Friday, February 27, 2015

GOOD - BYE MR. SPOCK Leonard Nimoy Dies at Age 83

 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which Nimoy had been battling the past year has been declared the cause of his death. The disease is related to smoking, which Nimoy had given up light years (about 30) ago. 

 Leonard Nimoy 'MR. SPOCK' now joins Deforest Kelly (Dr. McCoy 'BONES'), James Doohan (Mr. Scott, 'SCOTTY'), and Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry in the great beyond. 

 Remaining original cast members include William Shatner 'CAPTAIN KIRK' currently age 83, Michelle Nichols 'LIEUTENANT UHURA' currently age 82, George Takei 'MR. SULU currently age 77, and Walter Koenig 'Ensign Checkov' currently age 78. 


photo credit to Live


Highlights Over $7.2 Billion in Total Bronx Development Since 2009

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has issued his annual development report, highlighting the total development seen in The Bronx since he first took office in 2009.

The report notes that, in total, The Bronx has seen more than $7.212 billion in total development in all categories since 2009, when Borough President Diaz first took office. In 2014 alone, The Bronx saw over $1.13 billion in new development.

The report follows last week’s “State of the Borough” address, in which Borough President Diaz outlined his continued vision for the ongoing growth of the borough’s economy.

“The Bronx continues to grow stronger and stronger each year, as we create new jobs, build new housing and improve quality of life in the borough,” said Borough President Diaz. “We will continue to attract the type of investors that want to help The Bronx flourish and reach its full potential.”

The report notes other development highlights from 2014, including a total of $788 million in residential development, $483 million in institutional development and $134 million in commercial development across the borough.

“This is truly an exciting time to visit, work, live and do business in The Bronx. Since 2009, our borough has seen a transformation, with more than $7 billion invested on improving the quality of life of all Bronxites, building more and better affordable housing units, greener business infrastructure and creating thousands of new jobs,” said Marlene Cintron, President of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation.

“We are witnessing an influx of people returning to their roots in The Bronx.  It is a great time to invest in our borough – build it and they will come,” said Lenny Caro, President & CEO, Bronx Chamber of Commerce.

To read the complete report, visit


  On Thursday, February 26, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., hosted his annual Dominican Heritage Celebration at Salsa Con Fuego, honoring Queens City Council Member Julissa Ferreras, Nestor Montilla Sr., Director of Corporate & Community Development at Lehman College, and Rosa Garcia, Entrepreneur and Owner of the Mott Haven Bar & Grill.

“With over 210,000 individuals of Dominican heritage calling this great borough their home, it is a proud moment to recognize the growing population and share their flavorful culture. With their growing businesses and exciting cultural celebrations, the history of this great community is being written each day in our borough,” said Borough President Diaz.

“I could not miss this for anything, because it is more than just being honored. I am here for a great man and the great borough of The Bronx. Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. chooses to recognize the work of individuals everywhere and that is kind of him,” said Council Member Ferreras as she accepted her honor.

“I am very proud to be here, because Dominicans are productive citizens and each day they are getting more involved,” stated Mr. Montilla as he chatted with invited guests and co-workers at the event.

“I am humbled and surprised because when I was growing up, Dominicans were never really recognized and over the years that has changed,” added Ms. Garcia as they all smiled for a picture.

Vice-Consuls of the Dominican Republic in New York, the Honorable Victor Compres and the Honorable Cecilia Santana, were also recognized for their contributions in keeping Dominican culture and heritage vibrant in The Bronx and throughout the city.


  The New York City Council's Committee on Housing and Buildings, Chaired by Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, Deputy Leader, held a hearing on Int. 462, a bill by Council Member James Vacca regarding the establishment of an emergency repair program for elevators. The Committee received testimony from representatives of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the Department of Buildings (DOB), legal service providers, members of the real estate industry, and other interested members of the public.

