Thursday, December 31, 2020
Mayor de Blasio Says Watch New Year's Eve on Television, Gives His Last COVID-19 Indicators, and Proves his Media Availability Questions are Rigged
We have said that Mayor Bill de Blasio's Media Availability questions from reporters was a fraud, and today Hazel Sanchez from WCBS-TV proved our point.
On the 6 PM WCBS-TV News reporter Hazel Sanchez reported on a story about the group of bicyclist that attacked a car with a man and his mother inside who feared for their lives. She also reported that she asked Mayor de Blasio about the incident reporting what the mayor had said almost word for word. Ms. Sanchez was the first to be called on by the moderator of the Mayor's Media Availability, and here is her question and the mayor's answer, as printed in the transcript of the Mayor's Media Availability.
Winter Recreational Opportunities Available with Proper Preparation and Precautions
"With people still looking for outdoor activities during the pandemic, now is a great time to take advantage of all the winter recreation opportunities New York has to offer," Commissioner Seggos said. "However, winter conditions can also be dangerous if you’re not prepared. Visitors exploring the backcountry should dress for the cold and use snowshoes and skis to navigate trails where appropriate."
Snow depths range greatly in the central and northeastern Adirondacks, with the deepest snows in the higher elevations like the High Peaks region and other mountains over 3,000 feet. Snow depths are thinner in the southeastern and northwestern Adirondacks. Much of the Catskill Mountains are covered in snow, with icy trail conditions.
DEC recommends visitors to the backcountry carry snowshoes and trekking poles and use them when snow depths warrant. Snowshoes or skis ease travel on snow and prevent "post holing," which can ruin trails and cause sudden falls resulting in injuries. Crampons or other traction devices should be carried for use on icy portions of the trails including summits and other exposed areas. An ice axe may be necessary above tree line in the High Peaks. Forest Rangers strongly advise that current trail conditions will make travel without properly fitting traction devices extremely difficult. Check out DEC’s website for further details on traction devices.
Some seasonal access roads remain road open, however, with the potential for lake effect snow, the use of four-wheel drive vehicles is strongly recommended. Some seasonal access roads transitioned to snowmobile use once Northern Zone big game hunting season concluded. Check local club, county, and state webpages and resources, including the NYSSA Snowmobile Webmap, for up-to-date snowmobile trail information.
Ice has begun forming on ponds, bays of lakes, slow moving streams, and backwaters of rivers. No ice is safe at this time. Although ice may have snow on the surface, it is not thick enough to hold the weight of a person. Ice will remain unsafe until temperatures fall below freezing for a significant continuous period.
In addition, backcountry visitors should follow these safety guidelines:
- Check weather before entering the woods - if the weather is poor, postpone your trip.
- Be aware of weather conditions at all times - if the weather worsens, head out of the woods.
- Dress properly with layers of clothing of wool, fleece, and other materials that wick moisture (not cotton): a wool or fleece hat, gloves or mittens, wind/rain resistant outer wear, and winter boots.
- Carry a day pack with the following contents: Ice axe, plenty of food and water, extra clothing, map and compass, first-aid kit, flashlight/headlamp, sun glasses, sunblock protection, ensolite pads, stove and extra fuel, and bivy sack or space blankets.
- Carry plenty of food and water. Eat, drink and rest often. Being tired, hungry or dehydrated makes you more susceptible to hypothermia.
- Know the terrain and your physical capabilities - it takes more time and energy to travel through snow.
- Never travel alone and always inform someone of your intended route and return time.
Traveling through snow takes more energy and time than hiking the same distance, especially in freshly fallen snow. Plan trips accordingly. In an Emergency call 911. To request Forest Ranger assistance, call 518-408-5850, or in the Adirondacks, call 518-891-0235.
DEC’s Adirondack Backcountry Information and Catskill Backcountry Information websites provide current trail conditions and other important information to help ensure a safe and enjoyable backcountry winter experience.
While enjoying outdoor spaces, please continue to PLAY SMART * PLAY SAFE * PLAY LOCAL and follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)/DOH guidelines for preventing the spread of colds, flu, and COVID-19.
Ticketmaster Used Passwords Unlawfully Retained by a Former Employee of a Competitor to Access Computer Systems in Scheme to “Choke Off” the Victim’s Business
Earlier today in federal court in Brooklyn, Ticketmaster L.L.C. (Ticketmaster or the Company) agreed to pay a $10 million fine to resolve charges that it repeatedly accessed without authorization the computer systems of a competitor. The fine is part of a deferred prosecution agreement that Ticketmaster has entered with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York to resolve a five-count criminal information filed today charging computer intrusion and fraud offenses. Previously, on October 18, 2019, Zeeshan Zaidi, the former head of Ticketmaster’s Artist Services division, pled guilty in a related case to conspiring to commit computer intrusions and wire fraud based on his participation in the same scheme. Both cases are assigned to U.S. District Judge Margo K. Brodie.
Governor Cuomo Directs State Agencies to Prepare Emergency Assets as Multiple Storm Systems Will Impact the State over New Year's Weekend
Snow, Sleet and Freezing Rain Could Affect Travel for Several Days Across Much of New York
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed State agencies to prepare emergency assets and assist local governments as needed as multiple storm systems are expected to impact locations throughout the state with snow, sleet and freezing rain through the holiday weekend. Travel conditions are expected to be impacted, with areas in higher elevations likely seeing snow and mixed precipitation, while areas in lower elevations may see rain or ice accumulation up to a quarter of an inch in some places. Other locations should see a mix of sleet, rain and freezing rain. Due to multiple rounds of winter weather conditions, isolated power outages may also occur.
