Saturday, November 7, 2020

Assemblymember Victor M. Pichardo Congratulates Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris


  "Vice  President-Elect  Kamala Harris's  victory today shows that people like my daughters, and many young girls across this country can aspire to be something as important and as powerful as the Vice President of the most powerful nation on our planet.

Her election gives me hope, gives me confidence, and gives me the relief to know that women, particularly women of color, are valued. However, we still have a lot of work to do, and I look forward to doing that work with the new incoming Vice President in her upcoming term." said Assemblymember Victor M. Pichardo. 


The date of this statement from Assemblyman Victor Pichardo is dated Saturday Nov. 7, 2020 based on media projections, while not all the votes have been counted.

We also question this statement as to why there is no mention of the President Elect, or is Assemblyman Pichardo trying to tell us that the President will be as some think Kamala Harris before the president's term is up.

Governor Cuomo Announces Updated COVID-19 Micro-Cluster Focus Zones - NOVEMBER 6, 2020


 Based on Progress Controlling COVID Spread, Zones Change in Brooklyn, Queens - Far Rockaway, and Rockland and Orange County

Zones Do Not Change in Queens - Kew Gardens/Forest Hills and Broome, Steuben, Chemung Counties

New Yellow Precautionary Zone in Port Chester, Westchester County

SUNY to Test All On-Campus Students Before Holidays; Private Colleges Asked to Consider Similar Plans

Positive Testing Rate in All Focus Zone Areas is 3.16 Percent; New York State Positivity Outside All Focus Zone Areas is 1.84 Percent     

Statewide Positivity Rate is 1.99 Percent

18 COVID-19 Deaths in New York State Yesterday

 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced updated COVID-19 micro-cluster focus areas in New York State. Brooklyn's Red Zone focus zone area has new boundaries to reflect a decreased positivity rate and new daily cases in certain neighborhoods. Based on data metrics including testing results and hospitalization rates Queens - Far Rockaway's yellow zone has been removed; Rockland County's red zone focus areas will change to an orange warning zone; and Orange County's orange zone will change to a yellow precautionary zone. Focus zones in Queens - Kew Gardens/Forest Hills and Broome, Steuben and Chemung counties will not change. The Governor also announced a new yellow precautionary zone focus area in Westchester County.

SUNY will test its in-person students before sending them home for Thanksgiving and will keep them home for the rest of the semester. The Governor asked that private colleges in New York consider adopting similar plans.

"As a matter of context, we are obviously in a different phase with COVID, and we've been talking about it for weeks, but we have to fully acknowledge it. The fall phase the scientists all predicted was going to be worse. You're seeing global and national surges that are dramatic, and that's the new reality of COVID. The challenge for our state, like other states, is managing the increase," Governor Cuomo said. "We are going to modify some micro-cluster zones in response to declining positivity rates. In Erie, Monroe, Onondaga Counties, we're going to study them over the weekend. We're going to talk to the elected officials over the weekend, try to find out exactly what is going on, so that we can design a micro-cluster strategy that is responsive. But at these numbers, and in these areas, a micro-cluster response is appropriate. We tailor the micro-cluster strategy to the particulars of that area, and therefore we want to have conversations over the weekend and then I'll have an announcement on Monday as to exactly what we're going to do. Those are the highest places in the state, but again, they're lower than Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania."

Modifications to Current Focus Zones

Brooklyn - Modified Red Zone and New Yellow Zone - Click Here for Map

Since early October, Brooklyn's Red Zone has seen a positivity decline from 5.9% to 3.1% Based on case prevalence data and analysis of where positivity rates remain high and where they have declined, the Brooklyn's Red Zone was redrawn to include a smaller geographic area with a modified Yellow buffer zone area.

Queens - Far Rockaway - Yellow Zone Removed

The positivity in this zone has been consistently in 1%-2% range effectively over a ten-day period with low number of hospitalizations and new daily cases. This zone will be removed and cases continued to be monitored.

Rockland County - Red Zone Changes to Orange Precautionary Zone, Yellow Buffer Zone Remains - Click Here for Map

Since early October, Rockland's Red Zone has seen a positivity decline from 9.8% to 3.6%, meeting the metrics for transitioning from a Red Zone to an Orange Warning Zone. The Yellow buffer zone will remain.

Orange County - Red Zone Changes to Yellow Zone - Click Here for Map

Orange County's Warning focus zone has been under 3% positivity, and hospital admission rates have declined, meeting the metrics for transitioning to a Yellow Precautionary Zone. The buffer zone will be removed.

Focus Zones Without Modifications

Queens - Kew Gardens/Forest Hills - Click Here for Map: The positivity in this zone is currently 2.69% (7-day rolling average), effectively flat over a ten-day period. No changes to zone.