The DOB's Elevator Division is responsible for overseeing the use and operation of New York City's elevators. Under the law, this oversight includes an annual inspection of each of the City's approximately 60,000 elevators. HPD does not currently have a role with respect to elevator maintenance, however, HPD does have the power to correct Housing Maintenance Code violations determined to be dangerous to human life and safety or detrimental to health.

This legislation would require DOB to refer to HPD immediately hazardous elevator-related violations that have not been corrected within the stated time for compliance. It would also allow HPD to correct such violations or to order the owner of the building or other responsible party to correct the violations.

"Unlike for issues such as leaky roofs, mold, broken windows or a lack of heat and hot water, tenants have few options when an elevator is need of emergency repairs and the owner has failed to make those repairs," said Council Member Williams during the hearing. "Last week alone, the Department of Buildings fielded 182 complaints about elevators citywide. It is clear that this is a major issue for many community members, especially those who are less mobile and require an elevator to get to their apartment. I applaud Council Member Vacca for introducing this legislation which will help resolve this issue."

"In a city where millions of residents live in high rise buildings, working elevators are a necessity, not a luxury. Prolonged elevator outages create an unsafe living condition for residents, particularly the elderly and those with disabilities," said Council Member Vacca.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


Four out of five police unions now under contract

  Mayor de Blasio today announced that the City of New York has reached a tentative contract agreement with the Sergeants Benevolent Association, which covers 4,602 full-time sergeants of the NYPD.

With today’s agreement, the de Blasio administration has reached contract agreements with more than 76 percent of the City workforce—including four out of five police unions—and eight uniformed unions have are now ratified. 

This agreement is pattern-conforming with the Uniformed Superior Officers Coalition agreement negotiated in December 2014. The agreement also incorporates the unprecedented health care savings agreed upon with the Municipal Labor Committee, ensuring that these raises are affordable and responsible for the City and its taxpayers.

The proposed seven-year contract would begin, retroactively, on August 30, 2011 and expire on August 29, 2018.

“Sergeants risk their lives every single day to keep the city safe, and this agreement recognizes and honors the difficult and dangerous work they do day in and day out,” said Mayor de Blasio. “I’m proud of the progress we’ve made over the past year to settle contracts with more than 76 percent of the city’s workforce and establish a respectful dynamic between the City and its employees. And with today’s agreement, four out of five police unions have agreed to contracts that have delivered fair wages for these men and women who protect all of us each day, while protecting the City’s long-term financial health.”

“I am grateful we have been able to reach a contract agreement. As a result of the last administration, NYPD Sergeants have been working with no contract agreement for nearly three and half years. Mayor de Blasio has been understanding and receptive to the concerns and needs of these NYPD Sergeants, and I thank him for his time and effort in helping to reach this agreement,” said Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins.

In total, the MLC and the City have agreed to secure $3.4 billion in health care savings through Fiscal Year 2018, and $1.3 billion in savings every year thereafter. The City and the municipal unions will work to secure cost-cutting measures aimed at bending the curve of rising health care costs for the first time. These savings are guaranteed and enforceable by arbitration.

After the guaranteed health care savings and funds from the
stabilization fund, the net cost of the tentative settlement will be $252.1 million through FY2019. This agreement will not require any additional funds be added to the financial plan.

Fair Wages
The contract is based on existing labor patterns in place for all other City unions, with the addition of a 1 percent raise in Year One—consistent with the pattern established with the Uniformed Superior Officers Coalition in December 2014.

Wage increases will constitute 11 percent over seven years, on the following dates:

1% – Effective 8/30/11
1% – Effective 2/28/13
1% – Effective 2/28/14
1% – Effective 2/28/15
1.5% – Effective 2/29/16
2.5% – Effective 3/30/17
3.0% – Effective 3/30/18

Like the agreement reached with the Uniformed Superior Officers Coalition, this contract does not include the one-time $1,000 ratification bonus and includes a change in terminal leave policy in allowing employees to opt for a one-time lump sum payment in lieu of taking all leave time prior to retiring. Additionally, this agreement provides for increases in longevity payments. The cost of these provisions and the payment of the first wage increase on the first day of the agreement is offset by savings from a reduced welfare fund contribution, a one month delay in the last two wage increases, and an agreement to amend the existing work rules and practices to reduce overtime costs for the City.

