

“All New Yorkers, regardless of gender identity, gender expression, or background, have the right to be free from violence in their homes, workplaces, schools, and communities, and as New Yorkers we are all responsible for doing our part,” said Jacqueline Ebanks, Executive Director, NYC Commission on Gender Equity. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen how New Yorkers continue to show up for each other and we hope you will join us during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign in building safer and more equitable communities.”

“Gender-based violence has no regard for age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status or immigration status,” said Penny Abeywardena, Commissioner, NYC Mayor’s Office for International Affairs. “Since New York City hosts the largest diplomatic community in the world, my office has worked with the Commission on Gender Equity and The Mayor's Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence over the years to share best practices with the international community. COVID-19 has added an even greater urgency to these efforts. As a city, we will never be whole if our people remain vulnerable in this way. So, during these 16 Days of Activism, let us do all we can to educate ourselves, support survivors and end this violence once and for all.”

“16 Days of Activism reminds us that we must recommit ourselves to undoing the harms that misogyny and sexism continue to cause in our society,” said Carmelyn P. Malalis, Chair & Commissioner, NYC Commission on Human Rights. “Gender-based harassment and violence continue to permeate our workplaces and our personal relationships. While New York City has some of the most robust protections against sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and discrimination against victims of domestic violence, we must build on those protections to change culture and change norms. Bystander intervention training is an effective tool to do just that. We are excited to partner with the Commission for Gender Equity and the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence to continue to center this critical work.”

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Governor Cuomo Updates New Yorkers on State's Progress During COVID-19 Pandemic - NOVEMBER 25, 2020


Positive Testing Rate in All Focus Zone Areas is 5.28 Percent; New York State Positivity Outside All Focus Zone Areas is 3.04 Percent

Statewide Positivity Rate is 3.62 Percent

41 COVID-19 Deaths in New York State Yesterday

 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today updated New Yorkers on the state's progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Everybody has an opinion on COVID. We have facts, and that's the way we make decisions. We've seen this movie before. We said the COVID rate would increase over the fall because that's what was diagnosed. All the experts said you get into the fall, what you're going to see is the weather gets colder, college students come home, fewer outdoor gatherings, and COVID will go up. They diagnosed that, and that is exactly what we're seeing," Governor Cuomo said. "We have tremendous increases statewide that have been going up through the fall. We now have an added problem where we're going through Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving will be an added accelerant because people travel and there's more social activity. The more social activity, the more the infection rate goes up. We are going to see an increase post-Thanksgiving. That is going to take a bad situation and make it worse. How much the numbers go up depends on how people perform. The global experts have all basically been recommending the same thing, which is start to develop a winter plan. And that's what we're going to be doing, and as we do that, it's more important than ever that New Yorkers continue to show their toughness and keep practicing all the behaviors we know will help stop the spread."

The Governor noted that the positive testing rate in all focus areas under the state's Micro-Cluster strategy is 5.28 percent, and outside the focus zone areas is 3.04 percent. Within the focus areas, 44,453 test results were reported yesterday, yielding 2,345 positives. In the remainder of the state, not counting these focus areas, 128,632 test results were reported, yielding 3,920 positives. 

Today's data is summarized briefly below:

  • Patient Hospitalization - 2,982 (+126)
  • Patients Newly Admitted - 461
  • Hospital Counties - 52
  • Number ICU - 596 (+37)
  • Number ICU with Intubation - 277 (+14)
  • Total Discharges - 84,001 (+300)
  • Deaths - 41
  • Total Deaths - 26,482



$37 million will be available to businesses in low-to-moderate income neighborhoods, building on the work of the Racial Inclusion and Equity Task Force

 Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Jonnel Doris announced three financial assistance programs available for small businesses in low-to-moderate income (LMI) neighborhoods. The NYC LMI Storefront Loan, Interest Rate Reduction Grant, and Strategic Impact COVID-19 Commercial District Support Grant will provide critical resources to small businesses to help them build back and grow beyond the pandemic.