Tough goal can be achieved with more support and regulatory relief
Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced his ambitious New Year’s resolution for New York City: administering 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of January. With the City’s new three-point plan to double its weekly capacity, and additional support from all levels of government and private partners, the City could increase the pace and scale of its vaccination effort to make this target achievable. This goal cannot be hit by the City alone, without expanded support and increased coordination at every level of government.
“Like any good New Year’s resolution, one million doses by the end of January is an ambitious goal to say the least,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We are doing everything we can to vaccinate as many New Yorkers as possible, but to really pick up the pace, we need our federal and state partners on board—and fast. It will be tough, but I believe that we can do it.”
With the Vaccine Command Center helping to manage, triage, and coordinate the effort, the City aims to double its weekly capacity for vaccination—from hospitals, to community health care centers, to urgent care clinics—through a three-pronged plan. First, COVID-19 Vaccine Hubs will be launched across the city in January, where New Yorkers in neighborhoods across the city will ultimately be able to go to access to a vaccine. Conveniently located testing NYC Heath + Hospitals testing sites will also serve as vaccination centers, in addition to continuing to provide ongoing COVID-19 testing. The City is also calling on local organizations to scale up their capacity to administer vaccines quicker.
While the City is building out its capacity to ramp up vaccinations, continued and increased assistance from the State, Federal government, and private partners is needed to truly achieve these goals, including:
- Receiving more concrete and comprehensive guidance in advance so that NYC can expand the number of eligible New Yorkers
- Ensuring supply of the vaccine remains consistent, allowing the City to expand its reach to vaccinate more New Yorkers
- Private partners: pick up pace of getting shots into arms and increase ability to offer more vaccines to more New Yorkers every day and every week
With all these pieces in play, this New Year’s Resolution is ambitious, but achievable.
“These goals are ambitious and tough, but not impossible, provided we get the support and teamwork we need from all our partners in this fight,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Melanie Hartzog. “We’re not rosy-eyed – we know hitting the mark here hinges on several moving pieces working together and lots going right. That’s why we’re focused on doing everything we can to create a viable pathway to achieving it, bringing as many partners to the table as possible in the process in hopes of reaching as many New Yorkers as we can as quickly as possible.”
“These are ambitious goals, but we must be bold about turning vaccines into vaccinations swiftly—because it will save lives,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. “One key is doubling points of access for vaccination across our entire City, including not just hospitals but also community health centers, urgent care clinics, pharmacies, and dedicated vaccine hubs.”
Attorney General James and Governor Cuomo Renew Suspension of State Debt Collection for Ninth Time as Coronavirus Continues to Impact New Yorkers’ Wallets
“As we head into a new year, millions of New Yorkers are continuing to see and feel the financial impact of COVID-19,” said Attorney General James. “While hope is on the horizon with a vaccine, my office will not add undue stress or saddle New Yorkers with unnecessary financial burden at this time. We are renewing the suspension of student and medical debt collection referred to my office through the end of January in an effort to alleviate hardships and support New Yorkers as they navigate through these difficult times. My office will continue to look for ways to help New Yorkers to get back on their feet, and, by working together, it is our hope that we can rebuild our state’s economy and move towards a period of recovery.”
“New Yorkers made enormous sacrifices to bend the curve of this deadly virus, and we recognize many people are still struggling with both emotional pain and economic hardship as a result of this crisis,” Governor Cuomo said. “Renewing the suspension on the collection of student and medical debt that is referred to the attorney general’s office for an additional 31 days will help lessen the burden faced by so many families and businesses whose livelihoods have been affected by the pandemic. I’m grateful to the attorney general for her partnership.”
Millions of New Yorkers, like Americans across the nation, have been impacted — directly or indirectly — by the spread of COVID-19, forcing them to forgo income and business. Since COVID-19 began to spread rapidly across the country in mid-March, tens of millions of residents across the nation have filed for unemployment, including more than 4.5 million in New York state alone. In an effort to support many New Yorkers economically impacted during this difficult time, Attorney General James today renewed an order — first made in March and renewed in April, in May, in June, in July, in August, in September, in October, and in November — to ease the financial burdens for many workers and families by halting the collection of medical and student debt owed to the state of New York and referred to the OAG for collection — with limited exceptions — through January 31, 2021.
The OAG collects certain debts owed to the state of New York via settlements and lawsuits brought on behalf of the state of New York and state agencies. A total of more than 165,000 matters currently fit the criteria for a suspension of state debt collection, including, but not limited to:
- Patients that owe medical debt due to the five state hospitals and the five state veterans’ homes;
- Students that owe student debt due to State University of New York (SUNY) campuses; and
- Individual debtors, sole-proprietors, small business owners, and certain homeowners that owe debt relating to oil spill cleanup and removal costs, property damage, and breach of contract, as well as other fees owed to state agencies.
The temporary policy has also automatically suspended the accrual of interest and the collection of fees on all outstanding state medical and student debt referred to the OAG for collection, so New Yorkers are not penalized for taking advantage of this program.
New Yorkers with non-medical or non-student debt owed to the state of New York and referred to the OAG may also apply to temporarily halt the collection of state debt. Individuals seeking to apply for this temporary relief can fill out an application online or visit the OAG’s coronavirus website to learn more about the suspension of payments. If an individual is unable to fill out the online form, they can also call the OAG hotline at 800-771-7755 to learn more.