Broome County - Click Here for Map: Yellow Precautionary Zone is unchanged (4.05% current 7-day positivity, down from 7.44% ten days ago)

Steuben County - Click Here for Map: Yellow Precautionary Zone is unchanged (4.15 current 7-day positivity, down from 6.22% ten days ago)

Chemung County - Click Here for Map: Orange Warning zone is unchanged (6.84% current 7-day positivity, down from 8.02% ten days ago)


New Focus Zones

Westchester County - New Yellow Zone - Click Here for Map

The Port Chester area along the Connecticut border has had a sustained average positivity rate above 2.5%, with upticks in new positive cases and hospital admissions, meeting metrics for a yellow zone designation. In response to an increase in cases in Port Chester, NY, the New York State Department of Health, Westchester County Department of Health and Open Door Family Medical Center have coordinated to provide rapid testing at a new site below. To schedule an appointment please follow this link: or call 914-995-7425.

Open Door

5 Grace Church Street

Port Chester, NY 10573

Saturday, November 7, from 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Monday, November 9, from 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Tuesday, November 10, from 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

The Governor noted that the positive testing rate in all focus areas under the state's Micro-Cluster strategy is 3.16 percent, and outside the focus zone areas is 1.84 percent. Within the focus areas, 19,084 test results were reported yesterday, yielding 604 positives. In the remainder of the state, not counting these focus areas, 141,621 test results were reported, yielding 2,605 positives. 

Today's data is summarized briefly below:

  • Patient Hospitalization - 1,321 (+44)
  • Patients Newly Admitted - 202 
  • Hospital Counties - 45
  • Number ICU - 285 (+17)
  • Number ICU with Intubation - 129 (+1)
  • Total Discharges - 80,368 (+143)
  • Deaths - 18
  • Total Deaths - 25,910

Governor Cuomo and New York State to Honor Veterans with Free Fishing Day on November 11


Fishing License Requirement Waived to Honor New York's Veterans and Encourage New Yorkers to Get Outdoors and Enjoy State's Fishing Opportunities

 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced today that New York residents and non-residents can fish for free without a license on Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11. New York's Free Fishing Days encourage more people to get outdoors and enjoy the state's world-class fishing opportunities. Legislation signed by the Governor in 2015 allowed an increase in the number of authorized statewide Free Fishing Days. Every year since, Veterans Day has been designated as a Free Fishing Day.

"The Veterans Day Free Fishing Day is just one way to acknowledge the contributions of our veterans while offering the opportunity to enjoy some of the best fishing spots in the nation, right here in the Empire State," Governor Cuomo said. "I encourage everyone from expert anglers to beginners to take advantage of this Free Fishing Day and enjoy everything New York has to offer." 

The Free Fishing Days program is administered by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as part of Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative. The free fishing days program began in 1991, to give people who might not fish a chance to try the sport at no cost, introduce people to a new hobby, and encourage people to support the sport by purchasing a New York State fishing license. 

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Free fishing on Veterans Day recognizes the service of men and women in our armed forces and is a great opportunity for experienced anglers to introduce friends and relatives to the sport. As we all work to prevent the spread of COVID-19, more New Yorkers are heading outdoors in search of local recreational activities. Being near the water, enjoying some of the state's world-class fisheries, is an excellent way to unwind and learn more about the sport of fishing."

Free Fishing Day participants are reminded that although the requirement for a fishing license is waived during free fishing days, all other fishing regulations remain in effect. When not participating in Free Fishing Days, anyone 16 years of age and older must have a current State fishing license to fish in New York. Fishing licenses are valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. More information on purchasing a fishing license can be found on DEC's website. 

Fishing and hunting in New York build a sense of stewardship of fish and wildlife resources and habitats, provide an opportunity for experienced hunters and anglers to share their knowledge with others, and promote participation in hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting through the mentoring of young hunters and anglers. New York's hunters and anglers contribute an estimated $4.9 billion to the economy in spending, which supports more than 56,000 jobs and $623 million in state and local taxes. To find out about angling opportunities near you, visit Places to Fish on DEC's website or download the New York Fishing, Hunting & Wildlife App.

New York State continues to encourage people to engage in responsible recreation during the State's ongoing response to COVID-19. This fall, anglers should be mindful in taking precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19 while enjoying the outstanding fishing opportunities throughout the state. At popular angling destinations, especially the Salmon River in Oswego County, angler density can become high enough to make social distancing difficult. DEC is placing signage at popular locations reminding anglers to be SMART when fishing this year:

  • Socially distance at least six feet apart;
  • Mask - Wear one when you cannot maintain social distancing, especially in parking lots and along footpaths;
  • Avoid sharing gear when possible;
  • Respect your fellow anglers and the resource by providing space and practicing ethical angling; and
  • Take out what you bring in or place trash in receptacles. 

Anglers fishing from a boat should make sure it's large enough so persons on board are at least six feet apart from one another. For more information on boating guidelines and safety, go to State Parks website and for more information about how to PLAY SMART * PLAY SAFE * PLAY LOCAL, visit DEC's website.