“Our fight against COVID-19 has been costly for the small businesses that anchor New York City’s neighborhoods. We’re proud to offer real relief to help these business owners keep their teams together and continue serving their communities for years to come,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“This crisis has brought devasting consequences to our local economy and impacted our most vulnerable communities. To achieve economic democracy, we must respond quickly with resources and capacity," said J. Phillip Thompson, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives and Co-Chair of the Racial Inclusion and Equity Task Force. "These robust financial programs will aid small businesses to help them build back stronger than before."
“Now more than ever, Black, Latinx, and Asian businesses are struggling with access to capital. The launch of these programs is a targeted approach to provide relief efforts in communities that need it most,” said Jonnel Doris, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services and Co-Chair of the Racial Inclusion and Equity Task Force. “The City is committed to making sure all small businesses have the resources they need to get them back on their feet during these extraordinary times.”
“Advancing a strong recovery means providing the communities hardest hit by COVID-19 with the resources they need to rebuild,” said James Patchett, president, and CEO of New York City Economic Development Corporation. “Our minority-owned businesses were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and their resurgence is key to the City’s long-term success. These funds will provide a critical lifeline that will help these businesses recover and continue to enrich and strengthen their communities for years to come.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted minority communities. Over 60,000 businesses in these communities, including restaurants, retail stores, salons, daycares, and more, have been historically blocked from accessing capital – and face a higher risk of closing. The Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity has worked with SBS to address these issues in neighborhoods with a high percentage of other health and socioeconomic disparities.
NYC LMI Storefront Loan
The Department of Small Business Services has partnered with the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Pursuit BDC on this $35 million loan vehicle.
Storefront businesses with at least two but fewer than 100 employees who are located in LMI neighborhoods will be eligible to apply for a zero-interest loan up to $100K. The loan can be used to help businesses restart or continue operations after experiencing challenges from COVID-19.
Businesses who would like to apply for the loan must:
  • Be a storefront business located within an LMI zip code
  • Have business operations since or before January 1st, 2018
  • Employ between two and 99 employees
Businesses can learn more about the NYC LMI Storefront Loan and eligibility criteria at Applications open for this loan on November 30th.
Reducing Business Debt
The Interest Rate Reduction Grant will help reduce the interest expense owed on an existing loan with select Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI). CDFIs focus on serving businesses that cannot easily access capital and creating opportunities that positively impact the communities they serve. SBS has partnered with 11 CDFIs who work primarily with Asian, Black, Latinx, and immigrant business owners.
The grant will free up cash flow for businesses that can be repurposed to help restart or maintain operations. Businesses must have an existing loan with CDFIs listed below and should contact their CDFI to confirm if they are eligible to apply.
  • Accompany Capital (Previously Business Center for New Americans)
  • Ascendus (Previously Accion East)
  • BOC Capital
  • Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC)
  • Harlem Entrepreneurial Fund
  • Renaissance Economic Development Corporation
  • The Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC)
  • TruFund Financial Services
  • Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation (UMEZ)
  • Washington Heights and Inwood Development Corporation (WHIDC)
  • The Working World DBA Seed Commons
The list of CDFIs above can also be found at
Strategic Impact COVID-19 Commercial District Support Grant
The Strategic Impact COVID-19 Commercial District Support grant will provide funding to community-based development organizations (CBDOs) to implement local COVID-19 recovery support to small businesses. The funds will be used to conduct outreach, provide technical assistance to connect small businesses, increase awareness and comprehension of new City and State rules and regulations, and strengthen merchant relationships to foster collaboration and increased local organizing. 