Affordable costs
The costs of today’s tentative agreement, across the Financial Plan from FY2015 through FY 2019 are as follows:

Gross Cost: $326.2 million
Health Savings and Stabilization Fund: ($74.1 million)
Net Cost: $252.1 million

Council Member Andy King Announces Passage of His Piece of Legislation to Help Expedite the Removal of Downed Trees Damaged By Severe Storm

 City Council Member Andy King (12th District/Bronx) applauded the NYC Council’s passage of Int. No. 74-A today, which creates a protocol for removing trees damaged by severe weather.
Council Member King’s legislation requires increased communication between city agencies and utilities and limits the amount of time affected communities will be without power.
“The purpose of Int. No. 74-A is to bring about a more accountable – common sense approach between our city agencies and local utilities in cases where downed or damaged trees on city property must be removed. Had this tree protocol removal been in place during the time of Hurricane Sandy, or any other severe weather condition that left numerous downed trees, which caused thousands of New Yorkers to lose power, the removal process would have been much simpler and swifter,” explained Council Member King.
In addition, the New York City of Parks and Recreation will post on its website after a severe storm the instructions on how residents can notify the city of downed or damaged trees or downed wires.
“Communications is everything! This piece of legislation helps our agencies, utilities and residents communicate better. I want to thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and my colleague Council Member Mark Levine, chair of the Committee on Parks and Recreation, for their leadership in pushing forward this legislation,” said Council Member Andy King.
Int. No. 74-A will take effect 90 days after its enactment.
“Our Perseverance In The Future Lies in the Resiliency of Our Past”—Council Member Andy King

Wave Hill Events Mar 13–Mar 20

Quiet like a mountain, moving like a river, Tai Chi is a sequence of gentle movements based on images found in nature. In this beginner-level class, Irving Yee, a member of the William CC Chen Tai Chi School, introduces students to the internal martial arts and promotes an awareness of its benefits. Sessions in March are held indoors. Session fee: $25/$15 Wave Hill Member. Advance registration online receives a $2 discount. Online registration closes at 8AM on the day of the session. Cancellations must be made by 3PM the Friday before; after that, refunds will not be made. Drop-ins will be accommodated as the limited space permits. Participants must present their Membership card or a printed program registration form at the front gate.

With spring fast approaching, we need pots for planting! Take an ordinary terracotta pot and make it into something fantastic by adding beads, tiles, buttons, ribbons and other odds and ends. Then, add some soil and a seed, and don’t forget to water! Free, and admission to the grounds is free until noon. 

Winter Workspace artist Sara Jimenez’s sculptures build on her interest in vulnerability, using impermanent media like salt crystals. At her workshop, explore the expressive possibilities of your body in movement exercises inspired by Wave Hill’s landscape, beginning in her Glyndor Gallery studio with an introduction to her creative process. Unless otherwise noted, art materials are provided. Newcomers and practicing artists alike are welcome. Ages 14 and older welcome with an adult. $15/$5 Wave Hill Member per session, which includes admission to the grounds. Advance registration recommended, online or at the Perkins Visitor Center, starting February 11.

Don't have a garden or greenhouse? Tiny ferns and other tropical plants thrive in the humid conditions of an enclosed glass jar as if in their own miniature greenhouse. Design and plant your own fanciful landscape in a glass jar with a selection of diminutive plants, perfect for home or office. Assistant Director of Public Programs Laurel Rimmer provides plants, materials and technical assistance. Ages eight and older welcome with an adult. $50/$35 Wave Hill Member per project. Registration required, online or at the Perkins Visitor Center, starting February 11.