Attorney General James Sues Sotheby’s for Defrauding New York Taxpayers Out of Millions


Sotheby’s Helped Wealthy Clients Evade Taxes to Boost its Own Sales

  New York Attorney General Letitia James today filed a lawsuit against the international auction house Sotheby’s for defrauding the state of New York and its taxpayers out of millions of dollars in unpaid sales tax. The complaint alleges that Sotheby’s violated the New York False Claims Act by facilitating the creation and use of false tax exemption certificates — known as resale certificates — for an art collector and major client, even though it knew the art collector was not eligible to claim the exemption.

“Millionaires and billionaires cannot be allowed to evade taxes while every day Americans pay their fair share,” said Attorney General James. “Sotheby’s violated the law and fleeced New York taxpayers out of millions just to boost its own sales. This lawsuit should send a clear message that no matter how well-connected or wealthy you are, no one is above the law.” 

In 2018, the collector’s company, Porsal Equities, entered into a settlement agreement with the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) in which Porsal admitted it had improperly used resale certificates in violation of the New York False Claims Act. The OAG investigation found that Porsal Equities admitted that it and its owner certified that they were purchasing artwork for resale when, in reality, they were purchasing the artwork for personal purposes — namely, for display and enjoyment at the collector’s private residence. 

Today’s lawsuit — filed in New York County State Supreme Court — alleges that Sotheby’s knew that the collector and his company were not purchasing art for resale as art dealers in the normal course of business, but accepted their resale certificates anyway, and, in fact, facilitated the creation and use of these resale certificates. In 2010, Sotheby’s advised the collector he could use a resale certificate and helped complete the certificate, including adding the false declaration that he was an art dealer even though, in reality, the collector had not told Sotheby’s he was an art dealer and Sotheby’s knew he was actually in the shipping business. Sotheby’s not only accepted this resale certificate, but, by 2015, had accepted three more equally false certificates from Porsal Equities facilitated by Sotheby’s employees, despite overwhelming evidence that the collector and Porsal Equities were not art dealers and were only buying art for personal use.



 Mayor Bill de Blasio today made the following statement on the special election in the New York City Council’s 24th District:


“I am declaring Tuesday, February 2, 2021 as the date for the 24th City Council District special election to elect a Council Member to serve until December 31st, 2021. This date, within the window allowed by the City Charter, will facilitate maximum voter participation. I encourage all eligible Queens residents to vote early, in person, or by absentee ballot in the upcoming special election.”

Councilman Mark Gjonaj Information


Thursday, November 5, 2020

Governor Cuomo Updates New Yorkers on State's Progress During COVID-19 Pandemic - NOVEMBER 5, 2020


Positive Testing Rate in All Focus Zone Areas is 3.04 Percent; New York State Positivity Outside All Focus Zone Areas is 1.70 Percent

Statewide Positivity Rate is 1.86 Percent

24 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.

"Every expert told us come the fall cases would go up, and that's what's happening around the country and the globe," Governor Cuomo said. "We got ready here in New York: we have our micro-cluster strategy and we have our additional testing. That's why we have the third lowest positivity rate in the country. But COVID fatigue is creeping up and there are serious caution flags in Western New York, the Finger Lakes, and in other communities across the state, so it is more important than ever that we be vigilant. Wear masks, wash your hands, adhere to social distancing rules, and enforce the public health guidelines that are there to save lives."

The Governor noted that the positive testing rate in all focus areas under the state's Micro-Cluster strategy is 3.04 percent, and outside the focus zone areas is 1.70 percent. Within the focus areas, 19,814 test results were reported yesterday, yielding 602 positives. In the remainder of the state, not counting these focus areas, 141,205 test results were reported, yielding 2,395 positives.

Today's data is summarized briefly below:

  • Patient Hospitalization - 1,277 (+24)
  • Patients Newly Admitted - 164
  • Hospital Counties - 46
  • Number ICU - 268 (-16)
  • Number ICU with Intubation - 128 (-1)
  • Total Discharges - 80,225 (+116)
  • Deaths - 24
  • Total Deaths - 25,892

NYPD Announces Citywide Crime Statistics for October 2020


For the month of October 2020, the number of gun arrests increased by 102.4 % (502 v. 248). Year-to-date, the number of gun arrests have increased by 15% (3,308 vs. 2,876). For the month of October, gun arrests have increased in every borough.

Between October 1 and October 31, there was a 121% increase in the number of shooting incidents across the city (137 v. 62). The number of people murdered citywide decreased to 35 v. 36, (- 2.8%) for the month, while the number of burglaries increased to 1,363 v. 1,031 (+32.2%) and the number of auto thefts increased to 933 v. 522 (+78.7%) citywide.

