Wednesday, August 15, 2018

ELECTED OFFICIALS ANNOUNCE THE ANNUAL MORRISON AVENUE FESTIVAL


For Immediate Release 
August 15, 2018
Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz

ELECTED OFFICIALS ANNOUNCE THE ANNUAL MORRISON AVENUE FESTIVAL

 

New York City Councilman Rubén Díaz, together with Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, Senator Luis Sepulveda, City Council Member Rafael Salamanca invite the community to the seventeenth (17th) Anniversary of the Morrison Festival in Bronx County.

This Saturday, August 18th, more than five thousand (5,000) people are expected during the annual Morrison Avenue Festival, beginning at 12 noon to 6 pm, between Westchester and Watson Avenue in Bronx County.

For the past 17 years, the Morrison Avenue Festival has been a day of fun, free games, free rides for children/families, and entertainment. This year’s main entertainment will be Puerto Rico’s own “NG2 & Orchestra”, among others.

At 3pm, honored guests, dignitaries, and elected officials will address the public.

I look forward to another successful Morrison Avenue Festival, and to seeing our Bronx families and children enjoy this very special event.
Transportation: Train #6, Buses #4 & 27 to Morrison Avenue Station.

 
For more information, please contact Leila Martinez at 718-792-1140.


NYC EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AND THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT ADVISE NEW YORKERS TO BEAT THE HEAT


Heat Advisory in effect for New York City Wednesday, August 15 and Thursday, August 16

Cooling centers will be open across the city Wednesday and Thursday. To find the nearest location call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov/beattheheat beginning at 12 p.m.Wednesday
  The New York City Emergency Management Department and the Health Department today advised New Yorkers to take precautions to beat the heat. The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory in effect for New York City from 12 p.m. Wednesday through 6 p.m. Thursday. High heat and humidity are in the forecast, with heat index values in the mid to upper 90s. A heat advisory is issued when the combination of heat and humidity is expected to make it feel like it is 95 to 99 degrees for two or more consecutive days, or 100 to 104 degrees for any length of time. 

To help New Yorkers beat the heat, NYC Emergency Management will open cooling centers on Wednesday, August 15, and Thursday, August 16Cooling centers are air-conditioned facilities such as libraries, community centers, senior centers, and NYCHA facilities that are open to the public during heat emergencies. To find a cooling center, including accessible facilities closest to you, call 311 (212-639-9675 for Video Relay Service, or TTY: 212-504-4115) or visit the NYC Cooling Center Finder atwww.nyc.gov/beattheheat beginning at 12 p.m. Wednesday.

“We are expecting high heat and humidity during the next few days, and we want to remind people to stay cool and hydrated,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito. “Drink plenty of water, use air-conditioning or visit a cooling center, and check in on your friends, family, and pets.”

The New York City Emergency Management Department reminds New Yorkers to take steps to protect themselves and help others who may be at increased risk from the heat. Those at increased risk are people who do not have or use air conditioning AND:

·         Are 65 years or older;
·  Have chronic medical, mental health, or cognitive/developmental conditions;
·         Take certain medications, which can disrupt the regulation of body temperature;
·         Are confined to their beds, have limited mobility, or are unable to leave their homes;
·         Are obese; or
·         Misuse alcohol or drugs.

HEALTH AND SAFETY TIPS FOR PROTECTION AGAINST THE HEAT:

·         Stay out of the sun and avoid extreme temperature changes.
·         Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.
·         Drink fluids, particularly water, even if you do not feel thirsty. Your body needs water to keep cool. Those on fluid-restricted diets or taking diuretics should first consult their physician.
·         Water is the safest liquid to drink during heat emergencies. Avoid beverages containing alcohol and/or caffeine.
·         Eat small, frequent meals.
·         Avoid strenuous activity, especially during the sun’s peak hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.
·         If possible, go to an air-conditioned location for several hours during the hottest parts of the day.
·         Cool down with a cool bath or shower.
·         Participate in activities that will keep you cool, such as going to the movies, shopping at a mall, or swimming at a pool or beach.
·         Cover all exposed skin with an SPF sunscreen (15 or above) and wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and head.
·         Never leave your children or pets in the car.

For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/health.

FACTS ABOUT HEAT ILLNESS:

Heat illness is serious. Prolonged exposure to the heat can be harmful and potentially fatal. The added stress caused by heat can also aggravate heart or lung disease even without symptoms of heat illness.