With spring fast approaching, we need pots for planting! Take an ordinary terracotta pot and make it into something fantastic by adding beads, tiles, buttons, ribbons and other odds and ends. Then, add some soil and a seed, and don’t forget to water! Free with admission to the grounds. 

Reduce stress, increase your energy and bring strength and flexibility to mind, body and spirit with a yoga practice. Classes are led by Yoga for Bliss director Neem Dewji and other certified instructors. Ms. Dewji is certified in Hatha and Therapeutic Yoga from The Yoga for Health Foundation, England, and The Integral Yoga Institute, NYC. All levels welcome. Sessions in March are held indoors. Session fee: $25/$15 Wave Hill Member. Advance registration online receives a $2 discount. Online registration closes at 8AM on the day of the session. Cancellations must be made by 3PM the Friday before; after that, refunds will not be made. Drop-ins will be accommodated as the limited space permits. Participants must present their Membership card or a printed program registration form at the front gate.

Let nature inspire you to find your center and reconnect with your true self using guided mindfulness and other meditation practices. Each session, led by Yoga for Bliss director Neem Dewji and other qualified instructors, includes instruction in simple techniques, followed by guided meditations. Sessions are held indoors. All levels welcome. Session fee, which includes admission to the grounds: $20/$10 Wave Hill Member. Advance registration online receives a $2 discount. Online registration closes at 8AM on the day of the session. Drop-ins will be accommodated as the limited space permits. Participants must present their Membership card or a printed program registration form at the front gate.


Trumpeter Ray Vega is a South Bronx native. He brings his Latin Jazz ensemble back to Wave Hill with a mix of his own works and his unique take on standard tunes. Described by JAZZIZ Magazine as “…a dean of golden tones and elegant, melody-respecting improvisational development,” Ray Vega has performed with such legendary figures as Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, Lionel Hampton and Paquito D’Rivera. $28 general admission/$15 child (ages 8 to 18). $22 Wave Hill Member/$12 Wave Hill Member child. Registration required, online at or at the Perkins Visitor Center.

Join us for an hour-long tour of seasonal garden highlights. Free with admission to the grounds.

Closed to the public

How might you bring disparate parts of nature together? Create drawings based on the flora and landscape of Wave Hill with Winter Workspace artist Amy Lincoln. Return to the studio to combine your fragments and figments into an invented composite space. Unless otherwise noted, art materials are provided. Newcomers and practicing artists alike are welcome. Ages 10 and older welcome with an adult. $15/$5 Wave Hill Member per session, which includes admission to the grounds. Advance registration recommended, online at or at the Perkins Visitor Center, starting February 11.

This ongoing series is hosted by Wave Hill’s Friends of Horticulture Committee and is devoted to landscape design and the meaning of our interactions with plants and the natural world. Horticulturist Ed Bowen takes a plant-centric look at ornamentals, examining past use and offering suggestions and strategies for ensuring their continued viability and relevance. Described by garden writer Tovah Martin as “the seminal plant nerd,” Bowen explores the intersection of plants and commerce, including how nursery production practices affect garden center offerings, and vice versa. He founded and owns Opus Plants, a deliberately small nursery in Little Compton, Rhode Island, where he propagates plants. This is the last of Wave Hill’s 2015 Horticultural Lectures. Individual lectures:$25/$20 Wave Hill Member, Student. Reservations recommended, online at, onsite at the Perkins Visitor Center or by calling 718.549.3200 x216. 

A 28-acre public garden and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River  and Palisades, Wave Hill’s mission is to celebrate the artistry and legacy of its gardens and landscape, to preserve its magnificent views, and to explore human connections to the natural world through programs in horticulture, education and the arts.

