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Post by thelivyjr » Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:40 p


"Power Restored to Manhattan’s West Side After Major Blackout"

James Barron and Mihir Zaveri


A power failure plunged a stretch of the West Side of Manhattan into darkness on Saturday night, trapping people in subway cars and elevators for a time, leaving drivers to fend for themselves at intersections with no traffic signals and eerily dimming the lights in a swath of Times Square.

Stores emptied out, and Broadway shows did not go on: Most theaters canceled their performances.

In restaurants and bars, people drank by the glow of their smartphones.

But the lights — and, on a warm Saturday night in midsummer, the air conditioning and fans that keep people cool — began to return about 10 p.m.

Power was fully restored by midnight, with cheers ringing out on the streets in response.

Con Edison said that the power failed at 6:47 p.m. and that 73,000 customers were in the dark for at least three hours, mainly on the West Side.

The blackout stretched from 72nd Street to the West 40s, and from Fifth Avenue to the Hudson River.

Con Edison said the failure apparently stemmed from a problem at a substation on West 49th Street, and affected six power sectors.

John McAvoy, Con Edison’s chairman and chief executive, suggested it was a mechanical failure but emphasized that the utility would not know the cause until an investigation was completed.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was more specific, saying the failure started with an explosion and fire at a substation that caused other substations to “lose power and malfunction.”

“Once we get past the emergency, then I want to know what the heck happened,” Mr. Cuomo told WABC-TV, “because this is not the first time we have had a substation issue.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was in Iowa campaigning for his presidential bid, ruled out terrorism or criminal activity.

Con Edison customers “expect to have a system that contemplates, anticipates and prevents foreseeable occurrences,” he said.

The blackout happened on the same date that a large power failure in 1977 plunged the city into darkness.

Now as then, Times Square — usually blindingly bright with tourists and crowds strolling to theaters — was dark, and traffic signals were out.

For several hours on Saturday night, the police asked drivers to avoid much of the West Side — the area between 42nd and 74th Streets, between Fifth and 12th Avenues.

At intersections, police officers and civilians worked together to direct traffic while fire trucks and ambulances screamed down side streets.

Two young women posed for a selfie in the middle of 46th Street before an officer rushed over and chastised them, saying, “Ladies, this is not the time.”

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs the subway, said the blackout affected the entire system, with limited service for a time on several lines.

Ellie Shanahan, 23, was on the A train between 50th and 59th Streets when the train stopped unexpectedly.

She waited with the other passengers for nearly 20 minutes before an M.T.A. worker announced that there was a power outage and that there would be no train service between 59th and 163rd Streets.

After evacuating the subway station, she said, she noticed police officers trying to monitor the frantic crowds at 50th Street.

She got on a Citi Bike and rode it to 125th Street.

“What was craziest to me was there were no traffic lights,” Ms. Shanahan said.

“I was in shock, but people still seemed to know what to do."

"Everyone was being polite, even though there were no lights to tell us when to go.”

May Martinez, 33, who lives in Inwood, said she got stuck on a different A train when the power went out.

“It was scary,” she said.

“We were just wondering — are we going to sleep here?”

Ms. Martinez said the lights and air conditioning remained on, but the train stopped.

Eventually, she said, the train started, but the rest of its trip was erratic.

It took 40 minutes to reach Columbus Circle, where she and the other passengers got off the train.

Most Broadway shows — including “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” “Hadestown,” “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” and “Aladdin” — canceled their performances.

On the sidewalks outside the theaters, the casts staged impromptu outdoor shows.

Performers from “Waitress” and “Come From Away” sang versions of songs from their shows, and actors from “Hadestown” improvised a blackout-themed rendition of one of its songs.

Carnegie Hall canceled all performances Saturday night.

At Lincoln Center, a performance from the Mark Morris Dance Group was canceled, but outside, the Midsummer Night Swing band kept going.

Some took the blackout in stride.

Renee Chung, 35, of Brooklyn, was having dinner at a restaurant at 63rd Street and Broadway when the power went out.

“In New York, we’re used to things like this,” she said.

Ms. Chung said the restaurant was using an honor system for customers who did not have cash because its credit card machines were not working.

But then there was the challenge of getting home to Brooklyn.

“We’re just going to walk for a little bit and see what happens,” Ms. Chung said.

At the Jennifer Lopez birthday-themed extravaganza at Madison Square Garden, the power failure happened during the fourth song.

The lights had been shining and the bass thumping and the opening notes of “Dinero,” Ms. Lopez’s hit Latin pop song, had sounded.

A crew of dancers was onstage.

Suddenly, the lights went dark, and the speakers fell silent.

The only sound was a live drum set, still playing as dancers continued their routine.

It soon became apparent that this was not part of the show.

Ms. Lopez appeared on the stage and seemed to be speaking.

But with her microphone out, her message could not be heard.

After a while, a backup generator kicked in, and the lights came on.

Minutes after that, a high-pitched chime sounded, and the audience was told to leave.

In the darkness outside, some fans were frustrated.

“I’ve waited my whole life to see Jennifer Lopez, and I didn’t get to see but five minutes of it,” said Jennifer Walker, 35, of Brentwood, N.Y.