From the COVID-19 outbreak through upticks in violent crime to the continuing work of facilitating peaceful protests throughout the city, the 2020 calendar year has confronted our officers and the city’s residents with unprecedented challenges. Through it all, our mutual resiliency has come through.

Today, our NYPD officers continue to display the best of the NYPD traditions, responding in real-time to crime spikes by gathering timely intelligence and analyzing crime trends. In addition, there is a new class of recruits who have entered the Police Academy and the NYPD’s work to keep all New Yorkers safe continues.

“Our tireless men and women officers are here to serve New Yorkers and keep everyone across all neighborhoods safe,” said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. “We will continue to be relentless in our mission to ensure public safety by working hand-in-hand with those we are sworn to serve and to deliver fair and exceptional police services.”

Key highlights from this month's crime statistics:

  • Murder is up +37.2% (387 v. 282) for the first ten months of 2020 when compared to the first ten months of 2019.
  • There were 137 citywide shooting incidents in October 2020, compared to 62 shooting incidents in October 2019, a +121% increase. Year-to-date, through October 31, there is a +93.9% spike in citywide shooting incidents (1,299 v. 670).
  • Burglary increased +32.2% (1,363 v. 1,031) in October and is up +41.6% (12,673 v. 8,951) year-to-date through October 31.
  • For the month of October, rape decreased by -17.5% (127 v. 154). Rape continues to be underreported. If you have been a victim of sexual assault, please come forward. The NYPD Special Victims Division's 24-hour hotline is 212-267RAPE (7273).
  • Year-to-date, through October 28, citywide hate crimes declined -34% (237 v. 359).

Team AOC - We re-elected Alexandria and cemented our movement’s vision


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for Congress

We did it!!! Our opponents raised over $13 million from Trump donors, corporations and billionaires, but we still re-elected Alexandria to Congress with a groundswell of support.

And that’s not all we did. Thanks to your help, we cemented our movement’s values and vision into a gigantic, growing force in the fight for working-class families across the nation. Specifically, because of your support, we:

  • Delivered 80,000 meals
  • Donated more than 100,000 masks
  • Organized over 3,600 volunteers
  • Fundraised $1.1 million to provide COVID-19 relief to excluded workers and families in-need
  • Empowered our communities through workshops on childcare collectives, eviction defense, workplace safety and more
  • Launched a virtual homework helper program to support students and families in our district
  • Organized a $1 million census outreach program, which resulted in over $52.6 million returned to our district
  • Recruited over 1,000 volunteers to help get out the vote in key swing states

We couldn’t have done that without you!

Progress doesn’t happen without your work. We appreciate you more than words can capture.

But listen. We can’t skip a beat. The work we have ahead of us is deep and transcends elections. It always has been. We are called to do it.

Donald Trump’s premature claims of victory are illegitimate, dangerous, and authoritarian. We need to organize like crazy to count the votes and respect the results.

And as long as working-class families are under siege from corrupt politicians and greedy corporations, we have an obligation to do everything we can to level the field.

This struggle will continue to be a challenging one. But right now, we are showing that we have the grit and determination to overcome the odds. A better world is not only possible – she is in our hands.

So yes, we should take a moment to celebrate what we have worked so hard to achieve – and then get right back to work.

With infinite gratitude,

Team AOC



Mayor Bill de Blasio: What a beautiful, powerful story, reminding us of the strength of this place, reminding us of what we love about New York City – the power of New Yorkers, the resiliency of New Yorkers, the faith that New Yorkers bring to everything we do and why after everything – and Elizabeth, what you said – remember, everyone, when she said – after hurricanes, after storms, the green markets come back. No matter what happens, people come back and they gathered together to bring our city back. Even after 9/11 – what a poignant thought that after 9/11, there you were, bringing things to help people, bringing food to help people. This is a reminder of who we are.  


So, we're gathered here in the middle of a crisis, but it's a crisis we will overcome. That's what we do as New Yorkers. You look around you today and you see people who are ready to move forward. It's not a ghost town, is it? It's a place filled with joy and hope and people making something happen. So, this Holiday Market is more evidence of the strength of the city. You know, some people might say, well, let's not have it – but, we're New Yorkers. In fact, we said, yes, let's have the Holiday Market. Let's celebrate together. Let's help our small businesses. Let's do it in a way that's safe, right? We could do it and we could do it in a way that's safe, and that's what we have done here.  


Now, everybody, here’s the most important message. You need to spend your money here. Okay? Let's make it really clear. New Yorkers like straight talk. You need to spend your money here. It's nice to buy things online, but it's a lot nicer to buy things from the person who's actually created them. It's a lot nicer to help a small business and help your fellow New Yorker, help someone who built a small business from scratch, help the people that live here in our own community, help them to have jobs. So, this holiday season, we know a lot families are hurting. We know there won't be as much to spend, but what you do choose to spend, buy local, buy from a small business, buy from a real human being. Come here to the Holiday Market, and every single purchase you make will help the city you love and help your fellow New Yorkers.  