Know the warning signs of heat stress. If you or someone you know feels weak or faint, go to a cool place and drink water. If there is no improvement, call a doctor or 911.

Call 911 immediately if you have, or someone you know has:

·         Hot dry skin.
·         Trouble breathing.
·         Rapid heartbeat.
·         Confusion, disorientation, or dizziness.
·         Nausea and vomiting.

KEEPING YOUR PETS SAFE

·         Avoid dehydration: Pets can dehydrate quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water.
·         Exercise early and lateWhen the temperature is very high, do not let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Your pet’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn.
·         Know when your pet is in danger: Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor, or even collapse. Animals with flat faces like pugs and Persian cats are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. They should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
·         Keep cats safe by installing screens in your windows: Unscreened windows pose a real danger to cats, as they can fall out of them often during summer months.

IMPROPER FIRE HYDRANT USE:

The improper opening of fire hydrants wastes 1,000 gallons of water per minute, causes flooding on city streets, and can lower water pressure to dangerous levels and hamper the ability of FDNY to fight fire safely and quickly.

Properly used “spray caps” reduce hydrant output to a safe 25 gallons per minute while still providing relief from the heat. To obtain a spray cap, an adult 18 years or older with proper identification can go to his or her local firehouse and request one.

For more information, visit NYC.gov/beattheheat.

DE BLASIO ADMINISTRATION UNVEILS PLANS FOR BOROUGH-BASED JAILS TO REPLACE FACILITIES ON RIKERS ISLAND


Modern facilities will be designed to be integrated into surrounding neighborhoods and promote safety and support for the people who work and reside within them

  The de Blasio administration today unveiled plans for the building of four modern, community-based jails throughout the City that will replace the detention facilities on Rikers Island. The innovative plan envisions facilities that will be fully integrated into the surrounding neighborhoods with community space, ground-floor retail and parking. The planned facilities will also provide a safer environment to work and will allow people in jail to remain closer to their loved ones, as well as offer quality health, education, visitation and recreational services that will help people reintegrate once they return to their communities.

“We’re taking a big step forward in the process of closing Rikers Island and creating a modern community-based jail system that is smaller, safer and fairer,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Now we can move full steam ahead on the engagement and planning for our new facilities so we can close Rikers as fast as possible.”

“These new jails will enable this city to close Rikers Island, which I know will help make this city a better place. The new facilities are designed to be safer for both the people incarcerated as well as the staff. The next chapter of criminal justice in New York City is beginning, and I couldn’t be prouder,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to close the jails on Rikers Island in 2017 and released a roadmap for a smaller, safer and fairer justice system. The roadmap included plans to safely reduce the jail population to 5,000 people and transition to a local borough-based jail system.

Progress on these strategies is underway with the partnership of New Yorkers, the City Council, the courts, district attorneys, defenders, service providers, and others within the justice system. When New York City released its roadmap in June 2017, the City’s jails held an average of 9,400 people on any given day. One year later, the jail population has dropped by almost 13 percent to around 8,200, the lowest level in more than three decades.

The sites under consideration are:

  • Bronx Site—320 Concord Avenue
  • Brooklyn Site—275 Atlantic Avenue
  • Manhattan Site—80 Centre Street
  • Queens Site—126-02 82nd Avenue

“Closing Rikers and moving into newer, community-based facilities comes down to one thing – and that’s safety,” said DOC Commissioner Cynthia Brann. “These new jails will have improved interior layouts allowing officers more effective ways to supervise people in detention, and also provide space for quality education, health, and therapeutic programming. As we move forward with this transition, I want the men and women who are currently working on Rikers Island to know that the safer, state-of-the-art facilities you deserve are on the way.”

Elizabeth Glazer, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, said, “Our jails hold up a mirror to the fair functioning of our justice system. The release of today’s scoping study is another step forward on a path towards creating the safest and most humane justice system possible. It reflects a future that we have begun to sketch with many partners — New Yorkers, non-profits, justice system agencies and others — one in which jails can be civic assets, integrated into and contributing to neighborhoods; where the people incarcerated have opportunities that will permit them to thrive and contribute when they leave; and the people who work inside have the physical environment that promotes their safety.”

