Saturday, November 14, 2020
Be Seen, Stay Safe, and Show Respect During Fall and Winter Hunting Seasons
With the big game season beginning Nov. 21 throughout much of the southern part of New York State, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos is encouraging outdoor enthusiasts to respectfully share the woods and follow some common sense safety precautions this fall and winter.
This past summer, DEC and State Parks launched the PLAY SMART * PLAY SAFE * PLAY LOCAL Campaign to encourage all New Yorkers to recreate safely, responsibly, and locally and to always treat fellow outdoor adventurers with respect. During the State's ongoing response to COVID-19, New Yorkers across the state want and need to get outside for a nature break, which is good for physical and mental health. The campaign includes common sense guidelines for smart and safe recreation, incorporating social distancing and wearing a face mask, planning trips ahead, choosing a destination close to home because public restrooms and restaurants may not be open, and visiting at off hours. The agencies are also encouraging New Yorkers to take the pledge and use the hashtag #PlaySmartPlaySafePlayLocal when sharing their outdoor adventures on social media.
Manhattan Investment Fund Manager Convicted Of Securities Fraud, Wire Fraud, And Investment Adviser Fraud Charges
Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that DONALD LAGUARDIA was convicted yesterday following a five-day jury trial before the Honorable Lewis A. Kaplan. As the jury found, between 2013 and 2016, LAGUARDIA, the chief executive officer and co-founder of a New York-based investment firm, L-R Managers, LLC, lied to investors and misappropriated money from investment funds managed by LAGUARDIA through L-R Managers. The jury convicted LAGUARDIA of three counts: securities fraud, investment adviser fraud, and wire fraud.
Attorney General James Calls on Attorney General Barr to Reverse New Policy Eroding Public Confidence in Election
“This policy reversal is nothing more than a last-ditch effort by a lame-duck administration to desperately latch on to power and sow chaos in our electoral process,” said Attorney General James. “The people have spoken, and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been elected president-elect and vice president-elect of the United States. This election was fair and safe, and even another branch of the Trump Administration has now publicly stated that this election was ‘the most secure in American history.’ The president and Attorney General Barr’s attempts to divide Americans and instill doubt in our elections is un-American and will not go unchallenged.”
The American people have voted in record numbers in a safe and secure election and have clearly chosen a new president. Despite this outcome, Attorney General Barr issued a new directive on November 9 — after results already showed that President Donald Trump had lost reelection — that stated that U.S. attorneys may now pursue allegations of voter fraud without adhering to long-established, important guardrails. Attorney General James and the coalition write in the letter today that until this directive was issued, the DOJ recognized that the principal responsibility for overseeing elections lied with states and had “taken care to avoid affecting the outcome of elections or even the perception of political intrusion in the electoral process.”
Additionally, last night, the Elections Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council and the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Executive Committees — as part of the Trump Administration — issued a joint statement, in which they stated, “The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history…There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.” The joint statement continues, “While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too. When you have questions, turn to elections officials as trusted voices as they administer elections.”
Nowhere in the joint statement did the Elections Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council or the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Executive Committees make mention for the need for the DOJ to insert itself in the election review process and investigate any false claims of voter fraud.
Joining Attorney General James in signing today’s letter are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.
Friday, November 13, 2020
The Peace Plaza triangle roadway had just been completed so there was plenty of parking for all who attended. While the crowd was a little smaller due to COBID-19 there were still over sixty people in attendance. Veteran and Officer of the Morris Park Community Organization Silvio Mazzalla emceed the shorter event this year.
Councilman Mark Gjonaj and Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez spoke as did Veterans Gene De Francis and Joe Ronda. Each said how Veteran's Day affects or affected their lives.
A wreath was laid as were flowers on the many symbolic headstones representing the many wars where soldiers from the Morris Park area or Borough of the Bronx have served with some never returning home.
Above - The crowd that was in attendance at Peace Plaza for the Veteran's day event.
Below - Councilman Mark Gjonaj is flanked by a few veterans as he speaks.