HOURS  Open all year, Tuesday through Sunday and many major holidays: 9AM–4:30PM. Closes5:30PM, March 15October 31.  
ADMISSION  $8 adults, $4 students and seniors 65+, $2 children 6–18. Free Saturday and Tuesdaymornings until noon. Free to Wave Hill Members and children under 6.

PROGRAM FEES  Programs are free with admission to the grounds unless otherwise noted.

Visitors to Wave Hill can take advantage of Metro-North’s one-day getaway offer. Purchase a discount round-trip rail far and discount admission to the gardens. More at

DIRECTIONS – Getting here is easy! Located only 30 minutes from midtown Manhattan, Wave Hill’s free shuttle van transports you to and from our front gate and Metro-North’s Riverdale station, as well as the 242nd Street stop on the #1 subway line. Limited onsite parking is available for $8 per vehicle. Free offsite parking is available nearby with continuous, complimentary shuttle service to and from the offsite lot and our front gate. Complete directions and shuttle bus schedule at

Information at 718.549.3200. On the web at

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


  Those were the words of former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver as he told reporters as he was leaving the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan.  Silver's lawyer commented that his client has already declared guilty by U.S. Attorney Pheet Bharara, with the help of the media. The U.S. Attorney's office dismissed the charges as 'Baseless'. Silver who said little, did say that he would be found not guilty. 

  Silver has been indicted on three counts which are 
1 - Mail Fraud
2 - Wire Fraud
3 - Extortion

The full 25 page Indictment - The United State VS. Sheldon Silver can be found here.


NYC Department of Buildings, Contractors Allegedly Duped Bronx Homeowners Into Spending Life Savings on Unsafe, Uninhabitable Homes

    An unscrupulous contractor and the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) swindled Bronx homeowners out of millions of dollars by constructing substandard homes and failing to provide new homeowners with valid certificates of occupancy upon closing, alleges an $8 million federal lawsuit announced today by State Senator Jeff KleinAssemblyman Marcos Crespo, the Soundview Homeowners and Attorney at Law Susan Chana Lask, and Homeowner Johanny DelaCruz

Senator Klein said: “The actions taken by unscrupulous Bronx contractors to dupe unsuspecting families into spending their  life savings on uninhabitable new homes are reprehensible. Not only are these new homes constructed poorly and with shoddy, cheap materials – they pose significant health and safety concerns to the families living there. When scheming agencies and contractors prey on aspiring homeowners, they need to know that we will hold them accountable."

For years, the DOB has permitted its licensee, Bad Ass Inc.,  to build unsafe homes across the Bronx that are not up to New York City building codes and as a result, cannot receive permanent certificates of occupancy. Under constant threat of eviction from DOB, Soundview Homeowners pay more than $400 a month in upkeep to combat leaking roofs, cracked walls, irregular plumbing, black mold and improper insulation. What’s more, because they lack permanent certificates of occupancy they are unable to sell or refinance their homes.

Attorney Susan Chana Lask said: “The Department of Buildings has ignored these people long enough. It is responsible for safe housing, not issuing building permits for illegal housing because its more concerned with its $100 Million a year revenue while people suffer.”

Homeowner Johanny DelaCruz said: “This has been a nightmare to me, my family and my children.  We thought we purchased the American Dream, but the Department of Buildings and Bad Ass gave us a nightmare.  We live in a freezing, damp uninsulated structure that is illegal and frightening." 

Assemblyman Marcos Crespo said: “I stand today with Senator Jeff Klein and these homeowners to support this new filing and to fight for swift justice on behalf of these families. We can no longer allow unscrupulous individuals and shady companies to defraud those willing to invest in our community and make a commitment to raise their families in our neighborhoods. They deserve justice and today we take another step in seeking it!

The federal lawsuit comes on the heels of a state lawsuit filed in Bronx civil court in December 2013, alleging contractor Bad Ass Inc. conducted an elaborate scheme to scam first time home buyers into purchasing unsafe properties. Attorney Lask recently requested a stay to amend the complaint and Senator Klein submitted a letter of support.