Each facility will contain approximately 1,500 beds in order for the City to meet the needed 6,000 beds to accommodate an average daily population of 5,000 people, while allowing space for population-specific housing requirements, such as those related to safety, security, health, and mental health, among other factors, as well as normal fluctuations in the jail population. Currently, existing borough-based facilities only have the combined operational capacity to house approximately 2,400 people.

The plans feature hundreds of parking spaces, community space and ground-floor retail as well as on-site support services. The proposal for the Bronx envisions rezoning the western portion of the site to facilitate the development of a residential building with potentially more than 200-units and ground floor retail.

The proposal will need to go through a public review – the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) – which includes hearings and recommendations by the local community board, borough president, the City Council and the City Planning Commission.

The Administration and its partners are also beginning a comprehensive engagement strategy that will go beyond what is required as part of public review of these discretionary actions. At the core of the City’s strategy will be neighborhood advisory bodies with local elected and neighborhood leaders to provide feedback on design, program, neighborhood integration and tackle a range of quality of life concerns within the neighborhoods where these sites will be located.

To date, the City has held meetings with community groups and local elected officials and conducted focus groups with correctional officers, service providers, defenders, educators, formally detained people and families of justice-involved people, among others. Engagement with the community in the weeks and months ahead will ramp up.

In February, the Mayor and the Speaker of the City Council agreed to consolidate the proposal to renovate or construct jails in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx into a single ULURP process, which will allow for a more expedited review. An application will be submitted for certification by the end of the year.

The Administration has launched an array of programs that are safely driving down the jail population, including a citywide alternative-to-bail program that allows eligible people to remain in the community while waiting for trial and a program that replaces short jail sentences for minor, low-level offenses (typically under 30 days) with services aimed at preventing reoffending. In addition, the Administration announced that every eligible person in the Department of Correction’s custody will receive re-entry services to help connect them with jobs and opportunities outside of jail, as well as be offered up to five hours of programming per day to address vocational, educational, and therapeutic needs.

EDITOR'S NOTE: 

The Bronx site of 320 Concord Avenue is that of the current Bronx Tow Pound. That would mean that the city now will have to find a new home for the Bronx Tow Pound. Wouldn't it be much easier to build the new jail on the site the city will have to find for a new Tow Pound, instead of having to close the Tow Pond, dig up the area to build a new facility, and then have to find a new home for the Tow Pound?

As usual we left out the comments of those elected officials and others the mayor's people could find to say how wonderful this would be. For the record, no Bronx elected official was quoted by the mayor's people, with the exception of Councilwoman Ayala who's district is a majority Manhattan council district. That could be why she is in favor of the Tow Pound site for the new Bronx Jail.

While the Bronx site listed is said to be proposed, rumor is that certain Bronx elected officials are trying to have the large open area behind the Bronx Courthouse turned into the new Bronx Jail. This way the new jail would be right behind the Bronx Criminal Court building.

NYC FERRY SOUNDVIEW ROUTE SETS SAIL:


 DE BLASIO ADMINISTRATION LAUNCHES FERRY SERVICE CONNECTING THE BRONX, THE UPPER EAST SIDE, MIDTOWN, AND LOWER MANHATTAN

Route takes 45 minutes, cutting average commute times in half

The de Blasio Administration today officially launched NYC Ferry’s Soundview Route. The new route starts in the Soundview section of the Bronx, and stops at the new East 90thStreet landing, East 34th Street landing and ends at Pier 11/Wall Street. The Soundview route, which takes approximately 45 minutes from start to finish, connects residents and workers in the Bronx with multiple points on the East Side of Manhattan, shortening commutes for thousands of New Yorkers. NYC Ferry riders are also able to transfer for free to the East River, Rockaway, Astoria, and South Brooklyn routes at East 34th Street and Wall Street/Pier 11.

“We are adding another stop on our route to becoming the fairest big city in America,” said Mayor de Blasio. “The new Soundview ferry will cut commute times in half for thousands of Bronxites. Our all-of-the-above approach to transit gives New Yorkers reliable options to get where they need to go.”

“Starting today, Bronxites now have a fast, comfortable and affordable way to get to major job centers and other opportunities along the East Side of Manhattan,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President and CEO James Patchett. “With over five million riders to date and one more route still to launch, it’s clear that our ferry network is a game-changer for New Yorkers.”