So, everyone, with that, look, this Winter Village, it's not only a great thing itself, it helped inspire something we're doing now our Open Storefronts initiative, where we're going to allow businesses to use the sidewalks in front of their stores, so people can purchase things outdoors, where they're going to feel safe, give small businesses a chance to come back. This market and others like it helped inspire that vision. So, all the good here and all the good that will come from this, and now I just want to take a moment, I want to turn to a man who had a lot of partners, but he was the genius behind this – saw what could happen here in Bryant Park years ago and made it one of the truly magical places in this city. Mr. Dan Biederman. 




New agreement with Council of School Supervisors and Administrators will save $45 million in FY21  

Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that the City has reached $680 million in labor savings in fiscal year 2021, following an agreement with the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators that saves $45 million in fiscal year 2021. Today’s agreement follows agreements with District Council 37, the United Federation of Teachers, the Uniformed Fire Officers Association, Doctors Council and Glaziers. The City still needs a minimum of $5 billion in federal or state relief in order to avoid drastic action such as layoffs for fiscal year 2022.   

“As the prospect of a stimulus next year continues to improve, we’ve been hard at work with our labor partners to find savings this year,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I thank Mark Cannizzaro and all of our educators for doing their part to get New York City out of this fiscal crisis.”   

The agreement with CSA includes:  

Deferred payment: Payment of $45 million is deferred to Fiscal Year 2022.    

Commitment on layoffs: No layoffs of CSA members through June 30, 2021. If the City receives State and Federal assistance of $5 billion or more, the no-layoff pledge is extended to June 30, 2022.  

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Bronx Man Charged With Kidnapping Girlfriend And Her 7-Year-Old Child


 Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Dermot Shea, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced the arrest of AQUILINO TORRES in connection with the kidnapping of his girlfriend and her 7-year-old son.  TORRES was arrested yesterday and will be presented in Manhattan federal court later today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron. 

Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:  “As alleged, Aquilino Torres threatened to kill a 7-year-old child in carrying out a brutal kidnapping of the child and his mother.  Torres then allegedly held his victims captive for several days, during which he physically abused both mother and child, and sexually assaulted the woman.  Thankfully, the victims managed to escape, and thanks to the FBI and NYPD, Torres is in custody and facing federal prosecution for horrific crimes.”

FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said:  “The conduct we allege in this case is horrific.  Torres allegedly broke a mother’s jaw, tied her hands to a bed frame after physically and sexually assaulting her, and held her and her seven-year-old child against their will for several days.  In spite of all she endured, the victim was able to escape her captor with her son and bring them both to safety.  The resiliency she and her son showed is commendable, and as a result of their heroic actions, Torres will now face justice.  I sincerely hope that provides them some comfort; we will do everything in our power to help them heal.”

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said:  “In kidnaping a mother and her son, as alleged in this case, the defendant harmed innocent victims and that will never be tolerated.  I commend our NYPD investigators and federal partners for their hard work to bring justice in this case.”           

According to the allegations in the Complaint[1]:

On or about October 5, 2020, TORRES approached his girlfriend (“Victim-1”) in the vicinity of Harlem in New York, New York, and threatened to kill Victim-1’s 7-year-old son (“Minor Victim-1”) if she did not come with TORRES.  TORRES brought Victim-1 and Minor Victim-1 to a motel in the Bronx, where he proceeded to lock the door and physically assault Victim-1, including by punching Victim-1 several times in the face and body.  TORRES then had sex with Victim-1 against her will.  The following day, TORRES directed Victim-1 to order an Uber to take TORRES, Victim-1, and Minor Victim-1 to an apartment in Washington Heights (the “Apartment”).  TORRES forced Victim-1 and Minor Victim-1 to stay in the Apartment against their will for multiple days.  On at least one occasion, TORRES tied Victim-1’s hands to a bed frame to prevent her from leaving the Apartment while he was away.  TORRES also physically assaulted Victim-1 and Minor Victim-1 while at the Apartment.  On or about October 10, 2020, Victim-1 and Minor Victim-1 escaped from the Apartment.  Thereafter, Victim-1 was admitted to a hospital, where she was found to have a broken jaw that required surgery.

TORRES is charged with: one count of kidnapping, which carries a maximum term of life in prison, and one count of kidnapping of a minor, which carries a mandatory minimum term of 20 years in prison and a maximum term of life.  The maximum potential sentences and the mandatory minimum sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant would be determined by the judge. 

Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI and NYPD, in particular, the Violent Crimes Task Force.  The prosecution of this case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit.  Assistant United States Attorney David Robles is in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 [1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint, and the description of the Complaint set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Governor Cuomo Updates New Yorkers on State's Progress During COVID-19 Pandemic - NOVEMBER 4, 2020


Positive Testing Rate in All Focus Zone Areas is 2.69 Percent; New York State Positivity Outside All Focus Zone Areas is 1.42 Percent

Statewide Positivity Rate is 1.59 Percent

14 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.