$700,000 will be available over the next 6 months to local communities. Eligible applicants must serve one or more of the following 39 LMI neighborhoods and communities of color:
  • Bronx: Crotona, East Tremont, Highbridge, Hunts Point, Jerome Park, Longwood, Melrose, Morris Heights, Morrisania, Mott Haven, Soundview, Soundview Bruckner, Van Cortlandt Park
  • Brooklyn: Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brighton Beach, Brownsville, Bushwick, Canarsie, East Flatbush, East New York, Starrett City, Sunset Park, and Coney Island
  • Manhattan: Central Harlem, Chinatown, East Harlem, Hamilton Heights, Inwood, Lower East Side, Morningside Heights, Washington Heights
  • Queens: Briarwood, Corona, Jamaica, Queensbridge, Rockaways
  • Staten Island: St. George, Stapleton
Eligible applicants include nonprofit community-based development organizations that serve a single-neighborhood, CBDOs that serve multiple neighborhoods or a borough, and organizations that can provide organizing and technical assistance to neighborhood-serving organizations across the city. Organizations interested in applying should visit
“As small businesses continue to navigate through these challenging times, it’s important that they know about the resources they can tap into. With no federal relief in sight, these initiatives provide some support that will hopefully help LMI communities,” said Linda Baran, President & CEO of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce. “It’s imperative that we call on our federal representatives to act and move on a package that supports all businesses, especially the sectors who have been impacted the most. We need to give these small businesses a fighting chance.“
"Small businesses, especially those in lower-income communities, are facing an unprecedented challenge to their very survival," said Randy Peers, President & CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.  "Now more than ever we need to provide these businesses with increased support so they can remain open and viable well into the future.   The programs announced today offer new supports that can serve as a critical bridge to what will hopefully be a robust federal small business aid package."
“Programs that bring access to financial and technical assistance to the businesses hardest hit by this pandemic is much needed good news right before the holidays,” said Lisa Sorin, President, Bronx Chamber of Commerce. “We thank the Mayor and City agencies that are working toward helping our low income, minority owned, mom & pop stores stay open for business. The Bronx Chamber of Commerce stands ready to get this information into the hands of our businesses to make sure they access this help to sustain and/or reopen their businesses.”
"With the unfortunate designation as the epicenter of the epicenter of COVID-19 with the most cases and most deaths in New York City, Queens County and our communities has been hard hit, especially in underserved communities of color including Asian, Black and Latino neighborhoods, says Thomas J. Grech, President & CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce. We applaud Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Jonnel Doris for rolling out this critical trio of zero interest loans, business debt reduction and outright grants to support those in Briarwood, Corona, Jamaica, Queensbridge,  and the Rockaways. The Queens Chamber looks forward to assisting qualified applicants access these timely programs."
“We’re grateful to the City for acknowledging the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on low income communities and communities of color,” said Anthony Ramirez II of The Bronx Beer Hall and Small Business Sector Advisory Council. “We believe the introduction of these small business supports will provide business owners some relief during the ongoing pandemic. We look forward to continuing our work with the Advisory Council as the City develops new ways to provide and improve access to capital for businesses in our communities.”
“As Inclusion the movement continues to make moves that make a difference we are working tirelessly in all five boroughs sanitizing and disinfecting NYC fleet vehicles. Employing formally incarcerated men and women throughout the five boroughs is near and dear to us.” Edward Funches & Kimberly Walcott, Inclusion and Small Business Sector Advisory Council Member. “Programs such as this one will continue to assist us in fighting the good fight”.
“Our Chamber’s data-tracking shows that 30 percent of New York City’s small businesses have closed since January. It also clearly shows that businesses in Upper Manhattan were less likely to receive federal Paycheck Protection Program funds than businesses elsewhere in the borough,” said Jessica Walker, President and CEO of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. “The Mayor’s new initiatives, coupled with another round of federal stimulus dollars, are desperately needed to help more small businesses make it to the other side of this crisis.”