Since its launch in May 2017, NYC Ferry has served over 5 million riders across the Astoria, East River, South Brooklyn and Rockaway routes, and the Soundview route is expected to add approximately 400,000 additional riders annuallyBoats will run every 30 minutes during peak times, and every 50 minutes during off-peak times. Residents of Soundview will be able to reach East 34th Street in just 30 minutes, cutting current commuting times by nearly half. Detailed timetables for the Soundview route, along with a map of all NYC Ferry routes, can be viewed here.

The de Blasio Administration is also set to launch the new Lower East Side route later this month on August 29th, which will run from Wall Street/Pier 11, to Corlears Hook, Stuyvesant Cove, East 34th Street, and end in Long Island City, Queens, a 36-minute trip from start to finish. The, Last month, NYC Ferry welcomed the arrival of Ocean Queen Rockstar, the first of six higher-capacity 350-passenger vessels to accommodate high ridership demand.

New York City Economic Development Corporation and the MTA New York City Transit Authority also recently announced the extension of the Bx27 bus line, which will now stop at Clason Point Park where the Soundview ferry landing is located. The Bx27, which connects customers in the Shorehaven, Clason Point and Soundview sections of the Bronx to the Morrison Av-Soundview 6 subway station, previously terminated on Soundview Avenue approximately 1,000 feet northwest of the ferry landing. The extension of select Bx27 trips to the Soundview ferry landing will provide an easy, direct connection for customers seeking to use local bus service or the subway.

The de Blasio Administration is also set to launch the new Lower East Side route later this month on August 29th, which will run from Wall Street/Pier 11, to Corlears Hook, Stuyvesant Cove, East 34th Street, and end in Long Island City, Queens, a 36-minute trip from start to finish. The, Last month, NYC Ferry welcomed the arrival of Ocean Queen Rockstar, the first of six higher-capacity 350-passenger vessels to accommodate high ridership demand.

“This long-awaited, much-anticipated ferry service has the potential to dramatically improve the commutes not only of Soundview residents, but of Bronxites in every community. The people of my borough are always looking for new mass transit options, and I congratulate Mayor de Blasio and his administration on today’s launch and for making this new service a top priority,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Bronx Democratic Party - Annual BBQ & Softball Game


Last year's game was a thriller between Speaker Heastie's 

Albany Bombers and County Leader Crespo's Citi- 

Fielders. It was just like a Yankee/Met game.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Leader Of International Drug Money Laundering Organization Sentenced To 30 Years In Prison


Jesus Rodriguez-Jimenez Laundered over $250 Million for Central American Drug Trafficking Organizations

  Geoffrey S. Berman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that JESUS RODRIGUEZ-JIMENEZ was sentenced today to 30 years in prison by United States District Judge Katherine B. Forrest in Manhattan federal court.  RODRIGUEZ-JIMENEZ ran an international money laundering business with ties to Mexico, Italy, Hungary, Panama, and China, facilitating the movement of hundreds of millions of dollars in drug proceeds on behalf of drug cartels in Mexico and Central America.  Through a web of front companies, shell bank accounts, and money couriers throughout the United States and Europe, RODRIGUEZ-JIMENEZ successfully laundered in excess of $250 million, directly facilitating the trafficking of massive quantities of narcotics throughout the world. 