“I ask the court to grant the plaintiffs’ request for a stay in the proceeding so that new motion papers can be filed. These plaintiffs deserve their day in court.” continued Senator Klein.

Senator Klein, Assemblyman Crespo. Lawyer Susan Lask, Homeowner J. DelaCruz, and other people and their children who are some of the 150 home owners in this situation living in homes built by Bad Ass Inc. 

Bad Ass Inc. is still a licensed home builder of the New York City Department of Buildings. 
Could this type of housing be in store for people who will be moving into the 200,000 new affordable housing units planned by Mayor Bill deBlasio?

City Council to Hold Hearing Evaluating the City’s Veterans Treatment Courts

City Council Member Andrew Cohen, Chair of the Committee on Mental Health, Developmental Disability, Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and Disability Services, will hold a joint hearing with the Veterans Committee, and the Committee on Courts and Legal Services to evaluate the City’s Veterans Treatment Courts.

Veterans Treatment Courts - modeled after drug courts - first emerged in 2008 under Buffalo City Court Judge Robert Russell Jr. These specialized courts connect veterans to services that can assist with substance abuse, mental health challenges, and other issues. Participants are also paired with a court appointed mentor, and those who successfully complete the program may have their charges dismissed, reduced, or receive a reduction in their sentence.

Other New York City elected officials, local district attorneys, judges, direct providers, veterans service organizations and various stakeholders are expected to give testimony.

What: City Council Oversight Hearing - Evaluating the City’s Veterans Treatment Courts

WhenWednesday, February 25th, 2015 at 1:00 P.M.

Where: Committee Room, City Hall, New York, NY 10007

Monday, February 23, 2015

State Senate Coalition releases bombshell report on dangerous sex offenders living near Universal Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten programs

  After devastating New York State Court of Appeals ruling in Nassau, State Senate Coalition will act on a series of bills to strengthen protections for children against sex offenders

 The New York State Senate Coalition today unveiled an alarming joint-investigative report, “Keeping Our Children Safe From Sex Offenders,” conducted by the offices of Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein and State Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos , which uncovered startling violations of residency restrictions and a major loophole in the law.

The joint-investigative report comes on the heels of a devastating New York State Court of Appeal’s ruling relating to  Nassau County.  As a result, the New York State Senate Coalition will immediately act on key sex offender legislation — including closing the major loophole in the law and allowing localities to strengthen residency restrictions.

“As the author of Megan's Law, I recognize that the recent Court of Appeals decision is a clarion call for New York to take whatever steps are necessary to protect our children from dangerous sexual predators.  I thank the members of the Senate Republican Conference — who have been at the forefront of the state's efforts on these issues for years — for their ongoing commitment to common-sense measures that keep kids safe.  I urge the Governor and our Assembly colleagues to join us in enacting a swift and smart legislative solution,” Senate Majority Leader Skelos said.

The joint-investigation uncovered convicted pedophiles violating state law by living within 1,000 feet of grade schools with Pre-K programs and brought to light a dozen sex offenders residing within 1,000 feet of stand-alone Universal Pre-K programs not attached to grade schools—currently unprotected by state law.

“Time and time again, I find dangerous sexual predators convicted of committing heinous crimes against children living far too close to schools in violation of state law. This is absolutely unacceptable. But even more shocking is that the legal definition of ‘school’ does not necessarily include Pre-K and kindergarten programs. Right now a dozen predators live near stand-alone programs in compliance with state law — including one man who had sexual contact with a four-year-old girl. It’s our duty to protect all children from pedophiles in the spirit of the law and we must immediately close this loophole,” said Senator Klein.

“It’s an outrage that we continue to find sex offenders practically living in the backyards of schools despite a statewide sex offender registry in place. It’s also inconceivable that the law banning predators from living within 1,000-feet of schools doesn’t apply to our youngest students and we need to correct that immediately,” said Senator Savino (D-Staten Island/Brooklyn).