"The surge in cases around the country and the globe is a stark reminder that this pandemic is far from over, and while we are doing a good job keeping our positivity rate comparatively low, the numbers in Western New York are a caution flag," Governor Cuomo said. "We're staying on top of this situation by continuing our aggressive micro-cluster strategy, expanding testing capacity and enforcing compliance of the public health law. But New Yorkers must continue to practice the basic daily behaviors that make such a difference in our ability to slow the spread. Be vigilant, wear a mask, stay socially distanced and wash your hands. We can beat this virus but only if we work together and stay New York Tough."

The Governor noted that the positive testing rate in all focus areas under the state's Micro-Cluster strategy is 2.69 percent, and outside the focus zone areas is 1.42 percent. Within the focus areas, 18,581 test results were reported yesterday, yielding 499 positives. In the remainder of the state, not counting these focus areas, 114,953 test results were reported, yielding 1,627 positives. Full results for tests reported yesterday, the day prior. 

Today's data is summarized briefly below:

  • Patient Hospitalization - 1,253 (+26)
  • Patients Newly Admitted - 180
  • Hospital Counties - 47
  • Number ICU - 284 (+16)
  • Number ICU with Intubation - 129 (+9)
  • Total Discharges - 80,109 (+119)
  • Deaths - 14
  • Total Deaths - 25,868

High-Ranking Member Of Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods Sentenced To 24 Years In Prison After Trial


 Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that ANTHONY ELLISON, a/k/a “Harv,” was sentenced to 288 months in prison in connection with his participation in the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods (“Nine Trey”), the July 22, 2018, kidnapping of Daniel Hernandez, a/k/a “Tekashi 6ix 9ine,” and the October 24, 2018, slashing of a victim in furtherance of the Nine Trey enterprise.  ELLISON was convicted following a three-week jury trial in October 2019 before U.S. District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer, who imposed today’s sentence.

Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:  “Anthony Ellison was a high-ranking member of the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods, a violent gang that wreaked havoc across New York City, and he was convicted of racketeering, kidnapping, and a violent assault with a dangerous weapon.  Now, thanks to the outstanding work of our partners at the NYPD, HSI, and ATF, he will spend the next 24 years in federal prison.”

According to court documents and the evidence presented at the trial of ELLISON and co-defendant Aljermiah Mack:

Nine Trey was a criminal enterprise involved in committing numerous acts of violence, including shootings, robberies, and assaults in and around Manhattan and Brooklyn.  Members and associates of Nine Trey engaged in violence to retaliate against rival gangs, to promote the standing and reputation of Nine Trey, and to protect the gang’s narcotics business.  Members and associates of Nine Trey enriched themselves by committing robberies and selling drugs, such as heroin, fentanyl, furanyl fentanyl, MDMA, dibutylone, and marijuana.

The leadership structure of Nine Trey is divided into two parts: the Prison Lineup, which consists of incarcerated members, and the Street Lineup, which consists of members who are not incarcerated.  ELLISON was a high-ranking member of the Street Lineup.

ELLISON was found guilty after trial of racketeering conspiracy for his participation in the Nine Trey enterprise, kidnapping in aid of racketeering, and maiming and assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering.

In addition to the prison term, ELLISON, 33, of Brooklyn, New York, was sentenced to five years of supervised release.              

Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of the New York City Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Ms. Strauss also praised the New York City Department of Correction, Correction Intelligence Bureau, and the Kings County District Attorney’s Office for their assistance in the investigation.

Governor Cuomo Updates New Yorkers on State's Progress During COVID-19 Pandemic - NOVEMBER 3, 2020

Positive Testing Rate in All Focus Zone Areas is 2.63 Percent; New York State Positivity Outside All Focus Zone Areas is 1.71 Percent

Statewide Positivity Rate is 1.81 Percent

14 COVID-19 Deaths in New York State Yesterday

Gov. Cuomo: "New York State's progress is threatened by national surge in cases - we must remain NY Tough." 

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

"As cases continue to surge across the country and around the globe, New Yorkers must remember what has worked for us from Day One: being disciplined and smart," Governor Cuomo said. "As our metrics demonstrate, New York State is not immune from the wave of COVID outbreaks currently sweeping across the nation and the increase in cases and hospitalizations over the past weeks must serve as a caution flag that unless we are vigilant and continue wearing masks, washing our hands and remaining socially distant, the viral spread will increase. While the numbers show New York State is comparatively in a better place managing the virus than most other states, our progress is threatened by the national surge in new cases and we must remain New York Tough."