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Jesus Rodriguez-Jimenez led an international money laundering operation that handled the proceeds of cocaine and heroin trafficking by Mexican and Central American cartels.  The Rodriguez-Jimenez organization laundered more than a quarter of a billion dollars in illegal drug trafficking proceeds through front companies, sham bank accounts, and money drops in several U.S. cities.  Thanks to the efforts of the DEA, Rodriguez-Jimenez will now spend considerable time in prison for his crimes.”
According to the charging and other documents filed in the case, as well as statements made during RODRIGUEZ-JIMENEZ’s sentencing proceeding:
Since July 2013, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) has been investigating JESUS RODRIGUEZ-JIMENEZ’s international money laundering organization and its cartel clients, which together have been involved in trafficking hundreds of kilograms of cocaine and heroin, among other narcotics, and laundering narcotics proceeds through a variety of methods, including through a network of shell corporations under their control.  To date, the investigation has resulted in charges against eight defendants, including the successful extradition of alleged high-level money launderer Filippo Magni from Italy earlier this summer. 
Through a network of front companies, couriers, and his own armored car company, RODRIGUEZ-JIMENEZ succeeded in repatriating millions of drug dollars from the streets of New York, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, and other cities across the United States, back to cartel interests in Mexico.  By introducing these drug dollars into the banking system, RODRIGUEZ-JIMENEZ was able to move money wherever the cartel interests directed it, including repatriating this value to Mexico through trade-based money laundering:  At the direction of his cartel clients, RODRIGUEZ-JIMENEZ would wire drug dollars to companies in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.  These companies would, in turn, ship merchandise to Mexico or other drug producing countries.  There, merchants would accept the shipment of goods, and pay a reduced price, in local currency, to the cartels.  In this way, RODRIGUEZ-JIMENEZ turned street cash in the United States into value in Mexico.
RODRIGUEZ-JIMENEZ controlled his laundering empire through fear and intimidation.  For example, in July 2015, pursuant to the investigation, the DEA seized $100,000 in drug money in Atlanta from Organization courier Sergio Urbina (ultimately a co-defendant of RODRIGUEZ-JIMENEZ).  When he learned of the seizure, RODRIGUEZ-JIMENEZ ordered Urbina to come to Monterrey, Mexico, to explain himself.  After enduring a multiple-day interrogation by RODRIGUEZ-JIMENEZ’s underlings, complete with the administration of a false polygraph test, RODRIGUEZ-JIMENEZ coerced Urbina to execute a false promissory note that RODRIGUEZ-JIMENEZ later used to try to hold Urbina liable for the value of the seizure – even commencing a fraudulent civil action against Urbina, which RODRIGUEZ-JIMENEZ continued to pursue from jail.
In total, RODRIGUEZ-JIMENZ laundered at least $250 million on behalf of the cartels during the course of the scheme.
In addition to the prison term, RODRIGUEZ-JIMENZ, 47, of Monterrey, Mexico, was ordered to forfeit $284 million in laundered funds.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding work of the Las Vegas Division of the DEA and the Las Vegas Office of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, in the investigation of this case.

A.G. Underwood Announces Guilty Plea Of Patient Recruiter Who Bribed Medicaid Recipients To Undergo Unnecessary Medical Tests


Defendant Admitted to Stealing Over $10,000 from Medicaid

 Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood today announced the guilty plea of Alex Adderly, also known as Uruhu Adderley, 45 of Manhattan, for defrauding Medicaid by soliciting and bribing Medicaid recipients in order to persuade them to undergo a battery of unnecessary and improperly administered medical tests at a Queens clinic. Adderly pleaded guilty before the Honorable Toko Serita in Queen County Criminal Court to Health Care Fraud in the Fourth Degree, Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, and Prohibited Practices for Persons Acting in Concert with a Medical Assistance Provider, all class E felonies.

“My office will not allow criminals to use Medicaid as personal bank accounts and disregard the wellbeing of our most vulnerable New Yorkers,” said Attorney General Underwood. “We will continue to hold fraudsters accountable.”
Following complaints, undercover agents observed Adderly recruiting Medicaid recipients outside of a soup kitchen in Manhattan on multiple dates in 2016 and 2017. On each occasion, Adderly approached the undercover agents and offered them cash if they underwent a “physical” and had active health insurance coverage through Medicaid. On each date, the undercover agents observed Adderly recruit over a dozen other “patients” in the same manner. 
Adderly arranged for each recruited patient to be transported from Manhattan to a purported medical clinic in Queens. Adderly told each recruited patient that in order to receive the promised cash bribe, they must report certain specified ailments to the clinic staff regardless of the truth of those statements. Upon entering the clinic, each patient was given a form with a list of tests they wererequired to complete before receiving the promised cash bribe. These tests, including alleged cardiologic and neurologic tests, were identical for each patient and bore no relationship to the medical history or needs of each individual patient. Upon completing the tests, Adderly paid each patient in cash. Notably, none of the patients were scheduled for follow-up appointments and none of the undercover agents were contacted regarding the results of their tests.
Adderly caused over $10,000 in fraudulent claims for reimbursement to be billed to Medicaid through patients’ visits to the purported Queens clinic.
Upon sentencing on August 29th, Adderly will serve 1 1/2 to 3 years in state prison.
If you suspect exploitation of Medicaid beneficiaries, call the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at 800-771-7755 or file a complaint online.
Throughout the investigation, the Attorney General’s Office worked closely with various city and federal agencies. The Attorney General would like to thank the New York City Human Resources Administration and the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.