EMERGENCY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 161
November 13, 2020
EMERGENCY EXECUTIVE ORDER
WHEREAS, on March 7, 2020, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a State disaster emergency for the entire State of New York to address the threat that COVID-19 poses to the health and welfare of New York residents and visitors; and
WHEREAS, Emergency Executive Order No. 98, issued March 12, 2020 and extended most recently by Emergency Executive Order No. 159, issued November 3, 2020, contains a declaration of a state of emergency in the City of New York due to the threat posed by COVID-19 to the health and welfare of City residents, and such declaration remains in effect; and
WHEREAS, this Order is given because of the propensity of the virus to spread person-toperson and also because the actions taken to prevent such spread have led to property loss and damage; and
WHEREAS, measures taken to combat the spread of COVID-19 may prevent individuals, businesses and other entities from meeting legally imposed deadlines for the filing of certain documents or for the completion of other required actions; and
WHEREAS, this Order is given in order to ensure that the Governor's orders are enforced;
NOW, THEREFORE, pursuant to the powers vested in me by the laws of the State of New York and the City of New York, including but not limited to the New York Executive Law, the New York City Charter and the Administrative Code of the City of New York, and the common law authority to protect the public in the event of an emergency:
Section 1. I hereby direct that section 1 of Emergency Executive Order No. 160, dated November 8, 2020 is extended for five (5) days.
§ 2. This Order incorporates any and all relevant provisions of Governor Executive Order No. 202 and subsequent orders issued by the Governor of New York State to address the State of Emergency declared in that Order pursuant to his powers under section 29-a of the Executive Law.
§ 3. I hereby direct the Fire Department of the City of New York, the New York City Police Department, the Department of Buildings, the Sheriff, and other agencies as needed to immediately enforce the directives set forth in this Order in accordance with their lawful enforcement authorities, including but not limited to Administrative Code sections 15-227(a), 28- 105.10.1, and 28-201.1, and section 107.6 of the New York City Fire Code. Violations of the directives set forth in this Order may be issued as if they were violations under the New York City Health Code, title 24 Rules of the City of New York sections 3.07 and 3.11, and may be enforced as such by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene or any other agency named in this section.
§ 4. This Emergency Executive Order shall take effect immediately, and shall remain in effect for five (5) days unless it is terminated or modified at an earlier date.
Bill de Blasio,
Attorney General James Ready to Sue Trump Administration if New York Doesn’t Receive COVID-19 Vaccine with Rest of U.S.
New York Attorney General Letitia James today released the following statement after President Donald Trump announced that a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine in development will not be sent to New York once complete:
“This is nothing more than vindictive behavior by a lame-duck president trying to extract vengeance on those who oppose his politics. Once there is a fully-developed COVID-19 vaccine, we are confident that a Biden-Harris Administration will provide New York with the proper number of doses so that our state’s residents can achieve immunity. If dissemination of the vaccine takes place in the twilight of a Trump Administration and the president wants to play games with people’s lives, we will sue and we will win.”
NYS Office of the Comptroller DiNapoli: Statewide Local Sales Tax Collections Decline 5.2 Percent in October
Local government sales tax revenue declined by 5.2 percent in October compared to the same month last year, according to State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. October’s sales tax collections totaled $1.4 billion for counties and cities, or $74.4 million less than in October 2019.
This drop was less severe than previous declines since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the spring when collections fell by double-digits. Still, declines in local sales tax collections continue to mount, and overall local government collections in 2020 (January-October) are down nearly $1.6 billion (10.4 percent) compared to the same period in 2019.
“Statewide local sales tax collections have declined year-over-year for eight straight months,” DiNapoli said. “Our local governments are on the forefront of the pandemic response and they need financial aid from the federal government to help them get through this crisis.”
New York City had a 5.3 percent, or $34.5 million, decline in sales tax revenue in October, and all but eight counties in the state saw drops in collections as well, ranging from 0.8 percent in Jefferson and Rockland counties to nearly 19 percent in Oswego and Monroe counties. On a regional basis, sales tax collections were down across the board, ranging from a decline of 2 percent in the North Country to a drop of 13.5 percent in the Finger Lakes.