Monday, August 24, 2015

Westchester Square News: Pervs live near Pre-K programs

Westchester Square News: Pervs live near Pre-K programs: Guess Jared from Subway Can Move to Bronx Borough Becoming Haven for Sex Offenders Pervs Can Live Near Pre-K Programs BRONX, NEW YORK (BR...

Pervs live near Pre-K programs

Guess Jared from Subway Can Move to Bronx

Borough Becoming Haven for Sex Offenders

Pervs Can Live Near Pre-K Programs

BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)- State Senator Jeff Klein announced that a registered sex offender, Mark Mercado, released from Gowanda Correctional Facility in western New York has relocated to The Bronx – directly violating state law and moving a mere 449-feet from a special needs elementary school.

What’s more shocking than the speed at which this convicted felon found a new home next to the Biondi Elementary School, is a dangerous loophole in state law that does not place residency restrictions on stand-alone Universal Pre-Kindergarten programs. The sex offender also resides within 950-feet of a stand-alone UPK at the Westchester Tremont Day Care Center, serving 100 local children.

Senator Klein said: “Across New York, we’ve found sex offenders violating their parole, living dangerously close to traditional schools, and more egregiously, right next to our most vulnerable children attending pre-K programs. This is absolutely unacceptable. The legal definition of ‘school’ does not currently prevent registered sex offenders from residing with in 1,000 feet of pre-K programs – posing a deadly threat to the safety and security of New York’s families. It’s our duty to protect our children from pedophiles and I strongly urge the State Assembly to pass this important legislation and close this loophole immediately.”

In 2014, Senator Klein introduced legislation (S.1520) that would update New York State Penal Law to prohibit Level 2 and 3 sex offenders from knowingly being within 1,000 feet of a facility where pre-kindergarten or kindergarten instruction is provided. The bill overwhelmingly passed the State Senate in 2014 and 2015. The bill was never moved to the floor for a vote in the Assembly.

Six months ago, the Independent Democratic Conference released a bombshell investigative report “Keeping Our Children Safe From Sex Offenders” which uncovered startling violations of residency restrictions and numerous sex offenders living dangerously close to both traditional and stand-alone UPK programs in New York.

Two of the sexual predators found in that investigation – Michael Nieves and Damon Ford – are already back in prison. Ford violated his parole after police found him purchasing synthetic marijuana. Nieves also violated parole conditions when police were called to his home for a domestic dispute.

In 2009, Senator Klein introduced legislation that created a sex offender email notification system that later became Chapter 478 of New York State Law. The system allows local residents to receive instant email alerts any time a sex offender moves into a selected zip code. The legislation has been hailed by community groups and advocates.

Edith Blitzer, a Bronx resident and member of Community Board #11, said: “As a mother, grandmother, and community activist, finding a registered sex offender just released from prison living so close to our children is deeply troubling. It is our duty to ensure the safety of our kids, and by allowing these type of predators to circumvent the law, we are endangering their safety. Thank you Senator Klein for leading the way in protecting our neighborhoods and I look forward to working together for many years to come.”

Al D’Angelo, First Vice Chair of Community Board #11, said: “Our children are our most prized possessions. Their safety should be our prime concern. Preventing dangerous sexual predators from knocking at the doors of our schools is critical in building safe, strong communities. Allowing pedophiles to flout the law is simply unacceptable and I commend Senator Klein for leading the way in protecting our most vulnerable population.”

Monday, August 17, 2015

Westchester Square News: Air Quality Warning

Westchester Square News: Air Quality Warning: Air Quality Warning BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Acting Commissioner Marc ...

Air Quality Warning

Air Quality Warning

BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Acting Commissioner Marc Gerstman and State Department of Health (DOH) Commissioner Howard Zucker, M.D., J.D. today issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for the Long Island and New York City Metro regions of New York State for Monday, August 17, 2015.

            The pollutant of concern is: Ozone

            The advisory will be in effect: 11 a.m. through 11 p.m.                                      

DEC and DOH issue Air Quality Health Advisories when DEC meteorologists predict levels of pollution, either ozone or fine particulate matter are expected to exceed an Air Quality Index (AQI) value of 100. The AQI was created as an easy way to correlate levels of different pollutants to one scale, with a higher AQI value indicating a greater health concern.