Across the country, COVID rates are spiking - 48 states and Washington, D.C. have seen cases increase over the last two weeks, and the metrics show New York State has also seen new outbreaks and increased spread in certain parts of the state. While New York State's daily positivity and daily number of hospitalizations have shown increases over the last month, overall the metrics continue to show the State's micro-cluster approach has been effective in containing viral spread. Over the past week:

  • New York State's statewide positivity has been the 3rd-lowest of any state in the nation, per Johns Hopkins University.
  • New York State's rate of new cases per 100,000 people has been the 6th-lowest of any state in the nation.
  • New York's State's current COVID hospitalizations per 100,000 people has been the 7th-lowest of any state in the nation.
  • New York State's rate of new COVID fatalities per 100,000 people has been the 3rd-lowest of any state in the nation
  • New York State has accounted for 10 percent of all of the nation's COVID tests, and just 2.5 percent of the nation's new COVID cases - while representing 5.9 percent of the total U.S. population.

New York State will continue its effective micro-cluster approach, enacting targeted restrictions and focused testing in areas of the state where the metrics show sustained high levels of viral spread.

The Governor noted that the positive testing rate in all focus areas under the state's Micro-Cluster strategy is 2.63 percent, and outside the focus zone areas is 1.71 percent. Within the focus areas, 14,332 test results were reported yesterday, yielding 378 positives. In the remainder of the state, not counting these focus areas, 113,537 test results were reported, yielding 1,943 positives.

Today's data is summarized briefly below:

      Patient Hospitalization - 1,227 (+76)

      Patients Newly Admitted - 156

      Hospital Counties - 48

      Number ICU - 268 (-8)

      Number ICU with Intubation - 120 (+4)

      Total Discharges - 79,990 (+75)

      Deaths - 14

      Total Deaths - 25,853

Attorney General James Advises New York Voters With Absentee Ballot Errors


Per New York State Law, BOE Must Give Reason for Ballot Rejections 

For Questions and Concerns Regarding Errors With Your Absentee Ballot,

Contact the Office of the Attorney General at 1-800-771-7755

 Attorney General Letitia James today issued an alert to New Yorkers who voted by absentee ballot to inform them of their rights under New York state’s new “notice and cure” law. The law states that voters must be notified if their absentee ballots are being rejected for certain errors they might have made in filling out their ballots, such as the voter forgot to sign the oath envelope (which is the envelope that the completed ballot goes inside, also referred to as the “affirmation” envelope, or “security” envelope). The voter must also be given an opportunity to fix such errors within an allotted time period.

“Voting is a cornerstone of our democracy,” said Attorney General James. “Every voter has a right to have their voice heard, and it’s important that they are empowered with information to make sure their voice is heard. With the record number of first-time absentee ballots, we hope this information proves useful to voters who may need to fix an inadvertent error with their ballot.”

Local Boards of Election must notify voters as soon as possible if their ballots have deficiencies, which would need to be corrected, or “cured,” in order for their vote to count. Among other clerical-type errors, deficiencies could include:

  • The oath envelope is unsigned;
  • The oath envelope signature does not appear to correspond to the signature on file;
  • The oath envelope does not have the required witness to a mark where voter assistance is provided;
  • The ballot is returned in the return envelope either with an unsealed oath envelope, or completely without an oath envelope;   
  • The oath envelope is signed by the person that has provided voter assistance, but is not signed or marked by the voter; or  
  • The voter has failed to sign the oath envelope and someone else has signed the oath envelope (i.e. power of attorney). 

Under the legislature’s amendments to the Election Law, as modified by Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.58, the Boards of Election are encouraged to count ballots “as soon as possible.” However, it is likely that people will receive these notices of deficiencies after Election Day, given the record number of absentee ballots to be processed this year. If voters received a notice of deficiency between October 27 and November 3, they have seven days to address the issue to ensure their vote is counted. If the ballot is received on or after November 3, voters have five days from when they receive notification by email, mail, or phone to cure any deficiencies.

Attorney General James encourages voters with questions or concerns about the absentee ballot notice and cure process to call the office’s Hotline at 1-800-771-7755, submit complaints online, or email 

In addition to providing this guidance to voters, Attorney General James also issued guidance to Board of Election offices and law enforcement entities throughout the state to protect New Yorkers from voter intimidation on, and before, Election Day in October.

Let's See How My Predictions Did On Election Day 2020


1 - Prediction - Presidential race will be to close to call Well it is now more than 24 hours after the election (on the East Coast), and there is still no winner announces for President. Law suits have been filed, it is alleged that several states had more people vote than were registered to vote, and it is also claimed that numerous dead people voted either in person or by mail.

Outcome - With all the law suits we may get ti\o know who the president is by Thanksgiving. 

2- The AOC - Cummings race. Cummings will do better than expected, but fall short. Also AOC's primary opponent will ne no factor. 

Outcome - Right on the money 

3 - 80th A.D. race Gene De Francis will be the winner.

Outcome - Wrong on this one.