“The loophole revealed in this report is disturbing. Allowing convicted sex offenders to live near our pre-schools and kindergartens flies in the face of the intent of the law.  I applaud Senator Klein in spearheading this initiative, and I am committed to working to keep our children and our streets safe. That is why I introduced a bill to ensure that sex offenders are properly assessed before being released into our communities. I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to pass these necessary resolutions,” said Senator Tony Avella (D-Bayside).

When talking about the safety and security of the children of New York, we cannot waste a minute in passing this vital piece of legislation.  While  I  strongly  disagree  with  the  court’s  ruling and the short term ramifications it has across our great state, it emphasizes the need to pass our  legislation  and keep registered sex offenders away from our schools.  I urge my colleagues to pass this bill as soon as possible and the Governor to sign it,” said Senator Golden, a co-sponsor of a bill to allow localities to fortify sex offender residency restrictions.

On February 17, the New York State Court of Appeals sided with a sex offender who completed his parole and moved within 500-feet of a Nassau school, in compliance with state law, but against local law. The court ruled that only the state, not a locality, is authorized to create residency restrictions for sex offenders.

When session resumes this week, the New York State Senate Coalition will pass the following legislation:

       Allowing localities to fortify sex offender restrictions in ways that are no less restrictive than state laws (Senator Michael Venditto)
       Requiring school districts to distribute information about a sex offender’s residence upon notification from law enforcement (Senator Kenneth LaValle)
       Closing the loophole on the legal definition of a school to include Pre-K and Kindergarten (Senator Klein)
       Holding risk assessment hearings before a sexual predator is released into a community (Senator Tony Avella)

While Senator Klein’s bill to correct the definition of a school passed last year, it died in committee in the Assembly. Sadly, the joint-investigation uncovered five sex offenders living within 1,000-feet of a school in violation of state law and 12 residing near stand-alone UPK programs.

DOCCS fails to recognize a stand-alone Pre-K or kindergarten as a school because of the word’s ambiguous definition in the statute. The Office of State Senator Klein discovered the loophole last year when a Level 3 sex offender moved close to the Carrig Montessori School, which only contains a Pre-K and Kindergarten.

Like Senator Klein’s legislation to clarify the definition of a school, which passed last year with bipartisan support in the Senate, these bills also passed last year, but failed to pass in the Assembly:

       Banning Level 1, 2 and 3 sex offenders from residing within 1,000 feet of a building used exclusively as an elementary or high school (Senator Golden)
       Banning  registered  sex  offenders  from residing within 1,500 feet of their victims (Senator Terrence Murphy)
       Clarifying the definition of “residence” in SORA (Senator Robert Ortt)
       Additional disclosure of workplace information if a sex offender is working in the community where he or she resides (Senator Andrew Lanza)
       An expansion of the definition of an institution for the care and treatment of children under age 18 to clearly include day care centers (Senator James Seward)

Last month, the New York State Senate Coalition passed legislation to protect children from sex offenders, which are awaiting passage by the New York State Assembly. The legislation includes:

       Prohibiting Level 2 and 3 sex offenders from residing in family homeless shelters (Senator Klein)
       Criminalizing housing or employing a sex offender who failed to register or verify employment (Senator Michael Ranzenhofer)
       Prohibiting certain sex offenders from being granted custody or unsupervised visitation with a child (Senator John Flanagan)
       Requiring sex offenders to report multiple or part-time residences (Senator John Bonacic)
       Requiring the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities to contact local officials when a sex offender is placed in a community residence within their municipality (Senator Patrick Gallivan)
       Prohibiting sex offenders from living in student housing (Senator Joseph Robach)
       Creating a sex offender public awareness program (Senator Joseph Robach)

Editors Note: 
Those named and their addresses have been omitted.