Reporting was contributed by Neil Vigdor, Mariel Padilla, Liam Stack, Jeffery C. Mays, Nancy Coleman, Michael Paulson and Michael Gold. ... id=HPDHP17

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Post by thelivyjr » Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:40 p


So, what are we really looking at here, people, with the “Green New Deal?”

How about fundraising based on false pretenses, which makes this “Green New Deal” one of the slickest SCAMS to come down the pike in a long, long time, made possible by Al Gore’s invention of the internet as a potent and powerful fund-raising tool, as we are seeing in the case of this “Green New Deal,” which is being used to raise internet funds on several different but inter-connected websites, such as the Sunrise Movement and the Justice Democrats, to wit:


A Platform Democrats Can Fight For

Opinion polls in the United States demonstrate that these policy positions are overwhelmingly popular.

Indeed, throughout the industrialized world these ideas are considered moderate.

This is a movement about freedom and justice.

And it’s a movement of, by, and for working people.

If the Democrats refuse to embrace this platform, they’ll continue to lose, either to Republicans or to us.

Transform Our Economy

We need a bold economic vision that will both reclaim lost capital and put money back in the pockets of hard-working Americans, and create millions of new jobs for those who have been left out of the workforce.


Scientists are sounding the alarm on climate change.

Communities are fighting back.

It’s time to drastically and immediately move away from fossil fuels, develop the technologies of the future, and create prosperity for all of us — not just those on top.

The Green New Deal is a mass mobilization to dramatically expand existing renewable power sources and deploy new production capacity with the goal of meeting 100% of national power demand through renewable sources.

The Green New Deal will also provide all members of our society, across all regions and all communities, the opportunity, training and education to be a full and equal participant in the transition, including through a job guarantee program to assure a living wage job to every person who wants one and ensure a ‘just transition’ for all workers, low-income communities, communities of color, indigenous communities, rural and urban communities and the front-line communities most affected by climate change, pollution and other environmental harm including by ensuring that local implementation of the transition is led from the community level and by prioritizing solutions that end the harms faced by front-line communities from climate change and environmental pollution.







end quotes

And up at the top of the page is that box that says “DONATE.”

Except what you are donating for, as AOC herself informed us on the MSNBC Town Hall with Chris Hayes on 03/29/19, is nothing at all, to wit:

OCASIO-CORTEZ: And first all of we wave a magic wand and we passed the Green New Deal resolution tomorrow, what happens?

Nothing because it’s a resolution.

end quotes

So why aren’t the people being asked to donate on these various websites touting and promoting the “Green New Deal” as the cure for everything that ails this country being told the truth that if the “Green New Deal” were to be passed this afternoon, nothing is going to happen and nothing is going to change?

And where is all that donation money going to?

And for what cause then? ... ent-140073


"Harris announces 'landmark bill' with AOC to fight 'environmental injustice'"

John Gage

30 JULY 2019

Sen. Kamala Harris announced she was teaming up with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to make sure the Green New Deal would lift up low-income communities, people of color, and indigenous communities.

"Too many communities in America face systemic environmental injustice — that must end," the California Democrat said Monday on Twitter.

"Today, I'm partnering with @AOC to announce a landmark bill to ensure that a Green New Deal leaves no one behind and lifts up low-income communities, people of color, and indigenous communities."

The bill, titled "Climate Equity Act of 2019," would require congressional climate and environmental bills to have an equity score and require additional review for "climate equity" in federal regulations.

The bill would additionally require all major federal climate and environmental investments to consider front-line groups, including low-income communities, indigenous communities, and communities of color.

The bill would create an office of Climate and Environmental Justice Accountability to handle new responsibilities created by the bill.

Harris is currently polling in fourth place at 11% in the Democratic presidential primary according to RealClearPolitics.

Ocasio-Cortez originally introduced the Green New Deal in February.

The bill seeks to shift large amounts of the U.S. economy to be directed at fighting climate change.

The non-binding resolution includes calls for the U.S. to deal with "a large racial wealth divide."

The resolution also claimed environmental issues "disproportionately" affect indigenous communities.

Ocasio-Cortez's chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti claimed earlier this month about the Green New Deal that "it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all ... we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing." ... P17#page=2

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Post by thelivyjr » Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:40 p



"Son of Albany mayor robbed and beaten while delivering pizzas: report"

By Jon Levine

August 3, 2019 | 9:53am

The son of Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan was beaten and robbed while delivering pizzas late Wednesday evening, the Times Union reported.

“Two black males in their 20s, both wearing dark-colored clothing, jumped out of bushes and began to punch and kick the pizza delivery driver,” Albany police officer Steven Smith told the paper.

“They stole two pizzas and his money."

"The driver had some injuries to his face as a result of being punched, and refused medical attention.”

Violent crime has surged in Albany in recent years, with the paper noting that 2018 “was one of the deadliest the city has seen in the last two decades.”

The attack on Sheehan’s son comes as the city also faces an acute shortage of police officers.