Summer heat can lead to the formation of ground level ozone a major component of photochemical smog. Automobile exhaust and out-of-state emission sources are the primary sources of ground level ozone and are the most serious air pollution problems in the northeast. This surface pollutant should not be confused with the protective layer of ozone in the upper atmosphere.

People, especially young children, those who exercise outdoors, those involved in vigorous outdoor work and those who have respiratory disease (such as asthma) should consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity when ozone levels are the highest (generally afternoon to early evening). When outdoor levels of ozone are elevated, going indoors will usually reduce your exposure. Individuals experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain or coughing should consider consulting their doctor.

Ozone levels generally decrease at night and can be minimized during daylight hours by curtailment of automobile travel and the use of public transportation where available.

New Yorkers also are urged to take the following energy?saving and pollution-reducing steps:

use mass transit or carpool instead of driving, as automobile emissions account for about 60 percent of pollution in our cities;
conserve fuel and reduce exhaust emissions by combining necessary motor vehicle trips;
turn off all lights and electrical appliances in unoccupied areas;
use fans to circulate air. If air conditioning is necessary, set thermostats at 78 degrees;
close the blinds and shades to limit heat build-up and to preserve cooled air;
limit use of household appliances. If necessary, run the appliances at off-peak (after 7 p.m.) hours. These would include dishwashers, dryers, pool pumps and water heaters;
set refrigerators and freezers at more efficient temperatures;
purchase and install energy efficient lighting and appliances with the Energy Star label; and
reduce or eliminate outdoor burning and attempt to minimize indoor sources of PM 2.5 such as smoking.

A toll free Air Quality Hotline (1-800-535-1345) has been established by DEC to keep New Yorkers informed of the latest Air Quality situation. Further information on ozone and PM 2.5 is available on DEC’s web site at and on the DOH website.

Westchester Square News: Tips for Surviving Heat Wave

Westchester Square News: Tips for Surviving Heat Wave: Tips for Surviving Heat Wave                              BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)-  With high temperatures and humidity expec...

Tips for Surviving Heat Wave

Tips for Surviving Heat Wave
BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)- With high temperatures and humidity expected to stick with New Yorkers the next few days, Con Edison reminds customers to stay safe, stay comfortable and watch their energy usage. Here are some simple tips.
1. Set your AC to the highest comfortable temperature. Every degree you lower the thermostat drives up your bill by 6 percent.
2. To reduce heat and moisture in your home, run appliances such as ovens, washing machines, dryers and dishwashers in the early morning or late at night when it’s cooler outside.
3. Cook with a microwave, or barbecue.
4. When the AC is running, close doors to keep cool air in and hot air out. Shop owners are reminded not to keep front doors open while running air conditioning inside.  This wastes energy and puts a strain on the grid.
5. Keep shades, blinds and curtains closed. About 40 percent of unwanted heat comes through windows.
6. Use ceiling fans instead of your AC, if possible. Ceiling fans use less energy.
7. Turn off AC units, lights and other appliances when not at home and use a timer or smart technology to turn on your AC before arriving home.
8. Replace old appliances with new energy efficient Energy Star appliances.
Con Edison offers a variety of energy-efficiency programs for this summer. The coolNYC program connects customers with smart technology to control their room air conditioners from their computer or mobile device. Customers whose air conditioners are not Wi-Fi-enabled can buy a smart AC kit or borrow one for free and keep it if they participate in at least three heat events. Customers with Wi-Fi-connected Friedrich Kühl or Frigidaire Cool-Connect units can enroll these Energy Star ACs and earn up to $125 in rewards. Learn more by
Replacing an old air conditioner with a new Energy Star unit can reduce energy usage by 15 percent. Con Edison will pay a $20 rebate to customers who buy a new Energy Star air conditioner.
Customers can report outages and check service restoration status or by calling 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633).  When reporting an outage, customers should have their Con Edison account number available, if possible, and report whether their neighbors also have lost power.
Customers who report outages will be called by Con Edison with their estimated restoration times as they become available.
#HeatWave #AC