Governor Cuomo Announces State Police Crackdown on Impaired and Reckless Driving Over Thanksgiving Weekend


State Police Issued Nearly 14,000 Tickets and Arrested 212 for DWI Statewide During Last Year's Enforcement

 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the New York State Police and local law enforcement agencies will participate in a special traffic enforcement initiative to crack down on unsafe driving behaviors during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. The special traffic enforcement period starts Wednesday, November 25 and runs through Sunday, November 29.

"While we expect lower traffic volumes this year due to New Yorkers taking COVID-19 precautions and limiting large gatherings, we must still ensure that those who do travel, get to their destination safely," Governor Cuomo said. "State Troopers and local law enforcement will be out in force working to prevent needless crashes caused by those who get behind the wheel while impaired. I urge drivers to follow the law and make safety your top priority while out on the roads"

The State Police will supplement regular patrols statewide with fixed sobriety checkpoints, underage drinking enforcement, and the "Operation Hang Up" initiative, which targets distracted drivers by utilizing Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement (CITE) patrol vehicles to better locate drivers talking or texting on handheld devices. These unmarked vehicles blend in with everyday traffic, but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once emergency lighting is activated.  

Elevated traffic volumes typically occur during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. It is also a time when alcohol consumption increases. During the 2019 Thanksgiving holiday period, troopers arrested 212 drivers for DWI, issued 5,168 speeding tickets and 634 tickets for distracted driving. To discourage impaired driving, the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee and its partners will be participating in a nationwide social media blitz using the hashtag #BoycottBlackoutWednesday.

Superintendent Keith M. Corlett said, "Throughout the Thanksgiving weekend, Troopers will be highly visible and on the lookout for impaired and reckless drivers. Make safety your top priority - follow posted speed limits, make sure everyone is buckled up, put down your smart phones, and don't get behind the wheel if you are impaired. Planning ahead for a safe ride home is always the best choice. 

GTSC Chair and DMV Commissioner Mark J. F. Schroeder said, "It is up to all of us to prevent impaired driving tragedies this holiday season, so I urge everyone to do your part to make sure our roads are safe. Be responsible, have a plan, and don't let loved ones drive drunk or drugged, and together we can protect everyone on the roads. It's that simple."  

The Thanksgiving impaired driving enforcement initiative is funded by theGovernor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC). The GTSC and the New York State STOP-DWI Foundation remind motorists that their "Have a Plan" mobile app, is available for Apple, Android and Windows smartphones. The app enables New Yorkers to locate and call a taxi or rideshare service and program a designated driver list. It also provides information on DWI laws and penalties, and provides a way to report a suspected impaired driver.

If you drive drunk or drugged, you not only put your life and the lives of others at risk, you could face arrest, jail time, and substantial fines and attorney fees. The average drinking and driving arrest costs up to $10,000.

Arrested drunk and drugged drivers face the loss of their driver's license, higher insurance rates, and dozens of unanticipated expenses from attorney fees, fines and court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost time at work.

The New York State Police, GTSC and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommend these simple tips to prevent impaired driving:

  • Plan a safe way home before the fun begins
  • Before drinking, designate a sober driver
  • If you're impaired, use a taxi or ride sharing service, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation
  • Use your community's sober ride program
  • If you suspect a driver is drunk or impaired on the road, don't hesitate to contact local law enforcement
  • If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely



Over 150 million pieces of PPE on reserve for healthcare facilities and frontline workers citywide

 Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that the City stockpile has now amassed over 150 million pieces of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This comes after the City announced its plan to create and maintain a 90-day stockpile of  PPE earlier this year. 

"A second wave is at our doorstep, and we're taking zero chances on preparedness," said Mayor Bill de Blasio." "New York City has stepped up so our frontline heroes and healthcare workers will have what they need to save lives.” 


After a month's long effort, the City now has the following amounts of PPE on hand. 

45,729,651 Isolation Gowns

58,058,000 Surgical Masks

9,356,480 N95 Masks

5,855,068 Face Shields

30,413,300 Nitrate Gloves

948,050 Goggles

The City's stockpile is an added level of security for healthcare facilities across the city.  Hospitals cannot source from it in lieu of stockpiling their own material to reach the 90-day target, as is required by the State.