The force is down more than 40 officers as a result of retirements and resignations, Albany Police Officers Union officials told the paper. ... as-report/

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Post by thelivyjr » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:40 p

"Albany police staffing concerns aired - But per capita, city fares well compared with neighbors"

By Amanda Fries, Albany, New York Times Union

Updated 7:34 pm EDT, Thursday, August 8, 2019

ALBANY — The city police force is down nearly 50 police officers, a situation that leaves law enforcement in dire straits, a police union leader says.

The shortages have forced officers to work overtime, which is mandated on the newest officers in the force, unless a senior officer volunteers, according to the police union contract.

"The younger officers are getting mandated at such an alarming rate we're burning them out," Albany Police Officers Union President Greg McGee said Thursday.

But just what constitutes adequate staffing in a big city department can be a complicated issue.

Vacancies in Albany's department from retirements, suspensions and transfers still leave the force with double the number of officers compared to other Capital Region agencies.

City populations, police officer functions, geography and the influx of visitors and workers, among other things, all affect the potential workload.

The Albany department has about 300 uniformed officers, while Troy and Schenectady have about half that number even when fully staffed.

In Troy and Schenectady, with populations of 49,374 and 65,575 respectively, have about half as many officers as Albany, which had a population of over 97,000, according to 2018 U.S. Census estimates.

Even with the vacant positions, Albany has 3.1 officers for every 1,000 city residents, well above the average number of officers for communities with a population between 50,000 and 100,000, of 1.6 per 1,000 residents in 2016, according to Governing, a national media outlet covering politics, policy and management for state and local governments.

Troy and Schenectady have 2.6 officers and 2.3 officers per 1,000 residents respectively.

McGee noted, however, that when taking into account recruits and command staff – the latter being busy running day-to-day operations who don’t respond to emergencies – Albany has about 230 officers.

“There’s really no guarantee that we’re going to get (all) the recruits in the academy,” he said, noting some drop out or get jobs at other agencies upon graduation.

“It absolutely is a staffing crisis.”

Albany has been criticized for the how large the department is.

The police force is budgeted for 342 sworn officers, but currently is down 45 officers – a number that includes three officers suspended after a violent confrontation on First Street in March, according to police spokesman Officer Steve Smith.

Training, special tasks

Mayor Kathy Sheehan said programs the department is committed to, like the neighborhood engagement unit, require more officers that other agencies may not schedule if they’re focused on responding to calls.

“When we created neighborhood engagement units, we couldn’t take away from the cohort of officers that need to be available to respond to calls for service,” she said, noting some units have gone without an engagement officer during the staffing shortage.

“We want to get back up to full strength.”

The department also began doing its training academy in-house, which has limited how many recruits can be trained at one time, Sheehan said.

For the next academy, the mayor said the department has found a place that will allow upwards of 40 recruits to be trained at once.

The department is taking applications through Aug. 12.

Audio reviewed by the Times Union but not released to the public revealed Officer Luke Deer telling a supervisor he lost control during a March confrontation on First Street and had just worked two double shifts.

Police were caught on body camera footage pulling one black man out of a residence at 523 First St. and beating him as well as two other men after answering complaints about a loud party.

The men were arrested on a slew of charges that were dismissed after the video came to light.

The incident led to the April 2 arrest of Deer on a felony assault charge and a misdemeanor official misconduct charge.

Two other officers were suspended.

An Albany County grand jury is investigating.

While officers may be working more on overtime, the Albany department remains under budget, having spent about $3 million as of July 31, city figures show.

The city budgeted nearly $4.2 million for overtime in 2019.

Retention issues

Police agencies across the country are facing recruitment and retention issues, police Chief Eric Hawkins said, and it’s something he reminds his officers of often.

“One of the things I tell my officers is that the fear and frustration that they’re feeling is the same concern and frustration that officers across the country are feeling."

"This is not just an Albany, New York issue,” he said.

“They’re short-staffed, morale is low, they don’t feel that they’re getting the support they need and deserve.”

At the same time Albany struggles to attract and retain officers, the Guardian Angels – a New York City volunteer street-safety patrol group – returned to the capital city Thursday to assist police.

Hawkins said he welcomes the group as long as they follow department guidelines and policies.

McGee said the union regularly brainstorms with Hawkins on ways to improve morale and retain officers, from buying new equipment and uniforms to encouraging Albany officers to reach out to members at other agencies who may be looking to transfer.

The police officers’ union remains at a standstill in negotiations for a new contract with the city.

The detectives are creating their own bargaining unit and patrol officers also want to shift their representation to the Police Benevolent Association, issues that union leaders are waiting on the Public Employees Relations Board to rule on, McGee said.

The current parent union is Council 82.

The union previously rejected a contract proposed by the city that would have covered officers through 2018 and provided raises.

Instead, the union went to arbitration and last year was awarded no raises for 2014 and a 1 percent increase for 2015.

Sheehan said she wants to be able to hammer out a contract for police officers – especially since salaries must be negotiated and voted on by union members, but the internal union issues must be resolved first.

“I want nothing more than to have a contract, and I also want to ensure that we have competitive salaries for our officers,” she said. ... DailyBrief

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