Two out of three is not bad, and the Yankees would love to have a winning percentage of .667 every season.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Today is Election Day. 100 PERCENT - Election 2020 - Predictions Don't Forget to Vote

The race to watch is the 80th Assembly race where in 2012 now Councilman Mark Gjonaj received more votes than all three of the other candidates including the incumbent (at that time) assemblywoman. Gjonaj then won election to the city council in 2017, and in April of 2018 a special election was held that handed the assembly seat to Gjonaj's former Chief of Staff with a total vote count which was less then the number of votes Gjonaj alone received in 2012. Said assembly member did not have a primary in 2018 or in 2020, and announced her decision to run for Bronx Borough President next year months before her November election which has angered many people that she is taking the people of the 80th A.D. for granted, while she campaigns for Bronx BP. Her leading an anti police march through the district right past the park where hundreds of people showed to support the police has angered others in the 80th A.D. 

Mr. Gene De Francis is the head of the Allerton Merchants Association, an officer of the 49th Precinct Community Council, and former Veteran of the armed forces which makes him a formidable opponent to the weak incumbent. The fact that candidate Gene De Francis is running with Conservative minded John Cummings in a conservative minded district is an added plus, including the two Democratic Clubs on the West side of the 80th Assembly District that have endorsed Gene De Francis. We see another Mark Gjonaj type person in Gene De Francis, and for that reason with the added minuses of the weak incumbent who also lost both of the District Leaders on her slate in the June primary we call this race for Gene De Francis by a margin of 54% to 46 %.

 In the 14th Congressional race in 2018 current Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won a surprising victory over the long time incumbent, and she is now the incumbent. When all the votes are counted I expect AOC to be the winner, but her opponent John Cummings will have come closer than many expect him to, at least in the Bronx. It is the Queens part of the district that will provide the safe margin of victory for the incumbent congresswoman. AOC's primary opponent who is running on a minor third party line should be of no significance in the race.

The biggest race is that of President of the United States. Four years ago I was the only Bronx political reporter to openly call the race for Donald Trump. During the past four years Donald Trump was cruising to an easy victory, that is until the Corona Virus started in China. That virus made its way across Asia into Europe, and finally to the United States. Now every Democrat who blamed Trump from anything to everything blames him for the Corona Virus.

Only four incumbent presidents in post 1900 United States history who served a full four year term were not reelected to a second term. They were William Taft 1909 - 1913, Herbert Hoover 1929 - 1933, Jimmy Carter 1977 - 1981, and George Bush Sr. 1989 - 1993. Only four Vice Presidents have been elected President, George Bush Sr. in 1988, Martin Van Buren in 1856, Thomas Jefferson in 1800, and John Adams in 1796. 

While certain people admonish Trump for his friendships with certain foreign countries he is the only president since Jimmy Carter not to have participated in a war with another country. The national economy has continued to grow even with the pandemic, and Trump is the first U.S. President to recognize  Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

As I did four years ago I predict that Donald Trump will be elected, this time to a second term as president of the United States. As was the case four years ago the race is too close to call, and may not be fully determined until sometime in December. Four years ago Donald Trump won one election district in the 80th A.D. This year Donald Trump should win seven election districts in the 80th and 82nd assembly districts combined. 

The writer Robert Press has an excellent record of calling close political races either exactly or within the margin of error.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Governor Cuomo Updates New Yorkers on State's Progress During COVID-19 Pandemic - NOVEMBER 2, 2020


Positive Testing Rate in All Focus Zone Areas is 3.50 Percent; New York State Positivity Outside All Focus Zone Areas is 1.48 Percent

Statewide Positivity Rate is 1.70 Percent

14 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.

"New York is in the midst of a sea of division and a national COVID surge. All around us, the COVID infection rate is going up. You see it in states all across the nation, in countries around the globe, and in contiguous states," Governor Cuomo said. "So we should be on high alert and we should be even more diligent, because the virus spreads across state boundaries, and we're in the party season. All I can do is warn New Yorkers and ask them to remember what worked for us: discipline and smarts. And we have to keep it up because these are dangerous times. We're going to stay with the micro-cluster approach because it has worked, but these are dangerous times all around and we need to stay vigilant."

The Governor noted that the positive testing rate in all focus areas under the state's Micro-Cluster strategy is 3.50 percent, and outside the focus zone areas is 1.48 percent. Within the focus areas, 10,503 test results were reported yesterday, yielding 368 positives. In the remainder of the state, not counting these focus areas, 85,598 test results were reported, yielding 1,265 positives.

Today's data is summarized briefly below:

  • Patient Hospitalization - 1,151 (+26)
  • Patients Newly Admitted - 130
  • Hospital Counties - 50
  • Number ICU - 276 (+17)
  • Number ICU with Intubation - 116 (-1)
  • Total Discharges - 79,915 (+84)
  • Deaths - 14
  • Total Deaths - 25,838